‘Dancing with the Stars’ Premiere Night recap: Who excelled and who was expelled at the start of season 32? [LIVE BLOG]

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“Dancing with the Stars” began its 32nd season on Tuesday night, September 26, in a return to ABC after season 31 streamed exclusively on Disney+ (this season’s episodes will be simulcast on the two platforms). So what happened on “Premiere Night” when the 14 celebrity contestants and their pro partners took to the stage for the first time? Scroll down for our live blog with all our minute-by-minute commentary as the night progresses.

The celebrities competing for the Mirror Ball Trophy are model Tyson Beckford, actress Xochitl Gomez, actress Alyson Hannigan, “Too Hot to Handle” star Harry Jowsey, “The Bachelorette” alum Charity Lawson, “Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix, singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, NFL player Adrian Peterson, social media personality Lele Pons, Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, actress Jamie Lynn Spears, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Mauricio Umansky, comedian and actor Matt Walsh and “Brady Bunch” actor Barry Williams.

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This is a season of major changes. After hosting for the past three years, Tyra Banks is out; Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough, both “DWTS” alums and Mirror Ball Trophy winners, are presiding over the show instead. This is also the first season since the retirement and subsequent death of beloved head judge Len Goodman. His three fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli remain on the show.

There was also major controversy before the season even started. The Writers Guild of America was picketing the show during its strike because “DWTS” employs a WGA writer. ABC considered postponing the show entirely, especially after contestant Walsh, a WGA member, announced that he wouldn’t participate until the strike ended. Luckily, the WGA reached a tentative deal with the AMPTP on September 24, two days before “DWTS” was scheduled to premiere, so it went down to the wire. What happened when the show finally aired? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

SEEHere are the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 32 Week 1 dances

Jeffrey Kare, 8:04pm — Welcome back to ABC, “Dancing with the Stars!”

Daniel Montgomery, 8:07pm — A really lovely tribute to Len to name the trophy after him.

Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:08pm — The youngest contestant in the competition at age 17, and she drew Val as a partner. She drew an all-time great pro, and one who has experience guiding young stars like Zendaya and Laurie Hernandez.

DM, 8:11pm — She could tighten up a few of those moves, but she has a LOT of potential.

JK, 8:12pm — Agreed. I can see her growing a lot throughout the competition.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks she’s fun, like a wild stallion, with charisma and the It factor, but she lost her timing just a hair. Derek thought she had so much personality and beautiful long limbs that need to be more contained and well placed. Bruno thought it was a great performance, she’s natural, but she needs to work on her hip action. “Your potential is enormous!”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 18 out of 30

DM, 8:15pm — Fair scores, it’s early yet so definitely not going break out the big paddles yet.

JK, 8:15pm — Now that we’re back with three judges only, we already got a Devil-esque score.

DM, 8:15pm — Haha, yes, the mark of the beast.

Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd (Foxtrot)

DM, 8:17pm — From the youngest contestant to the oldest. He’s 68 and apparently has been waiting to come on the show for 17 years. He’s hoping to break Donny Osmond‘s record as the oldest winner in the show’s history. I never want to count someone out because of their age, but Barry definitely comes into this as an underdog. I’m rooting for him.

DM, 8:21pm — Some awkward moments and missteps in there, but solid first performance in a dance style that suited him.

JK, 8:22pm — For an older contestant, it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.

JUDGES — Derek was in shock over how effortless it looked. It was fun to watch, and it warmed his heart. Bruno called it a foxtrot with a sunny disposition. There were a couple of mistakes, and it should have been smoother and gliding instead of bouncing up and down. Carrie Ann was “thoroughly impressed.” He has good posture and form, but otherwise “fantastic.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Derek (5), Bruno (5) = 16 out of 30

DM, 8:25pm — I think Carrie Ann’s score was too high. I liked him, but he didn’t deserve numbers as high as Xochitl got.

JK, 8:25pm — At least his overall score wasn’t as high.

Tyson Beckford and Jenna Johnson (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:27pm — It’s hard to believe Tyson Beckford is 52. He would actually be the oldest Mirror Ball champ of all-time too. And he’s clearly still in supermodel shape. But some models tend to be a little stiff on the dance floor.

DM, 8:30pm — Tyson coulda been worse. Had its moments, but Jenna was definitely doing most of the work there.

JK, 8:31pm — Yeah, it looked like Tyson was just following Jenna’s lead.

JUDGES — Bruno says he lost the timing and there were too many improper heel leads. Carrie Ann noticed he’s heavy when he steps, but he has lots of potential. Derek appreciated the James Brown split and the moonwalk. But yes, he needs to work on his technique and was too flatfooted.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (4), Derek (4), Bruno (4) = 12 out of 30

DM, 8:33pm — Ouch! After Barry got 5s and a 6, I thought Tyson would score a little higher.

JK, 8:34pm — Instead, it’s going downhill.

Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber (Salsa)

DM, 8:37pm –As an OG “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fan, I am ridiculously biased in her favor. Sasha believes her personality and acting will serve her well, and the dancing will follow.

DM, 8:40pm — God bless her, I want her to stay in this competition, but that was kind of a mess. Still love her.

JK, 8:41pm — Had a lot of energy, but needed tightening.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann wants her to embody the sensual woman in there instead of being so cute. Derek loved watching it because of her joy, but her timing was off. Her personality was “off the charts,” though. Bruno tells her the timing is important and she has to do the steps on the beat.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (5), Derek (4), Bruno (4) = 13 out of 30

DM, 8:44pm — Hmmm, I was afraid we might see some 3s in there. I did not see a 5 from Carrie Ann coming.

Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:47pm — He’s got muscles, but can he move? “The last time I danced, my friends thought I had an allergic reaction.” Also a problem, Harry is 6’5″, and major height differences are also difficult to overcome. It’s why basketball players always struggled.

Cordell Martin, 8:51pm — This is rough.

DM, 8:51pm — Yeah, really stiff and awkward and he lacked personality.

JK, 8:52pm — Another one where the pro upstaged the celeb.

JUDGES — Derek thought it was a timid performance and he needed to commit to it more. Bruno says well done for the first time, but he needs to work on his technique. Carrie Ann tells her to raise his eyes and present himself more.

DM, 8:54pm — Certainly no ringers in the competition so far. I wonder if someone is gonna come out and blow everyone away.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (4), Derek (4), Bruno (4) = 12 out of 30

CM, 8:55pm — Lele Pons is the ringer.

DM, 8:55pm — I have high hopes for Jason Mraz.

Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:58pm — He studied musical theater, but he avoided dancing and focused on singing because he was insecure about his ability, but he’s got tons of personality.

CM, 8:58pm — I can see Jason doing well especially with Daniella as a partner.

DM, 9:01pm — I feel like the night finally got started with that performance. He’s a keeper.

CM, 9:01pm — I agree.

JK, 9:02pm — The first great performance of the night!

JUDGES — Bruno says he’s a dancer, he had good foot placement and leg placement. Carrie Ann calls it the best dance of the night so far. Derek gives a standing ovation. It was spot-on, and being a musician helped because he was so in the pocket.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 21 out of 30

DM, 9:05pm — I wonder if we’ll see any numbers higher than 7s tonight. It would take a lot on night one, but I think it happened last season with Charli D’Amelio.

Jamie Lynn Spears and Alan Bersten (Tango)

DM, 9:08pm — “I remember watching her as a kid,” says Alan, making all of us feel old. She says she did traditional dance and cheerleading before, so I could see her being a standout.

DM, 9:11pm — Decent first dance. A little stiff, movements kinda tight and reserved.

JK, 9:12pm — Clever beginning. As for the dance, I can see potential in her getting better.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann felt like the dance felt a little forced instead of the proper tension of a tango. Derek thinks she’s better than she thinks she is. Bruno thought there were a lot of mistakes, but because there was a lot of content. She needs to work on her strength in the core.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (5), Derek (5), Bruno (5) = 15 out of 30

DM, 9:14pm — I love how happy Alan was. No one has ever been so happy to get 5s LOL.

CM, 9:14pm — I know, right? LOL

Adrian Peterson and Britt Stewart (Salsa)

DM, 9:17pm — “We all know the track record for football players on ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” says Britt.

DM, 9:20pm — A lot of lifts, a lot of weird stank face throughout. Maybe 10% salsa LOL.

CM, 9:21pm — LOL, I think his past troubles will hurt him in going far in the competition.

JK, 9:21pm — Probably.

DM, 9:22pm — I agree about his past issues. I feel icky about it.

JUDGES — Derek thought the salsa was too hard, not enough rhythm to it. Bruno likes that he went for it with total commitment, but there were mishaps in the footwork, and he needs to loosen up a little more. Carrie Ann thinks he has swagger like Emmitt Smith, but the footwork needs less stomping and more refinement.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 18 out of 30

DM, 9:24pm — Those 6s were a little generous.

Lele Pons and Brandon Armstrong (Tango)

DM, 9:28pm — She dances “unprofessionally” on social media. Let’s see is Cordell is right that she’s a ringer this season.

DM, 9:31pm — Second best performance of the night after Jason Mraz. She’s got it.

JK, 9:32pm — Excellent!

JUDGES — Bruno loved the way she attacked it, she had passion, but she wobbled in her turns. Carrie Ann says she was powerful woman on the dance floor. Brandon needs to power up to match her, but there’s something special there. Derek thought it was strong and fantastic, but she does need to watch her turns.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Derek (7), Bruno (6) = 19 out of 30

DM, 9:34pm — Fair scores, I think 6s and a 7 were pretty spot-on.

Mira Sorvino and Gleb Savchenko (Cha Cha)

DM, 9:37pm — I’m not sure what to expect from Mira. She’s one of the older contestants, but she explains to Gleb that she did ballet for eight years as a kid, only stopping to focus on acting because she was too tall.

DM, 9:41pm — Pleasantly surprised by Mira. A little timid, but she’s got amazing legs.

JK, 9:42pm — OK start for her, but she’s certainly got the moves.

JUDGES — Carrie thinks Len would have loved it, she was elegant and refined, but there was a mishap at the beginning. Derek could see her thinking throughout, she has the ability and should trust it. “You’ve got it, don’t doubt yourself,” says Bruno. She had good placement.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Derek (5), Bruno (6) = 17 out of 30

DM, 9:43pm — Surprised she got a 5. I thought that should have been straight 6s across the board.

Mauricio Umansky and Emma Slater (Jive)

DM, 9:46pm — No idea what to expect from a real estate agent. “Consider the Mirror Ball in escrow,” says Mauricio. Okay. Emma thinks the performance factor will be there. It’s the finesse he’ll need to work on.

CM, 9:50pm — Now they’re casting housewives husbands lol

DM, 9:50pm — LOL, a lot better than I expected, though. That was actually pretty solid.

JK, 9:51pm — Yeah. Probably the biggest surprise of the night so far.

JUDGES — Derek appreciated all the recognizable jive, a great first dance. Bruno calls it confident and enthusiastic, but he needs to work on sharpening his kicks and flicks. Carrie Ann was impressed, it wasn’t what she expected from him. He knows how to partner with Emma, but needs to enunciate his movements better.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (5), Derek (5), Bruno (5) = 15 out of 30

DM, 9:54pm — I agree with Julianne that Mauricio’s scores didn’t seem to match the judges critiques. I would’ve given him a 6.

JK, 9:54pm — Ditto.

Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev (Tango)

DM, 9:56pm — I’m not sure if I’m rooting for Charity to be good or bad, LOL. Not sure we need another “Bachelorette” winner on the show. Apparently she was a competitive cheerleader for 12 years, though, so she may be another ringer.

DM, 10:00pm — Well, I guess there will be another “Bachelorette” in the finals LOL

CM, 10:01pm — I love Charity.

JK, 10:02pm — Already one of the better “Bachelorette” alums in the competition.

JUDGES — Bruno thought the execution for week one was superb with great staccato movements. “What week is it?” says Carrie Ann. It was stunning, elegant, lines were amazing, but she needs to work on her performance. Derek thought it was beautiful, precise, elegant. But he agrees she needs to perform more.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Derek (7), Bruno (8) = 22 out of 30

DM, 10:03pm — Not sure I would have broken out that 8 paddle just yet.

Matt Walsh and Koko Iwasaki (Cha Cha)

DM, 10:06pm — I’m already rooting for Matt because he was willing to drop out of the show to support his fellow WGA writers on strike. He says he’s worried about the cha cha since he doesn’t consider himself “hippy,” but he knows enough to know that the cha cha requires hips, so that’s something.

CM, 10:10pm — Okay Matt lol

DM, 10:10pm — He had some problems in there LOL, but I liked it. And I’m gonna throw him some votes anyway because he stood with WGA writers.

JK, 10:11pm — I wonder if he would’ve been better had it not been for his pause in rehearsal.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought it needed a lot of work, but it was fun to watch. Derek almost forgot to watch the dance. Bruno thought it was “surreal” and “entertaining.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (4), Derek (4), Bruno (4) = 12 out of 30

DM, 10:11pm — I would have thrown him a gentleman’s 5.

CM, 10:12pm — I think he’ll be safe.

JK, 10:12pm — Even the crowd in that room thought he was better than his judges scores suggested.

Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov (Tango)

DM, 10:15pm — I don’t follow “Vanderpump Rules” or tabloids, so I know jack squat about Ariana, her partner’s affair, or whether she has any innate dancing ability. Let’s see how she does.

DM, 10:18pm — Excellent first dance for this woman I never heard of before tonight LOL.

JK, 10:19pm — Bravo!

JUDGES — Derek thought it was incredible, had power, beautiful frame, but some foot problems. Bruno thought it was “red hot,” focused, sharp, and totally committed, but she wobbled on the spin. Carrie Ann says she showed America how to handle a cheater — by dancing well apparently.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 21 out of 30


1. Charity Lawson — 22
2. Ariana Madix — 21
2. Jason Mraz — 21
4. Lele Pons — 19
5. Xochitl Gomez — 18
5. Adrian Peterson — 18
7. Mira Sorvino — 17
8. Barry Williams — 16
9. Jamie Lynn Spears — 15
9. Mauricio Umansky — 15
11. Alyson Hannigan — 13
12. Tyson Beckford — 12
12. Harry Jowsey — 12
12. Matt Walsh — 12


DM, 10:26pm — Safe celebs are … Jamie Lynn Spears (not too surprised), Harry Jowsey (bottom team gets a reprieve), Adrian Peterson (sigh), Barry Williams (kinda surprising), Mira Sorvino (glad she’ll be back), Charity Lawson (duh), Ariana Madix (double duh), Jason Mraz (triple duh), Xochitl Gomez (not forgotten after performing at the start of the night), Lele Pons (not surprising), Alyson Hannigan (whew, glad she’ll get another chance), Tyson Beckford (didn’t think he’d be safe).

DM, 10:29pm — The bottom two celebs are Mauricio and Matt.

DM, 10:30pmMatt Walsh is eliminated from the competition. I’m very disappointed that they sent him home.

CM, 10:31pm — Wow no judges save this season. Yikes.

JK, 10:33pm — Just when Matt rejoined the show after being on the picket lines, he’s gone again.

CM, 10:33pm — I’m glad we don’t have a ringer like Charli.

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