The 22nd season premiere of "Dancing With the Stars" Monday night went pretty much as expected, format-wise, but there were a few surprises with the celebrity contestants.

While I predicted (as a Steelers fan, full disclosure) that Antonio Brown would be the front-runner thanks to athletes typically ruling this show, he didn't have the dazzling opening night as some of his fellow contestants. Here's how the night played out, ranked best to worst:


Nyle DiMarco/Peta Murgatroyd (cha cha, judge score: 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23)
Age: 26
Best known as: Winner of "America's Next Top Model" Season 22 and actor on "Switched at Birth."
Storyline: Nyle is deaf, which makes communication with Peta a challenge. But she makes it work by using more physical cues and learning some sign language. Through his interpreter, Nyle explains his biggest fear is he'll be criticized for his timing — just because he can't hear the music, he doesn't want it to affect his dance skills.
Performance: Well, everyone, we may have our winner. Nyle is a natural and the crowd goes crazy. Bruno sums it up: "Shut up. Are you for real?!" he yells, and jumps out of his chair to inspect Nyle's impressive set of abs. "I have to touch you, in case you're a fantasy." Carrie Ann and Len are also thrilled.


Ginger Zee/Val Chmerkovskiy (jive, judge score: 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23)
Age: 35
Best known as: "Good Morning America" weather anchor.
Storyline: As a new mom to a 3-month-old son, can she handle the sleep deprivation and the brutal rehearsal schedule while flying back and forth from Los Angeles to "GMA" in New York?
Performance: Ginger kills it. "The weather forecast is looking pretty good!" Bruno exclaims. Carrie Ann compares her to last season's winner Bindi Irwin: "You have something phenomenal — you are infectious, you lit up the joint," she gushes. Len goes with "The clouds parted and a ray of sunshine came to the floor"…hmm, do they write these quips in advance?


Wanya Morris/Lindsay Arnold (cha cha, judge score: 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23)
Age: 42
Best known as: A member of Boyz II Men, the best-selling R&B group of all time.
Storyline: He's wanted to be on the show for years and hopes to find an identity aside from Boyz II Men; that is made slightly more challenging by the fact that his first dance is to the group's "Motown Philly."
Performance: The judges are immediately impressed. Len uses the opportunity to make a well-placed "end of the road" joke, saying that's where Wanya will go if he stays this strong. "You are a total twinkle-toe in the making, my friend!" Carrie Ann exclaims.


Antonio Brown/Sharna Burgess (quickstep, judge score: 8, 6, 7 for a total of 21)
Age: 27
Best known as: Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver who once did this:

Storyline: Will his crazy moves on the field translate to the dance floor?
Performance: The judges can't stop beaming back at Antonio. "You have a megawatt smile and energy," Bruno says, adding that Antonio has lots of talent but has to learn how to channel it. Carrie Ann agrees: "You're magic…you're fantastic, I'm loving this season." Len tells him to improve on the footwork: "For a dance that is so difficult, I thought you did well," he says somewhat tepidly.


Von Miller/Witney Carson (foxtrot, judge score: 8, 6, 7 for a total of 21)
Age: 26
Best known as: Denver Broncos linebacker and most recent Super Bowl MVP.
Storyline: The (massive) height difference could be a logistical challenge, as Von is a giant and Witney is tiny.
Performance: Again, lots of cheers. While Antonio Brown was fiery and wild, Carrie Ann says Von is "soft and silky." Len is glad that Von maintained self-control with his moves. Bruno is also a fan, gushing that Von has bucket loads of charisma and presence.


Marla Maples/Tony Dovolani (quickstep, judge score: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21)
Age: 52
Best known as: Donald Trump's ex-wife. Also a Broadway actress and TV personality.
Storyline: Can she be known as anyone other than "that girl who was married to Donald?" Probably not. However, now that she's over 50, she says she wants a new challenge. (Oh, and she gets asked constantly about Trump's hair, but thinks it's fine.)
Performance: The judges adore her. Carrie Ann calls her elegant and divine — so much so that it doesn't matter she messed up a few times. Len also breezes over the "incident" where she forgot her steps and says it was terrific. "Forget about The Donald!" Bruno roars, because dance is her calling.


Jodie Sweetin/Keo Motsepe (tango, judge score: 7, 6, 7 for a total of 20)
Age: 34
Best known as: Stephanie Tanner, the adorable tow-headed child star on ABC's "Full House" in the '90s.
Storyline: Will her low self-esteem (after years in the spotlight, sometimes in a bad way) torpedo her chances? "I'm reinventing myself…and I want people to see who I am today," she says.
Performance: Middling, with some odd comments from the judges. Len says Jodie did strange things with her head (?) yet she was full of attitude. "I didn't know you could be alluring…I like that side of you!" Bruno declares. Carrie Ann calls it very impressive, even though it looked like she was snarling (?) during the dance.


Paige VanZant/Mark Ballas (foxtrot, judge score: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21)
Age: 21
Best known as: UFC fighter, the first female straw weight to headline a UFC event.
Storyline: Can she tone down the aggressiveness she uses in her day job and adapt to the much softer art form of ballroom dance? It's possible, as she nearly bursts into tears as soon as the dance is over, though she tells Erin Andrews that she cries after every fight, too.
Performance: "I wasn't expecting you to be so light on your feet," Bruno admits, adding she has great potential. Still, he says she lacks a bit of control. Carrie Ann disagrees and says that Paige actually needs to loosen up. Len doesn't break the tie, and just proclaims that she did a "terrific job."


Kim Fields/Sasha Farber (cha cha, judge score: 7, 6, 7 for a total of 20)
Age: 46
Best known as: "Facts of Life" and "Living Single" actress, new "Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast member.
Storyline: Continuing her re-branding from '80s and '90s TV actress to reality star.
Performance: Len calls her moves "crisp and sharp," though it wasn't perfect. Carrie Ann says she has a whole lot of fierceness in a tiny package and calls her a firecracker, even if she was ahead of the music. Bruno is equally complimentary.

RANK: 10

Doug Flutie/Karina Smirnoff (foxtrot, judge score: 5, 5, 5 for a total of 15)
Age: 53
Best known as: The guy who threw the famous "Hail Mary" pass against University of Miami to win the Orange Bowl at Boston College; also, NFL quarterback.
Storyline: He's always felt like the underdog, even in his sports career. Plus, he just wants to fit in with his family, where his wife is a dance teacher and his daughter is a dancer.
Performance: Whoa. Not great. "People love underdogs on this show," Carrie Ann assures him. Len offers some light criticism, but implies Doug has potential — has Len softened during his time off? "You can only get better," Bruno says doubtfully.

RANK: 11

Geraldo Rivera/Edyta Sliwinska (cha cha, judge score: 5, 4, 4 for a total of 13)
Age: 72
Best known as: Fox News correspondent, host of the Al Capone vault incident.
Storyline: He calls himself the only Puerto Rican in America who can't dance — will that change?
Performance: "Dancing" is a generous description, as he kind of shuffles back and forth. Carrie Ann suggests that maybe Geraldo got distracted by Edyta's "hot moves" and forgot how to dance. Sure, let's blame that! "Dancing is a work in progress," Len says, the understatement of the night.

RANK: 12

Mischa Barton/Artem Chigvintsev (tango, judge score: 5, 5, 6 for a total of 16)
Best known as: Marissa Cooper, the hard-partying, rich teen who met a tragic end on Fox's "The O.C."
Storyline: Even Artem is horrified by her lack of dance skills, and Mischa admits she has no idea what she's doing. Can she actually make it through the competition?
Performance: Unfortunately, it doesn't look good as she awkwardly shuffles around the dance floor. "I have incredible respect for you," Carrie Ann says. "You have a strong spirit." Ouch. Len isn't as nice: "That wasn't a dance, that was walking!" he says angrily, as the audience boos and Mischa's eyes fill with tears. Bruno offers that she should work on strengthening her core, otherwise it looks like she's just dancing while sedated.