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Zendaya triumphs, D.L Hughley disappoints, Hamill proves talent is ageless on ‘Dancing with the Stars
Sixteen-year-old Disney Channel star Zendaya stole the show on tonight’s premiere of season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars” with a gorgeous contemporary dance routine that earned the night’s loudest standing-o.
And rightfully so.
The bubbly teen (the youngest contestant ever in the history of the show), who’s more at home with hip-hop and pop, proved she could dance as elegantly and passionately as many a seasoned dance pro. Her partner Val Chmerkovskiy doled out winning choreography for the pair, making her score of 24 from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, the evening’s chart-topper.
At the other end of the spectrum was comedian D.L. Hughley who managed only 12 points from the judges’ paddles, including a biting diatribe from Goodman who proclaimed Boogie Fantastic’s debut cha-cha-cha was simply “no good.”
Olympic gold medal winner Dorothy Hamill, the most senior of the cast’s celebrity contestants this season, was elegant, sophisticated and right on target with her turn at contemporary dance. With her partner, the always charming Tristan MacManus to lead her, Hamill earned a respectable 21 from the judges.
“Bachelor” Sean Lowe earned 19 points for his flat-footed fox trot with partner (and season 14 champ) Peta Murgatroyd. Goodman (who came out of the judges’ dias with a vengeance tonight) commented that Lowe’s quality of movement wasn’t up to snuff.
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough
“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump, complete with her Pom Giggy in town, was just overcome with her (often-referred-to-as hottie) partner (and pro newcomer Gleb Savchenko) to make heads or tails out of her rhythm-less fox trot. That didn’t stop Bruno from the evening’s most ridiculous quip to Vanderpump “Are you happy with your new puppy?”
Country star Wynonna Judd put on her dancing shoes, to little avail as her cha-cha-cha lacked, well, cha. Score: 18. It was cool, however, to see mom Naomi, and sis Ashley, cheering her on from the ballroom!
“American Idol” sixth-place finisher (season 5) Kellie Pickler earned a respectable 21 points for her cha-cha-cha with pro partner Derek Hough to kick off the evening’s competition. Comedian Andy Dick was all dashing and debonair his top hat, white tie and tails (and a cane!) for his barely acceptable (read: 17 points) fox trot with his pro partner Sharna Burgess. Bruno referred to the dance as “slightly deranged!” NFL Super Bowl Ravens star Jacoby Jones and his partner Karina Smirnoff were nothing if not excited for their out-of-control (read: spirited) cha-cha-cha, which earned them 20 points. Carrie Ann commented that the dance resembled a “medley of touch down [end zone] dances.”
Rounding out the rest of the pack: boxer Victor Ortiz charmed the pants off the ballroom with his elegant and sophisticated fox trot alongside partner (and ballroom newcomer) 18-yaer-old Lindsay Arnold. Score: 18.
Soap star Ingo Rademacher (“General Hospital”) was too much muscle for judge Len Goodman who snapped at Ingo’s pro partner: “Your feet were in the air more than they were on the floor!” Their score: 20.
And Olympic gold medal gymnast Alexandra Raisman (that’s Aly to you and me) charmed the judges with her cha-cah-cha, earning a respectable 21 for the dance with partner Mark Ballas, that at least from a TV viewing vantage point, looked stiff.
The elimination happens next week, March 26.
My guess: D.L. Hughley will find it pretty tough to rebound from a score of 12 to continue on.