Dancing With the Stars Season 29 Premiere, Celebrity-Pro Pairings Revealed

Dancing With the Stars is officially back with Season 29 and a whole new lineup of celebrities and pro dancers competing for the coveted mirrorball trophy!

The highly anticipated dance competition series kicked off Monday night, with Supermodel and TV personality Tyra Banks as DWTS’ new host for season 29.

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In July, ABC announced that DWTS Veteran host Tom Bergeron and co-host Erin Andrews would be parting ways with the show. A day later, ABC also revealed that Banks would be taking over show’s reins as host as well as an executive producer on the series.

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The Judges table will also see a new addition this season, as DWTS Veteran and pro dancer, Derek Hough returns. But this time, as a judge alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. The 6 time Mirrorball winner is replacing Len Goodman, who’s unable to participate this year due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

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Hough , who is also a judge on NBC’s World of Dance, was visibly ecstatic to announce his return to DWTS. “This show has been and will always be incredibly special to me,” Hough said in a statement. “Coming back feels like coming home and I couldn’t be more excited to be back in the ballroom.”

Other Season 29 Changes

The pandemic is also the reason why the ballroom is not surrounded by a studio audience this time around. However the contestants will still be competing live for the viewers watching from the comfort of their homes. The contestants will now watch each other perform from socially distanced spots in the rafters instead of the Sky Box.

While the competing stars and pro dancers were individually announced in advance, this season’s pairings weren’t revealed until the two-hour premiere. The night’s highest scorers, Skai Jackson and Justina Machado both scored 21 points total. While Carole Baskin and Charles Oakley both landed at the bottom of the leader board.


Here are DWTS’ season 29 celebrity-pro pairings that America will be voting for each week.

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev

Kaitlyn will be the third Bachelorette contestant on the show, with fellow alum Hannah Brown taking the trophy just last year. Meanwhile, Artem was announced as a surprise reveal, returning to the show after season 27. For their first dance of the season, the pair donned bright yellow ensembles for their lively cha-cha set to Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love.” Kaitlyn and Artem tied in second place with a total of 20 out of 30.

Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess

Metcalfe and Burgess couldn’t be more excited to be paired together. The duo delivered a passionate quickstep routine, which was set to Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover.” And let’s just say there was quite a bit of steaminess. As for their scores, the pair scored a total of 18 out of 30.

Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten

Disney star, Skai Jackson is the youngest contestant on the show at 18, but is definitely a force to be reckoned with. The pair performed a retro-futuristic tango set to Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” Skai and Alan are off to a strong start as they tied for the highest score of the night, earning a total of 21 out of 30.

Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov

Of Course Tiger King’s Carole Baskin and partner, Pasha Pashkov danced to “Eye of the Tiger” for their first performance. However, their scores weren’t as strong as their statement tie-dye tiger print ensembles. The pair ended up scoring a total of 11 out of 30, putting them at the bottom of the scoreboard.

Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe

Actress Anne Heche and partner, Keo Motsepe, danced the cha-cha set to Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now,” earning another 18 out of 30.

Nelly and Daniella Karagach

Rapper Nelly who is paired with newcomer pro Daniella Karagach danced a salsa to Nelly’s iconic hit “Ride With Me.” Despite having a surprise backflip in their performance, the pair scored a 16 out of 30 by the judges.

Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong

The Real Host and her Partner, dressed in neon green costumes took on a salsa set to Taylor Dayne’s “Tell It to My Heart.” Which the judges rewarded by a total of 18 out of 30.

Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd

The NFL star and the DWTS superstar pro were a sight to see as they performed a romantic foxtrot, set to John Legend’s “All of Me.” Davis and Murgatroyd scored a 15 out of 30 by the judges.

Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko

Rocking a sparkling gold gown, Selling Sunset star, Chrishell and her pro partner Gleb hit the ballroom to try their hand at a Tango on Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.” However, the judges revealed that they had a lot more potential, scoring the duo a total of 13 out of 30.

AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke

AJ is the second Backstreet Boy to compete on DWTS after fellow member, Nick Carter. The pair had a lovely jive routine set to The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.” The judges appreciated the dancing pair’s efforts and scored them an 18 out of 30.

Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy

The head coach from the Netflix series Cheer is excited to be partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy. The competitive pair came to the ballroom with a foxtrot, set to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts. Aldama and Chmerkovskiy earned a total of 19 out of 30.

Charles Oakley and Emma Slater

The NBA legend who is paired with Slater had a good time performing a salsa set to 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.” However, the judges scored the pair a 12 out of 30, putting them at a tie with Carole Baskin at the bottom of the leader board.

Justina Machado and Sasha Farber

The sitcom star hit the dance floor with partner Farber in a cha-cha set to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” Their performance even bought Bruno and Carrie Ann to their feet, and they scored a whopping 21 out of 30, putting them at the top of the leader board. Which they share with Skai Jackson.

Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart

Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir has the honour of being paired with DWTS’ first black female pro dancer, Britt Stewart, who joined this season. The pair performed a sultry cha-cha set to Pussycat Dolls “Buttons,” and earned an 18 out of 30.

Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson

The Catfish creator paired with past DWTS Champion Jenna Johnson delivered an elegant Foxtrot performance on the ballroom. The pair scored a solid 20 out of 30.

Dancing with the Stars airs on Mondays, 8 p.m. ET, on ABC.


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