Former Gov. Rick Perry brought some Texas flair to the Season 23 premiere of “Dancing With The Stars,” but his footwork brought few plaudits from the judges.
The show partnered Perry, who performed in an floral embroidered Western jacket, with professional dancer Emma Slater and the twocha cha’ed to “God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas. All four of the show’s judges — Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli — gave the former governor a five out of 10 points, making Perry the lowest scoring contestant of the night.
Top scoring teams included race car driver James Hinchcliffe and partner Sharna Burgess, and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Both ended with a final score of 31 out of 40. And although Perry’s low rankings may foreshadow his bowing out sooner rather than later, there are no couple eliminations for the show’s first week, which means Perry still has a shot at winning.
As the Tribune’s Abby Livingston reports, Perry called himself “the least-experienced dancer that’s going to be on this program.” In a “Meet The Stars” video the show posted Monday, Perry revealed that he wants to win the show “for the men and women of our military.” He continued, “my daughter is married to one of those, so it’s every bit as much for her as it is for thousands of men and women who serve this country nobly.”