ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) season 11 kicked off tonight with 12 new contestants, none of whom is a stranger to being in the limelight. Though not a performer, Bristol Palin gave a show and played on her family’s conservative image and turned into sexy.
Host Tom Bergeron and co-host Brooke Burke, and the three judges–Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli-entered into season 11 with their usual back and forth banter.
The dancers and their scores
The Hills actress Audina Patridge and her dance partner Tony Dovolan were the first of the season to dance. When Tony found out that they would be the first to dance, he changed the routine. They danced the cha-cha, and all three judges gave nice reviews for a total score of 19 out of 30.
The first couple to dance the Viennese waltz was former quarterback, family-man Kurt Warner and his partner Ana Trebunskaya. Judges Bruno and Carrie Ann said that Kurt had “potential” and an easy connection with the audience, but Len did not have anything good to say about his performance. Kurt and Ana also received a score of 19.
Actor Kyle Massey is the youngest contestant at 19-years-old. He and professional Lacey Schwimmer were next to cha-cha. Carrie Ann loved Kyle’s performance, which was full of youthful energy. Len and Bruno also loved the energy, and Kyle’s dancing yielded him a score of 23.
NBA champion and audience heartthrob Rick Fox joined with Cheryl Burke, two-time champion professional from DWTS to dance the Viennese waltz. Len, Bruno, and Carrie Ann gave him very good reviews. Despite the difference in height of the partners, he was graceful and received 22 points out of 30.
Funny girl Margaret Cho joins forces with Louis van Amstel this season. They started out with an appropriate Viennese waltz, but it quickly turned into a comedic routine, which the judges did not care for and it shown in their scores-a total 15 of 30.
Platinum-selling entertainer Brandy and her partner Maks Chmerkovskiy danced the Viennese waltz. She was graceful and impressed the judges who gave this duo a total of 23 points. Though she claims to have little dance experience, she seemed comfortable on the dance floor.
Mark Ballast, two-time DWTS’ winner, partnered with teen advocate Bristol Palin who was quite nervous, as she does not have a performance background. Carrie Ann admitted that she thought Bristol’s cha-cha would be boring, but they played the “conservative does striptease” card. All three judges seemed pleased and gave Bristol a total score of 18.
Florence Henderson and partner Corky Ballast are the most “mature” couple this season. She is intent on bringing fun to the DWTS dance floor, but also wants to show that she can dance, even at the age of 76. Len commented that their cha-cha was entertaining, and the couple received a score of 18 from the three judges.
Chelsie Hightower partnered with singer Michael Bolton who is “clunky,” according to Chelsie. The got through their Viennese waltz, though he seemed to be rather “tight” according to Bruno. With a score of 16, Bolton was disappointed.
Having only five days to train compared to the three weeks of the other competitors, “The Situation,” Mike Sorrentino and his partnerKarina Smirnoff danced a cha-cha that “lacked polish,” according to Len. Without the time to train, the judges had a difficult time seeing the potential and gave a score of 15.
Jennifer Grey, who is best known as leading lady to Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, danced the Viennese waltz with Derek Hough. Elegant and poised, Jennifer’s touching performance moved Carrie Ann to tears and Jennifer earned a score of 24, taking the first place spot.
With his partner Kym Johnson who won the mirror ball trophy two years ago, David Hasselhoff was the last performer to dance in the season premiere. Carrie Ann said he was a “cross between Donny Osmond and Jerry Springer.” Len and Bruno were amused, but not impressed and he received a score of 15, in a three-way tie with Cho and Sorrentiono.
Choosing the winner
Tonight’s scores will be combined with the television audience’s call-in votes to determine the couple with the lowest score, who will be the first dancers to be voted off this season.
The DWTS Premiere results show will air tomorrow on ABC at 9 p.m.
The following is a list of this season’s 12 contestants (read here for more complete bios):
David Hasselhoff-Actor and musician
Kurt Warner-Former NFL Quarterback champion
Kyle Massey–Actor and rapper
Michael Bolton-Grammy-winning singer and songwriter
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino: Actor andfitness trainer
Rick Fox–Former NBA Champion.
Brandy–Singer, songwriter and actress
Bristol Palin–Teen advocate
Florence Henderson–Actress, singer and motivational speaker
Margaret Cho–Comedienne, actress and author
ABC-Dancing With The Stars season premiere, aired Sept. 20, 2010, as seen by article’s author
Associated Content– Dancing with the Stars’ Season 11 Contestants Revealed