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'DWTS' Season 31: Fans call out judges for underscoring premiere night's opening act Jordin and Brandon

Fans question the voting system as Jordin gets a full two hours unlike her competitors
Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong in 'DWTS' Season 31 (Instagram/jordinsparks)
Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong in 'DWTS' Season 31 (Instagram/jordinsparks)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 31 premiered on Monday, September 19, 2022, after the fall 2021 season that named Iman Shumpert the show's first ever Mirror Ball champion from the world of basketball. The night began with a performance by Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong, but fans are unimpressed with the judges' heavy underscoring.

Jordin Sparks is the most recent 'American Idol' alumna to appear on 'Dancing with the Stars.' Brandon Armstrong is her pro companion when she takes the stage. Jordin Sparks, who won Season 6 of 'American Idol,' joins a list of other Idol contestants who've made it to the ballroom, including Season 5's Kellie Pickler, who won the Mirror Ball trophy with partner Derek Hough; Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina, who finished fourth on 'DWTS'; and Jimmie Allen, who competed in the 10th Season of Idol but didn't make it. Jimmie, who is now a famous country performer, finished seventh on 'DWTS' last year.


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Jordin Sparks enters with no dancing experience. Whitney Houston means a lot to her, thus she chose "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" as her premiere night music. They collaborated on the film 'Sparkle.' According to Len Goodman, it was "clean, clear, precise," a "fantastic job" with no gimmicks. Derek Hough compliments her on her "amazing presence," but she has to improve her foot placement. Bruno Tonioli considered her to be a natural entertainer. Carrie Ann Inaba describes it as "fabulous, amazing, and full of fluidity and strength."

Jordin gets decent scores to start off the night with a 7 from Carrie Ann, a 6 each from Len and Derek, and another 7 from Bruno, bringing her total to 26 out of 40. She and her fans are both disappointed because she is the season's first performance. Given how much fans loved Jordin's performance, they were definitely shocked to see her 6, as they write: "Jordin KILLED that for y’all to give her a 6?! Here we go #DWTS." Another fan tweeted how they thought Jordin deserved a much higher score: "I thought Jordin deserved at least an 8. #DWTS." Calling their performance 'underscored' one fan wrote: "I absolutely loved Sam and jordin was very underscored #dwts." One fan was quick to point out how the voting system remains unaffected by the performance due to the live show format: "Clearly the dancing doesn’t matter if you have to vote before the show is even over. Jordin sparks will have 2 hours of votes and the last dancer will have 2 minutes #DWTS #DWTS31."





Saying the duo is the one to watch for the season, a fan tweeted: "Jordin was so good for her first dance! Definitely going to be one of the ones to watch this season #dwts." Comparing Jordin's performance to other contestants, another viewer wrote: "none of these celebs have done better than jordin. she’s definitely been underscored tonight #dwts." Calling the scores a shame, one fan tweeted: "Jordin Sparks’s dancing was damn near PERFECT! Those scores they gave her is a damn shame. #DWTS don’t piss me off early." Some fans also think since Jordin opened with such an average score, scoring must be tought for the opening night: "If judges are only giving sixes and sevens to Jordin then we will probably see a lot of fives tonite #dwts."





'Dancing with the Stars' Season 31 premiered its first episode on September 19 at 8 pm ET. New episodes with air weekly on Mondays at 8 pm ET.

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