Dancing with the Stars premiere, airing live from Hollywood, got off to a bang. Back for another round was host Tom Bergeron, while the new co-host for season 11 is Brooke Burke who looked beautiful in purple. As the dancing pairs descended down the stairs for their introductions, Margaret Cho almost slipped and Bristol Palin was dressed in a sparkly gray suit, far more conservative than Mrs. Brady, aka Florence Henderson, in a slinky blue dress. Pairs prepared to dance either the Cha Cha or the Viennese Waltz.
Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani
First up were Audrina Patridge, from The Hills, and Tony Dovolani. “By the end of the second week, she had the entire routine,” Tony said about Audrina who looked perfect in yellow. As the first couple out, they had to set the bar, and they did that. Audrina was a natural even though Tony changed the routine during rehearsals, at the last minute, to make it harder. Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli gave the pair 7’s and a 6.
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya
Quarterback Kurt Warner is a father of seven kids who says his family are huge fans of the show. During a rehearsal, the redheaded Anna revealed that Kurt did not have the technique yet. Was she right? After their waltz, Bruno said Kurt was a graceful quarterback with potential and Carrie Ann agreed. But it was Len who withheld the praise. Their scores were 7’s and a 5.
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer
The first real burst of energy came from rapper and actor Kyle Massey and returning pro Lacey Schwimmer. Kyle said he was confident he would nail it. He was right. “I think I just fell in love,” said Carrie Ann. “I want to take you home. You’re an entertainer,” said Bruno. Kyle and Lacey’s scores were 8’s and a 7.
Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke
NBA champion Rick Fox, who played with the LA Lakers, is the tall, handsome guy with the perfect teeth. “The only thing that is familiar with me and ballroom dancing is the floor,” says Rick. “The women are going to love him,” Cheryl said. It was hard for Cheryl to dance with the very tall Rick during rehearsals. The professional dancer wore 4 inch heels instead of 3 or 3 1/2 inch heels. But what may have seemed like a problem in practice was no problem on opening night. Rick’s grace and posture impressed the judges who gave the pair 7’s and an 8.
Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel
Comedian Margaret Cho looked nervous right from the start. The star of Drop Dead Diva, who is still dealing with a lifetime of insecurity about weight and beauty issues, performed a comical dance with Louis Van Amstel that included black outfits with bright flowers and lots of gold fabric that Margaret doubled as wings. There was lots of dramatic facial expressions from Cho. But what may work for a Margaret Cho does not work for a Viennese Waltz. Bruno screamed, “What the hell was that? I thought you were going to eat somebody.” All of the judges had a problem with the deliberate stumble at the end. Their scores were three 5’s, some of the worst scores of the night.
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Grammy award winning Brandy has always been afraid to do Dancing with the Stars. Maksim has been known as the bad boy of ballroom but wants to try to be the good boy this season. Dressed in gold, Brandy looked beautiful and natural with her handsome partner Maksim. Bruno Tonioli gushed, “I love the taste of brandy in the evening.” Their scores were two 8’s and a 7.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas
Bristol Palin, who worked as a receptionist in Alaska before DWTS, says she is just a regular girl. Mark Ballas won season 6 and 8. Shy Bristol often said, “I can’t do that,” in rehearsals, but Ballas said that those words were not allowed. One of Bristol’s goals was not to embarrass her mom, who did not show up for her daughter’s opening night. Bristol wore the gray suit, but ripped it off to reveal a sexy red fringe dress. The potential is there if Bristol can loosen up. Said Carrie Ann, “I thought you were going to be boring. I was so wrong.” Their scores were all 6’s.
Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas
Florence Henderson, best known for her role as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, is still sexy at 76. She wrote 50 times in her journal that she would appear on Dancing with the Stars. Paired with Corky Ballas, they are the most mature of the bunch. After dancing the Cha Cha, Bruno said to Florence, “You’ve still got it!” “The key for staying young is to stay interesting and don’t get boring,” says Florence.The scores for Henderson and Ballas were all 6’s.
Michael Bolton and Chelsie Hightower
Singer Michael Bolton, who had a record deal at 16, is touring while he is doing Dancing with the Stars. Says Chelsie, “My biggest worry is that Michael is stiff and clunky.” Dancing to the Viennese Waltz, Bolton will need to work on loosening up, standing tall and smiling. The judges gave the pair two 5’s and a 6.
Mike Sorrentino , aka The Situation, and Karina Smirnoff
The Situation had only 5 days to train after shooting Jersey Shore. The man with the biggest ego said to all the men watching that his dance experience includes “many nights in the club with your girlfriend.” Working on less rehearsal days than everyone else, Karina said, “We’re at a disadvantageous here,” and “I love Mike’s enthusiasm, but I don’t think he knows what’s about to hit him.” Len Goodman summed up The Situation in one sentence, “You’ve got the guns but not the ammunition.” Can Mike Sorrentino apply himself in the future? Their scores were three 5’s.
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough
Jennifer Grey, also known as Baby from Dirty Dancing, is paired up with Derek Hough. During rehearsals, Grey had to leave the room to cry. Rehearsals reminded her too much of her time with her Dirty Dancing co-star the late Patrick Swayze. Dancing the waltz, Jennifer looked like a natural. “Baby is back where she belongs,” said Bruno. Carrie Ann, who was deeply touched by the dance, said that Jennifer looked better with age. Their scores were all 8’s, the highest of the night.
The Hoff and Kym Johnson
David Hasselhoff, aka The Hoff, was a hunk back in the day. “My heart’s in the right place, but my body is old,” David said. There was a lot of moaning and groaning during rehearsals. Unfortunately, The Hoff didn’t win over any of the judges even though he looked spiffy in all black and a black jacket. “It’s never too early to panic, ” Len Goodman joked. The scores were 5’s.
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