I feel like every season, I am less and less prepared for this show to start. I realized, like, yesterday that the season was starting tonight. And I could probably only name about half of this season's contestants. I guess that puts me on par with (what remains of) the viewing audience, right? Let's go.
The opening number is quite elaborate. It starts outside the studio and is a continuous shot all the way nearly to the stage. I spend a lot of time being confused and going, "Is that…Snooki? Why does she look Latina? Ooh, Bill Nye just took a hair extension whip to the face." It's also interesting to me to see which celebrities try to dance in the opening number and which ones just walk (or in Leah Remini's case, sit there). My husband asks me for early favorites and other than Corbin Bleu, it's kind of anyone's game. And he might get a backlash for being a ringer, so who knows? Also Valerie Harper has brain cancer, which is going to present it's own set of judging/voting difficulties which I will elaborate on when she actually dances.
The first couple to meet and rehearse is Peta and Brant Daugherty from Pretty Little Liars. They flirt. He seems to have a sense of humor about himself. They're doing a pre-dance interview with Tom, which I don't like. It seems unnecessary. Then again, I think the post-dance interviews are fairly unnecessary other than serving as filler until the judges' scores are ready. They are doing the cha cha cha to "Blurred Lines." I know right away that Len's going to say that there's not enough cha cha cha. Brant has good hip action and he doesn't miss a step, but his posture is terrible and he needs to project his charisma more. That's what's going to keep him in this competition. I've seen waaaaaay worse in week one, though.
Judges? They've moved the judges to the other side of the floor. I'm so disoriented. Len thought it was fabulous. Bruno is seated next to the waiting couples (what happened to the aquarium?) and he can't help but touch some of the guys. Anyway, he thought the dance was hot and steamy, although Brant lost timing a bit. Carrie Ann sees a lot of potential. Ooh, we get the scores right way. I wasn't ready! They're changing things! Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 8, Bruno 7. Nice start.
Brooke interviews Snooki and Leah. Snooki wants us to call her Nicole because she's a mom now. I don't think that I can do that. Leah jokes that she's ready to leave.
The next couple to meet is Leah and Tony. Leah is worried that she'll be terrible but Tony assures her that she'll do well, and he praises her work ethic and how quickly she picks up the dances. Look, I loved Leah even before she left Scientology, and now I love her even more. I can't pretend to be unbiased. They are dancing the foxtrot, and Leah's personality definitely comes through. In spades. Her hands and legs look graceful and she doesn't seem to miss a step (much) but her posture also needs a lot of work.