The heavily hyped sixteenth season of “Dancing with the Stars” took a flying leap with its season premiere on Monday, but some of the fan-favorite contestants didn’t seem to find as much favor with the judges.
Like Sean Lowe. He may have won over plenty of “Bachelor” enthusiasts with his recent stint on the ABC series, but the “Dancing With the Stars” judges were more skeptical of the newly engaged, celibate reality star.
Lowe didn’t exactly wow the judges with his “Chippendales” dance moves doing the Foxtrot. Fiancée Catherine Giudici cheered her man from the audience, but looked a bit miffed when the judges made fun of his (lack of a) sex life.
"For a dance virgin, you have a very effective pelvic thrust," declared judge Tonioli.
But later in the night Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones brought some spice to the dance floor. The star impressed everyone when he performed a sexed up the Cha Cha with pro Karina Smirnoff.
For the premiere, the ballroom dance competition introduced three new professional dancers, a newlywed sixty-something judge and a new dance challenge. Three couples were assigned Contemporary, which involved what appeared to be freestyle dance moves accompanied by “Dirty Dancing”-style lifts.
Several “DWTS” veterans were in the audience, watching the action, including former Playboy star Kendra Wilkinson.
“#DWTS off to a great start. :),” Kendra Wilkinson tweeted from the live show.
“American Idol” runner-up Kelly Pickler was the first celeb to hit the dance floor. Sporting a short silver dress, her sexy moves got a warm (and slightly creepy) approval from the judges.
“The shape of things to come look very, very interesting,” said a slightly lecherous judge Bruno Tonioli, outlining a woman’s figure with his hands. “Can’t wait to see you again.”
In the episode, fans also learned more about boxer Victor Ortiz. In his background clip, the athlete told the story of how his mother left his family when Ortiz was 7, and his father left when he was 12. Boxing professionally since he was 17, Ortiz landed in the hospital with a broken jaw after one of his recent matches.
“I thought at first being a boxer would give me some sort of an edge,” Ortiz noted to partner and newcomer pro Lindsay Arnold. “But I was way wrong. Boxing and dancing have absolutely nothing in common.”
The females in the crowd seemed happy to see “General Hospital” star Ingo Rademacher twirling and lifting pro Kym Johnson, who has earned two of the coveted “DWTS” mirror ball trophies during her run on the show.
Yet reality fans who were hoping to see “Real Housewives” star Lisa Vanderpump’s dog Giggy actually getting jiggy were disappointed. The pampered pooch did make a brief appearance, being toted around by a bedazzled bellboy.
While Giggy was backstage, Vanderpump was paired with the young and hunky new pro, Gleb Savchenko.
“(My husband) Ken and I have been married for 30 years,” Vanderpump explained after having her tush squeezed by Savchenko during rehearsals. “Sometimes I feel I’m almost being unfaithful–in the nicest possible way. I mean, I’m happy to be as unfaithful as it takes to make a good dance.”
Other less memorable performances of the night came from Olympic gymnast Aly Raissman, country singer Wynonna Judd and Dorothy Hamill. Hamill, who gained fame for her short ‘n’ sassy hair cut during the 1976 Olympics, danced to a strange and contemporary interpretation of “Tiny Dancer.”
Not to be outdone was comedian Andy Dick, who admitted that he’s had “a bad couple of decades” because of his drinking and drug use. He cried to partner Sharna Burgess during rehearsal, confessing that he feared “DWTS” would be yet another failure in his life. Dick needn’t have worried–he performed a perfectly charming Foxtrot, complete with top hat and tails–that should have earned him more than a the weak 17 points he was awarded by the judges.
But by far the most cringe-worthy moment of the night was comedian D.L. Hughley’s disjointed dance. His lackluster Cha Cha to “Get Low,” of all things, was “under-rehearsed” and “off-beat.”
“This was rough,” declared newlywed judge Len Goodman. “This was no good.”
The comedian earned the lowest score of the night, a measly 12 points from the judges.
Perhaps desperate to defend his atrocious dance moves, host Brooke Burke-Charvet had to struggle to keep the mic out of Hughley’s hands after the results were announced.
Hughley was upstaged by the youngest star on the dance floor. Disney’s Zendaya Coleman, 16, earned straight 8s from all of the judges for a final score of 24.
“That was amazing, beautiful,” cheered judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “You are a fantastic dancer with a maturity that is unexpected from a 16-year-old.”
Next Week: No one goes home, but D. L. Hughley would be smart to put in a few extra hours of practice.
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