Though entertaining, Monday night's season 29 premiere of Dancing With the Stars was not without a few setbacks. And that was to be expected, given the changes DWTS had to make due to COVID-19. Throughout the night, fans were complaining about the applause track, which drowned out new host Tyra Banks. But one of the biggest mishaps of the night happened towards the end, when Emma Slater accidentally hit her partner, former NBA star Charles Oakley, in the face during their routine.
The pair made their ballroom debut with a salsa to 50 Cent's "In Da Club." Though it wasn't the smoothest performance, Oakley moved his way through the music with a smile on his face. But at the end of the routine, Slater was completing a series of quick turns around Oakley and accidentally smacked him in the face, causing his smile to momentarily disappear.
The accident could've been a result of the size difference between the two dancers: Slater is 5-foot-5, and Oakley is 6-foot-8. Luckily for the couple, few people seemed to notice the smack. Although a few eagle-eyed fans at home made note of it:
The judges didn't seem to notice the incident however, but they definitely noticed the "room for growth," as Slater called it.
"You were ahead of the music the whole time, which happens when you're nervous," Carrie Ann Inaba told Oakley. And new judge Derek Hough pointed out that Oakley was a bit "flat-footed."
The judges gave the pair a total score of 12, but that didn't seem to put too much of a damper on Oakley and Slater's spirits. And, as Slater says, they can only grow from here.
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