Sep.16 / 2014

Dancing With the Stars Premiere: Our First Impressions

Dancing With The Stars returned for its 19th season last night and it was definitely one of the most entertaining premieres we’ve ever seen. Filled with everything from feather boas to race cars, this season promises lots of spectacle along with some promising new talent.

Jumping head-first into their first performances, contestants quickly learned their routines and showed off their moves for the panel of judges (which now includes new judge, Julianne Hough). Just as the judges got to give their first impressions of these new dance duos, we also took down some notes. Take a look below and see what we thought of these new contestants!

Tune in every Monday at 8E/5P on M3 for new episodes of Dancing With The Stars!

Sexiest Advantage: Antonio Sabato Jr. and Cheryl Burke
Yes, Antonio Sabato Jr. is a hottie, but can he dance? We’re not entirely sure yet. The soap opera star has definitely gotten the chemistry down with his partner Cheryl, even making her blush during their first meeting, but it’s clear that he needs a bit of improvement. Not a bad start, though!

Dancing Back To The Future: Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev
Actress Lea Thompson revealed that she was once a ballet dancer so she’s got the rhythm and moves down. Her foxtrot with Artem was smooth, classic and beautiful, putting her up there as an unexpected force to be reckoned with.

Prettiest Little Dancer: Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy
Pretty Little Liars’ Janel Parrish put on her best Ariana Grande impression with a jive performance to Bang Bang and, honestly, she might be an even better dancer than the pop star. She’s got youth on her side, but Val is not taking it easy on her, even saying that she has the swag of his grandmother. Ouch!

Most Awkward Performance: Lolo Jones and Keo Motsepe
Nevermind the fact that Olympian Lolo Jones is a virgin and that she has never been intimate with another person. Although that factors into the lack of chemistry between her and her partner Keo, it was ultimately Jones’ memory that served as her biggest enemy on the dance floor when she blanked out on her moves and became awkward and robotic. She expressed her anger after the performance, completely putting herself down, but if she continues on to the next week, she better learn to memorize those moves!

Worst Use Of Props: Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani
Betsey Johnson is one of fashion’s most colourful characters so it felt like a natural fit for the summersaulting 72-year-old to take a shot at dancing. For the most part, Johnson’s performance was fun and filled with the same flair as one of her runway shows, but the pair stumbled near the end with Johnson gets tripped up in a bunch of feather boas. Fashion turned against Betsey Johnson!

The Drew Carey Good-Effort Award: Tavis Smiley and Sharna Burgess
TV personality Tavis Smiley is turning 50 soon and has vowed to do something “silly” before the big milestone and that something is join the cast of Dancing With the Stars. Smiley might not the best dancer, but much like last season’s Drew Carey, he is putting his best foot forward and having lots of fun along the way. With an attitude like that, how can you not fall in love with him?

Most Fun Performance: Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas
The Duck Dynasty star claims to have no dance experience, but she proved to be a fast learner when it came to picking up the cha cha cha. The performance was light-hearted, fun and she is also another contender to watch for.

Most Uncomfortable Costumes: Michael Waltrip and Emma Slater
The race car driver went with quite the obvious theme for his first performance: race cars. That was cheeky and fun, but Waltrip admittedly found his costume a little bit of a hindrance to his performance, adding, “My onesie gave me a wedgie.”

Groolest Performance: Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker
Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett’s reason for being on the show is anything but mean. Bennett’s dad passed away two months ago and their favourite show to watch together was Dancing With The Stars so you know this season’s going to be filled with tears already. Bennett did a pretty impressive jive, though, and it’s clear from his jaw-dropping happy face after the performance that he’s going to have lots of fun on this show. Even judge Julianne Hough called his performance, “Grool!”

Least Likely To Start a Showmance: Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd
One of the best duos from last season’s Dancing With the Stars was James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd. The two, who had apparently gone on a date together long before the show, was magically paired together and by the end of the season were sparking a million romance rumours even ending a performance with a passionate kiss. Well, looks like James won’t have any competition this season as Peta gets paired up with comedian Tommy Chong. Chong landed on the show as a dare so we know how seriously he’ll take this…That being said, he did bust some serious moves out during his performance last night and who knows, maybe he’ll pull out some more surprises in the coming weeks.

The Not-So-Tough-Guy: Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff
The actor/wrestler surprised many last night with his elegant foxtrot, showing off the tough guy’s softer side and pulling it off! There’s always something ridiculously heart-warming about seeing a big, intimidating man do something as delicate and beautiful as a romantic dance. Swoon!

Most viral performance: Bethany Mota and Derek Hough
Vlogger Bethany Mota is a YouTube sensation, but her first performance with partner Derek Hough proves that she has what it takes to also become a dance sensation. Her jive to Shake It Off was bright, colourful and lots of fun, but as the judges pointed out, she does lack energy between powerful moves, something she will totally have time to work on in the coming weeks.

Best performance of the night: Alfonso Ribeiro and Whitney Carson
We all know that Carlton Banks can dance. I mean, he coined his own dance move back in the ‘90s! But when he took on the jive last night, he proved that he’s more than a one-trick pony by giving the evening’s best performance and receiving the best score of the night with a 36 out of 40.