The highly anticipated 13th season of Dancing with the Stars premiered last night with co-host Tom Bergeron introducing a cast filled with “icons of sports, television, movies, music and headline-makers”—the last title paired with a not-so-subtle camera focus on Chaz Bono.
Yeah, ABC, we get it.
The presence of Bono, a New York Times-bestselling author and trans activist, caused bigoted viewers to threaten a boycott. But for those of you who overlooked the airing for reasons other than being a transphobic twat, here’s what you missed:
*Bergeron pointed out how the ballroom was “crawling with Kardashians,” who turned out for brother Rob’s boring hetero antics with former mirror ball winner Cheryl Burke. Is Kardashian a venereal disease—and is there a cream for it?
* Hairspray: The Original alum Ricki Lake and DTWS
closet case veteran Derek Hough set the floor fire—kind of like Ricki did to that Malibu home she was renting last year. Go Ricki!
*Kristin Cavallari’s first line, “I’m Kristin Cavallari and I’m nota bitch!”, made her seem like kind of a bitch. But the California blond actually kind of turned it out!
*Professional goofball David Arquette actually seemed earnest, incorporating dance into his newly found sobriety. Soon-to-maybe-be ex-wife Courteney Cox showed up in support. Hey, when does Cougar Town return, anyway?
*Elisabetta Canalis, the gorgeous Italian George Clooney cast-off, jumped out of a prop bed with Val Chmerkovskiy, brother of fellow DTWScompetitor Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
*And for the glitter, Queer Eye alum Carson Kressley channeled the gay ’70s with fiery Russian redhead Anna Trebunkaya. The chemistry was dead fish but the energy was totally funky chicken.
*Iraq War veteran-turned-actor J.R. Martinez earned a standing ovation for his moves with Karina Smirnoff. The dancer with a story, whose body was badly burned in a land mine accident, impressed all three judges.
*Nancy Grace showed that fierce prosecuting doesn’t always translate to fierce moves on the dance floor. But that didn’t stop her hunky Irish parter, Tristan MacManus, from tearing it up with a salsa number.
* The L.A. Laker formerly known as Rob Artest was “all sizzle, no sausage,” according to judge Len Goodman. Sporting a sparkly vest, the towering Metta World Peace was stiff in more places than the dance floor. Standing next to co-host Brooke Burke, he creepily admitting how good it felt to be next to her. Ew.
*The debut episode ended with its most controversial contestant: Chaz came out as a trans man right away—in contrast to Carson Kressley whose affinities were only alluded to. (Although, c’mon.) The 42-year-old Bono and partner Lacey Schwimmer looked like they were enjoying themselves and although he was a bit stiff, Bono definitely had rhythm despite having iced his knee that morning.
Dancing With The Stars airs Monday at 8pm on ABC, with a results shows on Tuesdays.