Reality Recap – Dancing With The Stars – Season 20, Episode 1 – #DTWS

Dancing with the Stars

Who’s your favorite this year?

DWTS fans weathered another  Bachelor season and are placing early bets on which star will win the coveted Mirror Ball trophy in Dancing with the Stars’ 20th season. And although we admire Noah Galloway and respect Patti Libel, Athletchic already has a favorite in Primrose Everdeen. Ooops, we mean Willow Sheilds.

With 10 years under their belt, the show has grown from a who-the-heck-is-that-star dancing show to a let-me-on-so-I-can-boost-my-career reality competition. Rumor has it stars are paid a ton of money for each week they survive–over $100,000–even for those who have two left feet.

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews introduce the stars and away they danced. Here’s Athletchic’s grade and the judges score:

Willow Sheilds (and Mark Ballas) A-

First up (so she can go home and do homework) is the youngest competitor ever. They introduced her  with a spoof skit on The Hunger Games (corny) where Mark Ballas volunteers to dance with the teen.

Right away our favorite sets precedence. (Is this kid really only 14?) She does great. The judges are kind but score her low (first couple disadvantage). We agree with Carrie Ann, she has a sophistication you don’t see in most kids this young.  SCORE 25.

Robert Herjavec (and Kym Johnson) B+

Next the race-car-drivin’ cyber expert  smiles a lot and remembers the steps but still looks a little like a shark out of water (sorry Len, he does).  Still, he doesn’t do bad. Hips are pointed correctly. He has a lot of energy. Not as good as our Primrose, mind you, but you have to like him.  Julianne put it perfectly. He won us over with his infectious performance. (But really? Higher than Prim?) SCORE 28

Riker Lynch (and Allison Holker) A

This crowd-pleasing Glee star brings the women in the audience to their feet. An aerial view of Lynch being carried in sets the pace, and he never slows down. The judges said he had tight, sharp, clicks; was explosive; full-on; flat-out; AND he’s related to Derek and Julianne (is that fair?) but not sure how. SCORE 31

Charlotte McKinney(and Keo Motsepe) C+

This 2.5 million-internet-hit model sensation comes on saying she wants to be known as more than just “boobs”. But she holds melons to her chest and keeps talking about boobs. (No sensor for the 14-year-old?)They even perform a keep-those-babies-in-place taping session (we find yet another use for duct tape.) All the hype can’t make her a better dancer than she is. (However the men in the audience don’t notice. They weren’t looking at her steps.) Athletchic gives her an extra point for her cute, sexy partner. The judges say she had a rough start but is fun to watch. SCORE 22

Patti Libel (and Artim Chigvintsev) B+

Sister Patti gets extra points from Athletchic for her class act. She dances a little slow but looks fabulous.

How old is this chic anyhow? She barely has a wrinkle on her face. Definitely a crowd pleaser, the cheering is hard to quiet down when the song ends. Len says she rang his bell, and Bergeron says Len has a rusty old bell. Julianne says the choreography was great. Bruno compliments her, and Ms. Libel wins everyone over with a few tears. Emotionality erases any lack of musicality. This old bird is classy.

She says she is seventy years young, gives kudos to Artim, and the judges rate her (with boos from the crowd for low numbers). SCORE 25

Chris Soules (and Whitney Carson) B+

Chris says he has a mental hurdle to get over. He’s engaged to a Whitney (we think we heard her cheering) and dancing with a Whitney. Dancing Whitney clearly picks the perfect song for him–Footloose–and we get the surprise of the century. Farm boy does pretty good.

He puts a lot of Soule into his dancin’, and the judges say he has  potential. Len adds he needs some polish but is glad he came out and went for it.  (As long as he doesn’t cry we’re happy.)  In the interview, Erin reminds him that he is the bachelor who made out with everyone. (Thanks.) Chris Harrison and girlfriend Whitney smile from the audience. (We did hear that voice!) SCORE 26

Michael Sam (and Peta Murgatroyd) A

Free-agent Sam says Dancin’ is helping his training. He meets Peta on a football field, and she’s thrilled. During practice, she says she’s amazed at how hard he trains first on the field and then on the floor.

He has some shake-that-butt dancin’ skills, but a pasty-smile face. Bruno says well done. Julianne has a few “sloppy” comments and gets booed by the crowd, so adds he’s fun to watch. Len says Sam could win rear of the year and Len would win ass of the pass. Erin has to shoe Chris Soules out of the way (awkward) to interview Sam and the judges judge him low. (What’s that all about?) SCORE 26

Nastia Liukin  (and Derek Hough) A

This gymnast has five gold medals, so we were expecting a lot. The producers paint the screen black and white for the opening of the dance then add color to New York New York. Liukin doesn’t disappoint. (Nor does Derek.) Carrie says it was polished but scolds Derek for inputting a lift. Len either criticizes or compliments the dance (we can’t tell) then says great. Is it me or do they often criticize Derek? (Jealous.) Bruno gets excited, and the couple gets their score. SCORE 30

Redfoo (and Emma Slatz) C

Bring-it-on REDFOO squeals then comes out kicking in a bee boppin’ leisure suit. He does the best he can, and it is entertaining. (Not exactly in the great sort of way.) But his Get Juicy is more like get loosy only without much rhythm. Len says he dances like his hair, unkempt, but also says it was fun, fun, fun. (And it was–for bee boppin.)Julianne says he jiggled to juicy, and she looks forward to more. He says he’ll try harder when he’s interviewed, and the judges give them the lowest score yet. SCORE 22

Noah Galloway (and Sharna Burgess) A-

This guy is just remarkable. A double amputee, Galloway was hurt in Iraq combat. Now he is a personal trainer and motivator. He does marathons, expects more from himself and works harder than anyone else. While he is dancing, we’re thinking, this guy is unbelievable.  He picks Sharna up for a  hug at the  end, and the  crowd gives him a much-deserved standing ovation. His three kids jump in cheer, and Noah is all smiles.

Julianne says they have the best connection of all the couples.  Bruno says he is  a Titan. He’s unique. He feels the music. Carrie sheds a few tears and says it was inspiring. Len says he’s inspired not just the  judges and audience but all America. Erin interviews him, and he is the epitome of graciousness. SCORE 26

Suzanne Somers (and Tony Dovolani) C-

Thigh-master Suzy says she wants to show that women over 60 can dance. They start with an aerobic class, and then move into a dance to Let’s Get Physical. (But they don’t really.) The judges remark  that Suzanne has great legs, and Tony has great guts to dress in that outlandish outfit. (It was awful, but cleverly kept eyes off Suzy for awhile.) Then the judges score them (what?) the same as our Primrose (not even close). SCORE 25

Rumer Willis (and Valentin Chmerkovsky) A+

Rumer, daughter of Bruce and Demi, says she is very nervous. But wow can she dance. She absolutely nails it. The judges say she was incredible, in it to win it.  Len says this  could be Val’s season. Julianne says they are the ones to watch. Bruce and Demi are both in the audience (not together) cheering (ratings boost). SCORE 3 2

And the first show ends with Rumer and Val in first place and Bring-it-on REDFOO and Boob-it-up Charlotte tied for last. Athletchic’s fav, Willow, was clearly disadvantaged by being first. We know she’ll do better next week.

_________________________________________________________________________ Cyndie Zahner is a free lance writer. Follow her on Twitter at @tweetyz or on Instagram as athletchicz.

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