Dancing With The Stars arrived in the ballroom for its 29th season. There were declarations of an all-new, retooled series, and a brand new crop of celebrities willing to try their hands at fancy footwork. But despite the absence of long-time host Tom Bergeron, replaced by the smizing of Tyra Banks, little had changed. Celebrities with dancing skills did well. The ones who tried hard were given their due. And then there was the designated trainwreck of the evening. This video of Carole Baskin’s first DWTS performance proves that training tigers does not equate to dancing skills.
The Dancing With The Stars premiere always has its share of those who tune in for the rubbernecking to see just how good or bad these celebrities are. The two-hour installment had its share of pleasant surprises. Backstreet Boy AJ McLean was paired with long-time pro Cheryl Burke for a competent jive. One Day At A Time‘s Justina Machado cha-cha-cha’d with her pro Sasha Farber to a front runner position. Pro Daniella Karagach was paired with Nelly; their salsa was spicy. And Johnny Weir wore purple and a pompadour, and the Ballroom gods smiled.
Then there was Carole Baskin. Check out her disastrous opening Paso Doble.
The Paso Doble is not an easy dance. That being said, the resulting trainwreck was worse than most could have foreseen. Baskin didn’t have her head in the dance from the opening notes, unable to keep from laughing as they growled at each other through the cage bars. From there, it was a bunch of stiff parading and half-circles, and then a lot of relief when it was over.
Baskin was paired with Daniella’s husband, Pasha Pashkov, who only became a DWTS pro in 2019 with Season 28. He was paired with Kate Flannery for his first time out and made it to 7th place. This year he probably won’t be so lucky.
The judges were brutal with their scoring, though they attempted to be encouraging with the comments. Both Carrie Ann Inaba and Derek Hough gave her 4s, and Bruno Tonioli even trotted out a dreaded 3. Even so, Tonioli is probably right that she’ll be back next week once the viewer votes are counted. Every audience loves an underdog, or in this case, an undercat.
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