The new season of Dancing With the Stars is underway and the premiere was full of impressive surprises. When news broke that Nelly would be showing off his fancy footwork on the popular, long-running series, hip hop fans didn’t know what the St. Louis icon could bring to the table. In his opening number, Nelly and partner Daniella Karagach opted to take a stab at the Salsa while dancing to Nelly’s mega-smash hit “Ride Wit Me.” He wore sneakers during his performance instead of ballroom dance shoes and even pulled off a backflip.
Nelly has spoken about his decision to join Dancing With the Stars and having second thoughts early on. “I think the first day I was like, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ It was definitely one of those [days], but the more and more I’ve gotten into it, my partner — my inspiration, my coach — is very good,” said the rapper. “I think to put up with me in a certain situation of, ‘Are you sure? I don’t know if we’re going to get this step,’ that’s me. She’s just nailing it home, like, ‘Yo, you can do this.'”
In the end, the judges gave Nelly and Daniella a 16 out of 30. Check out reactions to Nelly’s performance below.