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‘Dancing with the Stars’ season 30 recap: JoJo Siwa’s historic first performance puts her atop leaderboard

Dancing with the Stars welcomed back head judge Len Goodman and a live studio audience when kicking off its 30th season on Monday. 

Of course, a brand new season brought a fresh crop of star power, who brought their A-game to the ballroom floor.  Besides Goodman, fellow judges Carrie Ann InabaBruno Tonioli and Derek Hough regularly remarked on how the competitors exceeded their expectations for a first night performance.

Monday’s premiere even yielded the first 8 of the season after Nickelodeon star JoJo Siwa — who made history by becoming the first female competitor to dance with another woman, pro Jenna Johnson — ruled the dance floor with her colorful and cheerful quickstep to Jet‘s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.”  The peppy number drew rave reviews from all four judges, with Bruno dubbing her performance the “groundbreaking moment we’ve been waiting for!” 

Siwa ended the night at the top of the leaderboard with an impressive 29 out of 40 points.

However, she shouldn’t get too comfortable in first place.  Several other competitors made a strong first impression during the premiere and could easily steal her thunder.  The people to watch out for are The Talk co-host Amanda KlootsSpice Girl singer Melanie C, Olympic Gold medalist Suni Lee, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore and Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby.

Not everyone shined on the dance floor on Monday.  Cobra Kai star Martin Kove only managed to earn a meager 13 out of 40 possible points for his ill-prepared Paso Doble to “You’re the Best Around” off the Karate Kid soundtrack.  Hough hinted that the disastrous performance could possibly be due to Kove not attending every rehearsal and told him, “Put in the hours and we’ll see you next week.”

The night also offered up many memorable moments, such as Brian Austin Green revealing he’s the lucky chap to be partnered with his significant other, pro dancer Sharna Burgess.  The two shared a celebratory kiss upon completing their upbeat Foxtrot to Silk Sonic‘s “Skate.”  However, Green hinted that his dance partner won’t go easy on him and even joked before the two stepped onto the ballroom floor, “If I mess this up, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sharna left me!”

“We’ll see,” she shot back with a devilish grin before amending, “I’ll judge him… but I wouldn’t leave him.”

Olivia Jade also made waves when she openly addressed the elephant in the room prior to her performance, speaking about the college admissions cheating scandal involving her famous parents — actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli.

“After everything that happened, I did step back from social media and just soaked in what everybody was saying,” she told the camera. “I’m not trying to pull a pity card. I need to move forward and do better.”  She finished the night in the middle of the pack with a score of 25 out of 40.

Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday, September 27, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Scores from the premiere will be combined with next Monday’s scores before the series announces its first elimination.

Here are the current standings:

First Place: 
JoJo Siwa, Nickelodeon star, with Jenna Johnson — 29/40

Amanda Kloots, The Talk co-host, with Alan Bersten — 28/40
Suni Lee, Olympic Gold medalist, with Sasha Farber — 28/40
Melanie C, Spice Girl, with Gleb Savchenko — 27/40
Kenya Moore, Real Housewives of Atlanta star, with Brandon Armstrong — 26/40
Melora Hardin, The Office actress, with Artem Chivensky — 26/40
Christine Chiu, Bling Empire star, with Pasha Pashkov — 25/40
Olivia Jade, influencer, with Val Chmerkovskiy — 25/40
Cody Rigsby, Peloton instructor, with Cheryl Burke — 24/40
Matt James, Bachelor star, with Lindsey Arnold — 24/40
Brian Austin Green, Beverly Hills, 90210 star, Sharna Burgess — 24/40
Michael “The Miz” Gregory, WWE superstar, Witney Carson — 24/40
Jimmie Allen, country music singer, with Emma Slater — 22/40
Imam Shumpert, NBA player, with Daniella Karagach — 21/40

Lowest score: 
Martin Kove, Cobra Kai star, with Britt Stewart— 13/40

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