By: Jacob Elyachar
It’s back! The long-running ABC dance competition is back for its seventeenth season!
Tonight, 12 new celebrities made their Dancing with the Stars debuts!
Who dazzled the judges and the audience? Was there a clear frontrunner? Who got the worst judges’ scores? Read on to find out…
The first couple to perform was Pretty Little Liars actor Brant Daugherty and his partner Season 14 winner Peta Murgatroyd. They opened the show with a nice Cha-Cha-Cha to “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. Head judge Len Goodman thought it was brilliant but both Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli saw a little misstep. However, they received a 22-out-of-30 for their routine.
Up next was former King of Queens actress and The Talk co-host Leah Remini. She had a rough year following her controversial exit from Scientology. To help her prepare for the dance floor, she was partnered with All-Stars champion Tony Dovolani. Carrie Ann stated that Leah showcased “sass and class” in her Foxtrot and Len added that it was clean and precise. The duo received a 21-out-of-30.
Actor-singer Corbin Bleu was the next star to take to the floor! His partner, Season 13 winner Karina Smirnoff, planned her first Contemporary routine that blew everyone away! Carrie Ann stated that it was “beautiful and passionate” while Len stated that it had “attack, attitude and great lifts.” They received a 24-out-of-30 for their first routine.
The Osbournes alum and businessman Jack Osbourne was the next hoofer to take the floor! Luckily, Jack partnered two-time Dancing with the Stars champ Cheryl Burke. He did the show to prove that people with MS can do anything that they set their mind too. Their Foxtrot was energetic and very eloquent plus the routine made Sharon Osbourne cry. Len stated that Jack could dance and added “you are going to give your sister a run for her money.” Carrie Ann added that it was nothing but class and “smooth.” Jack and Cheryl received a 23-out-of-30 for their routine.
Glee star Amber Riley hit the floor with her partner: four-time champ Derek Hough. This was a dream for her. While it was out of her character, Amber delivered a fun Cha-Cha-Cha to Little Mix’s “Wings.” As her Glee castmates cheered her on, Bruno stated that she was “The Tigress of Season 17.” Amber and Derek received a 27-out-of-30 (the highest score of the night).
Saved by the Bell and Showgirls star Elizabeth Berkley Lauren’s first love as a kid was dancing. In addition, her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy learned English while watching Saved by the Bell. So it was Val’s turn to pay it forward. Their routine was beautiful and received a 24-out-of-30. So far, it seemed that every couple stepped up their game.
Dancing newbies Bill Nye and new pro Tyne Stecklein had great chemistry from the word go. But did it translate to the dance floor? While the Cha-Cha-Cha was tailored to Bill Nye: the Science Guy meets Frankenstein, the audience chanted his name at the end of his routine. While both Len and Bruno stated that it was stiff, Carrie Ann stated that “you are the kind of contestant that this show is about and you are the heart of the show.” Unfortunately, Bill and Tyne received a 14-out-of-30.
ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson was the latest NFL and Super Bowl alum to hit the ballroom with Sharna Burgess. Their Cha-Cha-Cha to Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” was very average and did not show any Cha-Cha-Cha material. Bruno stated that was like watching the Empire State Building trying to be a Rockette but Len liked his attitude. Keyshawn and Sharna received a 17-out-of-30 from the judges.
Former The Voice Social Media Correspondent Christina Milian were nervous to dance in front of global superstar Jennifer Lopez, who she admitted to co-host Brooke Burke Charvet that she is a fan. For her first dance, she and her partner, two-time champion Mark Ballas, performed an intriguing Contemporary routine to Zedd’s “Clarity.” Carrie Ann stated that Christina needed to open up more and Len added that she needed to open up to the audience more. Christina and Mark ended up with a 22-out-of-30.
Comedian Bill Engvall and new pro and former troupe member Emma Slater hoped to add some laughs to the show. Their Foxtrot to Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” was a huge surprise and delighted the audience. While the future Redneck King of Dance received an 18-out-of-30 from the judges, Carrie Ann told him that he had great musicality.
TV Legend Valerie Harper and her partner, Tristan MacManus, made her Dancing debut. Valerie showed that she was not going to let cancer beat her and delivered a very eloquent Foxtrot that received a standing ovation from the entire room. Bruno stated that she was “an inspiration to the nation” and the routine brought Carrie Ann to tears. The judges gave Valerie and Tristan a 21-out-of-30.
The final dance of the night belonged to Snooki and her partner, Sasha Farber. This routine as boring as hell! While they impressed the judges and received a 23-out-of-30 for their Cha-Cha-Cha, I was bored to tears and they could face a problem with votes next week.
Next week, the couples return for Round Two but the party will be over for one couple!