Welcome back, fellow Dancing With the Stars fans! We’re a couple of Hough family members short, one head judge is back, and plenty of bad dancing, awkward facial expressions, and entertaining contestants are here to keep us firmly in front of the TV every Monday night. But who’s the front runner? Who was exceptionally bad? Let’s break it all down, and then make sure you come back to this post later for the full backstage report and update!
Marla Maples and Tony Dovolani
Dance: the quickstep to “Sparkling Diamonds” from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack.
Maples showed that she’s got the moves to be a real contender on DWTS this season. But most importantly, Tony D. seems to finally be partnered with someone who won’t make him need a prescription for Xanax. Now, if only we could find out the real story behind Donald Trump’s hair (he’s Maples’ ex), all will be right with the world. Score: 21/30
Kim Fields and Sasha Farber
Dance: the cha cha to “Sax” by Fleur East.
Full disclaimer: I was at the eye doctor for an emergency appointment all day (so fun to hear, “There’s a foreign object in your eye…we have to extract it.”), so I had to depend on my mom and sister to blindly guide me through the first few dances. According to my sister, “Kim Fields did great for week one. She seems like a fun one to watch, and she charmed the audience with cute sayings.” My mom, on the other hand, got right to the point: “Tootie was a hoot!” Score: 20/30
Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe
Dance: the tango to “Confident” by Demi Lovato.
One of the most anticipated dances of the night, my sister noted that Jodie “was great with the dancing, but I was happy Carrie Ann pointed out the frozen faux seductive look Jodie had on her face. It just looked uncomfortable.” Still, I’ve got hight hopes for these two. Score: 20/30
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold
Dance: the cha cha “Motownphilly” by Boyz II Men.
OK, so yes, “Motownphilly” is Morris’ song, but for the sake of ’80s nostalgia, couldn’t we have at least saved that one for Jodie Sweetin? After all, it was Stephanie Tanner’s most memorable dance performance on Full House, and now it seems doubtful that they’d do the song again somewhere else in the season. How rude! But let’s talk about Morris, since yes, he did actually sing the song. Morris’ footwork may not have been ballroom proper, but it sure was impressive. The guy has charisma, and he’ll only get better from here on out. Score: 23/30
Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy
Dance: the jive to “Move” from Dreamgirls.
Carrie Ann noting that Ginger reminds her of Bindi Irwin is high praise for Good Morning America‘s chief meteorologist. She had a great first dance, lots of energy, and won’t be paying a visit to GMA for an elimination interview anytime soon. Score: 23/30
Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev
Dance: the tango to “In the Night” by The Weeknd.
Len Goodman noted that there was “too much walking around,” and Mischa looked like she might break down after his words. She needs a lot of improvement, but I really want her to succeed. Rumer Willis, if you’re reading, please be Mischa’s DWTS life coach, and let’s see the comeback we’ve been hoping for. Score: 16/30
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas
Dance: the foxtrot to “Ain’t Got Far to Go” by Jess Glynne.
My mom couldn’t stop gushing about how “gorgeous the boxer” is, while my sister said that she “seems likable enough.” Both of them thought it was endearing that she cried after her performance because “she really wants people to see her not just as a tough girl.” Score: 21/30
Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff
Dance: the foxtrot to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
My mom seemed to think these two had promise…before they took to the dance floor. “His daughter is a dancer! He’s got to have some moves!” And then, not so much. “Oy, he’s very stiff. Yikes, this is not going well. But he’s taking it well at least.” Score: 15/30
Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess
Dance: the quickstep to “Bad Man” by Pitbull. We learned that Antonio’s charisma extends from the end zone to the ballroom, but Len Goodman is not a fan (thanks to his “6”). Still, Steeler Nation is going to get behind their best wide receiver, and Antonio’s going to stick around for quite a while. Score: 21/30
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd
Dance: the cha cha to “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE.
The first couple to get cheers in the press room, Nyle certainly endeared himself to audiences at home too. To think that the hearing-impaired Nyle can’t hear anything, even the vibrations from the audience, makes his performance all the more impressive. Best of all? Bruno’s critique: “Shut up! Are you for real?” Score: 23/30
Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska
Dance: the cha cha to “Treasure” by Bruno Mars.
My mom wins for the best critique of the night: “Even your father could dance better than this!” After I finished LMAO, my sister chimed in by noting that Geraldo is “one of the stiffest people to ever come on the show. He’s 72 and looks great, but he did a creepy thing at the beginning where he used his hands to trace in the air the curves of her body while otherwise standing still.” Score: 13/30
Von Miller and Witney Carson
Dance: the foxtrot to “My House” by Flo Rida.
Von may have to settle for just holding the Super Bowl MVP trophy instead of the Mirrorball, but if he can keep up with Witney’s strict teachings, he should last at least make it past the halfway point. Score: 21/30
Come back to this post in the morning for all the backstage interviews!
Photos: Byron Cohen/ABC; Whipclip