Dancing With the Stars' 29th season kicked off Monday night on ABC, putting another group of celebrities on the dance floor. Former NFL tight end Vernon Davis was among this group, and he showed off some of his dance moves. He partnered with Peta Murgatroyd and did the foxtrot as their opening routine.
Dressed in light-colored outfits, Davis and Murgatroyd hit the floor while digital waves danced underneath them. They performed the foxtrot to the soundtrack of John Legend's "All of Me." There was no audience in attendance for the performance, but cheers still rang as they moved around the dance floor, thanks to piped in fake chants. After the routine, the duo received a score of 17 out of 30.
"Vernon Davis was so good there's nothing to tweet, I think he'll make top 5," one person commented after watching the routine. Several others agreed with this sentiment. The proclaimed that the former tight end was a natural on the dance floor, and they had major expectations for him.
The score of 17 was not ideal for the former tight end, but Davis still drew praise from the assembled judges. However, judge Carrie Ann Inaba did dock the retired player a point for a mistake. He accidentally lifted Murgatroyd's feet when he dragged her, which Inaba said meant he had "a little more to learn." She still praised his ability to mix tenderness and elegance with a "masculine control."
While Inaba docked Davis for his miscue, fellow judges Derk Hough and Bruno Tonioli did not hold back their glowing comments. Tonioli said that Davis' chemistry with Murgatroyd was "sizzling." He also predicted that he would need an ice bucket when the pair does the rumba later in the season. Both Tonioli and Hough gave Davis and Murgatroyd 6s.
Heading into the season premiere, Davis faced pressure to live up to his peers and their past successes. Dancing With the Stars has featured several NFL players to mixed success. The list includes Michael Sam, Doug Flutie, Antonio Brown, Ray Lewis and Terrell Owens, all of whom fell short of the championship.
Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, on the other hand, became the first athlete to secure the mirrorball trophy when he won Season 3. Since his victory, Hines Ward, Rashad Jennings and Donald Driver have joined him in the proverbial winner's circle. Now Davis will strive to join this elite tier of NFL dancers.