‘Dancing With The Stars’ Buzz Watch: Houston, We Have A Problem

On Monday night (March 22), the new season of “Dancing With the Stars” kicked off with a brand new set (complete with an odd glass bubble designed to keep the dancers both backstage and among the people) and a dozen new contestants. As we’ve stated in the past, we’re totally in the tank for Buzz Aldrin, the inspiration for the Video Music Awards trophy, the artist behind “Rocket Experience” and, of course, a legendary explorer of the unknown world. Obviously, “Dancing With the Stars” isn’t just about Aldrin’s experience, but we’ll be tracking him as long as he stays on the show.

The premiere saw an impressive outing by Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger (not surprising, given that she is a professional dancer), a surprisingly weak performance from Evan Lysacek (perhaps that “I can’t turn the other way” stuff is for real) and solid work from ESPN personality Erin Andrews, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and former “Beverly Hills 90210″ star Shannen Doherty.

As for Aldrin, he had a bit of a rough time with his first number, a cha-cha. Though he was wearing a fantastic sequined vest and was obviously committed to doing well, he ultimately came up short, scoring a meager 14 points from the judges (in line with some of the worst scores ever on the show). He’ll probably survive considering he’s 80 years old (the aged always catch a break on this show), he’s classy (he took his adjudication very well) and, oh yeah, he walked on the moon. Fan adoration should get him through a few weeks, but he’ll need to improve if he wants to stick around.

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There will be no eliminations this week. Each pair will get one more dance on next week’s show before the first cut. Based solely on Monday night’s performance, it seems like “All My Children” star Aiden Turner and reality show staple Kate Goesslin may be left out in the cold (assuming Aldrin scores some legend votes). But it could go in any direction. This seems to be Scherzinger’s competition to lose, but the great thing about this show is that a little improvement can really go a long way.

What did you think of “Dancing With the Stars” last night? Who do you think will be going home next week? Does Buzz Aldrin have a chance at sticking around? Let us know in the comments!