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"Dancing With the Stars" Season Premiere

By admin Published: March 9, 2009

A little late watching because I had a class tonight. Notes from viewing after the jump.

Melissa from "The Bachelor" and Holly Madison are the replacement dancers, as was reported.

But we start with Lil' Kim and Derek Hough. Considering how bad some dancers can be, she's pretty good. A little wooden in spots but still competent, and the use of "Nasty" for her song works well. I mean, this is someone who started watching "DWTS" in prison. Len says it's the first night, first dance and overall first class; but she needs refining. Bruno calls her "nasty but tasty" and says she can "work wonders with that tushy." Carrie Ann says she has great potential. Scores: Straight 7s.

Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts (and, by the way, there were all-female rock bands before the Go Gos). In the video, we're told she has trouble with spins. Dance: Waltz. "What the World Needs Now." Starting, of course, with a spin which goes fine. But Carlisle is clunky, not graceful at all, walking more than dancing. Bruno says she started as Julie Andrews, then turned into Cloris Leachman, with very heavy footwork. CA says it wasn't great but it wasn't Cloris Leachman; she thinks Carlisle should have trusted Jonathan. Len thought there was some grace and elegance. Scores: Len and CA give her 6 each, Bruno a 5.

Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska. LT says he thinks he has more dance ability than Jason Taylor. Hey, Go Zips! Cha cha. "25 Miles." Not surprisingly, they're using Edyta as a major distraction from what LT does. Not great, not terrible and not in a league with Jason Taylor. CA asks if he's lived up to former DWTS football legends; he says "not yet" and she agrees. Len likes his casualness but notes he lacked crispness. Bruno says LT has something in him but we haven't seen it. Scores: 5s from Bruno and Len, 6 from CA.

Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer. Steve-O talks about rehab and how DWTS gives him a chance to show he's sober but "I haven't lost my mojo." Waltz. The "Godfather" theme. Early acrobatic flip of Steve over Lacey's back. Clumsy but he actually gets on his toes. Len said he tried his utmost, it wasn't good but "I expected much much worse." Bruno calls it "a big pile of slapstick," but it made him laugh. CA was "oddly mesmerized by the beauty" and liked his determination. Scores: 6s from CA and Bruno, 5 from Len.

Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke. Scary shot of Cheryl without her eyebrows. Cha cha. "Addicted to Love." Cheryl's camouflage for his gaffes -- since it's impossible to stop watching her, but he has clearly practiced a lot, and his physicality is used well. CA says he has fire and bravado, "fantastic." Bruno says he knows how to strut his stuff. Len thought Cheryl came up with a great mix of basic steps and choreography, and that Gilles did it well. Scores: Straight 8s.

Chuck Wicks and girlfriend Julianne Hough. Said relationship being mentioned a few million times. Waltz. "Are You Lonesome Tonight." A lot of uncertain steps but they look good together, and it looked as if there was a lift at the end. Bruno said it felt at times as he was chasing her; he needs to calm down. Len says it was a bit hectic but he liked the footwork, although the posture "is a bit bizarre." CA thinks he might be one of the most graceful men on the show in a long time -- but calls them out on the lift. Scores: 7s from Len and Bruno, 6 from CA, who is strict about lifts.

Bergeron with Jewel and Nancy O'Dell. Jewel says she'll be back to sing on the show since she can't compete. NO'D says she's disappointed about not competing, as if she would say anything else.

Replacement "reality star" Holly Madison -- OK, there's a mention of the Playboy connection -- with Dmitry Chaplin, who is also new to the show. He does the major work but she's had some dance experience. Len says it's not bad but he wants to see what she does next week when she has had more practice. CA also brings up next week. Bruno says she's easy on the eye and "there's plenty to look at" but she lost timing often. Scores: Straight 6s.

Melissa Rycroft of "The Bachelor" is the other replacement. But...

Ty Murray (Jewel's hubby) dances with newbie Chelsie Hightower, who has also been on "So You Think You Dance," continuing "DWTS's" scavenging of the Fox show. Cha cha. Some OK moves, but he has the stick-up-your-back posture and a couple of bad moves. Jewel laughs as she applauds. Bruno said it looked more like an army drill. Len says he at least tried. CA thinks he's "one cute cowboy." After, Murray says he forgot everything he was supposed to do and "I got real nervous." Scores: 5s from CA and Bruno, 4 from Len.

Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas. Waltz. Good posture. Elegant look. Decent footwork. CA says she was truly moved. Bruno found it "surprisingly refined" but a little too gymnastic in spots. Len found "the whole thing very appealing. ... fantastic." Scores: 8s from CA and Len, 7 from Bruno.

Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff. He wants to prove "nerds can dance." Not in the preview tape. In the actual dance, he doesn't move badly, although he still looks like a big goober. And he botches a spin. Len says "it held my attention throughout" and that the knee spins were OK but "overall it was a disaster." Bruno says it was like watching a Teletubby going mad. CA praises him for going for it. Scores: 4s from Len and Bruno, 5 from CA.

David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson. Waltz. "You Light Up My Life." He's very good, although there's an awkward step here and there. Good posture, lots of poise. Bruno said he leans too much toward Kym and that he kept seeing different characters in the performance. Sounds like a preplanned dog. CA also says he has to be careful with the face, but his lines were "very neat and very precise." Len says "far more good in that performance than bad," although DAG's bum sticks out too much. CA then brings up a lift. Scores: 6 from CA and Bruno, 7 from Len. He was robbed.

Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Cha cha. She's quite awkward -- looked as if she almost fell over once. No connection with her partner. CA says she looked terrified but she has great potential. Len said she gave it a real shot but "you've got to tone up" because it looks as if Maks is pulling her around. Bruno says "you've got it all but you don't know what to do with it." Scores: Straight 6s. Seems kind.

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani. Clip from "The Bachelor." Crowd boos Jason. For the billionth time, we are told that she's only had 48 hours of training. Very basic waltz to "Moon River," but she knows exactly what she's doing. Interesting glitter patch on her tattoo. Some glitches, but hardly the worst tonight, and you can see that she'll catch up on training quickly. Len says the bachelor's loss is DWTS's gain, and that it's obvious she has danced before. Bruno says "the Bachelor guy ... is a loser." Praises the way she unfolds the arm. CA says she did a wonderful job but to be careful about connecting to the dance as well as the emotions. In the post-interview, she notes her dance experience. Scores: 8 from Bruno and CA, 7 from Len.

No show tomorrow night; more next Monday and the following night.

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