Tonight’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars” made it very clear almost from the start of the broadcast that this was a very different show, and one that would attempt to be more energetic, youthful, and also interested in rocking out new theme songs.
Be sure to check back throughout tonight’s “two-part event”; we’re going to have more updates on the performances!
Antonio Sabato Jr. and Cheryl Burke – Bruno Tonioli loves his “balls,” and everyone criticized his footwork. Usually the first performer on the premiere is not a disaster, and we can say that again here. Score: 25.
Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev – Artem’s great, isn’t he? He also made a funny joke about how short these routines are. This was a great introduction for Lea to the show, but apparently she has some dance experience and that makes it easier. Score: 32.
Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy – We saw Janel smile more in this routine than we did in five seasons of “Pretty Little Liars” as Mona. There was a lot of jive in here for the first week! Also, we learned in here that Val’s grandmother has “swag.” Okay. Grade: 29.
Lolo Jones and Keo Motsepe – Lolo looked completely lost out there for a good chunk of the performance, almost like she didn’t have the confidence just yet for this show, Also, her making excuses after the fact was not a good look. Grade: 22.
Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani – Betsey was so much fun! She basically made the judges look like the fun police. Probably the most disappointed we’ve been in the panel tonight. Grade: 20.
Tavis Smiley and Sharna Burgess – Wait, he wasn’t terrible? We had no idea who this guy was going into it, and we didn’t think he’d be that good. Yet, he moved really well, had a lot of energy, and played up some humor. Grade: 29.
Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas – We felt like Sadie was going to do pretty well, given that she is young, athletic, and has a really great partner. With that “Duck Dynasty” voting block, she’ll be going pretty far. Score: 34.
Michael Waltrip and Emma Slater – Hilarious. He wasn’t very good, but his personality was huge and his relationship with Emma was extremely funny. Maybe he can be a sleeper. Score: 25.
Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker – Jonathan’s got the skills to be extremely good at this show, and he probably is going to be around for a long time. Plus, Holker is bringing her own fans over. Grade: 30.
Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd – Well, this was interesting! We’re pretty sure it was the first ever tribute to weed on this show, complete with the outfit and the moves. This actually was just about as fun as Michael. Score: 27.
Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff – Talk about a great move for Randy’s image. He got a chance to come out there and show that he was way more than just a UFC fighter, and he gave one of the best performances that we’ve seen so far. Score: 31.
Bethany Monta and Derek Hough – Bethany brought a touch of YouTube to the show, and she’s probably going to be someone to watch out for. She has arguably the show’s most-famous pro dance for one, and you add to that a pretty obvious skill set. Score: 32.
Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson – Carlton Banks can dance! Well, we figured he could even going into this given the pre-show buzz. He was the best on the night, and will likely be a contender for some time. Score: 36.