Season 22 of ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars' got underway Monday night, and there were some pleasant surprises during the premiere.

I have to admit, I wasn't looking for this season to be even close to as exciting as the last, but I was so wrong. It's taken me a couple of days to process it all, but one thing that stands out above all else was the extreme amount of talent packed into this season's cast.

The top scorers were 'Good Morning America' meteorologist Ginger Zee, Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris (whose name I was buthering badly, by the way), and the biggest surprise of all -- Nyle DiMarco, winner of the final season of 'America's Next Top Model.' The totally deaf model and actor danced a Cha Cha like nobody I've ever seen! OK, it also helps that he's very easy on the eyes. I was screaming and cheering at the TV, it was so amazing!

DiMarco is the first deaf contestant to participate in the show since Marlee Matlin, who competed in Season 6. She was able to feel vibrations from the music, and in an online article, Nyle said he could, too, but that he seemed to do better when he couldn't hear the music at all.

He still managed to pull off a phenomenal routine, thanks to his pro partner, Peta Murgatroyd. She's had to adapt her teaching style to accommodate DiMarco's hearing impairment, using more visual and touch cues in the routine.

I saw other impressive routines by Donald Trump's former wife Marla Maples, footballers Antonio Brown and Von Miller (who were a joy to watch!), actress Kim Fields of 'The Facts of Life' and 'Living Single' fame, and UFC fighter Paige Vanzant (who cleans up very nice for a fighter).

With all those great dances came a few stink bombs, too. Geraldo Rivera scored a 13, and I could have agreed more with the judges on that one. His Cha Cha looked more like him walking his partner around the floor. That's sad, too, because this is pro dancer Edyta Slawinska's first season back in quite a while. I'd hate to see her leave first.

Other not-so-stellar performances came from former football star Doug Flutie, which I pretty much expected, and actress Misha Barton, who I truly thought would do much better.

So, while I was uneasy about how this season would go, I have to say I'm pretty impressed...and I can't wait for next Monday night! If you missed Nyle and Peta's rockin' Cha Cha, take a look here:

More From News Radio 710 KEEL