Season 17 of “Dancing With the Stars” premiered on Monday evening to an abundance of cheers, remarkable scores, tears of joy and sadness, and the usual jeers from judge Len Goodman.
DWTS has been revamped with a new ballroom layout, a one-night, two-hour format, fresh, professional dancers and a change in music. Traditionally, the dancing couples have performed to music played by the Harold Wheeler Orchestra. However, on the premiere of season 17, the “Dancing With the Stars” couples sashayed to original tracks and the orchestra played in and out of the breaks and for the DWTS troupe.
An all-star cast of 12 couples earned some of the highest scores ever for the debut episode of DWTS, led off by Peta Murgatroyd and Brant Daugherty of “Pretty Little Liars", who received an eight from Len.
The audience, which included megastar Jennifer Lopez and beau Casper Smart, was on their feet for the entire cast, however it was Amber Riley from “Glee”, Valerie Harper and Bill Nye the Science Guy who overshadowed their peers in popularity.
Amber and professional dancing partner Derek Hough scored three nines and emerged as the immediate frontrunners.
While Amber may have the scores, Bill Nye the Science Guy had audience support after Len jeered his performance with new professional, Tyne Stecklein.
And as expected, nothing compared to Valerie Harper’s appearance. The tears flowed for her strength and endurance as the 74-year-old actress whirled across the DWTS dance floor with partner Tristan MacManus, despite her terminal cancer diagnosis.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday evenings on ABC.
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