Nyle DiMarco, Ginger Zee and Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris dominate in 'Dancing With the Stars' premiere: Who will go the distance?
Dancing With the Stars kicked off season 22 Monday night, and it was clear from the start who has the talents, charms and powerhouse personas to make it far in the dancing competition.
From Nyle DiMarco, the deaf America's Next Top Model winner who killed it with partner Peta Murgatroyd, to Wanya Morris, the Boyz II Men singer whose bombastic personality shined through in his DWTS premiere, here are the stars who made a big first impression during the season premiere.
1. Nyle Dimarco
The New York-born heartthrob is the first-ever completely deaf contestant on DWTS. He communicates via sign language and an interpreter and is learning to dance from his partner, Peta Murgatroyd, through mostly physical direction but also using the vibrations of the music when it's loud enough. Despite these challenges, DiMarco pulled off a jaw-dropping cha-cha that left the judges in disbelief. The pair scored a 23 out of 30, tying for the highest score of the night.
2. Ginger Zee
The Good Morning America weather anchor danced a fantastic jive with her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, that blew the judges away. Carrie Ann Inaba praised the performance as "phenomenal," and the couple also received a score of 23. But most impressive of fall? Zee only gave birth to her first child, son Adrian, three months ago!
3. Wanya Morris
The effortlessly effervescent Boyz II Men singer and his partner, Lindsay Arnold, performed an amazing cha-cha set to the Boyz II Men hit, "Motownphilly." The dance that got the biggest fan reaction of the evening. Even without his impressive footwork, Morris could go a long way on the shining power of his smile alone. Morris and Arnold ended up nabbing 23 out of 30 as well.
4. Antonio Brown
The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver took the stage with amazing style and grace, pulling off an impressive quick step with his partner, Sharna Burgess. The dynamic dance was praised as "magical" by the judges, though he didn't pull off the same score as some of the night's breakouts, earning 21 out of 30. Nonetheless, Brown definitely has the talent to develop into a serious competitor.
5. Von Miller
The Super Bowl 50 MVP dominated the dance floor with a flawless foxtrot. Miller and his partner, Witney Carson, were a perfect match, despite their enormous height (and body mass!) difference, which the dancing pro even made note of in the duo's pre-taped intro. While they didn't get the highest score of the night, Miller did tie with his fellow NFL pro, Brown, scoring a 21.
6. Marla Maples
The Broadway actress and ex-wife of Donald Trump pulled off an impressive and stylish quick step with her partner, Tony Dovolani. Dancing to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," the pair pulled off a sparkling routine that even judge Len Goodman seemed to love. They ended up with a 21.
7. Paige VanZant
The UFC fighter ruled the dance floor nearly as hard as she rules the ring. She pulled off an impressively graceful and impassioned foxtrot with her pro partner, Mark Ballas, and was praised by the judges for having a lot of potential in the coming weeks. Just like Brown, Miller, and Maples, VanZant and Ballas left the floor with a 21.
While the premiere had its fair share of impressive breakout stars, it also had quite a few disappointing performances.
The O.C. alum Mischa Barton delivered a lackluster tango with her partner, Artem Chigvintsev. Goodman criticized the low-key routine, telling Barton, "That wasn't a dance, that was walking." She ended the night with a 16 out of 30.
See more of season 22's couples:
NFL legend Doug Flutie had all the personality you could hope for in a contestant, but he just didn't have the footwork required to pull off an impressive performance. The judges credited him for his effort, but he ended up getting a 15.
The lowest score of the night went to Fox News commenter Geraldo Rivera. He poked fun at his infamous The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults debacle from the '80s, bringing out his partner, Edyta Sliwinska, from a recreation of Capone's vault before the pair danced a stilted and rather boring cha-cha. Rivera and Sliwinska ended up with the lowest score of 13.
Does this mean Rivera's time on the show will be short? It's hard to say, given his name recognition, as worse dancers have made it pretty far on the power of their fame alone. At this point it's anyone's guess who will be going home first, but we're already predicting that the top three will go quite far in the reality dance competition.