'Dancing with the Stars' Season 27 Cast Revealed -- Who Made the Cut?

"Dancing with the Stars" Season 27 kicked off its two-night premiere with a lot of solid performances, and two that were nearly disastrous.

The two-night premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" kicked off in fine fashion with some clear front-runners emerging and only one star really kind of blowing it.

With celebrities ranging from a social media star to "Grocery Joe" from "The Bachelorette" fame to stars from television, movies, radio and the world of sports, it was fun to get a variety of backgrounds again after the shortened spring "Athletes" edition.

Among the biggest surprises of the night was "The Dukes of Hazzard" star John Schneider who proved that being the oldest competitor in the competition meant nothing when it came to energy and dance. Meanwhile Juan Pablo Di Pace continued "Fuller House's" strong run on this show, while the NFL should be proud of its latest representative in DeMarcus Ware.

It wasn't all smiles and grace, though, as a few of the stars really struggled. Week One is always tough, but at least its a two-night opportunity to impress the judges and America. Some of these competitors are going to really need to step it up, with one of them getting one of the lowest premiere scores in years.

Who do I think I am? you ask. Well, I spent nearly a decade of my life sweating and bleeding to the music as a dancer. From a young boy learning a shuffle-ball-change to performing with the St. Louis Ballet Company, I experienced the ups and downs of one of the most difficult physically demanding sports on the planet. During this time, I was also a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as a gymnast, writer and cartoonist. I had a lot more energy in my younger years. And I've spent the last sixteen years analyzing and critiquing reality competition shows for various media publications. I've got this.

Fair warning, since I'm safe at home, I'm probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Carrie-Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli. But I might be nicer, too. Maybe.

Mary Lou Retton & Sasha Farber

And there it is, that signature smile that America fell in love with. Mary Lou was definitely a little rusty in doing a musical routine, and she seemed a little hesitant to trust Sasha with the full weight of her body, but that kind of partner trust comes with time. I love that she committed fully to the routine, which Sasha kept mostly upright and simple with a few tricks and one lift-spin move to tease the direction she could possibly go. She did rush through a few steps, not reaching her full extensions and letting the movement breathe, but you could tell she was a bundle of nerves going first.

Judges Scores: 6, 7, 6

My Score: 6

Milo Manheim & Witney Carson

This was so much stronger than I expected for a first dance in a new partnership. Kicking things off with Milo leaping over Witney was a sign of her trust in him, and he absolutely earned it. He actually had nice arm extensions and his carriage was strong through much of this cha-cha. There were too many moments where he was heavy on his feet, failing to bring the proper lightness and groove to the moves,or even dance with precision all the way to his toes, but there is so much potential in this 17-year old.

Judges Scores: 7, 6, 7

My Score: 7

Evanna Lynch & Keo Motsepe

Evanna lost her footing and forgot the little steps at one point, but she absolutely has the right attitude for this show. I love that it's about the dance with her, and she absolutely nailed the pictures of this piece. As expected, the "Harry Potter" actress was stronger in the opening sequences with more of a storytelling element, but there was plenty of foxtrot content throughout, and her posture was spot-on. Her biggest issue seems to be remembering what her hands and feet are supposed to be doing throughout -- she's more about getting to the next highlight right now -- but she's going to be fun to watch.

Judges Scores: 7, 5, 6

My Score: 6

Danelle Umstead & Artem Chigvintsev

It's going to be very hard not to root for the first-ever blind contestant on "DWTS." And while Artem kept things pretty simple and straightforward for this first routine, I can see real potential for Danelle to wow us as the weeks go on. As an alpine skier, it's all about trust (in her husband, in that case) for Danelle, and once she commits fully to trusting Artem, it's up to him to push her in this new venture. Her up-and-down motion was spot-on, even as her posture was a little uptight. She needs to gain more confidence in herself, too, so it doesn't look like she's always reaching for Artem literally for direction and guidance, but she's moving in the right direction.

Judges Scores: 6, 6, 6

My Score: 6

Bobby Bones & Sharna Burgess

Okay, Bobby needs to just calm down; it's more than just getting through the routine. He rushed every single arm extension, more flicking his arm out and dropping it back in. He kept his knees bent throughout that jive, and managed to look stiff throughout. It's great to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm, but it needs to be channeled through the movements and in partnership with Sharna, and Bobby didn't do that. He also fumbled their final move, because his arm wasn't where it was supposed to be with the beat. As a DJ, he should have way more musicality than this. And maybe close your mouth every once in awhile.

Judges Scores: 7, 6, 7

My Score: 4

Juan Pablo Di Pace & Cheryl Burke

Juan Pablo just might be one to watch in this competition. His hip action on this salsa was sensual and he was dug into the floor where he should be. I loved the fluidity of his arm motions and he really came at this routine with gusto and attack. Cheryl is a master of making her partner look good by how great she is, and did so again here. And while he did look hunched over at a few points, overall that was a very impressive opening routine for a new dancer.

Judges Scores: 7, 7, 8

My Score: 8

Nikki Glaser & Gleb Savchenko

She might have fully extended her arms twice in that routine, but that's about it. It was kind of a mess from top to bottom, and I do mean that her feet were only slightly more confident than her hands and arms. Her legs were a bit wobbly and all over the place, and her hips didn't move at all. If they hadn't told me this was a salsa, I would have never guessed it. Where was the sizzle? The chemistry? The sex on the dance floor? Nikki was clearly way out of her comfort zone and it showed.

Judges Scores: 6, 5, 6

My Score: 4

Alexis Ren & Alan Bersten

Aside from the worst-possible camera choice toward the end, I thought Alexis did a solid job of committing to the energy of this jive. She was confident and comfortable in her moves, though I would have liked them to use the whole stage rather than just the elevated end. I don't know if she has any dance background, but she certainly performed as if she did. She had the right rhythm and footwork for this jive. Alan is one of the most fun and energetic new pros on the series, and it looks like he's finally got a partner who can keep up with him.

Judges Scores: 7, 7, 7

My Score: 7

John Schneider & Emma Slater

At 58-years old, John is the oldest competitor, but you wouldn't know it by his flexibility and athleticism. He was actually pretty fun to watch throughout that routine, even if he was clearly thinking too much about the steps and where he needed to be and what his arms should be doing and where his head should be. All that overthinking caused a few screw-ups along the way, but John has real potential. There were some elements of foxtrot, and he has nice arms, carriage and motion when he's not thinking about it too much.

Judges Scores: 7, 5, 6

My Score: 6

Tinashe & Brandon Armstrong

This couple has plenty to prove, as it's Brandon's first time as a pro on top of Tinashe wanting to show that she's got what it takes to win. And he did not go easy on her with the choreography. Tinashe did a great job of keeping up with a very brisk jive, she just needs to straighten her legs when she's not digging into those jive movements. She especially stayed crouched setting up Brandon's leg kick over her head. Her arms were a little floppy here and there, but there was a lot of confidence and chemistry on display making this a potential partnership to watch.

Judges Scores: 8, 7, 8

My Score: 8

Nancy McKeon & Val Chmerkovskiy

Nancy gave it her all, but it wasn't enough. She was looking all over the place even when she was supposed to be in hold and focused on proper carriage. Now in her defense, who gives quickstep on the firsts week of "DWTS"? That's just needlessly cruel. I thought she did an admirable job of keeping up with the quickstep elements of the dance, but she lacked physical control throughout her body in the other parts of the dance, which Val tried to make up for with lots of tricks on his own. She's got a long way to go if she wants to win this.

Judges Scores: 6, 6, 6

My Score: 5

Joe Amabile & Jenna Johnson

"Bachelorette" favorite "Grocery Store Joe" made a huge footing mistake about two-thirds of the way through that and he never recovered. You just have to move through those and pick it back up. Not that it was great beforehand; he was heavy-footed and basically lumbering around this quickstep. But after that, he looked like a petulant child doing the motions because mom was making him but he wasn't going to like it, dammit! It went from "not great" to unwatchable. By the end, I was just glad to see it over. He stumbled with the footwork, his arms, posture, partnering, everything.

Judges Scores: 5, 4, 5

My Score: 3

DeMarcus Ware & Lindsay Arnold

That cha cha was pure fun and energy from the front to the back. Lindsay did more of the heavy lifting, but DeMarcus has a natural rhythm and groove that should translate well to ballroom dance. He clearly feels the music and gave us some very nice moments throughout. He didn't look stiff and nearly as out of his element as some of the other competitors. He has a very nice natural movement and was light on his feet while being incredibly powerful -- that leap from the floor over Lindsay's head was mind-blowing!

Judges Scores: 8, 7, 8

My Score: 8

"Dancing With the Stars" runs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET for its first two weeks, before sliding back to its usual Monday dominance Then, it'll be joined by Sunday episodes of "Dancing With the Stars: Juniors" for back-to-back fun all fall starting Oct. 7 at 8 p.m .ET on ABC.

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