This season of “Dancing with the Stars” is an abbreviated edition of only four weeks and features only pro dancers and athletes.
After a group opening number to “We Will Rock You”, dressed as referees head judge Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli return as judges for another season. Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews also return.
The first ever all athletes show, there will be a double elimination at the end of the show.
Award winning Olympic Luge champion Chris Mazdzer pairs up with Witney Carson for a Salsa. Tom noted that through the years he has seen a lot of first dances and Chris didn’t look like he was nervous. Saying that it was the first time he has seen Chris vertical, Len was impressed; adding that Chris had style and a lot going on in the dance. Noting the Chris got into the groove, Bruno said that Chris had some good hip action and as a first dance it was very exciting; adding that Chris needs to watch the placement of his weight. Calling Chris incredible, Carrie Ann noted that the dance was packed with choreography. Saying that Chris has star quality, Carrie Ann said that he has a lot of potential. Partner Witney said that Chris did a fantastic job. Chris and Witney scored 21 points for their dance.
Basketball champion and former Los Angeles Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabber is partnered with Lindsey Arnold for a basketball themed Cha Cha to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”. Kareem is over seven feet tall and Lindey is only five foot four. Having changed clothes the judges make their remarks. Asking how could he criticize a national treasure, Bruno said that Kareem didn’t over dance; keeping it simple and dignified. Carrie Ann noted that as a performance, it is what the audience loves; adding that it was wonderful entertainment but Kareem could get a little groovier. Saying that if he was scoring on admiration alone, Kareem would get a 10, Len noted that Kareem is the tallest star they have ever had and at 71 he is the oldest this season and told Kareem that he needs to loosen up a bit. Kareem and Lindsey scored 17 points for their dance.
Award winning team USA softball pitcher Jennie Finch-Dagle partners up with Keo Motsepe for a Foxtrot with her children joining them at the end. Saying that the dance was such a joy to watch, Carrie Ann said that Jennie attacked every move full out. Noting that the Foxtrot is a hard dance, Len said that overall Jennie did a good job. Saying that he felt a sense of abondonment, Bruno said that the dance needs to be controled with sophistication and elegance; adding that Jennie has the talent. Jennie and Keo scored 21 points for their dance.
Award winning Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson pairs up with Artem Chigvintsev for a Viennese Waltz. Noting that the dance was a little skippy on occasion, Len said that Jamie had personality and elegance about her dancing. Saying that she started out very well, Bruno noted that Jamie lost her footing; telling her to never lose the flow. Carrie Ann said that Jamie is way more elegant than she thinks she is; adding that nerves got to her and she was rushing, but overall did very well. Jamie and Artem scored 19 points for their dance.
Bronze medal winning ice skater Mirai Nagasu pairs up with Alan Bursten for a Salsa. Tom noted that Mirai did not look nervous at all. Bruno called it a spicy Salsa and did the tricks very well; adding that she had a lot of attack. Carrie Ann said that Mirai owned the dance; but cautioned Mirai to watch the head bopping and to be more one with the dance. Len said that the dance was full of vim, vigor, and vitality; adding that it was a terrific dance. Mirai and Alan scored 23 points to their dance.
Women’s college basketball champion and the youngest star this season Arike Ogunbowale pairs up with Gleb Savchenco for a basketball themed Salsa. An impressed Carrie Ann noted that Arike had an ease about her on the dance floor; but Arike has to put on the heels. Len said that the dance was energetic and fast paced but he wanted to see more hip action. Noting that Arike shook it up, Bruno said she made him want to join her, but cautioned her on her shoulders. Arike and Gleb scored 20 points for their dance.
Medal winning Olympic ice skater and the first openly gay American winter athlete Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson danced a Cha Cha to the music of RuPaul. The routine had the house cheering and screaming. Saying that it was good, Len noted the dance was clean and full of Cha Cha content. Len added that he enjoyed watching the dance. Calling Adam the angel of the Ballroo, Bruno noted that the synchronicity between partners was impressive especially for the first week. Noting that kids across America are going to be saying “Sissy that Walk” all week, Carrie Ann said that Adam was born to do the show; adding that the dance was fantastic. Carrie Ann called the pairing a match made in heaven. Adam and Jenna scored 24 points for their dance.
World Series champion Johnny Damon and Emma Slater paired up for a baseball themed Foxtrot to “Centerfield” – Damon’s position when he played baseball. Saying that the dance wasn’t smooth or effortless, Bruno noted that the Foxtrot is a demanding dance and Johnny will get better. Calling Johnny adorable, Carrie Ann said that there was something likable about Johnny’s dancing. She cautioned Johnny to watch his hold. A stickler for the traditional Foxtrot style, Len had a bit of an issue with Johnny’s hold but saluted him for coming out in the first week and attempting the dance. Johnny and Emma scored 18 points for their dance.
Medal winning ice skater Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber paired up for a Foxtrot. Harding noted that she was banned from skating in 1994, but no one said that she couldn’t dance. Noting that her journey has been emotional, Carrie Ann called Tonya a beautiful dancer; adding that Tonya had gorgeous lines and eloquence in her dance. Len called it a charming dance with fluid movement with a great mix of moves in and out of hold; adding that it was a lovely performance. Bruno noted that Tonya had a lyrical quality of movement to her dance. Tonya and Sasha scored 23 points for their dance.
The final dance of the night is from Washington Redskins football player Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess with a Cha Cha. Len said that the dance was bright and breezy, free and easy, and full of rhythm and style; adding that Josh is one of a long line of footballers who can dance. Bruno said that Josh has star quality, charisma and sex appeal by the truck load; adding that Josh has natural musicality and a feel for the dance. Len noted that Josh is the latest in a long line of footballers that can dance. Carrie Ann saind that Josh has finesse and the X facotr; adding that he has moves and style and there is something special about him. A former Fly Girl, Carrie Ann named Josh the Fly Guy of the night. Josh and Sharna scored 24 points to tie Adam and Jenna with the highest scores of the night.
First dance scores:
Kareem and Lindsey – 17
Johnny and Emma – 18
Jamie and and Artem – 19
Arike and Gleb – 20
Chris and Witney – 21
Jennie and Keo – 21
Mirai and Alan – 23
Tonya and Sasha – 23
Adam and Jenna – 24
Josh and Sharna – 24
In the first results of the season…
Jamie and Artem are in jeopardy
Johnny and Emma are in jeopardy
Tonya and Sasha are in jeopardy
The remaining couples are safe for another week.
Tonya and Sasha are safe.
Johnny and Emma and Jamie and Artem have been eliminated from the competition.