Dancing With The Stars 14 – Week 1

One-Sentence Summary:  Season 14 kicks off with some of the best first dances in the history of the show.

Isn't my dress pretty?

Our Thoughts:

Rachel:  I’m quite ambivalent towards the cast this season.  There’s really no one on the show that’s controversial or outrageous.  It’s just a nice happy little cast.  How boring for me.  As I said on the cast overview, I’m rooting for Jaleel “Urkel” White to take home the Disco Ball.  I’m not mad at that little Latin hottie either.  He can stick around a while too. There’s really not anyone I’m wanting to go home really.  Though I’m sure Maks will annoy me soon enough and poor Melissa Gilbert will end up in my cross hairs. Well, there’s always my annoyance with Brooke Burke Charvet to keep my busy.  I just don’t get what she’s bringing to the table here.  Half the time, I’m pretty sure they’re pumping questions into her earpiece and she’s just waiting for them to cue her for the next question.  She doesn’t even hear their answers.  Oh well, if that’s the worst of the show, it should be a good season.

Melissa:  Welcome back to Dancing With The (would be) Stars!!  I gotta say, I don’t necessarily care about the contestants this season… With the exception of the Latin hottie!  I would also like to suggest to abc that they have the Two Winey Bitches as guest judges.

Maria Menounos

Maria & Derek dance the Cha-Cha-Cha to "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson

Melissa:  First dance of the night is the cha-cha.  I gotta say, that laugh is fantastic!!  Wisely, Derek doesn’t really have her moving too much… At least not completely unassisted. And it’s paying off.  I mean seriously me and my 2 lefts might be able to rock that cha-cha!  Not a bad start.

Rachel:  Um, they just called her one of TV’s most well-know reporters?  Really? Do they know we’re talking about Maria Menounos?  I mean, Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer count as TV’s most well-known reporters, but I’m thinking Maria isn’t in that category.  Sorry, Doll.  Extra doesn’t really qualify as high-end journalism.  She tells Derrick that she’s a dude with boobs, and with that one comment, she has just killed the fantasies of men all over America.  And that laugh isn’t helping.  On the dance floor, she’s not too bad but she’s a bit stiff (unlike the men that just heard the “dude with boobs” comment).  Len says she coped well overall, but she needs a little more hip action.  Bruno says she’s so curvaceously delicious, but needs to be softer in the hips.  Gotta open up the sexpot.  Carrie Ann says it’s a strong solid cha cha, but needs to work on transitions.

Score:  21

Jack Wagner

Jack & Anna dance the Fox Trot to "Sugar Town" by Nancy Sinatra

Melissa:  Please tell me they aren’t going to play his song, because that will get stuck in my head and loop at 3am.  He’s not too bad for walking through his performance… really.  Maybe I’m just blocking past first nights mostly because I’ve been lucky enough to opt out of the show in the past.  Now let me ask… Just throwing this out… Is it the hair, or has he had work done?

Rachel:  Jack says he’s insecure and impatient.  Says he suffers from entitlement issues.  Well, if that’s true then this should make rehearsals interesting… though he’s been nothing but pleasant thus far.  He’s a pretty good dancer.  Gotta give it to him, though it’s hard for me to see him looking so old.  I still picture him as Frisco Jones from back in the day.  Bruno says it was beautifully acted and danced.  Carrie Ann says it took her to a happy place.  You can act, you can sing and boy you can dance.  Len thought it had lightness & feel-good factor but the technique was poor.  Footwork was haphazard but he enjoyed the performance.

Score:  23

Donald Driver

Donald & Peta dance the Cha-Cha-Cha to "Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)" by Lloyd feat. Lil Wayne

Melissa:  I’m digging Donald, he’s got some nice footwork on this here cha-cha. He’s just plain old having some fun out there, and that was a kick ass dance.  I’ve got no snark at all on this one.  I’m about to go bedazzle my team Donald shirt.  Bravo kids!  21… As my son would say: “What the… “.  That’s low and I’m not happy…

Rachel:  Hey, it’s the wanna-be Hines Ward!  Kidding…ish.  Like I said, I like him but I’m just sayin’ he ain’t no Hines.  Anyone else notice he’s doing his first dance in Black & Gold?  That’s right, Steelers colors.  Paying his respects to those that came before him.  Damn, the guy can move!  Can’t take that away from him.  And man, his kids are cute.  Alright, I’m liking him.  Carrie Ann says he’s nothing but charisma & charm.  You kicked that cha cha’s booty!  Len thought the attitude was good.  There was flair going on.  He got overexcited at times and it caused him to lose time.  Bruno says it was full impact.  He was like a rooster chasing around but he needs to refine it.

Score:  21

Gavin DeGraw

Gavin & Karina dance the Foxtrot to "I Run to You" by Lady Antebellum

Melissa:  I’m of the meh camp on Gavin, I mean as a musician. Let’s see what he’s got in those legs of his.  More good stepping… Wait, I spoke too soon… Those aren’t light feet he’s got going on there – a bit heavy legs, but overall not bad.

Rachel:  Hey, this Gavin is pretty funny.  Unfortunately, he can’t so much dance.  And let’s discuss the fact that he always has a hat on.  Always.  Wonder what’s going on – or not going on – under there.  Wonder if it’s just a thing for him like Brett Michael’s headband.  He’s not terrible on the dance floor but he’s got some work to do.  Maybe he’ll end up being the dark horse like Rob Kardashian was last year.  Len said the Foxtrot is a fluid dance but he was a little stiff in his arm & legs.  It lacked musicality.  Bruno thought he had great charm.  He has to learn to link the moves.  Carrie Ann thinks the flow is great but he hyper-extend his arm.

Score:  20

Roshon Fagan

Roshon & Chelsea dance the Cha-Cha-Cah to "Glad You Came" by The Wanted

Melissa:  So he’s a freestyle hip hop dancer… OK, I’m against someone who already knows how to dance on DWTS, because I just think it’s a bit tilted, and seems like it’s cheating.  Plus, the last time I checked there was no moonwalk in a cha-cha.  I get there’s open interpretation, but come on.

Side bar:  So I had a moment of “what the… “ during the previews when they showed the snippet and Gladys said she’s going to make like a pimp and dance.  Yeah, that split second in my ears it was pimp, not pip.  Maybe I need to lay off the sauce a little when I watch.

Rachel:  Roshon says, “You may know me from Shake It Up.”  Um, I do not.  I don’t know you from Adam, actually.  He’s finding out that, apparently, hip hop dancing doesn’t translate so much to the Cha Cha.  This kid’s cute but I may have a short patience rope for the “woop woops.”  Ok, this kid can move too.  So far no one sucks.  Bruno says he can go on and on and on.  He was laser sharp in keeping the beat.  Carrie Ann says that’s the coolest spin she’s seen in the Cha Cha in all 14 seasons.  Len says there’s no question he can dance.  Performance was a little too much hip hop.

Score:  23

Sherri Shepherd

Sherri & Val dance to "Sherry" by The Four Seasons

Melissa:  Aw, I like her… I’m not a fan of Val (or his brother for that matter), but I’m loving her and can’t help but smile while she’s dancing.  They get a 23, which I’m kinda mad at compared to Donald,.

Rachel:  Ok I love Sherri, but I can’t stand Val.  So, this should be interesting. She says her elegance is knocking on the door screaming “Let me out!” Ha!  She’s so funny.  I may just have to put up with Val for longer than I’d like this season so she and her funny can stick around.  On the dance floor, she’s holding her own and Val has his shirt on!  Amazing!  Carrie Ann says she’s the happiest contestant they’ve ever had.  She likes her transitions.  Len says there were a few mistakes but she brought the joy into dance.  Bruno says it was the joy of dance and she’s light on her feet.  She lights up the room.

Score:  23

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa & Maks dance the Cha-Cha-Cha to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Melissa:  WTF is that outfit??  Really, who picked that and why the hell did she not veto it?  Is it a top and pants?  Is it a dress?  I don’t get it.  Damn, I was so distracted by that “ensemble” I didn’t even have any snark on Maks’s chest!!  OH-HO, was that the idea Maks?  You sneaky devil!

Rachel:  She says she’s here because her marriage ended and she broke her back.  OK, sorry to hear about the back, but what happened to her face?  That’s a lot of work.  Yikes.  Lord, are we going to have to listen to Little House comments all season?  Ha, I knew we couldn’t make it through a whole show without a Chmerkovskiy brother baring his chest.  I will say Maks was bearable tonight, though I’m sure that won’t last long.  Melissa was ok out there.  Definitely some awkward moments.  Len would like to have seen more shaping in her free arm and some more hip actions.  It was an ambitious routine.  Well done.  Bruno says it’s the attack in of the woman in black.  She overpowers some moves.  Carrie Ann says she sees potential. It was a lot of hard footwork but she did a good job.

Score:  20

William Levy

William & Cheryl dance the Cha-Cha-Cha to "International Love" by Pitbull feat. Chris Brown

Melissa:  HELLO WILLIAM!!  OK, if that’s what Cuba has to offer I have to figure out that trip somehow!  You know I also dig an accent.  OK, he ain’t the smoothest thing on his feet.  But really, I might have to bedazzle a William shirt, because those arms are damn nice to look at.  OMG, you can just see Bruno devouring him with his eyes… I feel a little dirty, but I also have to agree, he’s entirely too over-dressed.  You know Maks and Val are seething with jealousy.

Rachel:  Ok, that was a weird shot of that red-carpet moment with some woman being muscled out of the way.  Anyone else notice that in the intro video?  Anyway… So, they started a week late due to his work schedule, but I have a feeling he’ll catch on quickly.  Holy Moses, that man is bootylicious!  Let’s see those tight pants… er, I mean moves on the dance floor.  Wow, he can move his hips.  That’s really some great hip action.  Um, was there anything else going on on the dance floor?  If there was, I didn’t notice. Oh Cheryl honey, stop waving. All that insane screaming isn’t for you.  It’s for Mr. Biceps Von RockinAbs standing next to you.  Bruno is ready to leap over that table and rip William to shreds.  He said it was the hottest package of the season…. Uh-huh.  Carrie Ann would like to thank ABC for her job.  He can dance and he stayed right in the true vain (vane? vein?) of the Cha Cha.  Len says he kept control which is hard thing to do.

Score:  24

Martina Navratilova

Martina & Tony dance the Foxtrot by "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" by Diana Krall

Melissa:  Damn, Martina looks good!  She’s kinda stiff, but she’s working it the best she can.  She’s got a good partner to bring it out in her.  I also agree with Bruno, she really does look amazing.  If she’s had work done, I want the number of that doctor!

Rachel: Wow, I didn’t know she survived breast cancer.  That’s awesome… The surviving part, but you probably knew that.  And she looks great.  She says she’s ready to show a different side of her…  Starting with the fact that she hasn’t worn a dress in 20 years.  Wow.  I’m loving her.  She’s definitely stiff on the dance floor and you can see she’s not super sure of herself.  She holds her own though and I find myself smiling.  Carrie Ann says she is so beautiful.  It’s beautiful to see this transformation, but work on your turns.  Len says it was close but it wasn’t quite there.  It was too careful.  She has to go for it more.  Bruno says she’s never looked better.  She has to learn to extend her moves through her arms.  It was very elegant and the posture was good.

Score:  20

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine & Mark dance the Foxtrot to "The Show" by Lenka

Melissa:  Aw, now isn’t she just the cutest thing!  I adore Mark as well.  They really are a wonderfully matched couple.  That was seriously perfectly lovely.  Hopefully, she’ll get enough votes even though she’s not a staple in the US.  OK, I’m thinking I might need to add a Katherine bedazzle collection too.

Rachel:  It’s really unreal that that voice comes out of that body.  She looks like she should be a Spice Girl not an opera singer.  I kinda like that about her.  She’s pretty adorable and we know I love her partner Mark.  She looks amazing on the dance floor.  I’m smiling again… Damn this show is really makes me soft.  Gotta work on that.  Len thought she had wonderful musicality but just needs to lift her rib cage in the holds.  He says, “That was crackin’.”  Must be a British-ism.  Bruno says that was exquisite.  She’s setting the bar so high that she’ll have a lot to live up to.  Carrie Ann says it was like watching two pros together.  Really amazing.

Score:  26  (WOW – Highest score ever on a premiere.)

Gladys Knight

Gladys & Tristan dance the Cha-Cha-Cha to "Best of My Love" by The Emotions

Melissa:  I’m a fan of Tristan, let’s just put that out there right now.  You shake what your Mamma gave you Miss Gladys!  Work on those arms a bit and you’ll be golden.  How stinking cute is she??

Rachel:  Ha, she says the Pips never let her dance.  That’s funny.  I love her too and she does have a little “pip” in her.  There were a few miscues during her routine but the lady has rhythm.  It’s a standing O for the Empress of Soul!  Bruno says the legend has the moves.  You are a real star.  Carrie Ann says that made her want to get up and dance.  She’s shaking her tailfeather like no one’s business.  Len says there’s a naturalness about her dance and she did a wonderful job.  Apparently, nobody wants to insult Gladys.  Don’t blame them.

Score:  23

Jaleel White

Jaleel & Kym dance the Cha-Cha-Cha to "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra

Melissa:  Oh snap!!  Jaleel has some moves!  Plus, they had me at “Someday…”  That’s one of my favorite songs!  Oh, I’m totally bedazzling a Jaleel shirt tonight too!  Who knew Urkel had those moves!  DAMN, Bruno… Gregory Hines – wow, that’s some damn high praise!

Rachel:  It’s Jaleel, my pick for the win!  He’s here to show he’s not clumsy and geeky like Urkel.  I like it.  Kym says to be nice to the geeky boys because they grow up to be handsome men.  She is so right, girls.  Listen to her.  And this one is handsome, an awesome dancer, and he gets the half-naked dancing partner.    Dude, he nailed it!  Happy day for Urkel.  Carrie Ann says he was the icing on the cake.  Smooth smooth smooth.  Len says it had elegance and sophistication.  This is the best first show of any season.  Bruno says he thought he was watching the great Gregory Hines.  As a compliment, it couldn’t get better  than that (so so true).  Fantastic!

Score:  26

Bottom Line:

Melissa:   WOW, all snark aside (yeah, capture the date and time) I’m actually looking forward to this season!  I take back my opening statement about not caring about this crew, I’m in… ALL IN!

Rachel:  What a great start to the season!  I’m all in also.  Though I don’t dislike anyone, which makes me slightly uncomfortable.  It’s an awkward feeling not rooting against someone.  Oh well, I’m sure someone will tick me off soon enough.  For now, I’ll just enjoy it.

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