STEP OFF: DANCING WITH THE STARS Returns for the 15th time. Great.

STEP-OFF-DANCING-WITH-THE-STARS-Returns-for-the-15th-time-Great-20010101

Let's all take a moment, and let out a collective and exhaustive, "UGHHHHH."

DANCING WITH THE STARS is back. For the 15th time. I know, guys. I'm sorry. Just when you think the airwaves can't get even more clogged with televised rot.

But, hey! Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet are back! And they've brought with them a whole bunch of competitors who've already lost once! With the exception of a few, who did in fact win. But that's cool, right? Shakin' it up a little? Turning the audience on their heads with these vast, life-changing alterations, right? Maybe some new viewership? Eh, eh? A little boost in the ratings?

But for real, the only change-up to the stale formula is that now the judges can add half-points to the scores.

I mean, really. DANCING is basically a giant compost pile. You toss in a has-been boy band persona, let Carrie Ann Inaba spazz and shout and generally be awful, break down the excretory glitz from seasons past, and it blossoms into an even more tired and ugly beast than before. "And we shall call it, All-Stars!" Nobody ever said. Because these competitors were generally too awful to win this show the first time they club-footed around.

Regardless, for the premiere episode, here are the breakdowns of teams and subsequent scores:
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson: (season 4): Cha-cha; 20.5
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough (season 8): Fox trot; 22
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel (season 5): Cha-cha; 22.5
Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower (season 5): Fox trot; 21.5
Pamela Anderson and Tristan McManus (season 10): Cha-cha; 17
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani (season 8): Fox trot; 21
Apollo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff (season 4): Cha-cha; 22
Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd (season 8): Fox trot; 24
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas (season 11): Cha-cha; 19.5
Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya (season 2): Fox trot; 21.5
Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy (season 1): Cha-cha; 21.5
Kirstie Alley and Maks Chmerkovskiy (season 12): Fox trot; 19
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke (season 3): Cha-cha; 24.5

Okay, everyone. The first episode of many, many more to come (including tomorrow's) has come and gone. And with it, we're dubiously rewarded with the flatfoots and the stars to be. In the former, we may find Anderson, Alley, and Palin. The latter, Smith, Marini, and potentially Bryan.

So let's recap:
Downside: There's a huge chunck of competitors all lumpy and forgettable in the middle.
Upside: At least the judges berate them a little more this season.
Updside 2.0: If Bristol Palin wins, maybe she can put that mirrorball next to the oil painting of Ronald Reagan and Jesus playing a game of Chinese Checkers while smoking Cubans that she's got up on her mantle. Just a suggestion.

What do you guys think? Who's going to take home that mirrorball hunk o'junk this season?

And don't forget: DANCING WITH THE STARS airs on ABC every Monday and Tuesday at 8PM EST, with the BroadwayWorld recap shortly on its heels.

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