September 19, 2011 10:02 PM
Chaz Bono, the first transgender contestant to appear on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” performed well on the launch of tonight’s new season of the popular show. He joked about having a “round and beautiful” belly, but admitted that “being in your 40s and overweight, it kills my body.” He has been having knee problems during rehearsals. Bono smiled through his cha-cha with partner, Lacey Schwimmer, to a rendition of “Dancing in the Street.”
“We’ve got all these people now who are rooting for us, and it’s putting real pressure on us, because I really want to not suck.”
Carrie Ann Inaba said people had been waiting all night to see him, and said his footwork was sharp and precise. Len Goodman also said he had good footwork and a great attitued. Boistrous gay judge Bruno Tonioli called him cheeky, cute and cuddly, and said it was a great debut. Bono’s girlfriend, Jennifer Elia, was in the audience and she cheered and cried. Bono and Schwimmer’s final score was 17 (out of 30) and if you’d like to vote for them, the number listed was: 1-800-868-3412.
Carson Kressley, the celebrity stlylist and former “Queer Eye” star, also performed a cha-cha with his dancing partner, Anna Trebunskaya, to “Moves like Jagger.” He joked that he had expected to be dancing with one of the male instructors — Maxim Chmerkovsky, Mark Ballas or Derek Hough.
Inaba said that his was the favorite dance of the night — not good on technical moves but “Bam!” on performance and entertainment. Goodman said it had elements of Jagger, stagger and swagger. Tonioli said it was a mix of Mick Jagger and Bianca Jagger. The couple also received a mid-range score of 17. To vote for Kressley, the phone number listed was: 1-800-868-3409.
There has been some controversy about the show’s cast — primarily from right-wing, religious activists who are complaining that gays and transgenders don’t belong on a family show.