James Van Der Beek Receives Top Scores on “Dancing with the Stars” Debut

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The premiere of Dancing with the Stars kicked off Monday night (Sept. 16) with actor James Van Der Beek wowing fans and judges with his dance move.

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Saving the best for last, Van Der Beek took the dance floor with partner Emma Slater, who was revealed during the opening of the show, to dance the “Tango” to Imagina Dragons’ “Whatever it Takes.”

The couple glided across the floor with ease, as if James had done this before. When it came time for the judges comments, the couldn’t contain their praise.

“What a way to end the night. We have a leading man in the house,” Carrie Ann Inaba said of James’ moves. “Style, technique and flavor all in one. You gotta point your toes, but everything else was like day-um.”

“It could’ve been a little more compact in the hold but it had drive, it had purpose, you even managed body contact quite a way through. It was a terrific number, well done,” added Len Goodman.

Then Bruno shared his thoughts. “James, oh James. So strong, so passionate, so charismatic. But what I love is that you were totally in character and in control all the way through. There wasn’t a moment of a doubt that you were the leading man out there.”

That’s when James was given the highest scores of the night, all 7’s from the three judges, putting him at the top of the leader board. The couple beat out Hannah Brown and Alan by 1 point.

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“I love a crowd, I was a theater geek from very, very young, so I love this environment,” James said after receiving his scores. .

Fans can vote for their favorite dancer, during next week’s show on Monday (Sept. 23). Dancing with the Stars airs Monday night on ABC.