You know what March means—time for more Dancing With the Stars!
Though it seems like only yesterday when J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff were hoisting that mirror ball, season 14 is here and with it comes 12 new stars raring to cut a rug in hopes of winning the trophy, the glory and—in at least a few cases—a whole new level of celebrity.
No one is getting eliminated this week, so Monday's premiere was more of a showcase for the stars' raw talent—or lack thereof.
Who can we tell is totally in it to win it? And, even more importantly, who has Len, Bruno and Carrie Ann cringing already?!
First of all, the answer to the question you were all asking: Jaleel White was indeed more Stefan Urquelle than Steve Urkel out on the dance floor.
His fox-trot with Kym Johnson actually closed the show, but instead of being last and least, he tied for first place with two 9s (practically unheard of) and an 8. (More later on who he he shared the lead with...)
Moving on, Donald Driver sure isn't messing around! Though the Green Bay Packers wide receiver was instructed to rein in his enthusiasm just a bit for next week's quickstep, the judges applauded his hip-swinging, balls-to-the-wall flair and plan of attack—which extended to his post-routine bear hug with partner Peta Murgatroyd.
"We got the impact, I tell you," Bruno quipped in no uncertain terms.
Same goes for 20-year-old Roshon Fegan of the Disney Channel's Shake It Up! and Camp Rock movies. The competition's resident youngster easily had the most week-one swagger of any Disney star to date, handling both the cha-cha and Chelsie Hightower with confidence and just a wee bit of cockiness.
The biggest splash of all, however, was made by Cuban actor William Levy—who is a big telenovela star and therefore known as "the Mexican Brad Pitt." His cha-cha with Cheryl Burke provoked a bordering-on-absurd response from Bruno and had Carrie Ann thanking ABC for her job.
And the well-muscled 31-year-old was pretty light on his feet, too.
But don't worry, the guys didn't steal the entire show!
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins—radiant in canary yellow—was the picture of grace and elegance during her fox-trot with Mark Ballas. Wow, where did she come from?! (Besides Wales, we mean.)
"Best first dance on the first episode ever," Carrie Ann said before the mezzo-soprano landed in first place with a 26, later to be joined by Jaleel.
Melissa Gilbert, 47, also proved a bit of a spitfire—but then again, Maks Chmerkovskiy (tan and bare-chested as ever this season) is her partner, so she really has no choice. Maria Menounos showed great promise, too, but it was hard to remember her show-opening cha-cha as the momentum continued to build throughout the evening.
"I apologize to everybody I criticized at The View," said a panting Sherri Shepherd, this season's resident comedienne, after her well-received fox-trot. "Short of birthing my child, this is the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life...I think I left a boob on the floor. Somebody finds it, could you give it back to me?"
Along with Roshon and Sherri, Jack Wagner landed smack in the middle of the pack with his more-fun-to-watch-than-Melrose-Place fox-trot.
And speaking of well-received dances, the judges—while not shying away from technical criticism—were very liberal with the 7s and 8s(!) tonight. In fact, the lowest single digit handed out was a 6 (from Len, of course) and only six points separated first place from last, shared by Melissa, wise-cracking Davin DeGraw and the very elegant Martina Navratilova, who admitted to having not worn a dress for the last 20 years.
Shoot, even 67-year-old Gladys Knight had the whole ballroom on its feet with her cha-cha, which "oozed rhythm," according to Len.
"The legend has got the moves!" raved Bruno. "You've got class, you've got sass, you are a star—a real one!" (Well, Bruno, tell us what you really think of the other celebs in the building!)
Maybe next week's jives and quicksteps will do a better job of separating the haves from the have-nots, but the cha-chas and fox-trots made for a really close competition!
Here's how the leaderboard stacked up on night one:
Jaleel White & Kym Johnson: 26
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas: 26
William Levy & Cheryl Burke: 24
Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus
Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya: 23
Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower: 23
Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy: 23
Maria Menounos & Derek Hough: 21
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd: 21
Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff: 20
Martina Navratilova & Tony Dovolani: 20
Melissa Gilbert & Maks Chmerkovskiy: 20
Who was your absolute fave? Do you agree with the judges that this was the best premiere yet? Sound off in the comments section!