SAN DIEGO, March 20, 2016 – Len’s back, Edyta’s back, Erin Andrews has a smile on her face and so do the fans as “Dancing With The Stars” returned Monday night for the first competition of Season 22.
After the opening number, the performances got rolling right away, and as the night went on, the performances got better and better with some promising contenders already making themselves known. We have the leaderboard at the very end if you want to scroll down, along with your voting information.
Reviews in order of appearance on the show:
Kim Fields and Sasha Farber drew the opening number. Kim is engaging and fun to watch, a great performer. She needs to sharpen her dance skills, and the judges gave her plenty of advice to improve on her Cha Cha Cha. She received 20 points. Kim praised Sasha as “a great teacher and partner.”
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas drew a Foxtrot, and the tough UFC fighter was light on her feet with great lines and timingCarrie Ann Inaba called her a “gold mine” for her fearlessness and Len Goodman liked her musicality. Paige said “Everyone sees me as a fighter, I want them to see me as a girl too!” The judges gave them 21 points.
Doug Flutie took a twirl to Neil Diamond with parnter Karina Smirnoff. His Foxtrot was a little rough, but he gave it his best, tried to sell it and he didn’t give up, which won praise from Carrie Ann Inaba. “You can only get better!” said Bruno Tonioli. True after scoring 15 points. Doug called on Boston, Buffalo, and San Diego for help with votes. They are all likely to help him stick around a little while.
Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe drew a difficult assignment for the first week, a Tango. The judges praised her attack and atittude. She had a few shaky moves but overall there was a lot of nice details. Carrie Ann Inaba saw the same thing we did, an odd clenched jaw. Chalk it up to concentrating. Perhaps Keo will finally get to stick around for a while this season. They scored 20 points.
Geraldo Rivera gave great attitude and Carrie Ann Inaba loved his charisma. But once Al Capone’s vault opened up to reveal partner Edyta Sliwinska, Geraldo seemed a little dazzled and didn’t move much. Judge Bruno Tonioli said of him “Let them wait for it, I am stirring, not dancng. Maybe you’ll dance next week.” It was wonderful to have Edyta back – but enjoy her while you can. Len Goodman called Geraldo “a work in progress.” Plenty of room for progress when you score 13 points.
Marla Maples and Tony Dovoloni drew the Quickstep, and she did an admirable job with a difficult assignment. Len said there was “vim, vigor and vitality, no messing and no stressing.” Marla made a mistake but it hardly mattered, she was sparkling and fun to watch. They scored 21 points.
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold got off to a great start with a Cha Cha Cha set to his Boyz II Men song “Motownphilly.” The song won the crowd over and Wanya’s great dance moves won over the judges. Len Goodman told Wanya, “If your dances are all up to that stadnard, you could make it to the last week fo the show.” Bruno loved his timing and precision. Carrie Ann called him “Twinkle toes in the making!” Upon seeing his score of 23 points, Wanya said, “Thank God!”
Perhaps the toughest dance style draw of the night went to Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy. They did an admirable job Frisky, risky, fast and furious. Carrie Ann compared Ginger’s charisma to last season’s winner Bindi Irwin. They scored 23 points to tie Wanya and Lindsay for the top spot.
Carrie Ann complimented Mischa Barton for her effort in the Tango with Artem Chigventsev, especially as she is not a natural dancer like some of the other competitors. Then Len Goodman let loose to a chorus of boos, calling the routine “walking,” with all the Tango’s necessary attack missing. Len, you’re back. Bruno Tonioli encouraged her to work on her core and to act like on Broadway to the back of the room, not in close-up. In Mischa’s defense, drawing a Tango in week 1 is brutal. The score was 15 points.
Nyle DiMarco, winner of the reality TV show “America’s Next Top Model,” is the show’s second deaf contestant. Partner Peta Murgatroyd worked around his challenges and the pair performed a Cha Cha full of personality and snap. Judge Len Goodman said he didn’t know what to expect, but called it terrific Bruno Tonioli exclaimed, “Shut up, are you for real? I’ve just got to touch you, it’s a fantasy.” He did. “You could be America’s next top dancer!” Carrie Ann Inaba praised them pair for being “in the pocket of the rhythm. You brought the rhythm to life. Peta, I have so much respect for you. Beyond the chemistry, you have a great partnership. It’s all about teamwork, this is a team to watch!” The pair found themselves in a three way tie for first with 23 points.
Pittsburgh Steeler star Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess put a lot of attack into their Quickstep and it served them well. Carrie Ann said, “I love this season!” Len told Antonio the Quickstep is a tough dance for a celebrity, “there’s a lot going on. There were a few incidents where you struggled, but you had the right amount of speed.” It was good for 21 points.
Fellow NFL star Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and former Mirror Ball Trophy champion Witney Carson also scored 21 points for their silky smooth Foxtrot. Carrie Ann said, “You guys have all gone way past my expectations.” Len praised them for performing so much of the dance in hold, “You didn’t go easy. You went for it in a proper way, well done.”
As Carrie Ann said, there was all kinds of good happening tonight on Week 1. No one goes home yet. Everyone will return for Week 2 to dance one more time. Doug Flutie and Geraldo Rivera need the most help from fans to stay alive past their second routines.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for week 2 and the first elimination on Monday, March 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on the ABC Television Network.
Week 1 Results
Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jive, 8-7-8 = 23 points
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: Cha Cha Cha, 8-7-8 – 23 points
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: Cha Cha Cha, 8-7-8 = 23 points
Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: Quickstep, 8-6-7 = 21 points
Marla Maples and Tony Dovoloni: Quickstep, 7-7-7 = 21 points
Von Miller and Witney Carson: Foxtrot, 8-6-7 = 21 points
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: Foxtrot, 7-7-7 = 21 points
Kim Fields and Sasha Farber: Cha Cha Cha, 7-6-7 = 20 points
Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe: Tango, 7-6-7 = 20 points
Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev: Tango, 5-5-6 = 16 points
Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff: Foxtrot, 5-5-5 = 15 points
Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska: Cha Cha Cha, 5-4-4 = 13 points
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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