After a one-year hiatus following a controversial season, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars returned on September 16th with a whole new cast of celebrities. The show skipped its usual spring season to prepare for a fall season that would bring back the basics of the show. Week one included dance styles such as the tango, cha-cha, salsa, and foxtrot.
As someone who has been a fan of this show since season 16, I was very excited for it to return. Although last season sparked some controversy, I’m glad the show decided to take a year long hiatus to improve on the dance competition the show is supposed to be about. By introducing a new voting system and encouraging judges to use all the paddles, the show will focus more on the technique and dancing of celebrities.
Here are my thoughts on each couple’s week one dances from Monday night:
- Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten
The most recent bachelorette was such a joy to watch and opened up the night with an incredible cha-cha. Her partnership with Alan is already so sweet, and I see her as a contender for the mirrorball!
- Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson
The actor from Good Burger showed his playful and fierce personality on the dance floor with a tango. There were some parts of the dance that were really good, but also some parts needed improvement. Tango is a more difficult dance style for week one, but Kel is a hard worker who will strive to improve every week.
- Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov
Most known for her role as Meredith Palmer on the American sitcom, The Office, her cha-cha was a blast to watch. I loved seeing how excited she was and she really clicked with new pro, Pasha. I wasn’t sure what choreography to expect from him, but he created a dance that made her shine. Can’t wait to see more of them!
- Lamar Odom and Peta Murgatroyd
This show is known to give celebrities a place for redemptions and that’s why the NBA player decided to join the show, after battling with addiction. His foxtrot received the lowest score of the night, but he has a chance to improve in next week’s dance. Despite the height difference with his partner, it was nice to see him enjoying himself out there. I applaud him for really trying!
- Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko
The country singer who was runner-up on her season of American Idol, hopes her dancing can secure her first place in this dance competition. Her bubbly personality and sass really made this cha-cha stand out for me. I thought her technique was really good, and she definitely has potential to go far!
- Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy
From only having three days to rehearse a dance that other contestants had weeks to prepare for, she did an amazing job. You can clearly see how proud her mother, Christie Brinkley was in the audience. Models usually don’t go far in this competition, but don’t count Sailor out just yet. Although she was a last-minute step-in, I can tell she’s already really enjoying this competition!
- Karamo Brown and Jenna Johnson
The Queer Eye actor stepped onto the dance floor full of personality and energy with a salsa. I thought his dance deserved higher scores, but he definitely has potential to make it very far. He gives off such a fun vibe and really executed the lifts. I have a feeling he’ll be really good in ballroom dances, too!
- Ray Lewis and Cheryl Burke
The former NFL player definitely has some moves, and seemed like he had a blast performing his salsa. Football players are known to be very stiff, but he really loosened up for the dance. His movements were pretty smooth, and if he’s willing to take this seriously, it’ll definitely keep him further in this competition.
- Mary Wilson and Brandon Armstrong
Best known as a member of the Supremes, Mary graced the dance floor with a beautiful foxtrot. Huge props to her partner, Brandon for creating such perfect choreography for her. He didn’t make any of the dance moves too hard for her, but still managed to put a lot of content into the dance that made her shine. She had such a great attitude, and really delivered an amazing dance!
- Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber
The pop sensation star paid homage to her former girl group, Fifth Harmony with a sassy, fun cha-cha. She joined the show to prove herself to the bullies who have told her she can’t dance. Her performance proved them wrong, and she was definitely a stand-out for me that night. I could not think of a better partner for her than Sasha, because he is going to take her far. With her being a huge fan of this show, she’s really excited to be here and definitely has a chance to win.
- Sean Spicer and Lindsay Arnold
The casting of former White House press secretary was not a shock to many as Dancing with the Stars is known to cast very controversial people. Despite what others may think of him, I do commend his partner, Lindsay for really delivering great choreography. I personally have my own opinions on him, but I will just say that he may be in this competition longer than people want him to.
- James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater
The actor best known for his role on WB series Dawson’s Creek received the highest score of the night. I knew he was going to be good, but pleasantly surprised how great he was. Just the solo he did in the beginning of the dance blew me away, the pirouette was incredible. His lines were great, and I definitely think ballroom is his style. I can’t wait to see how he’ll do with latin, but I would be shocked if he does not make it to the finals.