'Dancing with the Stars' season 32 premiere recap: Matt Walsh eliminated, Len Goodman honored

The good, the bad and a tribute to late head judge Len Goodman.

'Dancing with the Stars' season 32 premiere recap: Matt Walsh eliminated, Len Goodman honored
Eric Mccandless/ABC
September 27, 2023, 11:17 AM

Matt Walsh is the first celebrity to be eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars" season 32.

The "Veep" actor and his pro partner, Koko Iwasaki, were sent packing during the Sept. 26 premiere episode after scoring a 12 for their cha cha.

Joining Walsh in the bottom two and also up for elimination was real estate broker Mauricio Umansky, husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Kyle Richards, whose jive with partner Emma Slater put him in danger of going home.

"Koko's the best. I had a wonderful time and it was a wonderful experience," Walsh said after his elimination, joking that he'd like the judges to "rewatch that routine sometime."

Matt Walsh and Koko Iwasaki on the season 32 premiere of "Dancing with the Stars."
Eric McCandless/ABC

The two-time Emmy nominee had briefly stepped away from the show due to the WGA strike, but he returned after the writers' union reached what they called an "exceptional deal" with the studios prior to Tuesday's premiere.

The strike officially ended Wednesday after 148 days.

Walsh took to his Instagram story after being eliminated to show how his family welcomed him home.

"After a tough night on TV, it's always nice to come home to family," he wrote over a photo of his front door which had a message for him that read "We Love You."

The pros show us why they're pros

The premiere kicked off with an out-of-this-world opening number featuring all the pros.

Set to Dua Lipa's hit song "Levitating," the 14 pros stormed the ballroom and got the show started while nailing the choreography by Luam.

A tribute to Len Goodman

Co-hosts Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough took a moment early on in the episode to introduce viewers to the new Mirrorball Trophy during a segment honoring the late Len Goodman, who died in April at the age of 78.

"We're obviously missing a big part of our 'Dancing with the Stars' family tonight," Ribeiro said. "Of course, I'm talking about head judge Len Goodman, who passed away earlier this year."

Hough chimed in, "Len was on this panel for nearly all of our 31 seasons, and though he is certainly irreplaceable -- and yes, he is -- we wanted to keep his spirit alive."

"Dancing with the Stars" season 32 premiere pays tribute to late head judge Len Goodman.
Eric Mccandless/ABC

"That's why, as a tribute to him, we redesigned and renamed our ultimate prize," Ribeiro continued, with fans getting their first look at the Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy.

"It is so fantastic that Len will always be going forward with us," Hough said.

Top scores of the night

Couples who wowed the judges with their first performances on the dance floor included "Bachelorette" alum Charity Lawson, who took the top spot on the leaderboard with a score of 22 for an impressive tango with partner Artem Chigvintsev.

Artem Chigvintsev and Charity Lawson on the season 32 premiere of "Dancing with the Stars."
Eric Mccandless/ABC

Following close behind and tying with a score of 21 were "Vanderpump Rules" star Ariana Madix, who performed a tango with partner Pasha Pashkov, and singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, who performed a cha cha with partner Daniella Karagach.

Lowest scores of the night

Walsh isn't the only celeb to have scored a 12 during the premiere -- in fact it was a three-way tie.

Joining him at the bottom of the scoreboard were reality star and social media personality Harry Jowsey as well as model Tyson Beckford, who each also scored a 12 for their cha chas with their partners Rylee Arnold and Jenna Johnson, respectively.

Who's left, and what was everyone's score for the premiere?

Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev – 22
Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov – 21
Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach – 21
Lele Pons and Brandon Armstrong – 19
Adrian Peterson and Britt Stewart – 18
Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy – 18
Mira Sorvino and Gleb Savchenko – 17
Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd – 16
Jamie Lynn Spears and Alan Bersten – 15
Mauricio Umansky and Emma Slater – 15
Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber – 13
Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold – 12
Tyson Beckford and Jenna Johnson – 12

    "Dancing with the Stars" airs Tuesday nights on ABC and Disney+, streaming on Hulu the next day.

    Disney is the parent company of ABC News and "Good Morning America."

    Related Topics