written by: Mariette Waterhouse, staff writer
On its 29th season, Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) brings a whole menagerie of stars and dancers, but who will take the Mirrorball trophy?
The first team to take the stage is Backstreet Boys alum AJ McLean and the two-time Dancing with the Stars champion, Cheryl Burke.
The first team to perform always has the pressure of bringing the show to a start. McLean and Burke did not disappoint, beginning their jive with an exciting jump to the stage by McLean.
While not the most impressive dance of the evening, McLean and Burke definitely started the night with a hit and should be around to stay within the following weeks.
Many mediocre performances were also seen. TV actress Chrishell Stause, Desperate Housewives star Jesse Metcalfe, Six Days Seven Nights star Anne Heche, Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, rapper Nelly, host of The Real and Holey Moley Jeannie Mai, head coach in the Netflix documentary series Cheer Monica Aldama and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir all delivered not good (but also not bad) performances.
The next team to discuss is former Super Bowl Champion Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd, who is a two-time DWTS champion. They flowed well and had wonderful chemistry. Along with her beautiful dancing, Murgatroyd had one of the best dresses of the evening.
Their performance was the first time this episode that I disagreed with the judges. I thought this partnership’s dance was very well performed, so I was dissapointed with the lower score they received.
However, I think if they continue to perform with the energy and enthusiasm that they showed on this first night they could very well be a shoo-in to be one of the finalists.
Next up is former Disney Channel star Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten, who won last season. Jackson is the youngest performer on this season but that definitely shouldn’t count her out as a fierce competitor.
They performed a tango, and despite their large height difference, they ended up scoring higher than a majority of the teams that evening. If they continue with the very impressive performances, I can see Jackson and Bersten taking the championship title.
It’s only fair that, along with the good performances, we tell of some of the worst as well. This performance was between NBA all-star Charles Oakley and season 24 champion Emma Slater.
This isn’t entirely their fault, Charles Oakley’s staggering height of 6 feet 9 inches makes it very difficult to create seamless and beautiful movements.
However, if they continue with these lackluster performances, I can see them being one of the first teams to go.
My personal favorite dance of the night was with Catfish host Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson, the season 26 champion.
Their combination of beginner talent and veteran experience created a beautiful foxtrot. I think if they continue to perform this way they could very well be at the top as well.
To round off my predictions of the teams, we have to end with the one and only Carol Baskin and pro dancer Pasha Pashkov. I dare to say, this was the worst performance of the night.
I think judge Bruno Tonioli put it best when he said, “A paso doble is supposed to be a little more exciting, you seemed very, very sedated.”
With a paso doble without any passion or excitement, I think Baskin and Pashkov will be one of the first, if not the first, teams to be eliminated.