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Dancing with the Stars Season Premiere – Predictability, But a Few Surprises

Monday night was the season prmiere of Dancing with the Stars, and after all these seasons, the show can be a bit predictable. There are sports stars and entertainers, there’s someone we know will struggle but make it thorugh a few episodes, and more than a few ringers. Still it was a very enjoyable introduction to this season’s cast.

Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy – She’s in the girl group Fifth Harmony that got its start on The X Factor. I have to say it takes guts to start the season with a quickstep, but it’s not bad. That said, I know judge Len Goodman won’t like the beginning of it. As good as it is, it makes me wonder if she’ll be the next one to defect from Fifth Harmony. She gets scores of 7, 6, 7, 7.

Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev – The former Olympic ice skater could be a ringer, but then again she’s getting up there in years. And sure enough, she’s not as good as you would have though she would be. At times it seems like she’s trying to skate in her dancing shoes. Her scores are just one point better overall than Normani with all 7s.

Chris Kattan and Witney Carson – With the cha cha at hand, they predictably do a version of NIght a the Roxbuy, his famous skit from Saturday Night Live. We know they had to work it in sometime, but I’m surprised they went with doing it the first week. I know there is way too much humor in it for the judges, but when he’s actually dancing and not goofing off, he’s not bad. Bruno calls it a “perfect interpretation of a cha cha with a hangover.” I predict 5s and 6s but instead he gets scores of 5, 4, 4, 4. Eeesh.

Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess – As a professional bull rider, you know they’ll work in the whole cowboy thing, and they do. He’s also doing the cha cha, but for being a neophyte with dancing, he’s not too bad and a step above Chris Kattan. Carrie Ann Inaba falls all over him, comparing him to Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louis. He gets scores of 6, 5, 5, 6.

Charo and Keo Motsepe –You just know this is going to be waaay overdone, and interestingly enough, after all these years, she’s still doing the same schtick. They do a salsa that is a little too sexy. But it doesn’t come off as sexy, just overdone. And it’s obvious she’s going to really struggle with the non-Latin dances. Even during the judging, she’s hard to contain, and I can’t help but notice she looks likes Madame Flowers. Her scores are 6, 5, 5, 5. It could be yet another quick season for Keo.

Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd – You just know ABC loves this guy. Out of the five shows that appear on Monday nights throughout the year, this is his third one in a year and his fourth overall. But they know a good thing when they find it. He notes there’s not pressure at finding love this time, just not sucking. They do the cha cha, and he’s seriously impressive and much better than the other Bachelors who have been on the show. I thought he’d get 7s for sure, although I’d give him an 8. Instead he gets all 6s.

Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Here’s our first ringer. She’s a trained dancer yet admits she’s never done ballroom. She’s also a former Glee cast member but has been concentrating on being a mom since Glee ended. She and new dad Maks do the Viennese Waltz, and I thought that would be an 8 for sure. Instead she gets all 7s. What will it take to get an 8 from these judges?

Davis Ross and Lindsay Arnold – After winning the World Series with the Chicago Cubs last season, he retired. Interestingly, he’s the first Major League Baseball player to be on the show. Predictabily, it’s a baseball theme, yet he’s another one dong Quickstep in week one, and he’s better than I would have thought he’d be. I was thinkng the judges would only give him 6s, but Carrie Ann calls it one of her favorites of the night, and they get all 7s.

Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko – This Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star promises Gleb her Lamborghini if they win. They do the salsa, and it’s hard not to notice how much better it is than Charo’s. Still, Len Goodman calls it a little too raunchy. Personally, I think it’s hard for Gleb ot not be sexy. They get all 6s.

Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater – He’s an NFL running back who last played with the New York Giants. She knows that that fellow pro, Sasha Farber, who is also her fiancé, will be watching her very closely because Rashad is a goodlooking guy. He doesn’t need the good looks, though, as he has moves right out of the gate as they do the cha cha. If he doesn’t get an 8, then I give up. Judge Julianne Hough calls it the best dance of the night so far. Their scores are 8, 7, 8, 8. Theres the 8s!

Mr. T and Kym Herjavec – She hasn’t danced since her season with Robert Herjavec of Shark Tank who she eventually married. Interestingly enough, Mr. T still looks the same .. but thirty years older. They do a cha cha with an A-Team theme, again predictably. He’s really stiff, and there’s not enough partnering in the dance. I’d give it a 6. The judges give him all 5s.

Simone Biles and Sasha Farber – She’s on the show this season after watching her Olympics teammate Laurie Hernandez win the whole thing last season. He wants to show the world she can not just be as good as Laurie but better. They do the tango, and as an obvious ringer, she is predictably very good. Len Goodman calls it the dance of the night. They get all 8s, topping Rashad and Emma by one point.

All in all, while predictable, it was still a good season opener. Rashad and Nick were good surprises. It’s hard to tell who will go home next week; it might depend on how well or badly they do next week before the elimination. Usually the lowest score doesn’t go home, and Chris Kattan has a lot of fans, so I think he’ll end up staying, and Mr. T is like a national treasure, so I don’t think he’ll be voted out either. I’m predicting Charo will go. She was just way too out of control and not in a very enjoyable way. I’m thinking she won’t connect very much with the fans.

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