Review: Dancing With the Stars is BACK with Bergeron, Brooke, and a Cast of Ballroom Enthusiasts!
It’s BAAAAAA-AAACKKK!!! Season 14 (Yes – fourteen!) of everyone’s favorite cheese-fest Dancing With the Stars has returned once again, and nobody is more giddy than me about it! (Well, maybe Bruno Tonioli. He is quite giddy.) Much has remained in tact with this new season, while many things have changed. Let’s take a look …
What’s The Same?
Tom Bergeron’s witty, hilarious quips remain the core and heart of the show. It is only Week One, and this guy has already come up with some truly great one-liners. (Examples to follow.) He also has just the right amount of self-parody, mockery, and genuine heart; and he knows when to use each of these traits. He’s the kind of guy you just want to have a cup of coffee with sometime. (Come on Tom, whaddya say? You and me? Dinner? Let’s do this!) Also the same – the judges and their individual personality traits. Carrie Ann Inaba; whose comments are always sexual in nature and who clearly needs to go out and “get some’” very soon. Bruno Tonioli, who can’t finish a sentence without flailing his hands all about, standing up in his seat, yelling, and making absolutely no sense. Then, of course, there is Len, the show’s resident Dance Grump, who is always ready with a negative comment to bring everyone down from their high. The awful 5 cent MirrorBall Trophy, the often hilarious and ridiculous costumes, the hair extensions and intense stage makeup, the drama that’s not really drama, the cast of “stars” filled with people you have never heard of in your life, and that addive themesong. (“Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo – doo doo doo doo doo.”) It’s all there!!!!
Perhaps Brooke Burke Charvey (which is French for “I don’t know what’s happening”) took some improvisation lessons over the short break, was coached by Tommy B., or studied the art of asking questions. Whatever the case, she seems a tad bit more relaxed this season, and now has a few different variations on her all-time favorite question to contestants after receiving their scores: “How does that feel?” The newer, improved Charvey also asks “What do you think?” and sometimes even “Good luck!” or “How do you like that?” Also different this season is the amount of “stars” that seem to have had massive work done on their faces. Holy Botox! Lastly – the show is trying to get in cool with the hip kids and their social networking by making Twitter a big part of the episodes. At the bottom of the screen, riveting tweets like “Wow! This cast is great!” and “OMG! This guy can dance!” appear throughout the hour. The show also seems to have a more seamless look throughout the studio, and the “Skybox” where Brooke did her post-dance interviews last season is now gone.
In Week One, there will be no eliminations, so every couple gets a chance to get their first dance without going home. Votes from Monday’s episode and next Monday’s episode will be combined for the results next Tuesday, at which time the first couple will go home. And now . . . let’s get right to the dancing, and this year’s colorful cast:
Maria / Derek
I had absolutely no clue who this chick was, but apparently she is one of the hosts of the TV show Extra. Okay then. Now I know. She is partnered with the very cute Derek Hough, 3 time MirrorBall Trophy Winner on the show. Their first dance was a cha-cha to a fast-paced Kelly Clarkson song. The dance and costume showed off Maria’s perfect body, and their movements seemed crisp and clean. Judge Len Goodman thought it was a great start, while Bruno, who appeared to be wearing a black leather suit, ordered Maria to “open up the sexpot.” Horny Carrie Ann mentioned something about “placement and strength.” Backstage, Brooke asked if being the first couple to dance was stressful, then didn’t let them answer. Judges’ Scores were 7/7/7.
Jack / Anna:
You might know soap and TV star Jack Wagner from his days on General Hospital, Melrose Place, or many other similar shows. Currently, he looks like David Bowie and his eyes or contacts are creepy as hell. It is also clear he has been injected with the botox a time or ten. Capped fake teeth, too. Their dance was a foxtrot to a silly fairytale-type song. It was adorably cute. Carrie Ann told Jack: “You took me to my happy place!” (Ewww!), and then called him a “manly man.” Grumpy Len mumbled about “poor technique and haphazard footwork.” Then he drooled into his oatmeal. Judges’ Scores were 8/7/8.
Donald / Peta:
So, Don plays for the GreenBay Packers and is a Superbowl Champion. Peta’s last name is Mergatroyd, and all I can think of when I see her is “Heavens to mergatroyd!” from Snagglepuss. It’s literally ALL I can think of. That being said, football players always do well on this show, and this guy can move. Their dance looked more like a porn film, with Peta grinding all up onto Donald’s nether regions and grabbing at her own hair like a pro stripper. She is very sexual, and Carrie Ann was so turned on, she could barely speak. Bruno stood up and flailed his arms while shouting something about a “rooster chasing ahead!” (What???) After their scores of 7/7/7, Brooke Burke asked her favorite question: How do you feel? Peta sex-kittened it up for the cameras.
Gavin / Karina:
Musician and songwriter Gavin DeGraw is a sweet, dorky guy who specializes in sexual innuendo and flirtatious comments. This was obvious from just one episode. Karina is last year’s Champion and wants that trophy again. Their foxtrot included a dumb hat for him and a pink dress for her that made her resemble a Pepto-Bismol bottle. They spun around a lot and it made me dizzy. Len called Gavin’s movements “stiff,” to which Gavin replied “Sometimes I stiffen up at the wrong times, too,” to which Tom Bergeron retorted, “. . . and Carrie Ann is back in her happy place!” Horny Carrie Ann was so flustered that when it was her turn to speak, her freakin’ fake eyelash was falling off of her eyelid. Backstage, Gavin made the comment while standing next to both Brooke and Karina that he was “in the middle of a pretty sandwich.” Bergeron quipped: “Carrie Ann and Bruno are the bread of a Grumpy sandwich.” Judges’ Scores were 7/6/7, and Brooke wanted to know “how does that feel?”
Roshon / Chelsie:
This show is sooo in love with Disney stars. They always gotta have a random Disney star every season, and it’s always someone I have never heard of, ever. I suppose if I was 9 years old, I would know who the hell Roshon Fegan is, or maybe I would have heard of some show called “Shake It Up.” But I’m not 9 years old, I’m 40, and I have never seen this kid in my life. Anyway, he looks like he is 8 years old and about 95 pounds, and he dresses in brown Sears slacks during rehearsals. But you know what? This kid can MOVE! He even moonwalked during their cha-cha, and his legs were like rubber in their flexibility. He reminded me of a young Michael Jackson. Bruno yelled: “Roshon can go on and on and on!” and Carrie Ann said it was the “coolest spin in 14 seasons!”, while old man Len depressed everyone by saying “performance level was very low.” Then he tooted in his Depends. Brooke asked “What do you think?” after the couple got their scores of 8/7/8.
Sherri / Val:
Actress, comedian, and co-host of The View Sherri Shepard screamed like a maniac when she found out her partner was Val Chmerkovskiy. I guess she was happy or something. Throughout the rehearsal piece, she made a lot of comments such as “He better take off that shirt!” Clearly, she is going to be the “I’m black and I’m SASSY!” woman on the show this season. Their foxtrot was nice, but she had this goofy smile on her face the whole time, and the terrible purple dress they put her in made her boobs ginormous and made her look like a gigantic grape. After the dance, she ran over into the crowd and gave her young son a hug. He looked like he wanted to die of embarrassment. The judges loved Sherri’s joy and delight, and even Grandpa Len said she is “fun fun fun!” Backstage, she informed Brooke “I think I left a boob on the floor out there!” Judges’ Scores were 8/7/8.
Melissa / Maksim:
Little Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie and big, bad, hot-tempered Maks does not a good match make. We shall see, but I’m seeing some Ike and Tina-like moments in their dancing future. She is another one who has dabbled in the plastic surgery arena. What is up with her face? The lips are weird, the eyebrows are weird, it’s all weird. She looks like one of those “Real Housewives of” whatever random-ass state. I thought the dance looked messy and chaotic, but the judges seemed to love it. Scores were 7/6/7.
William / Cheryl:
Referred to as the mexican Brad Pitt by many, the Latin-American actor is also someone I had never heard of, but he sure is hot. He might send Carrie Ann over the edge with his pure sexuality and incredible chest and arms. Their dance was extremely sexy and very intimate. The entire audience fell into a tizzy of lust and desire for this man, screaming their collective heads off in delight. Bruno leaped out of the closet with his comment to William “You are the hottest package of the season! You are overdressed William! Less clothing!” Wow. Carrie Ann thanked ABC for her job, and Len took a nap. Their scores were the highest of the night so far, with a steady 8/8/8.
Martina / Tony:
I’m glad this tennis legend is on the show. She is such a huge talent and seems like a lovely personality. Plus – she is one of the few people in the cast that actually let themselves age naturally! She has wrinkles and an actual expression on her face! Imagine that! Their foxtrot was adorably cute, if not a bit awkward and stiff. She did have some elegance to her and it was nice to see someone so tough become so sweet on the dance floor. Carrie Ann said it was “beautiful” while Bruno called her “stunning.” Brooke asked “What do you think?” about the scores of 7/6/7.
Katherine / Mark:
This gorgeous classical opera singer from the U.K. has a beautiful voice, and it turns out she also has a talent for dancing. I like her, and their dance was adorable. She looked gorgeous in a yellow dress; she reminded me of Marilyn Monroe. Len said they had “beautiful musicality” and Bruno and Carrie Ann called them exquisite and fabulous. Katherine got a bit emotional at all the praise, and seems to really care about the show. Their scores trumped the night AND were the highest ever for a premiere episode at 9/8/9.
Gladys / Man Ass:
Last season, pro dancer Tristan McManass danced with Nancy Grace, and I picked on them both the entire season. I referred to her as “Tits McGee” and to him as simply “Man Ass.” Because his last name is pronounced man ass. Like a man’s ass. And that’s funny. Also, he talks and looks like a leprechaun, and I always picture him saying “Lucky Charms are magically delicious, dontcha know?” Anyway, this year Man Ass is paired off with music legend Gladys Knight, who referred to HERSELF as “music legend” Gladys Knight. She said “I’m Gladys Knight, and I’m a music legend.” Well, alrighty then. I’m pretty sure the costume department just got lazy and recycled one of Tits McGee’s dresses from last season, because the music legend’s boobs were flippin’ and floppin’ all over the damn place in that thing. I thought their dance was good. Average, maybe a tad above. For some reason, the rest of the world thought it was perhaps the best thing they had ever seen in their entire lives. The place went absolutely mental, giving her a standing ovation and screaming bloody murder for her. Bruno proclaimed “the legend has got the moves!” and even Len said that she “oozed rhythm!” Then he oozed urine into his adult diaper and went home early. Scores were 8/7/8.
Jaleel / Kym:
TV actor who played the annoying character Urkel on Family Matters, Jaleel grew up into a slightly less dorky man. Their foxtrot was very smooth, clean, and elegant. The perfect ending to a lovely evening. Bruno compared him to the great Gregory Hines, and their scores were 9/8/9.
All in all, this seems as if it will be a season filled with very nice “stars” who don’t seem to have the trainwreck potential of past casts. What a shame. There isn’t as much to mock in this season’s cast of celebs, and there also seems to be quite a bit of good dancing. It will be tough to vote people off. Who are your early favorites? Who will go home next week? Will Carrie Ann ever get laid? Will Bruno be able to control himself around Latin William? Will Len soil his underwear every week? Find out this and more next time . . .
Season 14, Episode 1 (originally aired March 19, 2011)
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Photographs courtesy of ABC and Adam Taylor