Dancing With The Stars Season 28 Premiere Recap

Season 28 of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars has officially begun! We open with the contestants being interviewed, which is funny and cute. 

As we all know, Christie Brinkley is out due to injury, but her daughter Sailor Brinkley Cook is taking her place. 

After a cute group dance, we get to finally see the judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, as well as hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews for the first time in almost a year. 

We also see the dancers in costume for the first time and Sean Spicer’s shirt makes me think the guy has a sense of humor. 

 This season Dancing With The Stars will have a new way to vote and a different way to do the eliminations. All will be revealed next week. 

Time to dance!

Contestant: Hannah Brown

Claim to Fame: Reigning Bachelorette 

Pro: Alan Bersten

Dance: Cha cha cha

Sammi: They brought in Chris Harrison, because of course they did. The pro to come out of the limo is…ALAN. He gets a rose as they begin to practice. 

As for the dance, she is really GOOD. She’s got the moves, the spirit and the chemistry between her and Alan is HOT. It is a great way to begin Dancing With The Stars season 28. 

Len: Her technique was crisp, clean and confident.

Bruno: He thinks she found a true love in dancing, but she needs to watch her balance.

Carrie Ann: She had the right attitude and great form.

Scores: 7-7-6=20 out of 30

Contestant: Kel Mitchell

Claim to Fame: All That/Kenyan and Kel

Pro: Witney Carson

Dance: Tango

Sammi: They did a Good Burger spoof. It’s adorable how Good Burger is Witney’s favorite movie.  It is so weird to see him not be comedic, but he seems to be taking the show seriously while still having fun. He got the steps down pat, although the timing was a bit off.

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Bruno: He likes his serious side, but he needs to stop being so jumpy.

Carrie Ann: She noticed he struggled a bit but he will be fine once he finds his groove.

Len: He likes the attack and attitude, but wanted more heel leads and better posture. He has potential. 

Scores: 6-5-5=16 out of 30

Celebrity: Kate Flannery

Claim to Fame: The Office

Pro: Pasha Pashkov

Dance: Cha cha cha

Sammi: Kate is adorable! Pasha seems to be like a baby Mark Ballas. I miss Mark on Dancing With The Stars.  This is so fun, so sassy and oh, so Kate! Pasha did a good job of adding enough technique balanced with personality.

Carrie Ann: She is very impressed with Kate but wants her to stay present.

Len: He wants her to work on her legs and hips, but he loves her sparkly attitude.

Bruno: She can run his office anytime, but wants her to finish her moves.

Scores: 5-5-5=15 out of 30

Celebrity: Lamar Odom

Claim to Fame: NBA star

Pro: Peta Murgatroyd 

Dance: Foxtrot

Sammi: They remind me of Lindsay and Kareem Abdul Jabbar (season 26 of Dancing With The Stars) with the height difference. He seems to be taking this very seriously and enjoying every minute. I think he might actually be one to watch out for! For the height difference, they did the best they could.

Len: He wanted more elegance and finesse, but thinks he can do better with a different dance.

Bruno: He focused too much on the step that he forgot to follow through. 

Carrie Ann: She is thoroughly impressed with him. 

Scores: 5-3-3=11 out of 30

Contestant: Lauren Alaina 

Claim to Fame: American Idol/Country singer 

Pro: Gleb Savchenko 

Dance: Cha cha cha 

Sammi: Apparently, she is friends with Dancing With The Stars reigning champ Bobby Bones.

Are we already using other dancers?  I wasn’t a fan of the beginning, but I did like the actual dance with just the two of them. Her lines and musicality are amazing and she really nailed the technique.

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Bruno: She is a sultry southern belle. He enjoyed it, but gives her places to improve. 

Carrie Ann: They took some risks that paid off. She will be more powerful once she gets used to dancing.

Len: He hated the chair in the beginning, but enjoyed the actual dance.

Scores: 7-6-6=19 out of 30

Celebrity: Sailor Brinkley Cook (replacing mom Christie Brinkley)

Claim to Fame: Model

Pro: Val Chmerkovskiy 

Dance: Cha cha cha

Sammi; Sailor looks so much like her mom. I hope Christie will be ok though, she looks like she is in so much pain, I felt so bad for her.

They revive the Uptown Girl video because of course they do…that video was Christie’s big break. For someone who had three days to prepare, she did great. At least, better than I would have.

Carrie Ann: She loves her spirit and poise.

Len: He offers her places to improve, but thinks she did wonderful for someone who had three days to prepare.

Bruno: She’s got the looks, the light and the talent.

Scores: 6-6-6=18 out of 30

Celebrity: Karamo Brown

Claim to Fame: Queer Eye

Pro: Jenna Johnson

Dance: Cha cha cha

Sammi: WOW! That was my favorite dance of the night so far. It had style, it had flair, the technique was there…that’s how he became a dancer! I liked every minute. 

 My TV went nutty during the judge’s critiques, so I missed them.

Scores: 6-5-6=17 out of 30

Celebrity: Ray Lewis

Claim to Fame: NFL star

Pro: Cheryl Burke

Dance: Salsa

Sammi: He is adorable! I love his personality and heart. It does, admittedly look more like club dancing than ballroom, but he seems to be putting in all the effort and enjoying every moment.

Bruno: It was fantastic and charismatic.

Carrie Ann: It was pretty darn good.

Len: 5-5-5=15 out of 30

Celebrity: Mary Wilson

Claim to Fame: The Supremes 

Pro: Brandon Armstrong

Dance: Foxtrot

Sammi: They seem to have a fun, friendly chemistry. He acts like a gentleman and she has a sassy classiness about her personality. The dance was basic, but they got the technique down pat. I look forward to seeing more.

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Carrie Ann: She is made to foxtrot on the dance floor.

Len: He wishes he could foxtrot like that.

Bruno: He is starstruck.

Celebrity: Ally Brooke

Claim to Fame: Fifth Harmony

Pro: Sasha Farber

Dance: Cha cha cha

Sammi: This is by far the best dance of the night. The chemistry is hot, the technique on fire and the performance overall was out of this world. WOW.

Len: He wants less Beyoncé, but thinks she has confidence.

Bruno: He liked it, but gives her places to improve.

Carrie Ann: She also offers advice, but thinks she has potential.

Scores: 5-5-6=16 out of 30

Celebrity: Sean Spicer

Claim to Fame: Former White House Press Secretary

Pro: Lindsay Arnold

Dance: Salsa

Sammi: They are dancing to Spice Up Your Life. There are also hidden pineapples in the dance. (I am obsessed with Psych, so I notice these things!)  Seriously though….he is trying and dancing his heart out. He has a nice sense of humor and it is obvious he had fun.

Bruno: There were some salsa moves, but he needs to work on rhythm. 

Carrie Ann: She loves his shimmy and sense of fun….despite being off beat.

Len: He added fun to the ballroom. 

Scores: 4-4-4=12 out of 30

Celebrity: James Van Der Beek

Claim to Fame: Dawson’s Creek

Pro: Emma Slater

Dance: Tango

What a way to end the night! He is definitely the best male celebrity so far. He’s got the best technique and I love the drama of the dance. Emma did a great job choreographing this.

Carrie Ann: She proclaims that we now have a leading man

Len: It was a terrific dance.

Bruno: It was in character and in control.

Scores: 7-7-7=21 out of 30

What happened to Keo and Daniella?

The scores will carry to next week. We also get to vote next week. Stay tuned. 

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Author: Sammi Turano
Sammi has been a journalist for over a decade, specializing in entertainment, lifestyle, sports and celebrity news. She is the owner of TVGrapevine and Football in High Heels and the Host of Grapevine in High Heels With Sammi.

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