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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OMG,to all the stupid SOB's out there who have a problem with chaz, get a life and don't watch the show. What if people started calling yall the thing or he/she or better yet one that is true, ignorant jackasses. This is 2011, people can serve openly gay in the military and get married and while i don't agree,i'm not stupid either. i'm not gonna make ignorant comments on people i don't know. chaz made his choice and he is happy and doesn't care what yall say. If you don't like him, don't watch the show. it's that simple.

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Oh my gosh get real people, ok everyone is entitled to their opinion, it is 2011 and it is America. but really, everyone on the show is a human being. and we all have hang ups and situations in our life. it dont matter if your a controversal speaker, activist, model. The dancing on this show is hard and a lot of work and it takes a lot of guts to go on the show and put yourself out there. its really sad that their lives have to be a part of it. Its a dancing show and that is what should be looked at. Good luck to all of you, have fun and enjoy. and thanx for being so brave. I love to watch dancing it looks so fun (and hard :))

Carol worth

I liked Carson Kressly. Very enjoyable performance! Also, Chaz Bono did very well. I admire him and wish him a good life. To those who would criticize Chaz and Nancy because of their "avoir du pois," I can only say, "You are cruel!" Besides, dancing is wonderful exercise and they will most likely slim down and feel great by the end of the season! "Go!" Contestants. You're all doing great!! Fun show ~0;-D

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The saddest thing about all this is that someone keeps pointing out that Mr. Bono is transgender. We know it and it constantly being put in print is wrong. He is a man in a dancing contest and I wish him well. This is 2011 and it is time for prejudice to be put on a shelf.

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Nancy Grace is as disgusting on a dance floor as she is every night on her show. Wow, i didn't know she was so overweight. I guess CNN must only do above shoulder shots of her for that reason. Nancy Grace is a (disgrace)

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OMG anyone else disgusted by the porker named Nancy Grace?? Who knew she was so fat, sitting behind that desk?? I say it's time that 2 ton Nancy started to "move" a little....

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A very interesting cast of dancers.

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@chazbonolooksstinky -are you sure you don't like him and the way he looks.kinda seems that way to me.hehe.

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and nancy will never win and i never like her.lol.

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wow! chaz is a joke. how racist and dumb ass are you? very much show. open your eyes.this is what the world is all about. gay or lesbian,it don't matter,they are all human beings.

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