“Dancing with the Stars” begins a new season with a new host, new stars, and a new judge.
Tyra Banks takes over the hosting duties after the departure of Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews.
With travel restrictions, social distancing, and lockdown issues head judge Len Goodman is stuck in England and will not be a part of the judging panel this season. Taking his place is DWTS champion Derek Hough.
Fans are not in the Ballroom yet and the judges – Carrie Ann Inaba, a silver haired Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough are all social distancing at a new judge’s table.
Fans of the show will notice that no one in the Ballroom is wearing a mask. The dancers and celebrities have been quarantined so that ABC determined a mask was not needed. Even the married couples – there are three this year – must separate for the season.
Backstreet Boy AJ McLean is paired up with Cheryl Burke for a Cha Cha. Derek called it a great way to start the show but wanted more Jive action. Bruno called the dance strong and powerful; adding that AJ needed to work on his kicks and flicks. Carrie Ann said it was exactly the way they should start off the season. She added that AJ needed to dance a little bigger. AJ and Cheryl scored 18 points for their dance.
Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko are paired up for the Tango. Bruno noted that Chrishell gave them the selling points but went wrong. Noting that Chrishell has so much potential, Carrie Ann felt that Chrishell didn’t get her feet under her. Derek noted that Chrishell needed to start from the bottom and work on her feet. Chrishell and Gleb scored 13 points for their dance.
Football star Vernon Davis paired up with Peta Murgatroyd for a Fox Trot to the music of John Legend. Carrie Ann called the performance impressive; adding that Vernon has stage presence. Noting that Vernon had a good frame, Derek said that Vernon was so smooth. Bruno noted that the couple had sizzling chemistry; adding that he noticed Vernon trying to perform the rise and fall in the dance. Vernon and Peta scored 17 points for their dance.
Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe paired up for a Cha Cha. Saying that it made him smile, Derek said it was a great first dance that was fun, clean, and neat. Bruno said that Anne had full on zest in her performance; adding that while she did a really good job, she needs more hip action. Carrie Ann loved the strength and tension; adding that the couple had a great partnership. Anne and Keo scored 18 points for their dance.
Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong joined up for a Salsa that Bruno called so energizing; adding that Jeannie was a little ray of sunshine. While telling Jeannie to watch her foot placement, Bruno said that the spirit of the dance was spot on. Calling the dance amazing, Carrie Ann said that they lit up the room. Saying Holey Moley, Derek thought it was a good start; adding the dance was well done but told Jeannie to watch her turns. Jeannie and Brandon scored 18 points for their dance.
Jesse Metcalfe paired up with a blonde Sharna Burgess for a Quickstep to “Part Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder. Carrie Ann said that it was one of the most passionate Quicksteps she has ever seen on the show; adding that at time Jesse got a little wild and needs to “tame the beast”. Derek called it a great first dance; adding that Jesse was a leading man on the dance floor. Noting that the Quickstep is a hard dance, Bruno said that Jesse did well. Jesse and Sharna scored 18 points for their dance.
At 18, Skai Jackson is the youngest dancer this season. She paired up with Alan Bersten for a Tango. Derek called the dance clean and strong; adding that Skai has a beautiful posture. Bruno said that for Skai, the sky was the limit; adding she gave a mature performance with fantastic shapes. Saying that Skai coped with the height differential well, Carrie Ann called it a beautiful and exciting performance. Skai and Alan scored 21 points for their dance.
Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe paired up with a returning Artem Chigvintsev for a Cha Cha. Telling Artem that it was nice to have him back where he belonged, Bruno said that while Kaitlyn could be sharper, Artem really got her going. Carrie Ann said that it was a great first dance; adding that Kaitlyn needs to work on pointing her feet. Derek agreed that it was a great first dance; adding that while it was a beautiful Cha Cha and Kaitlyn has a lot of potential, he felt that it was a safe dance. Kaitlyn and Artem scored 20 points for their dance.
Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson performed a Foxtrot to “The Way You Look Tonight”. Carrie Ann said that they transported them back to the era of the dance; adding that Nev’s world needs a little more of Nev. Derek called it a great dance that was a pleasure to watch; adding that Nev is good. Bruno called Nev a great dancer; adding that loved the classic Hollywood style in the dance. Nev and Jenna scored 20 points for their dance.
Back in London, Len Goodman made an appearance saying that everyone looks great; adding that he is going to be keeping an eye on the cast this season and he will be back later.
Ice skater Johnny Weir and new pro dancer Britt Stewart performed a purple Cha Cha. After welcoming Britt to the Ballroom, Derek said that it was a great first dance; telling Johnny to stay consistently Johnny. Bruno agreed that it was a great opening dance; adding that Johnny had a wonderful lyrical quality to his dancing and noting that Johnny feels the music in his body. Carrie Ann said that Johnny should have been on the show years ago. She reminded Johnny to stay connected with his partner. This is the first time Weir has ever had to perform with a partner. Johnny and Britt scored 18 points for their dance.
Justina Machado and Sasha Farber performed a Cha Cha to “Respect”. Saying that she has respect, Bruno said that Justina has confidence and musicality. Saying Mui calliente, Carrie Ann said that Justina got everyone out of their seats. Saying that Justina oozed charisma, Derek said that Justina filled the room with energy. Justin and Sasha scored 21 points for their dance.
Six foot nine basketball star Charles Oakley and Emma Slater danced a Salsa. Saying that is wasn’t his last dance, Carrie Ann noted that Charles was ahead of the music. Agreeing that Charles was ahead of the music, Derek said that Charles was also flat footed; adding that he felt the joy in Charles. Bruno noted that Charles got into the spirit of the dance in his own way. Charles and Emma scored 12 points for their dance.
Cheerleading coach Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy danced a Foxtrot that Derek said was beautiful, plesant to watch, and a breath of fresh air; addign that it was good to watch. Noting that Monica had a slow start, Carrie Ann was impressed that Monica went for it. Bruno said that the dance was stylish and looked as it should. Monica and Val scored 19 points for their dance.
Award winning Hip-Hop artist Nelly was paired up with new DWTS pro dancer Danielle Karagach for a Salsa to one of Nelly’s own songs. Bruno called it a wonderful ride; adding that the interplay was so much fun. Bruno said that the dance was very grounded but cautioned Nelly to watch his shoulders. Saying that she didn’t expect the back flip from Nelly, Carrie Ann said that the groove was right but Nelly needs to open up and show who he is. Derek said that it was a great dance; but noted Nelly’s footwear saying that the sneakers were appropriate for this dance but in future he needed to wear some Ballroom shoes. Nelly and Danielle scored 16 points for their dance.
In the final dance of the night, Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov performed a Paso Doble to “Eye of the Tiger”. Carrie Ann loved the connection between the two; adding that Carole did not hold back. Derek said that Carole smashed it; adding that she needs to watch her shoulders. Disagreeing with his fellow judges, Bruno said that the dance was kind of sedated and didn’t pop. Carole and Pasha scored eleven points for their dance.
No one is eliminated this week. The scores will be added to those for next week and added to fan votes for the first elimination next week.
DWTS Premiere scores:
Carole and Pasha – 11
Charles and Emma – 12
Chrishell and Gleb – 13
Nelly and Daniella – 16
Vernon and Peta – 17
AJ and Cheryl – 18
Anne and Keo – 18
Jeannie and Brandon – 18
Jesse and Sharna – 18
Johnny and Britt – 18
Monica and Val – 19
Kaitlyn and Artem – 20
Nev and Jenna – 20
Skai and Alan – 21
Justina and Sasha – 21