"Dancing With The Stars” and “Survivor: Nicaragua” are back for the attack, or at least for ratings. Both shows are pulling impressive audiences.

"Dancing With The Stars” and “Survivor: Nicaragua” are back for the attack, or at least for ratings. Both shows are pulling impressive audiences.

I mostly passed on last season’s “Dancing With The Stars.” I felt the show had almost seen its day. Judges, dances and overall appeal was becoming predictable. Too much was expected from the would-be amateur dancing celebs for it to be fun to watch.

Talk began to circulate earlier this year about who might put on their dancing shoes. I was crossing my fingers that Lindsey Lohan would do it, but that didn’t happen. However, several others did.

I tuned in to last week’s “Dancing With The Stars” premiere because of the hype. Stars like David Hasselhoff, Brandy, Michael Bolton, Margaret Cho, Jennifer Grey, Florence Henderson and Bristol Palin were heavily advertised to compete.

I tuned in to see Palin land on her face. To my surprise, she didn’t. She didn’t even dance badly. Her two right feet were in check most of the time. Dang it!

Grey clearly became the show’s frontrunner. Her performance and rehearsal footage was so touching, you couldn’t help but fall in love with her.

Brandy was also at the top of her game.

Hasselhoff saw his star go out first. I thought The Hoff would at least stay for a while, considering his fan base.

“Survivor: Nicaragua” is awesome. You’d think by the 21st season, the show would lose strength. Hardly. Host Jeff Probst divided the 20 castaways into the young vs. old. Those 40 and under became the La Flor tribe, while all those over 40 became the Espada tribe.

Tempers flared on Day 1 at La Flor, while at Espada things were going well.

I try to connect to people right away hoping to pick potential favorites from the get-go (it’s more fun to have a favorite and see if they can make it to the end). I had a hard time doing that with the younger group this time. It’s too presumptuous for my liking, or at least it seems that way. They’d rather consider a girl with a prosthetic leg as the weakest link than somebody who might be trying to call the shots up front. So my underdog syndrome is kicking into high gear.

I’m rooting for Kelly B on the younger tribe.

As for Espada: How do you not want to get behind Jimmy Johnson?

He’s awesome on “Survivor.” I like his persona and his game play so far. The only thing that may have hurt his game was telling his fellow tribe members he doesn’t want to win. He told them he wanted to at least help (or coach) someone from his tribe to make it all the way to the end. That may sound good, but it’s also game play.

Hidden Immunity idols and a special tribal power medallion will keep this season a must-see for me.

David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. E-mail him at farrboy@hotmail.com.