"Dancing with the Stars" Week 1 Recap: Baskin and Better Than Ever

September 14, 2020

And just like that, we’re back in the ballroom for another season of “Dancing with the Stars.” While last night’s episode didn’t feel totally normal—with social-distancing measures in place, no “DWTS” troupe, and a glaring lack of a live audience—there’s something comforting about the fact that even amidst a global pandemic, “Dancing with the Stars” will continue, bedazzled costumes and all.

The premier also brought some new (and some familiar) faces—we got a first look at host Tyra Banks, we were joined at the judges’ table by former pro (and general icon) Derek Hough, and we saw the return of professionals Sharna Burgess and Artem Chigvintsev. And that’s all before we even got to the dancing! ICYMI, here are some of the dance highlights from last night’s premier.

Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten: Tango

Clearly, this season’s youngest contestant did not come to play. She came to slay, and to stay in this competition for the long haul. Skai came out of the gate running, bringing all confidence we would expect from our favorite Disney star, and showing off splits that put us all to shame. We bow to Queen Skai. The judges gave Skai and Alan three 7s, for a total score of 21.

Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart: Cha Cha

Okay, we know it’s “Dancing with the Stars,” emphasis on the “Stars” part, but we just need to take a sec to celebrate the fabulousness that is Britt Stewart, first-ever Black female pro on “DWTS.” Because, wow. She is fabulous. Okay, rant over (for now).

Johnny and Britt’s cha cha was all crazy costuming, dim lights, and fierce stares, and we couldn’t get enough of it. These are two people who know how to perform, and they gave their first performance their all. The judges gave Johnny and Britt three 6s, for a total 18.

Justina Machado and Sasha Farber: Cha Cha

It quickly became clear that Miss Justina is not taking this competition “One Day at a Time” (sorry, not sorry). She is giving it her all—all day, every day. Justina and Sasha brought the energy, they brought the footwork, they brought the hip action, they brought the chemistry, they brought us everything. The judges gave Justina and Sasha three 7s, tying them with Skai and Alan at the top of the leaderboard.

Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov: Paso Doble

Okay, we can admit that Carole Baskin may not have been the technically best performance of the night. But frankly, we promised you highlights, and if Carole Baskin dancing to “Eye of the Tiger,” wearing a tiger-print dress, in the presence of a fake tiger isn’t a highlight, we don’t know what is. Happy 2020.