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‘DWTS’ Premiere Recap: Chris Soules & Witney Carson Set The Bar High

Mon, March 16, 2015 10:07pm EDT by 5 Comments

It’s finally back! Season 20 of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ kicked off on Mar. 16 and, as with most premiere episodes, some couples rose to the top while others were off to a very rough start.

We’re back to fighting for that mirror ball trophy! Dancing with the Stars returned to ABC for its whopping 20th season on Mar. 16 and, if the premiere episode is any indication, we are in for one intense season! Chris Soules  and Witney Carson immediately set themselves up as frontrunner, while it seems that Keo Motsepe and Charlotte McKinney might have a harder go of it this season. Check out a full recap!

‘DWTS’ Premiere Recap

Dancing is back, and the contestants are ready to rumble!

Mark Ballas and Willow Shields have the steep task of kicking things off. They dance to Meghan Trainor‘s “Lips are Movin.'” It’s definitely a solid start as far as very first performances go but they just look like they are moving so slow. “Girl you got some sass,” Julianne Hough said. “Well done for your first dance,” she added. The couple got a 25/40. That sounds about right.

Next up, Kym Johnson and Robert Herjavic certainly stepped the energy up, dancing to a much more, uh, bouncy tune. At one point, they literally had dollar bills flying through the air. That is what you call putting on a show.”It’s not easy to come after a 14 year old and exude youth, but you did that,” said Carrie Ann Inaba. Perfectly stated. They scored 28/40.

Allison Holker and Riker Lynch take the floor next and bring a vintage rock edge, dancing to “What I Like About You.” Of the couples we’ve seen so far tonight, they definitely seem like they’re having the most fun. The entire routine could’ve been right out of a corny 80s movie–and I totally mean that as a compliment. “You are the coolest guy I’ve seen since my friend Billy Idol,” Bruno Tonioli said. “Brilliant,” he added. They scored 31/40. At this rate, with each performance improving, we’ll be at 55/40 by the evening’s end!

Rough Around The Edges

Keo Motsepe and Charlotte McKinney are next. Oy, from the start I am extremely turned off by whatever it is Charlotte thinks she’s doing with those feathers. Things hardly improve from there. There’s just a lot of bopping, like, so much bopping. They honestly look a little ridiculous. “Definitely work on those legs.. the bottom half you just need a little work on,” Julianne says. They score a somewhat measly 22/40, the lowest of the night, and justifiably so.

Artem Chigvintsey and Patti LaBelle are next. I mean, Patti is a living legend and about 100 times more fabulous than I will ever be, so what can I say? Their performance is slow paced but I remained entertained the whole time. They also got the biggest applause of the night. I mean, duh. “”You rang my bell, Patti, I’ll tell you that,” said Len Goodman. After the performance, Patti continued to prove why she is just the best. Why did she want to do the show? “Because I am 70 years young… I’m here and I’m happy.” 25/40 for them (I think it should’ve been higher but, like, whatever).

Chris Soules and Witney Carson are next and, obviously, they have a truck onstage behind them. Oh and they also had their first meeting in a cornfield. “I am engaged to a Whitney, and now I’m dancing with a Witney. This could get a little complicated,” Chris said. Well, if Chris was uncomfortable, I certainly couldn’t tell. They danced to “Footloose” and it was super shlocky but also just really charming and fun. Also (!!!) Whitney Bischoff and Chris Harrison were in the audience to cheer Chris on. It’s a Chris/Whitney inception! “Totally charming,” Bruno said. “You are the salt of the earth.” I kinda agree, Chris. You impressed me! They scored a 26/40 and, frankly, I think that was pretty stingy of the judges but whatevs.

Getting Funky

Next up, Peta Murgatroyd and Michael Sam. They dance to “Uptown Funk,” and it really is, well, funky. They both have so much straight swagger. I don’t even know how to describe what they were dong other than grooving. “That butt is a work of art,” Bruno said. I mean I wasn’t gonna say anything so explicit but, um, agreed. Len was less kind, though, saying his “footwork was atrocious.” They too score a 26/40.

Derek Hough and Nastia Liukin hit the floor next. They dance to “New York, New York,” (which, I object to since they are in Los Angeles but I won’t dwell). The routine itself is pretty spectacular. They look like they’ve been dancing together for years and just were much more polished than the others of the night. “Like the big apple, it was sweet and delicious,” Len said. Well, ew, but also agreed. We got our first few 8s with them, bringing their score to 30/40. Probably my favorite of the night, too.

Emma Slater and Redfoo are next and, dear God. It is excruciating. Does Redfoo know what dancing is? Like, has he ever seen someone do it (I know he has because he is on this show but you could swear watching this performance he has no idea what it is). Their outfits, the music, what is this? I’m just happy it’s over. “You’re your own kind of wonderful,” Carrie Ann said. I actively disagree! Well their score wasn’t great, thankfully: 22/40.

Sharna Burgess and Noah Galloway are next, and it’s emotional before it even begins, as Noah explains he doesn’t want to just do well by minimized standards due to his handicap. They dance to OneRepublic’s “I Lived.” Full disclosure, I cry every time I hear the song so I might be biased but I thought that was just a gorgeous performance. There weren’t too many frills and we could just focus on their movements and energy. It was really beautiful. “This moment that’s happening right now, this is the first time tonight that I’ve seen the kind of connection you need in this competition,” Julianne said. “The trust that you both have with each other, it’s beautiful.” Absolutely. They scored another 26/40.

Next up, Tony Dovolani and Suzanne Somers hit the floor wearing–what else?– leotards and leg warmers. We’re getting physical, whether we like it or not. It begins as a mock workout class. Between this and their outfits, the whole thing is very gimmicky. Beyond that, though, the dancing is just incredibly weak. I might dislike this performance more than any other we’ve seen tonight. It was just bad. “I loved that concept,” Len said. Wow, I couldn’t disagree more but to each his own I suppose. 25/40.

Strong Finish

Finally, our last couple of the night is Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy make the right decision by choosing to dance to “Church.” It was intense. In the good way. “Where have you been? That was incredible,” said Carrie Ann. Right on. It was just, dare I say, passionate. They are the team to beat after tonight, it would seem. Oh also, bonus points because Demi Moore and Bruce Willis were both in the audience— sitting near but next to each other. Time heals all? The final score of the night: 32, the evening’s highest. Talk about ending on a high note!

And that’s it for the season premiere! Who do you think nailed it on the first night? Who do you think will go home?

— Casey Mink