"Dancing with the Stars" has returned for its 23rd season, with a lineup that includes two Olympians, award winning musical artists and many other people who are good at things besides ballroom dancing. Who will win the coveted Mirror Ball? Only time will tell, but American loves to see someone overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, experience personal growth and act a little bit silly. Place your bets now, people.
But before we get into the glittery goodness that was opening night, we have to spend a minute talking about the extremely weird Ryan Lochte protest that happened last night. Lots of peoplehave lots of thoughtsabout what went down, but we'll focus on the dancing. Back to ballroom!
So, where's Mark Ballas? I refuse to be happy about anything until he has returned to the dance floor. Everything else was OK, I guess. The end.
Just kidding! James Hinchcliffe, I see you. If you can handle a NASCAR (Race car? Really fast car? Halp.) you can probably handle your body on the dance floor. I mean, think about the proprioception those drivers must have! And pro-partner Sharna Burgess can certainly bring out the best in anyone. Their foxtrot was perfectly acceptable for the season premiere, and Hinchcliffe was clearly trying to "be elegant." We're excited to see what he looks like in a couple of weeks, when that elegance comes more naturally.
Another pro who brings out the very best in her partners? Our former cover star Witney Carson! This season, she's dancing with Rob Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice. Their cha cha was simple but showed promise, considering that Vanilla Ice obviously has a few hip-hop moves up his sleeve and can probably advance to more rhythmically complex ballroom steps. And since you often have to stop, collaborate and listen (I'm sorry) in the dance studio, we're pretty sure these two could go far.
We've saved the best for last: DS favorite Laurie Hernandez and pro-partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy lit up the dance floor with a sparkling cha cha. The two were giggling before they even started dancing! Since Hernandez is obviously equipped to win the season, we'd love to see constructive criticism from the judges so that she has something to improve upon.