Monday's premiere of the fourteenth season of Dancing with the Stars brought major ratings and unusually high scores. Fans of the show have grown accustomed to the premiere night being much more about introducing the stars and not so much about receiving high marks, but the lowest score rewarded on Monday night was a seemingly high score of 20.
How did this season's stars place? U.K. opera star Katherine Jenkins and actor Jaleel White were tied for first place with an outstanding scores of 26 each. William Levy, who is referred to as the "Mexican Brad Pitt," received a score of 24, which landed him in second place. The lowest scores of the evening were earned by tennis star Martina Navratilova, actress Melissa Gilbert, and singer Gavin DeGraw, who all received a 20, which has raised a few red flags. Some are wondering if the judges are making up for a less-than-stellar cast by giving generous marks, to create excitement for the audience. The judges and host Tom Bergeron seem to think that this is just a good year with good casting. Bergeron was quoted as saying it was his "favorite season premiere ever," and also noted that the "charisma factor" was off the charts. Judge Len Goodman said, "Without a doubt, this is the best first show of any season."
Mark Ballas, one of the professional dancers on the show, and partner to Katherine Jenkins, was asked about the premiere night scores. “It’s definitely up there," Ballas said, "but I think the standard this season is great. I don’t think there was a 5 given. Usually there’s a 5. This is probably the highest scoring, like, all around, though. Dancing wise, there wasn’t a routine I was watching where I was like, wanted to turn away. I was like, ah, ah, ah, after every single one. This is gonna be good.” Jenkins added that with all of the stress of the show, she was just so thankful that judges had turned out to be so "lovely."
Is this season of Dancing with the Stars on a higher level of talent than past years, or are the judges being generous? We will all have to tune in to find out.