Dancing With the Stars Season 13 Premiere Recap: Go Chaz Go!

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Dancing With the Stars kicked off its 13th season Monday night, with all eyes on Chaz Bono. While the producers (sagely) saved his performance for last, we won't make you wait for the verdict on his parquet debut:

Not altogether terrible!

The show's first-ever transgender contestant is not exactly a natural dancer - his mom Cher made that clear - and it showed. However, with the guidance of Lacey Schwimmer, Chaz more than held his own out there. 

Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars

Bruno even called them "cute and cuddly." Whether you agree with that or not, they should easily be safe this week, given how much attention he'll get and how many people he may win over by simply being there and making a positive impact.

Besides, Chaz's 17 points Monday actually beat four other people!

Perhaps the second biggest celebrity name this season is David Arquette, who celeb news readers know hasn't had the best year, but was cheered on by his daughter Coco and separated wife Courteney Cox in a sweet show of solidarity.

Like Chaz, he didn't knock anyone's socks off, but with his energy and enthusiasm, he more than acquitted himself in his DWTS debut and tallied 18 points.

In terms of actual talent AND charm, though? Watch out for J.R. Martinez.

Iraq war vet turned soap star J.R. finished tied for the lead after gracing us with a routine full of panache and technical merit. Plus, the man is a hero. Wow.

Chynna Phillips' nice Viennese waltz landed her in a tie for the top spot with Martinez. Both of them premiered with a modest 22, but there's room to grow.

J.R. Martinez Pic

Right behind them were Hope Solo and Ricki Lake, who will enjoy a nice edge down the road in Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Derek Hough as their partners.

Neither blew the judges away last night, but they also did just fine, and remain major contenders this season due to what look like decent skills and popularity.

Carrie Ann Inaba said her favorite dance of the night belonged to Carson Kressly's cha-cha with Anna Trebunskaya, set to Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger."

THG favorite Kristin Cavallari, showed some spunk with Mark Ballas, even amid tricky cha-cha choreography. With a little polish, she might just go far.

You know who likely won't, however? Rob Kardashian. With just 16 points, he finished well behind Kim Kardashian's debut score of 19 a few seasons prior.

Kim is a terrible dancer, too. We're just saying.

Kristin Cavallari, Mark Ballas

Tied with Rob was Nancy Grace, who showed a surprising amount of rhythm at times, but looked tired by the end. Too many long days at HLN, maybe.

At least they topped Elisabetta Canalis, whose performance was perhaps most notable for her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy (yep, brother of Maksim)!

Surprisingly bringing up the rear was Ron Artest. He's got an adorable daughter, and a great new name (Metta World Peace). But man. He was not good.

The scores for opening night:

  • Chynna Phillips & Tony Dovolani: 22
  • J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff: 22
  • Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21
  • Ricki Lake & Derek Hough: 20
  • Kristin Cavallari & Mark Ballas: 19
  • David Arquette & Kym Johnson: 18
  • Carson Kressly & Anna Trebunskaya: 17
  • Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer: 17
  • Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus: 16
  • Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke: 16
  • Elisabetta Canalis & Val Chmerkovskiy: 15
  • Metta World Peace & Petra Murgatroyd: 14

Who was your favorite Monday? Do you agree with the judges' scoring? It's only been one night, but who do you think will win DWTS? Vote below!

 

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chaz is still person but god made us who we are and that's the way life is and as far as his dancing ability it sucks and that is what DWTS SHOW is about ABILITY and not popularity! WHO I VOTED FOR WAS THERE ABILITY FIRST/FOREMOST! SORRY IF OFENDED U CHAZ FAVORITES BUT ITS ABILITY AND NOT POPULARITY FIRST! MY FAVORITES CHOSEN ARE POPULAR BUT THERE DANCING ABILITY EXCEEDS CHAZ LIKE NIGHT VS DAY!

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Ruth Young posted: "Chaz... You are amazing...keep being true to yourself...you are loved for being you! " Ruth, you're kidding of course. Totally absurd. Chaz has no business making it passed the first round, or being on the show in the first place for that matter.

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Chaz... You are amazing...keep being true to yourself...you are loved for being you!

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Chaz doesn't deserve to be still on the show. He has no dancing ability and talanted dancers leave because he has the fan base of Cher and his group of loyal people. It was heart breaking to see Mark and his partner who did a beautiful dance last night leave, and to see Chaz still there! I certainly hope he doesn't win the coveted mirror ball trophy...my days of watching will be over because the voting is not fair. Only the one who can get the votes even if he can NOT dance will win.

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nancy grace deserves loads of credit for trying. she has
courage and is doing her very best. stop picking on her
for her weight. that is so hateful. elisabeth's bony skinny
body is far harder to look at than healthy Nancy . At
least Nancy can dance. elizabeth is a wooden pole and
cannot move with any kind of grace at all.

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I take it that the show went on without a hitch.

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Like watching Chaz Bono dance is the worst thing our children face ! Get real ! DWTS Season 13 Results September 20 Video http://ow.ly/6AUhj

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DWTS used to be a show the whole family could watch together. Now it is distasteful, lewd, more and more scantily dressed females and the segments of professional dancers treat the female dancers entirely too rough! It borders on abuse! In the beginning it was beautiful people dancing beautifully. What Happened?? Why do you have to ruin a good concept for sensationalism? You already had great ratings??!!

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JR is good because he has such a positive attitude. Chaz has real courage and hopefully will stay for a few more dances.

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I absolutely love Maksim and Tony and Ricki and Rob!!! They are all so great and really working hard.

Dancing with the Stars Quotes

We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before.

Cristian de la Fuente [following his injury, trip to the hospital and subsequent stellar performance]

I am not the best dancer, and I have not been the best dancer from the beginning. I am happy we made it this far.

Cristian de la Fuente
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