Stars is putting it mildly since a) they mostly aren't really stars, with the exception of Emmitt Smith and (kind of) Vivica Fox, and b) some of them just aren't very good dancers and probably never will be.
First up was Joey Lawrence, who looks more like Dr. Evil with huge guns. Like WHOAH (in Joey voice) where did those come from? He was paired up with Edyta, who had previously partnered with the clunkering Evander Holyfield and the schticky and old George Hamilton. Joey and Edyta were a much better pair, showing some sex appeal and a good amount of chemistry. Joey was pretty good doing the cha cha cha, but the judges thought he needed to move his hips more. He got low-balled in the scoring, presumably because he was first.
Country star Sara Evans was next, pairing with the ever-arrogant Tony Davolani, who was Stacy Kiebler's partner last year. Sara had some major extension issues and didn't flow very well in the foxtrot. Tony looked none too happy receiving low scores, but no big shock there since he looked pissy when he and Stacy didn't get all 10s last year.
MSNBC anchor Tucker Carlson got the dumbed down choreography of the week, spending most of the opening of his dance number seated in a chair while his partner danced around him and on top of him. Tucker was, to quote the quotable Bruno Tonioli, "an awful mess", but you got to give him credit for at least trying, which is more than Master P did most of last year.
High School Musical's Monique Coleman was next, paired up with Louis Van Emstel, Lisa Rinna's former partner. I thought Monique showed good potential and had a few really nice moves. The judges rightly criticized her facial expressions, but unfairly panned their lack of chemistry. To which I said, "Eww! She's 16!" ... until I found out she's really 26. Ha!
Retired Dallas Cowboy running back Emmitt Smith hit the jackpot by getting last year's co-champion, Cheryl Burke. And Cheryl didn't get a bad deal herself, finding another celebrity partner with a Drew Lachey-like charm. Emmitt just lit up the dance floor and made you smile and squeal with delight. He was just this big ol' teddy bear out there with that great smile and light feet. It was so unexpected and terrific. Granted, there was not much cha cha cha-ing going on, but it was so delightful that you just didn't care.
Pop music "bad girl" Willa Ford (She's a one-hit wonder who had a song called "I Wanna Be Bad", so that makes her a bad girl? Eh?) teamed with Maxsim, Tia Carrere's partner from last year. Willa had good technique, but her facial expressions bugged, and she put way too much sexpot into that foxtrot. She's stick around for a little while, though, since she's one of the best females in the competition, and I hear Maxsim's a bit popular w/ the ladies at home.
Mario Lopez, aka A.C. Slater, annoyed his partner in their intro clip, but that was a total red herring since he showed he was the front runner in this competition. His cha cha cha looked almost professional, and he moved his hips and shook his butt so well that Bruno asked him if he had extra batteries in his pants. Whoah now, Bruno!
Shanna Moakler wore an ugly dress but had a really cute partner. I don't recall too much about her foxtrot, but I hate the foxtrot anyway. It's right up there with the quickstep. I guess she was decent.
Harry Hamlin came in with big expectations since he has the advantage of being married to a Top 4 finalist from last year (Lisa Rinna), but even with the bubbly Ashly Del Grosso as a partner, Harry danced like he had a stick up his ass. He needs to loosen up and have fun! The best part of it was when the judges made references to The Cracken. Heh. I love a good Clash of the Titans reference.
Vivica Fox showed good technique but little personal appeal. There's just something about her that doesn't make you want to root for her. She's just a little too tough, maybe. But she's a good dancer and had the best showing of the women, in my opinion.
Jerry Springer closed the show with a better-than-expected showing. He's not very good, but he's at least better than Tucker Carlson. He's more along the lines of a George Hamilton with the gimmicks and props. I hope he goes soon, though, because I don't want to hear Jerry chants all season. Again.
Predictions: Tucker Carlson or Sara Evans get the boot. I'm hoping for the former.