Chaz Bono, Nancy Grace, and Kristin Cavallari have all displayed their cha-cha moves on the 13th season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars.”
This season’s most-talked-about “DWTS” cast member, Chaz Bono, achieved a score of 17 out of 30. Judge Len Goodman said he showed “good footwork and great attitude.”
Kristin Cavallari, former star in MTV’s “The Hills,” was said to be “naturally uncoordinated” by her professional dancing partner, Mark Ballas. The duo managed to score 19 points.
Scoring 16 points, Nancy Grace surprised the audience with a light-footed performance alongside partner Tristan ManManus. The 51-year-old contestant told New York Post last month, “I’m certainly not the youngest, skinniest, prettiest- but I’ve got a lot of heart.”
Rob Kardashian of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” earned a total of 16 points while sisters Khloe, Kim, and Kourtney cheered him on. The reality TV star was told he has dancing potential.
Former talk show host Ricki Lake proved to be a strong contender, scoring 20 points with her partner, Derek Hough.
Actor David Arquette, eight months sober, scored 10 points with two-time “DWTS” champion Kym Johnson. His daughter Coco and estranged wife, “Friends” actress Courtney Cox, watched from front-row seats.
At the end of the night, singer Chynna Phillips and actor J.R. Martinez were tied at the top with 22 points out of 30 for their Viennese waltzes.
This season’s cast covers a wide range of diversity, and has sparked some controversy over members such as Chaz Bono, the only child of Sonny and Cher.
ABC received numerous complaints about Bono being paired with professional dancer Lacie Schwimmer over issues of gender. Last year, the 42-year-old legally changed his name and gender, and many questions have swirled about whether he would dance as a man or woman.
Also, in another controversy surrounding an addition to this season’s cast, former fashion guru on Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” Carson Kressley was announced to be a contestant. Openly gay and active in gay rights issues, many viewers wondered if ABC would assign him a male dancing partner, marking the first same-sex couple on “DWTS.”
ABC did not choose to change their male/female team combinations. Kressley’s dancing partner is Anna Trebunskaya, and on the show’s premiere Monday, the couple scored 17 points for their performance.