Sparkle and shine! Dancing With the Stars week 1 started out hot and fiery. Celebrities like Kaitlyn Bristowe, Skai Jackson and Justina Machado dazzled in gorgeous costumes and spicy dance numbers for the debut of season 29.
During the couples’ debut performances, Skai, 18, definitely set herself apart as the one to beat this season after receiving the highest score of the night with partner Alan Bersten. The pair performed a fun tango to “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj.
Alan, 26, won the mirrorball trophy last season with Bachelorette alum Hannah Brown, and he definitely knows what the judges and viewers at home are looking for. However, Justina, 48, Kaitlyn, 35, and Catfish creator Nev Schulman, 35, fell just one point behind the former Disney actress, reminding the team that no one is safe in the ballroom.
There are a lot of change ups this season. The celebrity and pro duos are not performing in front of a live audience due to social distancing guidelines and safety precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the show was still able to capture the glamour of a usual season with incredible lighting and music.
Tyra Banks, who rocked a stunning red ball gown during the premiere on September 14, is now an executive producer of the reality dance competition and took over as host for Tom Bergeron. Cohost Erin Andrews also did not return. The America’s Next Top Model creator is determined to make season 29 unforgettable.
“I am so excited, you guys,” the America’s Got Talent judge, 46, said in July shortly after news broke she was joining the show. “This is going to be, like, bananas. We’re going to take Dancing With the Stars to the next level. Did you think I was going to waltz on over to Dancing With the Stars and not bring you with me? Oh no, baby, we will be smizing on ABC.”
Another big difference is longtime judge Len Goodman is absent. Former pro dancer Derek Hough took his seat along with Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.
ABC said in a statement English ballroom dancer not being on season 29 is due to “current circumstances,” but he “will still be part of the show in a different capacity sharing his ballroom expertise from London.”
Len previously hinted that he would not be able to appear on the show due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. “I like going over [to the U.S.] because it’s 10 weeks of being in the sun. and I only work one day a week. But of course, there’s this lockdown thing at the moment with only Americans being able to fly into America or if you’ve got a green card. I haven’t got either of those so who knows,” he told The Sun in June.
Derek is a familiar face on DWTS, and fans were happy to see his passion. “This show has and will always be incredibly special to me. This show has gifted me with so many memories and priceless experiences,” the brother of former pro Julianne Hough said in a statement via Instagram on September 8. “Amazing relationships, growth, triumphs, failures, struggles, fears, celebrations, fun and just pure entertainment. I look forward to returning as a judge. I hope to be fair, fun, encouraging, honest, helpful, compassionate and I look forward to watching these amazing journeys unfold.”
It was a night for the books! Keep scrolling to see the scores, costumes and more from DWTS week 1.
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