Last night was the season 28 premiere of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars”... and it’s an interesting start for sure. As we previously reported, host Tom Bergeron spoke out against the “divisive booking” of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. And most recently, Christie Brinkley broke her arm right before the season, tapping her daughter Sailor to fill in for her.
But drama aside, the pro pairings were revealed, and the stars hit the dancefloor for the first time… and Spicer earned ”best fluorescent shimmy of the night” after wearing a ruffled neon green top. There were no eliminations this time – voting kicks off next week! Here’s how it all went down:
ABC did some cross-promotion with “Bachelorette” Hannah Brown’s first dance. She was paired with Alan Bersten for the season, kicking off the night by dancing the Cha-Cha. They earned the second-highest scores of the night, a 20.
Comedian and actor Kel Mitchell made quite the entrance… from a picture of his own face and down a pink slide “tongue,” a “DWTS” first! He was paired up with Witney Carson. The judges thought Kel was a little “jumpy” with his Tango, but that he has the “right attitude.” The duo earned a 16.
“The Office” star Kate Flannery is a newbie to dancing… and her pro partner, Pasha Pashkov, is new to the show! The judges were really impressed by Flannery’s Cha-Cha, and the two earned a 15.
Next up was 6-foot-10 NBA star Lamar Odom and his 5-foot-7 pro partner, Peta Murgatroid. The judges were concerned that the heigh difference was ruining the “finesse” of their Fox Trot, but want to see how they do with another type of dance. That was enough to get the two a score of 11.
“American Idol” runner-up Lauren Alaina got to Cha-Cha to some Shania Twain with her pro partner Gleb Savchenko. She looked beautiful, and so did the pairing, so judges gave the “steamy” performance a 19.
Sailor Brinkley-Cook stepped up to the child of filling in for her injured mom last minute. She was paired up with Valentin Chmerkovskiy, bringing enough energy to the Fox Trot to earn a score of 18.
“Queer Eye” culture expert Karamo tested his knowledge of dance with a salsa… and judges were hot and cold about it. He was paired up with Jenna Johnson, and they had the right energy to impress the audience! The duo earned a 17.
Then Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis did the salsa with his pro, Cheryl Burke. The judges thought they brought their “A game”... but as nice as the comments were, they didn’t score about Karamo and Jenna, getting a 15.
Singer Ally Brooke and her pro Sasha Farber had the right rhythm for their Cha-Cha, enough to get Beyonce comparisons! All in all, it was a solid performance that caught the judges’ eyes. The duo earned a 16.
Then it was time for the most controversial dancer, Sean Spicer. Equally as controversial are his dance moves, which he says are “at a pre-preschool level.” Spicer was paired up with Lindsay Arnold, and he kicked off their salsa with some bongos… maybe a little too much bongos. They didn’t get the lowest score of the night, just above with a 12.
The evening closed out with the highest-scoring duo, “Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek and his pro Emma Slater. They had the right chemistry for their tango to end the night on a high note… and obviously, the judges were impressed, since they gave them a leading score of 21.
“Dancing With The Stars” airs on Monday nights at 8pm ET on ABC.