Dancing with the Stars

2005, TV Show

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

Season 18, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: The 18th-season opener begins with 12 celebrities, including Drew Carey, Billy Dee Williams, Candace Cameron Bure, NeNe Leakes and Cody Simpson. In a new twist, viewers get to vote to switch the stars' dance pairings at a certain point in the season. Also: Jason Derulo performs.
Original Air Date: Mar 17, 2014
Guest Cast Jason Derulo

Dancing with the Stars Recap: Monday, March 17, 2014 Season 18, Episode 1

Welcome back to the ballroom, Dancing with the Stars fans! The reality juggernaut got its 18th season underway Monday night, with plenty of changes on tap.

Before the competition gets underway, the pros pair off with each other during a live performance from Jason DeRulo, and new co-host Erin ("go Bragh"?) Andrews wishes everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

In voiceover, Tom Bergeron describes the current cast as the "most competitive ever." Did they live up to the hype? Let's find out!

The performances:

NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani (cha-cha)
The dance:
Real Housewives star NeNe is no stranger to mugging for the camera, and she seems to be concentrating a little more on her facial expressions than on her footwork (and inexplicably cries profusely during the judges' feedback). But she's not afraid to loosen up a little, and it's not bad for a first outing.
What the judges say:
Len calls the dance an "all-you-can-eat buffet of fun and entertainment." Bruno says her footwork needs a bit of work, and Carrie Ann tells NeNe to go a bit bigger.
Score:
21

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd (foxtrot)
The dance:
Ahead of their number, viewers learn that Peta and James weren't exactly strangers prior to rehearsals — in fact, they had dated briefly. Awkward! But maybe this will serve them well, as they have great chemistry for the foxtrot. James seems a little stiff at times, but we'll chalk that up to nerves.
What the judges say:
Bruno says James needs to relax a little and work on his footwork. Carrie Ann says she has a crush on the boy bander and loves his "natural elegance." (Watch out, Peta!) And Len says James' frame is a little too loose.
Score:
21

Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy (foxtrot)
The dance:
Winnie Cooper's got moves! Danica looks like a complete natural out on the floor, and even playfully "boops" Val's nose at one point. She's completely graceful, and this pair is a real joy to watch together. We might have a frontrunner!
What the judges say:
The judges nitpick about Danica's shoulders and hand placement, but all agree that they loved the dance overall, and compliment the energy between Danica and Val.
Score:
24

Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff (contemporary)
The dance:
Surly Sean may be a former pro hockey player, but he channels his inner figure skater for this number, nailing lift after lift and even showing off a few leaps and bounds of his own. Towards of the end of the dance especially though, he's concentrating a little too hard and doesn't seem to be very natural — but that will likely come with time.
What the judges say:
Len says the dance needed a little more finesse (which is really more a critique of Karina's choreography than anything). Bruno tells Sean he needs to work on his transitions but overall it was very good, and Carrie Ann says she's an early fan.
Score:
20

Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater (cha-cha)
The dance:
Billy Dee and Emma have a little bit of fun with this Star Wars themed cha-cha. Like last season, when she was partnered with Bill Engvall, Emma may have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to partners. Billy Dee (who, side note, is 77 years old and has had two hip replacements) is a little stiff and awkward, to put it kindly. Think Grandpa at a wedding.
What the judges say:
Bruno compares Billy Dee to C-3PO. Carrie Ann says it was a "little too simple" and asks for more. A sputtering Len compliments Billy for being on time and not forgetting the routine.
Score:
15

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (cha-cha)
The dance:
Meryl and Maks' timing is a little off in parts at the start of the dance, but they eventually find their rhythm and look great together. Guess having an Olympic gold medal in ice dancing really does give one a leg up.
What the judges say:
We can't really hear what Carrie Ann said, because the audience's screams are deafening. "You're nice on ice, but you're good on wood," Len quips. And Bruno dubs Meryl the "Queen of Spins."
Score:
24

Candace Cameron-Bure and Mark Ballas (contemporary)
The dance:
Props to Mark for the most inventive choreography we've seen so far tonight! He and Candace start out and finish up on the ground, with a tight, expressive upright routine in between that highlights Candace's athleticism.
What the judges say:
It's universal gushing from the judges' table. Bruno compliments how "dynamic and dramatic" the performance was. Carrie Ann is similarly blown away (and gives the pair the first 9 of the evening).
Score:
25

Cody Simpson and Witney Carson (cha-cha)
The dance:
Witney makes her pro debut with an energetic, suggestive cha-cha that's both entertaining and completely fun (and exhausting) to watch. Cody and Witney seem like they could dance for the entire two hours and barely break a sweat. (Erin Andrews notes she feels like she's "in a Doublemint commercial," ha!)
What the judges say:
Bruno praises their youthful energy, but both he and Carrie Ann tell Cody to keep an eye on his foot placement. Len agrees that his finesse needs a little work.
Score:
22

Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke (foxtrot)
The dance:
An 80-lbs. lighter Drew needs to loosen up a bit — okay, a lot — but like Bill Engvall last season, he's working the charming comedian angle a bit, and watching him work the floor is amusing if nothing else. He's got a lot of work to do if he wants to compete with some of the top scorers though.
What the judges say:
Carrie Ann dubs Drew the "crowd-pleaser" of the season who'll make everybody smile. Len calls the dance "watchable," and Bruno applauds Drew for adding a "personal touch" to smooth out the "creases" in the dance.
Score:
21

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough (cha-cha)
The dance:
Working with two prosthetic legs (and coming off a bronze medal win in the Paralympics last week), Amy says during rehearsals that she's not sure what she's capable of. The answer: a heck of a lot! It's clear that, at least when it comes to the foxtrot, Amy isn't hampered at all by her disability. Watching her tight, fast and completely seamless movements is nothing short of amazing.
What the judges say:
Bruno calls Amy "Wonder Woman" and says he's "gobsmacked." Len says it's obvious the judges won't be scoring her any differently than any of the other contestants. And a very emotional Carrie Ann says she's completely shocked.
Score:
24

Diana Nyad and Henry Bialykov (foxtrot)
The dance:
Diana says her biggest struggle early on is trying to figure out how to adapt to wearing heels, but there's a marked improvement between her rehearsal footage and actual performance. Like Witney, Henry is also making his pro debut — and while the choreography seems to get away from the pro at times, her movements are mostly on point.
What the judges say:
Bruno tells Diana to be a bit lighter on her feet, and Carrie Ann compliments her holds. Len says she exceeded his expectations, but still needs to be a bit more fluid.
Score:
18

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess (contemporary)
The dance:
Going head-to-head against his Olympic partner Meryl, Charlie puts his ice dancing skills to good use for this elegantly theatrical contemporary number, which features plenty of lifts and one impressive spin.
What the judges say:
A giddy Carrie Ann calls the dance "poetry in motion." Len says it was "like ice dancing without the ice," but adds that he's looking forward to seeing what Charlie can do with ballroom dances. Bruno describes the debut as "astonishing." Nines all around!
Score:
27

Before signing off, Tom and Erin introduce the first twist of the season. Next week, the pairs will be working on dance styles that were chosen by the stars rather than the pros — i.e. the type of dance each celeb said they were most looking forward to working on upon being cast. That should be interesting!

What did you think of the Season 18 premiere? Do you like the new band? How did Erin Andrews do in her debut? Which couple are you rooting for, and who do you think will be sent home next week? Sound off in the comments!

 

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Welcome back to the ballroom, Dancing with the Stars fans! The reality juggernaut got its 18th season underway Monday night, with plenty of changes on tap.

Before the competition gets underway, the pros pair off with each other during a live performance from Jason DeRulo, and new co-host Erin ("go Bragh"?) Andrews wishes everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

In voiceover, Tom Bergeron describes the current cast as the "most competitive ever." Did they live up to the hype? Let's find out!

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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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