So much for Heather Morris' big advantage, right? 

Sure, season 24 of Dancing with the Stars still has some celebs who are going to really rely on those viewer votes, but the former Glee star and professional dancer is not as far ahead of the pack as we once thought (or ahead at all!). She actually has some serious competition out there on that dance floor, and tied for third place on night one.

And that's a damn good thing, because we were worried about a repeat of last season, when none of the other contestants could even try to catch the powerhouse that was  Laurie Hernandez.

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This season, Hernandez' teammate (and the most decorated American female gymnast of all time) Simone Biles is an obvious frontrunner, but so is Fifth Harmony member Normani Kordei, and Olympic figure skating legend Nancy Kerrigan has an up as well (and not just because everybody loves Nancy Kerrigan). 

And then, of course, there's Flamenco expert Charo, and puss-patter Erika Jayne, both of whom have at least some kind of dance/performance experience. We're simply not worried at all about the women. 

And actually, most of the guys aren't bad either. In fact, we might be ready to say this is the most talented season in years, if not ever. Nick Viall has some serious moves, and baseball player David Ross and football player Rashad Jennings both killed it. 

This could seriously be anybody's season, and that's when this show is at its most fun. Everybody's good! Everybody's fun! We're having fun! 

Tonight, we decided to hand out some awards based on everyone's first performances. 

The "Off on the Right Foot" Award: Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy (27/40)

From what we could tell, Normani's performance was just as good as Heather's, Nancy's, and David's, if not better. She should have at least tied with them, but scores always tend to get better and more lenient throughout the night. 

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The "Actual Disney Princess" Award: Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev (28/40) 

Like Julianne Hough said, we just wanted Nancy to gather us up in her arms and smile that beautiful smile at us. She was a vision, and she is going to get so many votes this season. 

The "Playing the Nostalgia Card Too Early" Award: Chris Kattan and Witney Carson (17/40)

Might not have been the best idea for Kattan to go Night at the Roxbury on night one (especially since it requires specific neck moves, and he once broke his neck) with "What Is Love," but then again, his scores (he got three 4s!) indicated he probably won't make it past night one anyway. 

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The "Go With Your Strengths" Award: Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess (22/40)

Cowboy Bonner Bolton is incredibly good at cowboy clothing and cowboy music and cowboy dancing (AKA holding your belt and aggressively presenting your pelvis), as we learned tonight. Can he do anything else? The other moves he attempted say no, but we'll have to see when/if he has to perform with no cowboy hats in sight. 

The "Dancing Is Irrelevant, We Must Protect Her At All Costs" Award: Charo and Keo Motsepe (21/40)

Charo is exactly the vessel of perfect chaos that Dancing with the Stars has always needed. She is perfect. 


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The "He Can Actually Dance!" Award: Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd (24/40)

Fresh off his reign as The Bachelor (it literally ended last Monday), Viall decided to remake himself as a pop star. He undid basically all of his buttons, threw caution to the wind, and danced to Bieber like a champ. It wasn't what we expected, and we didn't hate it. 

The "Duh" Award: Heather Morris and Keo Motsepe (28/40) 

We are huge Brittany S. Pierce fans, and Heather was obviously a professionally dancing vision. We were also ecstatic to see that the majority of the contestants were also pretty damn good, meaning this isn't going to be the sweep we feared it would be. 

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The "Unexpected Frontrunner" Award: David Ross and Lindsay Arnold (28/40) 

OK, we were not expecting former Cubs catcher David Ross to be quite that good, especially when he was dancing to "Go Cubs Go." He's tied with Heather Morris and Nancy Kerrigan! 

The "New Favorite Housewife" Award: Erika Jayne and Keo Motsepe (24/40)

Erika was already one of our favorite real housewives, but that was a performance that will never leave us. 

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The "Where Have You Been All Our Life?" Award: Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater (31/40) 

I mean, that was a pretty sexy performance, was it not? Football players on this show are often hit or miss, but Rashad could truly compete with this season's powerhouses. 

The "Playing the Nostalgia Card Early But Correctly" Award: Mr. T and Kym Herjavec (20/40)

For some reason, while Chris Kattan dancing to "What Is Love?" felt too early, Mr. T coming out of the gate with The A Team felt just right. The heart likes what it likes, we guess. 

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The "Even More Duh" Award: Simone Biles and Sasha Farber (32/40)

Precious angel Simone Biles is one of the best athletes ever, and her gymnast skills easily translated onto the dance floor, despite how she tried to trick us during the intro package into thinking she was going to be bad. Common sense says this is a battle between Simone and Heather, but after tonight, really anything could happen. 

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. 

Dancing with the Stars Premiere Awards: Could This Be the Best Season Yet? originally appeared on