‘Dancing With the Stars’ 2021 Premiere: Milestone 30th Season Makes History (RECAP)

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“Live from Hollywood,” Dancing with the Stars is back with its landmark 30th season! The season premiere brought back many familiar faces to the ballroom, including longtime judge Len Goodman after sitting out last season due to the pandemic.

Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli returned alongside host Tyra Banks for her sophomore season with the dance competition series, as she announced throughout the night which pro dancers were paired with this season’s lineup of celebrity contestants.

Read on for highlights from the Season 30 premiere, inclduing dances from this season’s cast: Melanie C., Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, Iman Shumpert, Olivia Jade, Jimmie Allen, Melora Hardin, Suni Lee, Cody Rigsby, Amanda Kloots, Martin Kove, Kenya Moore, Christine Chiu, Matt James, Brian Austin Green, and Jojo Siwa.

Melanie C’s dance to “Wannabe” by The Spice Girls (Cha Cha)

Melanie C, aka Sporty Spice of the iconic girl group The Spice Girls, opened the new season with an energetic and Union Jack-filled cha-cha to the group’s hit song “Wannabe.” Alongside partner Gleb Savchenko, they kicked off the show with solid scores from the judges, Len calling the first performance of the night “first-class.” The duo earned a total of 27 out of 40 points, with Derek being the only judge to score them a 6. After the performance, Carrie Ann confessed that Sporty Spice was her favorite Spice Girl!

The Miz’s dance to “Butter” by BTS (Cha Cha)

The WWE superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin hit the dance floor with a bang alongside partner Whitney Carson in her first season back since giving birth to her son. Bringing his wrestling coordination to the dance floor, Len called the performance “better than expected.” With great feedback to leave room for improvement, the second pair of the night earned a total score of 24 out of 40.

Iman Shumpert’s dance to “Hey Ya!” by Outkast (Jive)

Despite the large height difference between NBC star Iman Shumpert and his partner Daniella Karagach, the pair hit it off to a great start, dancing the jive to “Hey Ya!” by Outkast. Sporting a similar green outfit to that of the song’s music video, Iman received the first 4 of the night from Len, though the judges applauded his musicality and fun personality. The pair earned a total score of 21 out of 40.

Olivia Jade’s dance to “Juice” by Lizzo (Salsa)

Looking to start “a new chapter in front of millions of people,” as Tyra said, influencer and daughter of Lori Loughlin, Olivia Jade, gave a great first-week performance with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Olivia earned lots of praise from the judges, with Carrie Ann applauding her confidence, Derek stating her cast amount of potential, and Bruno stating she took to dancing “like a duck to water.” With Carrie Ann giving the duo a 7, they earned a total of 25 points.

Jimmie Allen’s dance to “The Way I Are” by Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson & D.O.E (Tango)

Country singer Jimmie Allen has experience singing on stage but has never danced in front of millions of people! He took to the dance floor for the first time with partner Emma Slater for a spicy tango. Looking to be an ambassador for country music, the star received mixed reviews from the judges, with some pointing out technical flaws while others stating the performance was a good start. After shouting out his pregnant wife in the audience, the pair earned a total score of 22.

Melora Hardin’s dance to “Simply Irresistible” by Robert Palmer (Tango)

After appearing in over 70 television shows, actress Melora Hardin was overjoyed to be joining DWTS, as she used to love ballet as a child. Bringing her childhood love of dance to the floor with her partner and reigning champion Artem Chigvintsev, the energetic performance made her one to watch the season. As Derek said, “we’re keeping an eye on you girl!” The pair earned a 26 out of 40.

Suni Lee’s dance to “Stay” by The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber (Jive)

After becoming a 3-time medalist at the Toyko Olympic Games, Suni Lee has her eyes set on the DWTS prize! Disproving the popular belief that gymnasts already have a strong dance ability, she expressed her nerves coming into the competition, stating, “I don’t know what I got myself into.” Putting on her game face, she delivered a joyful jive with partner Sasha Farber, who has previously partnered with other gymnast contestants on the show. Earning positive remarks from the judges, the duo earned the second-highest score of the night with 28 points out of 40.

Cody Rigsby’s dance to “Physical” by Dua Lipa (Tango)

Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby’s excitement was present throughout the show, having brought one of the most energetic performances of the night with partner Cheryl Burke. Though his excitement was mixed with nerves, the judges praised his effort while giving advice to relax and loosen up. Bruno complimented his performance, saying, “great ride, on and off the bike.” The two earned a total score of 24 points.

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC

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