Dancing With the Stars Season 17 Premiere Recap: Glee’s Amber Riley Sets the Bar

Amber Riley, Elizabeth Berkley and Bill Nye
On the season 17 premiere of Dancing With the Stars on Sept. 16, Amber Riley and Derek Hough outshone the competition and tied for the highest-scoring debut performance ever, while Bill Nye and Tyne Stecklein failed to impress ABC

Another cycle of Dancing With the Stars has begun! Season 17 of ABC's hit competition kicked off on Monday, Sept. 16, with some very high highs and some very low lows. All but three celeb couples scored above 20 with their debut performances — but it's still anyone's game at this point.

Amber Riley, dancing with Derek Hough, tied for the highest score ever for a debut performance, with three nines from the judges. She also earned a standing ovation from the audience, which included her Glee costars Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, and Jenna Ushkowitz.

The next highest scores went to High School Musical alum Corbin Bleu and Saved by the Bell actress Elizabeth Berkley, who each earned a score of 24 out of 30. Bleu, dancing with Karina Smirnoff, took on a contemporary piece the judges described as "beautiful and passionate," while Berkley performed a contemporary piece, set to "Imagine," with Val Chmerkovskiy. (Epic side note: Chmerkovskiy learned English from Saved by the Bell! But as he confessed to his partner, he was more into Tiffani Thiessen's Kelly Kapowski than Berkley's Jessie Spano.)

Jersey Shore star Snooki and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's son Jack Osbourne placed third, with 23 points each. (Sweet aside: Both Sharon and Ozzy were in the audience, and Sharon could be seen wiping away tears after Jack's performance with Cheryl Burke.)

Coming up behind them were Christina Milian and partner Mark Ballas, and Brant Daugherty and partner Peta Murgatroyd, who scored 22 out of 30; Valerie Harper and partner Tristan MacManus, and Leah Remini and partner Tony Dovolani, who earned 21 points each; Bill Engvall and partner Emma Slater, who racked up 18 points; and Keyshawn Johnson and Sharna Burgess, who scored 17 points. 

In last place was Bill Nye the Science Guy, whose cha cha with Tyne Stecklein (set to "Weird Science") got just 14 points out of 30.

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