It’s officially Dancing With the Stars season! Season 30 kicked off on Monday, September 30, with host Tyra Banks introducing returning judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Derek Hough and Len Goodman, who couldn’t be part of 29 because he couldn’t travel from the U.K. to L.A. due to the coronavirus.
“I’m so happy to be back. It’s fantastic,” the head judge, 77, said at the top of the show. This season, the reality series was able to bring in a limited live audience consisting of the contestants’ friends and family, who had to be vaccinated and tested ahead of time. Additionally, they had to remain masked during filming.
This season also featured the return of two pros who took season 29 off. Both Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold welcomed babies last year. Lindsay, 27, welcomed daughter Sage with husband Samuel Cusick in November 2020, while Witney, 27, and husband Carson McAllister welcomed their son, Leo, in January.
“I’m so honored to be back. I feel better than ever, a little more emotional but better than ever,” Witney said during Monday’s premiere, alongside her partner, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. Matt James, who was partnered with Lindsay, honored her during their routine as well, praising her as a mother.
The first episode marked Olivia Jade Giannulli‘s debut as well, opening up about the college admissions scandal.
“The last few years I’ve been wrapping up in a scandal,” the YouTube star, 21, said during her opening package, as headlines about her mother, Lori Loughlin, and father, Mossimo Giannulli, played on screen. “I did step back from social media and just soak in what everybody was saying. I’m not trying to pull a pity card, I just need to step forward and do better.”
Upon meeting her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, the influencer told him that she was excited to show people her work ethic. The judges applauded her for coming out and having fun with the routine.
“I’m so proud of you,” Carrie Ann, 53, said. “This is the start of a brand new chapter in your life. I’m so proud of the way you came out with such confidence. You’re so sure of yourself.”
Here’s a full list of which celebs are with which pros:
Mel C. and Gleb Savchenko
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Witney Carson
Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach
Olivia Jade Giannulli and Val Chmerkovskiy
Jimmie Allen and Emma Slater
Melora Hardin and Artem Chigvintsev
Suni Lee and Sasha Farber
Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten
Martin Kave and Britt Stewart
Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong
Christine Chiu and Pasha Pashkov
Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke
Matt James and Lindsay Arnold
Brian Austin Green and Sharna Burgess
JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson
Scroll down to find out each pair’s score: