“Dancing With the Stars” is back! The 13th season of the hit ABC celebrity dance competition premiered tonight with a line-up that includes the show’s first transgender contestant and an openly gay man.
This seasons’ dancers are actress and former TV talk show host Ricki Lake, actor David Arquette, NBA player Ron Artest (who last week changed his name to Metta World Peace), author and activist Chaz Bono, model and actress Elisabetta Canalis , TV star Kristin Cavallari , TV host Nancy 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.
First up: Ron Artest (sporting bleached hair) and partner Peta Murgatroyd. They danced the cha-cha-cha.
The judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, gave their usual frank assessments. Here’s what they had to say:
Carrie Ann: She thought it was “eccentric yet kind of sexy,” technically wrong but “the fun factor was high up there.” She gave it a 5 out of 10.
Len: Complained it was just “shimmying about” with “all sizzle and no sausage.” Not his cup of tea. He gave it a 4 out of 10.
Bruno: ”You have power and you have performance value” but need to work on technique. He gave it a 5 out of 10.
Total score: 14 out of a possible 30. Artest thought he should have gotten a lower score, so he was OK with it.
Next up: Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke danced the Viennese waltz. The judges weren’t thrilled.
Bruno: “You danced the waltz like you were under strict orders to succeed. I didn’t feel any musicality at all. You’ve got to relax.” Score: 5
Carrie Ann: Disagreeing with Bruno, she said: “When I watch you I see potential.” Score: 6
Len: “I’m not impressed, but I’m not depressed. It was OK … You were too careful.” Score: 5
Total score: 16 out of 30.
Next: Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas danced the cha-cha-cha.
The judges said:
Carrie Ann: “I’m excited. I want to watch you dance more and more and more … It was a very good cha-cha.” Score: 7
Len: “It was bright, it was lively and there was lots going on.” Despite that, Len said it seemed a little subdued. Score: 6
Bruno: While he proclaimed his love for “a bad girl with hot hips,” and said she had potential, he faulted Cavallari for being unsteady at times. Score: 6
Total score: 19 out of 30.
Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani danced the Viennese waltz.
Here’s what the judges thought:
Carrie Ann: “It was gorgeous. You are such a graceful dancer.” Score: 8
Len: “It wasn’t the best first dance I’ve ever seen, but I’ll tell you, it was close … well done.” Score: 7
Bruno: “You looked like you were stepping out of a dream and into my heart … You’ve got what it takes and you can do it.” Score: 7
Total score: 22 out of 30.
Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus danced the cha-cha-cha.
Carrie Ann: The judge told Grace that she had “spunk” and “sass” but had to work on the choreography. Score: 5
Len: ”It was all a little bit, for me, underwhelming,” he said, telling Grace she needed to get “balance.” His comments sparked a debate on the panel. Score: 5
Bruno: “You’ve got the moves but you don’t seem to believe in yourself.” Score: 6
Total score: 16 out of 30
David Arquette and Kym Johnson danced the Viennese waltz.
Carrie Ann: “I really liked it … all you have to do is relax a little.” Score: 6
Len: “I was very, very impressed … I’ll tell you what, you can dance.” Score: 6
Bruno: The judge said Arquette fill the part of the leading man but needed to stay in the role. Score: 6
Total score: 18 out of 30.
Elisabetta Canalis and Val Chmerkovskiy peformed the cha-cha-cha. The judges were unanimous in their scores – and their disappointment.
Carrie Ann: Canalis needs to channel the model inside, the judge said, adding that when she danced alone she didn’t have the same spirit. Score: 5
Bruno: He told her that if she stayed in the competition, she’d have to work “very, very hard.” Score: 5
Len: Not surprisingly, this judge didn’t like the intro to the dance, and told Canalis that her dancing became “brittle” once she was out of her partner’s arms.
Total score: 15 out of 30.
Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Val’s brother) danced the Viennese waltz.
Carrie Ann: Told Solo that she had good lines and needed to be ware of “muscling” too much. Score: 7
Bruno: He told Solo she needed to “learn control” but that she had all the right attributes to dance. Score: 7
Len: ”Good hold, good posture, lovely movement … you’ve just got to get a little more fluidity,” he told her. Score: 7
Total score: 21 out of 30.
Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya danced a spirited cha-cha-cha, receiving a standing ovation.
Carrie Ann: “That was my favorite dance of the night!” While it wasn’t strong technically, the entertainment value was high, she added. Score: 6
Bruno: “It was full out, outrageous fun.” Score: 6
Len: “You were such great entertainment. You were fun … .” Score: 5
Total score: 17 out of 30.
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff danced the Viennese waltz, and got a standing ovation.
Carrie Ann: ”I was absolutely touched by your performance,” she said, adding that he was able to bring emotion to his performance on day one. Score: 8
Len: “For me, J.R. stands for ‘just right.’” Score: 7
Bruno: He agreed with Len, saying Martinez’s performance was “right on top tonight.” Score: 7
Total score: 22 out of 30.
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough performed the Viennese waltz, and the judges liked it.
Carrie Ann: “You looked like a little princess out there,” she told Lake, adding that her movement’s were fluid. Score: 7
Bruno: “There was great chemistry,” he told the pair. Score: 7
Len: Len gave the lowest score, even while saying Lake had “elegance” and “lovely movement.” Score: 6
Total score: 20 out of 30.
Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer danced the cha-cha-cha.
Carrie Ann: “I think people have been waiting all night to see you Chaz and you did not disappoint. You can dance!” Score: 6
Bruno: “Great, great debut, Chaz. You should be proud!” Score: 6
Len: ”You really came out with the right attitude … great footwork and great attitude.” Score: 5
Total score:17 out of 30.
So Martinez and Phillips are tied for first place with 22 points, while Artest brings up the rear with 14 points.
The results show is tomorrow. Which dancer do you think performed the best tonight?