‘Dancing With the Stars’: New season, new cast, but no Len Goodman

16 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Ninja Warrior’ finale up in ratings; ‘Dancing With the Stars’ premiere steady.

LOS ANGELES — ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” opened its 21st season with solid numbers on Monday, standing as the night’s top-rated series and virtually matching its year-ago deliveries.Though some local Monday Night Football preemptions will likely see the ABC show adjusted down a touch in final ratings, as it stands, the reality show is steady with the prior fall’s premiere and averaging a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49. The night also saw a good finish to the season for NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and a soft landing for Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” ESPN was expected to win the night overall with its return of “Monday Night Football.” The opening game of the doubleheader (Philadelphia-Atlanta) averaged a 9.8 overnight household rating in the metered-market overnights, and the nightcap (Minnesota-San Francisco) pulled a 9.5. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, LIVE, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Adam Taylor) I was unable to watch this episode live last night because WSB-TV aired the Falcons victory over the Eagles. (Ironically, her husband Kroy Biermann plays for the Falcons.) I apologize for the belated nature of this recap.

Former Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter and his partner, Sharna Burgess, also received a score of 24 after they performed a cha-cha. “Braxton Family Values” star Tamar Braxton and her partner, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, were close behind with a score of 23 after performing a quickstep, as were “Big Time Rush” actor Carlos PenaVega and his celebrity partner, Witney Carson, with the same score for their performance of a jive. Anyway, the barely-lucid movie star was obviously the highlight of the 21st season premiere on Monday, which featured the first Len Goodman-less season.

The CW saw Whose Line Is It Anyway (0.3 adults) fall four-tenths of a point in between steady outings of Penn & Teller (0.5 adults) and Significant Mother (0.2 adults). So judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli had to figure out how to actually offer harsh criticism while still remaining nice enough to not crush C-list celebrity dreams. Other contestants for “Dancing” this season include Irwin, celebrity chef Paula Deen, singer Andy Grammer, and actor Gary Busey as well as Vine personality Hayes Grier, jockey Victor Espinoza, singer Chaka Khan, and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kim Zolciak Biermann. Here’s our ranking for how this season could play out: Storyline: Bindi says she’s doing this to make her dad proud (he used to love to watch her dance around the zoo when she was little), which will no doubt be a heavily featured theme all season.

CBS aired repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.6/6 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall), “The Odd Couple” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), “Scorpion” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) and “NCIS: Los Angeles” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall). Zolciak’s score of 12 is the second-lowest ever for a premiere dance over 21 seasons, tying Tucker Carlson season 3 and only behind the hapless Master P season two (a 10!). Her energy is infectious and the crowd adores her. “That was the best performance of the night!” Julianne declares. “You really are the wonder from down under,” Bruno marvels, noting she has loads of charm. Sure enough, he tells Sharna that he’s always been insecure because he feels like he’s not the best dancer, and hid behind the rest of the Backstreet Boys.

Of course, some people are just popular and can stick around for weeks, no matter how bad they are. (We see you Gary Busey!) And a few talented nobodies do get cut early. Performance: Nick kills it and makes Julianne blush in the process (she had posters of Nick on her walls as a teen, naturally.) Bruno predicts Nick will go far by making an inevitable “Backstreet’s back” joke. The show has often aired on both Mondays and Tuesdays, but this year, the second episode will not always happen and the second show of the week will not always center on the results of the competition. Tonight’s episode will reportedly expand on the Sept. 14 episode, going behind the scenes to see what happened as the contestants prepared to make their debut.

Bruno: “Carry on like this and I promise you, Backstreet’s back this week and the next week and the next week, all the way to the finals.” Carrie said he started nervous but then let it kick in. Ratings have stayed mostly steady for the reality competition over the last few years, though the season finale for the last season, which aired in spring 2015, was down in total viewers from the spring 2014 season finale and behind the spring 2013 season finale as well.

Hayes dances like a gawky teen, but the judges don’t care. “God, if I was only 30 years younger…I’d still be way too old for you,” Carrie Ann jokes, which immediately makes everyone uncomfortable. The artist said he wanted to join the cast this season because his late mother loved dancing, and being a part of the show made him feel closer to her. The R&B singer and reality star was sharp and clearly came to play with a very difficult quick step. “High octane, high value, high class, incredible amount of content,” Bruno Torioli said.

Best known as: One of the three Americans (and a National Army Guard Specialist) who made headlines for heroics on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, when he and his two friends overpowered a man who opened fire. Carrie Ann Inaba: “Blew me away.” Score: 23 (Carrie Ann: 8 Julianne: 7 Bruno: 7) Carlos PenaVega (“Big Time Rush” singer and actor) – This dude clearly has the moves and the confidence to win two months down the road.

Performance: It was technically terrible, but who wants to vote this guy home after his comments to Bergeron? “I dance in a cosmos of riddles, and nothing means anything to me if I have to think about it, and with this young lady, Anna, from Russia with love, this is the one who sculpted me in what I am today dancing.” After Bergeron tries to control his laughter, Bruno compares the dance to a summer blockbuster: Chaos, mayhem, destruction…but “bring on the sequel!” Julianne says the cha cha wasn’t very good, but it sure was entertaining! For the first dance of the night, Victor and Karina danced a high-energy salsa right outta of the gate, but is it enough to ensure that the mirror ball trophy will be the jewel in Victor’s triple crown? Paula said that she hasn’t done any sort of organized dancing for 50 years so we can only imagine she greased her joints with butter to start feeling limber again. She starts the dance by being lowered from the ceiling, and Julianne exclaims it was “a glorious entrance for a glorious woman!” Carrie Ann notes that Chaka was having fun, but so much fun that she clearly forgot the choreography.

Bruno reluctantly offers some criticism (“It pains me…because I adore you”) and says that her footwork was terrible, even though her personality was superb. Performance: Carrie Ann is not very impressed, saying that “it didn’t quite come together” and that it looked like Louis was simply dragging her around the floor. To accommodate her, Louis Van Amstel gave her a very very slow quick step. “I had white underwear when I started but I probably don’t anymore,” she cracked. Don’t follow him.” Julianne said she was holding onto him “for dear life.” Sure, she got a relatively low score but I have a feeling her fan base may keep her in the competition awhile. Can she tap into her reality show roots and pull it together? “It’s one thing to do reality television, it’s another thing to shake with another man,” she explains.

Next week, you better go ‘Pow!’ ” Julianne: “That was slow motion.” Bruno: “This dance could be grounds for divorce.” She cried from the criticism.

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