Dancing with the Stars week 1 power rankings: Who needs to step up?

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DANCING WITH THE STARS – “EpisodeÊ2701 – “DancingÊwith the Stars” is back with a new, dynamic cast of 13 celebrities who are ready to move out of their comfort zones and hit the ballroom floor on a special two-night premiere. The competition begins with a two-hour season premiere, live,ÊMONDAY, SEPT. 24Ê(8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless)


The middle tier

8. Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe (18; safe)

Evanna Lynch occupies a weird place where we thought she could have some serious potential, but she didn’t come out and necessarily wow in her first night. However, she seems to have more potential than a Bobby Bones, for example. Her wanting to legitimately improve and clearly taking this seriously bumps her up into the middle tier.

7. Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber (19; 21)

With “Hot Stuff” the soundtrack to her second cha cha, Mary Lou Retton proved that she can still drop into a split and brought the heat, pun intended. Sasha Farber definitely leaned into the disco influences of the track, and she seemed to have taken the comments to heart, as the judges told her. “Your foot placement was so much better tonight!” Bruno said.

6. Milo Manheim and Witney Carson (20; safe)

Milo Manheim almost seems like a younger Bobby Bones with better dancing ability. He posted a very respectable 20 on only the second dance of the entire season, and though he’s got energy to spare, he had brief moments where he brought it to heel in his performance. If his partner, Witney Carson, can get that all settled out, then the sky is the limit.

5. Nancy McKeon and Val Chmerkovskiy (18; 21)

Almost all of this second quickstep was in hold for Nancy McKeon and Val Chmerkovskiy, and the song had lots of energy that she responded to, resulting in an improvement overall in her performance.

“Well, madam, what’s going on here!?” Bruno said, excited to praise her.

This couple posted the highest improvement from the first night to the second, and it immediately puts Nancy and Val in the high-potential-for-improvement category.

4. Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten (21; 23)

The second jive from Alexis Ren prompted a slight smile from Len, and he declared that he would not be pleased if this couple didn’t come back. She had a pretty strong jive — to say the least. Granted, she seemed a bit tired, but she still came out with a good performance and exceeded her already fairly high score from Monday night. Two 8s is not much to shake a tail feather at, to make the obvious reference.