Featuring one of the most diverse groups of celebrities ever to grace the dance floor, Season 10 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” kicked off Monday, March 22. While one American Legend fell from grace, the lead singer of a popular musical group showed that she really was one cool cat.
80-year-old Buzz Aldrin’s Moon Boots get in the way
For me, Buzz Aldrin was the most impressive celebrity on this edition of “Dancing with the Stars.” The second man to walk on the surface of the Moon as well as the astronaut who helped get the Gemini Program back on track, Aldrin is a living legend and an American hero. At age 80, he’s also in better shape than men half his age.
Even with partner Ashley Costa teaching him the Cha Cha Cha, Aldrin made a rather stiff, awkward debut on “Dancing with the Stars,” which obviously caused the judges some heartache. “I remember sitting at home in London watching you on the Moon,” Judge Len Goodman said. “Unfortunately, I can’t give marks for bravery.”
Italian choreographer Bruno Tonioli also had to do his duty as a judge. “How can I criticize a hero? It looked like you still have your Moon Boots on,” he said. Talking afterwards in the glass-enclosed waiting area, Aldrin responded by saying “I gave up my Moon Boots for dancing shoes.”
“Bachelor” Jake Pavelka and Erin Andrews make impressive “Dancing” debuts
With fiancée Vienna Girardi in the audience, “Bachelor” contestant Jake Pavelka made an impressive debut on “Dancing with the Stars,” performing a beautiful Viennese Waltz with Chelsie Hightower. Comfortable in front of the camera, Pavelka had some impressive moves on the floor, earning 20 points and only moderate criticism from the judges. “Don’t bash her around,” Tonioli said. “Keep your legs together.”
ESPN personality Erin Andrews also was a nice surprise, doing a lively and sassy Cha Cha Cha with
Maxim Chernovsky. In pre-recorded interviews, Andrews criticized herself quite harshly, talking about not being as good as she wants to be, but Chernovsky set her straight. “It is my only pleasure to bitch at people and you are taking it away,” he said.
Nicole Scherzinger leads the way on “Dancing with the Stars” Season 10
Pussycat Doll lead singer Nicole Scherzinger was the surprise of the night, stunning the judges and the audience as she as Derek Hough performed a graceful Viennese Waltz. Bruno Tonioli said she had “startling finesse”, but crusty Len Goodman criticized her for lack of footwork. Still, Scherzinger and Hough racked up an impressive 25 points out of a possible 30.
“All My Children” star Aiden Turner had “nothing going” in the groin
Although the spirit was willing, Aiden Turner’s groin had other ideas on “Dancing with the Stars.” Judge Carrie Ann Inaba liked his approach and gusto, but Bruno Tonioli got right to the, uh, heart of the problem. “It was a Cha Cha Cha with nothing going in the groin,” he said.
Stars to watch: Shannen Doherty and Evan Lysacek
Shannen Doherty may have earned only 18 points on the debut of “Dancing with the Stars,” but she made it clear she was there for her father, not for points. Tom Doherty, a big fan of “Dancing,” suffered a stroke, but he was there in the audience to watch his daughter strut her stuff. No matter what happens next week, Doherty showed she and her dad already are winners.
Dancing with Anna Trebunskaya, Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek was as smooth as the dance floor as he was on the ice just a few weeks ago. Currently in second place overall, Lysacek could be the dancer to beat on Season 10 of the show.
Please tear up their “Dancing” cards: Niecy Nash, Kate Gosselin, Pamela Anderson and Chad Ochocinco
If there is any justice in the world, the truly annoying Niecy Nash will get her walking papers on the “Dancing with the Stars” results show next week. After hearing her talk proudly about her “jiggly parts” for the umpteenth time, it almost was time to change the channel. Doing a sloppy Cha Cha Cha, Nash kept forgetting that she had a partner out there, dance champion Louis van Amstel. Instead of performing some great dance moves with Amstel, Nash kept playing to the camera.
Cincinnati Bengals star Chad Ochocinco wasn’t annoying, but he definitely was not having much fun out there on the dance floor. The infamous Kate Gosselin should have listened to her children’s criticism before performing a truly sloppy Viennese Waltz with Louis van Amstel. “The technique was terrible-it looked like someone was pushing a shopping cart around the floor,” Bruno Tonioli said.
Even with a score of 21 points, Pamela Anderson was the biggest disappointment of the evening. The audience and “Dancing with the Stars” judges had been waiting until the end to see Anderson strut her stuff, but she disappointed on many levels. “Overall, it was a mess,” Len Goodman said.
“Dancing with the Stars” Season 10 Standings for Week 1
Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough – 25 points
Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya – 23 points
Pamela Anderson and Damien Whitehead – 21 points
Erin Andrews Maxim Chernovsky – 21 points
Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower-20 points
Niecy Nash and Louis van Amstel – 18 points
Shannen Doherty and Mark Ballas – 18 points
Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke – 18 points
Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani – 16 points
Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska – 15 points
Buzz Aldrin and Ashley Costa – 14 points