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Dancing With The Stars Recap: Season Premiere!

September 19, 2011 07:02 PM by Candace Young

The season premiere of Dancing With the Stars opens with the introduction of the twelve celebrities and the dancing professionals. Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke announce that NBA champ Ron Artest, who is dancing for his young daughter, and Aussie Peta Murgatroyd, who is new on the show this season, will be up first. Keep reading for highlights from all tonight’s performances…

Ron and Peta are doing the Cha Cha Cha. They look great and the music is funky and groovy. Peta described Ron as tall and stiff, and a little of that is apparent in the dancing. Len Goodman slams it, saying the footwork was atrocious, and though it was entertaining, it wasn’t his cup of tea. Bruno is more encouraging, saying he needs to work on technique. Carrie Ann agrees that the technique wasn’t there, but it was sexy and the entertainment factor was up there. Carrie Ann and Bruno each give them a ’5′, while Len gives them a ’4′.

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke are up next. Rob is ready to step out of the shadows of his sisters and Keeping Up With The Kardashians and do his own thing.  They dance the Viennese Waltz. It’s pretty elegant, but Rob doesn’t look entirely comfortable. Bruno tells Rob he looked petrified. He advises him to feel the music and relax. Carrie Ann sees potential. Len says he’s not impressed, but not depressed. He calls the performance ‘too careful’.  Carrie Ann gives them a ’6′, Len a ’5′, and Bruno a ’5′.

Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas are ready to go. Kristin says she’s not a bitch like on The Hills and is ready to stir it up.  They do the Cha Cha Cha. Kristin looks good and seems to have fun. Carrie Ann says she shines and it was a very good Cha Cha, but she has to work on not shuffling when she’s standing alone. Len says she went into her shell a little bit since practice. Bruno says she’s a bad girl with hot hips – he knows she’s got the full package and has the potential, but must work on the precision. Carrie Ann gives them a ’7′, and Len and Bruno each give them ’6′.

Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani will dance next. They are doing a Viennese Waltz. It’s beautiful and seems nearly flawless for a first week dance. Len says it was close to the best first week dance he’s ever seen. Bruno loved the balletic touches and says the talent is there. Carrie Ann calls it gorgeous and magical.  Carrie Ann gives them an ’8′, while Len and Bruno each offer up a ’7′.

HLN’s Nancy Grace and newbie pro Tristan MacManus are taking the floor next to do the Cha Cha Cha. Nancy looks like she has a great deal of potential and seems to have fun. Bruno says she needs to believe in herself because she’s got it. Carrie Ann warns that she needs to work on remembering her choreography. Len says it was a little underwhelming for him, but immediately gets arguments from the other judges. Carrie Ann and Len both give them a ’5′ and Bruno gives them a ’6′.

David Arquette, who says he’s been sober for 8 months, and Kym Johnson will dance now.  David is optimistic that he will do a great Viennese Waltz since he is a romantic at heart. The result isn’t too darn bad – there are a few missteps, but overall it looked good. Carrie Ann laughs at him saying he got lost in the dance. Len was very impressed even though there were mistakes. Bruno says David looks the part – the handsome leading man. He took the role in the dance.  All three judges award them a ’6′.

Elisabetta Cannalis, famous ex of George Clooney, and Max’s brother, Val Chmerkovskey, who has given Max ten years to win the mirror ball trophy, will dance next. Val says they had to overcome the language barrier since Elisabetta is Italian. They do the Cha Cha Cha. Val is extremely animated, but Elisabetta is a tad hesitant – maybe nervous. Len didn’t mind it too much when they got going, but says it became brittle and weak – she lacked confidence. Bruno agrees she lacked confidence – she needs to be a performer and a dancer when she’s alone. Carrie Ann tells her she’s fabulous in her photo shoots, and needs to bring that to the floor.  All three judges award them a ’5′.

Goalkeeper of the US women’s soccer team, Hope Solo, and veteran pro Maksim Chmerkovskey, are up now to continue the battle of the brothers.  They are doing the Viennese Waltz. It looks very good and quite elegant. There are times Hope looks ever so slightly stiff and that’s it. Bruno says all the attributes are there, she just needs to flow more. Carrie Ann says they were connected like glue, their lines were gorgeous, but she was muscling a bit. Len agrees she needs a little more softness and femininity in her movement, but the rest was there. They get ’7′ from each of the judges.

Carson Kressley, best known for Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, and his partner, Anna Trebunskaya will be dancing the Cha Cha Cha. Carson doesn’t feel he’ll be too great the first week, noting he puts the ‘c’ in Caucasian. He’s partly right, because although he’s a little stiff at times he puts it all out there and it’s extremely entertaining! Carrie Ann calls it her favorite performance for entertainment value. Len hopes he doesn’t go home because he really made it fun and entertaining. Bruno calls it outrageous fun – worth every dollar! Carrie Ann and Bruno give them ’6′, and Len gives them ’5′.

Iraq War veteran and All My Children star, J.R. Martinez, and partner Karina Smirnoff are up next to perform the Viennese Waltz. In practice he tells her about the explosion that left him burned on 40% of his body, and says he’s proud of his scars.  It’s a very strong waltz and gorgeous to watch. Len says J.R. stands for Just Right – he’ll see him next week. Bruno says he’s inspirational and he can’t wait to see him dance Latin. Carrie Ann was touched by the emotional quality he was able to bring on the first week – she loved the confidence, fluidity, and musicality. Carrie Ann gives them an ’8′, and Bruno and Len both offer a ’7′ – they tie the top score of the night so far.

Talk show host and Hairspray actress, Ricki Lake, and her partner, three-time winner, Derek Hough, are taking the stage next. She feels she’s not that graceful, but Derek builds her up. They do the Viennese Waltz.  Ricki’s posture is beautiful and she looks great out there. Bruno says there was great chemistry and it was very smooth. Carrie Ann says she looked like a princess and also comments on the fluidity. Len doesn’t know what was going on with her feet at times, but overall he enjoyed it very much.  Carrie Ann and Bruno give them a ’7′ and Len gives them a ’6′.

The first transgender contestant, Chaz Bono, who is the offspring of Sonny and Cher, is paired with Lacey Schwimmer.  Chaz notes that the dancing is hard on his body – if he can get through the Cha Cha Cha, he can probably do anything.  He does pretty well for a first week dance – it’s fun. Carrie Ann says Chaz didn’t disappoint those who’d been waiting to see him  – he can dance. Len says he came out with the right attitude – to enjoy himself. He also says good footwork. Bruno liked his timing and says it was a great debut.  Carrie Ann and Bruno give them ’6′, while Len offers a ’5′.

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Photo courtesy of ABC

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