The Powers That Be wanted to bring the fun and innocence back on Dancing With the Stars Season 16 and — with the possible exception of Aly Raisman’s boobalicious Cha-Cha outfit (dang, girl) — they did it! When you find yourself actually rooting for Andy Dick, and cheering when he does relatively OK, it’s a good sign for things to come.
At this point, Zendaya and Val are the top stars of the season, but they have definite competition out there. Week 1 tends to look like baby giraffes taking their first steps — and some couples always have more time to rehearse than others, or get better dances than others. Week 2 should give us a better clue as to how this season will play out but — bless his comedic heart — it will be a miracle if D.L. can last longer than Week 3. Cheryl is a marvel, but even the new pope probably couldn’t save them. D.L. should be better next week, but maybe not better enough. Thankfully everyone gets a second dance, with the first elimination happening next Tuesday, March 26. Tomorrow night is just a special DWTS behind-the-scenes clip show.
What did you think of the premiere? Are you excited for things to come? Who is your favorite couple? Relive the dances below and be sure to vote!
Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stand after the premiere, from top to bottom:
Zendaya & Val — 24
Kellie & Derek — 21
Dorothy & Tristan — 21
Aly & Mark — 21
Ingo & Kym — 20
Jacoby & Karina — 20
Sean & Peta — 19
Victor & Lindsay — 18
Lisa & Gleb — 18
Wynonna & Tony — 18
Andy & Sharna — 17
D.L.& Cheryl — 12
Read on for a full recap of the Week 1 action:
1. Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough — Cha-Cha-Cha to “Domino” by Jessie J — Even Kellie’s hair is glittery. They are “Tinkerbell and Peter Pan” together. Derek knows Kellie has the potential to be great. They do start the show off strong. Kellie probably could’ve had more footwork in the middle, but it shows her obvious body movement potential. And they are cute together! Definitely a fun pair.
JUDGES: Head judge (and newlywed!) Len Goodman said “Yum, yum, pig’s bum, that was fun!” Pig’s bum? Her legs were a little stiff, but it was a great start. Bruno Tonioli said, “That’s the way we do it. [...] The shapes of things to come” look good. She needs more light and shade and legwork but he can’t wait to see what’s to come. Carrie Ann Inaba said she has incredible torso movement but she has to stay up a bit more.
SCORES: 7 (Carrie Ann), 7 (Len), Bruno (7) = 21 out of 30. Derek called it. Apparently this is his lucky score. It won’t be so lucky if we keep seeing straight 7s on Week 3 or 4. Sometimes the judges do that. It’s their “we don’t have a strong opinion either way” score.
Vote for Kellie & Derek: 1-800-868-3401 (1-800-VOTE4-01)
2. Victor Ortiz & Lindsay Arnold — Foxtrot to “Daylight” by Maroon 5 — Victor had a tough upbringing. His mom walked out at 7 and his dad followed at 12. Dang. But, just saying, these inspirational stories tend to serve contestants well on DWTS. We’ll see if that’s the case with Victor. He has a new pro, but they are so adorable together. They just seem to fit. “How bad do I suck?” he asked Lindsay. “About a 4” she admitted. At least she’s honest! But during the live show, he’s more like a 6/7. This is the big debut for both of them and they have such an easy, light chemistry with big smiles. A great smile can take you far on this show. They will be fun to watch. That said, he’s not exactly a ringer, technique-wise. But good for Week 1.
JUDGES: Bruno said Victor had a wonderful combination of boyish charm and Latino passion. He was surprisingly light-footed but he has a lot of work to do on his frames. Don’t throw your arms away. “It’s not Gorillas in the Mist, yes?” Nice! Our first Bruno-ism of the season. Carrie Ann said boxers don’t tend to do well on the show because their posture is so slumped. She loved to see this side to Victor. “You sparkle!” Len said it was a bit “uneventful” for him and could’ve used more “wows.” And we have our first Grumpy Old Len moment! He said next week they have the Jive and that should be their dance.
SCORES: 6, 6, 6 = 18 out of 30. Victor said he said yes to DWTS when his jaw was basically falling off. Tom Bergeron quipped that DWTS gets most of its contestants when their judgment is impaired.
Vote for Victor & Lindsay: 1-800-868-3402
3. Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson — Contemporary to “Yellow” by Coldplay — Ingo And His Amazing Eyes (which should be his official title) has the tough job of having Contemporary as his first dance, and being the first one to show it off this season. Apparently lifts are OK for this style, which is a bonus for them. It’s a great dance, but this is such an intimate, emotional style and they are just starting their DWTS journey. It probably would’ve been even better on, say, Week 5 when they had established more of a connection. It’s a lot to ask from a newbie on Week 1.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said they want to see the lifts and the “raw passion” and she saw all of that. Len said he wasn’t convinced about the performance. “Kym, your feet were in the air more than they were on the floor.” What does he expect? They have to play to their strengths with this style. Bruno told Ingo “That was good. … It was a bit like watching Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook.” OK then! The judges don’t seem 100 percent clear on what they even want with this style. It’s a visceral thing, and that’s not exactly Len’s cup of tea.
SCORES: 7, 6, 7 = 20 out of 30.
Vote for Ingo & Kym: 1-800-868-3403
4. Lisa Vanderpump & Gleb Savchenko — Foxtrot to "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" by Aretha Franklin — Lisa is happy to be as unfaithful as it takes to do well. Heck, we would be “unfaithful” too if we were dancing with the sexy shirtless Gleb. Yes. Please. This dance is more classy than sexy, but it still manages to hint to their playful chemistry. We hope they get a chance to Rumba at some point...
JUDGES: Len called it “acceptable” but not “exceptional.” There was too much “staggering about.” She’s got to improve, though. Dang, Len, it’s just Week 1. Bruno said the problem was having so many rocks around her neck and she couldn’t sustain her posture. She’s got the Titanic necklace on! Is Bruno in love with Gleb yet? That’s only a matter of time. Carrie Ann said the dance suited her. Overall it was “very nice and easy on the eyes.” She did stumble a bit like she was dragged around, Carrie Ann added. “You have to hold your own.” Lisa quipped that she’d rather hold her own than his. Play nice!
SCORES: 6, 6, 6 = 18 out of 30.
Vote for Lisa & Gleb: 1-800-868-3404
5. D.L. Hughley & Cheryl Burke — Cha-Cha-Cha to "Low" by Flo Rida — D.L. got in trouble as a kid. He got kicked out of three high schools and joined gangs. He was a “Blood”? Comedy saved his life. You can tell he’s not comfortable out there. Ah, comedians. He’s not breaking the stiff-on-the-floor tradition. Cheryl is doing 90 percent of the dancing. But at least he tried to show some personality, singing along. If he lasts to Week 3, he’ll have a lot of improving to do.
JUDGES: Bruno said “O.M.G. You have terminated the Cha-Cha-Cha.” He was off time so many times. Carrie Ann gave Boogie Fantastic some bad news. It was a “yikes.” He’s got to go back to work and try harder. Yes. Len said if any dance is going to suit him it should be the Cha-Cha and this was rough. Next week he has the Quickstep. “You’ve got to work your butt off.” As he summed it up, “This was no good.” Tell him how you really feel!
SCORES: 4, 4, 4 = 12 out of 30. OUCH! That’s the lowest score in a long time.
Vote for D.L. & Cheryl: 1-800-868-3405
6. Zendaya Coleman & Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Contemporary to “Feel Again” by One Direction — She has obvious dance experience. Maybe even ringer-level. Is that fair? She’s famous for a show called Shake It Up that’s about dancing. Love how they used the judges’ table for the jump-off. Man, can they move! She keeps up with him like they’ve been doing this for years. His yellow shoes are the cutest things in the world.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann loved it. Len said three words he never thought he’d say on Week 1: “That was great.” Bruno said it was a superb debut. Is she the one to beat this season?
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30. They are thinking with one mind this week. This is the highest score of the night so far.
Vote for Zendaya & Val: 1-800-868-3406
7. Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd — Foxtrot to “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News — What’s with the Hugh Hefner jacket, Sean? Peta has him really move out there. He seems a little stiff and rushed, but he smiled a lot and clearly worked hard.
JUDGES: Len said he liked it. He didn’t like it a lot but he liked parts of it. There was no real quality of movement. His posture was good and his footwork, but his dancing needs to be more refined. It had a wildness about it. He just needs to calm it down. Bruno called him hunky and chunky and very masculine. “For a dance virgin you have a very effective pelvic thrust. It was a like a Chippendales version of a ballroom dance.” (Too much clothing for that!) He needs finesse. Carrie Ann said she likes it rough. Sean has a “fearless exuberance,” Carrie Ann said. She thinks he’ll go far, with the way he attacks the dance.
SCORES: 7, 6, 6 = 19 out of 30.
Vote for Sean & Peta: 1-800-868-3407
8. Alexandra Raisman & Mark Ballas — Cha-Cha-Cha to “Live Like We’re Young” by One Direction — Wow, her Olympic boobs are on display this week. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — she is of legal age. It’s just a surprise. She really needs to bring out her personality. Mark really has her being sexy for the premiere. Was that a good idea? She does that pointing thing he loves. And he does have her move a lot, as opposed to just dancing around her.
JUDGES: Bruno wondered where the sexy was coming from. She can shake it like the best. It was a “really good Cha-Cha” and he was impressed. Carrie Ann said she liked the sassafras but didn’t want her to be so safe. She lost musicality a little. Len said he loved the vitality, but her legs have to be more crisp
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. Olympians are always so well-trained in answering questions quickly and innocuously. Everything is amazing. It’s always great.
Vote for Aly & Mark: 1-800-868-3408
9. Dorothy Hamill & Tristan MacManus — Contemporary to “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John — Dorothy was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago. She’s 56? Holy moly is she gorgeous. And her voice is so soothing. Kristi Yamaguchi, who won Season 6, is her inspiration. You could do worse than one of the best technical dancers in the history of the show! Tristan, aka our official fake boyfriend, is particularly hairy today. What do we think of the scruff? This isn’t the most fluid routine — they will probably be better with the structure of a more traditional dance — but she definitely has potential. And she’s so beloved. They will go far.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said Dorothy is already a winner in so many ways. That performance was just “golden” and she told a story. “What a beautiful performance, heartfelt.” Len said it was beautiful. He loved the gentleness of it. It had some unsteady moments but it was well done. Bruno said the ice queen will melt him every time if she keeps doing routines like that. There were some balance issues, but she had a great connection with Tristan.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. It’s kind of irritating when the judges give so many 21s. People end up stuck in the middle of the pack together. That’s the danger zone.
Vote for Dorothy & Tristan: 1-800-868-3409
10. Wynonna Judd & Tony Dovolani — Cha-Cha-Cha to "I've Got The Music In Me" by Kiki Dee — Wynonna’s husband lost his leg after a major accident. She’s been caring for him for seven months and this is her time to do something for herself. She wants to shake her moneymaker! She starts her dance in a church pew. She has a solo moment on Week 1. That’s new. Good for her. She looks a little stiff, but she showed some personality in singing to Tony. She just needs to work her body and hips a lot more. And her footwork. She’s too tentative. There’s work to be done, but she has some sass to her. Naomi and Ashley Judd spotted in the audience! Naomi is so cute to push for people to call for Wynonna. But leave it to the other Judds to steal the spotlight!
JUDGES: Len said overall she did the job, although she was a little bit careful. Bruno said we all love a giver and she can give more. Give it large! Carrie Ann thought she was working it. She has her own style.
SCORES: 6, 6, 6 = 18 out of 30. They didn’t give comments to match those scores. They implied something higher. At least their usual 7s. But this score does seem fair.
Vote for Wynonna & Tony: 1-800-868-3410
11. Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess — Foxtrot to "Witchcraft" by Frank Sinatra — Andy immediately admits his drinking and drug use basically ruined his career. It’s been a bad couple of decades, but he’s sober now and trying to turn things around. Sharna is new as a pro, but not to DWTS. She’s been on the pro troupe. She seems like a good therapist for Andy. He had a breakdown when he couldn’t get the steps. He said he’s afraid to be bad. He needs to rein it in or he’ll never have the stamina to go the distance. They look SO good in their costumes. At the very least, they have that down. He’s surprisingly good/not awful. Props to Sharna for that! Maybe we’ll have to reconsider the idea of comedians never doing well on the show. Go Andy! Are we actually starting to root for him? Wow. Never thought we’d be here...
JUDGES: Bruno said it was like watching Woody Allen doing the Foxtrot. It had a skittish charm. It could’ve been much smoother, but he liked the slightly deranged side of it. Carrie Ann said she didn’t think it was so crazy (agreed!) and there was something charming about him, like the ugly duckling coming to life. He has to work on his pancake hands and feet. Len said the choreography was very nice. There were moment of sophistication, but the Foxtrot has to have fluidity and smoothness. “This has the fluidity of Robocop. It was too jerky all the way through.” Then he complained about people booing “the old guy.” He doubles as “the mean guy!” It’s great how protective Sharna is of Andy. He clearly needs support.
SCORES: 6, 5, 6 = 17 out of 30.
Vote for Andy & Sharna: 1-800-868-3411
12. Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff — Cha-Cha-Cha to “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida — Jacoby had to start rehearsals late because of his knee injury, but he’s a young, fit football player, so he’s already got a head start on this whole show. She has him moving and he is already so good. And he likes to show it off, you can tell. Will she be able to rein in his amazing energy? Oh, those football players! What foot injury? Wowza.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said he’s got the moves! It was like a medley of touchdown dances. He needs to work on posture and technique. Len said it was all performance driven and his technique was terrible. He was too bent over. He needs to dance to his height. This sounds a bit harsh. Bruno said “I think you have the potential to become Season 16’s Steamy Sex Machine. You can grind it as well as I’ve seen people grinding it in 16 seasons.” And he watches the grinding very closely! Love Len covering his eyes. Len’s first embarrassment for Bruno of the season!
SCORES: 7, 6, 7 = 20 out of 30.
Vote for Jacoby & Karina: 1-800-868-3412