Mirrorball, Mirrorball up for grabs, on which Dancing With the Stars couple should we keep close tabs?
That’s the question the ABC competition’s Season 22 premiere posed Monday, when 12 couples took to the parquet to prove their dancing prowess… or just pray that their number ended without any major injuries.
Indeed, the new crop of Bindi Irwin-wannabes includes competitors who are quick studies with charisma to spare (such as Good Morning America weatherwoman Ginger Zee and pro football player Von Miller), middle-of-the-packers who could go either way (such as Facts of Life alum Kim Fields and Donald Trump-ex Marla Maples) and dance-floor roadkill just waiting to be swept to the side (such as former pro football player Doug Flutie and Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera).
No eliminations occurred during the live, two-hour telecast, but we certainly got a sense of who’s in it to twirl, dip and spin it. So let’s review the two best and worst numbers of the evening:
BEST OF THE NIGHT, PART I
Nyle DiMarco and pro Peta Murgatroyd (Cha Cha) — While it seems a little preposterous that Murgatroyd had no idea that the America’s Next Top Model champion was deaf before they met, their chemistry and showmanship on the dance floor — as well as the fact that DiMarco’s hearing issues seemed to affect his performance not at all — made for a sizzling, sexy number. Judges’ Score: 23/30
BEST OF THE NIGHT, PART II
Wanya Morris and pro Lindsay Arnold (Cha Cha) — The Boyz II Men singer’s enthusiasm was infectious, his style was on point, his connection with Arnold was palpable and his agility was a pleasant surprise as the pair danced to “Motown Philly.” Plus: Bonus points for the authentic orange tables on the Geno’s Steaks set at the beginning of the number. Judges’ Score: 23/30
WORST OF THE NIGHT, PART I
Mischa Barton and pro Artem Chigvintsev (Tango) — Inaba’s critique of the O.C. star’s dispassionate inaugural routine basically amounted to “Points for trying!,” and sadly, that’s the best that could be said for Barton’s tepid turn on the floor. (Side note: Anyone else feel really bad when the actress was on the verge of tears during judging?) Judges’ Score: 16/30
WORST OF THE NIGHT, PART II (BY A MILE)
Geraldo Rivera and pro Edyta Sliwinska (Cha Cha) — Turns out, Sliwinska spent her DWTS absence in Al Capone’s vault! We kid… but seriously: The start of Rivera’s dance, which made light of his 1986 investigative TV news special, was the only non-cringeworthy moment of the whole shebang. A big smile and outstretched arms will nab you a lot of beads at Mardi Gras, but without the footwork to back up the bravado, Rivera likely will be one of the first dancers to go home this season. Judges’ Score: 16/30
That’s what we thought, but now it’s your turn. Which premiere routines will get your vote? Which couples should prepare to say goodbye? Hit the comments with all your thoughts.