Ah, fall. That time of year when the leaves begin to change and the smell of glitter is in the air. Breathe it in, Dancing fools. Dancing With the Stars is back! Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday we were crowning Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater rulers of the ballroom? Boy, time flies when you’re practicing samba rolls alone in your apartment.
Not only is everyone’s favorite dancing extravaganza back, but it’s celebrating a very special milestone: DWTS is 25 seasons old! I guess that means it’s about time DWTS gets its life together and moves out of its parents’ basement. It won’t, because it has no direction and also having your mom do your laundry is a perk too good to just give up like that.
But yes, it’s true, we’ve been watching celebrities and “celebrities” shimmy their way around a dance floor for 25 seasons now. What a journey it’s been! So many cha-chas, so many tears. And now, it’s time for that journey to begin for the 13 new celebrities vying for the Mirrorball. Cue the music, Ray Chew. It’s time to dance!
Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke
Cha-Cha, “Aint Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations
Just so we’re clear, everyone (and Erin Andrews): Heel leads are no-nos in latin dances. There was a lot of confusion about that in Terrell and Cheryl’s (do they get extra points because their names rhyme? They should) critique. Let us never speak of this again. Aside from the heel lead, NFL star Terrell Owens comes out first and performs a respectable cha-cha. It’s fun, and you can tell he’s really putting in some effort. We’re only hearing a full critique from one judge per dance tonight, and according to Len, this one was entertaining, but Terrell needs to be bigger, broader, and more full on.
Judges’ Score: 15/30
Debbie Gibson and Alan Bersten
Foxtrot, “Lost in Your Eyes” by Debbie Gibson
One week in and we’re already getting a number set to one of Debbie’s own hits. I won’t rest until I see Debbie and Alan out there jamming to “Only in My Dreams.” Debbie is elegant enough in her foxtrot, but the highlight of the routine is the partnering between Debbie and newly promoted pro Alan. You can already sense some chemistry. Debbie is making DWTS her comeback after dealing with complications from Lyme disease, and she’s getting emotional. DWTS is a place for dancing, but it is equally a place for crying. Bruno tells our ’80s icon to watch her shoulders, and Len wants more body contact while in hold. Lots of things to work on while dancing through a mall, or whatever else ’80s singer-songwriters like to do in their spare time.
Judges’ Score: 17/30
Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko
Cha-Cha, “Like That” by Fleur East
Carrie Ann tells Sasha that she looked fierce on the dance floor and had a nice mix of sexiness and technique, but I’m with Len: Sasha looked like her nerves were in control. She’s on the show to get in shape for her wedding, and in rehearsals, she and Gleb seem to have a lot of chemistry, but this Pretty Little Liar seems very hesitant in most of her movements once the routine begins. She has rhythm (perhaps thanks to her professional ballroom dancing parents?) but needs more confidence. She seems to have potential, and if anyone can bring it out of her, it’s that handsome taskmaster, Gleb.
Judges’ Score: 18/30
Drew Scott and Emma Slater
Foxtrot, “Our House” by Madness
Drew Scott, one half of Property Brothers, tells his partner Emma that if they bring home the Mirrorball, he’ll remodel her kitchen. Has a pro dancer ever been so motivated to win? Drew and Emma seem to get on well, despite a huge height difference, and even though Drew is the “real estate” half of Property Brothers, here’s hoping we have a construction-themed dance in our future. Sure, a contemporary piece about making settlement would be ideal, but beggars can’t be choosers. Unfortunately for Drew, he has the enthusiasm but lacks the technique. His hands are clunky, his feet are clumsy, and Len thinks the entire thing lacks finesse.
Judges’ Score: 16/30
(Recap continues on page 2)