Dancing With The Stars Season 31 Premiere Recap: Who Was Already Sent Packing?

Dancing with the Stars has a new home on Disney+ and a new co-host for Tyra Banks. Welcome back, Alfonso Ribeiro!

I am excited to recap this season of DWTS. Voting happens during each episode, with an elimination at the end. Yikes!

Each DWTS contestant selected their favorite party song to kick off the season. So, who impressed, and who was sent home? Let’s break it down!

Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong

Jordin Sparks, who won Season 6 of American Idol, partnered with Brandon Armstrong. Their cha-cha was fun, but Jordin seemed a bit nervous. The judges’ score was 26/40.

Sam Champion and Cheryl Burke

Fun fact: Cheryl Burke teased weatherman Sam Champion years ago about joining the show. They performed an elegant foxtrot. The judges pointed out some timing issues, but not bad overall. The judges awarded a score of 20/40.

Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev

Heidi D’Amelio is competing against her daughter, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio. Her cha-cha with pro partner Artem Chigvintsev was good, but not amazing. The judges’ score was 24/40.

Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart

CODA actor Daniel Durant, who is fully deaf, was partnered with Britt Stewart. Their tango was terrific! The judges gave the duo a score of 27/40.

Jessie James Decker and Alan Bersten

Country singer Jessie James Decker and her partner Alan Bersten performed a country-themed cha-cha. The judges’ score was 20/40.

Teresa Giudice and Pasha Pashkov

Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice hit the ballroom with pro Pasha Pashkov. In her opening package, Teresa discussed going to prison and how she wanted to do DWTS so that people could see the real Teresa.

The duo performed a Housewives-inspired tango. There was a table and a bedazzled turkey. Of course, Teresa flipped the table. She was very stiff during the routine, but she also has zero dance experience. The judges urged her to stay focused and use the passion that she feels in the actual dance. Teresa’s friend, and Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip co-star Kenya Moore, was there to root for her. The judges gave Teresa and Pasha a score of 20/40.

Wayne Brady and Witney Carson

Comedian Wayne Brady was paired with Witney Carson. Their cha-cha was funky and delightful. The judges’ score was 29/40.

Cheryl Ladd and Louis Van Amstel

Actress Cheryl Ladd and her partner Louis Van Amstel performed a flirty and smooth cha-cha. Judge Len Goodman loved their chemistry. The duo scored 21/40 points.

Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki

Vinny Guadagnino of Jersey Shore fame was partnered with new pro Koko Iwasaki. Vinny and Koko performed a salsa that lacked spice. His timing was off much of the time. Len was “disappointed” in Vinny’s performance, and I was, too. Move your hips, Vinny! The judges’ score was 17/40.

Shangela and Gleb Savchenko

Shangela is the first ever drag entertainer to appear on DWTS. He is dancing with Gleb Savchenko, and their salsa was a fiery delight. Shangela’s personality and charisma were perfectly showcased in the routine. The duo scored 28/40.

Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater

Actor Trevor Donovan was paired with Emma Slater. He shared that he has a phobia of dancing. The duo performed a quickstep. The judges’ score was 21/40. That was better than I expected.

Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy

Gabby Windey, who starred on The Bachelorette this season, teamed up with Val Chmerkovskiy for a fun-filled jive. The couple has great chemistry. They scored 28/40.

Joseph Baena and Daniella Karagach

Fitness model Joseph Baena danced an energetic jive with pro partner Daniella Karagach. Daniella’s creative choreography riffed on his bodybuilding. The judges’ score was 23/40.

Jason Lewis and Peta Murgatroyd

Sex and the City actor Jason Lewis partnered with pro Peta Murgatroyd. The duo’s cha-cha was rough. Jason seemed stiff and uncomfortable. Len again voiced his disappointment. The couple scored an 18/40.

Selma Blair and Sasha Farber

Actress Selma Blair was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in August of 2018. Her illness affects her balance and movement. Selma and her partner, Sasha Farber, danced a lovely Viennese waltz. The judges praised her fluidity and movement. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was brought to tears, as were some of the other contestants. It was simply beautiful. The judges’ score was 28/40.

Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas

Charli is a TikTok sensation. She was partnered with Mark Ballas, who is coming off a five-year hiatus. This pairing is fire! Their cha-cha was scorching hot. Judge Bruno Tonioli called their performance “the cherry on the cake.” They scored 32/40, which was the highest score of the night.

The Elimination

The bottom two couples were Teresa and Pasha and Jason and Peta. The judges unanimously decided to keep Teresa and send Jason home.


[Photo Credit: ABC/Andrew Eccles]