The Bachelor Sean Lowe's main goal in getting through Monday night's season premiere of Dancing With the Stars was to "make Catherine proud" — at the very least, he definitely made his bride-to-be blush.
The "hunky, chunky" Texas native (judge Bruno Tonioli's words) joined 11 other Mirror Ball hopefuls on the dance floor on Monday, March 18, with the intent of letting loose and learning to move a bit more gracefully in a casino-themed foxtrot with partner Peta Murgatroyd.
The result, however, was still a little rough around the edges.
"For a dance virgin, you have a very effective pelvic thrust," Tonioli told the sparkly red tuxedo-clad Lowe in a nod to Us Weekly's "virgin Bachelor" cover. "It was like Chippendales on the dance floor. You have to put some refinement and finesse into it."
Lowe's fiance, Catherine Giudici, smiled awkwardly from the audience, seated next to Lowe's parents. And unfortunately for the 29-year-old entrepreneur, the comments translated into a middling score of 19 out of 30 for the night.
But Lowe was hardly the worst performer of the night. That honor went to comedian D.L. Hughley, whose Cha Cha to Flo Rida's "Low" earned him a measly 12 points. The self-dubbed "Boogy Fantastic" got an "Oh em gee" from Tonlioni, a "Ya-ya-ya-yikes" from fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba, and a "boulevard of broken dreams" reference from head judge Len Goodman.
"I'm glad because usually when I get judges, it's a lot harder than that," the funnyman couldn't resist quipping.
The top of the leaderboard went to the youngest competitor of the season — and of Dancing With the Stars, ever — Disney Channel star Zandaya, 16. The lanky teen shook out her hip hop dance roots and straightened up to deliver an energetic contemporary piece with partner Val Chmerkovskiy that earned her a high first-night score of 24 out of 30.
"Three words I never thought I'd say on the first night," Goodman told her afterward. "That. Was. Great."
And, in an unexpected moment on the show, Andy Dick broke the record for first on-camera breakdown, wiping away tears during rehearsal as he tried to ready himself for the foxtrot.
"I'm afraid to be bad for you and for us," he sobbed to partner, newcomer Sharna Burgess. Turns out he wasn't that bad — even though the judges had a funny way of showing it, calling him and "ugly duckling" and "Woody Allen."
The last performer of the night was also the most exciting. Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones lit up the dance floor (literally — audience members waved glow sticks) with a Cha Cha to Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" with partner Karina Smirnoff but the judges split.
"You can grind it but you have to work on your foot placement," Tonioli critiqued. "Control your posture but you got the goods."
The panting footballer's reaction?
"I have to catch my breath," he told host Brooke Burke after his performance. "I got no break. There is no play that lasts a minute and 25 seconds!"
Next week, Wynonna Judd, Dorothy Hamill, Aly Reisman, Lisa Vanderpump (and pup Giggy!), Ingo Rademacher, Victor Ortiz and Kellie Pickler will take the stage once more for their second dance and see who will be the first to go.
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