Annie Barrett's 'Dancing With the Stars' season 19 premiere recap!


Welcome, DANCMSTR refugees, to yet another spectacular voyage to Planet Mirrorballus! 

Among our "stars" this season: hunk-a-lunk Antonio Sabato Jr. (it's shocking he's never been on), already-looks-like-one-of-Our-Pros Lolo Jones, Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the cute guy from Mean Girls, a YouTube darling I should probably know way more about (she's the one paired with Derek, which makes it so insanely effin' obvious that they're going to win), and my personal fave, medical marijuana lobbyist Tommy Chong. "It’s more than just winning a contest — it’s really showing people the benefits of this miraculous plant,” he says. If that's not a ringing endorsement for both Dancing With the Stars and life itself, I'm just not sure what is!

Discuss season 19's liiiiiiiiiive premiere below!

I'll try my best to update this post with some commentary on the couples later on. I've been busy live-blogging 14 ants on a log at my crazy new job, and I won't be home 'til after midnight. But how better to unwind than with a glass of wine or three and the soothing tones of Len Goodman yelling at people, right? 


Hey guys. It's 2 a.m. and I might make less sense than ever. Have fun!

Ooh, the new opener is straight outta So You Think You Can Dance. But it’s not like that show invented the idea of a continuous shot. Will DWTS do this every week? I could get down with that. Sharna’s winks consistently delight me. How does she do it? Most winks are annoying. 

Did they always show the phone numbers right at the beginning along with all the names? Are we supposed to vote for them already? Weird. Also, permanent new judge Julianne Hough: Really? With the statement boobs? Too much. We get it, you sprouted some.

Here’s how “the lucky 13” ranked tonight… 

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson: 36/40 His initial protest -- "There's more to me than Carlton" -- just SCREAMED Jaleel White/Urkel, but luckily former Broadway dancer Alfonso's got a lot more going for him than a lively Supporting Actor in a '90s Sitcom stint. For example, he has a realistic winning strategy: weight loss. And he and Witney danced a fabulous, well-punctuated, Troupe-assisted jive that was POSSIBLY MY FAVORITE FIRST DANCE IN 'DWTS' HISTORY. How do you even improve on that?! And he will! Agh! I'm so excited. I'm! 

Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas: 34/40 “You’re a star in the making,” said Carrie Ann Inaba. What planet is she on?! (Self-explanatory.) But wait, you know what? I may never say this again, so brace yourselves: maybe Carrie Ann is right. I couldn't give less of a f*** about Duck Dynasty one way or the other, so Sadie's basically a tiny, pretty, skinny person I've never seen before who shows a lot of Dancing With the Stars potential right out of the gate. Whatevs. Mark's hair.

Bethany Mota and Derek Hough: 32/40 I guess I don't really understand YouTube? This yappy creature's channel seems particularly unbearable and pointless. But isn't that sort of what Dancing With the Stars is all about? Maybe it works. Maybe I'll learn to love her. And hey, great jive! She got Derek Hough and Taylor Swift's new single? Just give Bethany the trophy right now. No, don't. It totes belongs to Carlton.

Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev: 32/40 Decent first foxtrot, way better than expected. Wow, Lea is really playing up the "I'm a cougar and that's my only storyline" bit -- possibly overcompensating because she just figures they'll edit her like that anyway? It's okay to talk about non-cougar stuff, too, you know, Carrie Ann. Stop it!

Artem is lovely, sort of like a shorter version of Tony if you un-focus your eyes. You guys, I can't really see. It's a wonder I've hunted so many gems in my lifetime. 

Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff: 31/40 I loved Karina's on-the-fly interview from her car: "I had an athlete last season; that didn't go too well, did it?!" If they hadn't flashed Sean Avery on the screen, no one would remember who she was talking about. This foxtrot was such a pleasant surprise (to everyone except Antonio Sabato Jr., probably). Bruno's already in love with Randy's sensitive soul. Carrie Ann nearly fell over -- on purpose this time. She's so zany! The mixed martial arts champion is "the epitome of a man," gushed Julianne. 

OH GOOD LORD MIRRORBALLUS: What is with this animated DWTS graphic on the judges' table? Planet Mirrorballus is revolving right before our eyes?! It absolutely looks more like a planet than a mirrorball, right? Tell me I'm not crazy! Don't even bother, though. I know the truth. 

Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker: 30/40 The cinema's Aaron Samuels is dancing for his DWTS superfan dad, who died two months ago. OMG. Sold. He can win. I really doubt he'll win, though. Can he grow his hair back out to Mean Girls-length before November? There might be hope. Julianne with the Mean Girls joke for the win: She thought their jive was "grool."

On Tuesday will they wear pink? Stay tuned.

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy: 29/40 Their jive was invigorating -- I never would've thought to pair thigh-high sparkly silver boots with a bejeweled leotard; I guess that shows just how unglamorous my summer has been. But I was more impressed with Val's creative decision to pick imaginary moths out of Janel's hair and eat them in a staged pre-commercial bit. I'm not impressed that Janel doesn't seem to know what abs are. America should be very jealous that she's rubbing Val's pecs, okay? Get your objectification areas right. 

Tavis Smiley and Sharna Burgess: 29/40 How can someone with such a silly name be so serious? Their foxtrot looked pretty shaky to me, but "T-Smiles" (nope) earned a much-coveted (not) Z-snap from Julianne Hough. Carrie Ann called Tavis a "baby beast" and made some (sum? dim sum? mmmm.) really alarming hand gestures simulating... a baby beast emerging from the womb? I can't handle this. Moving on. 

Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd: 27/40 This is a Dancing With the Stars stoner agenda beyond my wildest dreams (and believe me, I've had many). PETA'S COSTUME IS WEED. PETA IS A POT LEAF. My mind is blown. [CLOUD OF SMOKE.] The "cool grandpa" (according to Bruno) killed it in the cha cha. Guest-star and taxi driver Cheech must be soooo jealous.

"I was in a daze, really." Chong, please. We know. 

Antonio Sabato Jr. and Cheryl Burke: 25/40 Cheryl’s glad she finally gets someone sexy. I wouldn’t mind if “Sorry, Jack Osbourne” was the new name of this whole show. Just kidding, I would hate that. All I can focus on during their cha cha are Cheryl’s SPIDERWEB FRINGED SHOULDERS. The webs were jewels! Antonio’s gotta work on his footwork, but he's lookin' good.

Michael Waltrip And Emma Slater: 25/40 You can't fault him for the awkward cha cha -- his onesie gave him a wedgie. Well-put. I like that this guy -- a NASCAR driver; who knew? so many people! -- is such a live wire, from a seemingly scripted line about Emma's ass looking like "two cats trying to rastle their way out of a plastic bag" (Tom doesn't disagree), to a meta response about squeezing his way into that racing onesie and about ballroom dancing itself. "How do I do it? I don't know. I have no idea how to do it." He should be fun for the hidden audio gems. 

Lolo Jones And Keoikantse Motsepe: 22/40 "First thing I thought when I saw my partner... I still get goose bumps." THIS NEW GUY IS SO CUTE. And he's wearing fun socks. Eat your heart out, Dr. Spats. But oh no, Lolo Jones has intimacy issues and a raging case of stiffness. Maybe it'll pass, like virginity. Julianne desires "a release." I guess there was supposed to be a text message or something at the beginning of their cha cha music? Oh, God, Lolo's over-explaining herself like a malfunctioning robot. Luckily Tom diffused the tension with a never-text-while-you-dance comment. Remember when Tom said "Never text while you drive" from his car while endorsing Hidden Gems? ("So many memories... so many munchies....")

“As they say in Frozen, Let It Go,'" suggested Bruno. NO. Yes.

Betsey Johnson And Tony Dovolani: 20/40 A dangerous rack of boas constricted their cha cha, but that didn't stop the 72-year-old fashion designer from showing off how a true material girl deals with liiiiiiiiive wardrobe malfunctions: by pulling a cartwheel-split out of her hat after the music stops! I'm pretty sure a Betsey Johnson runway show just puked all over itself, which is LITERALLY THE DEFINITION OF SPARKLEBARF, so you know what? She's fine with me. 

“The disaster was the boa,” Len complained. “I’m so upset.” He's so not upset, that pretty little liar. 

Choice comment from Emily, re: Betsey: "My mom, who I'm watching with, thinks she looks like a poor man's Suzanne Somers."

Please excuse the shoddiness. I can't believe I'm even posting this.


    Fringe Fairy