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

DWTS

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  

DWTS

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  

DWTS 2

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.

Comments

20 Comments on "‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Lots of room to grow"

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Jennifer
Jennifer

I was surfing my facebook during much of the show but took a break to yell for my 12 year old to come into the room to tell me who Hayes Grier was. Of course she knew and identified his brother as well. Loved your commentary as always!

Lincee

We need the kids in our lives to keep us current. That’s for sure. Thanks Jennifer!

Faith
Faith

I loved last night’s show! I was a huge Steve Irwin fan and honestly I had never cried over a celebrity passing away until then. Bindi was only like 6 but I remember how spunky she was and how strong she was during his funeral which aired on Animal Planet. I’m #teamCrikey all the way and stoked she has Derek as her partner – he brings out the best in every one he’s paired up with!!

The scores were pretty bad last night. If I recall correctly, Master P had the worst score ever because he refused to wear dancing shoes.

Great recap as always!

Lincee

Oh Master P. He was a special case! I totally forgot about him!

Julie
Julie

Whoa. Bindi Irwin is 17? How is that possible??? I don’t normally watch DWTS, but it was a slow work day and I was drawn in by your recap 😉 Loved the video of Bindi and Derek, and I may actually start watching now! If nothing else, it’ll help pass the time between Bachelor shows. I need to get my Lincee fix!

Lincee

Best news ever Julie! Join me!!!

Teri
Teri

Paula Deen has no class. Her comment referencing dirty drawers was in bad taste.

Lincee

Amen.

Haley
Haley

Lincee! I’m so happy to see that you’ll be recapping DWTS once again 🙂

I adore this show (even a little more than the Bachelor/Bachelorette, crazy, I know) and really enjoy watching others fall in love with dance! It is my favorite, favorite thing to do, particularly the latin dances-salsa, bachata, etc.

I’m very impressed with Nick Carter-even if he was a Backstreet Boy, he surpassed my expectations.

Also, I think the PenaVega will go far, as will Bindi. I’m pulling for Alek as well as the “everyman” who has no dance experience.

Tamar was also surprisingly excellent.

I can’t remember a season premier of DWTS with lower scores overall. Kind of glad to see the judges not afraid to let them “improve” over the season.

Lincee

It’s going to be a good year. Lots of potential. I love Bindi for sure!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Thanks for re-capping DWTS, Lincee! I always love reading your blog.

Although I’m glad we’re back to 3 judges, I miss Len. I really don’t want to like Julianne, but I have to admit that she gives useful critiques (even if I think it’s beyond ridiculous that her brother is in the competition while she’s a judge).

Anyway…I’m definitely cheering for Bindi. I loved Steve Irwin, and Bindi seems to have a natural dancing ability. And one can never go wrong with a Backstreet Boy, so he’s right up there for me, too.

This show draws me in every time!

Lincee

Me too Elizabeth! Every time I think I’m going to pass and the premiere sucks me back in. LOVE IT.

DCGirl
DCGirl

SOO glad you’re recapping Lincee!!! Forgot to even check until this morning and it was a wonderful surprise to see you had.

Paula Deen totally lacks class. I was appalled by her words and behavior. Kinda appropriate that she’s with Louie, I also find him a bit much. Hope she goes soon.

I too was very struck by an abundance of low scores. But they were deserved!! That was some awful dancing Monday night.

I too am on Team Bindi and Team Alek. Good people, good dancing, just charming all the way around.

Thanks again Lincee!!!

Lincee

Good to see you here DC Girl! It’s going to be fun!

Kelli

Oh mah lawd–Kim’s “dance” was horrible. I don’t move that slow when I first get out of bed. And what was up with all the tears in the pre-dance roll? I don’t think I will be watching this season, but I will be cheering for Bindi, just because she is such a positive person. I will never forget when she spoke at her dad’s funeral.

Lincee

Me too. She’s a doll!

ricksterb
ricksterb

RE: Purchase of “Let’s Marvin Gaye and Get It On”

I don’t know you, but have been reading your blog for a few years now. Based on this (and your recent musical purchases), I’m quite sure that you are the coolest cat on the planet.

Beth
Beth

Lincee,
I’m so happy to see your recaps on Miss America AND DTWS!! What a treat!
There are so many bad “celebrities” on DWTS but they’ve really scraped the bottom of the barrel this season! I hope Gary Busey is gone ASAP as well as Kim, the housewife of Atlanta! Maybe a double elimination would be possible!
I usually try to vote for the best dancer but there are seasons where I make an exception and this is one of those seasons…Alek Skarlatos, the American hero, all the way!!!!

Margo

I don’t watch this show, but reading the blog is better then… thanks Lincee.
I tuned in accidentally surfing.. I’m confused: Gary Busey was on camera, seemingly after his dance. They were talking to him, as if he was..gosh…not normal. As if he had special needs with language or hearing or understanding? Does he? Did he have a drink or two at break? I didn’t get why they spoke to him that way..

ann blank
ann blank

ARE you the coolest? YES! I recently ran a half_marathon entirely to the song “Honey I’m Good.” I started with a scramble on my I-Pod and quickly realized that the only song I really cared about was “Honey..” . It’s last year’s “Rumor has it.” So we are cool:super cool. My only disappointment in your delightful recap was your NOT mentioning Paula Deen’s overshare. Then I thought that maybe Lincee’s Mama taught her bettter than to bring up mess like that

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