Welcome to the First Booted Couple club, Ron Artest.
Artest joins an elite group made up of stars like former “Bachelor” competitor Trista Sutter, TV commentator Tucker Carlson, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, singer Belinda Carlisle, actress Shannen Doherty and, of course, David Hasselhoff, to get the boot in week one.
“I got a chance to learn how to dance. I’m from New York, we just two step in the club, and [partner Peta Murgatroyd]‘s got me really interested in dancing,” Artest said. “I met good friends. … I had a great time. Ricki Lake, I’m a Ricki Lake groupie. … I want to take Nancy Grace to the club.”
Artest lauded his pro Peta Murgatroyd and asked the audience to give her a round of applause after the couple learned its fate. Murgatroyd was a member of the “Dancing With the Stars” dance troupe last season, and this was her first time as a competing pro dancer.
“The pressure was definitely on, since I wasn’t in the troupe anymore. It’s definitely stepping up to the plate more with more responsibilities,” she said.
Artest promised to donate his earnings from the show to the Cancer Research Foundation in honor of his 8-year-old daughter, Diamond, who overcame kidney cancer.
Competition in the hit ABC show continues next Monday, with the 11 remaining celebrities: actress and former TV talk show host Ricki Lake, actor David Arquette, author and activist Chaz Bono, model and actress Elisabetta Canalis, TV star Kristin Cavallari , Grace, reality TV personality Rob Kardashian, fashion guru Carson Kressley, Iraq war veteran actor J.R. Martinez, singer Chynna Phillips and women’s soccer World Cup star Hope Solo.
Artest and Murgatroyd handicapped the remaining field, calling attention to J.R. Martinez.
“J.R. Martinez is absolutely a standout. I think nobody was expecting him to be that good, and he’s such a natural at it,” Murgatroyd said.
“I say J.R. and Carson. I thought I was the most entertaining, but Carson is amazing. I want to do a TV show with that guy,” Artest said.
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