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Tuesday
Sep202011

'Dancing with the Stars' Debuts with Chynna Phillips, J.R. Martinez on Top

ABC(LOS ANGELES) -- ABC kicked off the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars Monday night with a new cast and a new, bigger set that had a raised dance floor and more balconies.

All eyes were on Chaz Bono, the first transgender contestant in series history. He ended the night in the middle of the pack on the leader board. It was Chynna Phillips and J.R. Martinez who most distinguished themselves on the first night by sharing the top spot.

Here's the rundown of Monday night's individual performances:

-- Though he officially changed his name to Metta World Peace on Friday, Dancing with the Stars co-host Brooke Burke said he was performing Monday night as the "NBA champion you know, Ron Artest." The Los Angeles Lakers forward, wearing a flashy vest and sporting blond hair, teamed with new pro Petra Murgatroyd on the cha cha cha. Judge Len Goodman dismissed it as the "same old shimmying about," calling Artest's footwork "atrocious." Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli said Artest would find it difficult to navigate the dance floor due to his long bones. Total score: 14 out of a possible 30.

-- Rob Kardashian looked much more dapper than he usually does on his reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. A clean-shaven, tuxedo-wearing Kardashian and partner Cheryl Burke performed the Viennese waltz to Rogue Wave's "Lake Michigan." Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said she sees potential in Kardashian, but Goodman urged him to show more fire. Total score: 16/30.

-- Former Laguna Beach and The Hills star Kristin Cavallari paired with Mark Ballas on a cha cha cha set to the Taio Cruz hit "Dynamite." Inaba said she wants to see more of Cavallari this season, praising her for her great movement and "sparkle." Tonioli said Cavallari needs to demonstrate better precision with her moves. Total score: 19/30.

-- Wilson Phillips member Chynna Phillips and partner Tony Dovolani performed a graceful Viennese waltz to Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You." Goodman said it wasn't the best first dance he's seen, "but it was close." Tonioli said "the talent is there" for Phillips to accomplish a lot on the show. Inaba declared that the dance was simply gorgeous. Total score: 22/30.

-- HLN legal analyst Nancy Grace acquitted herself well while dancing the cha cha cha with newcomer Tristan McManus. While Tonioli told Grace it appeared that she doesn't believe in herself, Inaba said Grace showed spunk. Total score: 16/30.

-- While the house band played Queen's "Somebody to Love," a debonair David Arquette and reigning champ Kym Johnson took on the Viennese waltz. Inaba pointed out that he made a mistake, and advised him to keep his poise at all times. Goodman said he was impressed by Arquette's first dance. Of note: Arquette's estranged wife, Courteney Cox, and their seven-year-old daughter Coco were in attendance. Total score: 18/30.

-- Italian model and George Clooney ex Elisabetta Canalis began her cha cha cha with new pro Val Chmerkovskiy by lying in bed with him. They quickly got up and shimmied their way through their routine, to the sounds of the Katy Perry hit "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)." Toniolo joked that she looks good in bed. Inaba said Canalis needs to learn to move with the music. Total score: 15/30.

-- U.S. women's national soccer team goalie Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy glided around the dance floor with a Viennese waltz set to Dave Matthews Band's "Satellite." Tonioli said Solo has a bright future, but she must show more control. Inaba applauded Solo's wonderful chemistry with her partner. Total score: 21/30.

-- Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya made the biggest fashion statement of the night. The former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star wore brown pants and a brown jacket, and Trebunskaya donned a barely-there dress. Together, they did a fun and lively cha cha cha to the current Maroon 5 hit "Moves Like Jagger." An excited Inaba called it her favorite dance of the night. Goodman said it had elements of Jagger, swagger and stagger. Total score: 17/30.

-- Soap star J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff performed an elegant Viennese waltz to Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway." Tonioli said it was a good start for someone who has no dance experience. Inaba said she felt genuine emotion from Martinez. Total score: 22/30.

-- Ricki Lake and the returning Derek Hough were assigned the Viennese waltz. Tonioli described Lake as the "cat that got the cream." In other words, she had smooth moves. Inaba likened them to a prince and princess. Total score: 20/30.

-- The controversial Chaz Bono -- wearing black pants, a white shirt, black vest and a tie -- and his partner, Lacey Schwimmer, brought plenty of energy to the cha cha cha as the house band played Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street." Inaba said Bono did not disappoint the crowd, Goodman told Bono he approached the dance with the right attitude, and Tonioli called it a great debut. Total score: 17/20.

Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, ABC will air a behind-the scenes special on Dancing with the Stars.  It will be followed by the first results show of the season, during which one of the couples will be eliminated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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