Dancing With the Stars: The Winners and Losers of Week One

at .

Dancing With the Stars is back!

The veteran ABC reality series returned with a new host in Tyra Banks, a new judge in Derek Hough, and some of the most controversial contestants to date. 

ABC opted to leave us hanging about who the celebrity dancers would be paired with ahead of the premiere in an attempt to keep people in suspense. 

tyra dwts

Banks, who has appeared on a string of reality TV series, was visibly nervous upon her debut. There has been a lot of backlash in recent weeks because the show fired Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. 

It's likely she will settle into the role in the coming weeks. 

Now, let's move on to the winners and losers of the premiere. 

Carole Baskin Performs - Dancing With the Stars

Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov - LOSER

The most bizarre casting announcement in recent years was, of course, Tiger King star Carole Baskin, and it was evident from the jump that she's going to be in for a rough time with the judges. 

Dancing to "Eye of the Tiger," Carole struggled to stay in sync with Pasha, meaning that she's an early contender to get the boot. 

A score of 11/30 is horrid for a first performance, but she could rise like a phoenix in the coming weeks because viewer votes will probably keep her in for a few weeks. 

AJ McLean - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke - WINNER

Performing artists typically have an easy ride on Dancing With the Stars, and this pairing's jive to was pretty decent. 

There were, of course, some first dance jitters, but it was a high-energy and well-executed debut performance. 

An 18/30 score was right on the money for them. 

Chrishell Stause on the Premiere - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko - LOSER

Chrishell Stause was a big get by the producers, and while I thought she would have been excellent at a tango with Gleb, the performance fell way short of expectations. 

Stause is riding a wave of popularity now thanks to her appearance on Selling Sunset, so she should have the audience to keep her safe for a while. 

Stause needs to fine-tune her performance, and she could be in with a chance of making it very far in the competition. 

For now, however, a 13/30 score will not cut it. 

Vernon Davis on DWTS - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd - WINNER

The Foxtrot is a difficult dance, and doing it on the first week was a ballsy move. For the most part, it was a good performance. 

It was elegant and executed well, and the judges picked up on that. 

It scored 17/30.

Anne Heche on DWTS - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe - WINNER

Are they a match made in DWTS heaven? I think so!

Heche is a seasoned actress, but I was genuinely concerned about how her performance was going to be, but she and Motsepe had an undeniable rapport and it carried through their Cha-Cha. 

The judges rewarded them with a score of 18/30.

Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong  - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong - WINNER

This was another excellent performance. Jeannie wants to take risks on the dance floor, and that's a good thing. 

It's not often people push themselves in their first performances, but you would think that they had been dancing for years. 

Their salsa will be remembered as one of the best first dances in years. 

They secured a vote of 18/30. 

Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess - WINNER

Jesse and Sharna were both in sync, hitting most of their moves, so why do I feel unimpressed?

Metcalfe looked uncomfortable throughout the whole performance. It's one thing to hit the moves, but you need to look happy about doing it. 

Maybe I'm being too critical, but that's something they need to work on. 

18/30 is the score. 

Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten - WINNER

Skai and Alan are the ones to beat this season. 

It was a nuanced performance that moved with great pace, and the best part of it was the connection between the pair. 

They garnered a well-deserved 21/30. 

Kaitlyn Bristowe Competes - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev - WINNER

Kaitlyn has made it known she wanted to be a part of DWTS for years, and boy, she delivered quite the performance. 

There were nerves, but it was solid from start-to-finish, and earned them a 20/30 score from the judges. 

Nev Schulman on DWTS - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson - Surprising Winner Alert!

Ahead of the premiere, I figured Nev would spring a leak and be an early exit, but he was the biggest surprise of the premiere. 

Nev and Jenna are a great pair, and could go very far in the competition, but it will all come down to how popular they are. Let's face it, the series has become a popularity contest of late. 

They delivered a score of 20/30. 

Johnny Weir on DWTS - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart - WINNER

Johnny was uncomfortable, but he somehow managed to hit most of the moves. 

That takes skill, possibly showing that he can perform well under immense pressure. That could help Britt Stewart make it far, we guess. 

The score was 18/30. 

Justina Machado on DWTS - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Justina Machado and pro Sasha Farber - WINNER

Justina oozed confidence on the dancefloor, and that bodes very well for her future in the competition. 

Sasha was a great partner, and I'm excited to see how this shakes out for them in the coming weeks. 

A 21/30 score was great for the first night. 

Charles Oakley on DWTS - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Charles Oakley and Emma Slater - LOSER

Charles struggled from the jump. 

A salsa is not the toughest to perform, but there's a lack of skill here, and Charles will need to adapt quickly if he wants to stay in the running. 

Score: 12/30

Monica Aldama  - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy - WINNER

Another decent pairing, and they kicked off their performance in a slow and steady way, that slowly built up to an epic conclusion. 

They garnered a score of 19/30.

Nelly on DWTS - Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Episode 1

Nelly and Daniella Karagach - WINNER

What I thought would implode actually blossomed into a great performance. 

There is room for improvement, but this was a decent start. 

Score 16/30.

What did you think of the premiere?

Hit the comments below. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: , ,