Dancing With the Stars Season 22 Premiere Recap

Dancing With the Stars Premiere Recap: Who Wowed? Who Needs to Go Now?

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:

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

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

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

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.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Marie says:

    Mischa did not seem to have much of a personality whenever they showed her on camera. Wouldn’t shock me if she is gone first.

  2. Angela says:

    Yeah, I did feel for Mischa when she teared up. She did try, but ultimately I agree with the judges’ critique. Hopefully she can get another chance to prove herself, though, and do a little better.
    Also agreed on Geraldo. I did like the cheeky nod to his Capone thing, but the rest of the dance was…eesh. I don’t want to see Edyta leave so soon, it’s wonderful to see her back, but Geraldo definitely won’t stick aorund long.
    A couple other iffy dancers aside, though, tonight wasn’t too bad overall. I think we’ve got a decent competition shaping up in general here. I quite like Jodie, Wayne, Nyle, and the UFC girl in particular. Looking forward to seeing where this season goes.

  3. Ash says:

    I’m so proud of Nyle!

  4. MaryAnn says:

    Surprise! I completely agree with your assessments. Nyle just made my jaw drop, and Geraldo was so bad it was amazing. He seemed limber just moving around — so why didn’t he apply that to the dance floor?

  5. liame says:

    I thought Kim Fields was good. Love her smile and energy. I also enjoyed Nyle, he’s easy on the eyes. Morris was good too, but the waist line needs some work, those moves he performed would look a lot better with a slimmer middle. ;)

  6. TrickyGreyArea says:

    I was mainly watching for Nyle and I was so excited with how he performed and the praise he received. But Wanya was the big surprise for me. He was so light on his feet and fun to watch! Glad that I have a couple of pairs to look forward to, and I completely agree with your best of the night. I did feel bad for Mischa and hope she gets another shot to improve.

  7. A three-way tie for first place and Ginger and Val don’t get listed as part of the best of the night? They definitely deserved to be included in that list!

    • Maddie says:

      I completely agree with you. I thought she was fantastic last night and definitely deserved to be part of the best of the night group!

  8. There was lots of good to love in this premiere…. I loved that Tony did not get a dud – he can work with Marla, she has spunk, a personality and can move to a beat. This is his best showing in many many seasons! I would not say middle of the pack, but definitely not top tier.

    I was also beyond surprised with the fighter lady (sorry, I have no idea who she is, but was not expecting that from her)… Mark has something to work with.

    Jodie had a good dance… I got the feeling that she was holding back. She moved better in the commercials. Still, Keo will not be eliminated in week 1…

    Cuz that honor should go to Geraldo… or maybe Misha (I expected more out of her).

  9. Bwhit says:

    I was so happy Witney incorporated some of Von’s sack dances into their foxtrot! I am 100% biased because I love Von Miller and his personality, but I think he did great and I loved seeing his teammates in the beginning :)

  10. sanchopanza says:

    If there is any way that Geraldo doesn’t go home first it will be because somebody else drops dead this week. I would never expect him to be much of a dancer but this was ridiculous. He could have learned what he did that afternoon.

  11. michaelene says:

    Mischa could not have done anything better….all comments by judges reflected ( but did not say ) CHOREO!!!!!!!

  12. michaelene says:

    she did all possible with the choreo. Judges negatives were easily traced to choreo….but they dare not say that of xourse!

  13. michaelene says:

    Whates Chreo have to do with it???? EVERYTHING!!!! Artem was the culprit. Watch the comments. Poor girl did as was instructed. But….pros get no critique!

  14. Emma says:

    Pretty cool that the opening number was danced to a mashup of my favorite American Idol of all time, Haley Reinhart’s song “Show Me Your Moves”!

  15. dragons3 says:

    UM, Rivera scored a 13, not a 15, and Doug Flutie scored a 15. And no, I didn’t feel sorry for Barton. Everything she did felt forced and unnatural. I think she and Rivera will go down as among the worst ever, along with Master P and Kate Gosselin.

  16. Sandy says:

    Not surprising that Paige VanZant did well. On ABC’s website it states: “Paige grew up dancing in Dayton, Oregon where her parents owned a dance studio.” Another dancing celebrity who probably should not be a contestant.

  17. James says:

    The sad thing is that I really love mischa Barton and love to see her get better and improve.

  18. caroline says:

    OMG !! WHY??? REALLY??

  19. Cathy says:

    Geraldo should DEFINITELY go first! He actually made Master P look good!