"DWTS" Week 1 Recap: Dancing in [an ABC Studio Version of] the Street

September 18, 2017

It’s fall! The leaves are changing, everything everywhere is pumpkin-spice flavored—and “Dancing with the Stars” is back on the air. For the 25th time. Season TWENTY-FIVE, y’all: Here we go.

To get us excited about the latest crop of freshly spray-tanned celebrities, “DWTS” opened its premiere episode last night with a jam-packed number that felt like the entirety of “Grease: Live” condensed into four minutes. Thankfully, the feverish montage also included footage of the pros doing some truly sensational dancing, which we’re ALWAYS here for:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcP19oXmRwU&list=PLK1f1bOs9XycnnCrDxRB4e9fFMpUeO879&index=1 expand=1]

First-episode competitive performances are usually a little rough; most of these stars are just figuring out how to walk in their ballroom shoes, let alone dance in them. But last night’s ep did include a few extra-sparkly routines. (We mean “sparkly” in both the literal and figurative sense, btw; the costume department was in fine, fine form.)

Speaking of “Grease: Live”: Jordan Fisher, one of that show’s breakout stars (and also an alum of Hamilton on Broadway) earned one of the highest scores of the night for his super-suave tango with Lindsay Arnold. Yes, fine, he has previous dance training, but come ON: You can’t deny that he’s a thousand times more fun to watch than, say, the dude from “Property Brothers.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR1m8RXLtjM&list=PLK1f1bOs9XycnnCrDxRB4e9fFMpUeO879&index=7 expand=1]

Tying with Jordan for top score was Lindsey Stirling, the violinist who’s actually performed on “DWTS” a few times and is buds with Derek Hough and other dance-world peeps. This girl clearly knows how to work a crowd, and her cha cha with Mark Ballas—he’s back, hooray!—had all kinds of delightfully sassy hip action.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1NN2s2_auQ&index=13&list=PLK1f1bOs9XycnnCrDxRB4e9fFMpUeO879 expand=1]

We had our money on Nick Lachey in this season’s great married couple showdown—how could you bet against a boy-bander?—but we’re darned if it wasn’t his wife Vanessa who pulled out the better performance last night. Her cha cha with Maks Chmerkovskiy was surprisingly technical, earning her a solid 21 out of 30 from the judges.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzEwOHGMwDw&list=PLK1f1bOs9XycnnCrDxRB4e9fFMpUeO879&index=14 expand=1]

Till next week, dance fans!