Dancing With the Stars Season Premiere Recap: Let's Get Ready to Rumba (or Foxtrot)!

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Was this the best Dancing With the Stars Season Premiere night in history?!

The judges seemed to think so, and unlike Chris Harrison on The Bachelor, they don't throw around superlatives like that every single episode of every season.

So you know Monday's Season 14 opener was at least pretty good, and with no one on the block tonight, the contestants were free to let loose, pressure-free!

Not to say we didn't learn who's in it to win it and whose cringe-inducing moves will likely make their stint on DWTS a short one, but all are safe this week!

Let's get right to the biggest story, though: Jaleel White is no Steve Urkel.

Jaleel White and Kym Johnson

His foxtrot with Kym Johnson closed the show, but DWTS saved the best dance for last apparently, as the former Family Matters star posted a 26! In Week One!

Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins was elegant during her own foxtrot with Mark Ballas, also scoring a 26 and tying Urkel Jaleel for first place Monday.

Also coming out of nowhere? Cuban actor William Levy, a telenovela star known as "the Mexican Brad Pitt" apparently. Funny as that is, his skills are no joke!

His cha-cha with Cheryl Burke had Carrie Ann thanking ABC for her job. That about sums it up right there, has Levy swept into a solid third with 24 points.

The 67-year-old Gladys Knight made the AARP crowd proud with a cha-cha that "oozed rhythm," according to Len. That's right, Len. Well done, Gladys!

NFL star Donald Driver was so amped up, he was instructed to rein in his enthusiasm just a bit for next week's quickstep, but he still came out swinging.
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd

Roshon Fegan of the Disney's Shake It Up! and Camp Rock fame handled the cha-cha with confidence. Keep your eye on Roshon and Chelsie Hightower.

Melissa Gilbert didn't start strong, despite a shirtless Maksim Chmerkovskiy as her partner, though both she and Maria Menounos showed some promise.

Sherri Shepherd, despite a well-received first dance, had to put this out there right away: "I apologize to everybody I criticized at The View," she joked.

Jack Wagner landed right in the middle of the pack with his foxtrot, while a jovial Gavin DeGraw and an elegant Martina Navratilova brought up the rear.

Bruno absolutely loved the tennis legend's sass and class, even after she admitted she had not worn a dress in 20 years. Don't write Martina off yet.

Only six points separated first from last, though, so everyone is in the running heading into next week's jives and quicksteps. Should be a lot of fun!

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough

The Dancing With the Stars season premiere scoreboard:

  • Jaleel White & Kym Johnson: 26
  • Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas: 26
  • William Levy & Cheryl Burke: 24
  • Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus: 24
  • Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya: 23
  • Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower: 23
  • Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy: 23
  • Maria Menounos & Derek Hough: 21
  • Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd: 21
  • Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff: 20
  • Martina Navratilova & Tony Dovolani: 20
  • Melissa Gilbert & Maks Chmerkovskiy: 20

Who was your favorite in the first week? Who do you think has what it takes to make it far, and who will be on the block next week? Share your comments below!

And vote in our poll: Who will win Dancing With the Stars!


Křivoklát vaám drží palce Martino


Donald and Peta that's my pick for the season. They danced like its midway in the season. The football star is accustom to the stage and he danced like nobody's watching, and although the crowd loved it I didn't think they got the scores to back that up. I also like Gladys Knight, I know she wouldn't go far but I hope she takes it as far as possible and show the young folks that she can compete with them. We know she can sing, now she got to showcase her dancing; and I think she and her partner did pretty good for the first night. Donald I'm rootng for you, but watch Jaleel.
Good luck Donald and Gladys.


Great first night! The thing I noticed was that most of the male contestants actually 'led' their professional partners. I have never seen that before on DWTS. It always looked as if their female partners were outdancing them to make them look good. This time, the males made their pro partners look good. I think those with the 20 scores danced early and it was almost as if the judges were holding back to give them room to move up, then came the onslaught of talent. Going to be a tough season. Loved it all!


Earlier tonight (on 3/20), I watched the season premiere of "Dancing With The Stars" on abc.com. As always, host Tom Bergeron looks very handsome and very dashing!!! Anyway, I thought that Jaleel and Sherri were the best ones out there. My least favorite ones are Jack and Melissa. As for the rest of this season's cast...we shall see..........

Carol worth

Jack is getting old, people! Give him a break. He'll loosen up! Looks great for his age. Everyone was very good last night. Enjoyed the show. I agree with the treatment of Max, though.


This is going to be one of the greatest seasons in quite awhile. However, they were very unfair to Melissa Gilbert, she was better than Maria, and Martina, and they gave her the most grief.. Whats up with that.. There are already a couple of dancers that will be hard to beat.


i really think, they need some NEW judges....i'm SICK of them kissing derek and marks butts all the time...and coming down so hard on maks. alisa


It was a good one. I am glad I tuned in. I thought the judging was not to bad. Play fair Judges or I will be upset at you all.


I think it was the best opening show they had ever had. Everyone is very talented but the judges still seem to hold a grudge against Max. No matter who he dances with, he probably won't ever win the prize until he bows to the judges


Jack was stiff as a board, he looked terrible. I loved Gladys and Sherry needs to strap down her puppies.


Dancing with the Stars Quotes

We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before.

Cristian de la Fuente [following his injury, trip to the hospital and subsequent stellar performance]

I am not the best dancer, and I have not been the best dancer from the beginning. I am happy we made it this far.

Cristian de la Fuente