Welcome back to Dancing With the Stars! It's season 16, and whether you're watching because of the cast or in spite of it -- No more Maks! Low star power! What's a Zendaya? -- Planet Mirrorballus is still the finest Fabergé egg/escapism destination in the great Glitter Galaxy, and I'm still on board to recount the highs (sparkly tears of joy) and lows (pit stains) of all the fabricated drama. It's not supposed to be about the cast anyway -- it's about the dancing! Ha, well, we'll see how that works out.
Tonight we learned that the contemporary routine -- a.k.a. Barefoot in the Ballroom -- is here to stay. What a nightmare for some of these couples to have to do all this flailing and flopping first! None of the three contemporaries we saw tonight crashed and burned, but I still think the style is weird for the ballroom and will be very painful to watch as less talented dancers attempt it. DANCMSTR Len Goodman is not impressed.
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhhhhh-ber!
Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 24/30 Wow! That was a seriously savvy contemporary routine, their mirrored fluidity and fearlessness only intensified by some bizarre fake rain and Val's turquoise and navy striped socks with yellow sneakers. The Shake It Up actress even mounted the judges' table -- bold move.
This girl really seems to dig herself, so she's the perfect partner for Val. Her age -- at 16, she's the youngest Star ever! -- will throw an amusing wrench in his plans to never wear clothes. They're goin' places, for sure. Even if it's just "slumped against a wall" in an extended version of Val's pep talk this week ("I don't want you to be good. I want you to be incredible.") -- I'm into it. Really good pairing.
Pit it or quit it, Val!
NEXT: Did everyone notice Aly Raisman has boobs?