Dancing With the Stars premiere recap: A night of half-measures
Welcome back to the ballroom!
The energy was high but the scores were low on the season 31 premiere of Dancing with the Stars. Streaming live coast-to-coast and on Disney+ for the first time ever, TikToker Charli D'Amelio and her mom Heidi, American Idol season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Bachelorette Gabby Windey and more showed up and showed out for a night of all out fun.
Resident smizer Tyra Banks shared hosting duties for the first time with DWTS season 19 champion and fellow Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro. Stars met up with Ribeiro in the skybox to get their scores, a welcome addition back to the ballroom for OG DWTS fans. Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough all returned as judges.
We've just met the stars and learned about their favorite party songs, but already one couple got the boot. To every Sex and the City fans dismay, it was actor Jason Lewis and his partner Peta Murgatroyd with the second to last lowest score of the night. You know Samantha Jones' PR firm would've found a way to spin this, but simply put, it's sad to see Smith Jerrod — I mean, Jason Lewis go. Not only because he's hot, but also because I needed to hear more stories about Tyra and her self-proclaimed "brother from another mother" supermodel BFF.
The first night always produces scores on the lower end, but tonight was truly a night of half-measures ... many of the couples got 5's, and the stars had about half of the dance knowledge needed to pump out a good cha-cha or foxtrot. But, if 30 seasons before this has taught us anything, it's that there's always room for improvement and some competitors might surprise you.
But it was no surprise that Charli D'Amelio and her partner, veteran pro Mark Ballas, killed it on that dance floor and got the highest score of the night, a 32 out of 40.
Daniel Durant, the deaf actor from the Oscar-winning film CODA, came out in show stopping green, following in the footsteps of his movie mom and deaf activist Marlee Matlin who competed on season 6, and deaf model Nyle DiMarco, who took home the mirror ball trophy on season 22. I rewatch Nyle and Peta's first dance every time I'm having a bad day and so should you.
The troupe is back! (Something had to fill the time where those ABC commercials used to air...) You know, those bonus professional dancers who always look like they just took a 5-hour energy shot right before performing? They slayed!
Wayne Brady's cha-cha had the perfect amount of funk and personal flair. He was awarded the first 8 of the night from Bruno, who dubbed the ballroom "Wayne's Dance World". Vinny Guadagnino on the other hand ended up in last place with a score of 17 and some harsh words from Carrie Ann, who said he let his partner, new pro Koko Iwasaki, "do all the work". Yikes!
However, the highlight of the night was Selma Blair's triumphant debut on the dance floor. The actress made her multiple sclerosis diagnosis public in 2018 and gave a performance that can only be described as breathtaking.
Prepare to get all shook up for next week's themed show, the stars and their partners will be performing in the first ever Elvis night! Will we get a flashy Baz Luhrmann style intro for the episode? I'd say return to sender if we don't.
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