‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Lots of room to grow


Can you believe there have been 21 seasons of Dancing with the Stars? At this point, ABC has run out of soap actresses and retired football players who are willing to throw on a little sequins and perform junior high level choreography in front of a live audience. Even Len Goodman hung up his dancing shoes this round, leaving more time for Bruno to shout out inappropriate innuendos at those who choose to stand and be judged before him.

Speaking of judges, are the higher numbered paddles missing? Did any of the 13 “stars” competing for the coveted mirror ball trophy even score in the 20s? The answer is: barely. Premiere night was full of sweat, tears, fringe and at least 10 performances that ended in a dramatic dip pose. Let’s break down the competition:

Victor Espinoza
Partner: Karina
Dance: I’m told it was a salsa.
Victor Espinoza is the jockey who rode Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh. When standing straight up, he is eye level with Karina’s boobs. This does not bother him in the slightest. He has a problem with short-term memory due to all of his concussions, but that does not stop him from saluting his profession by wearing his bright jockey uniform AND a bedazzled helmet. There were a plethora of what I’ll call “horse moves” and a decent amount of pelvic thrusting. The judges used vague compliments like, “It was fun!” and “That was interesting!” That’s code for, “You don’t stand a chance, buddy. Have fun counting your winnings.”
Score: 15

It’s almost showtime 💃💃#DWTS

A photo posted by Victor Espinoza (@espinozasvictor) on

Tamar Braxston
Parter: Val
Dance: Quickstep
I love how Tamar (it’s a long “A”) told the camera that everyone probably knows her as a co-host of The Real. TAKE THAT TONI BRAXTON! WHO’S THE FAMOUS SISTER NOW? My other favorite part was when she asked Val to “Stop grabbing my wobbly bits, or we’re going to have a problem.” I love this lady. And she’s a really good dancer! The quickstep is one of the hardest dances to perform and she did a great job! It totally helped that her long fringe skirt was what my dreams are made of and that Val is hotter than crap.
Score: 23  


Chaka Khan
Partner: Keo
Dance: Cha Cha (sort of)
In their intro package, we learn that Keo is an actual prince in Africa. What the whaaaaa? And since Chaka is the Queen of Funk, this is a royalty match made in heaven. When Chaka descended from the ceiling to the tune of her own song, “I Feel For You,” I had to wonder if this moment was equivalent of someone wearing their concert t-shirt to the concert. That thought was quickly discarded as I watched in horror as the Queen of Funk swayed from side-to-side after forgetting the majority of her routine. At least she smiled the entire time. That’s what queens do.
Score: 15

Hayes Grier
Partner: Emma
Dance: Cha Cha
For those of you who may not know (read: me 12-hours ago), Hayes Grier is an Internet sensation. He’s really popular with the young kids nowadays and is a Vine/Twitter savant. He’s 15-years-old and when his partner asked him why he was interested in DWTS, he honestly answered, “To meet girls.” He also wants to impress the ladies at his prom, which he will be attending in 2017. #GOALS! He used the word “quan” which made me think of how Jerry McGuire is the Ambassador of Quan. I felt pretty good for such an old person, but that high quickly plummeted when he used the word “meechie” and I had to Google it. Hayes and Emma danced around to the summer anthem “Cheerleader” with a full entourage of high school students behind them. Hayes has a literal entourage cheering for him in the audience, and one managed to infiltrate the sky box. I believe his mission was trying to hook up with Erin Andrews.
Score: 21

Andy Grammar
Partner: Allison
Dance: Foxtrot
Andy is the man behind that song “Honey I’m Good” which is very hard to get out of your head once it’s in there. He and Allison danced to “Let’s Marvin Gaye and Get It On” which is very hard to get out of your head once it’s in there. (Side note: I may have purchased that song. Is that sad? Or am I the coolest person you know? Discuss.) Andy has a lot of potential. Clearly he’s comfortable being on a stage in a live atmosphere, but all the judges pointed out that he has zero chemistry with Allison. That’s not good. Maybe Allison’s heart was with her husband Twitch who at that moment was losing the Street vs. Stage competition on So You Think You Can Dance? With that said, he did surpass the 20 mark!
Score: 21

Paula Deen
Partner: Winner of Every Dance Competition (Except DWTS) Louis Van Amstel
Dance: Quickstep
Well, they were supposed to dance the quickstep. It was more like a one-step-faster-than-a-walk-step. Louis kept telling the camera that Paula has trouble concentrating. Then she burped on national television. Southern charm! She was in a gorgeous purple outfit, but the routine was abysmal. Especially compared to Tamar’s version.
Score: 15

Carlos Penavega
Partner: Whitney
Dance: Jive
Carlos was in the boy band Big Time Rush, which is only impressive if you don’t have an ACTUAL Backstreet Boy in the competition. He also wears a man bun. How this became a thing is beyond me. I blame Mark Ballas. He and Whitney hopped across a tiny stage with the enthusiasm of a thousand Bindi Irwins. Twice I thought he was going to twirl Whitney off the edge. But all was well.
Score: 23

Alexa Penavega
Partner: Mark Ballas
Dance: Jive
You guessed it! Alexa is Carlos’ wife. You may know her from Spy Kids. Mark knows her as the woman whose husband stole his man bun idea. She’s super cute and has a lot of potential, but their routine was forgettable. I did love how they both cheered each other on as the other danced.
Score: 22  


Kim Zolciak Biermann
Partner: Tony
Dance: A Sad Salsa
Kim is from the Real Housewives of Atlanta and is a mother of six with huge boobs. She starts crying 10 minutes after Tony arrives and Tony has to talk her off the ledge. Wardrobe puts her in a weird Cleopatra outfit and a few dudes carry her out on the stage. Billows of smoke fill the room—a clear sign that what’s about to happen needs as much masking as possible. Tony dumbs down his routine so much that it looks like a piece he would teach to geriatric people in a wheelchair ballroom class at my Papaw’s nursing home. (They actually have that by the way. SO FUN!) It was so, so bad. I didn’t even know the score could be this low.
Score: 12

Bindi Irwin
Partner: Derek
Dance: Jive
Derek wastes no time telling the 17-year-old that he has won the trophy five times and she needs to get on board the #winning train. Bindi is full of energy, just like her dad, and has the best attitude ever—even when Derek makes her dance to “Crocodile Rock.” She can dance really well and Derek barely pulled focus, which is rare for him. Could it be that khaki really does subdue the soul? My one hope is that they wardrobe people stop putting her boobs on display.
Score: 24

Gary Busey
Partner: Anna Trebunskaya
Dance: Cha Cha
Bless him.
Score: I blocked it out.

Alek Skarlatos
Partner: Lindsay
Dance: Foxtrot
Alek is one of the guys who stopped an act of terrorism on a train to France a few weeks ago. He’s an American hero, therefore, I love him. Plus, he can actually dance! He’s simply delightful and I want him to start dating Bindi.
Score: 22

So great to see @alekskarlatos & @lindsarnold today. They bring so much light into the studio. #DWTS A photo posted by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Nick Carter
Partner: Sharna
Dance: Cha Cha
Nick Carter has been a Backstreet Boy for 23 years. Let that marinate in the old brain for just a minute. Both Sharna and Julianne fan girl when he is near, blubbering that they both had posters of him on their wall for the entirety of their adolescent lives. He seems unfazed by this news. I felt that there were very few cha’s in his routine, yet he tied with Bindi for the highest score of the night.
Score: 24

What did you think about the routines? Were you surprised by the low scores? Did you giggle when you saw Nick Cannon like I did season ago when Joey from NKOTB was on the show? You can tell me. Boy bands rock.


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