I wasn’t looking forward to this season of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ but these stars are the best dancers ABC has EVER had! Seriously, they are incredible!
With so many other talent competition shows going on right now, the last thing I wanted to do was commit to another season of Dancing with the Stars, but I’m taking that back now after seeing the premiere March 19. Even though I hardly knew who the heck the “stars” were in season 14, there wasn’t a bad seed in the bunch. Not one person scored less than 20, which is unheard of! If you don’t know who they are already, get prepped to hear a bunch about opera singer Katherine Jenkins, Disney Channel star Roshon Fegan, former child star Jaleel White and football pro Donald Driver.
Maria Menounos & Derek Hough: Maria and Derek started the show off really strongly with a pretty darn good cha-cha-cha for week one. It doesn’t hurt that Maria has a flawless feature, in addition to her gorgeous face…plus, the strongest dance pro on the show. As long as America likes her, I think she’s going to go far. 7, 7, 7 = 21
Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya: Jack’s foxtrot to Nancy Sinatra‘s “Sugar Town” was cute, but not really my style. I also thought his arms were really stiff. Len Goodman agreed with me about the technique, but the other two judges couldn’t stop smiling. “You just took me too a happy place,” Carrie Ann Inaba raved. 8, 7, 8 = 23
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd: I LOVED the energy of Donald and Peta’s cha-cha-cha. Even though I had no idea who Donald was until tonight (he’s the Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver), I’m rooting for him to do well. These athletes sure know how to move! Also, I’d forgotten Peta, who was on DWTS last season, but got eliminated in the first round with Ron Artest. I can’t wait to see how they do this season, even if the judges didn’t appreciate this performance like I did. “There was flair going on. You got too excited a few times,” Len critiqued. How Donald and Peta didn’t get higher than Jack is beyond me! 7, 7, 7 = 21
Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff: Gavin has this boyish charm to him when he dances, I couldn’t help but smile. Plus, Karina is always such a pro out there — she really knows what she’s doing. Even though the dance was a little messy, I still enjoyed their foxtrot to Lady Antebellum’s “I Run to You.” “Great charm and gentle quality to your dance. You have to learn to link the moves,” Bruno Tonioli said. 7, 6, 7 = 20
Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower: First of all, this is probably my favorite pair of the competition, seeing as I know them better than anyone else on the show — and boy, did they do me proud! Roshon blew everyone out of the water with his sick moon walking, spins and body rolls. Of course, Mr. Technical (Len) wasn’t a fan of the dance as a cha-cha-cha, but no one could deny this dance had the crowd excited. I think he should have gotten a higher score than he did. 8, 7, 8 = 23
Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy: Sherri lit up the stage with her foxtrot and I thought it was super enjoyable. I also loved the song choice — “Sherry” by The Four Seasons. It was cute. However, it didn’t deserve as high of scores as it got. 8, 7, 8 = 23
Melissa Gilbert & Maksum Chmerkovskiy: I don’t know if it was the choreography, the music choice or the dancers, but this cha-cha-cha just didn’t do it for me…at all. It felt stiff and awkward the whole time. The judges were sweet to Melissa, with Carrie Ann saying she saw “great potential,” but I didn’t get that memo. 7, 6, 7 = 20
William Levy & Cheryl Burke: I’d never heard of William Levy until this season, but give me more! The telenovela star is gorgeous and knows how to move on the dance floor. His cha-cha-cha to Chris Brown‘s “International Love” was really well done, which was reflected in his high scores. 8, 8, 8 = 24
Martina Navratilova & Tony Dovolani: Martina and Tony’s foxtrot seemed like a typical first week dance — a little stiff and under prepared. Fortunately, the tennis pro has a great charm about her on stage. “It was close but not quite there for me,” Len said. “It was too careful.” I think the judges scored her too highly. 7, 6, 7 = 20
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas: HOLY COW! You cannot tell me this chick hasn’t ever danced before. She looked just as graceful as a dance pro doing the foxtrot with Mark. Seriously, her lines were PERFECT, her smile was gorgeous and she couldn’t have had a better performance. “Best first dance on the show ever,” Carrie Ann raved. If she keeps it up, Katherine is going to be hard to beat! 9, 8, 9 = 26
Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus: Gladys was everything you’d hope she’d be on the dance floor and more: sassy, smiley and in rhythm. I loved her performance and can’t wait to see her get better with each week. “It’s not forced, it oozed rhythm and you did a wonderful job,” Len said. 8, 7, 8 = 23
Jaleel White & Kym Johnson: Who knew Steve Urkel could dance?! Turns out the nerd has some pretty smooth moves. I couldn’t believe how sharp his foxtrot was to Frank Sinatra‘s “The Way You Look Tonight.” Well played, sir! “This was the best first show of any season,” Len admitted. Surprisingly, I’d have to agree. 9, 8, 9 = 26
Bottom Line: Jack and Melissa had my least favorite performances of the night. Who’s did YOU like best? And most importantly, who do you think is getting the boot first? Sound off below!
– Kirtin Benson