(USA TODAY) - It's back!
Dancing With the Stars, the show you love - and love to mock - returned Monday on ABC with that familiar theme song, tons o' spangles and jiggles, hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet; judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli; musical director Harold Wheeler and the band; spray tans for everyone, and a ballroom full of fans and semi-famous folks.
So how did thefabulous lineupof stars and their pro partners do? Here's how the hoofing went down, with surprisingly high scores for a first night. Jaleel White and Katherine Jenkins are tied at the top spot of the leaderboard, while Melissa Gilbert, Gavin DeGraw and Martina Navratilova are tied at the bottom:
Jaleel Whitesaid "the biggest misconception people might have about me is that I'm clumsy." Urkel proved it with his charming foxtrot with pro Kym Johnson. Said Carrie Ann: "Smooth, smooth, smooth." Len said he "loved" the routine. "It had elegance. It had sophistication." Bruno said he felt like he was watching "the great Gregory Hines. Fantastic."Scores: 9, 8, 9 = 26
Opera starKatherine Jenkins, in a bright yellow gown, danced a shimmering foxtrot withUSA TODAY bloggerMark Ballas. Len praised her "musicality" and "detail" throughout the dance. Bruno called it "exquisite. The style of impeccable." Carrie Ann said she was "fabulous. ... Really amazing."Scores: 9, 8,9 = 26("Highest score ever on a premiere event," said Brooke.)
About a half hour into the show Kate Gosselintweeted:
I'm loving the dancing on @DWTS this season already! So glad I don't have to dance tho! Happy on my sofa! Lol #dwts
William Levy, called "the Mexican Brad Pitt" (although he is Cuban), drew cheers and screams from the crowd as he was introduced. The Latin heartthrob and partner Cheryl Burke steamed up the dance floor with a sexy Cha Cha. He got a lengthy standing ovation and Bruno called him "the hottest package of the season." Said a fawning Carrie Ann: "I'd like to thank ABC for my job. ... You can dance. ... I really like the way you move." Len praised his control, saying, "Well done."Scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24
A smilingSherri Shepherdand partner Val Chmerkovskiy danced a fun, elegant foxtrot. Said Carrie Ann: "I loved watching you dance." Len agreed: "Fun, fun, fun." Said Bruno: "It's the joy of dance - and you can move very, very well. ... You light up the room." Sherri squealed with delight. When Brooke asked how it feels to finally be dancing, Sherri said, "Short of birthing my child, this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I think I left a boob on the floor. Can somebody find it, please?"Scores: 8, 7, 8 = 23
Gladys Knightvowed she was here "to win!" She and partner Tristan MacManus danced a lively Cha Cha. Knight, in red, smiled and swished her way easily through it, earning her a standing ovation and cheers. Said Bruno: "The legend has got the moves. ... You are a star - a real one." Carrie Ann: "I am so honored you are on our dance floor!" Len praised her "naturalness."Scores: 8,7, 8 = 23
Roshon Fegan, a Disney star who prides himself on his hip-hop, had to master the Cha Cha with partner Chelsie Hightower. Fegan had no problem with the hip action and was clearly at ease on the dance floor, sliding around with Michael Jackson-esque moves. Said Bruno: "Laser sharp! ... It was unbelievable!" Carrie Ann called him "cool" and compared him to Jackson. Said Len: "The performance level was very high," but "technically low."Scores: 8, 7, 8 = 23
Jack Wagnerand Anna Trebunskaya danced a whimsical foxtrot that evoked a springtime picnic in the park as they wore coordinating turquoise outfits. (Chaz Bono was spotted in the crowd.) Said Bruno: "Beautifully acted!" Said Carrie Ann: "You can act, you can sing and boy, can you dance." Len was a little harsher: "Your technique is poor. Your footwork is haphazard... but I enjoyed your performance."Scores: 8, 7, 8 = 23
Wagner solid out there! #dwts #ibackjack
Maria Menounos, describing herself as a "dude" because she likes sports and not girly things like dancing, and partner Derek Hough took the floor for a Cha Cha. Said Derek in his opening segment: "I want as many mirrorball trophies as I have chest hairs - and that's four."
He pointed out Maria's annoying laugh, and Bergeron noted, "We can turn it into a non-alcoholic drinking game for you kids at home every time she laughs." All laughing aside, Menounos, who was the first to dance, looked great in her two-piece blue outfit. Len thought she provided a "great start to the show." Said Bruno: "You are so curvaceously delicious!" Both guys said she must learn to swivel her hips more. Said Carrie Ann: "That was a strong, solid Cha Cha."Scores: 7, 7, 7 = 21
Donald Driver, wide receiver with the Green Bay Packers, danced a Cha Cha with Peta Murgatroyd. "It took me 13 seasons to win the Super Bowl. But I only have one shot at the mirrorball," he said.
Susan Lucci could be spotted right behind Bergeron as the crowd gave Donald and Peta a standing ovation for their fierce, aggressive moves. Said Carrie Ann: "You are nothing but charm..." Len said he had an "attack for the dance," adding that he got "overexcited at times." Said Bruno: "Energy. Power. Presence. You were like a rooster chasing around. ... The attitude is right, but you have to refine it."Scores: 7, 7, 7 = 21(The audience booed, disapproving of the low scores.)
TweetedBachelorette star Ashley Hebert:
Donald Driver!!!!!! WORKING IT!!!!!!! #dwts
Gavin DeGrawand reigning champ Karina Smirnoff danced a gentle but unimpressive foxtrot (yes, he wore his little hat). Said Len: "You were a little bit stiff. It lacked musicality." Said Bruno: "You have to learn to link the moves." Cracked DeGraw: "I sometimes stiffen at the wrong times, too." Carrie Ann cited his "tenderness" but told him he hyper-extends his arms.Scores: 7, 6, 7 = 20
TweetedRicki Lake midway through the show:
Everyone is really good this season!!!!!! #DWTS. #goodtv. :)
A hot Maks Chmerkovskiy, with shirt wide open, Cha Cha'd withMelissa Gilbert, whose red curls were in her face the whole time, although most eyes were probably on her witch-like black outfit. Said Len: "I thought it was a very ambitious routine. ... You did very well with a difficult dance." Bruno said, "You can certainly grind it." Carrie Ann said she sees "great potential," adding, "great job."Scores: 7, 6, 7 = 20(There was some booing in the ballroom.)
Martina Navratilovatook one look at the heels she had to wear and said, "Really?" (They weren't even that high!). "I"m just not that feminine. See these biceps? They're useless!" She said she hasn't "worn a dress in 20 years." But she put one on and looked pretty as she danced a graceful foxtrot with partner Tony Dovolani. Tennis great Chris Everett was in the crowd cheering her on. Said Carrie Ann: "You were so beautiful, so elegant and so refined." Len said it was "too careful." Bruno told her she "never looked better."Scores: 7, 6, 7 = 20
"Omg loving the martina navratolova #dwts makeover!!! #lovelove"
The stars will be back to dance again next Monday. The first elimination show will be March 27.