DWTS Returns: Guys Give Reasons to Hoot & Holla!

Eight male celebs take to the floor—with varying results—on the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars

By Natalie Finn Sep 22, 2009 3:45 AMTags

Dancing With the Stars is back, liiiive...meaning there's a whole new pack of celebrities—many of whom will end up being way more famous than before thanks to this gig—to get to know.

You can only glean so much from one dance, though—so it's a good thing the eight male contestants kicked off season nine with two numbers apiece right away!

The ladies take the stage tomorrow as part of DWTS' three-night premiere extravaganza, culminating in a double elimination Wednesday.

But first, here's how the men did when asked to tackle Latin and ballroom in front of the watchful eyes of Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and America...

Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff: The former tweenybopper actually looks kinda cute now—plus, he's mercifully dropped that faux-gangsta persona—and he started strong with a rough-around-the-edges but agile cha-cha. Kid's got a lot of enthusiasm. And with Karina being the consummate professional, you obviously couldn't tell she was dancing two shakes away from her ex-fiancé.
Score: 22. "It was full of potential," Len said. "Little Aaron Carter's all grown up, looking good!" marveled resident cougar Carrie Ann.

Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya: That's one big fella Anna's dancing with. Well, so far it looks as if the Ultimate Fighting champ is going to have to get by on teddy-bear appeal, because his fox-trot didn't have much to offer in the way of dancing cred. Chuck showed rhythm and a dashing quality, but so far he hasn't mastered the art of reconciling that bulky body of his with the dainty ballroom steps.
Score: 16. "You're not graceful yet, but you were charming," Carrie Ann said, while Len encouraged the 205-pound fighter to get in touch with his feminine side. "Don't get overexcited, but it was much better than I thought it was going to be," the Brit said.


Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer: In the words of our uncle, Allez dancing! The Iron Chef America chairman was, as advertised on Food Network, quite nimble—light on his feet, flexible and with swagger to spare. Dacascos, a veteran martial artist, has the bod, rhythm and the ability, but Lacey's going to have to make sure she doesn't turn every routine into a showcase for tricks, the way Mark Ballas did with Shawn Johnson. It's not like they won or anything. Oh, wait...
Score: 21. Well, sure enough, Len read our mind, sort of: "I don't want to see kung-fu in the waltz and every dance," the big grump said. "The talent is there, so, you know, keep it tight," Bruno advised.

Ashley Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska: It was a stiff fox-trot, but for someone who thought he'd never walk again (after brain surgery, not marriage to Shannen Doherty), bravo! However, as Bruno said, Ashley's "daddy knows how to sell it," and that's what the prodigal son has got to do, too. (Dad being Tan Man George Hamilton, who was sitting with Ashley's mum, Alana Stewart, in the audience.)
Score: 15.
There was a "total lack of showmanship," Bruno complained, while Carrie Ann advised him to "knock 'em dead" with his second dance.

Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson: If Bruno was looking for showmanship…well, look no further! The most dashing Osmond brother was nothing but a showman from start to finish—with a little bit of dancing thrown in for good measure. As far as we're concerned, he's already better than Marie, who got to the finals, so we're thinking this former teen idol's going to go a long way. In fact, I think I can hear my mom dialing the phone right now...
Score: 20. "Too theatrical, too much razzmatazz," Len countered, while Bruno said he could "play an audience like a master fiddler." But all three judges agreed: The dancing needs work. "I was having too good a time, I guess," Osmond said backstage.

Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower: Good for Louie, admitting he's never watched an episode of DWTS, let alone never danced before. The 21-year-old snowboarder, an aspiring Olympian, has nice arms and a good attitude—and an adorable mop of hair—but the dude needs major work. Chelsie's barely 20, and Louie still looked like a kid all dressed up in dad's suit out there on the floor. The teens and grandmas will love him, though.
Score: 19.
"So cute, like watching a little dancing hobbit," Bruno said. Len didn't know how he could hear the music under all that hair, but he thought Louie's technique was "very good" and Carrie Ann appreciated that he "respected the dance and went for the honest effort."


Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova: We've got another bubbly, bouncy football player on our hands! We're thankful the NFL Hall of Famer looks as if he's having a ball (like Emmitt Smith) and doesn't seem to be pining for the golf course (like Lawrence Taylor). He dove right into his cha-cha, and he's surely already won over Cowboy Country if not yet the entire United States.
Score: 13
. Yeah, we're going to go ahead and call b.s. on that. An interesting twist at the judges' table: Both Len and Carrie Ann criticized DWTS newcomer Demidova for not putting enough content in the routine. "I think you have to push him a little harder," Carrie Ann said, adding that Michael already beats past finalist Jerry Rice in the charisma department.

Tom DeLay & Cheryl Burke: Thanks, ABC, for that close-up of the former congressman's ass. But we're also going to say that DeLay has way more rhythm and charm than, say, Tucker Carlson, who's 20 years younger. The 62-year-old Texan performed his ass off (not sure where our obsession with DeLay's ass came from), even going so far as to wink in Bruno's direction at one point. "You're crazier than Sarah Palin!" the judge cried. Cheryl needs to make sure she doesn't automatically pigeonhole her partner into the old-and-theatrical crowd. Let him out of the gate and see what he can do!
Score: 16. "Bloody hell, what was going on?" Bruno wondered, while Len thought the cha-cha part was "very, very good." "Parts were magic and parts were tragic," he said.


Overall, the guys who did ballroom earlier already looked much improved by the time their second number rolled around. Ashley loosened up a little bit, Chuck was still slip-sliding around but proved pretty agile at the quick spins and dips, Donny was a force to be reckoned with and executed a really cool trick, and Louie backflipped right into a spot on our speed-dial.
Score: Donny, 10; Louie, 8; Chuck, 6; Ashley, 4


When it came down to it, Donny beat this group, too. Aaron has that Cody Linley-colt thing going on, but he'll probably get better, given the chance; we heard the pitter-patter of little feet during Mark's waltz, rather than the swish of long, graceful strides; DeLay was actually the most elegant (or was he just the slowest?) one out there; and at least Michael's spirit wasn't crushed by the undeserved whooping he got.
Score: Aaron, 10; Mark, 8; Michael, 6; Tom, 4

Well, there are the guys for you. The ladies dance tomorrow, two stars will go home on Wednesday, and then we'll have ourselves a competition!

Here's tonight's leaderboard:

• Aaron & Karina: 32
• Donny & Kym: 30
• Mark & Lacey: 29
• Louie & Chelsie: 27
• Chuck & Anna T.: 22
• Tom & Cheryl: 20
• Ashley & Edyta: 19
• Michael & Anna D.: 19


DWTS Season 9: First Impressions...

Who's your favorite fellow so far?
Ashley Hamilton
Louie Vito
Donny Osmond
Mark Dacascos
Aaron Carter
Tom DeLay
Michael Irvin
Chuck Liddell

Check out the celebs preparing for their big moment in our Rehearsing With the Stars gallery.