'Dancing With the Stars' Judges Praise Chaz Bono's 'Cheeky, Joyous' Cha Cha

USMagazine, Monday, September 19, 2011, 7:35pm (PDT)
  • Chaz sure can cha cha!

    No "Dancing With the Stars" competitor felt the premiere night pressure more than Chaz Bono, and despite his jitters, the LGBT activist delivered on Monday's show with a routine that drew raves from fans and the judges alike.

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    Performing last on the Season 13 premiere, the show's first-ever transgender contestant, 42, and his pro partner Lacey Schwimmer, offered up a cha cha that was worth the wait.

    "People have been waiting all night to see you dance and you did not disappoint," judge Carrie Ann Inaba gushed after Bono and Schwimmer's lively performance, making special note of his "precise" footwork and "sharp" choreography.

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    Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli also raved about Bono -- calling his number "cheeky and joyous" -- but it was Len Goodman who offered the most apt critique to "Razzmatazz Chaz."

    "You really came out with the right attitude, [and] you came out to enjoy yourself," noted the judge.

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    For his part, Bono (who placed in the middle of the 'DWTS' pack with a score of 17/30) was proud.

    "I've gotten so much support and I really wanted to do a good job for the people supporting me," Bono told co-host Brooke Burke Charvet after his dance. "[Physically it's] pretty challenging, but it's fun, and I'm really having the time of my life!"

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    Bono wasn't the only 'DWTS' celeb to win raves on Monday's show. Chynna Phillips and partner Tony Dovolani tied for first place with JR Martinez and Karina Smirnoff, each earning a score of 22 out of 30. At the bottom of the leaderboard this week were Ron "Metta World Peace" Artest and Peta Murgatroyd, who earned a score of 14 out of 30 points.

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