"DWTS" Week 1 Recap: Dancing in [an ABC Studio Version of] the Street
Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas in the Season 25 premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" (Eric McCandless/ABC)
It's fall! The leaves are changing, everything everywhere is pumpkin-spice flavored—and "Dancing with the Stars" is back on the air. For the 25th time. Season TWENTY-FIVE, y'all: Here we go.
To get us excited about the latest crop of freshly spray-tanned celebrities, "DWTS" opened its premiere episode last night with a jam-packed number that felt like the entirety of "Grease: Live" condensed into four minutes. Thankfully, the feverish montage also included footage of the pros doing some truly sensational dancing, which we're ALWAYS here for:
First-episode competitive performances are usually a little rough; most of these stars are just figuring out how to walk in their ballroom shoes, let alone dance in them. But last night's ep did include a few extra-sparkly routines. (We mean "sparkly" in both the literal and figurative sense, btw; the costume department was in fine, fine form.)
Speaking of "Grease: Live": Jordan Fisher, one of that show's breakout stars (and also an alum of Hamilton on Broadway) earned one of the highest scores of the night for his super-suave tango with Lindsay Arnold. Yes, fine, he has previous dance training, but come ON: You can't deny that he's a thousand times more fun to watch than, say, the dude from "Property Brothers."
Tying with Jordan for top score was Lindsey Stirling, the violinist who's actually performed on "DWTS" a few times and is buds with Derek Hough and other dance-world peeps. This girl clearly knows how to work a crowd, and her cha cha with Mark Ballas—he's back, hooray!—had all kinds of delightfully sassy hip action.
We had our money on Nick Lachey in this season's great married couple showdown—how could you bet against a boy-bander?—but we're darned if it wasn't his wife Vanessa who pulled out the better performance last night. Her cha cha with Maks Chmerkovskiy was surprisingly technical, earning her a solid 21 out of 30 from the judges.