Bobby Bones, John Schneider Make Dancing with the Stars Debut

Season 27 of Dancing with the Stars premiered Sept. 24 with a dozen stars ready to make their ballroom debut. Among those calling the dance studio home this season is national radio morning show host Bobby Bones and actor/singer John Schneider. Each embraced their Nashville roots, combining hints of Music City into their first performances.

Bones was the first country star to hit the ballroom floor with professional dancer Sharna Burgess by his side. Taking on the jive, Bones earned support from both fans and the judges with his over-the-top reaction to nailing his choreography. After running around the dance floor in celebration, host Tom Bergeron pleaded with the country radio extraordinaire to take up decaf coffee.

“Surreal,” said judge Bruno Tonioli said of the dance. “It was like watching Ryan Seacrest doing Buddy Holly going jagging crazy with red-hot Sharna.” Added Len Goodman, “If you want to see someone come out and attack a dance, that’s it.”

Bones and Burgess made the performance look easy after weeks of nonstop rehearsals. While they had smiles on their faces, practicing the routine came with a few bumps and bruises along the way.

“I had to fill out a lot of paperwork, because I got hit really hard,” Bones told PEOPLE of getting elbowed in the mouth several times. “There was blood and a tooth. I still don’t know what I’m doing. She was doing her spin thing, and she was doing what she was supposed to do, and my face was not doing what it was supposed to do.”

Despite the hiccups, Burgess couldn’t be happier with her partner, who has no previous dance experience.

“He’s doing amazing. He came into this a few weeks ago with absolutely no experience, no confidence, no idea of whether he could or couldn’t do it,” she said. “It’s been two and a half weeks of him really starting to grow and really starting to enjoy it and embrace dance and improve a lot.”

Schneider embraced his Dukes of Hazzard days as he danced with partner Emma Slater to the “Theme from Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol’ Boys),” by Waylon Jennings. The routine earned the pair an 18 out of 30 for their first-ever score. While Goodman told the two that the routine “lacked any finesse,” Schneider was more than happy with his performance.

“I did get loosey-goosey because I was having fun, not because my teacher [Slater] didn’t beat it into me,” Schneider said following his performance. “I took the notes [of the judges’ comments]. We’re going to work on the notes tonight [in rehearsal].”

Catch Dancing with the Stars tonight on ABC.