Dancing with the Stars, Season 27, Week 1, Night 1
Tinashe and DeMarcus Ware tie for the top as show has two-night premeire.
Season 27 of Dancing with the Stars definitely wants to remind us of older times, it seems. The opening number is a throwback, being to “I Won’t Dance” and including Busby Berkley choreography. Although there are some new things. The judges stand has been completely redesigned, for instance, and they have new paddles too. But we only find that out later after the dancing starts. This first week is also being done old style, with dancing tonight, and then results tomorrow. Good thing, too, since we’ve got thirteen couples to get through:
Mary Lou & Sasha Farber: Cha Cha Cha; “Treasure” Bruno Mars
They are determined to gloss over the whole thing where Mary Lou worked to prevent Congress from doing anything about the Larry Nassar scandal. She even claims she’s been out of the public spotlight recently, and has the gall to use the phrase “Girl power.” Meanwhile Sasha just calls her “America’s sweetheart.” She does still have her performance ability, and she even kind of cha chas well, except she makes footwork errors. The judges are very nice to her about it, even though they point out the mistakes, and Len even gives her a Seven. Sixes from the other two mean she totals 19.
Milo Manheim & Witney Carson: Cha Cha Cha; “Free Free Free” Pitbull feat. Theron Theron
Witney’s reaction to Milo’s age to inform him she has a brother who’s seventeen, before she even more amusingly asks him a flurry of questions about zombies, including if they have any dance moves she should incorporate. But she doesn’t try to put any zombie themes into this one. Indeed, Milo is bursting with life on the dance floor, though his enthusiasm hits manic mode at a couple of points. He’s a bit tall to be dancing Latin easily, as the judges more or less note, with Bruno even making a comment about “zombie longlegs.” It’s a reverse of the previous scores: Six from Len and two Sevens for 20.
Evanna Lynch & Keo Motsepe: Foxtrot; “Do You Believe in Magic?” Aly & AJ
Nobody’s going to forget about her being Harry Potter, and the fluff doesn’t hide from that. She also reveals three dance schools rejected her, which makes Keo determined to make her good. The routine has a weird color-changing tree, a flower, her stealing his hat, and a ridiculously amount of sweetness, and her dancing even contributes to that. How good her actual foxtrotting, however, is another matter, as far as the judges are concerned. Len even says the foxtrot didn’t suit her, and breaks out the Five. She gets a Seven from Carrie Ann, but a Six from Bruno, totaling 18.
Danelle Umstead & Artem Cingvintsev: Foxtrot; “Rise Up” Andra Day
We get Artem’s stunned reaction on learning his partner’s blind, and he frankly says this is the biggest teaching challenge he’s had. But he manages to teach her the moves of the foxtrot by feel, and with a routine that allows him to lead her nonstop, she’s able to dance, and dance well. Combine that with the music and it’s a great moment. The judges are mostly amazed that they actually pulled this off, with Len especially praising Artem for it. They make sure to praise Danelle plenty too, though they also have quibbles over the positioning of her shoulders. Then they break out straight Sixes for another 18.
Bobby Bones & Sharna Burgess: Jive; “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” Travis Tritt
When she meets him in the recording studio, he says he’s never danced, but he wants to win it for her. The jive is a dance that certainly matches his personality, andthe routine Sharna comes up with is half jive, half country rock performance. He throws himself into it with an energy that goes straight past manic into downright scary. He may even be doing that on purpose. Except he really loses after the routine’s over. And when, after Bruno calls him “exquisitely demented,” Len concedes how good his attack was. And when he gets two Sevens, as well as a Six from Len, for another 20.
Juan Pablo Di Pace & Cheryl Burke: Salsa; “Dinero” Jennifer Lopez feat. DJ Khaled & Cardi B
Since he’s been on Fuller House, there’s a mandatory meeting on that set, with the obvious appearance of his two castmates who’ve done the show already. But then Juan Pablo & Cheryl get on the floor, and it turns out she’s gotten not only another good partner, but also another one of those guys she’s able to find electric chemistry with. The result is easily the hottest thing we’ve seen so far tonight. Carrie Ann thought he threw her around a little too much, though, even while praising their “fuego potential.” Bruno especially praises it, and breaks out the night’s first Eight, which with two Sevens totals 22.
Nikki Glaser & Gleb Savchenko: “Yes” Louisa feat. 2 Chainz
The first meeting is him showing up in the audience while she does stand up, and her taking a moment to recognize him, which I’m not sure wasn’t staged. She likes how sexy he is, though. In fact, during the dance, though she grins and such, she seems most excited and into it when she gets his shirt open. Or after the routine, when she hyperventilates, and reveals she was injured this weekend and wasn’t even sure she could perform tonight. Len is very unimpressed, calling her “cool and too careful.” Bruno calls it “not a trainwreck,” but there was “a slight derailment on hip junction.” A Five from Len and two Sixes means they total 17.
Alexis Ren & Alan Bersten: Jive; “Good Golly, Miss Molly” Little Richard
Alexis openly says she’s famous for bing a “social media influencer,” and also reveals that she’s doing the show because it was her late mother’s favorite show. Their routine invites comment, about the cliché ice cream parlor setting, the moment he slides on the floor between her legs, and the moment the camera suddenly loses them and goes around the ballroom. But also, she turns out to be pretty good at dancing, very light and bouncy on her feet. “What more can you want?” Bruno asks. Carrie Ann actually thinks she could’ve performed out more. Len just calls it good. They get straight Sevens for 21.
John Schneider & Emma Slater: Foxtrot; “Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys)” Waylon Jennings
Everything is going remind us of this guy’s most famous role. The fluff starts out with him in the car, and Emma in a cop car pulling him over! That ride’s out in the middle of the ballroom floor as well, though they don’t do much with it. John notes he does not intend to do anything in public he’s not good at, and it turns out he’s surprisingly elegant in his movements, even when his actual foxtrotting isn’t perfect. But while Carrie Ann is impressed, Len is not, calling it rough. Bruno compares it to a country ride, sometimes rough, sometimes smooth. So the scores are a respective Seven, Five, and Six, for another 18.
Tinashe & Brandon Armstrong: Jive; “I’m a Lady” Meghan Trainor
The fluff is pretty unremarkable, though it’s sure to note he’s the newbie in the main cast. The routine has a relatively simple setup of them on a raised stage with her name. No need to get to fancy, when the celebrity’s as good a dancer as Tinashe is. This is really just a showcasing of that, and also of her star power as well, which Carrie Ann notes-except she thinks Brandon actually gave her too much choreography, at the expense of her getting to show her personality. Nonetheless she breaks out the Eight, as does Bruno, although Len keeps his score to a Seven, so they total 23, ultimately tying for the top.
Nancy McKeon & Val Chmerkovskiy: Quickstep; “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)” Club des Belugas
They just meet in the dance studio, though she does get there on a motocycle, in a nod to her Facts of Life character, and is another one who’s really never done this. For the number, Val sets them in a 20s Hollywood club with a keyboard, although it’s mostly just dancing. Nancy gets the moves done, but she’s not really very quick and sharp, the way you want to be for a quickstep. She does have the personality, but it’s not enough to quite make this whole thing stand out too much. Len is nice in his commends, calling it a “good, solid performance,” while Bruno advises her to keep it steady. The scores are another set of straight Sixes.
Joe Amabile & Jenna Johnson: Quickstep; “Fish Out of Water” Leo Soul
Okay, this guy’s popularity is scary. It’s one thing when Jenna screams with excitement about meeting him, since she promptly admits to being a huge fan of “Bachelor everything.” But then he has a huge cheering section in the ballroom as he dances. And when he doesn’t dance well at all, Len is actually really sad and says he was rooting for him. He even apologizes when he raises the Four paddle! And Bruno says it wouldn’t be fair for such a handsome guy to be a good dancer as well, as he and Carrie Ann gives him Fives, to total 14. And meanwhile Erin’s going crazy over him, and talking about how everybody loves him, and…really?
DeMarcus Ware & Lindsay Arnold: Cha Cha Cha; “Sweet Sensation” Flo Rida
They meet on a football field, with him showing her his strength. They put a goalpost at the top of the ballroom floor as well, but when it comes down to it, the thing that really draws all the attention is the guy’s huge smile. Also his energy and enthusiasm, which remains high the entire time without tipping into manic mode. And his dancing, because he turns out he’s one of the good ones. Bruno calling him “delightful, delicious, Demarcus de dancer!” and, they all agree he’s the one to watch. He and Carrie Ann gives him Eights, but Len still won’t go above a Seven, so they tie Tinashe & Brandon with 23.
With no elimination until tomorrow, the show ends with everyone just hugging it out on the floor instead. And now all us Harry Potter fans must run and vote for Evanna to keep her on. One supposes all these people so taken with this Bachelor guy will do the same…