The season of dancing has begun with the premiere of "Dancing with the Stars" on Monday, March 9. On the heels of the exit news of Jewel Kilcher and Nancy O'Dell from the competition due to injury, the show announced on the premiere night that "The Girls Next Door" star Holly Madison and "The Bachelor" dumpee Melissa Rycroft will step in for both.
Rycroft's participation is a rather abrupt decision that only allows her to practice within 48 hours while the others except for Madison, were given 3 weeks. Apart from that, the show has introduced a new rule, the bottom two couples will be given another chance to dance off against each other to determine who will be out. Thus, next week, all the contestants are back dancing and this week's score will be added to next week's.
Giving the debut performance this season was Lil' Kim and Derek Hough who performed cha cha cha. Len Goodman said that the rapper has to work on her posture while Carrie Ann Inaba spotted the dancers' nerves and gave useful tips to shake it off. The score is 7-7-7, making it 21 out of 30.
Second couple was Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts, doing the waltz. It was a stiff performance, and Bruno Tonioli started making her a comparison to last season's Cloris Leachman. She scored 6-6-5, making it 17 out of 30.
Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska took the third queue, taking on cha cha cha. Ann thought that Taylor has to let Sliwinska dominate him more, while Bruno wanted him to add some 'omph' into his movements. It was 6-5-5, making it 16 out of 30.
Host Tom Bergeron made a "Jackass" joke in the beginning of the show, and the star of the reality series took the stage next. Steve-O, partnered with Lacey Schwimmer, taking on waltz. His jackasses friends were shown on the audience seat. Len admitted that it wasn't as bad as he thought while Ann had doubts on certain things but approved it to be good after all. Steve-O was given 6-5-6, making it 17 out of 30.
"Sex and the City" actor Gilles Marini is partnered with Cheryl Burke and they performed cha cha cha. It was a performance that drew praises from all the judges. They were given 8-8-8, making it 24 out of 30.
Chuck Wicks was up next, dancing with his real-life partner, Julianne Hough. Len reminded him to practice more on the footwork while Ann praised him as "graceful". It was 6-7-7, making it 20 out of 30. Right after this, a frame was dedicated to Jewel and O'Dell who are sidelined on the audience seat. Jewel, however, will be back to sing.
Madison then stepped in for a cha cha cha with new dancing pro Dmitry Chaplin. The judges encourage them to work harder, considering that they only had 1 week to practice. The score was 6-6-6, making it 18 out of 30.
Jewel's husband Ty Murray, was next, with another new pro Chelsie Hightower doing cha cha cha. It was not a performance that the judges very fond of, but they saw that there's room for improvement. It was given 5-4-5, making it 14 out of 30.
Shawn Johnson danced waltz with Mark Ballas, and they earned compliments although Bruno warned the Olympians of her "gymnastic arms". The verdict, 8-8-7, making it 23 out of 30.
Computer wiz Steve Wozniak came out with Karina Smirnoff to do some cha cha cha. Len thought it was a disaster but Ann gave Wozniak a credit for doing something different from his routine. It was 5-4-4, making it 13 out of 30.
Actor David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson did the waltz, and received mixed reviews. Bruno did not think it was stellar but he was bothered by Grier's posture. Ann, meanwhile, gave him some tips. It was 6-7-6, making it 19 out of 30.
Denise Richards, who cried during the rehearsals, is partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy and they took on cha cha cha. Judges did not see it as her maximum potential and expect more. Nevertheless she scored 6-6-6, making it 18 out of 30.
The final slot was given to Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, who decided upon waltz. O'Dell who was replaced by Rycroft gave her a standing ovation. Len notices a ballet footwork within Rycroft, Bruno gave Jason Mesnick who dumped her a shout out, and Ann said she was mesmerized by the routine. It was 7-8-8, making it 23 out of 30.