NEW Weekly Blog: Dancing (Theoretically on my Couch) With the Stars, Week 1

PolitiChicks.comHas it really been just a few short months since I threw my fists in the air triumphantly as my beloved Maks and Meryl won the coveted (according to ABC executives) Mirror Ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars? Actually I still feel kind of foolish recalling how I slammed to my knees and ripped off my shirt (ala some soccer playing woman, during some Super Soccer Bowl game) when they announced the winners last year, but Dancing with the Stars is the only (“sort of”) sport I’ve ever followed, and yes, even my cats think I’m pathetic, thanks for asking.

Be that as it may, here I am again, about to start my 19th consecutive season of watching DWTS and I’m a little worried because I loved Maks and Meryl so much last year I can’t imagine ever rooting for another couple with such abandon ever again. Quite frankly I just don’t have the energy. Maybe this year I’ll just sit back and be a casual observer, oh wow sparkly glitter! Annnd I’m hooked.

Here we go folks;

A five, six, seven, eight!

Whoa, a fancy new opening, sort of like the Tony Awards meets the People’s Choice Awards meets a Liza Minnelli cocktail party. I’m guessing the producers need to ramp it up this year considering that the cast for season 19 is, how to say this politely, incredibly bizarre. I recognized exactly 3 of them (well actually for this show those are pretty good stats). Hey look!! It’s Tom and Erin!! (Is it strange that I miss saying Brook Burke Charvet? Or that I want to name my next cat Brooke Burke Charvet? Or that I’ve written the name Brooke Burke Charvet three times now??) Tom looks a bit greyer than he has in the past few seasons, I wonder if he misses BB Charvet as well? I find that I really have no opinion of Erin Andrews one way or the other, she’s a perfectly fine professional amateur dancing show host, but she kind of reminds me of a very high strung puppy (which could possibly explain why Tom Bergeron turned so grey. GREY)

Oh goodie, it’s time to say hello to the judges. Carrie Ann Ahhhhnaba, crusty old Len, Bruno (who dressed himself as a waiter for the first show) and Julianne Hough (who apparently forgot to wear the top half of her dress). How galling is it that these four people make more money in one night than most of the people watching (especially yours truly) will make working full time in an entire year? I’m hoping that by the year 2016 the producers will have replaced them all with Cyborgs (hopefully brought on by some type of Game of Thrones fight to the finish death scene scenario, tastefully done of course, and yes fine, make believe).

First up on the dance floor, Antonio Sabato Jr. Naturally it’s just 4 seconds into his introduction and we’ve already seen photos of Mr. Jr. in some very tightie whities, I hope this isn’t an omen of things to come with Tommy Chong. I’d like to say that I enjoyed his dance with Cheryl Burke, but all I could really concentrate on was how incredibly windy it was on the ballroom floor. It reminded me of the scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy’s trying to get back to her home during the tornado, only with less clothing and smaltzier music. I’m sure Mr. Jr. and his dimples will be staying a while.

Next we have Lea Thompson, and a new pro, Artim (Arken?) I wonder why her opening intro didn’t touch on the movie Howard the Duck? Could there be a Disco Duck number in her future? I can just see that production meeting already:

“It’ll be great, a giant yellow duck suit made entirely out of feathers!! We can have a couple of Duck Dynasty cast members pretend to shoot at Arkim (Arpin?) at the end of the number, it’s a shoe in for an Emmy award!!”

Lea mentions that she was a ballerina over 30 years ago, and that she’s a cougar, and that she thinks she and Acrim (R-tum) have great chemistry. It’s the first night sister, calm down.

Sheesh, has it only been 21 minutes since the show started?

I’m starting to think I might have trouble connecting with the cast this season. Especially if Julianne keeps forgetting to get dressed and Bruno keeps being allowed to speak.

Oh cool a commercial with Matthew McConaughey, it’s like watching a little movie about driving. I have no idea what type of car he’s selling but if I ever get to make some of that mediocre dance show judge money I’d buy one, GIVE THAT MAN ANOTHER OSCAR FOLKS!

Hey we’re back and I just saw Maks! Is he with J-Lo? Is he with Meryl? Does he still feel like it’s none of our business? Hrumph!

Speaking of Maks, it’s time for us to watch his equally swarthy brother Val dance and possibly pretend to not fall in love with another attractive young girl from a television series called ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Her name is Janel Parrish and I have no idea who she is or what her shows about (except that it involve liars who are apparently small and good looking). Me thinks this gal has danced before, but really, who isn’t going to look great dancing with a Chmerkovskiy brother? Except for Kirstie Alley, she never deserved my precious Maks, and yes, even as I wrote that sentence I got a nice long whiff of pathetic wafting over my head.

Lolo Jones and another new pro are up next, is it wrong for me to say that I didn’t know which one was the Dancing star and which one was the new pro? I thought the name Ard-pin was hard to pronounce, I’ll never get this enthusiastic guys name right, hopefully the show will provide us with a cute nickname, or sequined (naturally) name tags. Here are some interesting things we learned tonight about Lolo Jones:

She’s a dancing virgin, metaphorically and figuratively and I’ve seen trees that have looked less wooden while dancing (it’s called underground theatre folks)

And most importantly, Lolo Jones doesn’t need you to critique her, Lolo Jones will critique herself thank you very much. And folks, Lolo aint happy. I wonder if new dancer guy is sweating so much because of the dance number or because he’s more than just a little bit terrified of his new glittery irate partner.

I have to admit that during Alfonso Ribeiro’s dance number, I secretly wished that Will Smith would appear on the dance floor with Tom Jones and gleefully watch as hilarity ensued. Maybe during sweeps week. I love Alfonso, I loved The Fresh Prince, I think I’m the only 51 year old white woman in East Texas that can rap the opening number by memory. I know this has nothing to do about his dancing but when will I ever be able to have a sentence like that published? He and Witney are adorbs, I think if he doesn’t accidently rile up Lolo or misstep during the fox trot he should be fine for a long, long season time.

Oh Tony Dovolani…why they give you such funny celebrities? I still think that man deserves some type of Noble Peace Prize for having to dance with Kate Gosselin (and yes, I meant to write noble because I’m one of them there clever writers and we do things like that for our own amusement). Betsy Johnson is 72, so I’ll cut her a little slack for having the guts to do a show like this in the first place, but really, the only thing I wrote down during her dance were the words “TRAIN WRECK’ three times, and that was before the boa mishap (for future reference, say No-a to Boa folks).

Sharna’s up next (her name always reminds me of a she-beast or soft tissue paper) and she has a bestselling author and talk show host as her partner du jour. Tavis Smiley, at first I’m fearful because he seems to have the same angry intensity as Lolo (who, by the way, I’m pretty sure is up in the cele-bre-box gnawing on a wildebeest by now) however, once Mr. Smiley starts dancing the sun comes out and he really seems to have a knack for live televised ballroom dancing. Of course if he plays the piano in real life like he “play acted” playing the piano across Sharna the She Beasts mid-section, all I can say is “yikes”. After some type of incoherent words about the sum of some or how to sum up something Erin Andrews looked like some type of animal caught in some type of headlights, but good on her, she stood her ground, BB Charvet would have passed out after an interview like that.

Oh goody, Mark Ballas has a new hairstyle this season; sort of like Elvis Presley meets the Karate Kid meets a llama. You will never be Derek Hough, Mark, give up, GIVE UP!! Mark’s dancing with a chick from Duck Dynasty (get it? Chick? Is it 9 yet?) I’m guessing that’s her father out in the audience, but he’s wearing camouflage so I really can’t tell. I know I personally always think “Duck Dynasty” when someone mentions the Argentine Tango so I’m thinking this dance should go pretty well. It does and the Judges rave.

For the sake of time and my sanity I’m going to sum up (is that right Tavis Smiley?) the remaining dancers in a more condensed version, think of it as a “Jive summation”:

Michael Waltrip is a former NASCAR driver, he reminds me of the actor that played Birdie in the musical Bye Bye Birdie (seriously, watch a clip of the movie and you’ll see what I mean) That’s a compliment by the way, and I find myself strangely attracted to him in a purely observational sort of way. I want to see how he’d look in something less yellow jump suity, perhaps a zip up tuxedo? He’s not a tremendously bad dancer, but you have to remember that Betsy Johnson set the bar incredibly low by now and I’ve got to root for someone. Basically his partner Emma danced around him while he pretended to drive for 2 minutes. Maybe next week he’ll shift gears.

So about 10 years ago a movie called ‘Mean Girls’ came out and the next dancing celebrity, Jonathan Bennett, is probably the least known person from that movie. He’s a cutie, and he has an exceedingly depressing reason to be on the show, but he’s also the happiest fella I’ve ever seen on television, ever. I felt like I went through a giant emotional wringer with this young man, whoever he is.

Tommy Chong and Peta. Sure, why not? If you want a show that makes sense, Dancing with the Stars is not for you. Actually I think Tommy seems dapper in a NASCAR driver sort of way. It also gives Tom Bergeron ample opportunity for about 7,000 more drug references. Win Win. Oh cool, there’s his incredibly old comic partner Cheech Marin out on the dance floor in a convertible, “Wow, this is so relevant” (says someone in 1972). Can a show actually jump a gaggle of sharks, is that possible? A quick shot of the cele-bre-box shows the young girl from Pretty Little Liars furiously texting her booking agent, and back down on the dance floor we overhear Cheech, who’s still sitting in the convertible, ask a stagehand how to get back to the 405 Freeway.

Karina seems extremely excited to be partnered with our next dancer, a pleasant looking fellow by the name of Randy Couture. It turns out that Mr. Couture is a UFC champion, something you naturally think of when you hear the words Randy, Couture and Dancing. I’m sure he’ll be voted through effortlessly, because as we all know the UFC Championship fighting community has a big Dancing with the Stars fan base. So yeah, basically he’s toast.

And last, but in no way surprisingly so, Derek “The bane of Mark Ballas’s existence” Hough enters the dance floor. When I heard that he’d be dancing with a YouTube star I got excited because I thought it was going to be that “Grumpy Cat” (talk about a letdown). Basically he’s dancing with a young girl who has over 500 million fans on the internet. And he’s Derek. I think we just need to give him the trophy now, get Mark into some heavy counseling and call it a night. Is she good? Does it really matter? Derek could make a sloth look like a professional. Or even me for that matter. And yes, I do think a sloth could edge me out, especially during the slower numbers.

So there you have it. An exhaustive first round update from Season 19. Do you have any favorites yet? How many people want to see a cage fight between Lolo and the UFC guy? Anybody?

Lisa K. Brown

Lisa K. Brown, also known to her fans on social media as 'Lisa Carrington Pennyweather', is the author of the top selling book, If Cheese Made You Thin I'd Be Invisible By Now. An East Texas based humorist, Lisa was a Features writer for CHARM Magazine for five years and has been published nationally in a variety of print publications and online sites. Although not a dancer in real life, her exhaustive knowledge of Bob Fosse and the ability to choreograph (in her mind, verbatim) the opening number from West Side Story makes her (by default) an expert in this field.

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