On the 20th Season of “Dancing with the Stars,” there were few surprises, and the biggest stars were in the audience–Demi Moore and Bruce Willis supporting their daughter Rumer Willis. Yet the most touching moment was brought to the dance floor by a relative unknown: Former combat soldier Noah Galloway who is dancing with Sharna Burgess.
This season, as last, there are four judges: Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli. Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews return as hosts.
This season, Cheryl Burke and Karina Smirnoff will not return, bit Kym Johnson, who had been acting as a judge in the Australian version, returned to ballroom competition.
At the end of the night the judges leader board was as follows:
- Rumer Willis & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 32 (8, 8, 8, 8)
- Riker Lynch & Allison Holker: 31 (8, 7, 8, 8)
- Nastia Liukin & Derek Hough: 30 (7, 7, 8, 8)
- Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson: 28 (7, 7, 7, 7)
- Chris Soules & Witney Carson: 26 (7, 6, 6, 7)
- Michael Sam & Peta Muratroyd: 26 (6, 6, 7, 7)
- Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess: 26 (7, 6, 6, 7)
- Patti LaBelle &Artem Chigvintsev: 25 (7, 6, 6, 6)
- Suzanne Somers & Tony Dovolani: 25 (6, 6, 6, 7)
- Willow Shields & Mark Ballas: 25 (6, 6, 6, 7)
- Redfoo & Emma Slater: 22 (6, 5, 5, 6)
- Charlotte McKinney &Keoikantse Motsepe: 22 (6, 5, 5, 6)
The Hunger Games actress Willow Shields and Mark Ballas were up first and performed the cha cha cha. Shields at 14 is the youngest ever competitor and put in a good performance.
“The odds are definitely in your favor” Bruno Tonioli said, but he said to attack it more.
Carrie Ann Inaba thought Shields showed incredible sophistication in that she kept her chest open and her neck elongated.
Reality TV Shark Tank panelist and business man Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson were next. And they needed a few dance troop members to help finish the piece. Herjavec is a billionaire businessman with a private airplane, but he has style and was surprising good.
Julianne Hough said she was “completely blown away” and his enthusiasm was really infectious.
Tonioli said Herjavec had so much fun with it, but he had timing issues.
Inaba thought he was crispy and clean.
Len Goodman commented, “I expected the shark to be a fish out of water,” but Goodman was pleasantly surprised. He did caution Herjavec that he was too light on his feet.
R5 singer and actor Riker Lynch and Allison Holker was next and he made a rock star entrance. He has a goofy style but he certainly knows how to spot to the audience.
Tonioli interrupted Bergeron. Tonioli claimed he was standing on the table so he could see the whole performance. Tonioli then pronounced that Lynch has “the coolest vibe I’ve seen since my friend Billy Idol,” and said Lynch was cool, hip and brilliant.
Inaba said Lynch was free, explosive and exciting, but “I wouldn’t call it graceful at all.”
Goodman described the performance as having lots of energy and attack but next week. Lynch will be performing the foxtrot and he need to refine it.
Charlotte McKinney, the busty model, was teamed up with dance pro Keoikantse Motsepe who is making his second appearance on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Inaba said she was “so much fun to watch.”
Goodman applauded that although she made a mistake, she carried on as if nothing had happened.
Hough noted that her top half really great, but the bottom half was where there were problems.
Tonioli called her “America’s most imposing frontage” and noted that she was off the beat while dancing.
Soul singer Patti LaBelle was gorgeous in her lustrous gold gown. At 70, she was game for anything. Her performance was simple but graceful and the lady has great musicality.
Goodman said she was lovely with naturalness and ease.
Hough said LaBelle has such a presence and called her a gorgeous, graceful goddess.
Chris Soules was the last celebrity named to the cast and for those who don’t watch reality TV, he’s the latest star of “The Bachelor.” He’s teamed with Witney Carson and is also engaged to a Whitney (with an “h”). Whitney Bischoff from Louisville, Kentucky, a fertility nurse, is the person who won the heart of the 33-year-old farmer from Arlington, Iowa.
Tonioli warned Soules, “don’t hunch forward,” because it makes him look like he’s “chasing a hog” instead of a pretty girl. He danced jive to “Footloose.”
Inaba told him to pay attention to his arms.
Goodman felt he needed some polish but had great potential.
The first openly gay NFL player Michael Sam danced with Peta Muratroyd.
Tonioli felt he need to watch his foot placement.
Hough told him there was “a groove within you that’s so fun to watch.”
Goodman added a bit of humor by saying that the only difference between them was that Sam was “the rear of the year” while Goodman was “as ass of the past, ” and asked him to work on his feet.”
As much as Inaba admired his rear, she told him, “Don’t stick your booty out” and while she loved his smile, she warned, “Don’t paste a smile on your face” but let it show naturally.
As expected Russian-American Nastia Liukin was well matched with returning prof Derek Hough. Liukin has five Olympic medals from the 2008 games in Beijing–one gold for all-around, a team silver, an uneven bars silver and balance beam silver and a floor exercise bronze.
Inaba found the routine polished and clean, but there was a lift. Hough said he hoped that the dress would obscure that, but it didn’t.
Goodman said that like the Big Apple (Liukin is attending NYU) it was sweet and delicious.
Hough warned Liukin to watch her upper back. Because of her flexibility she tends to over extend or arch her back. Tonioli also warned not to over-extend or overwork her moves.
You may not have heard of Noah Galloway, but he will change your way of thinking about dance. Galloway is missing a leg and his left arm. Choreographing for him is a challenge for Sharna Burgess.
Hough noted for the audience that the left arm usually leads and that means, Galloway has to lead in other ways.
Inaba found their performance profound and said it was broadening my scope of what dance looks like.
Goodman also called it a major triumph and said, “You don’t just inspire us but the whole of America.”
For those who remember “Three’s Company,” Suzanne Somers remains upbeat and blonde, but she isn’t stupid. She’s teamed with Tony Dovolani and they referenced her infamous thigh master.
Inaba called Somers “a ray of sunshine in this age-obsessed” culture.
Tonioli thought that Dovolani’s costume was so extreme that “even I wouldn’t dare to wear that.”
Hough wanted more. She wants to see more raunchy.
The surprise of the night was Rumer Willis who is an actress, but is better known as the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.
Inaba called her a fierce competitor.
Goodman told Chmerkovski that “Val this could be your season.”
Hough said the performance was a vision and you could feel “the passion that you both had,” can called them “definitely the ones to watch.”
Of course, there’s the question of the votes. Who has the votes with the audience?
Charlotte McKinney &Keoikantse Motsepe
Chris Soules & Witney Carson
Michael Sam & Peta Muratroyd
Nastia Liukin & Derek Hough
Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess
Patti LaBelle &Artem Chigvintsev
Redfoo & Emma Slater
- 22 (6, 5, 5, 6)
- “Juicy Wiggle”—Redfoo
Riker Lynch & Allison Holker:
Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson
- 28 (7, 7, 7, 7)
- “Bills” by LunchMoney Lewis
Rumer Willis & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Suzanne Somers & Tony Dovolani
Willow Shields & Mark Ballas
The first to go will likely be model Charlotte McKinney. Her rehearsal clip veered into that uncomfortable not-family-friendly area with visual jokes about her breasts. Generally models haven’t done well on DWTS and McKinney was tied at the bottom for last place with Redfoo. Redfoo, as a musician, can most likely depend upon his fan base. McKinney is unlikely to have a deep fan base despite that Super Bowl commercial.
The oldest two competitors, the 70-year-old Pattie LaBelle (with Artem Chivintsev) and the 68-year-old Suzanne Somers were tied with the youngest competitor, 14-year-old Willow Shields. That’s not good for Shields. LaBelle and Somers are more likely to have a fan base watching DWTS in my guess-timate. Shields is the youngest contestant ever, with Zendaya the close second at 16-years-old when she was competing. The oldest person to ever win on the show was Donny Osmond at 51. Jennifer Grey was the second oldest at 50.
A nice surprise was reality TV Shark Tank panelist and business man Robert Herjavec who is dancing with Kym Johnson. He had timing issues but his feet were crisp and clean.
Phone voting begins during the show on Mondays, and is open until 60 minutes after the conclusion of that show in your local time zone.
Online voting at both ABC.com and Facebook opens each Monday when the show begins on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and stays open until 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) the next day. During the season’s seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth week, online voting will open when the show begins on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and will stay open until 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) the following morning.