Twelve celebrities and their pro partners hit the dance floor on the Season 22 premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night as they embarked on their goal to win ultimate prize: the glittering mirror ball trophy.
The celebrities include stars of music, media, television and sports.
Head judge Len Goodman was back on the judges’ panel tonight alongside longtime fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Also returning to the show was Edyta Sliwinska, a fan favorite pro dancer who appeared on the first 10 seasons of the show.
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While none of the stars turned in an outstanding performance tonight -- no one scored higher than 23 out of a possible 30 points -- the judges said many of the stars had potential.
The star with the lowest combined total of judges’ scores and viewer votes will be voted off the show next week.
Tonight’s top scorers: Ginger Zee, Nyle DiMarco and Wanya Morris all tied for first place with 23 points each for Zee’s jive and DiMarco and Morris’ cha-cha. Zee, the “Good Morning America” meteorologist, received kudos from the judges for her joyful performance. “Well, the clouds parted and a ray of sunshine came to the floor,” Goodman said of her routine. Morris, the Boyz II Men singer, performed a cha-cha to “Motownphilly,” his group’s own hit. Inaba called Morris “a total twinkletoe,” and DiMarco, who is deaf and could not feel the music’s vibrations, told judges that he was able to keep time by following his pro partner’s movements. “Are you for real?” asked a seemingly stunned Tonioli, who walked out onto the dance floor to touch the “America’s Next Top Model” winner before adding: “He’s real! I mean I’m telling you. You could be America’s next top dancer.”
Tonight’s standout moment: Veteran journalist Geraldo Rivera reprised his infamous opening of Al Capone’s vault, but instead of finding it empty –- as he did on live TV 1986 -- out popped his pro partner, Edyta Sliwinska. “Dancing” co-host Erin Andrews talked to Rivera after his performance and asked him was it was like to incorporate the vault’s opening into his performance. “This time there’s plenty inside the vault ... ,” Rivera, 72, said. Unfortunately, judges weren’t very impressed with his routine, giving him the lowest score of the night –- 13 out of a possible 30.
Judges’ Scores (Scores are out of a possible 30 points)
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: 23
Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: 23
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: 23
Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: 21
Von Miller and Witney Carson: 21
Marla Maples and Tony Dovolani: 21
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: 21
Kim Fields and Sasha Farber: 20
Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe: 20
Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev: 16
Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff: 15
Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska: 13