The season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" kicked off on Monday night with retired football player DeMarcus Ware and singer Tinashe electrifying the crowd and tying for first place.
But it was Paralympian skier Danelle Umstead, who stole the show with her courage, and Instagram star Alexis Ren, whose dance was marred by a live TV blunder, that were the most memorable
Umstead is the first blind contestant to ever compete on the show and she earned a score of 18 out of 30 with her pro partner Artem Chigvintsev.
After her graceful foxtrot ended, Umstead's husband Rob and her guide dog, Aziza, gave her their love on the ballroom floor. Audience members were moved to tears.
She later told reporters backstage, "I was really vulnerable up there but I showed my true emotions and being the first blind dancer on the show, it's a proud moment. I hope to show America more."
Umstead explained to Fox News backstage about the limitations of her sight, "I have very little vision. I have no central vision and I have no peripheral vision so I can see a lot of light when it's bright but it's really hard when I go from light to dark because I completely black out. So I have a little vision in between — but it's [only] little sections and it's very blurry."
The skier, whose husband helps to guide her down mountains in competition, told Fox she also suffers from multiple sclerosis. "I was diagnosed eight years ago and we're trying to work through that, too, it's a big challenge [in dancing] …it affects my motor skills."
But she said doing "DWTS" had been a dream since she held her baby son in her arms and was watching the show: "I was four inches away from the television screen and I said I wanted to be the first blind contestant on 'Dancing with the Stars.' I threw it out to the universe."
Meanwhile, Ware and partner Lindsay Arnold and Tinashe and dancer Brandon Armstrong both earned 23 in their tie for first place.
Ware is the latest football player to look like a front-runner on "DWTS." The audience gasped when he dramatically jumped over Arnold during their cha cha, but he sighed to reporters afterward, "Dancing is so hard. One mistake can make you go off kilter."
Hip hop star Tinashe spoke backstage about her energetic jive, "I'm proud… I didn't know what to expect. There was a lot of pressure. My body hurts."
Among the other competitors, sexy Juan Pablo Di Pace of "Fuller House" and partner Cheryl Burke performed a salsa that earned the second highest score of the premiere at 22 points.
Instagram sensation Alexis Ren and dancer Alan Bersten turned in a strong jive, which was marred when a "DWTS" cameraman cut away from the end of their dance by accident.
Bersten said about the live TV blooper, in which the camera swirled around wildly, not showing part of the dance during the East Coast broadcast, "It was 10 seconds but it was upsetting because Alexis worked so hard. That's all right, we'll post it online."
Model Ren told Fox about her social media stardom, "I was homeschooled, so I really wanted to find a way to connect to people and I just kept trying to reach out. Modeling fell into my lap… I've been so fortunate."
Country radio host Bobby Bones exploded with enthusiasm after completing his dance with Sharna Burgess. He slid around the ballroom floor and then fell down. His fun jive paid off with a score of 20.
Disney Channel actor Milo Manheim also grabbed 20 points.
Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Mary Lou Retton turned in a cha cha with partner Sasha Farber that garnered 19 points.
Retton, the mom to four daughters ages 16 to 23, told reporters after the show, "I reached fame at a very young age… I kind of lost myself. This is kind of my re-emergence. I really haven't challenged myself in decades."
Earning 18 points each along with Umstead were former "Dukes of Hazzard" star John Schneider, formwe "The Facts of Life" actress Nancy McKeon, and "Harry Potter" star Evanna Lynch.
Stand-up comedian Nikki Glaser was awkward in her salsa, taking just 17 points, but "The Bachelorette" star "Grocery Store Joe" Amabile finished dead last with a quickstep that earned only 14 points.
On Tuesday night, the stars will perform a second dance — and then face the season's first elimination.