NFL players Josh Norman was “dripping in finesse” when he danced the cha cha to Bruno Mars‘s “Finesse” during the season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” on Monday night (watch above), and why should we have expected any less? Football players have won more Mirror Ball Trophies (four) than athletes from any other sport. And yet going into the first episode of this special shortened season of “DWTS” we were underestimating him. He had ranked sixth with 33/1 odds in our Mirror Ball predictions, and fifth with 40/1 odds in our predictions for who would receive the highest score.
Well he did come out on top of the judges’ leaderboard, tied with figure skater Adam Rippon. And now we might need to reevaluate his Mirror Ball chances after he scored straight 8s from the judges for a total of 24 out of 30. Read what the judges had to say about his show-stopping performance below, and vote in our poll at the bottom of this post if you think he and his pro partner Sharna Burgess gave the best performance of the night.
Len Goodman: “I thought that was bright and breezy, free and easy, full of rhythm and style. You’re just another one of a long list of footballers that can dance. Well done.”
Bruno Tonioli: “Josh, where do you come from? Star quality, charisma, sex appeal — you’ve got it by the truckload. I could feel the excitement building up and spreading through the nation. You have natural musicality, feel for the dance. Did you miss a synchronization there? I don’t know, I’m not sure, but I’m telling you, you’re the one to watch.”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “I agree with Bruno. Not only do you have finesse, you have something really special. You have an X factor. I didn’t hear the crowd go this crazy until you came out. There’s something special about you besides the fact that you’ve got the moves and you have style. This song was Bruno Mars’s tribute the ‘In Living Color’ Fly Girls. i’m going to crown you Fly Guy for the night.”
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.