Season 20 of "Dancing with the Stars" kicked off last night with much fanfare, including a schmancy new opening credit sequence and the introduction of a special gold Mirror Ball Trophy (ooo). Not to be outshone by all that, the pros immediately treated us to an equally sparkly, pyrotechnical (no, literally—there were gold fireworks involved) routine choreographed by Mandy Moore. And we were off and running—or, rather, off and cha-cha-ing, foxtrot-ing and jive-ing.
This being "DWTS" week one, there were a few less-than-stellar performances from jittery celebs (Charlotte McKinney, you are soooo pretty, but yikes), as well as a few pleasant surprises (Michael Sam, what a delight!). But let's zero in on the frontrunners, shall we?
Those would be Rumer Willis, Riker Lynch and Nastia Liukin. It was especially validating to see Liukin and Derek Hough sail through their vintage-glamor-with-a-modern-twist fox trot, because we called this one: Liukin has been our pick to win it all since the Season 20 lineup was first announced. And that costume! Sequins and feathers and white gloves, oh my!
I'll admit to not being all that familiar with Riker Lynch. (He's a member of the band R5, for reference. Also, Google tells me he did a few seasons on "Glee"?) But the boy can move, and he has truly amazing hair, and his jive with Allison Holker inspired Bruno to do a Cruise-esque jump onto the judges' table, so...yeah, I'm on board!
Willis was last night's biggest and bestest surprise. The daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis (who were both in the audience—sitting in different rows, yeesh), she has definitely inherited some of her parents' serious starpower. Her intense, and intensely musical, fox trot with Val Chmerkovskiy to Hozier's "Take Me to Church" was fantastic.
What did you guys think? How badly do you want to be best friends with Patti LaBelle? Is Chris Soules actually a human person or just an awkward man-robot? Let us know in the comments—and see you back here next week for the recap of "DWTS" round two!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer