'Dancing With the Stars All-Stars' recap, Welcoming back some old favorites
The all-star cast along with their professional partners returned to the ballroom on the season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars." (ABC)
When Helio sees Chelsie he exclaims, "They gave me another blonde!" Wow, way to make both women feel special, Helio. He explains he came back on the show so his young daughter, born after he won his season, can see her daddy dance. Chelsie calls Helio "the perfect student." He and Chelsie seem to get along really well. Chelsie smartly picks up that it's best to cast Helio as a classic and jovial charmer. He's more Marx Brothers than Farrelly brothers if you get what I mean. Len says it was mostly a joy to watch, but Helio's feet need work. Bruno mentions that Helio had a few missteps which are covered by his stage presence and charisma. Carrie Ann wants more "body contact" to help with his leading.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7.5; Bruno: 7
Pamela Anderson & Tristan McManus
First impression: Tristan is going to have to carry all the personality in this couple. And from the start, Pam is just as bad a dancer as I remember her being. Her technique's not great and she makes ZERO connection with the audience. Having her on right after Helio makes it blindingly obvious. Bruno tells her she has to put more work into it if she wants to go all the way. Len compares it to a kid on the bike when the training wheels come off. Pam's got tears shimmering and I'm surprised given her life and the fact that she's faced these judges before that she doesn't have thicker skin.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 5.5; Len: 5.5, Bruno: 6.
There are boos in the ballroom but those scores are appropriate. Stay strong, judges!
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
These two are reunited and they're both excited. Tony says Melissa is "arguably the best partner [he's] ever had." Looking at a list of his partners/finishes, yeah, he's had some challenges over the years, mostly because they tend to partner him with the "women of a certain age." He tells Melissa that he feels like he could have pushed her more in their first season together and he blames himself for their loss. Humility! From a pro! Fan me!
It starts off with "business" at the beginning which will probably get right up Len's nose. C'mon, Tony, you have to cut that stuff out -- you should know this by now. I'm also betting at least one of the judges, probably Len, will want it to have been more of a traditional foxtrot. The crowd loved it, though. Carrie Ann points out the Fosse roots of the song and the routine. She liked Melissa lines but then harps on wanting more body contact. Len says it was "a little bit theatrical" for him. Told ya. Bruno calls her extensions "vertiginous" -- nice fancy word there, Mr. Tonioli.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7.
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff
It would be assault, right, if I held Apolo down and got rid of that nastiness on his chin? Apolo and Karina are in neon and have glowstick bracelets on. But if you're doing the cha cha to "Party Rock Anthem" I guess it makes a certain amount of sense. Oooh, was that a lift? Is Carrie Ann going to be on Lift Patrol already? Len says it was more a bronze, than a gold, medal performance; needed more hip action, but he sold the routine. Bruno liked his arm extensions, but needed better placement of the weight on his foot. Carrie Ann has a crush on Apolo, and can mostly only talk about how sexy he is.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7.5; Len: 7; Bruno: 7.5
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd
Yay! Gilles! He's probably the one I'm most rooting for, if for no other reason than he's on one of my favorite underrated shows, "Switched at Birth." (Seriously, if you're not watching it, you totally should be. It's terrific.) Even Gilles' boogie moves at the end of his intro make me laugh. Gilles feels like he has amazing chemistry with Peta. Oh, dear. There's a little bit of "business" at the beginning of this one too. Will these pros never learn???