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***We weren’t going to cover this show, but we took one look at this girl’s recaps and had to give her a corner office. And now please welcome our newest TVgasm Staff writer…CattyFan!
Welcome to the new season’s of ABC’s smash hit, Dancing With The Stars!
Really? This is what qualifies for “stars”? Who are some of these people? Before we get to the stellar line-up of celebrities, let’s kill around 15 minutes of the show. It helps justify the three day roll out of this entertaining little piece of fluff.
First of all, we, the viewers, are told Samantha Harris is out on baby-leave (congratulations on the healthy baby girl) and has been replaced by Drew “The Definition of Little Man Syndrome” Lachey. He has no business trying to be a host. Good grief…he could barely answer the questions coherently when he was a contestant, and now he’ll be conducting the interviews? Couldn’t they afford someone with experience?
When did Ed McMahon stop being considered sexy enough?
The new season opened with the pros gleefully partnering each other instead of the “stars” with which they’ve been saddled. I didn’t pay much attention, as it has nothing to do with the actual competition, but the audience loved the upbeat number.
Man, that hair’s got talent!
Then the “stars” were introduced:
Jennie Garth, late of Beverly Hills 90210 and some highly forgettable c-grade sitcom on a network I can’t remember. The show generously lists her as an actress. She’s partnered with a new guy named Derek.
Josie Maran is with Alec, the guy who, along with Kelly Monaco, won the first season (in what was clearly a rigged vote.)
Sabrina Bryan…never heard of her. She’s paired with a guy named Mark.
Entertainer (not just singer anymore) Marie Osmond and her partner Jonathan the Human Ken Doll make their entrance, followed by Mel B. (a.k.a. “Scary Spice”) with Maksim…the reason most women tune in to this silly venture. Maksim won me over several seasons back with his rather memorable “compliment” on Tia Carrere’s improved dancing: “It doesn’t suck as much.”
Don’t go changin’!
Jane Seymore (why has she stooped to this show?) walks down the steps with Tony, who is rumored to have a tendency to sleep with his charges.
Then comes Cameron Mathison, who plays bugged-eyed Ryan Lavery on All My Children. On his arm is the ever-stunning Edyta. You can always tell how bad her partner is going to be by how little she’s wearing. Last season, while paired with John Ratzenberger, I believe she was completely nude at least twice. The fact that Mathison tripped coming down the stairs during his entrance explains why Edyta was only wearing a scarf. It’s gonna be a chilly season for this poor woman.
Floyd Mayweather is behind Mathison – no jokes here, as Mayweather could easily snap me in two. He’s with Mario Lopez’s favorite gal, Karina, who, during the off-season, has been doing swimsuit modeling for t.v. tabloid shows.
Then there’s Helio Castroneves. I had to look up how to spell his name, where I also discovered he’s a race car driver. I’m sure his fans will be thrilled to see him dance. Helio lucked out and got Julianne, who was last season’s champion. Her trophy was Apolo Anton Ohno, who is currently home sitting on her fireplace mantle.
Albert Reed is next. He’s apparently a model for overpriced clothing lines, which explains why he looks so comfortable in a tuxedo. His professional instructor is Anna.
Two more to go….
“Entrepreneur” Mark Cuban, unable to make his own reality show a hit, may have purchased this show to ensure he could participate. He oozes “entitlement.” He also may have purchased new implants for his partner Kym, who’s looking more and more like Full-Size Barbie.
Last is Wayne Newton, who is the subject of some horrific memories of mine involving a New Year’s Eve television special and an especially damaging rendition of “Gangsta’s Paradise”…God, I wish I was kidding. Botox Boy will be dancing with two-time champion Cheryl.
Who’s the guy in the Wayne Newton mask?
The ever-cheerful Bergeron reminds us that one of these couples is just “one dance away from elimination.” Well, one dance, three days of repetitive videos showing rehearsals, and some snappy comments from our favorite judges.
Let the fun begin!
Mr. Lachey tells us the couples will be performing either the Fox Trot or Cha-Cha-Cha…Good Lord, Drew is bad. Mercifully he only has to string together 5 sentences, but it takes him nearly three minutes.
In her getting-to-know-you video, Jennie Garth attempts to garner immediate sympathy or empathy by playing the “mommy” card. We also learn Derek is older brother to Julianne. He, in fact, looks a bit like a blond Apolo Anton Ohno, which makes his sister’s involvement with Ohno somewhat uncomfortable. Derek then admits to having had a crush on Jennie when she was on 90210…so now we know he has no taste.
The actress claims she tries to “hide from everyone.” Right. That’s why you had your agent get you a spot on a top-rated show. She says “being the center of attention will be hard.” If that’s how you feel Ms. Garth, spare yourself and us and just go home now, okay?
But, no luck. She takes to the dance floor in spite of her “shyness” and the two perform a lackluster Cha-Cha to a slow version of Billy Joel’s Upchuck Girl, as interpreted by the show’s live band. What I notice most about Jennie are her proportionally short legs. Made me miss Stacey Keebler (I’m still bitter about Keebler losing.) By the end of this plodding routine, Garth looked winded…but not at all reluctant to be the center of attention. Must be those amazing acting skills.
They show us the band in all its mediocre glory, then move on to introducing the wonderfully snarky trio of judges: Len, Bruno, and Carrie Ann.
Len comments positively on Jennie’s hip action…but advises her to work on her squishy legs. Bruno notes her lack of attention to basics. Carrie Ann calls her unsteady on her feet. Then we’re treated to more inane blathering from Drew as they wait for the scores.
And with no one to compare them to, the judges hand in a middle-of-the-road 21.
Next up is model and actress Josie Maran, who is apparently best known for being in Sports Illustrated. Since I’m not a guy, I have no idea who this chick is, even though her attitude clearly says I ought to. As she cavorts in the surf, she informs us she is a SUPER model, not just a regular model, and she’s been in some culturally uplifting films like Van Helsing. I love Hugh Jackman, and I still couldn’t suffer through that tripe, which might explain why I don’t remember seeing Josie “act,” either. She – here’s a shocker – admits she’s not used to having to do anything more than just “look good.” Dancing is as foreign to Josie as eating probably is.
Her partner, Alec, announces he wants to be “back on top.” Let’s hope he at least takes her to dinner first. For some reason he appears to have used salad oil on his hair. It looks awful, but Josie describes him as a “hunkity hunk hunk.”
With his chest hair prominently displayed, Alec tells us they will be doing an elegant, classy fox trot. He then describes his partner as clumsy and “surprisingly unfit.”
Hey, get your piggy backing done off camera! This is a family show!
They proceed to perform a timid little fox trot with a sloppy ending. She’s a pretty girl, though, so I expect the judges will be kind.
Len begins by saying how lovely she looks…then rightly points out Alec was mightily trying to cover her ineptitude. Carrie Ann has a Captain Obvious moment, saying dancing doesn’t appear to come naturally to Josie, then channels her inner Paula Abdul and adds she thinks the girl has a beautiful smile and did a good job. Bruno tries to mitigate his criticism by reminding us all how hard a fox trot is…but goes on to slam Josie to the ground with a comment about looking like a stranded sailboat. He adds some words of encouragement, though, as he imagines her shaking her thin little hips during next week’s Latin number.
Drew then stutters through some poorly scripted cracks about Len, a nap, and Geritol. About now I begin missing Samantha…something I never thought I’d do.
A whopping 16 for a score, and more stammering from Drew. Now he’s begging for phone calls and gesturing at the numbers on the screen, and I suddenly am confused. His flat, desperate delivery makes me think I’m watching a telethon for something.
Sabrina Bryan, who claims to be a singer/actress and is something called a “cheetah girl,” now fills the screen, promising to bring us “cheetah-licious flavor.” Yuck. Sounds like African plains road-kill. Maybe I’m just getting old, but the footage looks like some kind of teenage stripper group, but at least she doesn’t look as though she has an eating disorder.
Her partner is Mark, who seems to think he’s a “dancing ninja.” You have to insert your own joke here, as I couldn’t write one…I was too busy laughing at the mental picture.
Sabrina dances the cha-cha with conviction as the band moans a worn out Pussycat Dolls song. The crowd loves it more than the judges. Carrie Ann calls the girl fierce, but adds there was too much hip hop. Bruno says she was a “bewitching, blond dynamo.” Len decrees it was very, very good, but says he’s knocking off points for the hip hop. 26 points total.
Watch out, Missy Elliot.
Oh, no. Drew’s talking again. Thank God for the mute button.
And now…she’s a little bit country, and he’s a little bit fake and bland. Yes, it’s Marie Osmond and her partner Jonathan. Okay, now, I have to confess, there’s something innately likeable about Marie. I’ve tried to dislike her, but she’s overcome challenges…like having all those teeth…and she doesn’t seem as full of herself as some of the other “stars” we’re been subjected to.
Jonathan intones that he is known as the “perfect gentleman,” and reputedly can teach anyone to dance. Really? Than why hasn’t he won the mirror ball trophy yet?
Marie points out her large family – which I believe populates over half of Utah – will come in handy during the voting process.
Their fox trot is slow and graceful, and the woman really works the crowd. What she lacks in skill she makes up for in showmanship. And she’s wearing purple…Donnie’s favorite color.
Wow, that Liza Minelli’s still got it!
Bruno describes her as classy yet sassy. Len agrees with Bruno, saying her shortcomings were covered by her professionalism (Hey! That’s pretty much what I said!) and adding that she was a “lovely present.” Carrie Ann calls Marie adorable.
Before the scores are in, the producers slip in a preview of tomorrow night…the guys. They aren’t the most attractive bunch and I still don’t know who some of them are. Nothing in the preview makes me want to find out, either. Not very encouraging.
21 points for Johnnie and Marie.
NO! Not more Drew! Dammit, where’s the duct tape. C’mon!
Things are looking up…It’s time for Maksim, the “Bad Boy of Ballroom.” Oh, and he’s dancing with Old Spice. TPTB must have thought pairing Maksim with another stubborn “strong” woman would be a good idea…but where Leila Ali was immensely appealing, intelligent, charming, and charismatic, Mel B. is a coarse, rude, self-involved twit who won’t stop laughing. And she sounds like she’s up to three packs a day. Kind of changes the dynamic.
Mel starts off skipping about as though re-enacting a Spice Girls video, but finally settles into a respectable cha-cha. Her arms look like broken tree limbs, though. Like what you’d use for a snowman.
A gay leopard died for this horrible horrible outfit. Shame on you, Mel!
The judges thought it was “very nice,” with Carrie Ann mentioning the pair’s energy. All three seemed to think it was good enough, and no real memorable comments were made. They must be running short on time.
Tom Bergeron reminds us again that the guys dance Tuesday, the results are in Wednesday, when one pair will be sent home (in case you’ve forgotten…) then, much to my dismay, hands it off to Drew. At his point I left the room to get a refreshing beverage rather than hang around for his stale commentary.
I returned in time to see a score of 24, and hear Drewl say something about Mel and Maksim spicing up the competition. Make. Him. Stop. Now he has his hands shoved in his pockets trying to bring himself some special comfort as he struggles to make another lame joke. Tom Bergeron looks embarrassed to be there.
WHERE AM I?!?!
Lastly, actress Jane Seymore, who shouldn’t be on a program this cheesey, has a video which pays homage to her bond-girl past. Much better choice than a Dr. Quinn redux. She explains an injury when she was 16 killed her childhood dream of being a dancer. She also announces that, at age 56, she’s the oldest woman to participate in this show. She does NOT look 56…or even 50. I make a mental note to pay better attention to her infomercial hawking those skincare products.
Tony, who claims to be a “jokester,” is her partner. Jokester isn’t the adjective the gossip rags used to describe him. Regardless, they will do the fox trot.
Jane knows how to complete the movements, and she makes beautiful arms, gliding about the stage convincingly. Tony, however, seems to be thinking about Sara Evans, the country singer and Tony’s rumored paramour from the spring season. It’s still the dance of the night, and Bruno says it’s elegant, fresh, and excellent. He also notes her use of arms and hands (See? Aren’t you reassured that I actually know what I’m looking at?) Len and Carrie Ann, too, are impressed. Only a 24, though. Based on the other scores, it should have been higher.
Drew begins talking again, and that’s all I can bear for the night. He could single-handedly kill this show’s ratings before mid-season. If they can’t find a more suitable sidekick, I wonder if Samantha can come back early and just nurse the kid off stage while people dance. Or do it on-stage and regain the viewers Drew has sent screaming into the darkness.
Tuesday the men have their chance to put their best foot forward. And they’re all just one dance away from elimination. Let’s hope Cameron Mathison doesn’t have to walk down anymore steps.