After opening the show with those somber words of support for those affected by the tragedy in Boston, Dancing's hosts, judges, celebrities and professional dancers went ahead with the performance show, which featured Len Goodman's side-by-side challenge.
They remaining couples had to perform routines simultaneously with another pair of professionals – a tough task for all the dancers. But one pair managed to pull off the first 10s of season 16.
Frontrunner Zendaya, 16, and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, gave the judges just what they wanted with a near flawless Argentine tango that landed them with 29 points out of 30.
"Every move you do has a story," judge Carrie Ann Inaba told the Disney starlet, who was joined for the routine by Chmerkovskiy's brother, Maksim, and another pro sitting out this season, Anna Trebunskaya. "It's like watching stylized life happen and I love it."
"It was like a lemon tart," said Len, who gave them the only 9. "Sharp and tangy at the top. Crisp and tasty and the bottom."
Fellow frontrunner, Kellie Pickler also wowed the judges with a foxtrot with partner Derek Hough. They earned 27 points.
"You've blossomed by working with another set of pros ... That was fabulous," Inaba said.
"That wasn't a foxtrot, that was a hot trot," Len said. "You put the 'oo' in smooth."
Craig Sjodin / ABC
Jacoby Jones and partner Karina Smirnoff had jaws dropping with the football star's splits and high jumps during their jive.
Joined by Smirnoff's ex-fiancé Maksim and Trebunskaya, the pair scored 26 points for their dance that judge Bruno Tonioli said "was like watching two stallions at the peak of their power ... testosterone pouring from everywhere."
But not everyone impressed the judges.
Andy Dick and D.L. Hughley were once again at the bottom of the leader board with 18 points each.
"It was like a decaf coffee," Goodman said of Hughley and partner Cheryl Burke's tango. "It didn't have any buzz to it. It was too mild ... it just lacked that attack."
As for Dick, whose paso doble with partner Sharna Burgess began with a memorable Zoro-themed entrance, Goodman said, "It was more Pasadena than paso doble."