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As Dancing With the Stars’ first transgendered contestant, Chaz Bono has been the subject of remarkably hateful criticism by certain viewers and groups.

Chaz’s debut on Monday’s Dancing With the Stars premiere wasn’t notable for his cha cha skills – dude’s not exactly light on his feet – but for his charisma.

His 17 points actually beat four other people, too, including NBA star Metta World Peace. Watch Chaz and Lacey Schwimmer earn a standing ovation:

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer - Cha Cha (DWTS Week 1)

Not only did Chaz Bono look like he was having the time of his life, he seemed confident, despite all the controversy and virtually no dance experience.

Those factors, boosted by sufficiently low expectations for the dance itself, garnered him widespread praise from the judges, even crotchety Len.

“You really came out with the right attitude. You came out to enjoy yourself, and that’s what I felt you did. You’re so joyous out here,” Goodman said.

“Great debut, Chaz. You should be proud.” Indeed.

What do you think of Chaz going on DWTS?