“Dancing With The Stars” hits the floor for Season 23

Enjoy the cheeky song choices while we see what our competitors have to offer.

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Thirteen couples start the competition for the Season 23 Mirror Ball Trophy Monday night on
Thirteen couples start the competition for the Season 23 Mirror Ball Trophy Monday night on "Dancing With The Stars. " Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, September 11, 2016 – Season 23 kicks off with a brand new cast and a wider variety of dance styles than in previous seasons for the first week. This could allow certain competitors to get a big jump on their competition.

The song choices are all connected in some way to the star competing as you’ll see. It’s cheeky good fun and there are a few zingers. Show producers decided to get the inevitable “Ice Ice Baby” routine out of the way right away for Vanilla Ice and partner Witney Carson. We didn’t get the “Carlton” from Witney and Alfonso Ribiero until much further into the season.

Perhaps producers don’t think Ice is going to stick around too long.

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough drew the Jive in Week 1. Based on the photo, Marilu has the legs for it. Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin
Marilu Henner and Derek Hough drew the Jive in Week 1. Based on the photo, Marilu has the legs for it. Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Dancing the Jive in the first week is like being asked to run a marathon on two weeks’ training, especially when you’re one of the older competitors. Was this handed to Marilu Henner and Derek Hough to make Derek’s job tougher? It won’t be much easier for Jake Austin and Jenna Johnson either.


Compare this to handing the Cha Cha in week 1 to 2016 Olympic gold medal gymnast Laurie Hernandez, considered the best dancer among the American gymnastics team. Come on, she is sure to shine.

The stars grace the ballroom floor for the first time on live national television with their professional partners during the two-hour season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" on Monday, including Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev. Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin
The stars grace the ballroom floor for the first time on live national television with their professional partners during the two-hour season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday, including Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev. Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Waltzes are no walk in the park either and the other “older” woman in the competition, Maureen McCormick, will dance a Viennese Waltz with partner Artem Chigvintsev. She’s in no danger of going home no matter how poorly she performs thanks to her fans, but these things do make a fan question what’s going on behind the scenes.

Scroll to the bottom of this article for our chat window where you can join the conversation; One thing we won’t be talking about is who is going home. There will be no eliminations in the first week though, we won’t see anyone go home until Week 2.

Olympic gold medal gymnast Laurie Hernandez is an early front runner this season with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo: ABC
Olympic gold medal gymnast Laurie Hernandez is an early front runner this season with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Photo: ABC

Couples drew the following assignments (listed in alphabetial order, not dance order):

Amber Rose and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Foxtrot. “Here” by Alessia Cara
Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Carson: Cha Cha. “That’s What I Like” by Flo Rida feat. Fitz Lunchmoney
Jake Austin and Jenna Johnson: Jive. “Kiss You” by One Direction
James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess: Foxtrot, “Live Life” by Zayde Wølf
Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: Viennese Waltz, “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande
Babyface Edmonds and Allison Holker: Foxtrot, “Deed I Do” by Ray Charles
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy: Cha Cha, “American Girl” by Bonnie
Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev: Viennese Waltz, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” by Mary J. Blige
Rick Perry and Emma Slater: Cha Cha, “God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas
Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke: Foxtrot, “Call Me Irresponsible” by Michael Bublé
Terra Jole and Sasha Farber: Jive, “Stuff Like That There” by Betty Hutton
Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson: Cha Cha, “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice

It wouldn't be "Dancing With The Stars" without host Tom Bergeon. Photo: ABC
It wouldn’t be “Dancing With The Stars” without host Tom Bergeon. Photo: ABC

Voting Information

Amber Rose and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Foxtrot. “Here” by Alessia Cara
1-800-868-3401

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Carson: Cha Cha. “That’s What I Like” by Flo Rida feat. Fitz Lunchmoney
1-800-868-3402

Jake Austin and Jenna Johnson: Jive. “Kiss You” by One Direction
1-800-868-3403

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess: Foxtrot, “Live Life” by Zayde Wølf
1-800-868-3404

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: Viennese Waltz, “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande
1-800-868-3405

Babyface Edmonds and Allison Holker: Foxtrot, “Deed I Do” by Ray Charles
1-800-868-3406

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy: Cha Cha, “American Girl” by Bonnie
1-800-868-3407

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: Jive, “Can’t Stop Dancing” by Becky G
1-800-868-3408

Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev: Viennese Waltz, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” by Mary J. Blige
1-800-868-3409

Rick Perry and Emma Slater: Cha Cha, “God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas
1-800-868-3410

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke: Foxtrot, “Call Me Irresponsible” by Michael Bublé
1-800-868-3411

Terra Jole and Sasha Farber: Jive, “Stuff Like That There” by Betty Hutton
1-800-868-3412

Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson: Cha Cha, “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice
1-800-868-3413

Voting information: Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday nights during the show and up to one hour after the end of the DWTS broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Tuesday evenings.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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