Boogie Shoes!

col_dwts_sm.gifSure, he’s famous for being a teeny-bop singer, but youth is serving Carter well, as he glides across the dance floor like an old pro







It’s fall, and for American television viewers that can mean only one thing: the start of an exciting new season of must-see TV. While there are plenty of fantastic new shows to check out—The Good Wife, Community and Modern Family, for starters—my favorite is a returning champ, a veteran oldie but goody: Dancing With the Stars.

Season 9 of Dancing kicked off with a three-day premiere featuring 16 celebrity stars—the biggest cast ever!—vying for the celebrity ballroom-dancing championship title. With so many stars to watch, here’s a quick highlight of the six best (and worst) who caught my eye:

Aaron Carter | Sure, he’s famous for being a teeny-bop singer, but youth is serving Carter well, as he glides across the dance floor like an old pro. No doubt about it, this kid is good! He was quick on his feet while dancing the Cha Cha Cha, and through it all, he looked like he was having a ball. With his energy, enthusiasm and excellent dance skills, I expect he’ll continue dancing the night away throughout the rest of the competition.

Donny Osmond | A legendary entertainer and singer with over 40 years in the business, Osmond’s showmanship shines like the megastar he is from the moment he steps on the dance floor. His smooth, sleek Foxtrot commanded my attention and almost made me forget that 15 other celebrities were competing in the competition, too. Osmond is a first-class performer with millions of loyal fans all over the world. I expect this American heartthrob will sail into the competition’s final round, and quite possibly be voted king of the ballroom.

Tom DeLay | Sure, his reputation as a bruising politician precedes him, but tangling with Washington insiders is worlds away from doing the tango in Hollywood. Make no mistake, DeLay is the biggest underdog of the season, but what the former congressional house majority leader lacks in fancy footwork, he more than makes up for in charisma. While he appears to be a total stranger to rhythm — his anemic Cha Cha Cha completely lacked spice — there is a certain charm about DeLay that inexplicably drew me in. Don’t ask me why, but I found him intriguing, and apparently other viewers have, too.

Joanna Krupa | I’d never heard of this model before she took her turn on the dance floor. But now I won’t soon forget Krupa’s name or the great show she put on, performing the best Cha Cha Cha of the entire night. The judges seemed to have been as super surprised as I was by Krupa’s amazing talent; in past seasons, most models have proved to be incredibly horrible dancers. That disappointing streak appears to be ending though now with the addition of Krupa. She’s confident and she’s good, and I think she will continue to impress the judges and fans for weeks to come.

Kelly Osbourne | Who would’ve ever thought Ozzy Osbourne’s little wild child could possess such elegance and grace? Kelly Osbourne was a perfect lady, an utter pleasure to watch as she danced an elegant, classic, first-class waltz. She brought tears to her mum Sharon’s eyes and wowed the judges and the audience who, like me, probably weren’t expecting much. But Osbourne’s sordid past of drug abuse and bouts with depression were completely forgotten as she captivated us all with her beautiful poise and grace. I’m hoping she continues to do well throughout the competition because she seems to have genuinely connected with the art of ballroom dancing.

Macy Gray | What in the world can I say about this Grammy Award-winning recording artist whose eclectic style has won her fame around the world? I’m so glad she’s gone! Gray was one of two celebrities sent packing during the first elimination of the season (the other was Ashley Hamilton), and I definitely think the voters got it right. While Gray is a talented vocalist and songwriter, she can’t ballroom dance to save her life. Her waltz was a complete and utter disaster from start to finish. I didn’t see one ounce of dedication or even respect for the dance when she performed; instead, she appeared thoroughly lost and confused, like she didn’t even know why she was on the show. And that’s what I wondered, too: Why in the world did she even sign up? | Retannical D. Russell

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