Monday eight male contestants took the floor on the premiere of the ninth season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." The women make their debuts Tuesday.
"I'm a little intimidated actually," said pop star Mya after watching the men perform. "I'm glad that we sat this one out, but it's very informative how the process works. ... The judges are very hard."
Aaron Carter came out on top, earning 32 points out of 40 for his two dances. The 21-year-old singer credited his professional partner, Karina Smirnoff, with keeping him calm before their opening performance.
"She took the pressure off of me completely for this," he said. "She was holding it all in and keeping it from me."
"I was freaking out," Smirnoff said later.
Former House Republican Whip Tom DeLay surprised the crowd. The 62-year-old politician performed a cha-cha to the 1960s hit "Wild Thing," The Associated Press reports.
It was also reported, it was a tough act to follow for ultimate fighter Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya, who performed a clunky and funky fox trot. Carrie Ann Inaba thought Chuck was smooth and Len suggested Chuck get in touch with his feminine side. Their debut earned 16 points.
Iron Chef America host Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer’s Kung Fu-style cha cha was a crowd pleaser, but Len didn’t buy it. Fewer gimmicks, more substance, he suggested. Still, the duo scored a solid 21.
With mom Alana Stewart and dad George Hamilton, who competed in season 2, looking on from the front row, Ashley Hamilton did his best fox trot with Edyta Sliwinska, but came up short. Len praised his footwork, but Bruno and Carrie Ann felt he lacked showmanship. The so-so routine got them just 15 points.
Not one to shy away from an enthusiastic audience, Donny Osmond and partner Kym Johnson turned up the electricity with their fox trot — and earned the first standing ovation of the season. Bruno praised Donny’s “full-frontal” theatrics (seriously, that’s what he said), while Len was felt there was too much razzmatazz. A score of 20 left Donny unable to wipe the smile off his face, People Magazine reports.
DeLay wasn’t at the bottom in the judges’ leader board at the end of tonight’s episode, during which only the eight male contestants performed. The former NFL star Michael Irvin and the second-generation Hollywood B-lister Ashley Hamilton were tied for last.
The judges’ favorites were a former teen idol, Donny Osmond, and a former preteen idol, Aaron Carter, who scored 30 and 32, respectively, out of a possible total of 40.
As if the show’s usual voting procedures weren’t confusing enough, tonight’s format was different: Four of the male contestants performed a cha-cha with their partners; the other four performed a fox trot. These dances were scored by all three judges on a scale of 1 to 10, with the scores being added together.
Then the four who had performed the ballroom number switched to Latin, participating in a salsa “relay” in which the couples took turns dancing. After that, the four cha-cha couples did a waltz relay.
For the relays, the judges formed a consensus and ranked them from first to fourth places, with the first-place couple getting 10 points and the fourth-place getting 4. In other words, if you were in nth place in the relay dance, your score would be 10 - 2(n - 1).
Those scores were combined with the earlier numbers; the viewers’ votes will be factored in by some mysterious process to produce a loser on Wednesday night’s results show, FOXNews reports.