'Dancing With the Stars' Season 24 Premiere: Best Lifts, Kicks, Tricks and Flips!
By Desiree Murphy
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The season 24 premiere of Dancing With the Stars was full of sweet surprises!
We've covered all the big moments from Monday's show HERE, but now, we're breaking down each piece of choreography. Who had the most difficult dance? Which star executed the best tricks? Which choreographer went above and beyond in the ballroom? The judges locked in their scores, and here at ET, we're doing the same. Keep reading for more!
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber - Tango, "Untouchable" by Tritonal and Cash Cash
Dance highlight: Ummm, the entire dance?! There were high kicks, dips and a beautiful spin towards the end of the number (and we can't forget about that flawless flip Simone executed during the show's opening number!). When it comes to level of difficulty, Sasha's choreography for week one exceeded our expectations, resulting in a well-deserved spot on the top of the leader board. Judges' score: 32/40. "That was the dance of the night." - Bruno Tonioli ET's score: 36/40. Because this was only week one of the competition, we feel the judge's scores were quite low. But what Simone and Sasha did on that stage Monday night was stronger than some of the performances we've seen from past contestants during their fourth or fifth weeks in the competition. Celebrity/fan reaction:
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev -- Viennese Waltz, "She's Always a Woman" by Billy Joel
Dance highlight: In addition to Nancy's flawless waltz steps and graceful arm movements, the former Olympic figure skater proved she's just as light on her feet as she is on the ice. Our two favorite moments happened at the 2:04 mark, when she arched her back and kicked her left leg in the air, and at 2:16, when Artem assisted her in a stunning spin that reminded us of something we'd see her execute on ice. Just beautiful! Judges' score: 28/40. "The movement was expressive." - Len Goodman ET's score: 33/40. We can't get over how great Nancy looked in the ballroom. She definitely knows how to use her arms, extending them just as a pro dancer would. Celebrity/fan reaction:
Nancy Kerrigan has been an idol of mine since I was a little girl figure skating and so happy she's on #DWTS she is a class act!
Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko -- Salsa, "XXPEN$IVE" by Erika Jayne
Dance highlight: Starting the dance atop a unicorn was certainly memorable, but when it comes to actual dancing, we have to give major props to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star's flexibility. Out of all the performances we saw during the premiere, Gleb's choreography was jam-packed with the most creative tricks, the best being a side split into a snake dive to the floor. Judges' score: 24/40. "Full of flair and confidence." - Len Goodman ET's score: 30/40. It's not easy keeping up with the young stars, like Simone and Normani Kordei, both 20. We think the judges may have forgotten that the reality star is 45 years old. When you take that into consideration, she killed it, and we can't wait to see more! Celebrity/fan reaction:
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold -- Quickstep, "Go Cubs Go" by Steve Goodman
Dance highlight: Aside from the fact that their costumes were everything (our favorite of the night!), David's slide on the ballroom floor at the beginning of their dance was the sure standout. It perfectly encapsulated the theme they were going for, plus, who knew a pro baseball player could make a move like that look so graceful? Judges' score: 28/40. "Favorite dance of the night … I didn't excpect that!" - Carrie Ann Inaba ET's score: 32/30. We have to admit, we were quite surprised by the former Chicago Cubs player's skills. We have no doubt he'll improve even more over the next few weeks, especially because he's in good hands with Lindsay. Celebrity/fan reaction:
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater -- Cha Cha, "24K Magic" by Bruno Mars
Dance highlight: Get it, Rashad! This dance had us majorly entertained from beginning to end, but the highlight occurred mid-dance, when the 31-year-old athlete executed a strong spin, perfectly in sync with Emma (watch at 2:08). Judges' score: 31/40. "You have your own groove and flavor." - Julianne Hough ET's score: 35/40. We've seen a lot of NFL stars on this show in past seasons, but judging from Rashad's week one performance, we're calling it now -- he may be the strongest football player-turned-dancer the dance competition series has ever cast! Celebrity/fan reaction:
Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- Viennese Waltz, "Make Something Beautiful" by Ben Rector
Dance highlight: The former Glee star appeared to be floating on air as she glided across the floor with Maksim. Her strengths were the multiple spins into smooth transitions Maks incorporated into the choreography, which were highlighted even more by Heather's flowy yellow dress. Our favorite? The pair's breathtaking move at the 2:17 mark. Judges' score: 28/40. "Beautiful lines." - Carrie Ann Inaba ET's score: 35/40. Heather may have prior dance experience (she's an expert in jazz!), but she's never danced ballroom before and mastering that style is no easy feat. We thought her performance was beautifully executed, and we're excited to see how much she improves over the next few weeks. Celebrity/fan reaction:
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy -- Quickstep, "Good Time Good Life" by Erin Bowman
Dance highlight: The Fifth Harmony starlet was a graceful beauty, sashaying her way across the ballroom in a stunning white dress. While we couldn't keep our eyes off her seemingly perfect form, that moment she kissed Val on the cheek was surely a highlight -- and a sweet surprise! Judges' score: 27/40. "Great way to set the tone." - Julianne Hough ET's score: 32/40. The quickstep is one of the hardest ballroom styles to master, so receiving this as her week one dance was a bit unfair. Luckily, Val helped Normani get through it like a true pro! Celebrity/fan reaction:
Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess -- Cha Cha, "Move" by Luke Bryan
Dance highlight: The professional bull rider definitely has moves, and proved it in the ballroom. That kick spin in the beginning set the bar high for the pair's sexy, cowboy-themed Cha Cha. Judges' score: 22/40. "You ooze a chemistry together that is ridiculous." - Carrie Ann Inaba ET's score: 30/40. In his pre-taped interview package, Bonner teased that he was "dancing with the prettiest lady in the house" and that "things could get spicy." Well, he wasn't joking -- they certainly did! We have no doubt Sharna will amp up the chemistry next week. Celebrity/fan reaction:
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd -- Cha Cha, "Let Me Love You" by DJ Snake and Tiesto feat. Justin Bieber
Dance highlight:The Bachelor star showed off a side of himself we've never really seen before Monday night, slaying Peta's choreography with fun, quick movements. His most memorable trick was at the end of the dance, when he perfectly assisted his partner in a spin on the floor. Judges' score: 24/40. "I know that you don't quit…" - Julianne Hough ET's score: 28/40. While Nick had his moments in the spotlight, our eyes kept going back to Peta. Moving forward in the competition, we think the reality star needs to step it up in order to keep up with his partner, and stay in the competition Celebrity/fan reaction:
Charo and Keo Motsepe -- Salsa, "Cuban Pete" by Mambo Compañeros
Dance highlight: Charo's still got it! A lift into an almost-backbend? We weren't expecting these moves this early on in the competition from the flamenco guitarist, but props to Keo for adding them in. Judges' score: 21/40. "You were a spicy queen of everything … you were hot, girl!" - Julianne Hough ET's score: 25/40. Let's not forget Charo is the oldest competitor this season. At 66 years old, we were highly impressed by her ability to keep up the energy and entertain us with her sassy personality throughout the dance. Celebrity/fan reaction:
Chris Kattan and Witney Carson -- Cha Cha, "What Is Love" by Haddaway
Dance highlight: Who says lifts are just for the girls? We were expecting the signature head nods from A Night at the Roxbury, but we loved that Witney surprised us by incorporating a fun lift for the Saturday Night Live veteran, executed by two male backup dancers, nonetheless, towards the middle of their routine. Judges' score: 17/40. "You pulled it off." - Len Goodman ET's score: 21/40. OK, we totally agree that Chris needs some extra time to practice, but we think the judges were way too harsh on his scoring. As Witney told ET last week, what he can do is limited due to multiple injuries and surgeries. As long as he shows fans he's ready to improve next week, we're hoping his setbacks won't cause him an early elimination. Celebrity/fan reaction:
Mr. T and Kym Johnson -- Cha Cha, the theme from The A-Team by Mike Post, Peter Carpenter and The Daniel Caine Orchestra
Dance highlight: Though there were a lot of missteps in this number (The A-Team star kept leading with the wrong foot), we salute him for his effort. That being said, the best trick from this dance was from dance pro Kym, who had one memorable high kick. Judges' score: 20/40. "The T doesn't stand for technique." - Len Goodman ET's score: 20/40. We have to agree with the judges on this one. Our advice for Mr. T moving forward? Focus on getting the steps down during rehearsals so you don't have to think about them on show day. Once the steps are ingrained in your brain, you can focus on performing the piece. Celebrity/fan reaction:
Mr T is like the grass-roots movement of dwts. Going for the community support 💪 . #oldSchool 😊
Are YOU excited for season 24 of Dancing With the Stars? Which team do you think had the best dance? Let me know on Twitter (@desireemurphy_ ) or in the comments section on our official Facebook page! And be sure to follow all of our DWTS coverage all season long, right here on ETonline.com.