Dancing with the Stars Recap: Season 25 Premiere

Dancing with the Stars Recap: Season 25, Episode 1

Twenty-five years. Can you believe it? If Dancing with the Stars was a person, he/she would be looking for a job in the “real world” right now after settling for something right out of college just to pay the bills. I like to imagine that dream job would be working in a sequin factory or plucking feathers from Muppets to embellish the bottom of ball gowns.

Of course, there’s always an internship with the Great One — Mandy Moore. You may be wondering how this woman is able to choreograph an opening number for roughly 250 people on an ABC studio backlot, including a small stint in the middle of a desert with a scantily clad Sharna and topless Alan.

Fear not, dear readers. Remember, Mandy Moore is the brain child behind this award-winning scene:

Tom is like that popular, goofball uncle who does magic tricks and Erin is the ditzy cousin how makes everyone laugh. It’s just like Thanksgiving and I’m so glad the family is all together again for yet another year of glitz, glamor, “stars,” and Len Goodman’s crotchety old self.

Let’s do this!

Terrell and Cheryl
“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” by The Temptations
Cheryl is ready to win and producers waste no time partnering this firecracker with Terrell “T.O.” Owens. He’s known in the NFL for executing jaunty touchdown celebrations, but wants everyone to know that dancing is not in his wheelhouse. During rehearsals, Cheryl gently barks at TO, telling him “Your eyes are dead.” Terrell laughs, claiming he “saw Cheryl’s soul.” Cheryl icily claims that “she saw nothing.” This is an unfortunate turn of events. You see, even though Cheryl works her hair and purple fringe skirt, and TO owns his reflective silver blazer, all I could do was watch Terrell’s facial expressions to see if his eyes were dead. It’s a good thing Erin distracted the judges with all that “heel lead is a good thing” and Cheryl’s interjection of “NO IT IS NOT.” Sweet Erin.

Debbie and Alan
“Lost in Your Eyes” by Debbie Gibson
I love Debbie Gibson. Like the Babysitter’s Club and Tiffany, I feel like Debbie is a dear friend from the past who has no idea that she is a dear friend. She is the youngest female in history to write and produce a number one song. May I suggest you download “Lost in Your Eyes” or “Shake Your Love?” You’ll be a better person for doing so.

Debbie has been MIA for a while. She’s been battling Lyme Disease, which directly attacks her muscles. She wants to find joy again and challenge herself. Enter: Dancing with the Stars. And Alan. (Who is stoked that AB is a pro this year? I AM!) Alan choreographs a pretty, flowy, lovely foxtrot. He and Debbie move across the floor, in matching white outfits, and I’m mesmerized by Debbie’s feathery hem. I’m also a bit squirmy that she’s dancing to her own music. I’ve wondered this before: Is dancing to your own song like wearing the concert t-shirt to the concert? I’ll let you decide.
Best Bruno Line: I want you to be more nasty.
Lincee’s Response: You’re thinking of Janet Jackson, Bruno. Wrong musical artist.

Sasha and Gleb
“Like That” by Fleur East
My friend Stephanie has been telling me for years to binge Pretty Little Liars. If I had listened to her, I might be more excited for this Sasha person who joined the Dancing with the Stars cast to get in shape for her wedding. YOU GO GIRL! Sasha immediately realizes that the show is L-I-V-E and she will not have multiple takes to get it right. This makes her nervous and you can tell while she’s dancing in her fabulous royal blue and black sparkly number. I had the feeling that she was holding back. Here’s the deal, though — the girl can dance. Carrie Ann said that she knows how to balance sexy with proper technique. I’d agree with that. The judges seem to like her too.

Drew and Emma
“Our House” by Madness
Oh Drew. You are a rascal, aren’t you? He’s also one half of the Property Brothers. Drew is the real estate twin who typically dresses in a suit, compared to his brother Jonathan who is the sledge hammer wielding demo guy. Drew is a dork, which I love, and thinks that his time spent learning karate will help him dance. Spoiler: It does not. First of all, there is a twelve-inch height difference between the two. This does not help. Second, he’s a little clunky and makes many mistakes during his performance. Third, his song was a little too on the nose and didn’t really translate well musically as a foxtrot, in my opinion. Fourth, he looks like Zachary Levi, which is not a bad thing. Finally, I hear he has a fiancé which makes me sad.

Len said that he is a “fixer upper” and I think I saw Jonathan roll his eyes in the audience. WRONG SHOW, LEN!

Barbara and Keo
“Money Maker” by Ludacris featuring Pharrell Williams
I get that Barbara is one of the power people on Shark Tank and often competes with men. Yes, she’s a real estate mogul and I appreciate the fact that she’s a fan of the show. I do not, however, like that she handles Keo like a piece of meat. HE IS CLEARLY UNCOMFORTABLE, BARBARA.

And once again, the music choice is odd. I’m not sure I would give this woman such an aggressive song right out of the gate. Is she aggressive? Sure. But let’s tone that down a bit and offer a nice Latin-based song so she can do a proper salsa and not feel like she has to stick her tongue out or make a stank face. Nobody wants to see that.

Her gold dress is divine. The woman has a nice pair of legs. She’s vibrant and energetic and does the best with what she is given. It’s just that her best was abysmal. I spent half my time behind a couch cushion begging for her to stop shaking her money maker.

Best line:
Barbara: “That was a sexual turn on, my dear.:
Bruno: “Was it my darling?”

Jordan and Lindsay
“There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” by Shawn Mendes
I have no idea if the young folk watch this show, but if anyone can convince them to tune in and vote, it would be this guy. Jordan Fisher is a-freaking-dorable. I hope he stays that way. He’s incredibly talented and is pretty much a Disney Channel golden child. He was also in Hamilton, which gives him all sorts of street cred.

Jordan is 23-years-old which makes Lindsay literally jump for joy. She tells the camera that this is the first partner her age and she aims to make it work for her. Especially since her song choice is young and fabulous, too. All she needs is a sliver lame jacket for him and a “dress” pieced together by the scraps made from that silver lame jacket for her and they are unstoppable. In short? Jordan is good. And Lindsay just might take him to victory.

Nick and Peta
“Come Get It Bae” by Pharrell Williams
Let’s just get this out in the open first…Peta is ripped. The woman had a baby five seconds ago and I can see her abs. Life isn’t fair.

Much like Lindsay, her emerald green number is pieced together with safety pins. I’m confused by the bun on her head, so I focus all my energy on the adorable Nick Lachey who is a member of the “non-dancing” boy band of the nineties. Fun fact: His brother Drew won season 2 with Cheryl. In case you don’t remember, he’s happy to hold his mirrorball trophy in his lap for the entirety of the show with a big old grin on his face.

Peta choreographs a spastic number, complete with JV dancers. I was distracted by her butt cheeks peeking out from her green fringe and once again lamented the life isn’t fair. Nick does a respectable job. He has boy band smize which works in his favor. Props to Erin for rolling a clip from 2009 of Nick promising he will never, ever, ever be on Dancing with the Stars.

Vanessa and Maks
“Woman” by Ke$ha featuring The Dap-Kings Horns
Quick recap: Vanessa is married to Nick and Peta is married to Maks. Will this work? Or will Peta sabotage Maks’ dance shoes for out-choreographing her? Time will tell.

Maks thinks Vanessa is a complete goof, but also claims that she is the hardest working star he’s ever partnered with on the show. He pairs her with a few JV female dancers who begin their number with strollers, while JV dudes (and Maks) carry fake babies in bjorns. It did not translate for me. In fact, I looked like this:


Once they got rid of the baby dolls, I enjoyed the performance even though I thought multiple times that I could see through Vanessa’s shimmery black dress. The woman knows how to dance, and I think Peta is going to quickly tilt to the jealous side as the weeks roll by. Vanessa is having a ball and is naturally talented. Nick is having a ball and is naturally not. May the best couple win…fourth or fifth place.

Witney and Frankie
“Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles
Depending on your generation, you may know Witney’s partner as Malcom in the Middle or Agent Cody Banks. Practically no one knows him as Frankie, but I bet that’s about to change. Sweet Frankie has a lot riding against him: He’s as old as Witney’s dad (barf), he broke his back and a few ribs in a racing accident (ouch), and can’t seem to take a compliment without covering his face and turning red (cute).

Witney choreographs a beautiful number to a current song that most people know. He’s in a grey tuxedo and she’s in a whispery pink gossamer dress. Frankie keeps up with Witney’s steps for the most part and delivers an endearing performance. The audience LOVES him.

Nikki and Artem
“So What” by P!nk
Nikki is a professional wrestler. She’s powerful, strong, a little in your face, and Artem is probably the best choice as a pro for her personality. She claims she’s not used to wearing dresses and heels. I guess that’s why the wardrobe department dressed her in a red leather dominatrix outfit. A body suit, tall boots, random cape thing around her waist, and a sever ponytail. Bless. Nikki did a decent job with the quick, sharp movements, but when she body slammed Artem at the end, I physically cried out for him. It…had…to…hurt. So bad. Someone call a chiropractor. Or a surgeon.

Sharna and Derek
“Basketball” by Kurtis Blow
How many times am I going to comment on the music being a dumb choice for the routine? Just because Derek is a basketball player doesn’t mean we have to choose a song that has “basketball” in the title. I really think it worked against them. And so did the Lakers’ outfits. I did enjoy the ode to High School Musical part.

Sharna tells the camera that basketball players rarely do well in this competition, which makes me sad because I am rooting for Sharna to have a winning season. If Derek keeps flipping her around like an ice skater, they may have a chance. And if Derek’s mom is showcased in any way, I’ll vote for the dude myself.

Victoria and Val
“Born Ready” by The Disco Fries featuring Hope Murphy
So Victoria was paralyzed for ten years. She was in a vegetative state for four of those years, and she was written off as a “lost cause.” Then she made her way back and eighteen months ago, she started walking.

What in the world?

Victoria can’t feel her legs. I literally have no idea how she is walking. Is it muscle memory? I’m not sure, but I am fascinated to learn more. Val calls her a living miracle (yes!) and choreographs a high energy number where he holds on to her most of the time. Her hot pink fringe pants are everything I wanted them to be, and so is her dance. Although a little hesitant here and there, the main reason I liked her performance was the joy that exuded from her face. The audience loved it. Her parents cried in the audience. I cried on the couch. Yay Victoria.

Mark and Lindsey
“Don’t Worry” by Madcon featuring Ray Dalton
Lindsey is a quirky little violinist. Mark is a quirky little dancer. This is a match made in heaven. Her wild and crazy hair + his faux hawk = natural chemistry. The dance is high energy and fun, as both of these two crazy kids are, but I found myself a bit annoyed by my pet peeve. You know what it is — the open mouth face. I hope Mark trains that out of her. Other than that, she was clean, sharp, and enthusiastic. Len claims it was the best dance of the night. I say that accolade goes to Jordan.

So who were your favorites? What was the best dance in your opinion? Do you think it’s Lindsay’s year to win? Will Mark give her a run for her money? Is Drew your favorite twin? Sound off in the comments.


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