Dancing with the Stars

2005, TV Show

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

Season 13, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: In the 13th-season opener, 12 couples perform the cha-cha or the Viennese waltz. Competitors include Chaz Bono, Ricki Lake, Ron Artest, Nancy Grace, David Arquette and Hope Solo.
Original Air Date: Sep 19, 2011

Dancing with the Stars Episode Recap: Monday, Sept. 19, 2011 Season 13, Episode 1

Ready to hit the floor again? Dancing with the Stars is back with 12 new couples and a brand new set. How did everyone all do in their debut?

Oh, snazzy credits too! Everything's changing! The Berge and Brooke Burke —  excuse me, Brooke Burke Charvet —  introduce us to the new abode: a three-level theater-esque set. Everyone got their opera binoculars? The staircase also splits into two! Fancy! It's about time they spruced up the place, no?

If you haven't heard, we've got three new pros this season: Peta and Tristan, who were in the troupe last season, and Maks' lil' bro, Val. First impression? Well, the shirt definitely does fall far from the Chmerkovskiy bods — Val beats Maks to the punch and walks out shirtless. It is on!

So let's get down to it!

Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd: cha-cha
The new Mr. Metta World Peace is going by his given name on the show, which is a shame because Metta Peta is an awesome team name (stop reading my mind, Tom!). He's doing the show for his daughter, Diamond, who beat cancer. Peta thinks the cha-cha is perfect for Ron, but he's too tall and stiff. And girlfriend is right. Ron's got personality to spare and that's really the only redeeming part of this. His footwork's atrocious and is basically clomping around like a horse.  Len says it was all sizzle, no sausage. Bruno says he has a lot of length of bone. I'll leave it at that. Carrie Ann calls him eccentric and sexy, but says he lacked technique.
Score: 14

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: Viennese waltz
This is the first time I've ever heard Rob speak. I have no idea how I made it that long, but I'm proud of it. Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and Lamar are there (and presumably for Ron too). Cheryl thinks he has the potential to go all the way. Uh, one step at a time. No pun intended. Other than the cheese-tastic smile plastered on his face, Rob is doing OK. He actually does have promise — he has some musicality there, but he's way too nervous and stiff, and is totally counting in his head. The bright side? He is already, like, 121 times better than Kim. Bruno wants him to take control. Carrie Ann sees potential and says he cleans up nice. Len is not impressed, but he's not depressed.
Score: 16

Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas: cha-cha
"I'm Kristin Cavallari and I'm not a bitch," Kristin says. Hmm, the lady doth protest too much. So Kristin is going to wrap up the Kardashian trilogy portion of the show here (she dated Brody Jenner). Such great planning! She's doing Dancing to get her mind off being humiliated by her ex-fiance, Jay Cutler, who dumped her days before her wedding dress spread in a magazine came out. That isn't a direct quote, but that's what she means. Kristin is like... Audrina, but not boring. She has natural rhythm, legs for days and is keeping up with Mark's seizure-inducing craziness. Her footwork needs to be sharper, but all the ingredients are there. Carrie Ann lusts after her hair, but doesn't want her to shuffle her feet. Len thinks she went into her shell a little bit compared to the rehearsal package. "Kristin, you know I love a bad girl with bad hips that give bad action," Bruno purrs.
Score: 19

Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani: Viennese waltz
Chynna's hubby Billy Baldwin encouraged her to do the show since she's always loved dancing. I love that Tony always get the women of a certain age. After Kate Gosselin and Wendy Williams, he deserves a good contender though, and Chynna is definitely that. This is hands down the best routine so far — fluid, graceful and undeniably gorgeous. Len says it's close to the best first week dance he's ever seen. Bruno says she looked like she was stepping out of a dream and into his heart. Carrie Ann tosses out a bunch of dance terms that Chynna apparently nailed. (I only understood pirouette.)
Score: 22

Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus: cha-cha
Whoa, Nancy's got the ladies out! She wants to show her twins (as in babies) that she can dance and believes what she's lacking in looks and age, she's making up for in heart. First off, compared to the early rehearsal footage, Nancy looks amazing in that fringe dress and she's doing a decent job. She's a little flimsy here and there, but she's light on her feet and is full of spunk. Bruno had no idea she's so lavishly gifted. Carrie Ann wants her to work on remembering choreography. Len finds it underwhelming.
Score: 16

David Arquette and Kym Johnson: Viennese waltz
David's been sober for eight months and he wants to be "present." He thinks the Viennese waltz is fitting for him because he's a romantic at heart. He does look quite dapper in his penguin tux and is the best male performer so far. There's something very charming about the whole thing and you can see him trying so hard — and doing quite well. He messes up in the middle and does not try to hide it at all, which makes it all more endearing. Courteney and Coco are there! Really, ABC — you should've totally bumped Cougar Town back to fall once David signed on. Missed cross-promotional opportunity here. Carrie Ann wants him to relax a little. Len was very, very impressed and likes that he acknowledged he made a mistake. "You're a dancer," he tells him. Bruno says he looked the part, but wants him to stay with the part.
Score: 18

Elisabetta Canalis and Val Chmerkovskiy: cha-cha
"Most of the people identify me with my past private life," Elisabetta says. Can we not say "George Clooney" on the show? Is this a contract clause? "Your job is to make me look better than Maks," Val tells her. Chmerkovskiy bros are my fave! They start off in bed (Len's going to hate this!) and Val is shirtless, of course. OK, Elisabetta trumps Kristin in the legs department. It's a pretty sexy number in a dirty way and Elisabetta has potential, but she needs some extra muscle and/or pounds on her to give her steps some extra oomph. Now, she's just kind of flailing. Len calls them out on the bed and says she looked too brittle out of Val's arms. "You looked very good in bed," Bruno says and says she needs to learn how to perform. Carrie Ann concurs and wants her to channel the model in her.
Score: 15

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Viennese waltz
Hope Solo is the coolest name in sports. Next to Sebo Kiss (where are my tennis fans?). Hope is having trouble girly-ing it up for the Viennese waltz, but she looks pretty fantastic in that gown, no? Show off those shoulders! For someone whose job consists of standing 80 percent of the time, Hope moves spectacularly well. She has great posture and is floating on the floor. Her upper region is a little stiff and angular, but overall, it's a beautiful routine. Bruno says she has great attack and musicality, but wants her to learn control. Carrie Ann loves the body contact. Len wants a little more femininity in her movements. "I'll work on it," Maks quips. "Yes, you will," Bruno says. Down, boy.
Score: 21

Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya: cha-cha
Doesn't Queer Eye feel, like, 50 million years ago? Carson is bummed he didn't get Maks, Mark or Derek as a partner, but rightly points out that Anna is hot. The turd-colored suit is kind of distracting, even with the sparkles, but he makes up for it with his, well, "Moves Like Jagger." Technique-wise, there's much to be desired, but the whole number is lively, fun and just hilarious between the overly swiveling hips and cat-clawing. I'm not even sure if this is still a cha-cha. Carrie Ann says it's her favorite dance of the night. Len says there were elements of Jagger, swagger and stagger and hopes Carson's not going home tomorrow. Bruno says he's redefining camp as an art form.
Score: 17

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: Viennese waltz

J.R. joined the Army when he was 19 (he's 28 now) and got injured in Iraq before joining All My Children. Karina asks upfront about his injuries. He says he drove over a landmine, sustained burns to over 40 percent of his body and had 33 surgeries. I have no idea if J.R. has had dance experience, but he looks like a pro out there —  very suave and debonair. His lines are lovely and he has great form, and he's actually leading Karina. Len says "J.R." stands for "just right." Bruno can't wait to see his hips in action in a Latin dance. Carrie Ann feels the "genu-wine" emotional quality.
Score: 22

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: Viennese waltz
Ricki is 42 and wants to get her "slammin' body back." Kirstie Alley inspired her to do the show, and hey, why not? She looks fab. It's kind of adorable how much of a fan-girl Ricki is, squealing over Derek. (Welcome back, Derek!) This is a very understated, elegant, if a little boring, routine. Ricki is gliding on the floor and is clearly a natural mover, but needs to work on her lines and footwork. Bruno calls it wonderful. Carrie Ann calls her a princess. Len has no idea what went on with her feet, but loves the movement.
Score: 20

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer: cha-cha
Chaz gets the pimp spot, obviously. He feels pressure from all the critics, but mostly wants to "not suck" for all his supporters. And he does not suck. For a self-described overweight fortysomething, Chaz has impeccable timing and movement. His footwork is also solid and looks completely relaxed for being the final dancer and compared to basically half the people who went before him. I'm totally getting a Kyle Massey vibe from him, and lest we forget, Lacey took Kyle all the way to the finals. They don't make great use of the floor, but that's the least of their worries. And hey, Kyle is there! Carrie Ann says Chaz did not disappoint. Len says he came out with the right attitude. Bruno calls him cuddly, cute and joyous.
Score: 17

So that's that! J.R. and Chynna tied for the top spot with 22 points each, while Ron is dead last with 14.

What did you think of the premiere? Who was the most impressive? The least? Do you like the new stage? Is Val ever going to wear a shirt? What will happen if "George Clooney" is uttered on the show? Who do you think will get the boot tomorrow?

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Ready to hit the floor again? Dancing with the Stars is back with 12 new couples and a brand new set. How did everyone all do in their debut?

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Premiered: June 01, 2005, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
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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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