Dancing With The Stars 31 Recap: Disney+ Premiere Live Blog

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless)CARRIE ANN INABA, LEN GOODMAN, DEREK HOUGH, BRUNO TONIOLI
(ABC/Eric McCandless)CARRIE ANN INABA, LEN GOODMAN, DEREK HOUGH, BRUNO TONIOLI

Happy Monday, everyone! Ashley here, and I’m excited to be back live blogging another season of Dancing With The Stars! And this year, there are some major changes!

The biggest change to Season 31 is that DWTS will now air live exclusively on Disney+. It’s a decision that fans haven’t exactly taken a liking to, while some are unable to watch altogether due to not subscribing to the streaming service, so I’m glad to be here giving you all the updates on this season for those who desire them!

While fans cringed at the news of Tyra Banks returning to host, they later rejoiced at the announcement that she will be joined by former DWTS champ Alfonso Ribeiro! Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek HoughBruno Tonioli and Len Goodman also all return to the judges’ table.

Unlike past seasons, there WILL be an elimination at the end of tonight’s premiere, so voting is crucial! Vote at DisneyPlus.com or text the contestant’s FIRST NAME to 21523. Voting begins at the top of the show.

With that, let’s get dancing!

Season 31 kicks off with a group performance featuring all the pros! This season, original pros Louis Van Amstel and Mark Ballas return to the ballroom!

Jordin and Brandon – Cha Cha

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) JORDIN SPARKS, BRANDON ARMSTRONG
(ABC/Eric McCandless) JORDIN SPARKS, BRANDON ARMSTRONG

Jordin was a little stiff during that performance but overall did really well! Was pretty simple choreo but that’s expected for the first night. I can see this being a pairing made in heaven!

Len says she did a fantastic job. Derek tells her to work on the foot placement. Bruno says he wants to dance with her and the whole audience does as well! Carrie Ann says she did not disappoint.

Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 6, Derek- 6, Bruno- 7 = 26/40

Sam and Cheryl – Foxtrot

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) SAM CHAMPION, CHERYL BURKE
(ABC/Eric McCandless) SAM CHAMPION, CHERYL BURKE

It’s already clear Sam isn’t the best dancer here, but he’s one of those contestants that’s super fun to watch and has a natural chemistry with Cheryl that makes the performance enjoyable.

Derek says there were some timing issues but overall a great first dance (agreed). Bruno says the forecast is good. Carrie Ann says it was tender and sweet, and he made a core memory (k lol). Len says a few dark clouds appeared but he did a fabulous job for Week 1. 

Carrie Ann- 5, Len- 5, Derek- 5, Bruno- 5 = 20/40

Heidi and Artem – Cha Cha

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) HEIDI D’AMELIO, ARTEM CHIGVINTSEV
(ABC/Eric McCandless) HEIDI D’AMELIO, ARTEM CHIGVINTSEV

Heidi says she used to be a competitive dancer but this performance started out pretty weak. It did pick up in the middle, but definitely looked like a Week 1 Cha Cha.

Bruno says she’s a red hot mama. Carrie Ann thanks her for showing people that dance is something the family can do together. Len says she danced with confidence but she should try and get more freedom in her movement. Derek says he wonders who Daddy D’Amelio will vote for.

Carrie Ann- 6, Len- 6, Derek- 6, Bruno- 6 = 24/40

Daniel and Britt – Tango

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) BRITT STEWART, DANIEL DURANT
(ABC/Eric McCandless) BRITT STEWART, DANIEL DURANT

These two dance so well together. As always, it was simple choreo for the first night, but Daniel all but perfected it. He definitely has some improving to do, but he’s already a contender.

Carrie Ann says it was amazing and powerful with gorgeous lines. Len says his frame was good and plenty of attack. Derek says overall it was so impressive. Bruno says is Streisand was watching, she would be very pleased. 

Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 6, Derek- 7, Bruno- 7 = 27/40

Jessie and Alan – Cha Cha

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) JESSIE JAMES DECKER, ALAN BERSTEN
(ABC/Eric McCandless) JESSIE JAMES DECKER, ALAN BERSTEN

I literally said out loud, “Oh gosh, why is she stomping??” As a ballroom dancer with a preference for Latin dance, I’m extra picky with dances like this. She wasn’t horrible, but she’s got a lot to learn.

Len says she’s gotta work on her legs. Derek reminds her to straighten her legs. Bruno says the dance lost the Cha Cha. Carrie Ann says she went for it, but she needs to finish the movements. 

Carrie Ann- 5, Len- 5, Derek- 5, Bruno- 5 = 20/40

Teresa and Pasha – Tango

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) PASHA PASHKOV, TERESA GIUDICE
(ABC/Eric McCandless) PASHA PASHKOV, TERESA GIUDICE

Ok, the table flip at the beginning was clever. But ugh, this one is stompy too. And what just happened where they both stood there doing nothing for three seconds??

Derek reminds her to keep her frame wide. Bruno says she needs to use all the fire and passion while she dances. Carrie Ann tells her to stay focused and present. Len mentions how she lost focus in the middle and that she needs to attack the dance more.

Carrie Ann- 5, Len- 5, Derek- 5, Bruno- 5 = 20/40

Wayne and Witney – Cha Cha

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) WAYNE BRADY, WITNEY CARSON
(ABC/Eric McCandless) WAYNE BRADY, WITNEY CARSON

Wayne wins! Jk, he didn’t even dance yet. We all know he’s going to make it to the finale, if not win the whole thing. Especially by the way Witney didn’t make it a typical Week 1 Cha Cha, but a little more advanced. Because this guy can dance.

Bruno welcomes everyone to Wayne’s Dance World. Carrie Ann says his top half was better than his bottom half. Len tells him not to overdo it, but it was the most watchable dance of the night. Derek says he brings joy in everything he does and to find the balance between charisma and technique. 

Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 7, Derek- 7, Bruno- 8 = 29/40

Cheryl and Louis – Cha Cha

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) LOUIS VAN AMSTEL, CHERYL LADD
ABC/Eric McCandless) LOUIS VAN AMSTEL, CHERYL LADD

This has got to be the slowest Cha Cha I’ve ever seen. That wasn’t even simple choreo because there was hardly any Cha Cha.

Carrie Ann says it was too simple. Len says it was timid. Derek says she has beautiful arms and he’s looking forward to seeing her do ballroom dances. Bruno says she needs to push it a little further.

Carrie Ann- 6, Len- 5, Derek- 5, Bruno- 5 = 21/40

Vinny and Koko – Salsa

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) KOKO IWASAKI, VINNY GUADAGNINO
(ABC/Eric McCandless) KOKO IWASAKI, VINNY GUADAGNINO

It takes a lot to mess up Salsa. This was pretty dull compared to how pumped up Salsa usually is, and part of that is due to the boring choreo. It’s Week 1, but that Salsa could have been a little more spiced up.

Len says he didn’t dance like it was a club dance. Derek says there were timing issues but it was a great first dance. Bruno says it’s an achievement to finish the dance. Carrie Ann says he let Koko do all the work, and she wants to see him pump. 

Carrie Ann- 4, Len- 4, Derek- 5, Bruno- 4 = 17/40

Shangela and Gleb – Salsa

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) SHANGELA, GLEB SAVCHENK
(ABC/Eric McCandless) SHANGELA, GLEB SAVCHENK

Love seeing the first drag entertainer on DWTS, and Shangela can dance!! That was not simple choreo for the first week, I’m glad Gleb didn’t hold back. These two just might go far.

Derek says to refine it a little bit, but well done. Bruno says it was so spicy and so hot, it was intoxicating. Carrie Ann thanks her for showing up and being all that she is. Len says there was no holding back, she came out and sold it 100 percent. 

Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 7, Derek- 7, Bruno- 7 = 28/40

Trevor and Emma – Quickstep

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) EMMA SLATER, TREVOR DONOVAN
(ABC/Eric McCandless) EMMA SLATER, TREVOR DONOVAN

I’ll never understand why they give Quickstep in the first week, but holy sh–! Trevor just blew me away! Quickstep isn’t easy to do on a good day never mind on the first night. Trevor can definitely dance and you can see from that performance alone what a great teacher Emma is.

Bruno says he needs to refine because he has the talent. Carrie Ann says to not be afraid of dancing because he can dance. Len says it was hectic and manic (BOO). Derek says he thought it would be a catastrophe but he did a great job! 

Carrie Ann- 5, Len- 5, Derek- 5, Bruno- 6 = 21/40

Gabby and Val – Jive

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) VAL CHMERKOVSKIY, GABBY WINDE
(ABC/Eric McCandless) VAL CHMERKOVSKIY, GABBY WINDEY

I’m impressed, this girl can dance. Val is always one of those pros who makes their students look better than they are, but I don’t think that was the case this time. And “As It Was” by Harry Styles is an unexpectedly great Jive song.

Carrie Ann says she has great legs. Len says it was great. Derek says it was the best dance of the night. Bruno says first Jive, first class.

Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 7, Derek- 7, Bruno- 7 = 28/40

Joseph and Daniella – Jive

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) JOSEPH BAENA, DANI KARAGACH
(ABC/Eric McCandless) JOSEPH BAENA, DANI KARAGACH

Another stompy person. It works a little better with a Jive but doesn’t cut it. Good choreo, Daniella is good like that, but Joseph has a lot to learn and fortunately a good teacher to learn it from.

Len says his footwork was too soft and flappy. Derek says he enjoyed it. Bruno says he’ll be back (ha). Carrie Ann says he’s fascinating to watch and reminds her of Iman.

Carrie Ann- 6, Len- 5, Derek- 6, Bruno- 6 = 23/40

Jason and Peta – Cha Cha

  DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless)  JASON LEWIS, PETA MURGATROYD
(ABC/Eric McCandless) JASON LEWIS, PETA MURGATROYD

That was a very simple Week 1 Cha Cha but Jason still couldn’t nail it unfortunately. I can see him possibly being better at ballroom dances rather than Latin.

Derek says because it’s Week 1, it can only get better. Bruno tells him not to count out loud. Carrie Ann tells him he needs to breathe. Len says it was a disappointing performance. 

Carrie Ann- 5, Len- 4, Derek- 4, Bruno- 5 = 18/40

Selma and Sasha – Viennese Waltz

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) SELMA BLAIR, SASHA FARBER
(ABC/Eric McCandless) SELMA BLAIR, SASHA FARBER

That was so good. Salma nailed every step, and Sasha proved, as usual, what a great teacher he is. And double points for dancing to “Time of My Life” by David Cook!

Bruno says she created magic tonight. Carrie Ann says she danced it like a true artist. Len tells her not to underestimate herself because she came out and danced beautifully. Derek says her strength and courage define her, not her illness, and his only note is that it wasn’t longer.

Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 7, Derek- 7, Bruno- 7 = 28/40

Charli and Mark – Cha Cha

DANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) CHARLI D’AMELIO, MARK BALLAS
(ABC/Eric McCandless) CHARLI D’AMELIO, MARK BALLAS

Charli’s got some natural dance talent, but Mark is no easy partner to have. He’s hardcore and full of talent, and I wonder if Charli will live up to those expectations that go along with having Mark as a partner. Adding in a little TikTok-esque step was cute and that ending! Woo!

Carrie Ann welcomes TikTok to Disney+. Len essentially says she nailed it. Derek welcomes Mark back and then says Charli exceeded the expectation. Bruno says this performance was the cherry on the cake for tonight.

Carrie Ann- 8, Len- 8, Derek- 8, Bruno- 8 = 32/40

Len thanks America for everyone’s kind words on the passing of The Queen, then the show recaps the night as scores are calculated.

The bottom 2 are… Jason and Peta and Teresa and Pasha.

The couple going home is… Jason and Peta.

ANCING WITH THE STARS - “Premiere Party” – “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a star-studded season 31 featuring 16 new celebrities who are ready to hit the ballroom floor for their first live performance, MONDAY, SEPT. 19 (8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT), on Disney+. (ABC/Eric McCandless) TERESA GIUDICE, PASHA PASHKOV, TYRA BANKS, ALFONSO RIBEIRO, PETA MURGATROYD, JASON LEWIS
(ABC/Eric McCandless) TERESA GIUDICE, PASHA PASHKOV, TYRA BANKS, ALFONSO RIBEIRO, PETA MURGATROYD, JASON LEWIS

I expected a much more disastrous start to the season, idk about y’all lol I’m actually impressed by all the talent in the ballroom tonight. Who is everyone rooting for? I had an initial favorite befoe the show started, but now I’m left rooting for Trevor and Emma! See you all next week for Elvis Night!!

About Ashley Amber 32 Articles
Ashley Amber is a 27-year-old writer and author. Ashley independently published a novelette series in the genre of fantasy/romance titled Flip Side Series, with a third book in the works. She made her poetry debut in 2021, published in an LGBTQIA+ anthology by InkFeathers Publishing, for which she also had the honor of writing the back cover blurb. Aside from books and poetry, Ashley has worked as a pop culture writer and blogger for numerous blogs, most notably MJ's Big Blog, Collider and The DIS. When she's not writing, you can find Ashley on Youtube where she makes videos about her writer's life and author journey.