Recap: Dancing With The Stars, Season 21, Episode 1 “Season Premiere”

Kellie Freeze

They’re Baaaaaack!

It’s time to dust off your orange, satin shoes put on your top hat and get ready to dance. Tonight, we’ll be treated to a two hour kick-off and tomorrow, we’ll get another two hours of dancing, prancing and prepared TV video packages.

Dancing With The Stars Season 21, Episode 1
Julianne and Brooks shared their happy news on Instagram.

First off, congrats to Julianne Hough on her recent engagement to her cutie fiancé, NHL player, Brooks Laich, and her recent Emmy win (for choreography with brother Derek and Tessandra Chavez for Sia’s “Elastic Heart”).

Julianne picked up her new hardware on Saturday night at the Creative Arts Emmys, and Julianne and Brooks announces their happy nuptial news on Aug. 18. Julianne and former flame Chuck Wicks performed as partners on Season 8 of DWTS, so perhaps she and the Washington Capitals hunk will treat fans to a sneak peek of their wedding dance during Season 21!

At the start of Dancing With The Stars, Season 21, who is your front-runner? Take a moment, while everyone is still in the competition and pick your ponies. Who should clear a space on their mantle for the Mirrorball Trophy? Who do you think will be in the finals? Who do you think is first to go home? Sound off below and on with the show!

It's Season 21 and we're dancing in the street! Image credit: ABC/Adam Taylor
It’s Season 21 and we’re dancing in the street!
Image credit: ABC/Adam Taylor

ABC teased this season’s opening performance as “the biggest number in DWTS history shot on Hollywood Boulevard.” We saw snakes, lights, glitter, and a flash mob!! It was incredible!!

Tonight, the 13 celebrities and their professional partners will dance either a Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Salsa, Quickstep or Jive, as they vie for the judges points and America’s votes. The great news is that no one is going home this week, so tonight will be a chance to get to know everyone, and start to fall in love.

Victor Espinoza & Karina Smirnoff 1-855-234-5613
Dancing salsa to “G.D.F.R.” by Flo Rida
I’m so glad to see Karina back on the show! And Victor is the sweetest and I can’t wait to get to know this incredible athlete. Victor is tiny, and his short term memory is not good, due to the concussions that are part of his sport. I would have loved to see Victor in something other than racing silks and I’m surprised that he’s not a better dancer.
Julianne:
Big things come in small packages.
Bruno:
You got three dance thoroughbreds for the price of one!
Carrie Ann:
You’re tiny, there was no salsa, but you decide, “I’m going to horse it up.”
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 5, Julianne: 5, Bruno: 5, total: 15 out of 30.

Tamar Braxton & Valentin Chmerkovskiy 1-855-234-5612

Dancing With The Stars, Season 21, Episode 1
Tamar wears her game face even when she’s rehearsing.

Dancing the quickstep to “Do Your Thing” by Basement Jaxx
Tamar lucked out reigning the sexy reigning champ as her partner. And this lovely lady must have a dance background, because not only was she light on her feet, she gave great face throughout her performance!
Bruno: High Octane, high value, high class, incredible amount of content.
Carrie Ann:
You blew me away!
Julianne: You are a feisty, fierce woman…that was really, really great.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 8, total: 23 out of 30.

Chaka Khan & Keo Motsepe 1-855-234-5606
Dancing Cha Cha to “I Feel For You” by Chaka Khan
The queen of Funk and a real life Prince! (and a royal hottie too). I love This song by Chaka, that guy saying “Chaka Khan” over and over is so priceless. She’s not the best dancer, but she was entertaining, and will get better.
Carrie Ann: That was my groove in high school! It was super fun, and I could tell you were having , but sometimes you were having so much fun that you forgot the choreography.
Julianne: A glorious entrance for a glorious woman.
Bruno: You’re a goddess descending among mortals.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 5, Julianne: 4, Bruno: 4, total: 13 out of 30.

Hayes Grier & Emma Slater 1-855-234-5608
Dancing Cha Cha to “Cheerleader” by Omi Julianne:
Hayes is such a babyface and will do well with the younger viewers, in addition to his legion of fans. Who knew that 6-second Vines could land someone on DWTS! I guess we’re all six seconds from fame.
His partner Emma says Hayes dances like a T-Rex, but he has some good moves and it takes a lot of guts for a young guy to dance in public. He’ll do well in this competition.
Julianne: That got me really, really excited.
Bruno: You’re definitely worth more than 6 seconds, I could watch you for an hour.
Carrie Ann: You are so fun to watch.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7, total: 21 out of 30.

Andy Grammer & Allison Holker 1-855-234-5603

Dancing With The Stars, Season 21, Episode 1
Honey, if you lose those terrible pants, we’ll be good.

Dancing Foxtrot to “Marvin Gaye” by Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor
Andy is dancing in honor of his dance-loving Mom, who passed away 6 years ago. Awww, tears. And, as he said, “I got the best one!” he’s right, I love Allison Holker, she’s always a really creative choreographer. And he’s got great musicality and looks hot. He’s got a vibe that reminds me of Randy Travis or Chris Isaak.
Bruno: You were so dashing and so confident.
Carrie Ann: Your mother was smiling down on you, I could feel the tenderness.
Julianne: I loved it. I thought your connection was wonderful.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7, total: 21 out of 30.

Paula Deen & Louis van Amstel 1-855-234-5611
Dancing Quickstep to “Hey Good Lookin’ by Carol Welsman
Paula says that it’s been 50 years since she’s done any kind of organized dancing. You don’t say. The DWTS producers also spared no expense in fashioning a faux kitchen for Paula to putter in. I have to admit, after seeing the show open, where Paula was simply terrible, she was actually not too bad! And she looked like she was having fun. Also, she’s crazy.
Carrie Ann: I see a lot of potential with you.
Julianne: Week one is done, let’s see the Paula we know and love.
Bruno: The worst is over. You were attached to him like a barnacle.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 5, Julianne: 5, Bruno: 5, total: 15 out of 30.

Carlos PenaVega & Witney Carson 1-855-234-5605

Dancing With The Stars, Season 21, Episode 1
Anytime is “core time” even when it’s rehearsal time.

Dancing Jive to “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown
He and his wife, fellow contestant Alexa are too sweet; I love that they’re using this experience as a chance to work together. Damn, Carlos can dance; he was red-hot! He has a definite advantage, since he was a member of a boy band, so I ‘d expect that he’d be able to move. He just launched himself into the frontrunner category.
Julianne: I want to see a little more energy.
Bruno: Yes! I see the devil inside of you. Great performance!
Carrie Ann: Your musicality is off the charts. That was fabulous.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 7, total: 23 out of 30.

Alexa PenaVega & Mark Ballas 1-855-234-5602
Dancing Jive to “Whistle (While You Work It)” by Katy Tiz
I loved Alexa in Spy Kids, I think it’s adorable that she and her husband are working together by competing against each other. She looks super-sexy and I can’t wait to see them dance together in the team dances in later weeks!
Julianne: That was one of the hardest jives I’ve ever seen.
Bruno: It’s like Mr & Mrs. Smith. Wild & Sexy Latina, the way I like it.
Carrie Ann: You are so beautiful out there.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 8, total: 22 out of 30.

Kim Zolciak Biermann & Tony Dovolani 1-855-234-5609
Dancing Salsa to – “Hey Mama” by David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj, Afrojack & Bebe Rexha
Kim Says that her biggest challenge is going to be “letting go,” but I think her biggest challenge is rising above being a human prop. They threw backup dancers, crazy costuming, smoke, giant fans and more at that performance and it still felt like someone stomping in slow-motion. Kim was so proud of herself and cried at the end of her performance.
Carrie Ann: You did it, yay!…you better come back and go “Pow!” next week.
Julianne: I felt like that was slow-motion, I want to see you fire it up.
Bruno: You just gotta deliver.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 4, Julianne: 4, Bruno: 4, total: 12 out of 30.

Bindi Irwin & Derek Hough 1-855-234-5604
Dancing Jive to “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John
Bindi is made of sunshine and perfect skin. She is the personality that every young woman should aspire to be and is simply adorable. At the end of her perfect performance, she had the crowd on its feet. I can’t wait to see her next week.
Julianne: From the bush to the ballroom; the kicks, the flicks, the fun!
Bruno: You really are the wonder form Down Under.
Carrie Ann: You are a Superstar! You energy is contagious!
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 8, total: 24 out of 30.

Gary Busey & Anna Trebunskaya 1-855-234-5607
Dancing Cha Cha to “Dancing in the Street” by David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Gary Busey, What are you wearing and what happened to your face? He’s like the female equivalent of Paula Deen; crazy with a lot of teeth. His partner Anna sums it up as “It’s gonna be a trip, but it’s gonna be a fun ride.” But my husband nailed  it best, “He’s the drunk uncle at a wedding.” Bingo!
Bruno: It was like watching a summer blockbuster … Bring on the sequel!
Carrie Ann: In dance the one thing you have to do is give it your all … but every move, you were 1000%
Julianne: Gary, you are larger than life. I don’t know how great of a cha cha that was, but we were entertained.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 5, Julianne: 5, Bruno: 5, total: 15 out of 30.

Alek Skarlatos & Lindsay Arnold 1-855-234-5601
Dancing Foxtrot to “Ten Feet Tall” by Afrojack ft. Wrabel
WHo doesn’t love an American hero? He looks like a character who’s straight out of a G.I. Joe movie, handsome, smiling, strong. My heart is melting for him and his beautiful partner Lindsay, who I’m glad to see has risen from the dance troupe to be a pro. They are a cute partnership and I love that he’s the everyman, plucked from obscurity by a life-changing moment.
Carrie Ann: (speechless) I did not expect that at all. 
Julianne: You’re the surprise of the night.
Bruno: Outstanding.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7, total: 22 out of 30.

Nick Carter & Sharna Burgess 1-855-234-5610

Dancing With The Stars, Season 21, Episode 1
I want this as a poster for my bedroom wall.
My husband votes no.

Dancing a Cha Cha to “I Don’t Like It, I Love It” by Flo. Rida ft. Robin Thicke
OMG, I had a major crush on Nick Carter. My jaw dropped to the floor when he revealed that he’s not a good dancer. Whaaat? I guess the BSB dance moves were’t too complex, but after seeing him dance, we all know that Nick Carter is a liar. He was great and moves wonderfully. My teenage dream is alive and well.
Julianne:Your picture was on my wall.
Bruno: If you continue like that, Backstreet’s back next week, and the week after, and the week after.
Carrie Ann: You started out slow, but you kicked it in.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 8, total: 24 out of 30.

Tomorrow night, the Dancing with the Stars two-night premiere continues on from 9-11pm ET/PT with Dancing with the Stars: First Dances, where viewers have a chance to see the couples’ dances from the previous night one more time. The show will be packed with never before seen footage from the night before, extended training packages, exclusive interviews with the couples, and a glimpse of what’s to come on week 2 of Dancing with the Stars, where there will be two LIVE shows with couples dancing new routines for each night.

 

Dancing With The Stars, Season 21, Episode 1
If Bindi can handle snakes and crocs, 5-time champ (and super-nice guy) Derek Hough should be no problem!

How to Vote on Dancing with the Stars
For the first week, viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday night during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the Dancing with the Stars broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 15 hours, beginning from the start of the episode on the East Coast at 8pm ET/5pm PT and closing at 11am ET/8am PT the next day. For week two, viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday and Tuesday night during and up to 60 minutes after the end of Dancing with the Stars broadcast in each time zone. From week three until the finale, viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday nights during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the Dancing with the Stars broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook athttps://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8pm ET/5pm PT and closing at 8pm ET/5pm PT on Tuesday evenings.

Dancing With The Stars Season 21
DWTS Voting Phone Numbers for Season 21
DWTS Announces Pros for Season 21
DWTS Announces Celebrity Contestants for Season 21

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