I had no idea who Christian de la Fuente or Mario were. Christian is a Chilean actor and Mario is a rap or hip hop or R&B singer. Can't remember which. Adam Carolla isn't so familiar either and I didn't know Shannon Elizabeth did more than American Pie. I'm sure like everyone else, I was surprised to see Marlee Matlin on the roster, and not to be mean or anything, but is every season going to have a star with some sort of disability who gets given a bit of leeway by the judges and gets voted off long after they should have? Will she be another Heather Mills? hmmm Time will tell. I was also surprised to see Priscilla Presley and a little disturbed by what possibly could be botox gone wrong. Jason Taylor I don't know from football, but he won't be hard to watch (along with Christian), Steve Guttenberg might be the "old" guy this year. Penn Jillette....oh my is all I'll say. And Monica and Marissa....eh...ok. I WAS thrilled to see how Kristi Yamaguchi participating. I loved her skating and thought she might be enjoyable to watch.
The stars are paired up this way: Adam & Julianne Hough (winner of last two seasons); Christian & Cheryl Burke (winner of the two seasons before Julianne); Shannon& Derek Hough (yes, Julianne's brother); Steve & Anna Trebunskaya; Mario & Karina Smirnoff (ick I don't like her); Marlee & Fabian Sanchez (he's replacing Maxim Chemerkovsky...toooo bad. Fabian seems boring); Penn & Kym Johnson (how does she always get stuck with duds); Priscilla & Louis van Amstel; Monica & Jonathan Roberts; Jason & Edyta Sliwinska (this woman has legs that go on for miles...holy schmoly); Marissa & Tony Dovolani and Kristi & Mark Ballas.
The judges are, as usual Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli.
So for the start of this season, the producers decided that the couples would dance two dances before an elimination and for the first time there would be a double elimination. Sooooooo, week one had the dancers doing either the Foxtrot or the ChaChaCha. The men danced the first night. Penn & Kym were up first with the ChaChaCha. Eeeek, he did seem to be trying but jimminy crickets, Bruno said it right, he looks like Shrek and his feet are like BOATS! Their score was 16 out of a possible 30. My score 6/10. Jason & Edyta followed with the Foxtrot. He did a really nice job. For a football player, he was surprisingly elegant and paired with Edyta, they make a nice picture on the dance floor. Score: 22/30, my score 8/10. Christian & Cheryl were up next with the ChaChaCha. He was nice to watch and I think the judges were a little hard on him, but they still gave him fairly respectable marks 21/30. My score 7/10. Then it was time for Adam & Julianne with the Foxtrot. Let's just say, there is no way Julianne is going to have a three-peat! Judges score 15/30, mine 6/10. Mario & Karina were up next doing the ChaChaCha and while he was good, I'm never going to get past that I don't like her and I wanted to urp when one of the judges said something about her and all these great Mario's...aaack. Their score 24/30, mine 7/10. Lastly Steve & Anna took the floor and I think Steve needs to stop making all of the facial expressions. He did fair. Their score 18/30. My score 6/10. So the men were in the following order by score: Mario, Jason, Christian, Steve, Penn and Adam.
The next night the ladies took to the dance floor. Shannon & Derek were up first with the ChaChaCha. The judges liked them. I thought they were ok. Derek made some comment about being a MAN this year instead of a boy like last year....aaack! Judges score 21/30. My score, 7/10. Monica & Jonathan were up next with the Foxtrot. Oh my goodness! It's a real good thing Monica is just using this as a substitute for the prom she never went to because she was in a Grand Slam, cuz I think she may see her last dance next week. She was so stiff and gangly. Judges score 15/30, my score 5/10. Marrissa & Tony did the ChaChaCha. First of all, in the bits they show before the dances of the dancers practicing and learning and all that filler which sometimes gets annoying... I wanted to either shake her or slap her Cher style ala Moonlight "SNAP OUT OF IT!" She was so hyper and over the top bubbly. I understand that was probably a huge bit nervousness, but SHEESH! This carried into the dance where she was kinda all over the place. I got exhausted watching her. The judges kinda felt this too. Their score 18/30. My score 5/10. Next was Priscilla & Louis doing the Foxtrot. WOW....I was shocked. She was GREAT! She did this death spiral thingy and she really looked great. I just wish she could smile properly. Judges loved 'em...24/30. My score 8/10. And then came Kristi & Mark, also doing the Foxtrot. C'mon, could she do a bad job. With her years of skating experience, she must have loads of dance training and any dance that would require elegance and good arm and leg extension, she'd surely be able to pull off nicely. YAYYYYYYYY, she did. She looked GREAT out there and everyone loved her! Judges score 27/30, my score 9/10. Finally Marlee was up last and did the the ChaChaCha. She was good, don't get me wrong, but there were a few awkward moments of a stiffness. hmmm Judges gave her a 22/30, my score 7/10. So the ladies are in the following order: Kristi, Priscilla, Marlee, Shannon, Marissa & Monica.
Next episode and then duh duh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh...double elimination!