VIDEO: Chaz Bono, Ricki Lake Shine On Dancing With The Stars
After taking a lot of heat for being the first transgendered contestant on ABC's hit reality competition, Dancing with the Stars, Chaz Bono, 42, made a compelling debut on Monday night's Season 13 premiere of the show.
The famous son of Cher and the late Sonny Bono was praised for his personality and pep on the dance floor, as he performed a cha-cha with partner Lacey Schwimmer to the classic number, "Dancing in the Streets." The judges were impressed. Bruno Tonioli called the performance a "great, great debut" and Len Goodman, who is notoriously hard to please, was perhaps the most complimentary. "You really came out with the right attitude. You came out to enjoy yourself, and that's what I felt you did. You're so joyous out here. Great debut, Chaz. You should be proud."
Other highlights on the premiere included elegant Viennese Waltzes performed by soccer star Hope Solo, daytime talk host Ricki Lake, and '80s pop singer Chynna Phillips. Phillips walked away with the night's high score of 22, after judge Carrie Ann Inaba called her dance "perfection." Getting less praise for their moves were George Clooney's ex, model Elisabetta Canalis and Hills star Kristin Cavallari.
David Arquette's waltz with Kym Johnson also got rave reviews. "I was very impressed," Goodman said. "You're a dancer." Arquette seemed to be encouraged by the presence of wife, Courteney Cox, from whom he amicably separated earlier this year, and their 7-year-old daughter, Coco, in the audience. "She's just so beautiful," Arquette said about his daughter after his successful jaunt across the stage. "She's the love of my life."
Watch a clip from Monday night's premiere here: