By Emily Longeretta
The star-studded 31st season of “Dancing With the Stars” has arrived. For the first time, the show moved from ABC to Disney+, which meant two hours of live entertainment — and no commercial breaks. The broadcast two-hour telecast equals about 86 minutes, so the producers were tasked with finding a way to fill 34 more minutes.
“Those are our big challenges this season, how do we fill that time editorially, and secondly, how do we deal with losing those minutes that we used to use for reset?” executive producer Conrad Green told Variety ahead of the premiere. One way that time is filled with the return of the skybox, where new co-host Alfonso Ribeiro will speak with celebrities and dancer duos.
“We definitely needed to bring back an area of the set so that we can clear the stage and actually move stuff around,” Green said. “So we brought back the skybox, and that meant bringing in a co-host as well. Alfonso is such a great addition to the team. He’s a former champion on the show, but he’s really passionate about it. He’s friends with a lot of the dancers, he really understands what makes the show tick and he brings humor to it and genuine interest in the celebrities and their journeys.”
Monday’s season premiere marked the return of pro dancers Mark Ballas and Louis van Amstel, who have both taken time off in past seasons.
There were many emotions flowing during the premiere; Wayne Brady is dancing on this season for his grandmother who recently passed away. The longtime performer got choked up after receiving the first 8 of the night. Later, when Selma Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, danced, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Following her routine, she also began crying, becoming overwhelmed with emotion.
After the judges’ scores and the votes were in, Teresa Giudice and Jason Lewis landed in the bottom two. The judges chose to save Giudice, sending Lewis home.
Scroll down for all the scores. Next Monday will be Elvis night on “Dancing With the Stars.”