I used to love, love, love Television Without Pity, but then it got shut down. It was a sad, sad day. This recap, my first, is dedicated to everyone involved with TWOP - except those who shut it down, because they suck!
Okay, let's begin!
New opening. Interesting.Very show tunes-y. As usual, I don't know about half of these people. New Judge! Maybe that's why the new opening. Julianne Hough is the new judge and seriously, it looks like her boobs are going to spring out of that dress like a jack in the box. That's a little distracting.
I thought they fired Erin Andrews. Huh! Guess not, cause there she is.
Our pairs this season: Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney, Antonio Sabato, Jr and Cheryl, Bethany and Derek, Betsey Johnson and Tony, Janel Parrish and Val, Jonathan Bennett and Allison, Lea Thompson and Artem, Lolo Jones and Keo, Michael Waltrip and Emma, Randy Couture and Karina, Sadie Robertson and Mark, Tavis Smiley and Sharna, and Tommy Chong and Peeta.
First up, Antonio and Cheryl. He's presented as an actor and former underwear model. Ugh, he comes off as sort of smarmy at the meet and greet.Cheryl looks really good. Cheryl hasn't won since season 3 and this is her last season. I wonder if she's hoping that fact will help her since Maks won last year on his last year. Antonio and Cheryl are doing the Cha Cha. Well Cheryl is, Antonio seems to be walking around with her and smiling a lot. They are also gripping each other's heads a lot. They are dancing to Tonight I'm Loving You (whoa-oa). Well, Cheryl is dancing and Antonio is mostly flashing dimples and following her around. You can see her talking him through the dance. Uh oh. That doesn't bode well for Mirror Ball triumph. It is week one, so let's cut him some slack. The dance seems kind of short.
HA! Tom calls Julianne out on the cleavage and says that she's bursting at the seams. Brilliant!
Len says his footwork is bad. Julianne is in love. But she agrees with Len, and says that Antonio was flat-footed.But she loved his extensions and his hands. Bruno is Bruno and throws a lot of sexual innuendo out. Something about balls. Oh Bruno. He says that content was good, hip action good. Carrie Ann says that Cheryl and Antonio have hot chemistry and thinks that could be a problem because it will cause high expectations. She tells them to tone it down. It must be really interesting behind the scenes.
Now to Erin. I can't even be bothered to recap that because nothing of importance was said.
Scores: Carrie Ann 6, Len 6, Julianne 6, Bruno 7. Must have been the balls. Total of 25.
Next week will be all about technique and footwork for Cheryl and Antonio.
Next up: Lea Thompson and Artem (new cast member)
Lea Thompson is known for acting (they use Back to the Future, but I remember her from other 80's movies like Some Kind of Wonderful) Oh, wow. She used to be a ballet dancer. Apparently, back in the day Barishnikov told her she was a good dancer but too stocky. WHAT!?!? Well, don't worry, Lea, Carrie Bradshaw dumped his ass in Paris, so he lost some serious credibility. Lea is awfully focused on the fact that she's older. She calls herself a cougar and Mrs. Robinson. Let it go, honey. You are fine. They are dancing the foxtrot to This Will Be. Lea is elegant and actually dancing as well as flashing her dimples. Take notes, Antonio. Dancing is more important than dimples. She looks really comfortable on the dance floor, too. Well done, Lea!
Now to the judges! Julianne says the dance was beautiful and and made her so happy. Lea has good lines.She tells Lea to work on posture. Bruno. Oh lord. Does he take an aphrodesiac before every show? He agrees with Julianne about the posture but he liked the dance. Carrie Ann thinks Bruno and Julianne are too picky, says its one of the best first foxtrots she's seen. Len liked it too. What the what?! Is Len losing his edge? It was a good dance, though.
Now to Erin, who brings up Barishnikov again. Let it go, people. It was 32 years ago.
Scores Carrie Ann 8, Len 8, Julianne 8, Bruno 8. They are really happy. Total of 32.
First elimination is tomorrow. Oh now they have live streaming commentary on ABC.com Dominic and Lacey. In case two nights a week isn't enough DWTS for you. It starts 5 minutes before the show does. Next season, they are going to podcast from rehearsals after the first show..mark my word.
Back from break. Does the cast get paid extra to act weird when the show returns from commercial break?
Next up: Janel Parrish and Val.
Janel is on Pretty Little Liars and also has done Broadway. She says something about feeling like she's getting ready for a first date. Oh boy. They meet and she mostly rubs her hands all over his torso. Get a room, you two. Val describes their meeting as having a natural chemistry. I describe it as going to hook up.
They are doing the jive. She's very comfortable on the stage. They are dancing to Bang Bang. They are in sync, but the dance doesn't seem so much like a jive. She's wearing cute boots, though. Their jive is lots of flash and bang but not a lot of substance.
Bruno calls her spicy hot and compares her to JLo. That's fair, actually. Bruno likes sexy..who knew? Carrie Ann says she had fearsome courage and then Carrie Ann rubs herself. Awkward. She says to find a bubble and stay in it a little, but great potential. Len says sharp and clean, a little untidy but overall great. Julianne agrees with Len, sharp, raw, sexy, and fierce and that Janel knows how to work it.
Up to Erin. Erin called Julianne Julia. HA! Julianne doesn't look pleased. Erin and Janel both dis Val and keep talking over him. Val wants her to work on her posture and told Janel her posture was like a grandma, but not HIS grandma (whom we all remember from last season). He says that his Grandma has swag. Whatever that means. Erin outs them and says that there is blossoming in their relationship, but the preview seemed to indicate that already. Oh those Chmerkovskiy boys.
Janel throws Erin a little side eye on that. Stop talking, Erin.
Scores! Carrie Ann 7, Len 7, Julia, I mean Julianne 7, Bruno 8. Total of 29. More blather and innuendo about their relationship.
Next: Lolo Jones and new cast dancer Keo.
Lolo was in the Olympics for track and bobsledding. Wow, ambitious. Lolo Jones is also a virgin. So of course we need to disclose and discuss it on the show. Poor Lolo. That must be uncomfortable and you know the producers are disheartened because there goes their hooking up angle for Lolo and Keo. There's talk about how she is worried about being able to dance sexily. I'd just like to interject that one can absolutely be sexy whether or not they are a virgin.
Dance time! They are doing the Cha Cha. Lolo seems really uncomfortable. She messes up pretty much right away and you can tell it throws her. This woman has incredible legs. She tries hard to recover. Aww..Charlie and Meryl are in the audience. Hi Charlie and Meryl! Lolo is upset at her performance. She is going to need to work on her game face.
Carrie Ann mispronounces Keo's name, oops. She says the dance was more like a no-no. Lolo says that the beginning threw her because there were technical difficulties. Lolo is harder on herself than the judges are going to be. Lolo demonstrates that she could do the Cha Cha walk. Len tells her not to get down on herself. Julianne says that she picked it back up and good on her. She also tells Lolo that she has great legs, but needs to work on having more fluidity and more of a release. Bruno sings refrain from Let It Go. Oh Bruno. I guess Lolo is going to be the Candace of this season. Mark Ballas is thanking his lucky stars right now.
Erin interviews Lolo and there's a lot of talking. Lolo is her own worst enemy and definitely a perfectionist. This show is going to be difficult for her, I fear.
Scores! Carrie Ann 6, Len 6, Julianne 5, Bruno 5. That gives them a total of 22. Lolo says she expected 1's. Well then, you should be happy!
Next up are Betsey Johnson and Tony.
Betsey enters the room with a cartwheel into a split. Tony: oooh...did you get hurt? She didn't. But she's 72? She looks younger than that. She used to style Sex and the City. Maybe Betsey and Lea can compare Barishnikov notes. See if he's mellowed any. Betsey has come crazy outfits and some crazy hair. Tony seems really good-natured about their paring. I'm not sure he knows what to think about his partner. They are dancing the Cha Cha to Material girl. She is flexible. Good lord! They have a cute dance, and it suits her personality. Uh oh! She goes to get a boa off a clothing rack and it sticks. So then she pulls it and several come off. Now they are on the floor right where she needs to dance and it looks like her foot is slipping. She sort of freezes and stops. Tony flings them out of the way, but their song is already over. She steps over it and does her cartweel into a split. I'm guessing this is her signature move and we are going to see it every week. Aww, she's really shaken up.
Judges. Len says it was entertaining and too bad about the disaster with the boa. Maybe they should go out to dinner. I think they are close to the same age. Julianne says bummed about the mess up and sings that Betsey is flexible. Bruno says the routine was off the wall spunky and says they went for it with gusto. Oh man, they aren't going to let Carrie Ann talk. That's a fine how-do-you-do. The show is having a lot of technical difficulty tonight. Tom even messes going to the commercial break intro and Tony ends up doing it. That's hilarious. Tom never messes up live.
And we're back. They are laughing it off now. Stuff happens. You just move on. Way to go Betsey and Tony!
Scores: Carrie Ann 5, Len 5, Julianne 5 and Bruno 5. So a total of 20 which will put them at the bottom for tonight, I bet. Some boos from the audience. Betsey looks stunned. Bet the scores would have been higher if she hadn't just stopped like she did. But since there were boas all over the floor I'm glad she did because it looked like she was slipping on them and she really doesn't need to break a bone - especially on the first night. I hope they don't vote her off. She seems like a hoot.
Next up are Tavis Smiley and Sharna.. I seriously thought Tavis was a SNL skit. My bad. He's doing the show because he's turning 50 and wants to show his silly side. And then he shows it. Thanks for that, Tavis. They are doing the foxtrot. He plays the piano on Sharna's stomach. Oh-kay. They look good! He can move! They are dancing to Pride and Joy. He's light on his feet.
Judges weigh in. Julianne gives him a z snap. She likes that he showed us a different side. Bruno says that he let his joyful side burst out like a ray of sunshine. Then he tells him to watch his arms. Carrie Ann says she likes watching him dance. Glad she's getting to talk this time. She thinks he moves well. Len says Tavis is nifty for 50, and that he liked it. He tells him to work on his footwork, elbows, and posture. Tavis is sweating bullets. I would be too.
Up to Erin - Erin has a talent for restating the obvious or the already spoken. Shut up, Erin.Wow. Tavis has lost 20 pounds already. Now Tavis is pulling a Gary Busey. with a play on sum and some. Betcha Bruno would have changed the first letter if it was up to him..if you know what I mean.
Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 7, Julianne 8, Bruno 7. So a total of 29.
More staged cast shenanigans when we come back from break. Why do they do that?
Next up are Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas. Sadie is the daughter of one of the Duck Dynasty guys. She's only 17 and cute as a button. Her mom tells her to use her manners and her southern charm. Mark picks her up from the airport. This is his 15th season. Sadie says she she doesn't have dance skills because they aren't allowed to dance at school. I think we need to call Kevin Bacon and get Footloose, then!
OH MAN! My satellite goes out because it's raining cats and dogs here. so I miss their dance. It cuts back in for the judge comments, Apparently it was amazing.
Okay, I YouTubed it. They are dancing the Cha Cha to Birthday. For having no dance experience, she is amazing. She's got great hip action and timing and she and Mark are well matched on the dance floor. She reminds me of Stacy Keibler. Sadie moves really well. This is where Lolo Jones needs to pay attention. Sadie and Mark are the perfect example of sexy dancing without it being sexual. See, it can be done! I do wonder why they give Mark all the young ones, though. And my satellite is back. They cut to Lolo Jones. She looks pissed! I feel bad for her.
Judges: Carrie Ann tells her she's a star and like a statue that moves perfectly. Wait, what? Len says it was fantastic and that it was really lovely. Julianne calls it a real live Footloose. Heh! Glad I'm not the only one that thought of that. Oh wait! Julianne was in the remake of Footloose, if you saw it. I did. It was meh. Julianne tells her to be more grounded and down and dirty, then must have caught a look from Daddy Robertson and tries to get her feet out of her mouth. Double heh. Just stop, Julianne. Either I missed Bruno or they skipped him. Up to Erin! Erin tells her she has the whole package. Then they show her dad. Let the girl have her moment. Her dad has the show. They say that her Dad approved the dress, he acts surprised to hear this. Apparently he has approval over everything??! Well, she's only 17.
Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 8, Julianne 9 (that's not going to unsay the things you said, sweetie), Bruno 9. Their score is a 34. Her dress is really cute. Well, so is she. And she had dimples. Maybe they should add a caveat to this season: Dancing with the stars with dimples.
Next up are Michael Waltrip and Emma. Michael is a NASCAR driver, so naturally he takes her for a ride in the car and naturally his costume is a race car suit. He's also friends with Bill Engvall who was Emma's partner on a previous season. In rehearsal, he tells Emma he's got "a a pretty nice ass for an old guy". Um. Oookay. Then he tells Emma she has a good ass, but phrases it charmingly this way 'like two cats wrestling together to get out of paper bag'. Gross. I think he was going for folksy, but frankly, I'm a little creeped out. I saw Bill Engvall in concert. When he was talking about DWTS, he was saying personality gets you as far, if not farther, than talent. I think Michael is hoping for that route. I dunno. It didn't really work for me with him and comparing someone's butt (no matter how nice) to two animals in a paper bag was done as an insult in Steel Magnolias, so maybe he needs to work on his folksy humor a bit more. Or a lot more.
We're back. Judges are fake dancing at the table. Julianne better not shimmy too hard. This show is live and she's testing the limits of double sided tape.
Micheal and Emma are dancing the Cha cha to Born to Be Wild. Not Life is a Highway? Maybe that will be next week. He's trying really hard, but you can see him counting.Their routine is a lot like Cheryl and Antonio. He doesn't really dance all that much, but he puts his all in it.
Judges: Carrie calls him on the Bill connection, which he confirms. I knew it! She tells him to add more steps. Len says his engine was running but he never got out of first gear. He tells him to relax and enjoy it. Julianne. Oh dear. She says (and I quote) "Well, I told Bill Engvall last season - was it last season or a couple seasons ago? - umm that he reminded me of my dad and that my favorite partner is my dad so that means I wanna dance with you. Because that was awesome, You looked so...like you were having so much fun. It's really...odd..and it sounds like she's hitting on him. Bruno says he looked like a golf cart trying to keep up with a Ferrari. Michael leans over to Emma and sayss - that's bad right? Then he says that in his defense, his onesie giving him wedgies. HAAHA! Well trained, Bill Engvall!
Erin asks him what gear he thinks he's in and Michael just wants to find a bathroom to fix his wedgie. Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 6, Julianne 6, Bruno 6. A total of 25. Micheal admits they have work to do.
Next up are Jonathan Bennett and new cast member Allison. He was in Mean Girls. Allison is from So You Think You Can Dance? Allison calls herself a maverick. Jonathan lost his dad 2 months ago and DWTS was his dad's favorite show. So he's doing the show in honor of his dad. Aww. They look really energetic at practice. Allyson says he's the male version of her. That's good, I guess. Jonathan is emotional about losing his dad. The producers are going to milk that for all it's worth.
They are doing the jive to Dance with Me Tonight. They really do have lots of energy. He's so enthusiastic. He needs to extend arms more, though.. He keeps up with Allison, and that can't be easy. He looks really surprised that he finished. I think he's on something. His eyes are really wide open and his facial expressions are exaggerated even out of the dance.
Judges: Len seemed to like it and says he has great potential. Julianne throws in a Mean Girls reference that I don't get...did she say grool?!? (she did, I looked it up) and says he has potential. What is going on with his eyes! I can't look away. Carrie Ann calls him adorkable. Adorkable now, but he needs to control his face or the little men with the nice, tight, white jacket and padded room are going to visit.
We're back - we didn't hear from Bruno. Jonathan is worried about that and was worried that Bruno hated it so much he wouldn't comment. Not so. Someone is doing a horrible job managing the time on this show tonight. Erin is with Allison and Jonathan. I can't figure out his deal. He is WAY too excited. He says this is the most fun thing he's ever done but he doesn't remember it. But it was fun. Alrighty then.
Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 7, Julianne 7, Bruno 8. That's a total of 30. I would have thought a little higher. It's official. His eyebrows freak me out. Sorry, Jonathan.
Next up are Tommy Chong and Peeta.
He rolls up in a VW van full of smoke. HA! Classic. Bet it's not vapor. He looks like he's stoned in his interview. He's here because Cheech bet him he couldn't be on the show. I wonder how old he is? He and Peeta are cute together. They are doing the cha cha and Cheech drove him onstage. They are dancing to Drop it Like It's Hot. That's awesome. He's actually pretty good. Nothing elaborate, but he has really good rhythm. Cheech keeps making me laugh with his expressions and the car with the jumping hydraulics in the background. When the dance is over, Peeta's looking for a hug, but he leaves her hanging and plays to the audience. That was hilarious . I think he's going to be my favorite this season.
Judges: Julianne says she likes older men and that she thinks he's extremely sexy. Chong stresses that he's a stoner, Again. We get it, Chong. We won't forget. Settle down, Julianne. Bruno says he was expecting Bad Grandpa but got Cool Grandpa. Shh, Bruno, Julianne can already barely control herself. Carrie Ann says he's fantastic that he's so good and so cool. That he did some pops pops and killed it. Len says he thought it would like a trip to the dentist but doesn't know why he was concerned because it was painless and fun and he enjoyed it. Where do they come up with this stuff?
Up to Erin. Chong says that Peeta is his master and says he's good at doing what beautiful women tell him to do. LOL! work it Chong. Cheech nods approvingly. Heh.
Scores! Carrie Ann 7, Len 6, Julianne 7, Bruno 7. Total of 27. I would have thought higher.
Next up are the fighter dude Randy Couture and Karina. Randy was also in Expendables 3, which I haven't seen.
For the meet and greet she pretends she doesn't know who he is on the way to meet him and mentions that last season she got eliminated in week 2. I bet the competition among the pros is fierce - especially since they all seem to date each other. When she walks into meet Randy, she knows exactly who he is. Karina, you're a great dancer but a horrible actress. They are emphasizing his softer side. Well, that worked for Maks last season too. Why not? They are doing a foxtrot to The Way You Look Tonight. Wow, Randy has a lot of grace for such a big, muscular guy that beats people to a pulp for a living.
Judges weigh in. Bruno - I don't even know what he's saying. Carrie Ann gushes over how sexy he is. I think it's creepy when the judges ogle the stars. Len likes it, says it was dandy, Randy. Heh. Julianne actually says Randy you make me randy. Tom calls her out for having hit on 3 of the contestants tonight. Get her, Tom! LOL at Jonathan and his expression and eyebrows.
Scores: Carrie Ann 8. Len 7, Julianne 8, Bruno 8. Total of 31. Karina is jumping up and down and squeaking. Peeta was starting at the ceiling. at the end there. I wonder what that was about. Tom says Jonathan's eyes are so wide he's going to need drops. HAHAHAHAHAHAA. Word, Tom. Word.
Two more to go - Derek and Bethany and Whitney and Alfonso (aka Carlton Banks).
We're back. The cast is dancing on the balcony and taking selfies.
Next up are YouTube star Bethany Mota and Derek. She's famous for making videos. Good for her. I don't buy any of that crap. She's a YouTube vlogger of all the fun stuff that's in her head. She's also only 18. I'm already annoyed. But that's because I'm just jealous. Rehearsals going well. they are setting this up like a YouTube video. How original, or should I say #NotOriginal #overdone. She has dimples too. Not relevant, but I mentioned it anyway.
They are doing the jive to Shake it Off. They are good partners! Then again, Derek makes everyone look good. But she keeps up with him and seemed really comfortable on stage. Judges are gonna judge but are the haters gonna hate? Carrie Ann says it was tight, clean, and well-rehearsed. She says Bethany's energy is great until she stops or switches and then it goes back down. Len likes it. Julianne - says she loses energy in the in between moments. So basically, what Carrie Ann just said. Bruno says she's huge on the web and pretty good on the floor. She just needs to flow effortlessly.
Derek carries Bethany the last few stairs up to Erin (why does he do that?). Erin throws shade at Bethany for being tired because, as Erin points out, Bethany's been standing on the balcony until now. Shut it, Erin. She's been rehearsing all day and was nervous to boot. I miss Brooke Burke Charvet. Bethany thought it went well, Derek thought it went well. Well, there you go.
Score: Carrie Ann 8, Len 8, Julianne 8, Bruno 8. A 32! Those were good scores.
Next are Alfonso Riberio and Witney. Finally! Oh, he was on Silver Spoons with Ricky Schroeder. Maybe that's why Ricky's in the audience.
I wonder if Will Smith will show up in the audience at some point. Wouldn't that be a coup! Witney asks what Alfonso's strategy is for them. His is to lose weight and get in shape. Hers is to WIN! He's down with her strategy, then. Well, that's good. Oh snap! She says he's twice her age. Ouch! You see them working out a lot. Maybe they'll both get their wishes.
They are doing the jive to The Clapping Song. Bring it, Carlton! He's amazing. He's potentially this season's Meryl. But, let's remember that he won the Michael Jackson dance-a-like contest way back when. And he did make The Carlton a thing. They are well matched and awesome! Uncle Phil would be proud. Why is Ricky Schroder in the audience? Oooh...they were on Silver Spoons together! Bet there's not going to be a Will Smith sighting, then. Betsey Johnson bows down. They get a standing O, it was totally deserved.
To the judges! Len says no stressin', no messin'. It was a beautiful routine and best dance of night. Julianne says it was unbelievable and had amazing choreography. Bruno says the Prince of Bel-Air is the king of the night. Carrie says he raised the stakes and was excellent. He's still got some Carlton in him, I see. But it's cute. And bonus points for mentioning how hard EVERYONE has worked.
Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, Julianne 9, Bruno 9. I agree with that! Total of 36.
So that puts Alfonso and Witney at the top and Betsey and Tony at the bottom. They don't show the score board again, just the numbers to vote. Probably because they are out of time.
Tomorrow is elimination. DUN DUN DUN!