CLEVELAND - The first axe was lowered on the All-Star season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
But it took a while to get there. This show has mastered the art of dragging out what could be done in five minutes.
The first hour of Tuesday night’s elimination round could be called “Chatting with the Stars.” Host Tom Bergeron took time to talk to each competing couple. It was not without some worthwhile moments.
When actress Kelly Monaco told partner Val she worked on “General Hospital,” he looked impressed, asking, “You work in a hospital?!” To cover up his snafu, he blamed the generation gap, blurting that Kelly was twice his age. Let’s see him tapdance his way out of that one.
Actress Pamela Anderson revealed she might be performing on Broadway. In a theater. Not on the street.
Racecar driver Helio Castroneves gave partner Chelsie what should have been a simple geographical lesson about Brazil and Portugal. Unbelievingly, she asked him if South Americans speak Spanish. Stick with dancing, Chelsie.
The judges then asked for football retiree Emmitt Smith and Cheryl to give the encore dance.
Finally, time for eliminations in hour two. The first safe couple is Olympian Shawn Johnson and Derek, followed by Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina, immediately followed by singer Joey Fatone and Kym.
Joey tweeted, “Ok that was crazy today ! Thank u everyone for your love ,support and votes! I am safe for another week this one is going to be fun!”
Reality star Bristol Palin and Mark are the first couple in jeopardy. Bristol did have one of the lower scores Monday night, and she often walked the is-she-in-is-she-out line on season 11.
Time for the first guest performance. Rapper Pitbull performed his hit “Don’t Stop the Party.” Unclear if he was lipsynching or not, but what was clear was the spectacle. Everyone in the audience had giant glowsticks, like some sort of preposterous 1990’s rave. Even a giant walking fluorescent light chandelier – blowing smoke from two gasoline hoses, no less – stepped out on stage. Not kidding.
We get some more behind the scenes footage, with Kelly and Val goofing around. If this were “Pattycake with the Stars,” they would win hands down. Or… hands slapping, I suppose.
Okay, next two safe couples: Helio and Chelsie, and Kelly and Val. Singer Drew Lachey and Anna are revealed to be in jeopardy. Anything can happen; maybe his fan base needs reminding.
The new dance troupe performs, then it’s time for more business. Emmitt and Cheryl are safe, as are actor Gilles Marini and Peta. Oh – and why not? – so are singer Sabrina Bryan and Louis. (No surprise elimination yet, Sabrina!)
Emmitt tweeted, “Wow what a first 2nights of DWTS. The crowd was amazing and all of the performer did a great job. Thanks for your vote's.”
More guest performance, and this time DWTS booked a big one. Superstar Justin Bieber came out, singing (lipsynching?) “As Long As You Love Me.” He’s looking more like a man these days, but with his graphic gestures, he’s not exactly acting like one yet. At any rate, the tween girls in the audience look as if they’ve seen the true face of God. Demographics reached.
More safe couples announced, and this time actress Kirstie Alley and Maks get saved, as are TV host Melissa Rycroft and Tony. Pamela and Tristan are in jeopardy.
Kirstie tweeted, “I've been an actress for over 30 years and am well aware that FANS make careers..from the bottom of my heart, I thank you 4 being there 4 me.” Melissa tweeted, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! Each and every one of you :-). Your support really means SOOO much!!”
Not sure why the show waited till this point to reveal Pam was in jeopardy. She did have the lowest overall scores from the judges Monday night. And, considering how early she was given the boot in season ten, it’s clear she may not have the fan support of the other stars.
Time for the first elimination. Bristol and Mark are safe. So are Drew and Anna.
That means Pamela and Tristan are doing the dance of shame.
“I was ready for it,” Pam says. She seems pretty down about it, but puts on a brave face, saying her dancing “doesn’t end here.”
After the show, Pam tweeted, “Good Luck -everyone at DWS... The fish out of water has left the building. Sad- but deserved it. I didn't come through last night.”
So now it’s down to twelve couples who will all perform again Monday night at 8:00 on ABC.
More information can be found at: abc.go.com/primetime/dancingwiththestars/index .
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