'Dancing With The Stars' Season 16 Premiere: Dance By Dance Recap
After a season of "all-stars" we're back this season with some new talent who have never graced the ballroom before and have never won a mirror ball trophy. There's no elimination this week, so the stars get a pass to get their first week jitters out.
On top of the typical ballroom routines of the Foxtrot and the Cha Cha Cha, a few of the couples were given an assignment to dance Contemporary instead, which gave them a chance to show off some serious passion and impressive moves.
Here's how the scores played out for round one, from highest score to lowest:
Zendaya Coleman, and Val Chmerkovskiy -- 24 out of 30
Speaking of Contemporary, the couple with the highest score of the night ended up dancing to the new style. Some "Dancing With The Stars" viewers might not know Zendaya Coleman, but they probably remember her "Shake it Up" co-star Roshon Fegan, who competed on the 14th season of "Dancing" with Chelsie Hightower. Those two placed in the top 6.
At 16, Zendaya is the youngest person that has ever competed on the show and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy is worried about making a dance that's age appropriate. Zendaya picks up the routine quickly, but Val tells her he wants her to be incredible every time. Way to not put too much pressure on the 16-year-old, Val.
Almost as soon as she hits the dance floor it's clear Zendaya is a strong competitor. She has great rhythm and flow and the crowd rose to their feet after her performance. Carrie Ann Inaba said Zendaya showed an unexpected maturity in the dance for her age and Len Goodman uttered three words he never thought he'd say in week one --"That was great!"
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough -- 21 out of 30
As a former "American Idol" contestant, Kellie Pickler is used to performing under pressure. During their first meeting, her partner Derek Hough jokes that they have the same haircut, which makes Kellie giggle. Cut to their first rehearsal and they're both goofing around and having fun. Kellie says "I've met my match" and although they like to have fun, Derek says Kellie is a hard worker.
The two dance the Cha Cha Cha and Bruno Tonioli called it "very, very interesting" but said Kellie needed to work on her leg work. Carrie Ann thought Kellie was "fantastic" and said she has "sass" and "class."
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas -- 21 out of 30
Aly Raisman, one of the "Fierce Five" gymnasts from the London 2012 Olympic games, says that although she's known as a serious athlete, she wants people to see a whole new side to her. Her partner Mark Ballas had to work with Aly on loosening up her moves and right out of the gate, Aly showed off her fun side with a flirty Cha Cha Cha.
It wasn't perfect, but Aly and Mark have some chemistry. Bruno told Aly she can "shake it like the best." Carrie Ann told her she needs to work on her musicality a little bit and that she wants her to not be so safe.
Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus -- 21 out of 30
As the other Olympic champ featured this season, gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill said she watched Kristi Yamaguchi on "Dancing With The Stars" while she was recovering from breast cancer and said that Kristi inspired her to feel better.
She's paired up with Tristan MacManus and the two perform a slow Contemporary routine that's graceful and emotional, even though Tristan is kind of dressed like a character from "Newsies." Carrie Ann said the performance was "golden" and that it was a heart-felt performance that told a story. Len said he loved the gentleness of the dance and while the couple had a few unsteady moments, it was a "beautiful" dance.
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson -- 20 out of 30
Ingo Rademacher might have the upper hand on the other contestants from his days as Jasper "Jax" Jacks on "General Hospital." He has a fanbase, judging by the applause from the audience during his rehearsal footage, and he's used to acting passionate on camera. Just for kicks he and partner Kym Johnson did the infamous "Dirty Dancing" lift in the ocean near his house in Hawaii.
Normally, lifts are a big no-no in the ballroom, but as Carrie Ann explained later, since their dance was Contemporary, it was OK. The athletic actor tells Kym he's not much of a dancer. However, their dance comes off with a lot of passion and it's clear these two work well together.
Carrie Ann said the dance was "very raw" and "very passionate" but Len couldn't disagree more. He was not convinced that Ingo can dance and told the pair, "You can do lifts, I want to see you can dance."
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff -- 20 out of 30
You'd think just winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens last month and breaking four records during the game would be enough for Jacoby Jones, but apparently it's not. NFL players have a record of doing well on "Dancing With The Stars" and Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward and Donald Driver have all taken home the mirror ball trophy.
Jacoby starts the competition with a bit of a setback. He recently had knee surgery and couldn't practice his Cha Cha Cha with partner Karina Smirnoff until a week before the show. The two hit the dance floor with a lot of energy and Jacoby is definitely a crowd pleaser.
He also has good chemistry with Karina, but that doesn't seem to be enough for Len, who told the NFL star his technique and footwork were terrible. Bruno agreed with Len and told Jacoby he has "the goods" but needs to work on his foot placement.
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd -- 19 out of 30
Fresh off "The Bachelor" finale, Sean Lowe tells Peta Murgatroyd that he wants to learn to dance so he won't embarrass new fiancee Catherine Giudici at their wedding. Sean comes off as a little awkward, especially when Peta tells him to rub his body during rehearsal.
The pair perform the Foxtrot and Sean is surprisingly forceful during the dance. Len said that Sean needed to be a bit more refined and to "calm it down a little bit." Bruno said Sean had "an effective pelvic thrust despite being a 'dance virgin'" and agreed that he needed to be a bit more refined for the dance.
Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold -- 18 out of 30
Boxers in the ballroom always provide mixed results. On the one hand you have people like Sugar Ray Leonard and Laila Ali, who are graceful and can hold their own for a while in the competition, and on the other side of the spectrum you have Floyd Mayweather. The less said about his dance skills the better.
We learn that Victor and his siblings had to fend for themselves by the time he was 12 after both parents abandoned them. The boxer is paired with Lindsay Arnold, who is making her debut as a dance pro, and he quickly figures out that boxing and dance have little in common.
Victor and Lindsay dance the Foxtrot and his great smile gets cheers from the crowd despite being a little rough around the edges. Bruno said he has boyish charm and Latino passion, while Len called the choreography "uneventful" and told Victor to make sure he knocks Len's socks off with the Jive next week.
Wynonna Judd and partner Tony Dovolani -- 18 out of 30
Wynonna Judd tells pro champ Tony Dovolani that she's spent the last few months caring for her husband Michael "Cactus" Moser, who was in a motorcycle accident in August. The accident caused him to have his left leg amputated. Wynonna says she's always been a giver and that her shot on "Dancing With The Stars" is the first thing she's done for herself in a long time.
She and Tony perform the Cha Cha Cha and mom Naomi and sister Ashley are in the audience for the routine. Len said he thought she did a very good performance. Bruno said that Wynonna can give plenty more on the dance floor. He added that she was tantalizing him and next time he wants her to deliver large.
Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko -- 18 out of 30
There are three things you have to know about "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Vanderpump. She is one of the least crazy cast members of the reality show, she has a dog named Giggy she takes with her everywhere (seriously, the dog appeared on the show wearing a little tuxedo during her interview with Brooke) and she's been married for 30 years. So when she gets paired with young and hunky new dance pro Gleb Savechenko, she gets a little nervous.
Lisa and Gleb get physically close as he teachers her how to dance and while she's uncomfortable, she jokes she's happy to be as "unfaithful" as it takes to win. Their Foxtrot has a 1940s old Hollywood vibe and Len calls the dance "acceptable but not exceptional." He says that Lisa has to improve on her fluidity. Bruno asked her if she's happy with her "puppy" (Gleb). He also told her to work on her posture and advised her to really press her hips against Gleb.
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess -- 17 out of 30
A lot of people were surprised when Andy Dick was revealed as a cast member and he immediately addressed his past issues in the piece that ran before his routine. Andy says he's had "a bad couple of decades" and that he's sober now. He calls "Dancing" his biggest chance yet.
During the seventh day of rehearsing with new pro Sharna Burgess, Andy hits a breaking point and cries. He tells Sharna he's afraid to be bad. The two dance the Foxtrot in the ballroom and by then, you're kind of rooting for the guy to do well. Bruno said it was like watching Woody Allen doing the Foxtrot, but he enjoyed it in a crazy way. Len said he had moments of sophistication but he had the fluidity of RoboCop.
D.L. Hughley Cheryl Burke -- 12 out of 30
The worst score of the night went to comedian D.L. Hughley, who admitted to Cheryl Burke that he has "legs of a chicken but the heart of a lion." D.L. also told Cheryl he might have some trouble telling his son to clean his room after he sees D.L. in tights and Cuban heels.
D.L. and Cheryl dance the Cha Cha Cha and the judges really let him have it. Bruno said, "OMG. You have terminated the Cha Cha Cha!" Carrie Ann said, "Yikes." She also told D.L. he has to practice harder and that he was disjointed.
Thankfully for D.L., no one gets eliminated this week. He has another week to learn a brand new dance and impress the judges and the audience on March 25 before facing elimination on March 26.
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