Here are my rankings for the best and worst dances from the first week of Dancing with the Stars season 23. Also, check out my recap of this episode.

#26 Rick Perry and Emma Slater

Dance: Cha-Cha-Cha
Song: “God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas
Judges’ Scores: 5+5+5+5=20

#25 Rick and Emma’s Performance

I give him an “A” for effort, but an “Oops” for execution. It was clunky, awkward and…I can’t remember the third thing.

#24 Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev

Dance: Viennese Waltz
Song: “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” by Mary J. Blige
Judges’ Scores: 6+5+5+6=22

#23 Maureen and Artem’s Performance

She’s already way too emotional over every little thing, which I’m already finding annoying. But she simply wasn’t present, like someone who takes a selfie at a concert instead of just watching it.

#22 Jake T. Austin and Jenna Johnson

Dance: Jive
Song: “Kiss You” by One Direction
Judges’ Scores: 5+6+5+6=22

#21 Jake and Jenna’s Performance

These two are young and fun, but very sloppy and uncoordinated. They were out of sync almost the whole time, but if they can fix that, there may be hope for them.

#20 Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke

Dance: Foxtrot
Song: “Call Me Irresponsible” by Michael Buble
Judges’ Scores: 6+6+6+6=24

#19 Ryan and Cheryl’s Performance

When the only exciting part of a routine is some guy storming the ballroom floor afterwards to attack Ryan, there’s a problem. This was just kind of sleepy and dull. I know he wants to repair his image so Cheryl is trying to make him look classy and sophisticated, but it also needs to be fun. It feels more like community service. Instead of picking up trash on the side of the road, he has to do this.

#18 Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Allison Holker

Dance: Foxtrot
Song: “Deed I Do” by Ray Charles
Judges’ Scores: 7+6+6+7=26

#17 Babyface and Allison’s Performance

Sometimes I can tell something is off with a routine, but my lack of technical expertise makes it hard to explain. Luckily, Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out the issues he has with his rise and fall, and that’s it. His shoulders and arms just weren’t doing the right things.

#16 Marilu Henner and Derek Hough

Dance: Jive
Song: “Can’t Stop Dancing” by Becky G
Judges’ Scores: 7+7+6+7=27

#15 Marilu and Derek’s Performance

She had plenty of energy and enthusiasm, which is always appreciated. However, Derek should really slow down his routines now that he has a 64-year-old partner, something he’s never really had to deal with. She just couldn’t keep up.

#14 Terra Jole and Sasha Farber

Dance: Jive
Song: “Stuff Like That There” by Betty Hutton
Judges’ Scores: 7+6+6+7=26

#13 Terra and Sasha’s Performance

These two are going to be very hard for me to judge since they’re so different from everyone else. But she had some decent moves and a lot of energy, but there were a few missteps along the way.

#12 Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Dance: Foxtrot
Song: “Here” by Alessia Cara
Judges’ Scores: 6+6+6+6=24

#11 Amber and Maks’ Performance

In week 1, we rarely get great or even good routines, so it’s mostly about potential. There were moments in this routine that made me think she has something to offer, nice moves and solid partner work. But at other times she seemed lost and overwhelmed. If she can believe in herself as much as the judges do, she and Maks could be unstoppable.

#10 Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold

Dance: Cha-Cha-Cha
Song: “That’s What I Like” by Flo Rida featuring Fitz Lunchmoney
Judges’ Scores: 7+6+6+7=26

#9 Calvin and Lindsay’s Performance

The start and finish were kind of sloppy, but he had some great moves in the middle that impressed me far more than any of the three football players from last season. In a season filled with a lot of mediocrity, he could go far.

#8 Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson

Dance: Cha-Cha-Cha
Song: “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice
Judges’ Scores: 7+5+6+7=25

#7 Vanilla and Witney’s Performance

Was this a Cha-Cha-Cha? No, but I’m not an official judge, so I don’t care. It was cool as ice, entertaining as hell and a ton of fun. Vanilla Ice is the life of the party and this whole dance made me and my inner child smile.

#6 Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko

Dance: Viennese Waltz
Song: “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande
Judges’ Scores: 7+6+6+8=27

#5 Jana and Gleb’s Performance

There’s always the “sexy” couple, and we found it. These two melted the dance floor with their smoldering sexual chemistry, but more importantly, she showed a lot of promise as a dancer. Her fluid moves and lines were incredible and she has a very expressive face. These two made me very excited, and not in the same way Bruno Tonioli got excited.

#4 Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy

Dance: Cha-Cha-Cha
Song: “American Girl” by Bonnie McKee
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+7+8=31

#3 Laurie and Val’s Performance

Was there ever any doubt? The Olympic gymnast was the obvious frontrunner coming into the season, so it’s no surprise at all that she was so good. Her quick moves were spot on and, as the judges correctly pointed out, she gets kudos for focusing more on ballroom technique than on showy gymnastic tricks.

#2 James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess

Dance: Foxtrot
Song: “Live Life” by Zayde Wolf
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+7+8=31

#1 James and Sharna’s Performance

James gets the edge over Laurie based solely on expectations. I didn’t know anything about him coming into the premiere and what I saw shocked me. He was smooth and graceful, moving with effortless ease. His dancing was great and he made it look easy, which is even more impressive. This was a genuine and delightful surprise.

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.