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Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 03/23/2010

Reality Check: 'Dancing with the Stars'

By Liz Kelly

Even Kate Gosselin, Pamela Anderson and more campy ball gowns than you can shake a stick at weren't enough to save Monday evening's "Dancing with the Stars" season premiere from being a two-hour yawn fest. And, predictably, Gosselin and Anderson were saved for the very end of the show, which meant a full hour and forty-five minutes of suffering through watching cheesy soap stars (Aiden Turner), octogenarian astronauts (Buzz Aldrin) and c-list cable stars (Niecy Nash) kill time with a repeating loop of wooden takes on the cha-cha and Viennese waltz.

In seasons past, we've gone through each contestant one-by-one to detail their debut performances. But, honestly, reading a tedious post about Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek's take on the waltz or a description of bachelor Jake Pavelka's schmaltzy bio video clip would probably be second in boredom only to watching the show itself. So we'll confine ourselves to the few big-time (for "DWTS") names who took the stage last night, but you can see a snippet of each "star's" performance below:

Shannen Doherty
One of the first contestants out on the floor, Doherty -- in serious need of new foundation garments -- did her best to dramatize her way through the waltz. To be fair, the erstwhile "90210" sourpuss confessed to crippling stage fright ahead of the performance, which may account for her less than stellar showing. And, hey, it must've been hard to be in the same room with Pam Anderson since both were once briefly married to Rick Salomon (whose name is somewhat recognizable for being the other half of the Paris Hilton sex tape). Judge Bruno Tonioli summed up her performance nicely: "Your arms were swinging like a primate's."

Nicole Scherzinger
The Pussycat Doll had a leg up on the competition since she's spent the past several years making money from choreographed dance routines and highly produced pop songs. And it showed. Despite the end-of-arm flowing hankies designed to make her arms appear more -- what? graceful? allergy season ready? -- Scherzinger floated through her routine and was really the only contestant not completely carried through the performance by her dance pro partner (Derek Hough). And it showed. The couple picked up the highest score of the night, setting the bar as the ones to beat.

Kate Gosselin
Considering all the hype that surrounded Gosselin's signing on to the show -- the alleged diva-like behavior, the new hair extensions, the supposedly upset eight kids at home -- last night's Carol Burnett-esque performance was a total letdown. And when Tonioli said as much from the judging table, I was briefly worried that Gosselin's icy glare would turn him to stone. Somewhere Jon Gosselin was smiling contentedly.

Pamela Anderson
Take an aging pin-up, add one part fake tanner, three-parts hair extensions and two parts silicone and -- voila -- you've got Anderson's "DWTS" debut performance. Despite Anderson's attempt to skanque up the cha-cha with some sexy leers at the crowd, partner Damian Whitewood may as well have been dragging an atrophied real doll around the floor. Anderson, despite still having curves in all the right places, has never looked older or more in need of 40 or so hours of restful sleep.

Also on last night's show: Football player Chad Ochocinco (passable), ESPN anchor Erin Andrews (meh), "Bachelor" Jake Pavelka (he brought his partner a rose. Blech.), comedian/TV host Niecy Nash (she dedicated her performance to "thick girls everywhere"), Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek ("You have the wingspan of a 747," said Tonioli), astronaut Buzz Aldrin (is it sacrilegious for me to say the guy creeped me out?) and soap star Aiden Turner (a one-man love fest).

By Liz Kelly  | March 23, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Reality Check  
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Scherzinger... was really the only contestant not completely carried through the performance by her dance pro partner.

Actually, Evan Lysacek dominated in his waltz (usually it's the woman who does).

Ochocinco deserved 7s, not 6s. I think he was at a judging disadvantage from going first.

Pammy was a hot mess, but wouldn't everyone be disappointed if she weren't? I assumed that's why she was chosen.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I think you forgot a key ingredient in that Pamela Anderson cocktail - Alcohol. Or some other kind of drug. She looked drunk.

Kate Gosselin sucked, and it was good. She's not strong enough - physically or mentally - for the competition. Any competition, for that matter. She canNOT take criticism. Jon would've been a better choice, he's used to being humiliated and berated on national TV.

85 did better than I expected, agree that his scores were too low for this week.

Buzz Aldrin creeped me out, too. He was a little to lecherous for me.

I'm usually a big fan of the show, but I think I might skip the first half of the season and watch after we've separated the chaff from the wheat.

Posted by: eet7e | March 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

eet7e, did you get a load of Mrs. Aldrin last night? She has one of those "cat-woman faces" after waaaay too much plastic surgery (I suspect Buzz has had at least his eyelids done, as well). The Aldrins may be perfectly nice folks for all I know, but their looks tend to say more about them than they intend, and not in a good way.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 23, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't watch DWTS, but I saw a headline last night in my RSS feed, something about how Evan Lysacek and Nicole Scherzinger were the ones to beat.

Since I watch LOST I cannot avoid promotion for DWTS. So looking at the lineup for this round, this is a surprise? Evan Lysacek is a freaking Olympic ice skater - even if he's not a traditional dancer, he has body control and strength. And Nicole Scherzinger is basically a burlesque dancer. A very pretty one with a decent voice, but a burlesque dancer nonetheless.

If these two weren't the ones to beat, then who the hell was going to be? The 80-year old astronaut? The reality TV show Mom? So stupid...

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 23, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I tried to watch the second half (first half competed with Chuck). So I missed Ochocinco, who with Pam Anderson got my teenage boys interested in the show. I did see Buzz dance and I too was creeped out. Wondering if they deleted the part where his partner slaps him silly for forgetting where his hands go. Kept falling asleep for the rest. Woke up to see Kate glare at the judges. Watched Pam with the sound off then fell asleep for good. Doubt I'll watch more this season.

Posted by: hodie | March 23, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for taking one for the team Liz, you watch so we don't have to.

Posted by: wadejg | March 23, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It's not at all sacreligious to call Buzz Aldrin creepy. I think it's calling it like it is. I hope his partner is getting paid a bonus for putting up with him. And what Nosy said about his wife! YIKERS - she looks like she was a trophy wife 20 years ago, and has had waaaaay too much work done in an effort to keep him from trading in for Version 3.0.

Shouldn't Ochocinco only ever get 8's or 5's?

I'm eagerly awaiting the Kate Gosselin retaliation/meltdown. Any Lizards want to take bets on what week it'll happen?

Posted by: northgs | March 23, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

she looks like she was a trophy wife 20 years ago

I'd say more like 40 years ago.

Shouldn't Ochocinco only ever get 8's or 5's?

Where's that rim-shot URL?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 23, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Poor Miss Niecy gets no respect here, judging from your dismissing her as a "c-list cable star" (your info is a little dated) and her misspelled name in the poll results (as "Neicy" [sic]). Sounds like you two need to have a little chitchat.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | March 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Evan and Nicole notwithstanding, the one to watch out for will indeed be Chad Johnson (I refuse to call him "Ochocinco"!).

Of the last nine cycles of DWTS, six have featured retired or active football stars; while two have been mid-pack flameouts (Lawrence Taylor and Michael Irvin), three have gone on to finish second (Jerry Rice, Jason Taylor, and Warren Sapp), and one claimed the mirror-ball trophy -- Emmitt Smith, with none other than pro Cheryl Burke as his partner.

Given the unpredictable nature of viewer voting (or in some cases, not voting -- Sabrina Bryan, anyone?), my money's on the football player and two time DWTS champ pro FTW.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | March 23, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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