Jojo Siwa danced last with a female partner, a show first.

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Welcome back, ballroom lovers! It's season 30 of Dancing With the Stars, and though the audience is still missing because of the pandemic, the garish Tyra Banks dresses are not! Serious regret, though, that the DWTS doors remain closed to the outside world — and that includes journos like me, who look forward to sitting backstage and eating the free pigs in a blanket. But at least Len Goodman is back on the judges' dais, and a Chmerkovskiy is in the house!

On to the show! Who's dancing with whom, Tyra? 

DANCING WITH THE STARS
JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson performing on 'Dancing With the Stars'
| Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Melanie C and Gleb Savchenko. After the requisite package reminding us that she conquered the world with the Spice Girls (and likes to make funny noises), Sporty Spice didn't waste any time relying on the old library by dancing the cha-cha to "Wannabe." "You danced that absolutely terrific," said judge Len Goodman. "You've got incredible legs," added Derek Hough. Agreed. Score: 27 out of 40

The Miz and Witney Carson. Who knew he was a two-time WWE Champion? Me neither. But he certainly knows how to move after executing all those Flying Elbows in the ring, so his cha-cha was actually charming-charming. (That shirt, however, needs to be returned STAT to Tony Manero's closet). "Witney, you've tamed the beast!" exclaimed Bruno Tonioli. "Light on his feet, a well-oiled loving machine." "You were incredible," added Carrie Ann Inaba, who was very close to showing off her girls. Score: 24 out of 40

Iman Shumpert and Danielle Karagach. This jive to OutKast's "Hey Ya" should have opened the show. The baller was a gas to watch, and his plaid green outfit was cute as hell. So what if the judges thought otherwise? "I'm going to give it to you straight," said Tonioli. "You were very nibble, very, very light on your feet. You have musicality." "You are the fly guy of season 30!" yelled Inaba.  Score: 21 out of 40

Olivia Jade and Val Chmerkovskiy. "I'm probably best known for being an influencer," the daughter of Lori Laughlin and Mossimo Giannulli began. Really? At least she admitted she was recently "wrapped up in a (college entrance) scandal" and "she's not trying to pull a pity card, just move forward and do better." Her reward? Getting Val as a partner. Wow. Anyway, she danced the salsa. "It could have been more spicy, however, it was clean, it was clear, and it was polished," said Goodman. Score: 25 out of 40

Jimmie Allen and Emma Slater. The country music artist wants to be an ambassador of country music and a Mirror Ball winner, which seemed to shock his partner. He then danced the tango in front of a smashed-up red Mercedes that lacked that "stalking cat" feel, said Tonioli. "This dance does not suit your personality. You're a cool sort of a guy," added Goodman. "Relax, I'm sure there is a lot more talent in there." Score: 22 out of 40

Melora Hardin and Artem Chigvintsev. The former actress from The Office has three things going for her: she scored last season's champion as a partner, she once studied ballet, and she's got a great set of gams. So was her tango simply irresistible, judges? "Let's go! Oh my gosh, that was unbelievable. That had light and shade," said Hough. "We're keeping an eye on you, girl!" "Great lines, great placement but at times you lose balance because of the core," added Tonioli. "But brilliant." Score: 26 out of 40

Suni Lee and Sasha Farber. The first Hmong Olympian craved pizza after winning her medal! She's just like us — except she got to go to the Met Gala. She also swears she can't dance, but her splendid jive said otherwise. "You are incredible. The skills you have, you are a perfect match for ballroom and Latin dancing," said Inaba. "Everything you are doing, girl, is amazing." Score: 28 out of 40

Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke. You won't recognize this former dancer unless you ride a Peloton. And just to make sure you don't forget that, his tango began with him on the stationary bike. "You are fabulous, you have great energy. However, were you nervous? You were tight and taught," said Inaba. "I would like to see you relax." "There's a lot of promise there," said Goodman. "Hold a little tighter in the tango but I'll tell you what, you are one to watch." Score: 24 out of 40

Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten. The co-host from The Talk became a national figure during the pandemic when her husband-Broadway star Nick Cordero died after a long battle with COVID-19. She teared up saying how she thinks about him every day and how he'd want her to "keep going." And boy, did she. "That was full of tango content. It had attack. It had confidence. That was a really great first dance," said Goodman. "You were like an angel dancing," said Inaba. Then Banks asked if she felt her dead husband's presence in the ballroom. Score: 28 out of 40

Martin Kove and Britt Stewart. The villainous karate master from The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai shocked the ballroom by starting his number with an in-character speech about fear and worry in the ballroom. He then followed with a — dance? — that was absolutely terrible, but that doesn't mean he should go home first or second or third. The guy's a national treasure, man. "Cobra Kai forever!" said Hough. "That opening speech got me fired up." "I think we have to work on the content," said Tonioli. "We should clean up the script before we go to full production." Score: 13 out of 40

Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong. The Real Housewives of Atlanta personality is 50 and ready to live her best life. How nice that her partner told her she looks like Beyonce! But can she dance like her, too? "You look like a queen out there," said Inaba. "You just relax and in the right posture. Well done." "It had a charm and a sophistication that you want to see in a foxtrot," added Goodman. "Well done." Score: 26 out of 40

Christine Chiu and Pasha Pashkov. The Bling Empire personality and self-described DWTS superfan wanted to peek at her partner's abs before they practiced the tango. What he should have done was remind her that he's the best choreographer/teacher on the show who will "dislocate your rib" if you don't do it right. "You are like a diamond in the rough," said Inaba. "Your back is beyond." "Wow, really good. The frame is really beautiful," said Hough. "Get lower to the ground." Score: 25 out of 40

Matt James and Lindsay Arnold. The season 25 bachelor showed up to rehearsal in Crocs. Not a good sign. But he made his cha-cha look good (though his bright teal suit did a lot of the work). "I would have liked to see a bit more hip action," said Goodman. "You know what they say about big feet. We can see them. That's it. Turn those bad boys out," added Hough. Score: 24 out of 40

Brian Austin Green and Sharna Burgess. No problem finding the chemistry here; the longtime DWTS pro was dating the actor from 90210 before they were officially partnered up for the new season. "My coach always said never date your dance partner but I'm dating my dance partner. It works!" said Hough. "You gotta work on your feet," added Hough. "Having said that, this competition is developing into something special. Well done." Score: 24 out of 40

Jojo Siwa and Jenna Johnson. Not surprisingly, the show waited until the end of the two-hour premiere to reveal its first same-sex couple. "Who technically is the dude?" JoJo asked Jenna. Jenna said "you are" when she should have said, "Uh, NO ONE and that's the blissful point. Let's dance!" Everyone was predictably thrilled. "Finally the groundbreaking moment we have been waiting for!" Tonioli said. "I'm so high I could hit the rafter." Score: 29 of 40

First elimination is next week!

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JENNA JOHNSON, ADAM RIPPON

Dancing With the Stars

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 29
rating
genre
network
  • ABC

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