Dancing With the Stars season premiere recap: Cha-cha-cha Changes!

Season 18 gets a 'Star Wars'-themed upgrade courtesy of Billy Dee Williams (but, more importantly, Emma's Princess Leia costume)
Ep. 01 | Aired Mar 17, 2014


James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: 21/30 Oh my God. That was NOT COOL, punking Peta like that with an obviously orchestrated date planned weeks before she met her (sex) partner a second and extremely embarrassing time. This just reeks of trying too hard, guys. "You could have texted me….." she trailed off. Low blow. "Did something happen between you guys?????" someone pressed, off-camera. Nope. Done with that. Eh, it was a pretty good foxtrot. It seems to be a big deal and possible blasphemy that a member of Big Time Rush would dance to a One Direction song. To which I followup: Who? Who are any of those people. Don't tell me.

"What's going on between you two?" demanded Erin Andrews. "Not to get all Dancing With the Stars Weekly." Oh, ha ha. Like a magazine. But it is a weekly show. So yes, you are getting like that.

Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff: 20/30 Either this guy's getting the jerk edit or he is a jerk. But he's a jerk who loves the movie Footloose, so the dramatic leaps and bounds with which he executed this contemporary romp kept him in my relatively good favor. But you can't channel Kevin Bacon running through the empty "what is it, a grain mill?" forever, buddy! The Argentine tango has no use for Ren McCormack wannabes. Ren McCormack himself, now that'd be a different surly. I meant to type story, but it came out as a great description of the hockey star so I'm leaving it. Sean Avery is also perhaps a....

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Diana Nyad and Henry Byalikov: 18/30 I want this long-distance swimmer with a strong aversion to high heels and a killer positive attitude to change my life for the better, so rather selfishly I'm hoping she and New Pro Henry (upgraded from the Troupe!) stick around a few weeks. I always love a Dancing With the Stars super-fan fulfilling her bucket list wishes on live TV. Always. Their foxtrot was nothing to write home about, but Diana's wit and willingness to yank Maks' chain up in the skybox have me rooting for her big-time.

"It's not how you start, but how you finish!" she reminded us. Help me, Diana. Help me think differently re: my everyday failures!

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Finally, R2-D2 gets the female attention it (he?) has always deserved.

Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater: 15/30 God bless everyone involved with this massive Star Wars/Dancing With the Stars crossover so that this 77-year-old legend's time spent on this show could be considered worthwhile. Lando Carlissian barely moved during this Stormtrooper-assisted cha cha cha (let that roll around in your brain awhile) -- but come on, be fair, give the guy a break: He can barely move in general. Two hip replacements and arthritis in the back do not a Latin ballroom specialist make.

"You're definitely the most 'relaxed' dancer I've ever seen…" Carrie Ann tried to put a pleasant spin on it to combat the raucous boos. "Yay!" Emma quietly piped in. I love Emma.

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Commenter 'RifaG' could definitely be onto something with her suspicion that Mark and Derek were the ones wearing the Ewok costumes. And speaking of costumes, it turns out the only thing you could do to make Princess Leia's bikini even sexier is to drape thousands of tiny tiered beads across the butt.

Who will go home first? Gotta be Billy Dee, right?

Your thoughts on the premiere, DANCMSTRs? Erin? The new band? Our old friend Smokey?


Fringe Fairy

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