Model Brooke Burke took an early competition lead over her fellow celebrities as the seventh season of “Dancing With the Stars” kicked off on Monday night.
Brooke and her partner, professional Derek Hough, nabbed the highest score on Monday’s broadcast — a 23 out of 30 for the pair’s sexy cha cha. Their dance was so steamy, it caused “DWTS” judge Len Goodman to break a sweat according to his co-judge, Bruno Tonioli.
“Brooke is going for broke,” Bruno said of the mother of four’s ballroom performance. “Len was panting… His tongue was sticking out of his mouth. All I can say is what a debut.”
Several other “Dancing” celebs proved they are ready to be contenders for the top this season including former *NSYNC star Lance Bass and singer Toni Braxton, who both netted 22 out of 30.
Lance Bass and his partner, pro Lacey Schwimmer, also performed a cha cha. Their hot number was cheered on by Lance’s old bandmate, former “DWTS” finalist Joey Fatone, who sat in the audience for the season premiere.
“I thought that was hot, hot hot!” judge Carrie Ann Inaba raved. “Great sharp movements… You knew what you were doing.”
Toni wore a belly-bearing outfit during her dance with her partner, professional Alec Mazo. And though she suffers from microvascular angina, a heart condition, Toni put on a super saucy cha cha.
“First of all I want to congratulate you on taking a true risk… That was like we should be in week 5,” Carrie Ann said.
Other celebs who netted top scores included Olympian Misty May-Treanor, who took 21 points, and NFL legend Warren Sapp, who also took 21 thanks to his dance with partner, professional Kym Johnson.
“Big boys can dance,” Bruno said. “You were so light on your feet. You were doing the same steps as Kym, and she’s got racy legs and you were right up with her all the time.”
Though her points totaled just 16 at the end of her fox trot, Cloris Leachman, 82, stole the show. Cloris, who danced with Corky Ballas, the father of last year’s professional champ Mark Ballas, won the complete awe of the audience as she cracked them up during the judging round.
“Cloris my darling, I love you,” Bruno said. “You were floating around there with the elegance of Battleship Geriatrica.”
In what seemed like an attempt to sway Bruno, Cloris put her leg up on his desk, as the panel laughed heartily.
For Len, Cloris stood in front of the Brit, her chest on the table and her hands clasped in prayer pose.
“I thought you acted that dance beautifully,” Len said as Cloris leaned in front of him. “Mind your cleavage! It’s putting me off.”
And Carrie Ann wasn’t let out of Cloris’ fun either – Cloris sat on her lap as she remarked on the dance.
Comedian Jeffrey Ross borrowed Cloris’ leg-on-the-judges-desk move, but that and having had his cornea scratched by partner Edyta Sliwinska before the broadcast, (and a dancing despite doctor’s orders not to), didn’t sway the judges following his dance. He netted the lowest score of the evening, a 12 out of 30.
The scores were:
Cody Linley & Julianne Hough 18/30
Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff 14/30
Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo 22/30
Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke 18/30
Brooke Burke & Derek Hough 23/30
Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer 22/30
Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas 16/30
Jeff Ross & Edyta Sliwinska 12/30
Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas 19/30
Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy 21/30
Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson 21/30