Recap: Dancing With the Stars Season 22 Premiere “First Dances”

Dancing With the Stars Season 22 Premiere Kellie Freeze
image credit: ABC/Adam Taylor
Dancing With the Stars Season 22 Premiere
Image credit: ABC/Adam Taylor

Welcome to DWTS Season 22! This year, we have a dozen new celebrities to fall in love with, and in only a few months, one of them will raise the mirror ball trophy in victory.

Tonight, It’s a 2-hour season premiere hosted by two-time Emmy Award-winning host Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews (sports host and Dancing with the Stars season 10 finalist), with another remarkable opening number that was a mix of pre-taped and live dancing. I loved that the routine opened with Len high atop a skyscraper overseeing the fun; on top is where Len belongs.

Dancing With the Stars Season 22 Premiere
Image credit: ABC/Byron Cohen

I am so glad that this season, we welcome back head judge Goodman, who took a break last season, and he rejoins judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. When I interviewed Tonioli, he crowed, “It’s the original three!” as judge Julianne Hough is stepping away from the series this season, as is her brother, dance pro (and 6-time champion), Derek, who is preparing to star in Broadway’s Singing in the Rain.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Kim Fields & Sasha Farber 1-800-868-3406
Dancing a Cha Cha to “Sax” by Fleur East
I love Kim, she has an effervescence that is timeless. And Sasha is an adorable charmer that I fell in love with in Season 20 when he stepped in for the injured Derek Hough. Kim is a sassy lass whose feistiness will be a welcome addition to the Dancing With the Stars cast. It’s incredible to start off a night, let alone a season, and Kim was high energy and full of fun.
Len: I liked it — not all of it — but I liked it… That was a great start to the show
Bruno: You’re so saucy; you can blow my sax and whistle any time.
Carrie Ann: What I see in you is a whole lotta fierceness in a little package.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 10, Bruno: 10, total: 30 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Paige VanZant & Mark Ballas 1-800-868-3410
Dancing a Fox Trot to “Ain’t Got Far To Go” by Jess Glynne
Tough beauty Paige is going to be a great partner for creative choreographer Mark. It’ll be fun for watch Paige transform from an aggressive athlete to a gentle dancer. I thought she had lovely arm positions, which make me think that she may have some prior dance training.
Bruno: Bless you, the flying beauty… I wasn’t expecting you to be so light on your feet.
Carrie Ann: She’s a goldmine, there is so much potential!
Len: I like it! I liked the musicality in your arms.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7, total: 21 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Doug Flutie & Karina Smirnoff 1-800-868-3402
Dancing a Foxtrot to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
Aww, who doesn’t love Doug Flutie and his tasty Flutie Flakes?!? Doug’s wife taught dance and his daughter is a dancer, so now Daddy is trying something new. And Doug has always been an underdog so he looks forward to proving any naysayers wrong. It’s had not to look at him and smile.
Carrie Ann: You almost fumbled Karina once, but you got her back. You had a few stumbles, but you never lost your place in the dance.
Len: That was a song by Neil Diamond, but it wasn’t a diamonds. But it did have sparkle.
Bruno: It wasn’t all smooth sailing; you ran into choppy water.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 5, Len: 5, Bruno: 5, total: 15 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Jodie Sweetin & Keo Motsepe 1-800-868-3405
Dancing a Tango to “Confident” by Demi Lovato
When I was a kid, I loved Jodie. I was a big Full House fan and I recall her doing a few dance routines on the show. I am also glad that the reboot, Fuller House, is doing well on Netflix, even though it’s a different series than the original. Jodie also has an interesting personal life that I hope we’ll get to learn about as the season goes on. And finally, Keo gets a partner who is going to stay around for more than one week!
Len: It had spirit, it had attack, it had attitude.
Bruno: Television’s sweetheart has a bit of a bite in her. I didn’t know you could be so alluring!
Carrie Ann: That was very impressive.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 6, Bruno: 7, total: 20 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Geraldo Rivera & Edyta Sliwinska 1-800-868-3403
Dancing a Cha Cha to “Treasure” by Bruno Mars
I can’t believe that Geraldo is 72! And he looks exactly the same as when I was glued to my TV when he opened Al Capone’s vault. His dance was a graceful as Tommy Chong
Bruno: Very cunning strategy; you went minimalistic. Maybe you’re gonna dance next week?
Carrie Ann: Geraldo, I think you got distracted. Edyta did a hot move and you went “Whoo!” It took you a while to get back.
Len: Dancing is a work in progress. You’ve not there yet, but you’ve got to keep working.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 5, Len: 4, Bruno: 4, total: 13 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Marla Maples & Tony Dovolani 1-800-868-3407
Dancing a Quickstep to “Sparkling Diamonds” from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack
Marla is a beauty and is a spry 52. I’m sure she’s looking forward to moving past her marriage to Donald Trump and proving herself on her own terms. I don’t know much about Marla beyond her marriage, but since she acted on Broadway in the dance-heavy musical, The Will Rogers Follies, perhaps she will have a solid dance background. She had a few footing missteps, but who doesn’t love a glamorous gal?!?
Carrie Ann: Whoo Ho! That was fun!
Len: It was full of vim, vigor and vitality!
Bruno: I’m loving the uptown bombshell, don’t you think? Forget about “The Donald,” the ballroom is your trump card.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7, total: 21 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Wanya Morris & Lindsay Arnold 1-800-868-3412
Dancing a Cha Cha to “Motownphilly” by Boyz II Men
I could listen to Boys II Men all day, and I am excited to get him know as a person. And after Wanya’s first dance, he has to be on the top of everyone’s list of top contenders. I am floored by his energy and fast feet. He is going to be so much fun to watch this season!!!
Len: There was more packed into that than Bruno’s makeup bag.
Bruno: Ease, swag and swagger. Delicious!
Carrie Ann: You were bringing back my Fly Girl Days! You are a total twinkle toe in the making!
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 7, Bruno: 8, total: 23 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Ginger Zee & Valentin Chmerkovskiy 1-800-868-3404
Dancing a Jive to “Move” from the musical “Dreamgirls”
GMA’s fiery meteorologist is looking to find herself after becoming a mom a few months ago. She is the person who I think will make our jaws drop open with the zany things she says. I don’t know anything about Ginger, but I already love her attitude and would totally be friends with her.
Bruno: My dear, the weather forecast it looking pretty good! You work well under high pressure.
Carrie Ann: Watching you dance brings me back to Bindi Irwin, week 1. Pure Joy.
Len: The clouds parted and a ray of sunshine came to the floor. It was frisky, risky, fast and furious.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 7, Bruno: 8, total: 23 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Mischa Barton & Artem Chigvintsev 1-800-868-3408
Dancing a Tango to “In the Night” by The Weeknd
Mischa has a dance background, so let’s see how Artem makes he work. Artem actually says that she’s not a natural dancer, and after Mischa checked out her competition, she focused on her training. This isn’t a competition that she’s going to walk away with. I think she’s a little awkward-looking because she’s so tall! And her dance was not good. Not good at all. Hopefully, Mischa can regroup come back strong next week.
Carrie Ann: It is so hard or get out here when you’re not a natural dancer … You have a strong spirit and I saw that.
Len: It’s not in my nature to be nasty, but that was not a dance, that was walking.
Bruno: She went for the haunting and the moody. You needed more spunk.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 5, Len: 5, Bruno: 6, total: 16 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Nyle DiMarco & Peta Murgatroyd 1-800-868-3409
Dancing a Cha Cha to “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE
When I heard that the last winner of America’s Next Top Model was a deaf man, I was intrigued. Nyle is certainly beautiful to look at, and I love his soul. He’s excited to show what’s possible for hearing-impaired people and find success like Marlee Matlin. But unlike Matlin, who was able to hear some of the music and feel some of the beat, Nyle’s world is completely silent.
Len: I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t expect that. It was terrific.
Bruno: Shut up, are you for real?!? I have to touch you in case you are a fantasy. He’s real! You could be America’s Next Top Dancer.
Carrie Ann: I have so many mixed emotions. First I was like, Hot-damn, then I Was like wow, you were in the picket of the rhythm … This is a beautiful team to watch.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 7, Bruno: 8, total: 23 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Antonio Brown & Sharna Burgess 1-800-868-3401
Dancing a Quickstep to “Bad Men” by Pitbull
Antonio is such a showboat, and everything is always booming for the Steelers wide receiver. He has remarkably fast feet and has incredible strength and one of the most beautiful smiles in sports. And that hair is enviable. Are they doing to make him dance to the to “Whip It” with that hair like Devo’s hats.
Bruno: You remind me of Emmett Smith, one of my favorite champions.
Carrie Ann: Boomin! You are like a beast. There is something fantastic about you.
Len: For a dance that is so difficult, I think you did well.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 6, Bruno: 7, total: 21 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 22 Voting Phone Numbers

Von Miller & Witney Carson 1-800-868-3411
Dancing a Fox trot to “My House” by Flo Rida
Von is a large man. My husband says that he’s small for a NFL player, but he looks immense next to Witney. Von reveals that his post-NFL plans are to become a chicken farmer, and hopefully he won’t squash his partner like an egg.
Carrie Ann: You’re soft and silky.
Len: You didn’t take a soft option. You stayed in hold and went in a proper way.
Bruno: It was a hip-hop trot and it was mighty hot.
Judges Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 6, Bruno: 7, total: 21 out of 30.

Happily, no couples will be eliminated on week 1, and everyone will all advance to week 2 of the competition. So next week, we’ll set to see everyone do a Latin dance.

Voting for the Season 22 dancers will begin during the live show on Monday nights. According to the official rules provided by ABC, votes from fans are combined with the judges’ scores at the end of each week’s voting period. The couple with the lowest combination of votes and scores will be eliminated the following week. Fans can vote online, on Facebook, or by using the toll-free phone numbers associated with each celebrity.

Online Voting: To vote online on ABC‘s website, you must create a username and link to your email or connect instantly with your Facebook account.
Vote on Facebook: To vote on Facebook, head over to the VoteDWTS Facebook app.

Phone voting begins when the show starts (8pm ET/PT, 7pm CT) on Monday nights and ends 60 minutes after the end of the show in each viewing time zone.

Online voting on ABC and Facebook begins on Mondays at 8pm ET and remains open until 8pm ET the following day until finale week, when voting ends on Tuesday at 11am ET.

In addition, selected markets (New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco), gan gain access to free live stream coverage on Watch ABC or via the free ABC app for iPhone and Android mobile devices. If you live in one of the cities listed (lucky ducks!), you must verify your cable provider during the login process.

Dancing With the Stars > ABC > Mondays beginning March 21 at 8pm ET/PT

Cast photos credit: ABC/ Craig Sjodin
All images: © 2016 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.