Things got off to a great start with the first episode of this season and it looks like there are a couple of front runners that will be worth watching. As usual it was quite the eclectic mix of C and D grade celebrities, but I did take offence to the comment that if it was really bad it was a Chloris Leachman. Chloris was not the worst dancer ever on the series ( I believe that title is with Master P) and certainly not merited. Chloris was really entertaining and deserved to hang around as long as she did.
Lil' Kim has been paired up with Derek Hough and she looks great -- much better than the last time she was on the tube (in that terrible Girlicious show) and she is able to show more of her musicality. She may be a bigger threat than some of the other competitors think and is one to watch. Her comment about being the black Barbie with Derek being her Ken doll was pretty funny.
Belinda Carlisle is being partnered by Jonathan Roberts will be Go Going soon if she doesn't get her groove on soon, her first performance was disappointing and her apparent lack of musicality is stunning. I loved her group way back in the 80s ... but think her time on this show will not be much of a comeback.
Cheryl is back with a vengeance and desire to win and has been teamed up with relatively unknown actor Gilles Marini (unless you count his naked passage in the Sex and the City movie), but she is pulling out all the stops and if Gilles can keep up with her (and win over the viewing public) then they will probably go far. Cheryl's biggest challenge will be working with a relatively unknown star (this season seems to be full of D List celebrities -- who's next? Kathy Griffin?)
Lawrence Taylor is the latest football player to hit the dance floor and is teamed up with the sexy and petite Edyta Sliwinska. Lawrence turned out to be a big disappointment and might be one of the teams in jeopardy. He is probably lucky that Woz was so terrible that it is pretty much a given that it he will be the first dismissed.
Steve-O is with Lacey Schwimmer and is already the crowd favourite, and he was much better than I expected. Lacey is a bit of a rebel so it's great that she has a partner that is willing and able to try other stuff, and I hope to see them around for quite awhile.
Chuck Wicks is teamed up with girlfriend Julianne Hough and she is certainly not dating him for his dancing ability. They look good together but it was not a terribly great dance number and our first husband and wife team will have to get it together better if they plan on sticking around. I guess that Julianne's Country career didn't take off that well as she was supposed to have left as of last season. Her return maybe shorter than expected.
Holly Madison was brought in to replace the broken Jewel and is with new dancer (and So you think you can Dance alumni) Dmitry Chaplin and they did a great job considering their lack of time to prepare for the competition. It's appears that this season's "Stars" are a tad more fragile than in previous years and the replacements come from even further down the totem pole. Holly doesn't have much of a Star pedigree, unless you count the abysmal Girls next Door and her life as a Playboy Bunny. This is ABC television right? Family values? Just joking...
Shawn Johnson is the lucky girl teamed up with Mark Ballas and they put out the best number of the evening that was refined and elegant. Shawn has all of her gymnastics background to help her out for the physical part of the competition, and has nice lines and a very strong body. She should be around for the long haul and looks to be a major front runner at this point.
Ty Murray is with new dancer (and another SYTYCD alumni) Chelsie Hightower ( I love how one show is producing dancers for another and they are not even on the same network) and Jewel's husband is pretty stiff... in fact he didn't show much potential but once again is probably saved because Woz was just that bad. Our rodeo boy might find this competition harder than the toughest bull he has ridden and probably won't be along for the ride for that long.
Steve Wozniak has decided to try this out (god knows why) and is with Karina Smirnoff. The performance was a complete disaster and quite pitiful... the guy is only there because he is filthy rich and if there is any intelligent design he should be gone next week. Very bad stuff .. someone needs to lose the reality show addiction and get a new hobby. Just because you are filthy rich should not mean that you are a "Star" and I think it is more of an insult to nerds and geeks than any kind of flattery.
David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson started off well and David is a tad weird but a much better dancer than I anticipated. He needs to get his personalities in order but once that is done he should do quite well. I am not sure if he will win of the public's vote with that weird attitude. He certainly left me with a bad impression and personally hope that he will be gone soon.
Denise Richards is hitting the floor with my favourite Maksim Chmerkovskiy and as much as I would love to see Maks win the title, but his partner looked like a frightened flamingo and didn`t do much for me or meet any expectations at all. Denise may like the bad boys but she has no idea what to do with him now that she has him. I think that ABC has dipped too far into the reality pool for this round and expect some magnificent crashes and burns.
Melissa Rycroft (one of those bimbos who nobody really cares about from the last Bachelor) is with Tony Dovolani so after a big 48 hours of training (and they were probably practicing until the very last second) expectations were not high. She was actually a very nice surprise and will be around for a few weeks. Of course the question is if our cheerleader is actually a Star but it looks like in the eyes of ABC (and that damn Bachelor franchise) it appears that she is. Like I said, too many lower list "Stars" in this round -- but at the rate they are dropping we may not have any choice.