Recap: “Dancing With The Stars” Season 29 Premiere

After what feels like a lifetime, Dancing With The Stars is finally back for season 29.

The season 29 premiere was jam-packed with a new host, 15 (!!!!) celebrities, two new pros, the reveal of this season’s celebrity/pro pairings, and the return of Derek Hough to the ballroom. If week one is any indication of what’s to come in future weeks of the competition, we are in for a great season.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all 15 dances from the season 29 premiere:

AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke – Jive

When it was announced that AJ McLean was going to be on this show, I immediately put him in my final four. And this week’s dance made me feel more confident in that choice. Bruno even confirmed my thinking that by saying that AJ has the talent to go all the way. Overall, it was a great start to the new season.

Score: 18 (6, 6, 6)

Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko  – Tango

This is super vain but my very first thought upon learning about this pairing was, “Damn, that’s one hot pairing.” Tango is a really hard dance to tackle in week one and it showed in Chrishell’s performance as she made a few mistakes (for further evidence, see the judges’ scores). But she definitely has potential and I’ll be excited to see what she does next week.

Score: 13 (4, 5, 4)

Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd – Foxtrot 

What a great first dance from this former football player! The judges were quick to point out Vernon’s overall elegance and smooth movements, which is something I noticed as well. The Vernon-Peta pairing has a lot of potential; with Vernon’s athleticism and Peta’s track record with athletes, look for them to have a deep run.

Score: 17 (5, 6, 6)

Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe – Cha Cha 

Anne Heche is a character for sure. When she started “stripping” in her package, I didn’t know what was happening. But she was surprisingly good in her first spin around the ballroom. Her firecracker personality shown through her dance and I’m excited to see how long she lasts.  

Score: 18 (6, 6, 6 )

Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong – Salsa 

This was one of my favorite dances of the night. Carrie Ann said if this is where Jeannie is starting, then she is on a fantastic path and I could not agree more. Brandon has gotten royally screwed his first two seasons but based on that first dance, I think Jeannie is going to be his breakout partner.

Score: 18 (6, 6, 6)

Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess – Quickstep

First of all, SHARNA, I’VE MISSED YOU. She and Jesse Metcalfe are my dream partnership and I didn’t even realize it before tonight. The quickstep is a physically demanding dance and a hard one to pull off on week one, but overall I thought he handled it well.

Score: 18 (6, 6, 6)

Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten  – Tango

I also had Skai in my final four when the cast was initially announced and I’m feeling pretty good with that choice now. She and Alan had some issues with their heigh difference, but overall it as a very beautiful, clean and strong dance from Skai. 

Score: 21 (7, 7, 7)

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev – Cha Cha 

I’m so happy Kaitlyn is on this season. She’s wanted this for so long and I love seeing her dream come true. She has a little bit of a dance background and it definitely showed in her first performance. Derek thought everything was beautiful but felt safe and very placed and I can definitely see where he’s coming from. Overall, a very strong showing on week one. 

Score: 20 (6, 7, 7)

Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson – Foxtrot

I don’t know what I expected from Nev, but it definitely wasn’t that. I don’t really have a lot to say except that was quite good and I cannot wait to see him tackle more dances in the coming weeks.

Score: 20 (7, 7, 6)

Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart  – Cha Cha

Carrie Ann put it best: Johnny Weir should have been on this show years ago. But I’m glad he wasn’t because I think he and Britt are the right pair. And speaking of Britt, I’m so excited for her first season as a pro. I thought her choreography in week one was AMAZING and I’m excited to see what her other dances look like.

Score: 18 (6, 6, 6)

Justina Machado and Sasha Farber – Cha Cha

THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN. Justina and Sasha made me want to get out of my chair and dance with them. Derek highlighted her charisma and her musicality, as Bruno pointed out, was on point as well. I can’t wait to see her dance next week!

Score: 21  (7, 7, 7)

Charles Oakley and Emma Slater – Salsa

I love Charles Oakley, but dang that was rough. The technique needs a lot of work and unfortunately I don’t see him sticking around too long. I’m here for Emma as a hype-woman though; I’ve never seen someone more hyped to get a 12 in my life.

Score: 12 (4, 4, 4)

Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy – Foxtrot 

I don’t really have a ton to say about Monica. I thought it was a pretty standard foxtrot. Derek said it was “beautiful, graceful and pleasant to watch” and I’d have to agree.

Score: 19 (6, 7, 6)

Nelly and Daniella Karagach – Salsa

First off, new pro Daniella can dance; like holy crap – she’s amazing. I think this is a fantastic pairing and pretty much loved everything about that routine. Based on the 28 seasons of this show that I’ve watched, I thought Nelly was better than a 16. But hey, I have no actual dance training so what do I know?

Score: 16 (5, 5, 6)

Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov – Paso

I don’t want to give more attention to Carole Baskin than I need to so I’ll keep this short: it was bad, y’all. Like Sean Spicer and Master P level bad. I don’t know how I’m going to sit through this for another week but I guess I’m going to have to *eye roll*.

Score: 11 (4, 4, 3)

What did you think about the season premiere of Dancing With The Stars? Let me know in the comments below.

Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.

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