Twelve couples took to the ballroom dance floor Monday night on the season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars.” The ABC reality TV competition show began its 22nd season with an array of athletes, sitcom/reality stars, actresses, journalist, weather girl, model, and a singer of a group. If you’ve read some of the pre-season blogs and other media accounts before the premiere, things became very different on this first episode. Expectations of who’d be on top were very different than what was predicted.
A significant number of female celebrities have had dance experience, yet it was the men who lacked a dance background that dominated the leaderboard. The three NFLers either placed near the bottom or were in the middle of the pack. Instead, the night belonged to “America’s Next Top Model” winner Nyle DiMarco who is completely deaf. If you happened to turn on the TV when Nyle and Peta danced their fiery cha-cha, it was as if you were watching two pro dancers from the “Dancing with the Stars” troupe out on the floor. Nyle had the speed, quickness, and exuberant confidence of any regular pro. If Nyle can keep his momentum going throughout the season he’s clearly in the finals.
Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men is the only singer in Season 22 and he did not disappoint. His partnership with Lindsay Arnold is the perfect match for Wanya’s strong performance background. Prior to taking the stage he and Lindsay were passing out Philly cheesesteak sandwiches to the judges where his group is from. Their cha-cha started out at a cheesesteak stand in Philadelphia and was non-stop from start to finish. Wanya has all the right moves, personality, and musicality needed to go far into this competition.
Even though Ginger Zee, the chief meteorologist on “Good Morning America,” tied with Nyle DiMarco and Wanya Morris at the top, her jive lacked a great deal of speed and the necessary kicks and flicks required. Ginger is a lovely lady with a three-month old baby boy who has a lot to handle this season. Not only with an infant, but she’s traveling to the East Coast, doing her weather reports, in addition to rehearsing. She’s one of several female celebrities with dance experience as well as UFC’s Paige VanZant and “Fuller House’s” Jodie Sweetin.
The most impressive female celebrity of the night went to Marla Maples. The actress and former wife of Presidential candidate Donald Trump exuded confidence, glamour, and skill with her partner Tony Dovolani. She clearly handled the challenging quickstep right out the gate on week one no less. Usually in past seasons the NFL athletes rule the dance floor with their strength and surprising agility. Out of the three it was the Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller who clearly stood out with his foxtrot and quiet demeanor. Sadly the worst dance of the night came from Geraldo Rivera. It was painfully obvious he either forget the dance steps or simply chose not to do them. The only memorable thing about their cha-cha was his re-enactment of opening Al Capone’s vault. This time there was his dance partner, Edyta Śliwińska, looking like she never left the dance floor six years ago.