Olympic gymnast needs to learn to dance

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Is Shawn Johnson dating Mitchel Musso?!?

On the Season 8 Premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” last night, the Disney Channel star — Oliver on the “Hannah Montana” show — was sitting with the Olympic gold-medalist’s parents! Who knew they were friends? How did they meet? What’s going on?? Help me, Perez!

Coming in at 4-foot-11, the 17-year-old Johnson is both the youngest and shortest contestant currently on DWTS. She’s already been pegged as a favorite because of her gymnastics skills, and should she come out on top, she would be the youngest DWTS winner ever.

In an interview with TV Guide, Johnson noted that because she is a minor, she has some limitations placed on her. She’s “only” allowed a 48-hour workweek, which seems like a lot, but I’m afraid this might put her at a disadvantage later in the competition if other couples are practicing 10 to 12 hours each day.

The other major limitation regards appearance: supposedly, she is required to wear less-revealing costumes and her dance moves can’t be too provocative. If she performs her gymnastics routines in leotards, I don’t see why DWTS would need to bother with creating more age-appropriate apparel. But if they called what she wore last night “age-appropriate,” I’d love to see what they’d have her dressed in if she were a year older!

Johnson looked about five times sexier, 10 shades darker and three cup sizes larger than she was a few months ago in Beijing. Dancing has a lot more sex appeal than competitive gymnastics, but why pretend there are restrictions, ABC, if you’re marketing a pushed-up, too-tan teenager as your show’s star?

Last night Johnson and partner Mark Ballas scored 23 out of 30 possible points, tying for the second-highest score with “The Bachelor” winner/loser/reject Melissa Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani. The only score higher was actor Gilles Marini and two-time DWTS Champion, Cheryl Burke, with a very beatable 24.

Johnson’s performance, however, wasn’t all that. She was good, don’t get me wrong, but as a gymnast she has been taught to be completely structured and stiff in everything she does. Her flexibility showed with some fancy leg work and cool-looking moves, but she is going to need a lot of work to live up to the hype. She was adorable, and definitely one of the top dancers on the show so far, but I think we can get a lot more out of her.

Her Viennese Waltz was fun and light, but she didn’t seem confident and she definitely didn’t take any risks. Working in heels is tough, but I think she is capable of a lot more than she gave us. Granted it was only the first night, so hopefully her salsa next week will be less underwhelming. Ballas is used to sexy partners (i.e. last season’s Kim Kardashian), so I’m sure he can pull a lot out of Johnson, but I’m afraid we’re going to see too much. I want quality, not sex, and I definitely don’t want a super-hot show from someone who is supposed to be acting her age.

Personally, I think Johnson looked a lot better than she performed. Her cute little body paired with the appearance enhancements she’s acquired over the past few months (slightly plumper face, lots of tanning sessions and a miracle bra provided by the wardrobe department) helped her put on quite a visual show.

I’m sure Musso enjoyed it, but I’m hoping for a little bit more than 17-year-old sex appeal this season.