Recap: Urkel aces Dancing with the Stars

Maksim Chmerkovskiy takes Melissa Gilbert a long way from Little House

Me recapping Dancing with the Stars?

I know, it’s a bit like asking Bill Maher to say Mass. Still, I’ll be doing just that every week over at thestar.com. You can find my recap of Monday night’s two hour premiere here.
Now in its 14th edition, the ABC celebrity dance series is not the ratings magnet it once was. CTV–which has a hotter reality show it can simulcast, The Voice–has even bounced it over to CTV Two. When Urkel is your big draw, as he is in this edition, you are definitely running out of stars.
Jaleel White with dance partner Kym Johnson
Yet if I have to watch a celebrity talent show, I’ll take one where the folks are at least trying. That’s certainly the case with Battle of the Blades as well as this show. 
The 14 contestants on Monday nights DWTS all put in a solid effort and judge Len Goodman and host Tom Bergeron both said it was the best opener to the series yet. 
That’s another reason I check in on DWTS. The three judges–Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli–are knowledgeable, entertaining and totally themselves. All three are so different you want to hear from all of them, unlike on some talent shows where the comments all sound the same.
Based on first impressions, Latin hunk William Levy, Disney kid Roshon Fegen, Family Matters nerd Jaleel White and British classical music diva Katherine Jenkins are the four to beat, but even the oldest contestant, 67-year-old Gladys Knight, was impressive.
I interviewed Fegen a few times when he was among the Disney kids camped out in Toronto and Muskoka shooting those Camp Rock TV-movies. Nice kid, full of spark and energy and part of a showbiz family. Look for him to go far.

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