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Dancing with the Stars Season 23 – Season Premiere and a Protest

Dancing with the Stars is back with a new pro and some returning pros and a great field of non-dancers. It was all going along great until some protestors ruined the fun.

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough. She fan-girled out on Derek, but she was actually better in this Jive than most older women on the show. Of course, no Tony Dovolani this season spared her from him. The judges were lukewarm with their responses to them, and Marilu was thrilled to get three 7s along with her one 6.

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess. He says he decided to do this because he was injured last year racing cars. Has he not seen the track record of some of the celebrities and their injuries? He’s a little stuff on the foxtrot but much better than the sprinkler moves he was doing in rehearsal. Judges are more impressed with him than I am, and he gets three 8s and a 7.

Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold. He hopes to do better than Jerry Rice, comparing stats. Wearing a size 15 shoes, people are already thinking he’ll be the first one out. Can he be that bad? His footwork in the Cha Cha does need some work, but he has some natural rhythm. All the judges can talk about is his smile. That smells trouble. He only did one point less than Marilu, though, with two 6s and two 7s.

Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev. She cries throughout her rehearsal. It looked like she had a misstep in her Viennese Waltz. It was nice to see Florence Henderson there to support her. There are a lot of suggestions from the judges. Her scores are the worst so far with two 6s and two 5s.

Babyface and Allison Holker. He’s the one this year who is doing it for a dead parent. There’s one ever year. I’m not trying to be cold; it’s just a fact. It’s no surprise that he has some great rhythm in the Foxtrot. He gets average comments and average scores with two 7s and two 6s.

Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. She was previously an exotic dancer. She’s supposed to be the princess but knows she’s not really that girl. Maks tells her to squeeze his giant muscle while they’re in hold. Hmm. She’s comfortable with the Foxtrot but needs to extend her moves. Bruno Tonioli wants her to be sure and connect her moves. They get four 6s.

Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson. There going to Cha cha to Ice Ice Baby as promised. He’s worried about embarrassing himself with his own song. He does really well, but he’s almost doing more hip-hop than cha cha. I’m not sure what the judges will say. As promised Len Goodman loves the dance but complains about not enough Cha Cha Cha, leading to two 7s, a 6, and a 5.

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko. He wants for them to be sexy while they’re dancing, but I think he’s already there. Their Viennese Waltz is very sexy. These two could really be a couple to watch if they can pull this off after just a few weeks. Bruno called it the raunchiest, sexiest, hottest dance he’s ever seen. Carrie Ann Inaba suggests they don’t need to work on sexiness anymore. They get two 6s, a 7, and an 8.

Jake T. Austin and Jenna Johnson. A new pro, she tells him she used to love him on the Wizards of Waverly Place. They’re the same age, and he notes their astrological signs go together as well. He has much potential in this jive, and they’ll last awhile no matter how good they are as they’re just so darn cute together. He gets criticized for his footwork and gets two 5s and two 6s.

Rick Perry and Emma Slater. He’s excited to learn to dance for his daughter’s wedding, which is the same reason Jerry Springer did the show. Dancing is not his thing. This is bad. You can almost see him counting in this Cha Cha. I expect to not see them after next week. Judges were non-plussed. They get four 5s.

Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber. She had a baby less than a month ago, but more than that she is the first little person ever to be on Dancing with the Stars. It’s an extra struggle for them since her legs are shorter. She doesn’t want people to say she was great for a little person. She wants them to say she was great. She has some infectious energy with this Jive. I love her. Len tells her she delivered twice in a month. They get three 6s and a 7.

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke. They’re going to Foxtrot to “Call Me irresponsible.” He says his biggest regret is letting people down, and he wants to show the world that he’s changed. He’s actually a good dancer. He has great extensions. Bruno compared the dance to a condensed season of The Bachelor. It’s interrupted by people storming the stage as Carrie Ann is trying to talk. By the discussion afterwards it seems like it was directed at Ryan. He gets four 6s and is hurt by the protest, meaning non-physically.

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy. He’s feeling pressure to be trusted with such a talent. Granted, she has a leg up (Get it?) on the others being that she’s a gymnast and does floor routines to music, but she’s incredibly good on this Cha Cha. She’ll be around for awhile. They get three 8s and a 7.

This was a great start to the season. What I’m upset about is the protest that stormed the stage when Ryan was being judged. Yeah, I get it. He screwed up. But we need to move on and get past that. And storming the stage isn’t going to change anything. However, the tough part in all this is that the action of these nefarious individuals is going to perhaps inspire more attention-seeking individuals, and that will be a shame to have to put up with that all season.

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