Dancing With the Stars is back — and the season 32 premiere was out of this world.
Cohosts Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough kicked off the reality competition series’ return from the comfort of a spaceship. The DWTS pros then performed to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” dressed in futuristic silvery costumes.
Despite the extraterrestrial opening, three couples were soon brought back down to Earth when they tied for the lowest score of the evening: Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold, Matt Walsh and Koko Iwasaki and Tyson Beckford and Jenna Johnson. After all the votes were counted, the bottom two couples were Walsh, 58, and Iwasaki, 26, and Mauricio Umansky and Emma Slater. Walsh and Iwasaki were ultimately eliminated first during the Tuesday, September 26, episode.
While some duos stood out for their low scores, others made a better impression on the judges. Carrie Ann Inaba deemed Jason Mraz and partner Daniella Karagach’s Cha Cha to Mraz’s song “I Feel Like Dancing” one of the best performances of the night. Bruno Tonioli called Mraz “the one to watch” while Derek Hough said, “We have a contender” before revealing that he’d given Mraz a score of 7.
Bachelor Nation’s Charity Lawson also impressed the judges, earning the highest score of the night along with partner Artem Chigvintsev. “OK, what week is it? That was incredible,” Inaba, 55, said. “I’m at a loss for words. That was just stunning.”
Tonioli, 67, called Lawson’s Tango a “stellar performance” while Derek, 38, declared it “exquisite” and “precise.”
Others left the judges speechless, most notably Walsh. “You definitely floored me. … I mean, you made it yours,” Tonioli told the Veep alum. “I’ve never seen so many different faces. … I’m not sure what it is. It was surreal and it was entertaining.”
Inaba added that the performance reminded her of “old school Dancing With the Stars” when “people who weren’t the best dancers” gave the audience “a good time.”
The premiere episode episode marked the show’s return to ABC and Disney+ after season 31 aired solely on the streaming platform last year. Season 32 is also Julianne’s first as a cohost after previously serving as a guest judge (season 30), a judge (seasons 19, 20, 21, 23 and 24) and a professional dancer (seasons 4-8).
Scroll through to see all the performers’ scores from the premiere episode of Dancing With the Stars: