'Dancing With the Stars': No Illusions About Penn Jillette
So "Dancing With the Stars" is back with another eclectic field, but let's cut to the chase in terms of the first obvious storyline: Julianne is this season's Cheryl.
Last season, if you don't remember, two-time champion Cheryl Burke found herself paired with Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton, and she struggled (with a smile!) through the certainty that she had absolutely no shot at winning next to slow-footed Mr. "Danke Schon."
This season, two-time winner Julianne Hough -- who won last season with partner Helio Castroneves -- finds herself paired with the lumbering legs of master magician Penn Jillette, who is so large that it seems no amount of training will help him survive more than a round or two. So Julianne is the sacrificial lamb. Sorry, sweetie, no triple crown for you.
No one is getting eliminated this week, so it's just a chance to get to see what people can, and cannot, do. The men danced in Monday's debut; the women dance Tuesday.
Wow, that 21-year-old Mario knows how to move his hips.
Adam Carolla isn't nearly as funny playing off the judges as he is playing off of Jimmy Kimmell.
Steve Guttenberg is this year's version of the guy who really, really, really wants this (and, sadly, probably won't get it) but he does have personality. (Think Mark Cuban last year).
Cristian (a Chilean actor who snared Cheryl as his partner) has tremendous potential. He could be this year's Helio.
And Pro Bowl player Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins is, in my opinion, the immediate front-runner among the men. Historically, athletes have done well on this show -- hello, Helio, Emmitt Smith and Apollo Ono -- and as big as he is, Jason has poise and control and a powerfully sinewy body. And he and partner Edyta are already showing signs of generating some heat.
Why not Mario, who finished with the night's highest score? Well, as he put it himself, "Look what happened to Sabrina." Sabrina, as in Sabrina Bryant, the Cheetah Girl who was prematurely bounced last season, in all likelhood because viewers thought her previous on-stage dance training gave her an unfair advantage. Mario is in the same boat -- as an R&B star, his day job involves choreographed concerts, videos, etc. It remains to be seen whether that's held against him here.
The men's first-round scores:
Jason Taylor 22
Cristian de la Fuente 21
Steve Guttenberg 18
Penn Jillette 16
Adam Carolla 15
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