‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 32 Premiere: Charity Lawson Draws Raves for ‘Stunning’ Tango

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“Dancing With the Stars” Season 32 kicked off right on schedule on Tuesday night, with all 15 couples, even temporary holdout actor Matt Walsh, hitting the dance floor for the first time.

“Bachelorette” star Charity Lawson and partner Artem Chigvintsev earned the highest score of the evening for their Tango, which judge Bruno Tonioli proclaimed to be “exquisite,” while Carrie Ann Inaba said it was “stunning,” especially for Week 1.

Charity took the lead from singer Jason Mraz, whose Cha-Cha-Cha with Daniella Karagacha to his own song, “I Feel Like Dancing,” prompted Bruno to dub him “the one to watch.” Jason, who claimed his higher-than-average dancing skills were due to an “extra vertebra,” earned a “7” from each judge.

After the audience votes were added, “RHOBH” star Mauricio Umansky and “Veep” star Matt Walsh were in the bottom two. Matt’s “non-traditional” Cha-Cha-Cha with partner Koko Iwasaki received a “4,” from each judge, a decision the audience booed. Matt had temporarily walked away from rehearsals due to the now-resolved WGA strike.

Xochitl Gomez, the 17-year-old Marvel star, and pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy started the show with an energetic Cha-Cha-Cha to”Peanut Butter Jelly” by Galantis and were rewarded with three “6” scores for a total of 18.

“The Brady Bunch” actor Barry Williams and partner Peta Murgatroyd did a Foxtrot to the ’70s show’s theme song, “It’s a Sunshine Day,” for a total judges’ score of 16. Barry said he’d been trying to get on the show for 17 years.

Jason Mraz and pro Daniella Karagach perfom the cha cha during the Season 32 premiere of “Dancing With the Stars.” (ABC)

Model and actor Tyson Beckford and partner Jenna Johnson danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross, earning a dismal “4” from each judge, which the audience also booed. They were later put through to Week 2 by the audience vote.

“How I Met Your Mother” actress Alyson Hannigan admitted her experience with dance so far was “not great,” after a ballet teacher was mean to her when she was little. She and partner Sasha Farber did a Salsa that got a standing ovation, but Carrie Ann told her she needed to “embody the sensual woman you’ve got in there” and that the routine was “too cute.” The pair received a 14 judges’ score out of a possible 30 points.

Harry Jowsey, the 6’5″ Australian “Too Hot to Handle” contestant, told partner Rylee Arnold that the last time he danced, his friends thought he was having an allergic reaction. It was Riley’s first time as a pro on the series; older sister Lindsay was a pro on Season 16 and came in fourth place with partner Victor Ortiz in 2013. Their Cha-Cha-Cha to “Rock Your Body” earned a mere 12 points from the judges.

“Zoey 101” star Jamie Lynn Spears and partner Alan Bersten’s Tango earned a 15, with five points from each judge. Mom Lynne Spears was in the audience cheering her on.

Adrian Peterson and partner Britt Stewart danced a salsa to “Yeah!” by Usher, and Inaba admired his “swagger,” but asked for “less stomping.” The football star earned all “6” scores from the judges for a total of 18.

Venezuelan social media star Lele Pons and partner Brandon Armstrong performed to “El Tango de Roxanne” from “Moulin Rouge!” Carrie Ann told Armstrong he needed to match Pons’ fire, proclaiming her “magical.” The duo danced away with 19 points.

Pro Brandon Armstrong and social media personality Lele Pons perform the tango in the Season 32 premiere of “Dancing With the Stars.” (ABC)

Mira Sorvino and partner Gleb Slavchenko cha-cha’d to “Kiss” by Prince. In her intro clip, she said she became a fan of dancing after watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies with her late father, Paul Sorvino. Derek proclaimed Mira’s dance “a breath of fresh air” while Bruno raved about her “fluidity,” saying, “You’re a great actress and you’re a great dancer.” The judges gave them a combined score of 17 out of 30.

Mauricio Umansky and his partner Emma Slater did a jive to “I Ain’t Worried.” Derek told him it was like “watching my Dad dance at my wedding,” which, he said, was a compliment as his father “rips it.” Bruno gave him a realtor-relevant quote by telling him that he looked good but needed to “fix the foundation.” The duo earned a 15 out of 30.

“Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix and partner Pasha Pashkov had the last dance of the night, a scorching Tango set to “Love Myself (Riddler Remix).” It perfectly meshed with the reality star’s proclamation, after the show’s cheating “Scandoval,” “I don’t need anybody else. I love me.”

At the top of the show, co-host Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough paid tribute to the late Len Goodman, who died in April at age 78. He had been on a judge on the show from 2005 to 2022.

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