Dancing with the Stars began its 31st season Monday in the most peculiar manner: by asking viewers to click a watch button on Disney+ at exactly 5 p.m./8 p.m. “Tune” in any earlier and you’ll get a reminder — NO, its at 8 p.m. ET, pal! Come back when it’s time. This is the new reality for dance fans accustomed to watching their favorite competition show that used to be on ABC.
Otherwise, the live, two-hour episode of DWTS began just like it used to (before the pandemic, that is) with a big opening number, an enthusiastic (but casually dressed) studio audience and a grand entrance by host Tyra Banks. A few updates were still made to the aging franchise: DWTS veteran Conrad Green is back as the executive producer and Season 19 Champion Alfonso Ribiero is now offering some much-needed help with the hosting duties by lobbing softball questions in the Sky Box.
Here’s what happened on night one:
Jason Lewis and Peta Murgatroyd. The Sex and the City actor greeted his two-time champion partner with flowers and a warning that he can only dance after consuming whisky or tequila. He was very much sober while performing the cha cha, so use your imagination if you missed the show. “What I need you to do is breathe. That is what is missing. You need to breathe and relax,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba. Score: 18 out of 40
Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki. The Jersey Shore alum says he’s a fish out of water in the ballroom. Apparently, he’s much more comfortable stripping with the Chippendales in Las Vegas, where he has residency. Maybe he should have ripped his shirt off during his salsa, because his number lacked heat. “I don’t get it, Vinny,” said judge Len Goodman. “This out of all the dances is a club dance and you didn’t show me that. It was rough, your legs were too flexed. I really wanted you to come out and knock my socks off.” Score: 17 out of 40
Jesse James Decker and Alan Bersten. The country crooner admitted to being a longtime DWTS fan but expressed reservation about her chances since she was kicked out of dance class as a kid. Fortunately, her cha cha to “Sweet Home Alabama” didn’t sour the judges. “You came out and sold it. The performance level was really high,” said Goodman. Score: 20 out of 40
Teresa Giudice and Pasha Pashkov. The former Real Housewives star said she’s doing DWTS because she wants viewers to see the real Teresa — not the one who went to prison for fraud. She’s also been working with a therapist to learn not to get triggered. That should be good news to the judges, I guess? Anyway, her tango to “We Found Love” wasn’t awful except the way she stared at the ceiling was just odd, man. “I saw you looking up a little bit. Think really wide, not up or down or wide,” said judge Derek Hough. Score: 20 out of 30

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