“Dancing With the Stars” season 32 premiere recap: This elimination was no laughing matter

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We're back (on ABC) baby!

Season 32 of Dancing With the Stars kicked off on Tuesday with an out-of-this-world intro, literally. The pro dancers joined returning host Alfonso Ribeiro and his new cohost Julianne Hough in the Mirrorball Universe on a spaceship heading straight to the ballroom.

But it's been quite the trip to get there. Over the past week it was unclear if the show would return for its scheduled premiere. Striking WGA writers picketed rehearsals last week, targeting comedian Matt Walsh, and actresses Alyson Hannigan and Mira Sorvino. Walsh temporarily bowed out of the competition until Sunday's tentative agreement between the WGA and the AMPTP, which gave him the okay to dance.


ABC/Eric McCandless Matt Walsh and Koko Iwasaki on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Change is in the air as the premiere episode is the first since head judge Len Goodman's death in April. As a tribute to the late professional ballroom dancer, who appeared as a judge for 29 seasons, DWTS's top prize is now renamed the Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy. Plus, Tyra Banks has exited as cohost and the show made its return to it's home network ABC, while still streaming on Disney+ and Hulu.

But some familiar faces were sitting behind the judges table, with Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli all back as judges this season.

The night started out with a promising cha-cha from Marvel star Xochitl Gomez and a sweet tribute to the The Brady Bunch from Greg himself, Barry Williams, who said that dancing on the show has been on his bucket list for 17 years. Check!

Influencer and Too Hot To Handle star Harry Jowsey took to the stage with an upbeat, yet low scoring cha-cha alongside new pro dancer Rylee Arnold, sister of DWTS pro Lindsay Arnold. "All I know about the cha-cha is that it's the same word twice," Jowsey admitted. One more thing he knows about? Taking his shirt off. He seems to have followed Bruno's advice: "When in doubt, get your chest out."


ABC/Eric McCandless Harry Jowsey and partner Rylee Arnold on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Grammy winner Jason Mraz and most recent Bachelorette Charity Lawson ended up on the top of the leaderboard tonight. Mraz danced a cha-cha to his own song "I Feel Like Dancing", which earned him a 21 out of 30 and a "best dance of the night so far" comment from Carrie Anne, a standing ovation from Derek, and he was dubbed "the one to watch" from Bruno.

That's until Charity swept the entire ballroom off their feet with a tango straight from the heart that earned her the highest score of the night, a 22 out of 30, thanks to a surprise 8 from Bruno.

Charity Lawson
Charity Lawson

ABC Charity Lawson and dance partner Artem Chigvintsev on 'Dancing With the Stars'

But it couldn't be all fun and foxtrots, someone was bound to head home. After almost not competing in tonight's round of dancing, Walsh and his partner Koko Iwasaki were sent packing. The comedian's cha-cha was tied for last with Jowsey and model Tyson Beckford. The Veep star jokingly signed off with some advice for the panel of esteemed judges, "I would ask the judges to rewatch that dance sometime."

Here's where each couple landed on the leaderboard:

Xochitl & Val - Cha-cha, 18 out of 30

Barry & Peta - Foxtrot, 16 out of 30

Tyson & Jenna - Cha-cha, 12 out of 30

Alyson & Sasha - Salsa, 13 out of 30

Harry & Rylee - Cha-cha, 12 out of 30

Jason & Daniella - Cha-cha, 21 out of 30

Jamie & Alan - Tango, 15 out of 30

Adrian & Britt - Salsa, 18 out of 30

Lele & Brandon - Tango, 19 out of 30

Mira & Gleb - Cha-cha, 17 out of 30

Mauricio & Emma - Jive, 15 out of 30

Charity & Artem - Tango, 22 out of 30

Matt & Koko - Cha-cha, 12 out of 30

Ariana & Pasha - Tango, 21 out of 30

Next week the ballroom is getting extra spicy, it's Latin night!

Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC and Disney+.

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