Dancing with the Stars

2005, TV Show

Dancing with the Stars Episode: "Dancing With the Stars"

Season 9, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: The ninth-season opener begins with 16 celebrities, the show's largest cast ever. Competitors include Donny Osmond, Melissa Joan Hart, Michael Irvin and Chuck Liddell. On the first night of competition, the male celebrities perform.
Original Air Date: Sep 21, 2009

Dancing with the Stars Episode Recap: Monday, Sept. 21, 2009 Season 9, Episode 1

Are you ready to hit the floor again? Dancing with the Stars is back with a brand new season and a record 16 celebrities vying for the coveted — but easily breakable — Mirrorball trophy. On Monday, the male celebrities will dance first (how progressive!), while the ladies will make their debut Tuesday before two couples are eliminated Wednesday.

Hey, y'all! We're back! Doesn't it just seem like yesterday Gilles and Cheryl were one awesome Flashdance away from winning? And now, here we are, and Cheryl has Tom DeLay. What a difference four months make.

As I'm sure you've heard, there are lots o' changes this season, including one and a half dances in the first week. Each couple will do their regular dance and then four pairs will face off in two relays. Get it, got it, good? No? Well, a further explanation is below. But for now, let's dance!

Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff: Cha-Cha
Remember when this was on the Disney Channel? Yeah. Speaking of Shaq, it's a shame Shaq Vs. is over because this is what you call perfect cross-promotion. Aaron tells us his ideal coach needs to beautiful. Priorities, people, priorities. He can't concentrate on the cha-cha because Karina's such a "hottie." She says he's a flirt. Hey, remember when Maks and Karina split... Now, the dance. I can't concentrate either, but that's because a chicken has died on Karina's breasts. Maybe it's that chicken Ernie Anastos' weatherman buddy was, uh, plucking. And her pants are seriously the ones she wore at the Emmys on Sunday. I guess the economy is bad. Anyhow, Aaron looks pretty solid here and I didn't expect any less from him. If you've seen any of his prepubescent videos, you know he's got rhythm. He seems to be rushing it a little bit, but that could be from nerves. His follow-throughs and hips are workin' it pretty well too. He almost botches it at the end by dropping Karina, but holds onto her. And hello, Backstreet Boys! Be still my heart! We still need a BSB dude to come on Dancing. Paging, Kevin Richardson. Len says Aaron's full of potential even though he was stiff in a few parts. No pun intended. Bruno agrees, but thinks he pushes it too much. Carrie Ann, who's apparently very well-versed in AC's career, thinks it was a great despite his minor missteps.
Score: 22

Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya: Foxtrot
Chuck wants to use his power to knock 'em all out, but wants to show everyone that UFC fighters are not mean and scary people. That means learning how to smile in the elegant foxtrot. This is not as horrible as you think it will be. It's actually very Ty-ish — big, muscular, macho guy who's emotionally deficient in the face, charming his way through the dance floor — but the techniciality is definitely not there yet, if at all. Chuck's, like, a step-and-half behind Anna and looks like he's roaming and flailing about aimlessly, but the charisma and half-smile are there. Bruno finds it rough. Carrie Ann thinks he was smooth and charming, but needs to "find the purpose" behind the movement. Len wants him to be more feminine.
Score: 16

Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer: Cha-Cha
Mark, our resident Dancing blogger, is the cat, er, "grasshopper," everyone's saying we have to keep an eye on. He's got the karate background and shows off a sick split — with a crotch close-up and all. Isn't this a family show? Of course, they're dancing to "Kung Fu Fighting" in kung-fu gear. The cha-cha Chairman has definitely got moves — kung-fu moves. I can't decide if this is a cha-cha with martial arts movements or martial arts with cha-cha steps. Or maybe I'm just overwhelmed by the song and the costumes. In any case, Mark is off to a good start here. He has quick feet and even quicker hips; however, I don't think he really has chemistry with Lacey, which could pose trouble later on. They just seem kind of robotic together. Carrie Ann loves the Asian theme and thinks he has potential, but needs to watch the "woo-chu" arms. Len wants them to lay off the kung-fu themes and says he needs to work on the footwork. Bruno went back a year to the Beijing Olympics and agrees with Len about the footwork.
Score: 21

Ashley Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska: Foxtrot
Like father, like son? Edyta thinks Ashley is perfect ballroom material, only to be disappointed at first. Ashley's having trouble with seemingly every step and later tells Edyta about his brain surgery, which kept him in a wheelchair for a year. The routine is lulling me to sleep. They both look gorgeous in teal, if that counts for anything, but Ashley seems tentative with the steps. Maybe it's just opening night jitters. He told me he's been trying to mentally get into the mindset that he can dance and do this. Overall, there's nothing inherently Cloris-esque about their foxtrot, but nothing exciting about it either. Ashley's a funny guy, so where's the personality? Len thinks he had great footwork, but needs finesse. Bruno thinks he lacks showmanship, unlike his dad, George, who seems to have spent the past week in a tanning bed. Carrie Ann wants him to define himself in a pool of 16. Pops George is crossing his fingers.
Score: 15

Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson: Foxtrot
So can we pencil in Donny for at least the semis now? If Marie can get to the finals, isn't the sky the limit for big bro? Donny suffers from the "Osmond Slouch" and is having trouble with the initmate positions. So that's why Kym's starting out by laying on the floor then? Donny is selling the hell out of this thing. That's what happens when you've been performing since you were an "embryo," as he says, I guess. The foxtrot requires control and he's exhibiting little of that, but you would never be able to tell since he's grinning up the joint like crazy. Hey, if you look like you believe it, everyone will too, right? Bruno slams his shoulders. Carrie Ann wants to see the holds. Len thinks it's too theatrical and razzmatazz. But bigger concern: Why is Jermaine Jackson with Marie?
Score: 20

Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower: Foxtrot
Full disclosure: I love snowboarding (watching it) and I love Louie. He is absolutely adorable and is one of the smoothest pipe riders. My only concern for him dancing is his posture since you're constantly bending over and ducking your head to stomp those spins in snowboarding, and we know we can't have any "Osmond Slouch" on the dance floor. Chelsie wants him to be elegant and graceful, and he doesn't think he can be. Their dance is like that rolling bulldog that can't get up: totally cute, if slightly inept. Louie's clearly not a natural and is trying his darndest, but can't completely nail it yet. He slips up a little bit, but recovers well. His frame and lines are also three times better than his fellow sloucher, Donny. Carrie Ann thinks it was an honest effort and needs to watch the slipping. Len doesn't like his shaggy 'do, but loves his technique. Bruno was watching a dancing hobbit ("Louie Frodo," Tom says), but thinks he's going to be "really, really good."
Score: 19

Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova: Cha-Cha
Michael's goal is to beat Jerry Rice, but needs to loosen those hips first if he has a chance to eclipse Jerry's 21 on his cha-cha. He's got those hips working right away, but it seems to be the steps that are failing him. They're a bit slow and repetitive, but Michael knows how to play to the crowd. This isn't going to score a 22, though. Sorry, Mike. Len more or less says he hates it and wants more content. Bruno thinks he has a great presence, but needs to reign everything in. Carrie Ann, ditto. Guys, it wasn't that bad and certainly wasn't as staid as Ashley and Edyta's routine was.
Score: 13

Tom DeLay & Cheryl Burke: Cha-Cha
Hey, politicians are people too, so it's Hammer time. That means a close-up of Tom's booty. He's going to shake it, right? He's trying to work those hips, but "going left is absolutely ridiculous" for him. This dance is supposed to be a throwback to his college days when the song came out, and he's at least displaying that youthful exuberance. So, uh, is this even a cha-cha? You need more than ass-shaking and finger-waving in a cha-cha. No politico can fool me on Dancing! The pace of the dance also seems like it's crawling. I'm sure Cheryl had to dumb this down a little for him (and his foot), but if you're going to do something simpler, you need to do it right. Still, Tom has more hip action than I do, so that's saying something. Bruno says he's crazier than Sarah Palin and has no idea what he did. Carrie Ann needs to get the image of "Wild Thing" and thinks he's light on his feet. Len finds part of it to be magic and part of it to be tragic, to which Tom shakes his booty again. Someone tame him, please.
Score: 16

Relays
The dudes will be split into two groups of four and each pair will perform for a 30-second routine. Each couple will receive a score depending on their rank. I think these are rather unnecessary. I'd much rather see a full routine than a 30-second snippet. How much can you really judge from that? You just get going and then it's ovah!

Salsa (Ashley and Edyta; Chuck and Anna; Donny and Kym; Louie and Chelsie)
Ashley and Edyta kick it off, and are rather forgettable. It's lackluster, slow and tentative, like their foxtrot effort. Where's the fire, Ash? Chuck and Anna provide a much-needed energetic boost. Chuck seems way more comfortable and relaxed with this than he was with the foxtrot. Anna looked like she was going to fall over his leg at the end though. Balance, y'all. Donny's still hamming it up like crazy, but is moving like crazy too. He's working the hips and seems the most technically proficient so far. He still needs to dial down the happy a notch. Louie flips in. He and Chelsie are definitely moving the quickest and their routine seems most salsa-like. Len may not like those gimmicky flips though. Donny gets the biggest kudos. Bruno calls Chuck a revelation, while Carrie Ann dubs Louie's routine "ambitious. And Ashley? The less the said, the better. Actually, not much was said at all.
Rankings:
4th: Ashley and Edyta - 4 points
3rd: Chuck and Anna - 6 points
2nd: Louie and Chelsie - 8 points
1st: Donny and Kym - 10 points

Viennese Waltz (Aaron and Karina; Mark and Lacey; Tom and Cheryl; Michael and Anna)
Aaron and his receding hairline start things off again. He's still looking good — very restrained, smooth and light on his feet. He also seems fearless, but not in the scenery-chewing way like Donny. I don't think he will place lower than second here, which means he'll definitely have the top score of the night. Mark comes in next and gone are the kung-fu moves. He's doing his best Tom DeLay ("stiff and uncomfortable") to pull off the posture but is rushing through the whole thing. Slow down, dude. I still don't feel anything between him and Lacey. Tom follows and drags Cheryl across the floor. That probably took up a good seven seconds. Smart, guys. (Sidenote: Did he not sound like the uber-creepy when he said he was playing the older man here?) Michael and Anna close things out. Their footwork seem slightly better, but they're still a bit off-beat. Len thinks Tom's was skippy and Mark had control. Bruno loves Aaron's rotations and Mark's form. All agree Michael was much better.
Rankings:
4th: Tom and Cheryl - 4 points
3rd: Michael and Anna - 6 points
2nd: Mark and Lacey - 8 points
1st: Aaron and Karina - 10 points

(Second sidenote: Can someone tell Samantha to stop asking everyone what they thought of their competition? What are they going to say? "They sucked and will clearly be going home this week"?)

And with that, we have Aaron and Karina in first place with 32 points. Ashley and Edyta, and Michael and Anna bring up the rear with 19 points each.

What did you think of opening night? Did the guys deliver? Who surprised you? Who was a disappointment? There's certainly no Gilles-breakout type, but some definitely have potential. Did you like the opening number from the male pros? Were the judges inexplicably harsh on Michael? Are you blinded by Donny's teeth yet?

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Are you ready to hit the floor again? Dancing with the Stars is back with a brand new season and a record 16 celebrities vying for the coveted — but easily breakable — Mirrorball trophy. On Monday, the male celebrities will dance first (how progressive!), while the ladies will make their debut Tuesday before two couples are eliminated Wednesday.
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Premiered: June 01, 2005, on ABC
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Premise: Celebrities are paired with professionals in a ballroom-dance competition, with one pair typically eliminated each week.

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