Dancing with the Stars Recap: Season 27 Premiere
Dancing with the Stars Season 27 Premiere Recap
I’ll say it. I think this year is going to be very, very competitive. Dancing with the Stars dug deep to find people who are naturally talented, ridiculously charming, or both. I only hid my face behind my couch cushion three times, which is a record for me!
And did you see Mandy Moore’s stellar opening number? It’s high energy! It’s Broadway! It’s glitter and sparkles and darling Val front and center! Hand me a top hat and a cane, because I’m about to jazz hands my way into the recap. Here we go!
Mary Lou and Sasha
“Treasure” by Bruno Mars
Who is the one person who has the iron stomach to face the judges first? The first woman on a Wheaties box, of course. Mary Lou may be tiny, but she is FIERCE at fifty! The fact that the wardrobe department makes her a fringe dress version of her iconic red, white, and blue leotard from 1984 is brilliant. So much so that I would like to place my own order. About five sizes larger, please and thank you.
The selection of the Bruno Mars song is a perfect musical representation of both Mary Lou and Sasha. He’s a fireball. She can suck you in with that wide grin without even trying. She can still do the splits. She can still bring the house down. And she has a legitimate shot to win the entire thing if she keeps it up.
Len asks Mary Lou to slow down a bit and not rush the moves. I’ll allow it. Bruno compliments her on her drive. And I have no idea why Carrie Ann insists on harping that “there was almost a lift” in the middle portion. Right, Carrie Ann. Almost a lift is NOT a lift. Calm down!
Although I don’t agree with her pitiful score of 19, I do understand that she was first out of the gate and the judges can’t hand out sevens willy nilly to everyone. But you could see in Mary Lou’s eyes that she is not happy being in the middle of the pack. Game on.
Milo and Witney
“Free Free Free” by Pitbull, featuring Theron Theron
Okay, Milo is a Disney kid, which immediately puts him in the top three without even stepping one toe on the dance floor. It’s just a fact and we all have to accept that the kiddo is young, vivacious, and used to being in front of a camera hamming it up. Or in Milo’s case, pasty and in need of some nutritious brains.
Witney nearly loses her cool when the seventeen-year-old walks into the studio. She has only won this shindig once and that was four years ago. If she can make it happen, it’s going to be with the tall lanky kid who pretends to not know how to walk in rehearsals.
No one’s buying it, Milo. You’re a stud. Just own it.
Other than Milo hunching a bit because he’s so much taller than Witney, he nails it for the most part. There is a fun knee sliding moment that issues an interjection from me that I wasn’t expecting. He had the energy, the moves, and the personality to pull it all off.
There’s only two things in my “meh” column when it comes to Milo. Witney is not my favorite (don’t hate me) and I abhor when pros use laser beams during their live performances.
Evanna and Keo
“Do You Believe in Magic” (get it?) by Aly and AJ
Here’s the deal: Luna Lovegood is good. I’m unsure why she was rejected by three different dance schools, but when you put her in an emerald green twirly dress and give her a few intricate steps, the girl can hang. The foxtrot is a difficult ballroom dance, y’all. I thought it was lovely. Kudos to Keo for not giving her a wand.
Here’s another deal: I’m not sure Evanna is going to make it beyond round one. It’s not because she doesn’t have the talent. It’s because out of all the contestants on the roster, she’s pretty far down on the memorable list. If I had to guess, I would say the bottom four are John, Nancy, Nikki, and Evanna. But what Evanna doesn’t have going for her is a popular pro. I think both Emma and Val slay in that department. Keo and Gleb seem the same level in popularity to me. I could be wrong. And I hope I am. If Evanna breaks out of her shell a little more, she will be golden.
I’m also with the incomparable Tom Bergeron when he points out that Dancing with the Stars will be utilizing any and every metaphor or pun as it relates to magic. Bruno is going to be the ringtail leader on this front. In a matter of seconds, he mentioned Hogwarts and how Evanna cast a spell with her body.
He knows she’s not a real witch, right?
Danelle and Artem
“Rise Up” by Andra Day
Come. On. Danelle is blind and brilliant. To quote my roommate Lara, “Artem is the perfect partner for her.” It’s true! He’s so sweet and gentle. And even though the foxtrot, as I said before, is a difficult routine to master, it’s the perfect dance for them because he gets to keep her in hold the entire time. The hardest part was walking down the steps at the beginning of the routine. Everything else was money.
I’m rooting for this woman because I want her to feel successful as a dancer. I’m also looking forward to Artem’s creative choreography. The bond between the two is already palpable, which says a lot for both of their personalities.
There was one moment when I dove head first into the squishy part of the couch and that’s when Bruno stands up to point to the muscle that Danelle needs to use in order to hold her core straight. He gives her a lecture. As he points. Never describing.
He knows she’s blind, right?
Bobby and Sharna
“T-R-O-U-B-L-E” by Travis Tritt
That’s how I felt when Bobby Bones jumped all over the stage after his jive with Sharna. Nope. No. Nononononononono. I no longer think he and Sharna are going to start a ballroom romance. She looked MORTIFIED when he nearly dropped her at the end of his dramatic dip.
First of all, I wish Bobby could naturally dance because I really want Sharna to win a Mirror Ball Trophy. It still could happen if I wish hard enough. Bobby may not have the talent, but he does have lots and lots of radio listeners, willing to vote for him, I bet.
Sharna does the best with what she’s got. The jive is fast, fast, fast and Bobby’s energy kept up for the most part. You know how I feel about JV dancers entering the picture. Are they there to enhance or cover up? In this case, I feel cover up is the correct answer, but what do I know? The dude scored higher than Mary Lou Retton!
Both looked fab in all red head-to-toe. I wish Sharna would consider toning down the Kool-Aid hair color, but I’m here for her whatever the tone may be.
Juan Pablo and Cheryl
“Dinero” by Jennifer Lopez
Juan Pablo thinks you may know him from the Mamma Mia movie when he led a donkey up a hill. Uh huh. It’s more likely that you know him as Fernando on the Full House reboot, Fuller House.
Y’all, Cheryl has been doing this for twenty-one seasons. And she hasn’t won since her back-to-back Mirror Balls in seasons 2 and 3. Home girl is out to add some trophies to the shelf in her powder room!
Right away, we know that Juan Pablo has firm grip on his Argentinian roots. He is all up in Cheryl’s business without a care in the world, salsa-ing like he’s done since he was a baby. Consider Cheryl pumped. She’s so confident that she wears her slinkiest green outfit with a sheer back that accentuates her natural curves and the big huge diamond engagement ring she’s carrying around on her left finger.
The dance is very sultry for week 1, which makes Carrie Ann all hot and bothered. Or it could be the hormones. (In my Miss America pageant recap, I suspected that Carrie Ann is pregnant. That has yet to be confirmed.) The audience loves the performance and Juan Pablo praises Cheryl for being a drill sergeant in rehearsals.
Nikki and Gleb
“Yes” by Louisa featuring 2 Chainz
I’m not familiar with Nikki, but her “meeting Gleb” moment in her stand-up comedy routine was about as set-up as they come, although I do agree with her that Gleb should always be emerging from a swimming pool in slow motion. He’s just so pretty.
Nikki is a bit clunky, but Gleb tries to cover it up by presenting her as a blond bombshell who goes from demure red feathers to fiery red fringe with one whip of a skirt latch.
The performance is not memorable. The only thing I have written down in my notes is “red suspenders,” which can’t be good. Len hates it and has no qualms about telling Nikki that exact sentiment. Bruno commends her for not being “a total train wreck.” Ouch. Maybe Evanna is safe and Nikki is the one going home? We shall see.
Alexis and Alan
“Good Golly, Miss Molly” by Little Richard
Again with the dumb intros! Alan meets Alexis and brags about his hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. This opens up Alexis to share that she has millions upon millions. But Alan doesn’t feel bad. The only thing he’s thinking is VOTES VOTES VOTES along with, “This social media influencer is hot with a capital H.”
Alexis is doing the show in honor of her mother who passed away a few years ago. And her mother would be proud, because Alexis can move. Which is why it’s baffling to me that the show runners shoved an entire soda shop into the ballroom as the background for her and Alan’s jive. Extravagant sets rank right below lasers in my book.
She’s got a great figure. She knows how to smile. She gets the steps right. One can’t help but bounce along with adorable Alan. And I don’t know how it ended because a camera man missed his cue. First day jitters are rough for everyone, am I right?
The judges love it, especially Len who gives one of the rare sevens of the night.
John and Emma
“Good Ole Boys” by Waylon Jennings
Not to be outdone by the others, John and Emma have a dorky opening montage, too. She’s a cop who pulls him over, blah, blah, blah. Emma can recite a decent southern accent. Her denim panties are on point, too. I guess she needed to show her Daisy Dukes since her actual performance attire was the Denim & Doilies line of the Little House on the Prairie collection.
Three cheers for the smart people who took the rebel flag off the General Lee. And three cheers for Bo Duke sliding across the top like he used to in the olden days. Yee-haw!
Was it great? Not really. But John is a delight. I think he’ll stick around at least another week.
Why was Jake Pavelka in the ballroom?!
Tinashe and Brandon
“I’m a Lady” by Meghan Trainor
Tinashe does all the things and is wonderful at all the things she does. So when she meets Brandon for the first time and learns that this is his inaugural transition into the big boy ballroom from the JV troupe kids, she’s all, “No problem. Let me teach you how it’s done.”
The chemistry is there, which bodes well for my prediction that these two are going to have a little something going on backstage. Although I didn’t really enjoy the song as a musical choice for the jive, Tinashe absolutely stuns. Plus, her lipstick matches her hot pink costume. Two thumbs up! Everyone, including the judges, loved it.
Nancy and Val
“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)” by Club des Belugas
This was the unexpected surprise for me on premiere night. As one of the oldest contestants, I thought Nancy would have a hard time keeping up. When I saw that she was dancing the quickstep, I really blessed her heart. And you know what? She performed a solid routine!
The only thing that was weird to me was her choreographed facial expressions. Bruno commented on them, but Carrie Ann defended the choice, claiming that Nancy knew exactly what she was doing. I guess it’s a personal preference. All in all, I like Nancy and really hope Blair shows up to cheer her on in the near future.
Grocery Store Joe and Jenna
“Fish Out of Water” by Leo Soul
Just all around blesses for infinity when it comes to Joe. There were many steps. And they were quick. And he finished about half of them. He was horrible, yet he knew it and was visibly embarrassed by the fact. Which makes me angry that the judges made fun of him during the panel discussion.
Look, he just stunk it up on the ballroom. He knows it. Don’t be so passive aggressive with your remarks saying things like, “You can’t have good looks and be able to dance” or “You sure can push a grocery cart.” The lowest score to date is an eighteen and you’re going to give him the score of fourteen? Was that really necessary?
Lindsay and DeMarcus
“Sweet Sensation” by Flo Rida
I profiled DeMarcus on my InStyle article. Check out what I had to say about him HERE. I’d love for you to pop over and read!
Night one, down. Night two, on the horizon. Glitter bombs all around!