‘Dancing with the Stars’ rankings: Lindsey Stirling & Jordan Fisher tied, but who really had the best dance of the night?

Season 25 of “Dancing With the Stars” is off to a competitive start. As predicted by Gold Derby’s racetrack odds, Lindsey Stirling and Jordan Fisher lived up to the hype as they tied for the top spot of the evening. Vanessa Lachey, Frankie Muniz, Nikki Bella, and Victoria Arlen proved that they are also worthy contenders for the trophy.

Landing in the middle of the pack were Sasha Pieterse, Derek Fisher, Nick Lachey and Debbie Gibson, while Drew Scott, Terrell Owens, and Barbara Corcoran rounded out the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard.

But did the judges get it right? Below are my own rankings for week one:

1. Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas – Cha Cha

After guest performing as a violinist on the show, Lindsey was excited about appearing as a contestant. Mark and Lindsey instantly bond over each other’s creativity, which translated well to their dance. Right off the bat, Lindsey commanded the dance floor with the stage presence of someone who’s been doing this their whole life. The routine was entertaining, full of hip action and spot-on technique. I agree with Len that I assumed Lindsey would do well at more elegant ballroom styles and struggle in the Latin dances, but she proved this week that she’s the one to beat.

Judges’ Scores: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 8 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 22/30

I agreed with Len’s score and critique that this was the performance of the night.

2. Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold – Tango

Jordan Fisher, best known for his role in “Hamilton,” is looking to “Dancing with the Stars” as a new challenge for him, and his partner Lindsay is super excited to have a contender who can finally take her all the way to her first Mirror Ball Trophy. From the looks of their first performance together, Jordan lives up to the hype. He and Lindsay had great chemistry and were perfectly in sync with each other. I loved how Jordan led Lindsay throughout the dance. This kid had some serious moves and proved that he’s one of the contenders to win.

Judges’ Scores: 8 (Carrie) + 7 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 22/30

Wow, an 8 from Carrie Ann! Jordan is definitely one of the stars to beat this season.

3. Vanessa Lachey & Maksim Chmerkovskiy  – Cha Cha

After becoming a mother Vanessa is looking to do something for herself, which is part of what inspired her to do “DWTS,” and her pro partner Maks compliments Vanessa on her work ethic and drive. I must admit, I didn’t expect much from Vanessa, but she shocked me tonight. I thought she had one of the more entertaining routines. She has a lot of charisma, which will no doubt help her go far. As long as Maks is fully engaged and invested in her and the competition, Vanessa could go a lot further than initially expected.

Judges’ Scores: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 7 (Len) + 7 (Bruno) = 21/30

Those scores were well deserved. I was definitely a fan of hers this week.

4. Victoria Arlen & Val Chmerkovskiy  – Cha Cha

Talk about a survivor. Victoria overcame the odds from being in a vegetative state to learning how to walk again only a year ago. Victoria mentions to Val that she still has no feeling in her legs, which could be a challenge for them throughout the competition. But for someone who just learned how to walk a year ago, Victoria was a natural on the floor. Her smile and energy lit up the room. I was impressed with her hip action and technique.

Judges’ Scores: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 6 (Len) + 6 (Bruno) = 19/30

I can live with these scores.

5. Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson – Foxtrot

Frankie is proud of his past television and film career as a child actor in “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Agent Cody Banks,” but he’s super nervous to do this show. However, I couldn’t tell her was nervous at all. Frankie is really light on his feet and did a great job in expressing himself with his dance. He also has an endearing personality that as a fan makes you root for him. He’s a potential dark horse this season.

Judges’ Scores: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 6 (Len) + 6 (Bruno) = 19/30

For once, I actually agreed with Carrie Ann.

6. Nikki Bella & Artem Chigvintsev  – Tango

Nikki is used to being the one in charge in her career as a WWE wrestler, and “Dancing with the Stars” will be the best opportunity for her to learn how to follow someone else’s lead. But her dance was a mixed bag for me. I was expecting her to kill it since the tango is full of attack and power. I agree with Len’s comment that she did have great body contact but lacked a certain confidence throughout the routine. With that said, I’m hoping Nikki is able to take Artem far in this competition.

Judges’ Scores: 7 (Carrie Ann) + 7 (Len) + 6 (Bruno) = 20/30

I’m fine with these scores.

7. Debbie Gibson & Alan Bersten – Foxtrot

After secretly battling Lyme disease for four years Debbie decided to come out of hiding by appearing on “DWTS,” and I thought Debbie’s dance was really lovely. Although some of the movements were a bit jerky, Debbie had lots of lyrical content in her performance.

Judges’ Scores: 6 (Carrie Ann) + 5 (Len)  + 6 (Bruno) = 17/30

I didn’t agree with Len’s score. I would’ve given her a 6 as well.

8. Derek Fisher & Sharna Burgess – Salsa

Sharna is hoping that Derek will be the first NBA player to make it far on “DWTS,” and surprisingly Derek does have some moves. Although the routine lacked a lot of proper salsa content, he was confident, energetic and pulled off some impressive lifts. Derek is on the right path to breaking that NBA player curse on the show.

Judges’ Scores: 6 (Carrie Ann) + 6 (Len) + 6 (Bruno) = 18/30

I agreed with the scores.

9. Sasha Pieterse & Gleb Savenchko – Cha Cha

“Pretty Little Liars” star Sasha Pieterse has a personal ballroom connection as both of her parents were professional dancers. Sasha has the confidence down, but I felt that the dance was a bit slow. Like several of the stars tonight, Sasha has the potential to go far. Gleb is going to make sure that we start to see more of her personality in the upcoming weeks, or she might be in for a surprising elimination sooner than we expect.

Judges’ Scores: 6 (Carrie Ann) + 6 ( Len) + 6 (Bruno) = 18/30

I’m fine with these scores.

10. Nick Lachey & Peta Murgatroyd – Cha Cha

Nick is trying to tie his brother Drew Lachey, who won back in season two, while also trying to defeat his wife Vanessa, who is competing against him this season — you can see above that I greatly preferred Vanessa this week. I thought Nick brought a lot of attack to his dance, but it lacked fluidity and hip action compared to his wife. I think Nick has the potential to get better, but he needs to work on letting loose and being more fluid with his movements.

Judges’ Scores: 6 (Carrie Ann) + 6 (Len) + 6 (Bruno) = 18/30

The judges scores were pretty spot on.

11. Terrell Owens & Cheryl Burke – Cha Cha

Terrell is hoping that his infamous touchdown dances will translate to the dance floor. I thought Terrell did a solid job considering he was a last minute replacement for this competition and was the first person to dance this season. In any other season, I probably would’ve ranked him a lot higher, but there were so many great dances this week.

Judges’ Scores: 5 (Carrie Ann) + 5 (Len) + 5 (Bruno) = 15/30

Ouch, he deserved a 6 or two in my opinion.

12. Drew Scott & Emma Slater – Foxtrot

“Property Brothers” star Drew Scott is paired with the reigning champ, Emma Slater, and hoping to prove to his skeptical family that he can dance. Although Drew is quite charming, his dance was a bit too hectic. Drew was ahead of the music at times and his movements were a bit wobbly. With this stacked competition, I’m afraid that Drew will be eliminated early, though he might last longer than he should on the strength of his charisma.

Judges’ Scores: 6 (Carrie Ann) + 5 (Len) + 5 (Bruno) = 16/30

I’m fine with these scores.

13. Barbara Corcoran & Keo Motsepe – Salsa

Barbara is proving that age ain’t nothing but a number. Each season there’s one contestant who might not be the best dancer but has personality for days. There really wasn’t much salsa content in their routine, but they made it up with Barbara’s charm and enthusiasm.

Judges’ Scores: 5 (Carrie Ann) + 4 (Len) + 5 (Bruno) = 14/30

I love Barbara, but I have to agree with Len’s score.


Looks like we’ll be saying goodbye to two contestants next Monday and Tuesday night. I’m predicting that Barbara Corcoran will be the first one eliminated come Monday night. If she somehow escapes elimination, then either Drew Scott or possibly Terrell will be the first one to go.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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