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Illustration by Madison Cohen

Each year when I watch “Dancing with the Stars,” I wonder how the show can get any more chaotic. When I first started watching it, I was amazed at the celebrities who were chosen to dance. Then as it continued, the show started choosing celebrities I had never even heard of. 

I decided to watch the show again this year because Tyra Banks was announced as the new host. Banks has such an extravagant personality, and I wanted to see how she would handle hosting the show. 

Apart from Banks’ new arrival, Derek Hough, who was a dancer on the show for many seasons, moved his way up to be a judge. I loved watching Hough tear up the ballroom floor during previous seasons, so I knew he was going to be a great judge. 

Each season, there’s always that one random celebrity that seems out of place compared to the other contestants. This season, that person was Carole Baskin, who was part of the Netflix show “Tiger King.”

I never got into “Tiger King” when it was blowing up, but I found her to be such a random contestant. Even though she only made it to week three of the show, all of her dances weren’t fun to watch. As much as I love cats, Baskin included way too many cat themes in her performances. It was sad watching these weak dances, but I was definitely not surprised she was the second guest to be eliminated. 

One contestant I’m rooting for is Nev Schulman from “Catfish.” Schulman blew me away on the first night with a charming foxtrot to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Michael Bublé. This is one of my favorite songs, and he and his partner, Jenna Johnson, absolutely killed it. Not surprisingly, they received a score of 20 out of 30 for their first performance. 

During the first week, former Disney Channel star Skai Jackson also stood out to me as one of the top guests. Although she did a great job during her first performance, scoring a 21 out of 30, her samba during week two didn’t go too well. The dance started off strong, but Jackson lost her balance and almost fell in the middle of the performance. I felt bad this happened because Jackson earned a good score the first week, but she redeemed herself during week four by earning a 28, which was the highest score of the night. 

For week four, Jackson and her partner, Alan Bersten, performed a foxtrot dedicated to her late Disney Channel co-star Cameron Boyce. Their powerful dance made me shed a few tears as the couple earned the first 10 of the season from judge Carrie Ann Inaba. 

This season has taken me by surprise compared to prior ones. I’ve been impressed by lots of the celebrity dancers, and I’m excited to see where the show goes as the eliminations continue. 

Rating: 7/10