Well, it’s here. Dancing With the Stars Season 31 kicked off live on Disney+ on Monday, September 19. And the ad-free show wasted no time getting to its first performance from the season.
In honor of the show’s “premiere party,” all of the competitors were asked to prepare a routine to a song that makes them want to celebrate. Hitting the dance floor first was recording artist Jordin Sparks with her partner Brandon Armstrong. They danced a cha-cha to Whitney Houston‘s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and earned praise from the judges, who ultimately gave them a 26 out of 40. But how does voting work for Dancing With the Stars Season 31?
Fans can vote for their favorite pairings at DisneyPlus.com/vote. You’ll have to login to your Disney+ account to submit your votes, with the voting window open the moment the dancing begins each Monday. You can cast up to 10 votes per couple, and the selections can be edited up until the voting window closes after the final competitive performance (just click “save votes” each time you make a change). For the first time ever, viewers in Canada can vote for Dancing With the Stars through the same site (and as usual, viewers from Puerto Rico can also partake). Votes can also be submitted by text by texting the first name of the star (e.g. “SHANGELA,” or “WAYNE,” or “SELMA”) to 21523.
“Vote through your favorites throughout the show,” co-host Alfonso Ribeiro advised during the livestream, as the first couple would be eliminated at the end of the Season 31 premiere. “You get 10 votes per couple per voting method,” added co-host Tyra Banks.
Between the dances and judge feedback, Banks revealed there are going to be a lot of theme nights this season, the next being Elvis night. As for the judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli sandwiched critiques between compliments. And for night one, they mostly stuck with compliments. And in lieu of commercial breaks, viewers got a visual break with mini performances from paired professionals.
Overall, the show barely felt different from the ABC iteration. Not having commercial breaks was a bit odd, but only because it was new. And some of the highlights of the night were the surprisingly skilled Bachelorette Gabby Windey, true showman Wayne Brady, the supercharged Shangela, and Selma Blair‘s (competing while living with multiple sclerosis) beautiful waltz that brought everyone to tears.
Here’s all of the performances from the Season 31 premiere of DWTS, in order of appearance, plus their total scores:
Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong: 26/40
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart: 27/40
Teresa Giudice and Pasha Pashkov: 20/40
Wayne Brady and Witney Carson: 29/40
Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki: 17/40
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko: 28/40
Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy: 28/40
Joseph Baena and Daniella Karagach: 23/40
Selma Blair and Sasha Farber: 21/40
Shangela and Gleb, Cheryl and Louis, Selma and Sasha, Jordin and Brandon, and Daniel and Britt were the first saved of the night. Jessie and Alan, Trevor and Emma, Wayne and Witney, Gabby and Val, Joseph and Daniella, Heidi and Artem, Charli and Mark, Vinny and Koko, and Sam and Cheryl followed.
The combined judges scores and votes sent Jason and Peta and Teresa and Pasha into the final two. The judges could only choose one couple, and in the end, they unanimously decided to save Teresa and Pasha, sending Jason and Peta home as the first cut of the season.
What did you think of the first-ever live competition show on a streaming service? For better or for worse, it certainly is the start of a new era.
Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, Disney+