WATCH: Matt James’ First Ever DWTS Performance

Matt James First Dancing With the Stars Performance

ABC ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" stars Matt James.

Matt James made a name for himself as “The Bachelor” and now he’s competing on “Dancing With the Stars.” He is paired with DWTS veteran, mirrorball champion Lindsay Arnold. For his first performance, James danced the cha cha to “Give It To Me Baby” by Rick James.

James introduced himself as the “first black bachelor” and gave an update on his love life, saying he is still dating his season’s winner Rachael Kirkconnell. When James first met Arnold, she was very excited, as a fan of “The Bachelor.”

Matt James’s Cha Cha – Dancing with the StarsMatt James and Lindsay Arnold dance the Cha Cha to “Give It To Me Baby” by Rick James on Dancing with the Stars 2021 premiere! Subscribe: Watch Dancing with the Stars Mondays at 8/7c on ABC and Stream on Hulu!2021-09-21T02:42:20Z

The two kicked off their performance with rhythm and energy, but Len Goodman said he would have wanted to see “more hip action.” In the same breath, Goodman praised the performance, as did Derek Hough. Judge Bruno Tonioli said that James “did deliver” with his “natural stage presence.” He also said, “Next time you’ll be brilliant.” Carrie Ann Inaba said that she loved the way James “used the space” and enjoyed his “body rolls.”

After the judges spoke, James gave partner Arnold a shout out for being back on the show, following having her first baby.

James received all 6’s from the judges, with a total score of 24 out of 40.

This Is Lindsay Arnold’s First Time Back on DWTS Since Giving Birth

On November 2, 2020, Arnold posted on Instagram that she had given birth to her first child, a baby girl named Sage Jill Cusick. Along with the photo, Arnold revealed that she delivered her baby via c-section. Arnold wrote, “The most beautiful surprise on this very special day. Baby Girl and mama are healthy and well. More details to come but wanted to share this first pic of our little family. #birth #mama #babygirl #csection #pregnancy #39weeks.”

Due to being pregnant, Arnold took season 29 of “Dancing With the Stars” off, but she said she fully intended to return to the show. Arnold told Entertainment Tonight at the time, “I will not be dancing this season, but I am hoping to be a part of the show in other ways. I’ll have our baby in November, which gives me about 10 months to have time with the little babe, and then get back into shape and get back into dancing to hopefully be back around for the next fall season. That’s sort of the plan, and that’s what I intend to do. I have every intention of coming back.”

She added, “I mean, I love that show, I can’t see me not wanting to be a part of it in some way for the rest of my life as long as they will have me.”

Matt James Already Has Minor Injuries

In an interview with E! on “Daily Pop,” James said that he was already feeling the pain from rehearsals, prior to the season 30 premiere. James revealed, “I have so much respect for these pros that have the patience with someone like myself to just teach us and work through these growing pains. I’ve got bunions! It is what it is. I’ve been icing my feet down after practice. It’s been a tough journey so far with the body aching.”

James said girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell has been giving him foot massages to help soothe him after rehearsals.

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