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October 13, 2015

'Dancing With the Stars' Season 11, Episode 1 (Season Premiere) Recap

by Michael Pascua, posted Sep 21st 2010 6:45AM
Derek Hough and Jennifer Grey practice their foxtrot.['Dancing With the Stars' - 'Week 1 Performances']

After having had mixed feelings on 'So You Think You Can Dance', I was excited that 'Dancing with the Stars' had finally returned. The band, the flashy lights and the ballroom floor were just enough to get me excited. The premiere episode didn't disappoint.

Sadly, there were no real train wreck performances. Even The Situation's five-day Cha-Cha showed potential. The first few weeks boil down to viewer support. If Kate Gosselin could survive the first few weeks with scores in the 15-16 range then anyone with a solid voting block can do the same.

As the stars walked down the even-flashier stairs, Margaret Cho tried her best to bring a fierce model face and tripped on a stair. Whether it was part of her act or an unintentional fall, we'll never know, but it was certainly a harbinger of her performance. It was interesting watching Ray-J, Jamie Lee Curtis and Vera Wang sitting in the audience and either supporting the stars or hawking their goods. Sadly, there was no Snooki.

Audrina PatridgeAudrina & Tony - Cha-Cha - Audrina was excited to get the Cha-Cha and learned the routine quickly, but was shocked when she learned that she was going first. Tony decided to change the choreography. Audrina started off with a small solo section, which if she makes it far will help her out. She showed potential as a quick learner, but she also showed a lot of nerves and insecurity as she stole glances toward Tony.

Len saw confidence and technique but wanted fire. Bruno thought she needed to be whipped into shape and pushed further. Carrie Ann gave her credit for doing a solo, but suggested connecting her body with her legs. Score: 19 (7,5,7).

Kurt & Anna - Viennese Waltz - Kurt met Anna at the Warner home and the two adjusted well. In their first practice Kurt lacked all technique. As the music started, his arm extensions looked really hokey because he would also pop his mouth open. Anna was smart strategically in keeping the choreography simple, but Kurt's arms were horrible when he turned without her.

Bruno thought he was a natural and saw potential. Carrie Ann saw potential and she appreciated the natural audience connection. Len was disappointed by the performance. Score: 19 (7,5,7).

Kyle & Lacey - Cha-Cha - Lacey was concerned with the choreography, but more so at Kyle staring at her breasts during practice. When the performance started and I heard 'My First Kiss' from 3OH!3, I was immediately reminded that 'So You Think You Can Dance' used the song as a Cha-Cha as well. For a chubby guy, Kyle showed endurance during the whole routine. Lacey's spunky choreography skills worked perfectly with Kyle.

Carrie Ann was in love: Kyle was dynamite. Len liked the performance as well, but the props were not the best. Bruno compared him to a naughty puppy. Score: 23 (7,8,8).

Rick & Cheryl - Viennese Waltz - Cheryl met Rick on the basketball court and was quickly surprised by his height. The difference in their heights was an issue during practice so Cheryl was gvien four-inch heels. However it wasn't as bad as they danced because Cheryl danced up to him instead of him hunching over. Rick must have been badly nervous because his armpit stains went through his jacket.

Len thought the height difference didn't get in the way: Rick's posture was great. Bruno predicted a Rick/Kurt showdown. Carrie Ann was surprised that his posture was gorgeous. Score: 22 (8,7,7).

Margaret ChoMargaret & Louis - Viennese Waltz - Margaret immediately unleashed her famous impression of her mother. She had issues with dancing because of her weight, and she was shocked to see the show become therapy. Margaret had the most intense face in the beginning. She unleashed the 'Priscilla: Queen of the Desert' wings and the performance descended into silliness from there. The dance ended with an intentional fall.

Bruno was shocked by the performance, and the whole routine just didn't work for him. Carrie Ann saw that she was a lady, but the performance was over-dramatic. Len saw encouraging signs in the beginning, but was a bit shocked by the performance. Score: 15 (5,5,5).

Brandy & Maks - Viennese Waltz - Brandy was in awe of Maks's good looks, but the two quickly got into dancing. Brandy had a similar self-confidence to Maks's partner from last season, Erin Andrews, and she had a natural grace as they danced. Her arms were soft and she had a decent frame. Her face fluctuated between serious and happy, but that can be relieved.

Carrie Ann saw comfort in the dance, and she suggested softening up. Len thought she had a fantastic first impression. Bruno had the spark and fire in the waltz. Score: 23 (7,8,8).

Bristol PalinBristol & Mark - Cha-Cha - Bristol is naturally shy and lacks the perfomance experience of actors or musicians. The song that she was gvien to dance to -- 'Mama Told me (Not to Come)" -- was the definition of her relationship with Levi Johnston. Bristol suffered from thinking that she couldn't do any of the steps. At the beginning of the dance, Bristol looked eerily like her mother. She spent a lot of time standing, but was all smiles throughout. Bristol was very blocky and her arm extensions left a lot to be desired. There seems to be future potential with her bottom half, but if she can't fix the top, she'll be out soon.

Len thought it was acceptable for week one, and he suggested working on loosening up. Bruno understood that she was new to dancing, and he suggested on working on her focus in the performance. Carrie Ann had thought she was going to be boring, but her leg-work had potential. Score: 18 (6,6,6).

Florence & Corky - Cha-Cha - Florence knew that she could be as sexy as the younger contestants, and she wasn't subdued by Corky at all. We even saw Florence cursing and using the word "dominatrix": Two things I never expected to hear from Carol Brady. Florence had a lot of passion and strong acting abilities. It was reminiscent of Cloris Leachman, except that Florence had actual dancing skills. She ended the performance stepping over Corky.

Bruno loved her hanky-panky, but pointed out an insecurity in steps. Carrie Ann loved that Florence enjoyed herself, but she agreed with Bruno's criticism. Len saw great entertainment value, and he complimented Corky's pro abilities. Score: 18 (6,6,6).

Michael & Chelsie - Viennese Waltz - Michael said he thought that dancing was impossible, and so he never danced. He was given the dreaded posture bar by Chelsie because of his hunch. Chelsie did most of the work while Michael tried his best to keep up with her. There were a few mis-steps and clunky moments, and Michael needed to work on his arm extensions.

Carrie Ann thought Chelsie led the dance. She suggested also smiling. Len saw musicality and movement, but he needed to work on his posture. Bruno understood that new things can be painful, but said that Michael needed to loosen up. Score: 16 (6,5,5).

Mike "The Situation" & Karina - Cha-Cha - Mike was excited, but he was forced to understand choreography quickly because of the teams' time crunch. There was a lot of time wasted with jumps, and also Karina put him on his knee for part of the routine as a way of avoiding actual dancing. Mike tried his best with a lot of leg work and was passable for the whole performance.

Len saw potential, but he knew that he was under-rehearsed. He told "The Situation" that he "has the guns but not the ammunition." Bruno saw a spark, but the lack of practice showed. Carrie Ann wanted to see more of him, but said he needed to get rid of his cheesy '80s dancing style. Score: 15 (5,5,5).

Jennifer & Derek - Viennese Waltz - Jennifer was taken back to her 'Dirty Dancing' days when the two practiced. The moment took over and she cried because of Patrick Swayze. As the music started, Jennifer was fully in character. She had good arm and leg work. Derek's choreography was the right balance of basic choreography and flashy steps that helped prove that Jennifer was still good even at her age.

David HasselhoffBruno thought it was beautifully danced and acted. Carrie Ann thought there was something profound watching Jennifer dance. Len thought the dance suited her, but showed high expectations for next week's jive. Score: 24 (8,8,8).

David & Kym - Cha-Cha - David was concerned about his body being less willing than his heart. He struggled at the practice and he looked like he struggled on the dance floor. Kym did a lot of the work throughout the whole performance. David's movements were very rusty, and the explosion was unnecessary.

Carrie Ann was reminded of a combination of Donny Osmond and Jerry Springer, and said David danced more with his mouth than his body. Len liked the entertainment value, but David needed to "up" his technique. Bruno thought it was madness, and tthe timing was bad. Bruno suggested focusing for next week. Score: 15 (5,5,5).


Jennifer & Derek - 24
Kyle & Lacey - 23
Brandy & Maks - 23
Rick & Cheryl - 22

Audrina & Tony - 19
Kurt & Anna - 19
Florence & Corky - 18
Bristol & Mark - 18

Michael & Chelsie - 16
Margaret & Louis - 15
David & Kym - 15
The Situation & Karina - 15

I was very happy to see that Brandy, Kyle and Jennifer were excited to be there and surprised by their good showing. There was a lot of potential with the whole cast for different reasons. From my perspective the bottom three scorers have the most passionate fans. Margaret looked like she would get serious after this week, so I hope she just dances next week.

I think that Michael Bolton, who scored barely above Margaret, the Hoff and the Situation will be lost in the shuffle and will be sent home. Who do you think will be sent home? Leave comments below.

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B. Stewart

I would like to know when Bristal became a star? I tried to vote but the lines are busy all night si no one can get thru except for maybe Bristol that is the ony way she can win over all the excellant dancers.

November 23 2010 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ummmmmm - Can you say "fixed", "rigged"?
I had always thought Dancing With The Stars was "right on" BUT, Bristol????? C'mon, she should have gone home long ago. To me it seems like, just maybe, someone "paid" for her to get this far.
Brandy should have had that 3rd position in the finals!
Yes, Bristol maybe "cute", had a lot of determination but, lacked great dancing skills - many times she has just "walked" through her steps.
And, I don't think of her as a tip-top role model for anyone.
Go ahead - hit me with your best shot - I know you will. I'm a Great-Grandmother, I can take it!

November 17 2010 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bristol does not bother me.... but why do they give so much air time to the former governor... no other contestant's mother (or any family member) gets equal time! Keep her in Alaska.... PLEASE!

October 11 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the booing was for the judges for giving a lower score to jen and derick they deseved a higher score it had nothing to do with sarah. stop trying to start trouble.

September 28 2010 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


September 27 2010 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


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September 27 2010 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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September 27 2010 at 4:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary Popolizio

They all did fine considering it was the first night, but I really give credit to Bristol because she is very young. And, also to Florence because of her age. Hadn't been watching this program that much but will now.

September 22 2010 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is kinda unfair that Jennifer is on the show but, she deserves to be on the show just as much as anyone else and, besides she did Dirty Dancing 23 years ago so,that shouldn't make any difference in weather she wins or loses.

September 22 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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