'Dancing With The Stars' Premiere Recap: Lisa Vanderpump Gets Up Close And Personal

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In its 16th season (and after a low-rated All Stars season), Dancing With The Stars is staying true to the format that made it great.

The ABC show premiered on Monday night, debuting twelve new celeb/pro pairs all competing for the coveted disco ball trophy.

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet are ready to kick off this season of the dance competition that brings celebs back to life. All three original judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioliare back and ready to rumble.

This season features a few new faces from the professionals, as well as two new dance categories: contemporary and jazz.

There were plenty of highlights and lowlights from the season’s opener, and a few celebs staked their claim on the competition. Here, a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As usual, the professional athletes killed their competitors. Two Olympic gold medalists, Dorothy Hamill and Aly Raisman stood apart from the rest with their stellar skills. Dorothy and her partner, Tristan MacManus, did a contemporary piece to “Tiny Dancer.” Bruno said she “told the story beautifully” while Carrie-Anne called it, “golden.”

Aly Raisman is partnered with Mark Ballas and I’m reminded how unfair it is to let professional gymnasts and figure skaters compete against mere mortals. She’s amazing, as expected. Why wouldn’t she be? She won a gold medal for mastering many of the traits that make a great dancer. She scores a 21, and I think the score is too low. Still, she’s entertaining to watch and sure to stick around.

Andy Dick is surprisingly endearing. The troubled comedian admits he has been plagued by problems with drug and alcohol addiction throughout his career and he’s looking for a shot at redemption. He tells his partner, Sharna Burgess, “The biggest opportunity I’ve ever had… how many chances can a guy get? And this is the biggest one.” He’s clearly dedicated, made obvious when he breaks into tears after he can’t get the steps right during rehearsals. His dance isn’t great, but he shows promise. Carrie-Anne tells him to work on his “pancake hands and pancake feet,” whatever that means. Bruno is brutal, saying, “That was like watching Woody Allen do the fox trot.” Ouch. Still, he seemed to win them over with charisma and he may be the underdog to watch this season.

At first, I’m not sure what to expect from this tween star with no last name. Zendaya is partnered with pro, Val Chmerkovskiy. The Disney star from Shake It Up fame says she’s a singer, actress, and hip-hop dancer,” but it’s her first time trying ballroom. At 16, she’s the youngest contestant to ever compete on the show, but her partner refuses to “sacrifice passion” because of her age. She’s super cute and seems to have a very coachable attitude. When she steps onto the smoke-filled dance floor, she almost looks like the pro. She gets a standing ovation from the crowd.

I’m impressed, and so are the judges. “That was amazing!" exclaims Carrie-Anne. You’re a fantastic dancer with a maturity that is unexpected out of a 16-year-old. I love the passion. Great choreography. Nice work!” The usually grumpy Len admits, “That was great!” and Bruno says it was "superb.” Agreed. She should be around for a while. She scores a 24, the highest score of the night.

Lisa Vanderpump is partnered with rookie pro, Gleb Savchenko. He’s smokin’ hot and the "closeness" of the dances makes Lisa feel like she’s cheating on her husband, Ken. “I feel its almost being unfaithful in the nicest possible way,” she says. “Knees together just like my mother always taught me. I’m happy to be as unfaithful as it takes to makes a good dance, but geez! It’s really in your space.” She’s first joined by a tuxedo-clad Jiggy when she takes the dance floor, but ditches the pup for her fox trot. She looks gorgeous in a long-sleeved, floor-length gown in her signature pink hue. She looks a little stiff, but I’m thinking it's nerves.

Len calls it, “acceptable, but not exceptional.” He cautions her to focus on fundamentals. Bruno thinks her diamonds are weighing her down. Carrie-Anne feels the pair was out of sync. After a few minutes of critiques, the Beverly Hills housewife has had enough, and shoots back at judges, “OK, I got it!” She scores an 18. Let’s hope her fans rally to keep her on. By the looks of it, she’ll need a little luck to stay in the game.

Funnyman, D.L. Hughley partners with DWTS legend, Cheryl Burke. He reveals he grew up in a gang and credits comedy with saving his life. His hilarity is evident from moment one of his rehearsal footage when he names himself, “Boogie Fantastic.” He jokes with Cheryl about his bad moves, saying, “I have the legs of a chicken but he heart of a lion.” He wasn’t lying about the legs. His attempt at the cha cha was absolutely pitiful. Starting from the sleeve-tearing opening to the awkward “freak” portion, it was a total mess. Carrie-Anne was nearly speechless saying, “D.L.! That was…yikes! Whoa!” Len didn’t mince words, “This was no good.” Sad, but true. He scores a generous 12, the lowest score of the night.

Who will go home first on DWTS?

Watch below: Lisa's employees cheer her on for DWTS.

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