DWTS Premiere Recap: Season 31 Celebrity Dancers Hit the Ballroom for the First Time

The highly-anticipated season 31 of the dancing competition show, which airs on Disney+ for the first time, sees the stars hoping to impress the judges before one of them is eliminated.

AceShowbiz -The glitz and the glamor have finally returned to the ballroom. The highly-anticipated season 31 of “Dancing with the Stars“, which premiered on Monday, September 19 on Disney+, featured Tyra Banks returning as the host with former “DWTS” champion Alfonso Ribeiro joining her as the co-host. Renowned ballroom experts Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough were also back to serve as the judges.

Kicking off the night were Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong. The pair hit the ballroom to dance a Cha Cha to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. Of the performance, Len said that it was “clean, clear and precise.” He also called it a “fantastic job.” Bruno also gushed over the singer, dubbing her a natural performer. Jordin earned 26 points out of 40.

Performing next were Sam Champion and his pro dancer partner Cheryl Burke. For the first night, they opted to dance a Foxtrot to “Hold Me Closer” by Elton John and Britney Spears. Derek thought it was a “sweet” performance, adding that he had an “incredible smile” and “overall a great first dance.” While Carrie Ann called it “tender and sweet,” she noted that Sam looked nervous. The pair got 20 points out of 40.

Following it up were Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev. The two danced a Cha Cha to “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink. Len commented, “You danced that with so much style, well done, great job.” Carrie Ann, meanwhile, said, “Thank you for showing that dance can be done together with the family. That was amazing, keep your confidence.” The mom of Charli D’Amelio, who is also competing in this season of “DWTS”, was given 24 points out of 40.

Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart, meanwhile, performed a Tango to “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce. Bruno praised Daniel, saying, “If [Barbra Streisand] was watching she would be very pleased and so am I. Your lines are beautiful, it is all there, you can do anything you want.” Derek also called the performance “very impressive.” The judges gave Daniel 27 points out of 40, the highest score so far.

Dancing a Cha Cha to “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd were Jessie James Decker and Alan Bersten. Len gave the pair a high praise as he said that “the performance level was high,” though he noted that Jessie needed to get “stronger leg action.” Derek pointed out the same thing, “Every leg should be straight, keep it more compact. Well done.” Jessie earned 20 points out of 40.

Up next was Teresa Giudice and Pasha Pashkov, who danced a Tango to “We Found Love” by Rihanna and Calvin Harris. Len noticed that “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star “lost focus in the middle and became brittle,” before he suggested her to “work on stronger legs and attack.” Carrie Ann added, “All that drama you have, that drama in your soul, take up space, don’t go inwards and look at us.” The pair got 20 points out of 40.

The next performers were Wayne Brady and Witney Carson. They danced a Cha Cha to “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” by Carl Carlton. Len totally loved the performance, saying, “The casual, cool approach. Don’t overdo it. That was the most watchable dance of the night so far.” Echoing the sentiment, Bruno commented, “Welcome to Wayne’s Dance World, performance level to the roof. You’ve got it and know what to do with it. Make sure we can recognize the dance through.” Wayne and Witney got the highest score so far as the judges gave the pair 29 points out of 40.

Also dancing Cha Cha that night were Cheryl Ladd and Louis van Amstel, who picked “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye as their song for the first night. Len praised the pair for their chemistry. Derek, meanwhile, said, “I really enjoyed that, I can’t wait for you to do more ballroom dancing. Great first dance.” They got 21 points out of 40.

As for Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki, they took the ballroom to dance a Salsa to “Titi Me Pregunto” by Bad Bunny. “This is different than the Chippendales. The timing was really out in many sections. Work on it, you will be much better next time,” Bruno commented. Carrie Ann said, “You have a presence, but you let her do all the work. I want to see you do more.” The judges gave them 17 points out of 40, the lowest score of the night so far.

Drag queen Shangela and Gleb Savchenko then followed it up with a Salsa to “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls. Bruno raved, “So great, so intoxicating, you had everyone going. You used Gleb as a prop, you were totally in charge.” Derek echoed the sentiment as saying, “It was amazing to have our first drag star on the show. I wanted to get out there and dance with you, well done.” They got 28 points out of 40.

Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater, meanwhile, hoped to impress the judges with a Quickstep to “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol. “What a ride, I am breathless. A lot of content, refine,” Bruno said. Carrie Ann, meanwhile, urged Trevor to be more courageous as she shared, “You are afraid of dancing and you get one of the hardest dances. You were non-stop. Don’t be afraid of dancing, you can dance.” Trevor earned 21 points out of 40.

The Bachelorette” star Gabby Windey then danced a Jive to “As It Was” by Harry Styles alongside her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy. Bruno simply gushed, “First Jive, first class.” Derek added, “It was the best dance of the night, so sharp, the rotation was off the hook.” Gabby got 28 points out of 40.

The next dancers were Joseph Baena and Daniella Karagach. The bodybuilder son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his partner danced a Jive to “Pump It” by Black Eyed Peas. “I like the energy, it was full on. Work on your feet, you have to point your toes more,” Len said. Bruno, meanwhile, commented, “Impressive, we all get bicep envy. You’ll be back.” The pair were given 26 points out of 40.

Jason Lewis and Peta Murgatroyd were the next performers as they danced a Cha Cha to “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. Len was not impressed as he said, “It was a very disappointing performance. No stepping up on the heel, it is what it is,” As for Carrie Ann, she noted, “Breath, that is what is missing. Relax, that is what we need more of.” They got 18 points out of 40.

Selma Blair and Sasha Farber later hit the ballroom to dance a Viennese Waltz to “The Time of My Life” by David Cook. Len called it “beautiful,” while Bruno said, “So good to see you here, you really created magic tonight, it was gorgeous. A Disney princess came alive.” Derek also praised the actress, “You are a perfect example of a person that doesn’t let their illness define you. It should have been longer, it was so beautiful.” The judges gave the pair 28 points out of 40.

Rounding out the night were TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and her partner Mark Ballas. They danced a Cha Cha to “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion. Derek gushed, “You exceeded expectations with that dance, the precision, the attack on that dance was fantastic.” Calling the young star “a nuanced performer” was Carrie Ann. Charli officially earned the best score of the night as the judges gave her 32 points out of 40.

It was time for the results. Jason & Peta and Teresa & Pasha were revealed to be pairs in jeopardy. Only one of the two couples would be eliminated. The judges decided to save Teresa and Pasha, meaning that Jason and Peta were sent home.

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