Dancing With the Stars season premiere recap: The Gute, the Bad, and the Ugly

On the sixth season premiere, the men are a mixed bag -- ranging from the slick Mario to the sickly Adam Carolla -- but at least they seem happy to be here
Ep. 01 | Aired Mar 17, 2008

ONE MAN AND A BABE Steve Guttenberg, with partner Anna TreBUNskaya!

''Dancing With the Stars'' recap: Meet the men

I knew something had been missing for the past four months. Was it the great love of my life? Vitamin D? Not sleeping on Monday or Tuesday nights? No! It was Tom Bergeron shouting such ridiculous warnings as ''Hang on to your sequins, because the ballroom's about to explode!'' into my living room. That's what I was missing. Though I'm a little disappointed he didn't mention fringe.

Welcome, Dancing With the Stars fans, to another 13 weeks pumped full of sparkle, glamour, and a nearly illegal amount of collagen. It only took a few seconds of Tom and Samantha's chirping and the first few beats of the pro dance — aptly set to Robbie Williams' ''Let Us Entertain You'' — to get me literally bouncing on my couch, sporting a grin usually reserved for when I'm told I'll get to eat dinner in a restaurant. How could you not delight in the return of (cue jazz hands) Louis? Anna and Jonathan's 17 lifts? The Harold Wheeler Ensemble's drummer boppin' along in a beret? Mark and long-haired Derek engaging in a bizarrely awesome hip-hop duet with a twist of ballroom? After this spectacle, the studio audience members were technically on their feet, but they were not as excited as I was at all. The footwork was there, but work on the performance aspect for next week, seat fillers!

By the way, I like how the producers condensed all of season 5 into a five-second clip show: Jennie's minor tumble, Marie's major collapse, and then — triple thud — Helio winning the trophy. You really nailed it!

In a brief intro session, all of the stars took their first gamble on not falling down the scary staircase. Steve Guttenberg waved hi to his mom, Adam Carolla waved his gross fingers right in Julianne's face, and Priscilla Presley didn't realize the camera was there, and then when she did, no part of her body moved except for her mouth, which said, ''Woo.'' But this isn't about the women. It was ''Macho Monday,'' said Tom, and the six strapping manly men took to the floor with either the fox-trot or the cha-cha. Here's how they fared:

Mario and Karina: 24 out of a possible 30 points The 21-year-old R&B singer showed great promise in two very important DWTS categories: sequins and self-promotion. With that sparkly ''05'' and phone plastered on the back of his shirt, he conquered both at the same time. So it only makes sense that he's in the lead so far. A vision in seafoam, Mario and Karina version 2.0 danced a damn good cha-cha that elicited the highest praise Carrie Ann knows how to dole out: ''Daaaaaaaang. Wowwwwww! Daaaaaaaang.'' I know, right? Totally. Samantha had what'll probably be her hardest-hitting journalistic moment of the season, pointing out that people might think he had an advantage with all his dance experience. Mario begged to differ. He did mention his hip-hop and R&B dance background during the rehearsal footage and said it worried him, because ''Look what happened to Sabrina.'' (Yo, I think a producer fed him that shizz to be topical.) I know it's only week 1, but am I alone in wondering if Mario is maybe (spoken in the voice of Karina) a leeeetle too into his partner? Then again, maybe she has an all-access policy for Marios and digs him just as much. I can't tell yet. The spicy female pro recovered from neck surgery in a matter of days without any apparent help from illusionist Penn Jillette. Ew, can you imagine Penn manipulating Karina's herniated disc with his mammoth digits and then attributing the successful procedure to the three of clubs? I apparently can.

NEXT: Jock jams

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