"Dancing with the Stars" season 13 premiered September 19 on ABC and featured the much-hyped debut performance of the show's first-ever transgendered contestant in activist Chaz Bono. And you know something? He didn't disappoint.
Chaz and his partner, "DWTS" wild child Lacey Schwimmer, were assigned the tough task of serving as night one's caboose couple and the tougher task of tackling the physically demanding Cha Cha Cha. After rigorous rehearsals with Lacey, with whom Chaz claimed to have "amazing chemistry," Sonny and Cher's kiddo set out to prove he was up to the Cha-Cha-Challenge.
Set to the tune of Mick Jagger and David Bowie's "Dancing in the Street," Chaz's Cha Cha was a surprising testament to what equal portions of fun, hard work, and heart can accomplish. Although it wasn't the fastest dance of the evening and he labored at times, his footwork was crispy and on-point, and he swung and swayed to the music in near-perfect time.
The "Dancing with the Stars" panelists liked what they saw, too. Carrie Ann Inaba declared, "You can dance," and admired Chaz's footwork, calling it "sharp" and "precise." Head judge Len Goodman especially appreciated the activist's good attitude and deemed the dance a "job well done." Bruno Tonioli finished off the commentary by marveling over Chaz's "joyous" demeanor and calling him "cheeky but so cute and cuddly."
For their effort, Chaz and Lacey earned two sixes and a five, for a total of 17 points. They trail "DWTS" week one leaderboard co-toppers JR Martinez and Chynna Phillips' top mark of 22 by five points. Will Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer survive to dance again? Probably. Chaz has a great deal of support across America, and he turned in a respectable Latin number on a night when Latin scores didn't soar; reality starlet Kristin Cavallari's Cha Cha earned the highest mark with just 19 points.
But to find out which celeb gets the axe for yourself, tune in to the "Dancing with the Stars" season 13 week one results show Tuesday at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific on ABC.