Back to the ballroom! 12 new celebrities and their partners kicked off season 18 with the premiere episode on March 17. So who wowed the judges off the bat? Read our recap right here!
New host Erin Andrews joined veteran host Tom Bergeron in welcoming stars like Cody Simpson, NeNe Leakes and James Maslow onto the Dancing With The Stars dance floor for the first time! Singer Jason Derulo kicked off the night with a super hot performance of “Talk Dirty” and then it was time for a whole new cast of celeb dancers!
‘Dancing With The Stars’ Premiere — Back To The Ballroom
Let’s kick it off! Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes danced with Tony Dovolani. “That’s the way to get the party started,” head judge Len Goodman said. “We’re just scratching the surface. There is plenty more to come,” Bruno Tonioli said. They got a score of 21.
Big Time Rush star James Maslow danced with Peta Murgatroyd. Things heated up when it was revealed James and Peta went on a date and then James never called her back! “James is on a mission! Such vigor, such attack, such determination!” Bruno raved. “I’m like having a Big Time Crush on you because you are so darn cute,” Carrie Ann Inaba squealed. They got a 21.
The Wonder Years star Danica McKellar danced the Foxtrot with Val Chmerkovskiy. “Sometimes a little over-expressive with the mouth but really good,” Carrie Ann said. “My first impression is terrific,” Len said. “You are so exuberant….but watch your shoulders,” Bruno said. They got a 24!
Former NHL star Sean Avery danced Contemporary with Karina Smirnoff. “That was full of intensity! There was a lot of running..it needed a bit of finesse,” Len said. Bruno called him “powerful, focused, connected.” Carrie Ann said watching him was “fascinating.” They got a 20.
Motown singer and Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams, 77, danced the Cha Cha with Emma Slater. “May the force be with you. You played it very dainty. [I need] bigger, more powerful,” Bruno requested. “You’re the most relaxed dancer we’ve ever seen. We need a little more,” Carrie Ann said. Len said it was entertaining. They got a 15.
An Olympic Champion Switches Ice For The Floor
Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis danced with Maks Chmerkovskiy to cheers from figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi in the audience! We couldn’t even hear Carrie Ann’s comments because the audience was cheering so loud! “You’re good on wood!” Len raved. Bruno said: “You’re the queen of spins!” They tied for the lead with a score of 24!
Full House star and super hot mom of three Candace Cameron Bure danced Contemporary with Mark Ballas. “You can dance. Well done,” Len said. Bruno said he felt every minute of it. “Where did that come from?” Carrie Ann said, shocked. They got a high score of 25 out of 30.
Singer Cody Simpson danced the Cha Cha with new pro Witney Carson. “I feel rejuvenated just by watching you! Watch your basics, though,” Bruno said. Carrie Ann said she felt really old! “Full of attack, full of energy,” Len said. They got a 22!
Price is Right host Drew Carey danced the Foxtrot with Cheryl Burke. “Every season there is someone who makes everyone smile and I think we just found our crowd-pleaser!” Carrie Ann said. Len said it was enjoyable to watch. Bruno said there are a few creases that need to be ironed. They got a 21.
Inspirational Athletes Show Their Stuff
The inspirational Olympic snowboarder who lost both her legs from bacterial meningitis, Amy Purdy, danced the Cha Cha with season 17 champ Derek Hough. Len said they can’t judge her any differently then the other contestants. “You got a bronze medal in the Olympics and you got a gold medal in the Cha Cha Cha,” he said. Bruno called her Wonder Woman. “I’m in shock. You are more than a dancer. You are a beacon of light in this world,” a teary Carrie Ann said. They got a 24!
Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad danced the Foxtrot with new pro Henry Byalikov. Bruno said she needs to be a bit lighter, a bit smoother, but called her a “performer.” Len said he wasn’t expecting it to be so good! They got an 18!
Olympic figure skater (and Meryl’s partner) Charlie White finished off the show by dancing Contemporary with pro Sharna Burgess. “You guys are a perfect match! That was poetry in motion!” Carrie Ann said. Len said: “It was the perfect dance for you. I’ll be very interested to see your ballroom next week.” Bruno called him an “artist” and said he hoped he could continue to impress with the expectations so high. They got a high score of 27!
Who blew you away in the season 18 premiere, HollywoodLifers?
— Dory Larrabee-Zayas
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