‘Dancing with the Stars’ season 27 premiere recap: Which celebs blew us away when 2-night premiere kicked off? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Season 27 of “Dancing with the Stars” is officially underway. But the premiere on Monday night, September 24, was just the beginning. This was the start of a special two-night premiere event that will culminate in the elimination of one celebrity and the official announcement of the “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” cast on Tuesday night. So who showed they have what it takes to win the Mirror Ball Trophy? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

SEE ‘Dancing with the Stars’: How to vote for your favorite on ‘DWTS’ week one of season 27

On the first night of competition three celebs performed a jive: model Alexis Ren, radio personality Bobby Bones and R&B singer Tinashe.

Three performers had another fast-paced dance, the cha cha: Football player DeMarcus Ware, gymnast Mary Lou Retton and Disney channel actor Milo Manheim.

Another three celebs tackled the foxtrot: Paralympian Danelle Umstead, “Harry Potter” actress Evanna Lynch and “Dukes of Hazzard” actor John Schneider.

Two contestants took on the salsa: “Fuller House” actor Juan Pablo Di Pace and stand-up comedian Nikki Glaser.

And the last two braved the quickstep: “Bachelor” star Joe Amabile and “The Facts of Life” actress Nancy McKeon.

The good news for all these celebs is that after performing these routines on Monday night, they’ll be trotting out the exact same dance styles on Tuesday, but to different music. So they’ll be able to hone their skills from night one to night two. However, they couldn’t treat Monday night’s show like just a practice run: the judges’ scores and viewer votes from the premiere episode will decide who’s eliminated on Tuesday.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

Who gave the best performances in the first night of the competition, and who will be eliminated first? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (all-times listed are Eastern).

Cordell Martin, 7:55pm — I have a funny feeling that Milo and Alexis are going to be the big surprises of the evening.

Daniel Montgomery, 7:56pm — I think Alexis is a wild card. Amazing or terrible or anywhere in-between. Milo could also be a pleasant surprise.

DM, 8:03pm — I was analyzing the contestants moves during their brief little intros during the opening number. Juan Pablo is gonna do just fine. Milo might be a pleasant surprise. Bobby Bones might not have the moves.

Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:04pm — The veteran gymnast is up first, and she’s relieved to have one of the shorter pro dancers, since she’s four-foot-nine. She lucked out with Sasha, since he’s not only a shorter pro. He also partnered with the only little person who has ever competed on the show.

JUDGESLen Goodman thought she was “nifty for fifty,” but she needs to calm down a bit and not rush through her routines. Bruno Tonioli noticed a brief mistake towards the beginning, but she has natural precision. But Carrie Ann Inaba thought she was “so clean” and “so precise” despite a couple of mistakes.

Jeffrey Kare, 8:06pm — I’d say that was a great way to start the season off.

CM, 8:07pm — I thought she did good despite being ahead of the music at times.

DM, 8:08pm — Solid start. She was rough around the edges, but if she cleans up some of the more awkward moments, I think she has the chops.

CM, 8:09pm — She could be the older contestant that goes far

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (7), Bruno (6) — Total: 19 out of 30

CM, 8:11pm — Really Carrie Ann and Bruno???

DM, 8:12pm — They err on the side of caution this early on, so I don’t think the 6s were too bad. It depends on how they score the later dancers.

Milo Manheim and Witney Carson (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:14pm — I think Milo might have the chops. We’re about to find out.

DM, 8:16pm — Milo can hang. He’s a keeper.

JK, 8:16pm — What a surprise!

CM, 8:16pm — Knew it!

JUDGES — Bruno thought his timing was “brilliant,” though he gets a little knobby-kneed, but if he fixes that he’s “great.” Carrie Ann thinks he has great stature, he’s a little “wild.” Len thought he lost a little control in his body, but “you’re a dancer, well done.”

JK, 8:18pm — He could just be one of the more successful Disney kids like Jordan Fisher.

CM, 8:18pm — I agree.

DM, 8:19pm — I’m not ready to call him the next Jordan Fisher just yet, but if you add a little polish, he definitely has potential to make the finals at least.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Bruno (7) — Total: 20 out of 30

CM, 8:21pm — I agree. He’s like a Riker Lynch or Kyle Massey.

DM, 8:22pm — So far we’ve had two contestants who have the skills to go far if they can clean it up a bit, no one who has been perfect right out of the gate, but so far no complete duds, so that’s good.

Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe (Foxtrot)

DM, 8:23pm — “I am so unbelievably excited,” says the erstwhile Luna Lovegood about being on the show. Keo is so excited to see her that he drops to his knees. Evanna actually wanted to go to dance college, but she was rejected. So she definitely has the drive. Hopefully Keo can redeem her.

JUDGES — “Let’s just get this straight: you can dance,” says Carrie Ann, who thinks she has beautifully lines, but she needs to watch her shoulders. Len can see that “you’re a dancer,” even though it didn’t quite suit her on the first show. And Bruno thinks she has “the magic within” her, but she needs to avoid hanging on too tightly to her partner, and she needs to watch her free hand.

DM, 8:28pm — Not bad. Great start for Evanna, another one tonight who I think has the goods and room for improvement.

JK, 8:29pm — Very skillful routine! Hopefully this season, Keo can make it farther than he usually does.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (5), Bruno (6) — Total: 18 out of 30

CM, 8:30pm — WTH?

DM, 8:30pm — Len’s score was a kick in the teeth. That deserved better than a 5 from him.

Danelle Umstead and Artem Chigvintsev (Foxtrot)

DM, 8:32pm — Time to see if we can have another “DWTS” breakthrough with a dancer with a disability. “How am I going to teach a blind person how to dance? … This is hands down the biggest challenge I’ve had on the show,” says Artem. She’s learning by feeling his body movements for guidance.

DM, 8:36pm — A solid routine for Danelle. A little clunky at moments, but she had admirable grace of movement given her challenges.

JK, 8:36pm — Danelle’s performance I thought was carefully solid.

CM, 8:37pm — I agree.

DM, 8:38pm — And from that clip package, I think Danelle is going to bring out a softer side of Artem.

JUDGES — “Good job, Artem,” says Len, who felt he the pro taught Danelle quite well, though her shoulders were a little high. Bruno thought it was “lovely” and “effective,” but she should avoid using her deltoid muscles. Carrie Ann thought the achievement was “spectacular,” and she could feel the “magical” bond between Danelle and Artem.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (6), Bruno (6) — Total: 18 out of 30

Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess (Jive)

DM, 8:42pm — Can a country radio host dance? Sharna had better hope so. This is her 12th season on the show, but she still hasn’t won the Mirror Ball Trophy.

JK, 8:45pm — That was very enthusiastic!

DM, 8:45pm — That wasn’t great, but it was a lot better than I was expecting. And he has the spirit and enthusiasm to sell it. He could be a fan favorite if he lasts long enough

CM, 8:45pm — Yeah, Bobby is going to be a fan favorite.

JUDGES — Bruno thought it was “surreal, like Ryan Seacrest doing Buddy Holly … It was exquisitely demented.” I’m not sure if that was a compliment or not. Carrie Ann thought it was “rough around the edges,” but she loved every minute of it too. Len appreciated his enthusiasm and his attack, even though his movements were messy.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Bruno (7) — Total: 20 out of 30

DM, 8:48pm — Okay, they definitely scored him for enthusiasm and not as much for dancing. Those scores were higher than better performances we’ve seen.

CM, 8:49pm — Exactly. I’m calling him the new David Ross.

Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke (Salsa)

DM, 8:54pm — Cheryl thinks Juan Pablo has a “good foundation.” I have a feeling this will be the highest score of the night so far.

CM, 8:55pm — Somebody fan Bruno and Carrie Ann LOL.

DM, 8:57pm — He can definitely move, but I was actually expecting a little more from that

CM, 8:57pm — Eh. I wasn’t that impressed.

JK, 8:58pm — I think he still has potential.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks that has “fuego potential,” but he needs to be careful not to throw Cheryl around too much. Len thinks Juan Pablo is the “hunk with the junk in the trunk,” and he gave a “top-rate” performance. Bruno concludes, “Well I’d pay for that.”

CM, 8:59pm — He does, but I can totally see the judges over-scoring him throughout the season.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (7), Bruno (8) — Total: 22 out of 30

DM, 9:00pm — I felt like they were holding back. Especially with a salsa, I thought there needed to be more energy to it.

JK, 9:00pm — And the over scoring might’ve just begun.

Nikki Glaser and Gleb Savchenko (Salsa)

DM, 9:01pm — I’m really rooting for this pair. I love Nikki’s stand-up comedy.

DM, 9:02pm — Solid start for Nikki, not great, but definitely had more energy than Juan Pablo. I want to see more from her.

JK, 9:02pm — I agree.

JUDGES — Len thought “it looked awkward” and was “too careful.” Bruno  said “it wasn’t a total trainwreck,” but it had a “derailment in hip junction.” Carrie Ann thinks she has the body and spirit for dancing, so she needs to think of her whole body working as one.

CM, 9:04pm — She did better than expected

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (5), Bruno (6) — Total: 17 out of 30

JK, 9:05pm — And she was just underscored.

DM, 9:06pm — I actually thought those scores were mostly fair. She was a little stiff. It’s just that Juan Pablo was over-scored so much I think. He should have gotten a 6 or two.

CM, 9:07pm — I was fine with her scores.

Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten (Jive)

DM, 9:08pm — “DWTS” was Alexis’s mother’s favorite show, and she died a few years ago, so Alexis is doing the show in her honor.

DM, 9:11pm — Alexis can hang too, excellent start for her, I think one of the best performances so far, apart from some wonky camerawork.

JK, 9:12pm — Despite that wonky camera shot, I’d say their routine was very gleeful.

JUDGES — Bruno thinks she’s an “Insta-stunner and a good dancer” too. Carrie Ann thought it was well rehearsed and choreographed, but Alexis needs to perform out to the audience more. Len loved her swivels, and loved the dance in general — it was “brilliant.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (7), Bruno (7) — Total: 21 out of 30

DM, 9:13pm — Good scores, I thought she deserved higher than Juan Pablo, not to keep harping on that.

John Schneider and Emma Slater (Foxtrot)

DM, 9:17pm — The oldest contestant of the season, which doesn’t usually bode well in terms of being a competitive dancer, but he’s under 60, so he may still be spry enough to keep up with the young’uns.

JUDGES — “You know your way around a dance floor,” says Carrie Ann. But Len thought it was “a bit rough” and it lacked “finesse” and “quality of movement,” but his “posture was good.” Bruno felt it had its ups and downs but “did not run out of fuel.”

CM, 9:21pm — Okay John LOL.

DM, 9:21pm — A little awkward from John Schneider, but not a disaster. He was okay. I thought the “Dukes of Hazzard” country-foxtrot theme felt a little forced.

CM, 9:22pm — Yep

JK, 9:22pm — Yeah, it did look a little spotty in places, but I thought they did an OK job for their first performance.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (5), Bruno (6) — Total: 18 out of 30

CM, 9:23pm — Carrie Ann? At this rate, “Grocery Store Joe” is going to get all 9s.

DM, 9:23pm — Where on Earth did that 7 come from with Carrie Ann?

JK, 9:23pm — She was probably just being generous.

CM, 9:24pm — Yeah, Nikki and Evanna had better be nervous.

Tinashe and Brandon Armstrong (Jive)

DM, 9:26pm — Brandon had better thank his lucky stars that he got an extensively trained dancer for his first ever season as a pro. The pressure will be on him to give her the best possible showcase.

JUDGES — Len thought it had “plenty of snap, crackle and pop,” but her legs were a little too flexed on occasion. Bruno called it a “foxy jive,” “so fast and so dynamic” and it really showed Tinashe’s personality. Carrie Ann thinks she’s a “star,” but she actually wanted to see more personality and a little less crowded choreography.

DM, 9:30pm — She could have cleaned up a couple of little things, but yeah she looks like she came out of the womb dancing.

JK, 9:31pm — Definitely the performance of the night, that was excellent!

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (7), Bruno (8) — Total: 23 out of 30

DM, 9:32pm — They got the scores right for this one, though, so that’s good.

CM, 9:34pm — Glad to see she lived up to the hype.

DM, 9:35pm — And even better for her, she wasn’t so perfect that she’d get backlash right out of the gate. If I were her I’d plan to make a couple of mistakes early on just to make it look like she’s not a total ringer.

Nancy McKeon and Val Chmerkovskiy (Quickstep)

CM, 9:36pm — Not expecting much from Nancy.

DM, 9:36pm — I’m really nervous for Nancy. I want her to do well, but I think she might struggle. And the quickstep is an incredibly tough dance style for a novice to start out with.

JUDGES — Bruno thought loved her energy, but she needs to keep it steadier. Carrie Ann appreciated Nancy’s storytelling, but she needs better body contact to keep her less wobbly. Len thought it was “just a good, solid performance.”

JK, 9:39pm — I thought that was better than what you two were anticipating.

DM, 9:39pm — I wouldn’t say she’s a contender to win, but she exceeded my expectations with that one. She kept up.

CM, 9:40pm — I agree. She kept up with Val.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (6), Bruno (6) — Total: 18 out of 30

Joe Amabile and Jenna Johnson (Quickstep)

DM, 9:45pm — Jenna is the “biggest fan” of the “Bachelor” franchise, so she’s overjoyed to see him walk through the door. But he doesn’t want to be “Grocery Store Joe” anymore. He wants to be “Dancing Joe.” But Jenna thinks they have a lot of work to do to get him there. She may have been spoiled by Adam Rippon last season.

DM, 9:47pm — I don’t know if that qualifies as a trainwreck, but it was pretty rough.

CM, 9:48pm — Yeah, but he has the “Bachelor” nation fan base.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks he has charm and can push a shopping cart really well, but the dancing wasn’t quite there yet. Len likes him and his personality, so he’s especially disappointed that Joe “went wrong” throughout the routine. Bruno feels it would be unfair if he could dance in addition to his good looks. Ouch.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (5), Len (4), Bruno (5) — Total: 14 out of 30

JK, 9:51pm — Those scores further dampened his chances.

CM, 9:52pm — He won’t go home. He’ll get a lot of sympathy votes.

DM, 9:52pm — I think he’ll survive the first elimination by getting sympathy votes. A trainwreck is better than being mediocre and forgettable.

DM, 9:53pm — I think Nikki and Nancy are in trouble right now. They’re low enough and might have low voter turnout.

DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold (Cha Cha)

DM, 9:54pm — They gave DeMarcus the closing spot of the night, which could be a vote of confidence from the producers. Lindsay is a fantastic partner for her. She has great chemistry with all her partners and brings out a great sense of fun. And the proof is in the pudding: she makes the finals more often than not.

JUDGES — Len thinks he has a “fantastic presence” and a “wonderful personality.” Bruno calls it “delightful” and “delicious,” “strong as titanium but light as a feather … You really are the one to watch.” Carrie Ann was impressed her his athleticism and charisma.

CM, 9:58pm — DeMarcus is going to tie with Tinashe or have the highest score.

DM, 9:58pm — Hmmmm, I’m not so sure about that. DeMarcus was a little awkward and lumbering in a couple of places. A lot of great potential and good raw material for Lindsay to work with

JK, 9:58pm — They just ended the show with a bang!

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (7), Bruno (8) — Total: 23 out of 30

DM, 9:59pm — Well, you called that tie for the top score perfectly, Cordell.

CM, 9:59pm — He was a bit awkward, but it’s the typical footballer first-week performance.

CM, 10:00pm — Alright everyone, what were you top three performances of the night? Mine are DeMarcus, Alexis and Tinashe.

DM, 10:01pm — Best of the night for me: Tinashe, Alexis, and Milo.

JK, 10:03pm — Milo, Tinashe, and DeMarcus.

Judges’ Leaderboard

1. DeMarcus Ware — 23
1. Tinashe — 23
3. Juan Pablo Di Pace — 22
4. Alexis Ren — 21
5. Bobby Bones — 20
5. Milo Manheim — 20
7. Mary Lou Retton — 19
8. Evanna Lynch — 18
8. Nancy McKeon — 18
8. John Schneider — 18
8. Danelle Umstead — 18
12. Nikki Glaser — 17
13. Joe Amabile — 14

More News from GoldDerby