After watching Nyle DiMarco take home the coveted Mirrorball Trophy last season, a new set of stars is ready to hit the dance floor. The American dance competition has been long awaited as fans all around believe this could be another remarkable time of dancing. There is a lot in store this season such as new dancing duos, returning judges and professionals, and creative theme nights. The biggest dance party on the planet is just getting started!
The lovely Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews are back to guide this new season of dancing as well as the famous judges. The dance floor will be accompanied by Judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and returning to the ballroom, Judge Julianne Hough. Hough is not the only returning face; Dancing with the Stars pros Derek Hough, Cheryl Burke, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are back and better than ever. Something else to look forward to is the new cast. This season’s celebrity lineup includes Olympic medalists, TV icons, musical legends, political figures, and more. The thirteen celebrity dancers are: Amber Rose, Calvin Johnson Jr., Jake T. Austin, James Hinchcliffe, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Laurie Hernandez, Jana Kramer, Marilu Henner, Maureen McCormick, Rick Perry, Ryan Lochte, Terra Jolé, and Vanilla Ice.
Fans have all been itching for a little more Cha-Cha in their lives, and the long desire was fulfilled Monday night. The night started off with a fantastic opening number at the Los Angeles Griffith Observatory. Since the cast was announced, there has been much speculation as to the presence of Ryan Lochte. After his involvement in an incident during the Rio Olympics, all eyes are on him. Seeking what he calls his “second chance,” the swimmer took center stage delivering a great attitude and a smile. After Lochte finished his Foxtrot performance, the show took a bit of a turn. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was in the middle of critiquing Lochte when she was interrupted by the shouts of protesters in the audience. Two men, dressed in anti-Lochte shirts, rushed the dance floor yelling “Liar! Liar!” at Lochte and his partner Burke. The show continued to stay split screen, only showing the prolonged shot of Inaba repeatedly saying, “Excuse me! Excuse me!” Security reacted fast, taking down and further escorting the protesters out of the ballroom. Pro dancer Derek Hough ran out to pull the curtain on other audience members sporting anti-Lochte shirts. Host Tom Bergeron quickly cut to a commercial break, and millions of viewers at home were left in shock as to what had just occurred. When the show returned, Bergeron tried to lighten the mood by thanking the show’s security guards. Lochte looked clearly disturbed, but thankfully no one was harmed in the midst of all the chaos. The LAPD arrested Sam Sodoeh and Barzeen Soroudi. They were booked for trespassing during a recording. Lochte said he was “hurt” by the incident, telling Bergeron, “so many feelings are going through my head right now.” Fellow contestants and audience members supported Lochte, and the night of dancing continued.
On another note, it was still a fantastic night of dancing. Up first was Henner and her returning partner Hough, scoring a total of twenty-seven points. The leaderboard was tied at the top with contestants Hernandez and Hinchcliffe scoring a total of thirty-one points. Hernandez was a favorite going into the night and did not disappoint. She paired well with her partner Val Chmerkovskiy and easily won the hearts of America, as if she had not already. Hinchcliffe and his partner Sharna Burgess also wowed the crowd with their graceful Foxtrot. People’s eyes are now on the race car driver, predicting to see him speed towards the Mirrorball this season. At the bottom of the leaderboard, Perry and his partner Emma Slater scored a twenty on their stiff yet fun Cha-Cha.
Overall, the Dancing with the Stars season twenty-three premiere was one for the books. A new episode of Dancing with the Stars will return Monday, Sept. 19. Even amongst the drama, this fall has a lot in store. Tune in next week to follow more of America’s hit dancing show.