The season 31 premiere was full of firsts, including a happy change for Canadian fans, who can now vote for their favorite stars online.
The journey ended for "Sex and the City" star Jason Lewis, who was the first star to be sent home after a nationwide and international vote. "Real Housewives" alum Teresa Giudice was spared by the judges and will return next week.
Starting off the new season of "DWTS" was "American Idol" alum Jordin Sparks, who performed a glamorous cha-cha to Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)." Although Sparks finished the night with one of the top scores, she is already competing in a very crowded race for the Mirrorball Trophy.
TikTok star Charli D'Amelio, comedian Wayne Brady, "Bachelorette" star Gabby Windey, "RuPaul's Drag Race" star Shangela, "CODA" actor Daniel Durant and movie star Selma Blair all emerged as potential acts to beat this season.
D'Amelio, who has a background in competitive dance, took a commanding lead with her top-scoring cha-cha while Brady, who admittedly has minimal dance experience, finished the night in second place with his jubilant cha-cha. Shangela finished one point behind Brady and was praised by judge Len Goodman for balancing technical skills and stage presence.
As for Windey, she stands to continue the winning streak started by former "Bachelorette" stars Hannah Brown and Kaitlyn Bristowe, who won their respective seasons, thanks to her lively jive.
Durant, who is fully deaf, dazzled with his tango to Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand." The actor told the judges via his interpreter, Gabe, that although he is unable to hear the music, he can feel it with his body. Durant also joked that he already has an Oscar, so a Mirrorball Trophy is naturally the next step for him.
Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and sometimes struggles with mobility and speech issues, performed a triumphant Viennese waltz to David Cook's "The Time of My Life." Her emotional performance, which started with her symbolically leaving her cane behind, moved the audience -- and judge Carrie Ann Inaba -- to tears.
"DWTS" returns next week at 8 p.m. ET on Disney+. Next week, the competitors will get a taste of Las Vegas, as the show will honor the legendary Elvis Presley.
Here are the current standings:
Charli D'Amelio, TikTok star, with Mark Ballas -- 32/40
Wayne Brady, comedian, with Witney Carson -- 29/40
Shangela, drag queen, with Gleb Savchenko -- 28/40
Gabby Windey, "The Bachelorette" star, with Val Chmerkovskiy -- 28/40
Selma Blair, movie star, with Sasha Farber--28/40
Daniel Durant, "CODA" actor, with Britt Stewart -- 27/40
Jordin Sparks, "American Idol" winner, with Brandon Armstrong -- 26/40
Heidi D'Amelio, reality star, with Artem Chigvintsev -- 24/40
Joseph Baena, Arnold Schwarzenegger's son, with Daniella Karagach -- 23/40
Trevor Donovan, "90210" star, with Emma Slater -- 21/40
Cheryl Ladd, "Charlie's Angels" star, with Louis Van Amstel -- 21/40
Jessie James Decker, country singer, with Alan Bersten -- 20/40
Sam Champion, "Good Morning America" weather anchor, with Cheryl Burke-- 20/40
Teresa Giudice, "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star, with Pasha Kovalev -- 20/40
Vinny Guadagnino, "Jersey Shore" star, with Koko Iwasaki -- 17/40
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