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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dancing With The Stars Launches Season 13, Monday, September 19, 2011

Chynna Phillips & Tony Dovolani top DWTS leader board.
With a cast that includes an Iraq war veteran, a TV legal icon, a famous brother and an NBA champion, Dancing With The Stars launched Season 13 in front of a live audience on Monday, September 19, 2011. For a first night of performance, no one really stepped on a banana peal, but some potential season favorites emerged.

Nothing has changed from last year, except for a larger dance floor, and a larger judges table. Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke are hosting the ABC ratings giant. Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman provide the professional commentary and the scoring. But you provide the votes and if you have favorites, you need to vote.

All of the couples either danced a Cha-Cha-Cha or a Viennese Waltz. Jumping to the top of the leader board were two couples - Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips music fame and her partner Tony Dovolani, and the team of J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff. J.R. Martinez is an Iraq war veteran who was burned over 40% of his body by an explosion. Through 33 surgeries, he has maintained his positive attitude and rebuilt his life, starring on television and now appearing on DWTS. Both couples scored 22 points.

Missing his chance at a dunk, Ron Artest of the L.A. Lakers and his partner Peta Murgatroyd, a first time professional on Dancing With The Stars were at the bottom of the leader board with a score of 14.

A little familial competition will flavor this season as the Chmerkovskiy brothers, Val and Maksim are dancing against each other for the first time. Their partners, Elisabetta Canalis, an Italian television star and model, and Hope Solo, Olympic soccer star, both showed some promise and should be around near the end of the season.

All of the controversy surrounding Chaz Bono appearing on the show will probably prove to be a waste of media time. Who cares? He's built a new successful life and represents a segment of our population that is misunderstood. Dance, Chaz, dance.

To me, the biggest surprise of the night was Nancy Grace, the Headline News star. HLN only shows her head on her show. I did not realize that she was a plus size woman. But she performed surprisingly well, prompting Bruno Tonioli to comment, "I had no idea you were so lavishly gifted."

Voting for your favorites can be done by phone, text or through the Dancing With The Stars website (which will be provided below).

This season, I plan to offer more coverage, more links and more photos of the competitors.

Of course, you can see videos, team photos and more on the ABC Dancing With The Stars website.

Tuesday is the first elimination based on the performances on Dancing With The Stars Season 13 premiere on Monday, September 19, 2011. You can vote up to 12 times on the website, so vote, vote, vote.

Photo by ABC/DWTS

Related Links:
ABC/Dancing With The Stars Website
DWTS on Twitter

Judges and Hosts on Twitter:
Carrie Ann Inaba
Brooke Burke
Tom Bergeron

Teams on Twitter:
Carson Kressley & Anna Trebunskaya + Team account - TeamCarsonAnna
Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer
Chynna Phillips & Tony Dovolani
David Arquette & Kym Johnson
Elisabetta Canalis & Val Chmerkovskiy
Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff
Kristin Cavallari & Mark Ballas
Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus + Team account - NancyandTristan
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough

Cheryl Burke & Rob Kardashian
Ron Artest & Peta Murgatroyd

Last year's final episode:
Dancing With The Stars 2011, Season 12 Crowned Hines Ward DWTS Champion

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