Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, Sophia Pippen and more are ready to make their ballroom debut!
“Dancing With the Stars: Juniors” kicks off Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global TV, with a whole new generation of mini pros teaming up with young celebrities in hopes of winning the mirrorball trophy. The pairs have all been matched up with mentors from the regular season of “DWTS” — including Gleb Savchenko, Lindsay Arnold and Cheryl Burke — and are ready to finally show America and judges Adam Rippon, Val Chmerkovskiy and choreographer Mandy Moore what they’ve got.
Follow along with ET here as we live blog all the best ballroom moments, and let us know on Twitter (@etnow) what you think of the all-kids edition.
‘Juniors’ Eliminates First Two Contestants.
7:00 PM: At the end of the show, Frankie and Jordan announced the first two pairs to go home…
Addison and Lev, and Tripp and Hailey.
The remaining 10 contestants will move on to week two, which returns to ABC on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Sky Brown Performs Final Dance of the Night… and Kills It!
6:59 PM: The sky really is the limit with Sky Brown.
She can surf, she can skate and now she can dance, as she proved when she and her pro partner, JT Church, closed out the show with a rad Salsa to “Light It Up” by Major Lazer featuring Nyla & Fuse ODG.
“Sky, I can tell that you are a fierce competitor. You came out here, you attacked the choreography,” Adam said of the routine mentor Alan Bersten created. “Everything was so sharp, energy was so up there. It was fantastic. That is the way you close the show!”
“You nailed it. You nailed that Salsa,” added Mandy. “I absolutely loved it!”
Judges score: 22/30
Akash Vukoti’s Sweet Foxtrot Makes Val Emotional: ‘I Almost Started Crying’
6:50 PM: Spelling bee champion Akash Vukoti looks great in the B-A-L-L-R-O-O-M.
Mentored by Witney Carson, Akash and his pro partner, Kamri Peterson, danced a sweet Foxtrot to “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole. He had a smile on his face from beginning to end, and you could tell he was having so much fun with Kamri.
“I almost started crying because it was so nice to see you be such a gentleman out there,” Val confessed. “Your art really showed there and I can’t wait to see you in this competition. This is what dancing is all about.”
“Akash, I just can’t. I just can’t deal with you,” added Adam. “You are so cute and so charming. I think everybody in this room has fallen in love with you. My advice from one charming guy to another is to keep learning from your partner and Witney. You performed from your heart.”
Judges score: 21/30
Val and Adam Call Mandla Morris’ Routine the ‘Performance of the Night’
6:34 PM: Mandla Morris is for sure the one to watch out for!
The son of Stevie Wonder shined bright in the ballroom, and not just because of his snazzy, sparkly jacket. He and partner Brightyn Brems brought out all the best with their Jive to “Land of 1000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett.
Mentor Cheryl Burke choreographed the fun piece, which featured lots of shimmying, shaking and the “shoot,” a viral dance move that’s beloved on social media.
“Who are you? What do you mean you’ve never danced before?” Mandy asked. “You’re a professional dancer out there. I thought the content was great, I loved it!”
“Obviously, that superstar status is in your blood,” raved Val. “You killed it, it was awesome.”
“Performance of the night!” Val and Adam both exclaimed.
Judges score: 24/30
Honey Boo Boo Makes Her Ballroom Debut With a Fun Salsa
6:29 PM: Here comes Honey Boo Boo… in the ballroom!
The former pageant star and her partner, Tristan Ianiero, performed a fun Salsa to “Conga” by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine.
“Honey Boo Boo who? I’m talking about Alana right now,” said Mandy. “A beautiful young lady out there. You were incredible and this is why. People are drawn to you, I think, because you live your best life every moment. Girl, you were doin’ it. I’m not mad at that Salsa!”
“The most beautiful thing about you is your confidence,” added Val. “You owned the room with that.”
Judges score: 19/30
Mackenzie Ziegler Is a Gliding Goddess
6:18 PM: Slay, Mackenzie Ziegler!
She may have prior training in jazz and contemporary, but ballroom dancing is a whole new ballgame, and the singer proved she can do it all.
Choreographed by mentor Gleb Savchenko, Mackenzie and Sage Rosen’s Foxtrot to “New York, New York” was filled with flips, tricks and plenty of high kicks that left the audience in awe.
“You got out here, the music started and you were just gliding across the floor,” said Adam. “It was so beautiful.”
“Gleb did not hold back,” Mandy added. “He put everything in there, which was amazing.”
Judges score: 22/30
Ariana Greenblatt Is ‘a Little Ray of Sunshine’ on the Dance Floor
6:11 PM: “My superpower, now I can say, is my dancing,” Ariana Greenblatt adorably exclaimed in her pre-taped interview package.
And after seeing her dance a Cha Cha to “Cut to the Feeling” by Carly Rae Jepsen, we totally agree!
Mentored by Brandon Armstrong, the “Avengers: Infinity War” star and her pro partner, Artyon Celestine, seriously impressed the judges and we think it’s safe to say they’re not going to have any trouble with the chemistry this season — the two have seemingly developed a little bit of a crush on each other.
“You, my dear, are a little ray of sunshine,” said Mandy. “You guys in that yellow, fantastic. You were Cha Cha-ing your face off, girl. It made me feel excited when I was watching you dance.”
Added Val, “You may be small in size but you dance so big. I thought you showcased a lot of great technique.”
Judges score: 24/30
Hudson West Dances to His ‘Favorite’ Shawn Mendes Song
6:00 PM: Hudson West was beyond excited about his song choice.
Mentored by Hayley Erbert, the “General Hospital” star and his pro partner, Kameron Couch, performed a cute Cha Cha to “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” by Shawn Mendes.
“I love that song, so when I heard it, I was so excited,” he explained. “It’s my favourite song!”
As for the dance itself, it was a favourite for all three of the judges. “There was so much partner work in there,” Adam said. “I was so impressed. You guys were dancing together, you were performing, and week one, that’s what it’s all about.”
“Hudson I’m going to tell you, I didn’t expect that from you, mister,” Mandy admitted. “It was really good.”
Judges score: 22/30
Sophia Pippen Wants to Be a Champion ‘Just Like My Dad’
5:51 PM: Sophia Pippen is just trying to make her dad, NBA legend Scottie Pippen, proud.
“My dad’s a champion and I want to be a champion just like him,” she adorably exclaimed in her interview package.
And if Sophia’s premiere night moves are any indication of what’s to come in the weeks ahead, this girl is going to go far!
Mentored by Sasha Farber, Sophia and her pro partner, Jake Monreal, danced a ’50s-inspired Jive to “Do You Love Me” by The Contours.
“Girl, I’m so proud of you,” Val gushed. “That was so good. You’re so shy and collective but when you came out there you were like a different person.”
“It was so good,” added Adam. “You have so much to be proud of. Week one, nailed it!”
Judges score: 21/30
Miles Brown Receives Highest Score of the Night — So Far!
5:43 PM: Miles Brown, early frontrunner?
We’re thinking so! The Black-ish star and his pro partner, Rylee Arnold, brought out all the stops with their Salsa to “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men, which Rylee’s sister, Lindsay Arnold, helped them put together.
Miles and Rylee, dressed in dalmatian-printed costumes, didn’t hold back, packing the routine with plenty of tricks and lots of energy.
“That became star power to me,” raved Mandy. “That was incredible!”
“Miles, you’re a superstar, bro,” added Val. “You’re obviously an incredible dancer.”
Adam agreed with both Mandy and Val, exclaiming, “Miles, are you kidding me?! You come out here with all that energy. Then you lean back, do some floor touching, walk around. You killed it, you were awesome!”
Judges score: 22/30
Addison Osta Smith Performs a Spicy Cha Cha
5:32 PM: Addison Osta Smith, season four champion of “MasterChef Junior”, proved that her skills go far beyond the kitchen!
The aspiring dancer’s mentor, Keo Motsepe, helped her and pro partner Lev Khmelev create a spicy cooking-inspired Cha Cha to “Burnin’ Up” by Jessie J feat. 2 Chainz.
While Addison wowed the judges with her facial expressions and attitude, Mandy and Val both gave her some solid critiques in order to improve her chances of winning a mirrorball.
“I thought in the department of sass, you were incredible,” said Mandy. “But sometimes it felt like: Lev is really sharp, Addison is not.”
“I have to agree with Mandy,” added Val. “I thought your charisma was there. I just wanted to see a little better technique, so work on your footwork for next week.”
Judges score: 15/30
Tripp Palin Can’t Stop Smiling While Dancing the Foxtrot
5:21 PM: Tripp Palin, the son of Bristol Palin and grandson of Sarah Palin, was the second star to perform, stepping into the ballroom with his pro partner, Hailey Bills.
Mentored by Jenna Johnson, the duo danced a Foxtrot to “Mama Said” by The Shirelles, that was well-received by all the judges.
“Tripp, first of all, it takes a lot of courage to dance,” Val said. “I’m so, so proud. That was an awesome foxtrot. You’re a stud out there.”
“When you go back into your trailer, look in the mirror and tell yourself that now you’re a dancer too,” added Adam.
Judges score: 17/30
Jason Maybaum and Elliana Walmsley Dance First
5:09 PM: Jason and Elliana, mentored by Emma Slater, were the first to dance, an adorable Cha Cha to “Bills” by Lunchmoney Lewis.
“This is the first dance of the first season of “DWTS Juniors” and you my friend were absolutely incredible,” raved Mandy. “I thought it was an amazing way to start the show.”
“You owned the Cha Cha like a boss,” added Val.
Judges score: 18/30
‘DWTS: Juniors’ Has Officially Begun!
5:00 PM: After much anticipation, the “Juniors” show has officially started… and just a few minutes in, we’re already loving it!
The show kicked off with an energetic opening number featuring the 12 contestants, their pro partners and mentors, along with hosts Frankie Muniz and Jordan Fisher and judges Val Chmerkovskiy, Mandy Moore and Adam Rippon.
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