Dancing With The Stars Season 21 – Week 1 Thoughts

Guys, I have a confession.

I am seriously obsessed with Dancing with the Stars.

Like, for real.

It’s a newish thing, really – I watched Season 18 after it wrapped up, before 19 started (and yes, it took me months to stop shipping Meryl and Maks). And then, season 19 I fell in love with Sadie and Alfonso – actually, more Whitney but still – and last season I was torn between Riker and Rumer. I’m only semi-ashamed to admit my level of commitment to this show. And even less ashamed that I’m blogging about it.

I’ve read all the arguments about how the stars are B-list, and frankly, I’m glad they are. We get to see these people for who they are, and they become much more than just some random celebrity. Plus, the pro dancers are amazing, the judges are fun, and it makes us wish we were dancers too. I mean, let’s be honest….who hasn’t fantasized about being on the show? (For the record, I’m constantly torn between who I’d want to be partnered with.)

Anyway. I anxiously awaited this season’s cast list, and I was thrilled when it came out. I actually knew who most of them were!!! We have cable, but we don’t have it connected (there’s a reason, promise), so I have to wait until the day after the show airs to actually watch it. It’s TORTURE. Not even lying.

So today I rushed home and got my computer and my pizza and beer ready, and settled in for two hours of dancing goodness. And I was not at all disappointed. It’s going to be a great season, and I figured…why not blog about it? It’ll be fun!

So get ready for DWTS recaps for several months. Cause we can.

Hopefully, you’ll either have watched it live (you lucky, lucky person you), or you’ll have streamed it the day after like me. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, because well…your choice is your choice. And if you haven’t watched it by the time you read these posts, it’ll be too late, so….vote your way. K? K. And now. Thoughts on Week 1.

First of all, it took me two seasons to love Tom and Erin, but I do. And her hair was killer. I love the judges, have very few complaints with them, so let’s just agree that these posts will be about the dancers. Fair? (These are in no real order.)

Victor Espinoza and Karina Smirnoff: I was sooooo stoked to find out Victor was going to be on this season. We were in a bar when he won the Belmont….I hadn’t been following the races, but was blown away. Even got teary. (I used to ride as a kid, and realized within about 20 seconds they were something special.) I thought he’d be with Whitney, just because she’s closer to his height. I’ve not seen a ton of Karina, so I don’t have much of an opinion on her yet. But the dancing. How adorable was Victor!!?? I can’t wait to see more of him. He clearly had a blast, and while he may not have been the best dancer, he was definitely a treat to watch. He gets my vote.

Chaka Khan and Keo Motsepe: I hate to say it, but I’m not a Keo fan. Oh, he’s a good dancer, I’ll give him that. But I think – and hear me out – he’s not a good teacher. What’s her face…LoLo? From season 19 had zero rhythm, and certainly wasn’t very likeable. Ok, he gets a pass on her. Charlotte, aka Burger King Boobs, from season 20, had potential. Call me crazy, but she did. Yeah, she was a little…odd. And awkward. But frankly? Not terrible. Just not well coached. And Chaka last night? Same thing. Watching the package, it’s clear she’s got rhythm and it’s clear she’s got moves. I saw none of that in her dance, which says to me that Keo has no idea what to do with her. That’s too bad – I think she’s better than she showed.

Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy: Oh, Val. Be still my heart. Amiright ladies? I’ll be honest here, I had no clue who Tamar was, and of course, I was reluctant to give her a chance because I mean, she wasn’t Rumer. I was wrong. Tamar is good, damn good, and her partnership with Val is going to be tons of fun to watch. She gets my vote too, and I can easily see her in the top 5.

Carlos PenaVega and Whitney Carson: Another I didn’t have a clue who he was. But I love Whitney, ever since that glorious “Do you need a snack” episode. She’s a great choreographer, and damn endearing. I was a little skeptical about the whole Carlos and Alexa thing, and still am, but he was good. It was nice to see Whitney with someone energetic again – no slam to Chris (who actually kind of won me over by the end last season), but Carlos is a natural. Love his dancing, and he gets a vote.

Alexa PeneVega and Mark Ballas: Mark’s one of my favorites too, so anyone he’s partnered with automatically has me interested. Didn’t know who Alexa was either. That’s ok. She was cute, looked a little terrified, but there’s potential there. My big thing with her is that I really hope the producers stop playing on the “married couple” thing – it’s cool that they’re both competing, but I want to see them as two separate people. Time will tell, but she’s got my vote for now.

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough: Um, Bindi, can you please stop being so freakin’ adorable? Come on! I love love love her. Loved her outfit, loved her expressions, and the girl can dance. And she seems genuine. Can’t fault her for that. As for Derek, glad to see him with a fun partner again. No, I wasn’t a Nastia fan. This team will go far (I’m predicting runner-up), and will have my vote for the run of it.

Gary Busey and Anna Trebunskaya: Ok, I know I said I wasn’t going to tell you who to vote for. I lied. Please please PLEASE vote for Gary and Anna. He.Is.Hilarious. As a dancer? I mean, he did ok. He was entertaining as hell, and wasn’t the worst out there. And come on, we need him to stay for at least a few weeks. Anna is a new-to-me pro, and I’ve got to give her props – she appears to be handling Gary with grace and humor. Good for her. Voted.

Paula Dean and Louis Van Amstel: Oh Paula. Paula, Paula, Paula. I wasn’t really ever a Paula fan to begin with, but after the whole “I have Diabetes” situation, she was already on my “meh” list. Then I watched the GMA reveal, and could do little but groan. But, I figured, I’ll give her a chance. And her dance? I was willing to concede that she might do ok for a while. And then, she opened her mouth. Rude, crude, and not someone I have any interest in seeing on the show. Too bad, because I’d like to see Louis stick around a while, as he’s new to me too. (By the way, did anyone else get the feeling that he can’t stand Paula?)

Kim Zolciak Biermann and Tony Dovolani: So I kinda feel like Tony gets shafted in the partner area. He’s not been paired with anyone strong since I’ve been watching, and after Week 1 it looks like the pattern continues. It’s a shame, really. That said, I’m curious about Kim – she actually nailed most of the dance, it was just boring as hell. If she can open up and really perform, I think she’ll be good. I gave her a vote for now.

Andy Grammar and Allison Holker: I feel like I should apologize to Allison. I hated her in season 19. With a passion. And then season 20 we saw a whole new Allison, an awesome Allison. This is one of the pairs I’m most excited about. Love Andy, have loved him since his first album what, 4 years ago? Yeah, I’ve been listening to him that long. If you’re one of those people who’ve fallen into the “hey who’s that new guy” trap, go back and download his first album. It’s awesome. He’s a bit of an oddity – he’s fairly popular now, but in my book would have been considered a “B-list” musician until Honey I’m Good. Not because he’s not talented, just not well promoted. Anyway. They did well, and there’s a lot of room to grow. Solid performance, solid vote.

Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold: I’ve loved watching Lindsay in the troupe. When I heard Alek was cast, I pshawed him. Alek, I’m sorry. Not only does that make me a royal class jerk, it makes me wrong. (For the record, I think what he did in France was heroic and commendable. I also do not think it makes him a “star.”) I think what Julianne said was right….he’s representing the millions of normal Americans who wish we could be on the show. And the boy can move. I truly hope he’s there for the long haul – I’d put him up there with Tamar. Definitely gets my vote.

Hayes Grier and Emma Slater: No clue who this kid was, and to look at him, he’s super goofy. Generally the younger dancers don’t have too much trouble picking things up, and Hayes was no different. He’ll stick around for a bit, and while I liked him, I don’t think he’s Mirrorball material. Too bad, because I adore Emma, and really would love to see her win one. Your turn’s coming, Emma. Voted.

Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess: I’ll just go ahead and say it now….I’m #TeamSharNick all the way. ALL. THE. WAY. As is every other 30-something woman in the country (and most likely a fair amount of men too). Show me one girl who didn’t have a crush on Nick Carter in the 90s, and I’ll show you a liar. I’d have voted for him regardless, but he was actually really. freaking. good. My guess? He’ll win it. Yeah. I’m saying that. Week 1.

Who should go? I hate that someone has to go every week, I really truly do. And next week is going to be a double elimination, which really stinks! But there are always strong dancers and weak dancers, personalities aside. After just one week, though, I can’t say who should go. Victor was probably the weakest dancer (or maybe Gary?), but I want to see him stay. I didn’t like Paula, but she wasn’t terrible either, at least on the dance floor. And Chaka and Kim, though neither were terribly interesting, both have potential. So for this week, I’ll reserve judgement.

My Week 1 Votes and Rankings: (13 votes available)
Nick and Sharna – 2
Bindi and Derek – 2
Alek and Lindsay – 1
Tamar and Val – 1
Carlos and Whitney – 1
Andy and Allison – 1
Alexa and Mark – 1
Hayes and Emma – 1
Gary and Anna – 1
Kim and Tony – 1
Victor and Karina – 1
Chaka and Keo – 0
Paula and Louis – 0

Who were your favorites? Who do you think should go home? Are you as obsessed with this show as I am?

Sorry for the lack of photos – but I dont’ want to get in trouble with ABC!

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