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- The seventh season of "Dancing with the Stars" kicked off with host Tom Bergeron promising the biggest season ever as the stars would tackle two dances in the first week. It was a battle of old versus young (Cloris Leachman and Cody Linley), big versus small (Warren Sapp and Susan Lucci) and Olympian versus Olympian (Misty May Treanor and Maurice Greene).
The dancers had to learn two dances in their first week, performing one each on Monday and Tuesday -- except for one couple that would be eliminated on Tuesday, based on Monday night's vote. One more dancer would be eliminated on Wednesday.
The stars are:
- "Hannah Montana" star Cody Linley and Julianne Hough
- Chef Rocco DiSpirito and Karina Smirnoff
- Singer Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo
- Olympic sprinter Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke
- Model and TV host Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
- Actor Ted McGinley and Inna Brayer
- Singer Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
- Actress Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas
- Comedian Jeffrey Ross and Edyta Sliwinska
- Reality TV star Kim Kardashian and Mark Ballas
- Soap opera star Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani
- Olympic beach volleyball player Misty May Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
- ex-NFL star Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Cody & Julianne: Cody introduced himself, saying something people might not know about him is that he likes to be beat-box. (Some things are best kept to one's self). He was paired with Julianne, who said she's "ready to take my title back." Cody admitted it was tough to focus on the dance rather than "Julianne's hotness." Their first dance was the cha cha cha. Judge Len Goodman said they came out "full of confidence." Bruno Tonioli told Cody to focus on his steps, "Channel all that energy and make it work cleanly." Carrie Ann Inaba was stunned that their combined age is "still younger than my age." Scores: 6, 6, and 6.
Injury report: Tom let viewers know that in rehearsals, Karina Smirnoff twisted her ankle badly and Jeffrey Ross took a poke in the eye. "We'll tell you how this will effect the show and the competition when we come back," he said.
Rocco & Karina: Karina decided to go on with the show despite the bad ankle twist. Rocco struggled with avoiding looking down and keeping his head in place. Even as they got themselves set to dance, Karina was putting Rocco's head in place. Rocco seemed to struggle a bit in spots, and it looked like the ending fell apart just a little. Bruno said it was "a foxtrot on the brink of chaos." Carrie Ann "thought it was really cute." Len said Rocco dances like Len cooks, "Just throw it all in and hope for the best." Scores: 5, 4, and 5, from Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, respectively. "I forgot we had a 4," Bergeron said.
Toni & Alec: Toni was excited to be paired with the first season's champion, Alec Mazo. She told him she'd recently been diagnosed with micro vascular angina and decided to do the show as a personal challenge. They danced the cha cha cha. Carrie Ann said the performance was "like we should be in Week 5." Len said it was a good mix of basic cha cha cha movements and clever choreography. Bruno said, "everyone knows I like my divas slinky, sultry, sexy, and you were all those." Scores: 7, 7, and 8, from Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, respectively.
Maurice & Cheryl: Olympic sprinter Maurice Greene tried to show Cheryl Burke some of his moves, to which she said, "What the hell is that?" They danced the foxtrot. Parts of it seemed like they were in super-slow motion. Len said there were parts that were wild, parts that were wacky and parts that were wonderful. He warned Maurice not to forget, "This isn't a sprint, this competition is a marathon." Bruno said that Maurice has to combined some of his own groove with technical skills. Carrie Ann said the parts that were foxtrot were a little stiff. Scores: 6, 6, and 6.
Brooke & Derek: Brooke Burke said that something people might not know about her is that she's a mother of four, including one that was born six months ago. Derek said he was excited about Brooke's legs, because her lines will look great. But she was having trouble remembering her steps and worried she'd forget them while dancing in front of millions of people. They danced the cha cha cha. Carrie Ann said Brooke's body was "totally designed to dance." Bruno said "Brooke is going for broke" and said Len was panting at watching her hip action. Len simply called it the "best dance so far." Scores: 7, 8 and 8, from Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, respectively.
Ted & Inna: Ted McGinley, who has appeared on dozens of TV shows, including "Married...with Children." He was paired with a newcomer, Inna Brayer. McGinley painted himself as the every man, and dedicated his foxtrot to all the other guys watching the show even though they wanted to watch football. Bruno said "at moments you had the elegance of Cary Grant in 'To Catch a Thief,' and at times you looked like Steve Carell in 'Get Smart.' Len praised his footwork and told him "well done." Carrie Ann said she could tell he was nervous, but that he looked great and needed to relax a bit. Scores: 6, 6, and 6.
Lance & Lacey: Lance Bass said that people didn't realized that he was the worst dancer in N-Sync. His partner, Lacey Schwimmer, is a newcomer who said she isn't a typical ballroom dancer. Lance said that since Season 3 actors had taken over the competition, and it's about time entertainers take it back. They danced the cha cha cha. The crowd loved it, and fellow N-Syncer Joey Fatone applauded enthusiastically in the audience. Len said "what you did, you did well. It was young and modern. The problem is, I'm old and traditional. I don't want a hodge-podge of moves." Carrie Ann said it was "hot, hot, hot." Bruno called it edgy and said it was "a cha cha cha for now!" Scores: 8, 6, and 8, from Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, respectively.
Cloris & Corky: Cloris Leachman proudly introduced herself as the oldest dancer ever, at 82. She was paired with Corky Ballas, a newcomer to the show and father of reigning champ Mark Ballas. They danced the foxtrot. Cloris received a standing ovation from the crowd. She had the crowd and Carrie Ann in stitches as she approached the judges' table after the dance and propped her leg up on the table for Bruno as he gave his remarks. He said she floated on the floor like "Battleship Geriatric-a." She next moved to Len and got on her knees to plead with him for positive remarks. "At your age, I'm surprised how well you danced." She leaned over the table, prompting Len say, "Mind your cleavage." Carrie Ann called Cloris a "golden oldie" and said she loved what she did. As her scores were read, Cloris had the censors working the bleep button, which was pressed at least twice in response to the judges. "And people wonder why I love live television," Bergeron said. Scores: 6, 5, and 5, from Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, respectively.
Jeffrey & Edyta: Jeffrey suffered a scratched cornea when he took Edyta's finger in the eye during rehearsal. Bergeron said doctors advised Jeffrey not to dance, but he came through like a trooper anyway, and wore an eye patch. He said he was doing "Dancing with the Stars" because "there's no show called 'Eating with the Comedians.'" They danced the cha cha cha after Jeffrey pronounced himself "the cha cha champion." Carrie Ann said the form was bad, the musicality was off and she didn't feel like he was having fun. Bruno said it was kind of a mess. Len said that everyone that comes on to "Dancing with the Stars" is a winner. On his way out, Jeffrey said, "Speaking of ballroom, these pants are very, very tight." Scores: 4, 4, and 4.
Kim & Mark: Mark said he was ready for a repeat to his title from last season, and Kim said she was excited to be on the show after being a longtime fan. She worried that her "terrible balance" might hold her back. They danced the fox trot. Len said it was clean and had nice musicality, but "it was a bit cold, there was no chemistry between you." Bruno said Kim is "a treasure trove that everyone would want to explore," but said she has "to make it more available." Apparently Bruno doesn't know about Google. Carrie Ann said she was "happily surprised" but suggested that Kim move her head a little more. Scores: 6, 7, and 6, from Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, respectively.
Susan & Tony: Susan Lucci sought to shed a bit of her "Erica Kane" image and she danced the cha cha cha with Tony. After it was over, Bruno said she "looked like a lady, a gorgeous lady, but the cha cha cha needs a slut." He said it was too careful and that she should let herself go a bit. Carrie Ann said Susan's body was "banging" in her little red dress. She suggested Susan put on a little weight so she could get stronger. Len reiterated that it was a bit too careful. Then, Susan offered Bruno a slut and came over and seductively tossed herself into his arms. Scores: 5, 5, and 5.
Misty & Maksim: Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor said she missed the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing because she couldn't wait to get back to start rehearsing for "Dancing." She wanted to prove that she's more than just a jock. She danced the foxtrot with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who returned after taking a season off. Carrie Ann said she'd never seen someone attempt the foxtrot with so much intensity, which is good. But she suggested that she doesn't need to "muscle" everything. Len disagreed, saying it had "an elegance about it." Bruno said she needed to make sure she kept her balance on turns. Scores: 6, 8, and 7, from Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, respectively.
Warren & Kym: Warren Sapp said his only dancing experience was sack celebration dances on the football field. His partner Kym Johnson said once she got over his size, she had to get him to show some moves. The crowd was into it as they danced the cha cha cha and Warren moved with surprising ease. Bergeron said "there's something about the NFL and ballroom dancing." Len said Warren is a "great big bundle of joy" and called it "great entertainment." Carrie Ann said it was great to end the night on such a positive note. Bruno said, "Big boys can dance" and praised him for being so light on his feet. Scores: 7, 7, and 7.
Brooke & Derek, 23
Toni & Alec, 22
Lance & Lacey, 22
Warren & Kym, 21
Misty & Maks, 21
Kim & Mark, 19
Cloris & Corky, 19
Cody & Julianne, 18
Maurice & Cheryl, 18
Ted & Inna, 18
Susan & Tony, 15
Rocco & Karina, 14
Jeffrey & Edyta, 12