Dancing With The Stars Season 16 Premiere – A Night Of Surprises
Quite a few surprises on last night's "Dancing with the Stars" Season 16 premiere. Here's what I expected...and what I didn't.
Unexpected: A brand-new week one dance.
For the first time ever, the Contemporary dance style was introduced to the show for week one. Normally, the first styles are Cha Cha and Foxtrot. Three competitors, 16-year-old Disney star Zendaya (guess she needs no last name), Olympic figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill, and soap star Ingo Rademacher all scored well performing Contemporary dance.
Expected: Fan favorites.
No surprise that Dorothy Hamill, country legend Wynonna Judd and American Idol finalist and country singer/songwriter Kellie Pickler were the fan favorites right off the bat. And Ingo is shaping up to be that "hot factor" I mentioned in my pre-season predictions post. (link to that one) Dorothy and Kellie both performed well their first time out -- each with 21 points. Wnonna had the personality, but not the technique...and still ended the night with an 18. Not too shabby.
Unexpected: The highest and lowest scorers.
Before the show started, I really had no idea who Zendaya was. But the teen really impressed me, and the judges as well, with her amazing Contemporary dance. A 24 out of 30 was impressive from a girl who comes from a hip hop dance background. And I expected Andy Dick to be the "bottom-feeder" in this first round. I was wrong about that...sort of. Andy surprised me with a few good moments in his Foxtrot, earning a score of 17. I didn't expect D.L. Hughley to do well, but I didn't think he would score quite so low...an unimpressive 12 for his Cha Cha.
Expected: The athletes would do well. The comedians would not.
I pretty much already covered the comedian side of this. As for the athletes, they did do well...just not as well as I figured they would -- either by performance or by scores. Dorothy Hamill scored a 21 for her Contemporary dance, when I thought she deserved higher. I thought NFL footballer Jacoby Jones gave a darn good performance in his Cha Cha...but two of the three judges disagreed. He ended up with a 20. Boxer Victor Ortiz scored an 18 for his Foxtrot. He had the style and the smile, but the technique wasn't quite there. Still should have gotten a better score. And Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman actually got a better score that I thought she deserved. Those dynamic leg muscles of hers made her movements a little stiff. However, the judges liked her...she got a 21 for her Cha Cha.
Unexpected: Andy Dick would cry.
There was something I never thought I'd see! The recovering alcoholic/addict broke down during rehearsals, saying the training was just too hard. But after getting through the first dance, he said he felt much better.
Expected/Unexpected: The new pros.
I knew they'd be there...I just didn't know WHAT to expect from them. Lindsay Arnold (partnered with Victor Ortiz) seems down-to-earth and excited to be there. She does like to do a lot of chest-slapping her partner, though (see videos from last night's performances). Sharna is the gorgeous dark-haired foreigner (paired with Andy Dick). And then there's the very sexy Gleb Savchenko, who brings a hotness that rivals Ingo's. Gleb is paired up with Real Housewives' star and businesswoman Lisa Vanderpump. I'm not a big fan of hers thus far...but I may vote for her just to keep HIM around for a while.
Who haven't I mentioned yet? You guessed it! Sean Lowe of "The Bachelor" only scored a 19 for his Foxtrot, but I wouldn't count him out just yet. Though his performance was a little stiff, he may have the potential to sneak up on the other competitors. That's what happened with Melissa Rycroft from season 13's "The Bachelor." She didn't make it to the finals on season 15 of "Dancing with the Stars," but she did go on to win the Mirror Ball Trophy during season 18's All Stars show.
The competitors will dance one more time next Monday before the first results show the following Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing what they bring that night!