As judge Carrie Ann Inaba cooed to Gilles Marini — already back in second place after the Dancing With the Stars Season 15 premiere — "I missed you!"
Same here! If we could, we’d give Gilles a full kiss on his lips, just like Kirstie Alley to Emmy winner Tom Bergeron. But that’s just a normal Monday for us. We missed all of the All-Stars — yes, even Bristol Palin. She may not be one of the best, but she deserved her “most improved” badge. Who was one of the best? Almost everyone else, but the judges were especially fond of Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke, the Season 3 team that danced last (always a showcase spot) and the only winners who returned to dance together.
But it’s already like a pro ballroom competition out there and that’s going to make things hard for the judges and the viewers. How can we tell who is the best when everyone is already at the same high level? Everyone but Pamela Anderson, that is. It hurts to single her out, but her Cha-Cha-Cha with our fake boyfriend Tristan MacManus stood out like a hairy chest in a land of waxed torsos. Will they make it past tomorrow night? We know MacManiacs will vote like crazy to save them, so if they make it through that could be bad news for … who? Next in line are Kirstie and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who have their own equally passionate fans.
It’ll be sad no matter who goes home, but let’s focus on the good news tonight. Like the fact that everyone is 3,000 times more sexy this season. Bring it on!
Here’s a quick rundown of where the All-Stars stand after the premiere:
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke — 24.5 out of 30
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd — 24 out of 30
Sabrina Bryan & Louis van Amstel — 22.5 out of 30
Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough — 22 out of 30
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff — 22 out of 30
Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower — 21.5 out of 30
Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy — 21.5 out of 30
Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya — 21.5 out of 30
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani — 21 out of 30
Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson — 20.5 out of 30
Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas — 19.5 out of 30
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — 19 out of 30
Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus — 17 out of 30
Read on for a full recap of the Week 1 action:
1. Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson — Cha-Cha-Cha to "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" by Michael Jackson — The smoke machine survived to launch this season! Joey & Kym have a very sparkly intro. Did you see those pants/leggings! Right out of the gate it’s clear this is going to be an unusually good season. Their chemistry is still strong from Season 4. Very fun. Very cute. This routine would probably get a 9 on a normal season — and we’d only see it around Week 8 or 9 too. How will the judges handle that issue? Well...
JUDGES: Head judge Len Goodman started the show, as usual. He said their expectations were higher this time. What was good has got to be great. They changed the scoring this season, so they now have “half point” measures. Len called Joey a boomerang and said he loves watching him dance. He’s full of enthusiasm and energy. His posture was funny on occasions and he should check out his footwork here and there. Bruno Tonioli said “You always bring it on and bring it large! And I like a man that gives it large. That’s the way to do it.” There he goes already! Bruno echoed the posture issues. Carrie Ann Inaba said Joey is one of her favorite showmen and that’s the way to start the All-Stars season.
SCORES: Carrie Ann: 6.5 (She also got mad at Tom for cutting her off. Do not take on our beloved Emmy winner!) Len: 7, Bruno: 7 = 20.5 out of 30
Vote for Joey & Kym at 1-800-868-3401 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-01)
2. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough — Foxtrot to "Good Time" by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen — These two are so cute — they’re like the golden homecoming king and queen. She’s even wearing yellow, in case we didn’t get that she’s little miss sunshine. The routine was clean and polished. It’s going to be hard to compare couples on anything other than just personal preference of who you like better and want to see dance again.
JUDGES: Bruno said the Foxtrot was so loaded it was like two dances for the price of one. He even saw some sex appeal, which only he would see. He also saw improvement from her as a performer. Carrie Ann said “That is what All-Stars season is all about.” She loved it and told Bruno they have a right to be more creative in the interpretation. Len said what they did, they did well. “But I’m really a cup of tea in a world of lattes.” Ha! For him, it didn’t feel or look like a Foxtrot and that disappointed him. They had to know that was coming. Derek probably went for fan/voter entertainment instead of Len’s fuddy-duddy traditionalism.
SCORES: 8, 6.5, 7.5 = 22 out of 30. Well, we know who is leaning in what direction already!
Vote for Shawn & Derek at 1-800-868-3402 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-02)
3. Sabrina Bryan & Louis van Amstel — Cha-Cha-Cha to "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction — Louis said she could be a frontrunner and that put pressure on her. They started with a bang. Very sexy. She’s a great entertainer too. It’s good to see Louis be able to let loose instead of just gently leading someone through a routine, like he usually has to, especially on Week 1.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said her favorite firecracker is back in the house. “There’s nothing like a woman scorned.” Tell us about it! But Sabrina has to be careful because she sometimes over dances, Carrie Ann said. Len said it was clean and precise and had a lot of impact, “but so does a hammer.” (Yikes.) It needed finesse. The audience hated that. But he said, so far, it’s his favorite dance of the night. Bruno said she unleashed fury on the dance floor. She missed a few passes because she went for it so much.
SCORES: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5 = 22.5 out of 30
Vote for Sabrina & Louis at 1-800-868-3403 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-03)
4. Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower — Foxtrot to "Pride and Joy" by Marvin Gaye — Chelsie called Helio a perfect partner. They look beautiful together. Very smooth and classy. Their Foxtrot is more traditional and identifiable as a Foxtrot, so it should be Len’s cup of tea. It’s elegant, but is it wow?
JUDGES: Len said the song title was pride and joy and for him it was mostly a joy to watch. There were one or two “incidents” and he had some foot issues. Bruno said Helio messed things up quite a bit, but he has style and charm. He’s the first man in a Foxtrot, which is hard. Carrie Ann echoed his charisma and charm but she’d like to see more body contact to help him with his leading.
SCORES: 7, 7.5, 7 = 21.5 out of 30 (Their comments made it sound like it would be lower)
Vote for Helio & Chelsie at 1-800-868-3404 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-04)
5. Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus — Cha-Cha-Cha to "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse — SHIRTLESS TRISTAN. Ahem. Sorry. He does have a jacket, but with that hair (on his head and under the open jacket) he looks like the kind of hard partying rock star Pam loves. Their giggly hot-for-teacher chemistry is already cute. Pam called out Bristol for having the Tea Party vote, but that may be a dated comment, since we’re not even sure the Tea Party is still backing their girl from two years ago. Their dance itself? A non All-Stars dance. The only one so far. This is the kind of dance you see on a regular season, around Week 1 or 2. It stands out, especially after two champions have danced.
JUDGES: Bruno said “Pamela, you look like a girl who could go all the way.” Oh, Bruno! But she has to put in the work. The work wasn’t there so far. She has to work harder. She’s been traveling for the past few weeks, so that may have something to do with her lack of rehearsal time. Carrie Ann said Pam was living the drama of the dance, but it was a bit uncomfortable because she wasn’t quite there technique-wise. Len said it was a bit like a kid on a bike when you take the training wheels off. It was shaky but she didn’t fall over and she got through it.
SCORES: 5.5, 5.5, 6 = 17 out of 30
Vote for Pamela & Tristan at 1-800-868-3405 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-05)
6. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani — Foxtrot to "Hey Big Spender" by Sweet Charity — Tony said Melissa is arguably the best partner he’s ever had. He’s getting a second chance at winning too. He felt like they could’ve done more on Season 8 and he doesn’t want to fail her. (Aww!) They sound the most competitive so far. Her dance starts with a solo, which is clever. It’s one of the more creative Foxtrots. It has flash, but also traditional technique. She is such a strong natural dancer — and Tony showed her off. But was there enough dancing in hold, for Len?
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said you can’t go wrong with a little “Sweet Charity.” She said Melissa has the most exquisite lines, but she has to add more body contact. Len said it was a little bit theatrical for him (dude! come on!) and the audience booed. He’s hurt by the boos already. Get used to it! Bruno said she had smooth fluidity. She has to have more body contact on hold, but overall it was excellent.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30 (They probably would’ve gotten higher scores for more dancing in hold, but they put on an entertaining routine. Theatrical in a good way!)
Vote for Melissa & Tony at 1-800-868-3406 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-06)
7. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff — Cha-Cha-Cha to "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO — Love their colorful costumes! Karina said she was freaking out in their early rehearsals because Apolo was so rusty. Karina also is very detail-oriented and Apolo joked that she’d even want to correct his eyebrows. (Go for the soul patch, Karina.) But these two on the dance floor? Rusty our left eyebrows! They have the showmanship down pat, but he does need to move a bit more. She did more of the work than he did. But they are so watchable. Chemistry already.
JUDGES: Len said, in Olympic terms, it wasn’t a gold-medal performance, it was more bronze. It needed a bit more hip action, but he came out and sold it. Bruno said he was buzzing his eager beaver (!). “That looked great,” Bruno said. Carrie Ann said “Is it just me or did you just get like 3,000 times more sexy”? She’s single now, Apolo! She loved his hip action.
SCORES: 7.5, 7, 7.5 = 22 out of 30
Vote for Apolo & Karina at 1-800-868-3407 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-07)
8. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd — Foxtrot to "Call Me Irresponsible" by Frank Sinatra — These two couldn’t be more sophisticated and they look amazing together. The chemistry will come with time. Right now it’s mostly technique and just two attractive people looking good together. Strong dance, nice and traditional.
JUDGES: Bruno said it had style, panache and finesse with old time Hollywood class and glamour. Technically it was so good. Carrie Ann told Gilles “I missed you.” Yes! It was poetic and gorgeous. She said “Jon Hamm didn’t win last night ‘cause Gilles Marini had to come out here and win it tonight!” Len said he had sophistication and did a terrific job.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30
Vote for Gilles & Peta at 1-800-868-3410 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-10) ** Look sharp, ‘cause Gilles & Peta danced eighth but their voting number was still listed as 10th.
9. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas — Cha-Cha-Cha to "Blow Me" by P!nk — Bristol does look amazing now. She said she forgot how over-the-top Mark can be, telling her to shake her ass and get sexy. That’s why we love Mark! After about 10 seconds of dancing it was clear she was a lot better than the first time. As good as Gilles or Melissa? No way. But pretty good.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann was taken aback and voted Bristol “most improved.” Her legs were beautiful and her confidence was better. She just needs more pop. Len said the first thing he wrote down was “far more confident.” She has great legs. She needs to work on her arms. Overall it was a great improvement. Bristol was refreshed, revived and refurbished, Bruno said. But she needs power and focus.
SCORES: 6.5, 6.5, 6.5 = 19.5 out of 30
Vote for Bristol & Mark at 1-800-868-3409 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-09)
10. Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya — Foxtrot to "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles — Anna’s teaching style is very “tough love,” Drew said. He beat her on Season 2, when she was with Jerry Rice. Maybe she wants to punish him. Then again, that’s just Anna! Another clean, classy, elegant Foxtrot.
JUDGES: Len said it was all a bit hard and hectic for him. He wanted Drew to soften up his arms and relax more. Bruno said Dynamic Drew’s chemistry and synchronicity with Anna were great. The dance had lots of energy, but sometimes he does stiffen up. Carrie Ann said the last time he was on he had so much trouble with his shoulders. His shoulders and posture were great, she said, but sometimes he does get a little rigid.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7.5 = 21.5 out of 30
Vote for Drew & Anna at 1-800-868-3408 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-08) ** Note: Drew and Gilles must’ve traded places for some reason. Drew danced 10th, but his voting number was listed for eighth.
11. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy — Cha-Cha-Cha — SHIRTLESS VAL. Ahem. Sorry. Feeling the open shirts tonight. We’re easy. Kelly loves Val, but she was the original DWTS winner and back on Season 1 there were only six weeks, so there are a lot of dances she doesn’t know. Val also doesn’t know what to do with her huge knockers. Appreciate them! In that skimpy Cha-Cha outfit, it’s like she was daring herself to have another wardrobe malfunction. She was the original queen of them too! She looked great, but had a couple of lost moments in her eyes at the end.
JUDGES: Bruno stood up and said “Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!” She had never done Cha-Cha before and she was a stunner. But she needs to stretch her legs. Carrie Ann said Apolo isn’t the only one who got a whole lot sexier. “You two have insane chemistry, it’s ridiculous!” Her core strength will take her far. Len said she wasn’t this good on Season 1. Carrie Ann fought with him about that. Len complimented Val’s choreography but said he saw some of Kelly’s hunched-over anxiousness.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7.5 = 21.5 out of 30
Vote for Kelly & Val at 1-800-868-3411 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-11)
12. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Foxtrot to “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele — Their friendship chemistry is so obvious. It’s great fun to watch them in rehearsals. They could have their own show together. It doesn’t require dancing, but we’ll take it. Maks looked his handsome best all in black, with short hair and a close beard. You don’t always need to be shirtless to be sexy.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said Kirstie has the most beautiful, sensual quality to her dance. She didn’t turn it all the way up to her full speed, though. It wasn’t quite as sharp as it could be. Len said she has to lift her ribcage. He got testy ‘cause Carrie Ann and Maks had a little giggle moment (!) that took away from his own critique. Len said Kirstie's quality of movement wasn’t superb. Bruno stood up and said he loved the drama. So he provided even more! Bruno said, technically, she has to think about shoulders, frame and footwork. FULL ON LIP LOCK! Kirstie gave Tom Bergeron a full kiss on his lips for his Emmy, all while Maks pinched his butt.
SCORES: 6.5, 6, 6.5 = 19 out of 30
Vote for Kirstie & Maks at 1-800-868-3412 (aka 1-800-VOTE4-12)
13. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke — Cha-Cha-Cha to “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin — Cheryl hasn’t won since Season 3 with Emmitt. (Her first win was with Drew.) Twinkle Toes is back — with sparkly green shoes like a leprechaun! (Tristan, you OK with that?) Emmitt has performance power in spades and these two already dance so well together. Cha-Cha was one of his best dances the first time, so it’s not a shock to see he still has it.
JUDGES: Len smiled and said you can teach technique but you can’t teach flair. The last dance of the evening and the best, Len said. Bruno said he had truckloads of charisma. Carrie Ann kept it short with “yabba dabba doo!” He was born to dance, she said.
SCORES: 8, 8.5, 8 = 24.5 out of 30 — highest of the night. Hmm. Fair?