The 19th season of Dancing With the Stars on ABC premiered tonight, and the atmosphere was filled with excitement. Tom Bergeron is back in his familiar duty as the host of the show with Erin Andrews. Also back as the judges of the show are Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli. A new permanent fourth judge this season is former professional and two-time champion, Julianne Hough. Bandleader Ray Chew is back, but this will be the final season for Cheryl Burke. She announced her decision on Good Morning America.
The 13 celebrities who will compete this season are Jonathan Bennet, whose professional dance partner will be Allison Holker; Michael Waltrip, who will be dancing with with pro dance partner Emma Slater; Tommy Chong, whose pro dancing partner will be Peta Murgatroyd; Lea Thompson, with her pro dance partner, Artem Chigvintsev; Randy Couture, who will be dancing with pro dancer Karina Smirnoff; Tavis Smiley, whose pro dance partner will be Sharna Burgess; fashion designer Betsey Johnson, with her pro dance partner, Tony Dovolani; Antonio Sabàto, Jr., with his pro dance partner, Cheryl Burke; Olympian Lolo Jones, whose pro dance partner will be Keoikantse Motsepe; reality TV star Sadie Robertson, with her dance partner, Mark Ballas; sitcom actor Alfonso Ribeiro, with his pro dance partner, Witney Carson; YouTube personality Bethany Mota, whose pro dance partner will be Derek Hough; and, from Pretty Little Liars, actress Janel Parrish, whose pro dance partner will be Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
Dancing With the Stars on ABC began with a big choreographed dance number to the song Let’s Go involving all of the celebrities and pro dancers. Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews introduced each of the celebrities with their dance partners.Tom said that this season, “There was something for everyone.”
Each couple will perform a Foxtrot, Jive, or Cha-Cha dance tonight. Antonio Sabato, Jr., and Cheryl Burke were featured, first. Antonio has been an underwear model and has acted on General Hospital. There seemed to be chemistry right from the start.
They were the first dancers of the evening on Dancing With the Stars. Antonio was dressed all in black and Cheryl had on a two-piece short black dress outfit that sexily showed off her midriff.
They danced the Cha-Cha to the song Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) by Enrique Iglesias (featuring Ludacris & DJ Frank E).
Len: You have to work on your footwork, but well done.” 6
Julianne Hough: “Beautiful smile, but I would have to agree with Len — a little flat-footed.” 6
Bruno: “Bulging in all the right places. Your hip action — I have no complaints about that.” 7
Carrie Ann: “Pull the sensuality all into your hips” and she added she wanted them to do a “Sexy hot dance” the next time. 6
They had an overall score of 25/40, according to Erin.
Award-winning actress Lea Thompson (Back to the Future)and her pro dance partner, Artem Chigvintsev, will dance next, right after the first commercial break on Dancing With the Stars on ABC. Lea said that she used to be a ballet dancer. She gave her dance partner a hair ornament, of a cougar, and compared herself to a “Mrs. Robinson.”
Lea and Artem danced a Foxtrot to This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole. Lea wore a blue gown that looked glamorous. They did a pretty good job! The audience gave them a standing ovation.
Julianne said it was “beautiful!” and added “Your lines were so spectacular!” 8
Bruno: “You have to maintain — as the dance progresses, the posture and frame went a little bit. Work on it.” 8
Carrie Anne: “I thought that was one of the best first Foxtrots I have ever seen.” 8
Len: “Your future’s rosy, because that was terrific — well done.” 8
Lea said afterwards that Artem “is an awesome teacher.” Their scores were straight 8s from the judges, for a total of 32/40 possible points, putting them in the lead for now. Then, Dancing With the Stars on ABC went to its second commercial break of the evening.
Janel Parrish and her pro dance partner, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, were the third pair of dancers of the night. They both seemed to have a natural chemistry. They danced a Jive dance to Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj. Janel wore a hot-looking white dress and Val was in black. It was an amazing performance.
Bruno: “Spicy hot! You were so sexy, and you know me, I like sexy. I loved it.” 8
Carrie Ann: “You have such courage! You have great potential; hot, hot, hot!” 7
Len: “For me, it was sharp and clean. It was a great job; well done!” 7
Julianne Hough: “It was sharp, it was cool. You go, girl!” 7
They got a score of 29/40 points. Erin reminded people at home that someone will be eliminated, telling America “You have to vote!” Tom said that Lolo Jones and her pro dance partner, Keoikantse Motsepe, will perform next, after yet more commercials.
The fourth couple, Lolo Jones and Keoikantse Motsepe, were next to take the stage. Keo said that Lolo looked “sexy” as soon as he met her. They danced the Cha-Cha to Tell Her by Rizzle Kicks. They did really well, though the judges thought otherwise, Keo wearing a white shirt and black pants and Lolo wearing black shorts and a black top with a red wrap.
Carrie Ann welcomed Keo to the show. “Lolo, that was more like an ‘Oh, oh!’ You gotta come out and kill it!” 6
Len: “You lost your way right at the beginning. Don’t get down on yourself; you had personaility, so it’s not all bad. Well done!” 6
Julianne Hough: “What I want to see is more fluidity and release.” 5
Bruno: “Let it go! You messed it up, but come back next week and you’ll do better.” 5
They got just a 22/40, which is so far, the lowest scores of the night. They could very well be in danger of being eliminated.
Betsey Johnson, 72, and her pro dance partner, Tony Dovolani, were the next pair to dance on Dancing With the Stars on ABC.
They danced the Cha-Cha to the song Material World by Madonna. Betsey finished the dance off with a cartwheel and the splits. Betsey had a mshap trying to get a feather boa clear of a clothes rack.
Len: “I was enjoying it so much, and then the accident with the boa — I was crushed!” 5
Julianne said that Betsey was “flexible” and “awesome.” 5
Bruno: “It went wrong! It went wrong!” They will get their scores after a commercial break. 5
Carrie Ann: (There was not time for her to comment) 5
Erin was amazed that Betsey is 72 and can do the cartwheel and a split. With a score of straight 5s, they had a total of 20/40, the lowest of the evening.
Tavis Smiley and Shawna Burke were the sixth couple up on Dancing With the Stars. They danced the Foxtrot to Pride and Joy. The beginning of the dance was shot began in black-and-white, then went to color. Shawna wore a white and pink dress.
Julianne Hough: “I have to give you a ‘Z-Snap,’ as that was awesome!” 8
Bruno: “A joyful side burst out of you like a ray of sunshine! Great performance!” 7
Carrie Ann: “I like watching you dance! You move so well, so natural.” 7
Len: “You were nifty for 50 — for fun and enjoyment, it was great.” He did tell them they need to work on their footwork though. 7
Erin told Tavis “Happy birthday” and complimented him on his having lost 20 pounds. They got a score of 29/40 overall points. Tom Bergeron said that Sadie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) and her pro dance partner, Mark Ballas, will take the floor after another commercial break.
Tom introduced Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas, who will be the seventh couple to perform. Sadie said that “I was not allowed to dance at my school,” so her dance skills need work. They danced the Cha-Cha to Birthday by Katy Perry. They got a standing ovation; they were fantastic!
Bruno: “Here we’ve got a bird of paradise! I’m gobsmacked! Your feet, your finish; fantastic!” 9
Carrie Ann: “You don’t even know it, but you’re a star in the making!” 8
Len: “Good clean leg action — I’ll see you next week; there’s no way you’re going home.” 8
Julianne Hough: “The only thing I’d work on is getting down and dirty.” 9
Sadie said her daddy has to give his approval for all of the costumes that she will wear. They got two 8s and two 9s from the judges for a total of 34/40.
Michael Waltrip and his pro dance partner, Emma Slater, will perform next. They will dance a Cha-Cha after more commercials.
They danced the Cha-cha to Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf. Waltrip was wearing a racing outfit of yellow and red and Emma had on a matching yellow and red dress. They were very energetic, but Emma definitely was more mobile than her partner.
Carrie Ann: “I think you did fantastic! Simple, but well done.” 7
Len: “The engine was running but you never got out of first gear! It was all too tight! Relax and enjoy it!” 6
Julianne Hough: “You reminded me of my dad. It was awesome.” 6
Bruno: “You looked like a golf cart trying to keep up with a Ferrari. You just need to be yourself.” 6
Erin told them both “great job!”
Michael said “This uniform was challenging for me. I was really tight in places.” Their score was a 28/40 points.
Tom Bergeron said Jonathan Bennet (Mean Girls) will dance next with his pro dance partner, Allison Holker. He said that his dad died, and he used to watch Dancing With the Stars with him. They both danced the Jive to Dance with Me Tonight by Olly Murs. Allison had on a two-piece costume, all blue and purple in the skirt. Jonathan had on a blue shirt and black pants. They did a terrific job and got a standing ovation.
Len: “You have great potential.” 7
Julianne Hough: “Overall, I’d say it was cool.” 7
Bruno: (Running short on time during the show) 8
Carrie Ann: I was blown away!” 8
They got a total of 30/40 points.
Tom Bergeron said that Tommy Chong and his dance partner, Peta Murgatroyd, would dance after the break on Dancing With the Stars on ABC.
They will perform the Cha-cha to “Drop It Like It’s Hot”—Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell. Peta said that Tommy’s “best asset is his character.” Cheech was also onstage, in a parked car. Tommy did pretty good, really — he showed he has some moves! He was in black with a green suit coat on. They got a standing ovation.
Juliane Hough: “You have the moves like nobody’s business! You’re like Rico Suave!” 7
Bruno :I was expecting bad grandpa! I got cool grandpa!” 7
Carrie Ann: “That was fantastic! You killed it!” 7
Len: “Your performance loomed like a visit to the dentist! I don’t know why I was so concerned; well done!” 6
Erin said “I want to take Cheech home, I want to take the car home, I want to take the hydraulics home!”
Chong said “Is it over?”
They got a total of 27/40 points in all. Not bad; but, will it be good enough for them to continue on to next week?
Randy Couture (The Expendables) will dance the Foxtrot with his pro dance partner, Karina Smirnoff. The song they danced to was The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra. Shawna had on a flowing white gown. Randy looked “smooth out there” according to Tom.
Bruno: “You really got into her! Light on your feet!” 8
Carrie Ann: “I got a little weak in the knees! You were sexy out there, I have to admit The way you moved was fluid and poetic!” 8
Len: “It was dandy, Randy! It was the tune I danced to with my wife!” 7
Julianne: “Randy, you’re making me randy! You are the epitome of a man, and that’s the kind of man I want in my life! You have grace and class; that is beautiful.” 8
They received a total of 31/40 overall points.
Tom Bergeron said that “Coming up will be international YouTube personality Bethany Mota and her pro dance partner, Derek Hough.” There have been some great performances so far on Dancing With the Stars tonight. There are only a couple more performances to go.
Bethany Mota and Derek Hough danced the Jive to Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. It was really amazing, possibly the best performance yet tonight! They really practiced a lot for this first dance.
Carrie Ann: “I’m happily surprised! For someone who has never really danced before, that was fantastic!” 8
Len: “That was terrific!” 8
Juliane: “In the in-between moments you lost a little bit of energy.” 8
Bruno: “It needs to flow effortlessly; but, I’m telling you, it was wonderful!” 8
Erin told them “Great job!” Bethany said that she had felt “really nervous but it went well.” Their score was 32/40 in all.
Tom said that Alfonso Ribeiro, with his pro dance partner, Witney Carson, would dance next — and, last — in this Season 19 premiere episode of Dancing With the Stars on ABC. Alfonso was one of the stars in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, playing Carlton Banks. They danced the Jive to 3-6-9 by Cupid (featuring B.o.B.). Alfonso has some SERIOUS MOVES! They were a great way to close out the evening on Dancing With the Stars. They got a standing ovation, ‘natch.
Len: “No stressing, no messing — a beautiful routine!” 9
Julianne Hough: “I was so blown away by the musicality of that! Honestly, unbelievable!” 9
Bruno: “Prince of Bel-Air? you are the King of the Night!” 9
Carrie Ann: “Excellent, my friend!” 9
They were easily the top scoring couple of the night, receiving a total of 36/40 points overall. Tomorrow night, there will be more dancing, and it is a “Results Night.”
What a great episode of Dancing With the Stars on ABC to open up Season 19! There were some great performances, and some that were not-so-great; but, a little of that can be chalked up to opening-night jitters. It is a fairly safe bet that Alfonso Ribeiro and his pro dance partner, Witney Carson, the youngest of the pro dancers, will be moving on; but, who will be joining them, and which celebrity will be going home tomorrow night?
Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani had the lowest score of the evening on Dancing With the Stars on ABC, with just 20/40 points, so they are definitely in danger of being the first couple to be eliminated tomorrow. Sadie Robertson and her pro dance partner, Mark Ballas, will likely stay on, as they had the second highest score of the night, with 34/40 points. Lolo and Keo, on the other hand, only managed to get an overall score of 22/40 from the four judges, so they are also in danger. Tune in tomorrow night to see who gets sent home first!
Written By Douglas Cobb