Premierewatch: Dancing With The Stars

Tombergerron_samanthaharris_dancing "Prepare to meet the most exciting [line-up] ever assembled on Dancing With The Stars!" That's what host Tom Bergeron said in tonight's opening. I'm not sure if that's exactly true, but the ladies sure kicked the season off right. Oh, and I won't have Samantha Harris to make fun of for butchering words this season. She had a baby and is temporarily being replaced by Season 2 winner (and capable reader of teleprompters) Drew Lachey. Spoilsport.

Spoilers ahead!

Now, I've been watching this show since the beginning and one thing you must know about me is that I hate the house band. Sure, they're all capable musicians but that doesn't excuse the mess-ups and crappy covers. (Yes, I know it's the producers that assign the music but I've seen enough examples of the band messing up the tempo/lyrics/intros/endings to let them off the hook.) Expect liberal amounts of me calling them out, especially when one of the singers dresses like a Star Trek vixen. Is William Shatner in the house?

Anyhoo, the show's first number was all the pros dancing to a song I assume is called "Dancing Fool" - mostly likely by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. It was nice to see all of them out there cutting loose. My initial reaction to the men is that Derek Hough (brother of last season's winner, Julianne) and fellow newcomer Mark Ballas, Jr. are crazy good. It'll be interesting seeing if they can keep up with the other show veterans. And the ladies, as always, looked great. Now, enough with the appetizer...bring on the main course!

1. Jennie Garth & Derek Hough
Dance: Cha Cha
Song: "Uptown Girl" -- Billy Joel (Seriously? Not my idea of a Cha Cha song, but okay)
Her intro/rehearsal package has her expressing some nerves and confidence issues which could be deadly since she's up first. Fortunately, she solved most of them before getting on the floor. She has good lines, stage presence and lots of potential. She could've had a little more hip action but color me impressed.
Judge Highlight Line: Bruno said she was a "yummy mommy." Cut to husband Peter Facinelli and their approx. 10-year-old daughter laughing uncomfortably.
Score: 21 (all 7's)

2. Josie Maran & Alec Mazo
Fox Trot
Song: A standard that I couldn't quite identify
Josiemaran_hollywoodlife05_240 When the pro partner calls you "deceptively unfit," you know you have problems. Poor actress/model Josie. She earned Alec's assessment but not having much leg or arm strength. So sad. He put her through a exercise boot camp to change this. Expect this to be ongoing because she really did look like a cooked spaghetti noodle, all floppy. The good news is that her actual performance was, while not great technique-wise, way better than I thought it was going to be. She looked good and had a nice rise and fall at some points, but still was a bit clumsy. She's the early favorite to go home among the women.
Judge Highlight Line: Carrie Ann said she did a good job despite lacking natural talent. How's that for a backhanded compliment?
Score: 16 (6 from Carrie Ann, 5's from Len and Bruno)

3. Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas, Jr.
Dance: Cha Cha
Song: "Don't Cha" - Pussycat Dolls
She introduces herself as being "best known for [being in] The Cheetah Girls". Hate to break it to you honey, but that's pretty much all you're known for. That aside, I really do like her. She's personable and, though she needs to watch that whole monochromatic thing with the hair and the tan, is a good example for the young girls that you don't have to disappear when you turn sideways to be pretty. Her pro partner Mark called himself a "dancing ninja." No, really. High-larious. Anyway, in the reheasal package, they decided to throw some Hip-Hop into the number since she had a hard time breaking her dancing inclinations. Uh-oh. Len isn't going to be happy. Except, he actually was because they got out there and tore up the floor. Surprise of the night is an understatement. She is now my favorite.
Judge Highlight Line: There really wasn't one, but they all were impressed/amazed and told them to cut it out with all the Hip-Hop moves. Bruno said she had "precision footwork."
Score: Wow - 26 (9's from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 8 from Len)

4. Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts
Dance: Fox Trot
Song: "I Hear A Symphony" - The Supremes
Marie is this year's Joey Fatone - meaning she's super spazzy in rehearsals but capable of being serious and into it. The performance was really fun to watch. Marie had a lot of personality and was totally working the judges. She looked great in the dress, her legs especially, and had some nice lines. She's also got a lot of potential, though I worry about her doing the Latin dances.
Judge Highlight Line: Bruno labeled her as "classy yet sassy."
Score: 21 (all 7's)

5. Mel B. & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dance: Cha Cha
Song: "A Deeper Love" - Aretha Franklin (I boo this song choice, too.)
Can I just say that Mel B. aka Scary Spice looks fantastic? Because she does, with the hair and the outfit and the make-up. Suck on that, Eddie Murphy. During her intro/rehearsal package, we see that the pattern of sticking Maksim with the firecrackers continue as Mel calls him "proud, [pretty] and cocky" within 15 seconds of meeting him. She realizes that they have a lot in common because they're both competitive and don't pull verbal punches. This oughta be fun to watch this season. They did a good job on the dance, though something seemed a bit off. Almost like the music was faster than they rehearsed, or maybe it was nerves? But all in all, quite good. Mel could do quite well in the future.
Judge Highlight Line: Bruno, the dirty European that his is, called her a "feisty kitten."
Score: 24 (all 8's)

Janeseymour_modernmen_240_26. Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani
Dance: Fox Trot
Song: The perfectly suited standard, "Let's Fall In Love"
  Jane was super excited when she saw that Tony was her partner, and Tony was happy too. She used to be a ballerina but some undisclosed injury ended her career when she was 16. Now, at 56 (which is crazy because she doesn't look it), she's wants to realize her dancing dreams. She's very hard on herself during the rehearsals, which Tony warns her about by cautioning that she's "setting [herself] up for failure." The advice must've stuck because their performance was lovely. She had great extensions, was graceful and floaty, and had a very warm presence.
Judge Highlight Line: Carrie Ann called her "elegance personified" and said that she got chills.
Score: 24 (all 8's)

So, that's it for the premiere. The women as a whole look really strong, which is a nice change of pace from previous seasons. Josie is definitely the weakest link, but I'm sure Mark Cuban, Helio Castoneves, and/or Albert Reed will be worse. I'm hoping Cameron Mathison does well because I do enjoy him so very much, but, sadly, I'm not so sure that'll happen. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is under the most pressure because everyone assumes he'll do well. And Wayne Newton is, well, Wayne Newton. How could he not be entertaining?

P.S. Cameron better be in tank tops a lot or I'll be very disappointed.