The latest season of “Dancing with the Stars” is bringing a mix of celebration and emotion. The night began with a heartfelt tribute to the late Len Goodman, the head judge who left an indelible mark on the show’s history. Goodman, who passed away in April at the age of 78, had retired from the show at the end of the previous season, leaving a void in the hearts of fans and the “DWTS” family.
To honor his memory and the impact he had on the show, “Dancing with the Stars” pulled out all the stops. Professional dancers, including Kym Johnson, Anna Trebunskaya, Karina Smirnoff, Edyta Sliwinska, Tony Dovolani, Louis van Amstel, Maks Chmerkovskiy, and Mark Ballas, returned to the ballroom. They gathered to perform a special dance set to the timeless and evocative tune “Moon River” by Henry Mancini.
The routine was not just a dance but a heartfelt tribute, choreographed with precision by the talented Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson. The “Dancing with the Stars” family came together as a united front with both Derek and Julianne Hough, along with the current season’s professional dancers, joining in to celebrate Len’s legacy.
“Bachelorette” alum Charity Lawson and Marvel star Xochitl Gomez dazzled both the judges and the audience. Each pair scored an impressive 28 out of 30, including the season’s first perfect 10s. Charity Lawson and her partner Artem Chigvintsev delivered a spellbinding performance, showcasing their chemistry and precision. On the other hand, Xochitl Gomez and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy brought the Viennese waltz to life with elegance and grace
Gomez, who chose 2021 as her most memorable year for the dance, highlighted her journey filming “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” as the iconic character America Chavez.
The competition was fierce, and the scores reflected the contestants’ dedication to perfecting their dance routines. Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach earned a respectable 27, setting a high standard for the season. Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov, Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd, Lele Pons, and Brandon Armstrong, and Mauricio Umansky and Emma Slater all displayed their dancing prowess with scores of 24, keeping the competition tight.
Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber received a score of 21, while Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold scored 18, showing that they have their work cut out for them in the upcoming weeks.