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  • Writer's pictureNicole Grace

Dancing with the Stars Season 32 Premiere!

We’re back for another season of Dancing with the Stars! The show started with a fun skit featuring Julianne Hough, former pro and judge, returning to the ballroom as Alfonso’s new co-host! The opening number, as always, filled me with joy to see all the pros again. Before the competition began, Alfonso and Julianne spoke briefly about longtime Dancing with the Stars head judge, Len Goodman, who passed away in the early months of 2023. In tribute to Len, who sat on the judging panel for almost every season of DWTS, the Mirrorball Trophy has been renamed the Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy. I’ve always admired Len, so I was glad to see him honored in this way.

Then, fourteen new contestants took to the ballroom floor for the first time!

Let’s begin!


Xochitl was the contestant I was the most excited to see this season. I loved her performance in the first season of Netflix’s The Baby-sitter’s Club, and she’s so charismatic on social media. Her first dance with Val looked pretty good to me, but all three judges all commented that she lost her timing at one point (I didn’t catch it myself, but I am not even close to having a professional eye), but they also had complementary and encouraging things to say about her. I think they all were expecting her to do a little better, especially since she was chosen to be the first performance of the season. I think she’s going to get stronger as the weeks go by.

I was also excited to see that Barry Williams would be appearing on this season! The Brady Bunch was the first sitcom I ever loved, so I was truly looking forward to seeing the actor also known as Greg Brady. I didn’t have high expectations, since he is 70 years old, but his segment of the competition was truly the highlight of the night for me. Barry’s attitude during the rehearsal package can be best described as “good vibes.” He had so much energy and made it clear that he was dedicated to learning, having a good time, and doing well in the competition. His Brady-Bunch-themed foxtrot had such charisma, rhythm, and showmanship! I am so excited to see more from him.

What I noticed about Tyson’s first dance was that the choreography was quite simple, and it was a lot of moving from pose to pose. The judges encouraged him to improve his technique.

Alyson’s first dance was full of joy! Her facial expressions were so big and exciting, it was hard to notice much else. Her footwork needs a lot of improvement, but I think she knows that and is willing to put in the work.

I was excited to see this team, not because of the celebrity contestant, but because of the pro! First-time pro Rylee was on 2019’s Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, coached by her older sister Lindsay, a DWTS pro who is taking this season off. I loved Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, so I was delighted that Rylee would be returning to the ballroom as a young adult. When it comes to Harry’s performance though, it was mostly Rylee dancing around him.

This was the first standout dance of the night! I had no expectations of Jason, simply because I don’t know much about him. I was so impressed and surprised when he took to the dance floor for the first time and absolutely nailed it! With a start like that, and a partner like Daniella (everything she touches turns to gold), he’s definitely going to be a serious contender in the competition.

Jamie Lynn got through her routine pretty well, but there were moments where she seemed a bit tense. Hopefully she will be able to loosen up for future dances.

Britt is one of my favorite pros, so when the cast was announced, I was glad to see her paired with a football player, since they usually perform well. They pulled off some jaw-dropping tricks, but when it came to the technical salsa moves, I wasn’t very impressed.

Lele definitely got the intensity of the tango right! I did notice, though, that she needed to work on her leg placement and pointing her toes. I am looking forward to how she improves for next week’s Latin Night.

I really liked this performance! It warmed my heart that the first thing Carrie Ann said was, “Len would have loved that.” The choreography was simple, but executed well with excellent posture and leg placement.

I love the jive because it’s a joyful dance, and Mauricio definitely brought the joy. While his footwork could have been a bit more refined, he did a great job performing and keeping up with Emma.

The highest score of the night! Charity’s first dance was so clean, and had a groundedness and sharpness that really set her apart from all the other competitors.

Was this the best technique of the night? No. Was it incredibly entertaining? Absolutely. I loved how much personality that was infused into this performance.

What a bold closer for the night! What was really cool about this dance was that there were multiple sections where Ariana danced on her own, without Pasha. That shows a lot of confidence the contestant, both from Pasha for choreographing it and from Ariana herself from executing it.


(do not read if you are avoiding spoilers)

There was a change in format for this week’s elimination: For the last few years, the judges voted on who to save between the two couples who had the lowest combined audience votes and judges scores. Tonight, the bottom two couples were announced, and then the eliminated couple was announced, just like every pre-2020 season.

The couple that was eliminated on the first night of the competition was Matt & Koko, allowing the other couple in the bottom two, Mauricio & Emma, to continue on in the competition. Someone’s gotta go, but Matt seemed like he was going to be entertaining to watch, so it’s sad to see him go.

Overall, most contestants did just okay during their first dance, which is to be expected for night one. I am looking forward to seeing everyone improve as the competition goes on, starting with next week’s Latin Night!

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