ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Twelve new celebrities made their debut on Dancing with the Stars Monday night, as the hit reality competition kicked off its twenty-fourth season and 400th episode in high style.
Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews returned, along with judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. Goodman was out for part of last season, with commitments to the show in the U.K., but assured Tom Bergeron that he would be with the show all season.
The new cast includes Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy; Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan with Artem Chigvintsev; comic actor Chris Kattan with Witney Carson; rodeo professional Bonner Bolton with Sharna Burgess; the iconic Charo with Keo Motsepe; The Bachelor’s Nick Viall with Peta Murgatroyd; Glee actress and singer Heather Morris with Maksim Chmerkovskiy; World Series baseball player David Ross with Lindsay Arnold; Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne with Gleb Savchenko; NFL star Rashad Jennings with Emma Slater; A Team star Mr. T with Kym Herjavec and Gold Medal Olympic gymnast Simone Biles with Sasha Farber.
Monday night was an opportunity for the cast to introduce themselves and have some fun with strutting their stuff as the competition does not begin in earnest until next Monday. Normani Kordei kicked off the night with a dazzling quickstep number and scored 27 out of 40. She was followed by Kerrigan who wowed with a Viennese Waltz and nabbed 28 out of 40.
Things took an unusual downturn when former SNL performer Chris Kattan appeared as his character from A Night at The Roxbury and reprised his signature moves to Haddaway’s “What Is Love.” This was not well-received by the judges, in spite of the gushing and awkward enthusiasm of Carrie Ann Inaba. Kattan pulled the lowest score of the night, with a 17.
Bonner Bolton did a country-themed number with Sharna and pulled 22 points. He was followed to the dance floor by the tireless Charo. She seems to possess the stamina of a caffeinated squirrel and was unstoppable in her salsa with Keo, but in spite of her seemingly boundless enthusiasm, got a surprisingly low score of 21 from the judges, which drew boos from the studio audience and caused her to ask, “Porque?”
The former Bachelor Nick Viall earned a very respectable 24 points for his cha cha, while Heather Morris’ waltz pulled a high score of 28. She was equaled in points by retired Cubs catcher David Ross who surprised everyone with his quickstep.
Housewives star Erika Jayne turned in a sexy salsa which caused Len Goodman to note that it was, “too raunchy.” In spite of this, she earned a respectable 24 points. Rashad Jennings showed his prowess on the field is equaled on the dance floor as his cha cha racked up 31 points.
Mr. T brought a lot of heart to his cha cha to the A Team television theme but only got 20 points.
Finally, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles may be following in the dance steps of last season’s winner, her fellow gold medalist Laurie Hernandez. Biles floated across the dance floor during her tango and pulled down 32 points, the top score of the night. Len Goodman noted that her dance with Sasha Farber was “the dance of the night.”
Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday on ABC.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.