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Stars Get Through First Night of Performances on 'Dancing with the Stars'

It’s baaack!  You hear that familiar music and you just know it’s time to dance!  Its season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars”!  Tom and Brooke were back and they looked fabulous!



Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough were up first to kick off the season with their Cha Cha Cha.  They wasted no time getting in to the dance and they both looked fabulous.  She’s very bendy!  It was a little teeny bit slow but let’s remember this is just week one.  It’s a really great start and I think that Kellie is going to go far in this competition.  Len said “Yum, yum, big thumb” and thought it was great!  Bruno said “That’s the way we do it!” and he noticed her fabulous shapes.  He added that she could use a little more work in the legs.  Carrie Ann said it was fantastic and said she had incredible torso movement but said she should work a little on keeping up with Derek.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 7, and Bruno – 7, for a total of 21 out of 30. I would give it an 8!  But then again, it is just the first week.



Next, boxer Victor Ortiz and new pro Lindsay Arnold danced the Fox Trot.  He came out with a handsome smile and looked pretty elegant!  He can work on his “flow” a little bit and making sure it’s not choppy but for a first dance a I thought he did really well.  Bruno said he had a great combination of boyish charm and Latino lover.  Carrie Ann said that his posture was great and said that he sparkled out there.  Len said he has a lot going for him but he was looking for a few more “wow” moments and said that next week with his Jive he could really knock their socks off.  Also side note: Lindsay is just 19 years old!

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 6, Len – 6, and Bruno – 6, for a total of 18 out of 30.



For the first time ever, dancing Contemporary dance style is Ingo Rademacher and partner Kym Johnson!  It’s cool to see a new style added into the mix.  Rademacher is known for playing “Jax” on “General Hospital”.  Right off the bat, we have a lift!  How exciting another style that we will get to see lifts with!  There was a lot of passion in their movements.  He has a commanding presence and did an amazing job lifting Kym.  It was a great performance.  I wonder what the judges noticed that I didn’t, I’m sure there is something!  Carrie Ann said that she saw the lifts and raw passion that the dance requires and thought he did a great job.  Len said that he’s not convinced by the performance because it was all lifts and he saw very little dance.  Bruno said it was good and it was like watching Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook” and thought that the lunges and lifts were both good.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 6, Bruno – 7, for a total of 20 out of 30.  Len was too harsh!



Lisa Vanderpump one of the “Real Housewives” and Gleb Savchenko, a new pro, were paired up to dance the Fox Trot.  She carried the cutest little dog ever out and then they did a slow yet elegant dance.  He is very easy on the eyes.  I like this addition to the show!  Lisa was a little clunky at times but I think she will get better with time.  She needs to work on really extending through the movements.  At the end of the dance she gave him a little peck, it was cute.  Len said it was acceptable but there was too much staggering about but said she had good fluidity in her arms.  He wants her to lift up her rib cage more.  Bruno said that they are a good pairing, but then said that she leaned forward too much because her posture was not great.  Carrie Ann said that the dance suited her and it was easy on the eyes but that she needs to get her feet under her and hold her own.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 6, Len – 6, and Bruno – 6, for a total of 18 out of 30.



D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke followed with their Cha Cha Cha.  They turned up the heat with their Cha Cha!  The footwork was VERY simple.  I expected a little more from him!  He has a lot of potential but he’s really got to work at it.  He was right on the beat and matched her step for step.  Bruno said that he terminated the Cha Cha Cha.  He said that he thought the timing was off and he seemed under-rehearsed.  Carrie Ann said it was, “yikes”.  Len said that it was not ready and that he’s got to get it all together and work his butt off for his Quick Step next week.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 4, Len – 4, and Bruno – 4, for a total of 12 out of 20.  Yikes!  I expected 5’s!



Zendaya and Val danced Contemporary and they got out there and danced their butts off!  She jumped off the judges table and spun while she did it…it was crazy amazing!  I expected great things from her and she did not disappoint, she’s perfection!  She’s a Disney Channel star so hopefully all of her young fans will keep her around.  I can’t find one thing wrong with the dance.  Carrie Ann said way to go and said it was amazing and said that she has a maturity that’s unexpected from a 16 year old.  Len said, “That was great”.  Bruno said “Sweet 16 and suburb debut” and that he can’t wait to see her perform more dances.  They also complimented Val’s choreography. 

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 8, Len – 8, and Bruno – 8, for a total of 24 out of 30.  I bet if this dance was done a few weeks from now it would have gotten 9’s.  I think the judges are holding back because it’s week 1.



“Bachelor” Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd danced the Fox Trot.  He seemed to have some trouble loosening up during rehearsals.  They danced to “The Power of Love”.  He had a smile plastered on his face and seemed a little stiff but you could tell he really tried hard and rehearsed a lot.  I was actually really impressed, he did better than I expected.  He had some great “pop” and pizzazz in his arms.  Catherine was in the audience cheering him on.  Len said he liked it but it lacked finesse and said there was too much attack.  Bruno said that it was masculine and that it was like the chip and dale’s version of a ballroom dance ha!  Carrie Ann said that she liked it!  She said that he has fearless exuberance and she thinks that he will go far.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 6, and Bruno – 6, for a total of 19 out of 30.  Not bad!



Olympic Gold Medal gymnast Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas danced the Cha Cha Cha.  She had a lot of great flounce right at the start.  She seemed to have fun out there and she also seems to have a lot of potential. I think the routine seemed a little simple and she could have done more.  It was lacking some musicality and fluidity.  Bruno said that she had some great sexiness and she had a really good Cha Cha but she has to watch the back of her legs.  Carrie Ann said that she doesn’t want her to be so safe out there and she came out of her musicality a little bit.  Len said the vitality and rhythm were great but her legs need to be a little bit crisper.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 7, and Bruno – 7, for a total of 21 out of 30.  I would have given it a 6.5.



Dorothy Hamill talked about her battle with breast cancer and how watching Kristie Yamaguchi on “DWTS” helped her during that time.  She and partner Tristan McManus danced Contemporary to “Tiny Dancer”.  She was like a beautiful ballerina out there.  She seemed to get stuck on her foot on one of the turns but other than that it was really beautiful.  It was wonderful to see her in action and the crowd gave her a standing ovation!  Carrie Ann said that it was a golden performance and loved the storytelling.  Len said it was in an area of outstanding beauty although there were a couple of unsteady moments.  Bruno said it melted his heart and loved the connection with Tristan although she needs to work on her balance some.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 7, and Bruno – 7, for a total of 21 out of 30.



Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovolani danced the Cha Cha Cha!  It was cool seeing her in action because you know that she will put on a show!  She owned her space.  She brought some good attitude to the dance floor!  The foot work was a little simple and slow but she made up for it with her performance value.  I think she can do even more!  Her sister Ashley Judd and her mother Naomi were in the audience to cheer her on.  Len said that she showed great rhythm and personality but said it was a little careful.  Bruno said that she’s a giver and she can give it more.  He said she was perfect but can do more.  Carrie Ann said that she worked it.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 6, Len – 6, and Bruno – 6, for a total of 18 out of 30.  I think that was a pretty kind judge’s score.



Comedian Andy Dick’s partner is new pro Sharna Burgess and they danced the Fox Trot.  He came out in a tux and she wore a lovely feathery gown and he surprised me with how good he was actually!  He is a little fast on the moves at times but they looked like they were dancing in an old time movie.  That was a nice surprise and the crowd went wild!  Bruno said it was like watching Woody Allen doing the Fox Trot and said it could have been smoother but said that he really liked that side of him.  Carrie Ann said that there was something quite charming about him and it was like watching the ugly duckling.  She added he needs to work on pancake hands and pancake feet.  Len complimented Sharna’s choreography but picked on Andy’s fluidity.   Brooke actually asked Andy if his being a recovering addict and the pressure of the show would be a problem for him and he was like, “Wow you went there”.  She said that he did in his interview before the dance so that’s why she asked about it but he said not to worry, he would be fine.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 6, Len – 5, and Bruno – 6, for a total of 17 out of 30.  I thought they should have gotten all 6’s at least and maybe a 7!  I liked it!



The Baltimore Ravens’ wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Jacobi Jones and Karina Smirnoff rounded out the night with their Cha Cha Cha.  He came out and it was on!  He had great hip action and was very involved and kept right up with Karina.  I love the speed they brought to the dance and felt like they did not hold back at all.  He’s going to be tough to beat!  He had the moves and the personality!  Carrie Ann told him that he had the moves and that it was like a medley of touchdown dances.  Len said it was all performance driven because the technique was terrible.  Bruno said that he has the potential of being the champion of this season but his feet were turned in and he needs to control his posture.

Their Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 6, and Bruno – 7, for a total of 20 out of 30.  That 6 was super low!  I loved their dance! 


There’s a lot of great potential out there and I can’t wait to see how the stars progress over the coming weeks!  Tomorrow night at 9 p.m. you can watch even more rehearsal and behind the scenes footage. No one will get eliminated but you should vote!  Tonight’s votes will be added to next Monday’s performance to determine their overall scores and who will be sent home. 



I thought that Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough did a fantastic job right out the gates and for it being the first night they really impressed me. I remember Kellie from American Idol but I didn’t know she had moves like this.

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