*Patti LaBelle was praised for her elegance and Michael Sam had some footwork issues during Monday’s season premiere of “Dancing With the Stars.”
Season 20 kicked off its 10-year anniversary with an introduction of the new season’s cast from returning hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. A new, 14-karat-gold-plated Mirror Ball trophy as revealed, and returning to the judges’ table were Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and former pro dancer Julianne Hough.
LaBelle was the fifth dancer to take the stage. “I’m here to show America that Miss Patti can dance,” she said in her video package. Bedazzled in a gold gown, LaBelle and Artem Chigvinstev danced the Foxtrot that had the judges gushing over her veteran grace. Goodman said had “a lovely naturalness about it.” They earned 25/40.
Later, NFL free agent Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd got their “Uptown Funk” on for a cha-cha that earned them a 26/40. Tombioni said it “was hot,” but Goodman said his feet were “atrocious.”
LMFAO singer Redfoo and Emma Slater brought a colorful “Juicy Wiggle” cha cha. “You dance like your hair: a little wild and unkempt,” Goodman said before the two earned 22/40 for the premiere, but Redfoo replied: “I’m just so dedicated to learn the technique.”
Redfoo and 2015 Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl commercial, model Charlotte McKinney were at the bottom of the scoreboard and are in jeopardy of being sent home next week, while singer-actress Rumer Willis (with parents Bruce Willis and Demi Moore in the audience) and R5 bass player Riker Lynch’s scores were the top two.
Find out who goes home on the next episode, airing 8 p.m. on Mar. 23.
Though the ABC series was still the night’s most-watched broadcast outing, averaging 14 million viewers, it fell six-tenths of a point from last spring’s debut to a premiere low 2.0 rating among adults 18-49.
The show was also off four-tenths of a point from its latest fall cycle.
“The Voice” was still the top dog for Monday, though it fell half of a point to a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49.
Watch more “DWTS” interviews below: