For the 20th season of Dancing With The Stars the show brought on the youngest competitor ever—a 14-year-old Hunger Games star. She's best known for playing younger sister Primrose Everdeen, but now Willow Shields is using her DTWS debut to show she's more than just an actress. Despite her inexperience (she's never even danced with a boy before!) the Mockingjay star stunned on stage with her partner Mark Ballas.
The show really threw her to the wolves having her go first even though she's so young, but she killed it scoring sixes across the board and earning some really high Hunger Games-themed praise. "The odds are definitely in your favor," judge Bruno Tonioli shouted after her spirited cha cha. "Even grumpy President Snow liked it," he said referencing the usually stoic Len Goodman. It's true that even the toughest judge enjoyed Shields' performance. He called it "sparkly, bubbly, and refreshing," and both Carrie Ann Inaba and Julianne Hough had good things to say too.
Although 25 out of 40 isn't the best score to get, it's a great one to start the season on. The judges even said they're scoring a little low tonight because they want to see the pairs improve as the season goes along. Shields has nowhere to go but up, and it's clear she has the raw talent to take her far.
With a little more practice this competition could be won by the youngest ever contestant. #TeamMarkingjay is in good shape on night one, and I'm excited to see what comes from them as the season goes on.