Sean Spicer, the salsa, and Dancing with the Stars were all a part of network TV last night, but how did the former White House Press Secretary do in Week One of the ABC competition series? Well, he actually came one point shy of being at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard. Spicer scored 12 points out of 30, but let’s put those numbers in context.
For reference, early episodes of Dancing With The Stars each season often earn lower scores. So, for example, the highest scorer of the night was Dawson’s Creek’s James Van Der Beek. He and his pro partner Emma Slater earned a 21 out of 30. How did Sean Spicer feel about his first dance of the season, the salsa? Well, he said that he “started off a minus ten” when he first got into the competition. So, honestly, to be scored a 12/30 undoubtedly felt like progress for the former Trump administrator.
Once it got to the real critiquing, however, Dancing with the Stars judge, Bruno Tonioli went first, and he had a lot to say about Sean Spicer’s spicy salsa. In his remarks following Spicer’s debut dance, Tonioli assessed it, saying:
Give me a second. He was going bonkers with the bongos! What were you doing there? It's like you were being attacked by a swarm of wasps. I have no idea. But I actually have to say there were some elements of salsa there. Not always on time, or in rhythm. And your hip action, I'm telling you, looked like it was set in cement, your hips. You have to get them going a little bit more. But I have to say, it was strangely entertaining.
Sean Spicer took his first round of observations well, also telling Bruno Tonioli that he would “take that.” The mood in the ballroom seemed light, and Spicer continued to roll with the atmosphere charged by his dance. Dancing with the Stars judge, Carrie Ann Inaba went next.
Carrie Ann Inaba was not harsh in her assessment, either. It was Week One, after all. Inaba was quick to point out the enthusiastic energy that Sean Spicer brought to his Dancing with the Stars debut, saying:
Okay, yeah, it was strangely entertaining. I'm going to have to give you best fluorescent shimmy of the night that's for sure. But beyond that, I like your sense of fun, I was very surprised and happily surprised with the way you came at it. You're very boisterous and I really appreciate that. It's great for the dance. You were off-beat most of the dance, but you had fun.
To that, Sean Spicer said that he did “have fun,” so Carrie Ann Inaba was not off-base in her analysis. Inaba encouraged him to keep doing so. Spicer will be back next week and only the judges’ votes from this week will count toward who makes it to Week 3.
That is confusing, but Dancing with the Stars wanted to make changes after the controversial reaction to last season. Up next was Len Goodman. In a historically rare moment of synergy, Goodman joined his fellow judges, in that he cited a similar note regarding Sean Spicer’s performance. Goodman told Spicer:
Well, I admire your courage coming on this show, and as the others have said you brought fun to the ballroom. Well done.
Sean Spicer’s participation marks the first time that Dancing with the Stars has had a former Presidential office figure take part, which is a new celebrity angle for the series. Shortly after the announcement of Spicer’s casting, Dancing with the Stars’ co-host, Tom Bergeron, spoke out about it, so it's been a big deal leading to the season. Spicer himself has addressed the backlash with his own comments.
Dancing with the Stars has already endured its share of issues. Christie Brinkley had to drop out at the last minute due to a broken arm, she suffered during practice. As for who will win the mirror ball trophy, it is going to be exciting to find out. For now, you can check out Sean Spicer's performance below:
Week One has already raised the question of whether or not The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown has an unfair advantage. More excitement is destined to follow!