It’s a very special evening, ballroom fans. The All-Stars season is finally upon us! And this “celebration of the best of the best” is like a who’s who of “Dancing With the Stars”-dom. Former champions and also-rans! Controversial figures! Boy banders! Olympians!
Each couple performed a fox trot or the cha-cha. Though with so many shiny stars swirling and twirling around in the coveted Mirrorball trophy’s glittery orbit, it was hard to focus on just one. As head judge Len Goodman said, what was good has to be great, and what was great has to be exceptional.
There’s even been a tweak to the judges’ scores, allowing for half-points to each paddle score “just to give it a balance.” Who emerged as early favorites during this season premiere and who fell short of expectations? In the words of newly minted Emmy-winner Tom Bergeron (whose best reality-TV show host award was much deserved), “Let the intensity commence!”
Quickly establishing themselves as the team to beat in this stacked competition were Season 3 champs Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke. The Super Bowl champ’s still got his ease of movement, lightness of step and his Matthew McConaughey-like swagger, and seeing the chemistry ignite back up with his old partner make them quite the formidable force. Emmitt was looking lucky in his emerald-green satin shirt for his cha-cha, set to Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools,” and Cheryl was sporting full-on '80s Gloria Estefan hair. “The last dance of the evening, and the best,” Len declared. Bruno said something about the essence of uplifting for everyone to enjoy. “Twinkletoes is back!” Carrie Ann exulted. “You were born to dance.” And all three judges awarded Emmitt and Cheryl a total of 24.5 out of 30 their first time out. Allrightallrightallright!