“Dancing with the Stars” Season 22 opened big on Monday night, with fierce competition and a three-way tie for the top spot.
“America’s Next Top Model” alum Nyle DiMarco and pro partner Peta Murgatroyd, Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris and pro Lindsay Arnold, and “Good Morning America’s” Ginger Zee and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, all shared the leaderboard top spot after they each earned 23 points out of a possible 30 for the night.
“It’s a relief. I’m happy that we put 100 percent into it and I think people actually now know that we are contenders,” Nyle told Access Hollywood’s Liz Hernandez after the show.
Wanya surprised the judges with his strong cha cha with partner Lindsay.
“If your dancing each week is to that standard, you could make it to the end of the road,” Judge Len Goodman commented (making a little Boyz II Men reference) after their performance on Monday night.
Although he and Lindsay got high praise and a high score, Wanya knows he has to put in the work in order to get to the finals.
“It’s all about work ethic,” Wanya told Liz. “It’s all about being able to get in there, grind it out and get these things right because the judges – they’re judging on some really, really serious nuances. You’ve gotta make sure you’re hitting those things and I’m ready to just make sure I take on all of those things.”
Mischa Barton didn’t top the leaderboard with her partner, Artem Chigvintsev. The pair only scored 16 points, putting them just a few places from the bottom of the leaderboard. Although taking on “Dancing” is work, Mischa is enjoying the experience.
“For me, the [most fun] part though is putting [on the] character,” Mischa said.
“I like the drama, I like the costumes, I like the hair and makeup. … That’s when I’m having the most fun to be honest,” she continued.
On next Monday night’s “Dancing,” the theme is Latin night, but one pair will go home.
The leaderboard from Week 1:
Nyle DiMarco & Peta Murgatroyd 23/30
Wanya Morris & Lindsay Arnold 23/30
Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy 23/30
Kim Fields & Sasha Farber 20/30
Paige VanZant & Mark Ballas 21/30
Marla Maples and Tony Dovolani 21/30
Antonio Brown & Sharna Burgess 21/30
Von Miller & Witney Carson 21/30
Jodie Sweetin & Keo Motsepe 20/30
Mischa Barton & Artem Chigvintsev 16/30
Doug Flutie & Karina Smirnoff 15/30
Geraldo Rivera & Edyta Sliwinska 13/30
— Jolie Lash
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