Dancing with the Stars Season 22 Week 1

America’s favorite dance party is back! This latest season started off with an upbeat and fun opening number to introduce all 12 couples!

Now, I always enjoy watching the first performances to see the potential and gauge the competition.  It is wonderful to see the changes that happen in each couple as the weeks go on.  This season brought some pretty great moves right out of the gate!  Here is a recap of each couple’s performance:

Kim & Sasha – Cha-Cha to “Sax” by Fleur East – Scored 7-6-7 for a total of 20
This was a great introduction to the dance floor for Kim!  For a first dance, I feel that Kim brought a great charisma and character.  Carrie liked her fierce attitude, but added that she should take her time with her steps.  Bruno enjoyed the performance but wants Kim to focus more on her footwork.  Len commented that the routine looked crisp, but adding some more finesse and hip movement is something to work on.

Paige & Mark – Foxtrot to “Ain’t Got Far to Go” by Jess Glynne – Scored 7-7-7 for a total of 21
Paige showed her softer side with this dance, but I thought she needed more purpose to her steps.  And I was completely surprised when she got emotional after her dance!  She revealed that she cries after every MMA match she has!  Bruno said she was like a kite on the wind, but should develop better control.  Carrie opposed, saying Paige should let go of herself a bit more, and Len thought she did a terrific job for her first run.

Doug & Karina – Foxtrot to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond – Scored 5-5-5 for a total of 15
I felt that Doug was rather clumsy out on the floor, with heavy steps and stumbles on a few occasions.  However, he kept going and made it all the way to the end, which is admirable.  He had some decent points throughout the routine.  Each judge gave words of encouragement, reinforcing that things will start to look up from here.

Jodi & Keo – Tango to “Confident” by Demi Lovato – Scored 7-6-7 for a total of 20
This performance was a pretty solid way to start things off for Jodie.  She carried herself well, with a strong attitude that is evidence of her acting career.  Len enjoyed her presence, but felt it got too hectic at some points.  Bruno agreed that it was a strong performance, though told her to be wary of her transitions.  Carrie also thought it went well, and applauded Jodie’s attention to detail.

Geraldo & Edyta – Cha-Cha to “Treasure” by Bruno Mars – Scored 5-4-4 for a total of 13
This was my least favorite dance of the evening.  Geraldo had some great help from Edyta, though in my opinion, he has a long way to go.  His steps seemed unsure to me, and he looked very stiff on the floor.  The steps were minimal, which Bruno even commented on, and he did not move much.  Carrie and Len want Geraldo to get those hips moving, loosen up his movement and buckle down for the work ahead of him.

Marla & Tony – Quickstep to “Sparkling Diamonds” from Moulin Rouge – Scored 7-7-7 for a total of 21
I always enjoy a good Quickstep, and this is no exception!  Marla brought a graceful energy to the number.  Despite a few slip ups here and there, she held her poise and clearly gave it her all.  Carrie, Len and Bruno all enjoyed the vitality of the piece, with Bruno even saying it was “uptown bombshell quality.”

Wanya & Lindsay – Cha-Cha to “Motownphilly” by Boyz II Men – Scored 8-7-8 for a total of 23
One of my favorites of the evening, Wanya brought a delightful – and delicious – style to his performance!  He served some cheesesteaks to the judges to help “grease” their decisions, but definitely delivered on the floor!  His movements seemed confident and controlled.  Len and Bruno were impressed with the swagger and Carrie thinks Wanya has a “twinkle-toe” side to him that she can’t wait to see develop.

Ginger & Valentin – Jive to “Move” from Dreamgirls – Scored 8-7-8 for a total of 23
Another of my favorites, Ginger has a great charisma and energy out on the floor.  She showed us her infectious personality and kept up with her partner at the same time.  Bruno and Carrie enjoyed the performance and style of the routine.  Len is excited to see the dancer she can become, and recommended that she work on straightening her legs.

Mischa & Artem – Tango to “In the Night” by The Weeknd – Scored 5-5-6 for a total of 16
Mischa did a nice job for her first performance.  It is apparent that she is not a natural dancer, but she displayed motivation and determination from the first step.  Carrie was impressed by her drive and spirit, while Len said it looked more like walking than dancing.  Bruno also wanted more from her performance, and suggested extending her moves to a larger scale.

Nyle & Peta – Cha-Cha to “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE – Scored 8-7-8 for a total of 23
I am amazed at how well Nyle was able to dance!  With Nyle being unable to hear anything at all, it was simply astounding to watch!  Nyle has great talent and a natural ability to move. Given time and some polish, he is certain to be a contender to look out for.  All of the judges were impressed with how he brought life to the routine.  Bruno even had to touch Nyle to make sure he was real!

Antonio & Sharna – Quickstep to “Bad Man” by Pitbull – Scored 8-6-7 for a total of 21
Here comes a competitor with some greatness in the making!  Antonio has natural talent, and he was able to keep up relatively well with the Quickstep.  There were a few mistakes where he lost control, but for a first dance, he drove it home.  Bruno said Antonio needs to learn to channel his talents in dance, but Carrie felt Antonio was a “beast who totally rocked it.”  Len recognized the difficulty of the dance, and gave kudos to Antonio for maintaining his composure.

Von & Witney – Foxtrot to “My House” by Flo Rida – Scored 8-6-7 for a total of 21
Another of my favorite performances this evening!  Von was surprisingly light on his feet!  I was impressed with how natural he made dancing look.  While he lacks a bit of refinement and control in his steps, he certainly brought a fun atmosphere and slick style to the routine.  Bruno and Carrie both raved about the performance, with Len piping in about his dance frame choices.

As of now, my favorite couples are Wanya & Lindsay, Ginger & Valentin, Nyle and Peta, and Von & Witney. I am keeping an eye on Antonio & Sharna, though!  Who is your favorite couple?  What was your favorite dance? 

Of course, there were no eliminations this week, but be prepared for Week 2!  My best guess at the elimination is Geraldo & Edyta.  Don’t forget to vote for your top pick!  See you next week for Latin Night!

Happy Dancing!