Season 31 of “Dancing with the Stars” debuted Monday evening September 19, 2022, after its crowned fall 2021 season Imane Shumpert the first-ever Mirror Ball champion of the basketball world’s upcoming show. There are no NBA stars in this year’s celebrity slate — or professional athletes, surprisingly — but the biggest change this year is where and how it airs. It left its original home on ABC and is streaming live for the first time on Disney+. Scroll down for our minute-by-minute commentary in our live blog.
There are a few other major changes affecting the show in its big move. The first is the return of the original showrunner “DWTS”, Conrad Greenwho had left the series after season 18. And the second is the addition of Alphonse Ribeirowho is now teaming up with Tyra Banks to share hosting tasks. Ribeiro is known to fans of the show as the season 19 Mirror Ball champion in 2014. He also replaced the former host Thomas Bergeron a week in season 21 where Bergeron was absent due to a family emergency.
The 16 couples competing for this year’s Mirror Ball Trophy are: fitness model Joseph Baena with pro partner Daniella Karagachactress Selma Blair with Sasha Farberactor wayne brady with witney carsonmeteorologist Sam Champion with Cheryl Burksocial media star Charli D’Amelio with Marc Ballasmodel Heidi D’Amelio with Artem Chigvintsevcountry singer Jessie James Decker with Alan Berstenactor Trevor Donovan with Emma Slateractor Daniel Durant with Britt Stewartreality tv star Therese Giudice with Pasha Pashkovreality tv star Vinny Guadagnino with a new professional Koko Iwasakiactress Cheryl Ladd with Louis van Amstelmodel and actor Jason Lewis with Peta Murgatroyddrag queen shangela with Gleb Savchenkosinger Jordan Sparks with Brandon Armstrongand “Bachelorette” star Gaby Windey with Val Chmerkovsky.
So how did they do the first night? And how did ‘DWTS’ fare on the first night at its new home on Disney+? Keep reading to find out (times shown are Eastern).
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Daniel Montgomery, 7:59 p.m. — It will be interesting to see how tonight’s show plays out online, aside from the lack of commercial disruption.
Jeffrey Kare, 8:00 p.m. – It’s time for the show!
DM, 8:01 p.m. — Feeding has just started for me.
JK, 8:00 p.m. – Same here.
DM, 8:01 p.m. – Well, nothing has changed in regards to a lavish opening production number.
JK, 8:02 p.m. — Clever transition in the ballroom.
DM, 8:04 p.m. – “I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be back in the ballroom,” says Alfonso Ribeiro after Tyra Banks introduces him. I’m curious how the show will use it during the season. Honestly, he’s probably better suited to the whole job than Tyra.
Cordell Martin, 8:06 p.m. – Here we are! Early prediction: Jason Lewis or Trevor Donovan will go home tonight.
DM, 8:07 p.m. – Trevor Donovan is already whipping abs trying to get those votes.
DM, 8:07 p.m. — For the first evening of competition, a somewhat vague theme where celebrities dance to songs that encourage them to party and dance.
Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong (Cha Cha)
DM, 8:07 p.m. — Jordin has no dance experience. She chose “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” as the first song of the night because Whitney Houston means a lot to her. They worked together on the movie “Sparkle”. There’s a lot of pressure on her because our chances are already putting her ahead to win the season.
JK, 8:08 p.m. “How nice of Jordin to pay tribute to his former co-star.
DM, 8:10 p.m. “Sher already has a lot of promise. Serious competitor.
JK, 8:10 p.m. — What a great performance to start the season!
CM, 8:11 p.m. – It was really good. Definitely a competitor
JUDGES – Len Goodman says it was “clean, clear, crisp”, a “fantastic job” with no gimmicks. Derek Hough tells her she has an “incredible presence” but needs to work on the placement of her feet. Bruno Tonioli thought she was a natural performer. Carrie Ann Inaba calls it “fabulous” and “incredible”, with “fluidity” and “strength”.
SCORES – Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Derek (6), Bruno (7) = 26 out of 40
CM, 8:14 p.m. “She deserved all 7s.
DM, 8:14 p.m. — Decent scores to start the evening, definitely deflated since it’s the first performance of the season.
Sam Champion and Cheryl Burke (Foxtrot)
DM, 8:15 p.m. – Sam is older than most of the successful dancers on this show (he’s 61), but Ginger Zee was a meteorologist who did well on the dance floor. But he’s inspired to try this because he’s taken away much of his youthful joy and artistry as a navy gay. So he definitely has the motivation.
DM, 8:17 p.m. — An average start. It has a decent pace, but a little clunky in places.
CM, 8:18 p.m. “Yeah, better than I expected. Three 5s and a 6.
JK, 8:18 p.m. “He seems to have some potential. His flamboyant personality certainly shines through in this performance.
JUDGES – Derek thought it was a “sweet” performance and he has an “amazing smile”, “overall a great first dance”. Bruno says “the forecast is good”, but the footwork was difficult as it has to look effortless. Carrie Ann called him “tender and sweet”, but he was nervous. Len enjoyed his “sunny disposition,” but there were “dark clouds” when it came to technique.
SCORES – Carrie Ann (5), Len (5), Derek (5), Bruno (5) = 20 out of 40
JK, 8:21 p.m. – More like all 5.
Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev (Cha Cha)
DM, 8:22 p.m. — I miss commercial breaks a bit. They gave me more room to breathe LOL.
CM, 8:24 p.m. – It was a bit safe. She definitely has potential. All 6.
JK, 8:25 p.m. — They certainly showed a lot of energy.
DM, 8:25 p.m. “Damn, my internet choked.
JK, 8:26 p.m. – Oh no!
DM, 8:27 p.m. — Here we go again, but I missed the second half of the dance and the judges’ comments.
CM, 8:27 p.m. “The judges pretty much told him to let go.
SCORES – Carrie Ann (6), Len (6), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 24 out of 40
JK, 8:28 p.m. “If she makes it to next week, she should easily be able to do it to an Elvis song.
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart (Tango)
DM, 8:29 p.m. – Whether Daniel is as good as former deaf contestant Nyle DiMarco will depend a lot on Britt’s teaching skills. She doesn’t know American Sign Language, but she has her interpreter there, so their communication will be essential.
CM, 8:31 p.m. — Daniel will be a crowd favourite. He did an excellent job.
JK, 8:33 p.m. – They really shone both in this routine and visually.
JUDGES “Carrie Ann thought that was amazing, he’s a top man with great lines and a little slip-up. Len compliments his frame and offense, he’s excited to see it develop as the show progresses. Derek can tell he is aware of his body, but he needs to move more and push his heel forward. Bruno was happy because Daniel is a “magnetic” performer with beautiful lines and a lot of power.
SCORES – Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 27 out of 40
DM, 8:34 p.m. — Best score of the evening so far!
CM, 8:34 p.m. – Wow.
Jessie James Decker and Alan Bersten (Cha Cha)
DM, 8:35 p.m. — Country stars have a strong track record on the show. She performs on “Sweet Home Alabama”, which reminds her of her home. She also works to balance the show with the responsibilities of motherhood and family.