This can’t bode well for the show’s 11th year: On Monday’s premiere of Dancing with the Stars, the judges didn’t seem to be in a giving mood when it came time to hand out the first set of scores. Competitors like Victor Espinoza, Chaka Khan, Paula Deen, Kim Kolziak, and Gary Busey left the dance floor with a woeful amount of 4s and 5s, making the show’s 21st season cast look like, well, the least-talented group ever.
Well good news, Ms. Kolziak — you aren’t the worst “star” ever to bomb on week 1. That distinction goes to Master P in season 2, when judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli each gave his paso doble a mere 2. (Carrie Ann Inaba wasn’t that much more forgiving; she slapped him with a 4). Other previous premiere week low scores were earned by Kelly Monaco in season 1 (her waltz got a 13), Tucker Carlson in season 3 (his cha-cha got a 12), and Billy Ray Cyrus in season 4 (his cha-cha got a 13).
Maybe that’s why Judge Julianne Hough seemed remarkably sanguine after the two-hour premiere. If anything, Monday’s premiere just seemed like old times!
“I was a little surprised because we haven’t gone that low in a couple of seasons,” Hough told reporters after the show. “It kind of brought me back to season 3, season 4 when there was so much room to grow, where the scores were a bit lower and the talent wasn’t necessarily [a bunch of] front runners getting 9s and stuff. We will see a lot of growth, a lot of surprises this season, maybe a dark horse coming through the middle. We have a great cast. They are more about the characters and the dancing will come.”
“If we start high,” she adds, “there is no where to go!”
Here were the night’s low scores:
Espinoza and Karina Smirnoff: 5-5-5
Khan and Keo Motsepe: 5-4-4
Deen and Louis van Amstel: 5-5-5
Kolziak and Tony Dovolani: 4-4-4
Busey and Anna Trebunskaya: 5-5-5