Tonight on ABC Dancing With The Stars 2015 airs with an all new Monday September 14, season 21 premiere episode and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode, the 21st-season opener begins with 13 celebrities, including Gary Busey, Paula Deen, Nick Carter, Chaka Khan, Bindi Irwin and Victor Espinoza.
For those of you who don’t know, the show is about celebrities are paired with professionals in a ballroom-dance competition, with one pair typically eliminated each week.
On tonight’s episode as per the ABC synopsis, “the premiere episode will kick off with the biggest number in DWTS history shot on Hollywood Boulevard. The night continues with each couple dancing a Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Salsa, Quickstep or Jive, vying for America’s vote for the first time. No couples will be eliminated on week 1, and they will all advance to week 2 of the competition.”
Tune in tonight at 8 PM EST on ABC to watch the stars all hit the ballroom. We’ll be recapping it for you live right here. In the meantime hit up our comments section and tell us who you are rooting for?
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
Tonight’s season 21 premiere of Dancing With The Stars kicks off with an opening dance number with the all new cast. After the judges take their seats, it is time for the first couple of the season to perform. Up first is Triple Crown winner Victor Espinosa and his partner Karina Smirnoff with a salsa. Now, it is time for their critiques.
Julianne: “That was definitely a fun way to start the season. Those hips though! I gotta be honest, I was really surprised, I thought there would have been a little bit more of something stiff going on down there. But, you know what they say – big things come in small packages.”
Bruno: “The thing is darling we have to see a bit more salsa. And, you have to be on time because this is a dance competition.”
Carrie Ann: “You are adorable! I loved it. Your timing and your energy is so focused. There was like no salsa, but I give you credit for your galloping. You came out and you were just like I’m gonna horse it out.”
Up next is Grammy nominated singer and reality TV star Tamar Braxton, with her pro dancing partner and reigning champion Val Chmerkovskiy. Tamar and Val perform an energetic quickstep dance, and they line up and wait for the judges’ critiques.
Bruno: “High octane, high volume, high class. Just keeping up the pace to that speed was unbelievable. Long way to go but great beginning to the season.”
Carrie Ann: “I did not expect that, you blew me away. That is one of the hardest dances to do and it only week one!”
Julianne: “The thing that I love so much is that you are feisty and fierce, but there was a feminity that was smooth and graceful. For a first dance and your first week as a quickstep, that was really really great.”
Grammy winner Chaka Khan is up next, with her pro dancing partner Keo Motsepe. Chaka Khan and Keo take the Dancing With The Stars stage and perform the cha-cha to one of Chaka’s hit songs. Then they line up for the judges’ critiques.
Carrie Ann: “That was my groove in high-school! I can’t believe you are performing in front of us, it’s fantastic to have you, such an honor. It was super fun, but you were having so much fun – sometimes you forgot the choreography. But, it’s only week one!
Julianne: “What a glorious entrance for a glorious woman. Next week you should work on filling that space around you, use that space around you.”
Bruno: “I feel like I am in the presence of royalty here. I love to funk like anyone else, but the cha-cha is a very specific technique. It pains me to say so because I adore you, but you have to focus on the technique. Your personality is superb though!”
The next couple to perform on Dancing With The Stars is social media celeb Hayes Grier and his pro partner Emma Slater. Hayes and Emma hit the stage and perform a Cha-Cha to the popular song “Cheerleader.” Afterwards they line up on the stage for the for the judges’ critiques.
Julianne: “Okay, that just got me really really excited. Yu have a natural ability. Focus on your core strength and open your eyes and focus on Emma and you will be a little more in sync.”
Bruno: “What do we have here? Season 21’s boy wonder. Your musicality seems to be so natural, you have to be a bit sharper – so when you do your moves you got to hit it, and focus on it and kill people at home.”
Carrie Ann: “I was just watching you and I was thinking, if only I was 30 years younger, and even then I would still be too old for you. You have great stage persona, I want to see more of that. Julianne is right though, open your eyes please!”
“Honey I’m Good” singer Andy Grammer and his pro dancing partner Allison Holker are up next on the Dancing With The Stars stage. For their first performance Andy and Allison dance the Foxtrot. Now it’s time for Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Julianne Hough’s critiques and scores.
Bruno: “I have to say for the very first time tackling the foxtrot you did very well, it’s such a difficult dance and you were so dashing and so confident. The footwork has to be very very smooth, and you should never emphasize the rise and fall. As a debut, very well done!”
Carrie Ann: “I can guarantee you that your mother as smiling down on you. You were a bit nervous, I think next time you have to focus on getting a better connection with Allison.”
Julianne: “I loved it! And I disagree I thought your connection was wonderful, you do need some work on your shoulders though. A true performer is present, and I thought you were very present on every single move that you did.”
Celebrity chef Paula Deen is up next, she takes the stage with her pro dancing partner and world champion Louis Van Amstel. Paula and Louis take the Dancing With The Stars stage and perform a quickstep for the judges.
Carrie Ann: “You know, okay, I actually see a lot of potential with you and I can tell it comes naturally to you. The place I saw the most potential was the way you went aroud with your neck, it was beautiful – the rest of it didn’t really come together.”
Julianne: “I think Carrie Ann is right, you were holding on to Louis for dear life. There might have been a little too much going on. It’s week one though and that is nerve-racking.”
Bruno: “The worst is done, relax! If you were attached to him any harder you would have broken him. Just go for it my darling!”
Carlos Penavega and his DWTS pro partner Witney Carson are up next, they perform a jive to the classic song “I Feel Good.” After their performance the audience goes crazy, it’s time to hear what the judges thought though.
Julianne: “First of all I just want to say that you are the most natural performer we have seen so far tonight. You’re strong and solid, you look like a man. I feel like there is so much inside of you and I want to see it come out, a little bit more energy.”
Bruno: “I want to see the evil inside you! Blow the gasket on your engine. Seriously though, great performance, you got to poit your feet and retrieve, you got to work on that.”
Carrie Ann: “Your musicality off the charts, you were interpreting the music like no other!”
Carlos’s wife Alexa Penavega is up next, she hits the stage with her pro partner Mark Ballas, they also perform a jive just like Carlos and Witney. When they are done dancing it is time to hear what the DWTS judges thought of their performance.
Bruno: “I am loving this. It’s like Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Hot, sexy, and wild Latina – the way I love it. And, your kicks and flips were good, that’s the way I like it!”
Carrie Ann: “you were so beautiful out there. You gotta watch your arm though that is not in holding, you were so sexy and then I was like whoa what is that arm doing?”
Julianne: “That was one of the hardest jives I have ever seen. You guys had so much content in there. You have an amazing presence, keep that up and just keep the connection going. You will feel more connected if you just look at each other.”
The next couple to take the stage during the Season 21 premiere of Dancing With The Stars is RHOA star Kim Zolciak and her pro dancing partner Tony Dovolani. Kim and Tony perform a salsa to a popular Nicki Minaj song – afterwards Kim is in tears because she is so proud of herself. But, what do the judges think?
Carrie Ann: “You did it! A little bit of advice though, you are a beautiful woman and we want to see you go for it. There is no reason for you to hold back, I felt like you were really scared and you just did the bare minimum. You better come back next week and go pow.”
Julianne: “Carrie Ann is right, I felt like that was slow motion. I want to see you come back and fire it up, I know that it is in you.”
Bruno: “This dance could be grounds for divorce. You got all that on display, and you know you and do nothing with it. You just gotta deliver. You went through it, which is good, but you have to perform it. You have to sell it!”
Bindi Irwin takes the Dancing With The Stars stage next with her partner Derek Hough. Bindi and Derek perform an energetic jive and they line up wait for Carrie Ann, Bruno, and Julianne to critique them. It’s always entertaining to hear Julianne judge her own brother.
Julianne: “From the bush to the ballroom, the flicks, the kicks, the face, and the fun – that is what this competition is about. That was the best performance of the night!”
Bruno: “You really are the wonder from down under, it had a finish that was so exciting to see in week one. Plus you have adorable charm. People love you!”
Carrie Ann: “You are a superstar. When I was watching you, if it was 30 years ago – I would want to be your best friend because your energy is amazing!”
Iconic actor Gary Busey and his pro dancing partner Anna Trebunskaya take the Dancing With The Stars stage – they have had a tough time in rehearsals, but Gary is catching on slowly but surely. They take the stage and perform the Cha-Cha to the hit song “Dancing In The Streets.” Now, it’s time to learn what the judges thought.
Bruno: “It was like watching a summer blockbuster, and yet I kept watching. Bring on the sequel, I’ll watch it!”
Carrie Ann: “You were great hands with Anna. In dance you are watching some people just sort of mock the moves and they don’t geet it, but you were 1000% on it!”
Julianne: “Gary you are larger than life and we don’t want you to stop. I’m not sure how much of a cha-cha that was but you stole our hearts, and hopefully you stole America’s hearts too.”
Alex Skarlatos and pro dancer Lindsay Arnold take the Dancing With The Stars stage next and wow the audience with their jive to “Ten Feet Tall.” Now, it’s time to hear what the judges thought of their performance.
Carrie Ann: “I did not expect that at all. I’m sure this experience must be so surreal to you but you just came out here and showed us the best dance of the night. Lindsay you did a good job teaching him. You took my breath away.”
Julianne: “You definitely are the surprise of the night. One thing that is really cool is you are representing every one in America that wishes they could be here. You went out there and you had a blast, and also Lindsay your choreography was beautiful.”
Bruno: “You were born to ballroom. Obviously you have never danced before, be careful with your links, but I am telling you – outstanding!”
The final performance of the night is Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and pro dancing partner Sharna Burgess doing a jive on the Dancing With The Stars stage. Afterwards they line up for the judges’ critiques and to learn their Week 1 score.
Julianne: “Always a fan, I just gotta say this night has been amazing and what a way to wrap up the night. You were going off time and in time and it was really creative and I loved it. Sorry im blushing!
Bruno: “Carry on like that and I promise you Backstreet will be back next week and the week after that.”
Carrie Ann: “I thought it was great but I want to say something, at the beginning you didn’t start out strong. You seemed kind of out of sorts, but then you kicked it back in and then you killed it. Don’t let that fear come back in!”