Our "So You Think You Can Dance" correspondent is back for another season of "Dancing with the Stars" recaps. Here's Lenni's take on last night's premiere (also, be sure to check out our photo gallery from last night's show):
A first night of some good dancing and some bad, with the stars doing either a cha cha or Viennese waltz.
Audrina Partridge and pro Tony Dovalani started it off with a cha cha which I thought was quite good. I had never seen this lady in my life (old folks are not into "The Hills") but agreed with the judges that she danced with confidence. Judges' scores - Carrie Ann and Bruno gave her 6's and Len gave her a 7 for a total of 19.
Next up, Kurt Warner (pictured here with Rick Fox) and Anna Trebunskaya (yes, that Anna Trebunskaya) did a Viennese waltz. Bruno thought he was "graceful" (he was) and that he has "great potential" (he does). Carrie Ann agreed with Bruno but Len (surprise!?) disagreed. We're only two dances into the new season and Len is already PMS'ing! Judges' scores - Carrie Ann and Bruno gave him 7's and Len gave him a grumpy ol' 5 for a total of 19.
The first surprise of the evening, at least for me, was the team of Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer doing a cha cha. Fabulous chemistry between these two as well as with the audience. Kyle lit up the ballroom with his enthusiasm. Carrie Ann said, "I just fell in love. Kyle, you are my first crush of the season." Bruno called him an "adorable, naughty little puppy." Even Len liked it. Judges' scores - Carrie Ann and Bruno gave him 8's and Len gave him a 7 for a total of 23.
Next up, a Viennese waltz featuring the incredibly gorgeous Rick Fox and equally phenomenal Cheryl Burke. As Mia Michaels would say, these two painted such "pretty pictures." Both Len and Carrie Ann commented on Rick's amazing posture and grace. Huge props to Cheryl for working out the huge height difference between the two of them. WOW! Judges' scores - An 8 from Carrie Ann and 7's from Len and Bruno for a total of 22.
Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel followed with another Viennese waltz which had Bruno asking, "What the hell was that?" I, like probably everyone else, have no idea, Bruno. This was comedy gone really, really bad and might just result in the Cho hitting the Bye Bye Train immediately. Judges' scores - 5's from all three for a total of 15.
Brandy and Maks Chmerkovskiy (yes, that Maks Schmerkovskiy) brought sanity back with their more traditional interpretation of the Viennese waltz. As Len said, "It was a fantastic first impression for the first performance." Agree with Carrie Ann that it was a very beautiful performance and that her lines were gorgeous. Judges' scores - A 7 from Carrie Ann and 8's from Len and Bruno for a total of 23.
No Mama Grizzly sighting for the cha cha from cub Bristol Palin and her partner, Mark Ballas. As Len said, her performance was acceptable but she really needs to "loosen up." My thoughts exactly. Judges' scores - 6's from all three for a total of 18.
Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas followed with a very entertaining cha cha. Agree with Carrie Ann that she really looked like she was enjoying herself. Her technique needs work but, at age 76, if that's all that needs work, she's way ahead of the game. Judges' scores - 6's from all three for a total of 18.
Michael Bolton and partner Chelsie Hightower were next with a Viennese waltz. Totally agree with grumpy Len here - his posture was "lousy" and he didn't "lift up" which is key for a waltz. More importantly, he just didn't seem to really want to be a part of the show either in rehearsals or during the performance. Good thing he has a day job. Judges' scores - A 6 from Carrie Ann and 5's from Len and Bruno for a total of 16.
And then there was Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and Karina Smirnoff with a hastily put together cha cha since the "Sitch" only had 5 days to practice. At least he didn't phone it in like Bolton but, as the judges said, it's hard to judge him when he had so little time to learn. Judges' scores - 5's from all three for a total of 15.
Kleenex tissue moment of the night followed with Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough doing a Viennese waltz to "These Arms" from "Dirty Dancing." As Carrie Ann said, this was a really "profound" performance. And yes, Bruno, "Baby is back where she belongs." I loved, loved, loved the whole thing. Judges' scores - 8's from all three for a total of 24.
Finishing off the night were David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff and Kym Johnson with a cha cha. As Bruno said, "It was madness. No dancing, no timing." Agree with Len again that it was "entertaining, but..." Fan base and personality, not his dancing, will get this guy through for a few weeks. Judges' scores - 5's from all three for a total of 15.
Think both Margaret Cho and Michael Bolton should call for the train station shuttle just in case. Tune in tonight.