I’m so excited that Dancing with the Stars is back! There are a bunch of people on this season that I’ve never heard of, but they are a decent crop of contestants. No one got the boot this round, but I have an inkling as to who will.
Right out the gate Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy are looking like they’re in mid-season form. They performed a Quickstep that was pretty great for the first dance of the season. Normani is in the girl band, Fifth Harmony. Performing for a live audience is not unusual for her, so she definitely has an advantage. Advantage or not, she was fun to watch. 27
I was a little surprised by Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev’s Viennese Waltz. I was expecting her to be a little more smooth. It was like she was doing a little jog instead of striding gracefully across the floor. I have no doubt she is going to take all the judges’ comments and critiques and capitalize. Full disclosure, I am not a fan of Nancy Kerrigan, but I think she has ridiculous potential. 28
Chris Kattan and Witney Carson rocked out a Cha Cha to “What is Love." I was pretty sure Chris was going to suck, but, I didn’t expect to find him so charming. I appreciate that he is taking this seriously. He was a little tight, but I think he will be able to get better. The highlight was the lift he did. Hilarious. I hope he hangs around for a while. 17, 3-4’s and a 5. Brutal.
Bonner Bolton won me over immediately when he said of Sharna Burgess, “I’m dancin' with the prettiest lady in the house." I mean, adorable. His Cha Cha was a little slow to start, but once he got going, he was SO fun to watch. He and Sharna are on fire as a team. Holy smokes. 22
I gotta tell ya, if I was on this season of DWTS, and I was on the fringe of okay dancers, I would fear Charo. That chick has energy for DAYS. She and Keo Motsepe appeared to have a BLAST doing their Salsa. She is not polished in the least, but could not be more fun to watch. 21
Nick Viall’s Cha Cha was on par with what I would expect of an “any man” in this competition. He was fine, but he needs confidence and technique. I’m sure Peta Mergatroyd will whip him into shape in no time. He has room to improve, but it’s not hopeless. 24
Heather Morris is getting all kinds of guff because she was a back-up dancer. For Beyoncé. Sooo, yeah. Every season they have a dancer-type on the show, they always say how they haven’t been trained in ballroom. Yes, I understand, however they have been trained and they most likely can pick up choreography faster than the average Joe. And, they should have that performance part of it down. AND she’s an actress, SOOOO, she has several advantages WITHOUT having a ballroom background. Having said that, I thought she was spectacular. Her Viennese Waltz with Maksim Chmerkovskiy was beautiful to watch. She seemed a little uptight, likely because of expectations, but she was definitely one of the best. 28
David Ross was surprisingly charming! Lindsay Arnold choreographed a super fun Quickstep for them. These two had great chemistry for their first dance. Hoping they go far! A surprising 28.
Miss Erika Jayne rubbed me the wrong way immediately. And her song is gross. She and Gleb Savchenko are perfect for each other. Her Salsa improved throughout the performance, perhaps her confidence was improving? Regardless, I suppose she has a following and that will carry her far, but I could do without her ‘tude. 24
Rashad Jennings is a blast and a half. I soooo look forward to watching him this season. He was comfortable and just good on the floor! I think Emma Slater is going to have her hands full and I think she couldn’t be happier. 31 for Rashad and Emma! Take that professionally-trained dancers!
There was an awful lot of marching in Mr. T and Kym Herjavec’s Tango. It was fun to watch him perform, but content was lacking. I’d love to see him nail the choreography. I hope he pulls himself together. 20
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber’s Tango was straight-up good. She really just took command of the dance floor like no other. These two are going to be a force to be reckoned with. 32
After thinking it over a lot, I think Chris Kattan will be the first to go. I doubt he has a following as big as the others and after his first performance, it doesn’t appear that he has the skills to hang around. Maybe he will surprise me in week 2. If it was up to me, I’d give Erika Janye the boot.