“Dancing with the Stars” video highlights (13.1)

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Wow. WOW.

Monday night was my very first time watching Dancing with the Stars and I am still trying to piece my world back together.

This show is overwhelming to dive into: 24 dancers (12 "celebrities" and 12 pros), three judges, two announcers, and enough spangles to make Liberace rise from his grave and ask everyone to tone it down a little.

But we have moxie, you and I, and so we will persevere.

Fortunately, our 12 performances can easily be broken down into five categories.

The Good

Reality thingbot Kristin Cavallari started off in the weak position of having to explain how she’s not actually a monstrous bitch, it just seemed that way on TV. But as you can see, she gave a great performance in spite of the fact that she was being eaten by one of the Yip Yip Martians from Sesame Street.

SCORE: 19 (out of a possible 30)

After lodging "Hold On" firmly in everyone’s heads, Chynna Phillips did the Viennese Waltz, otherwise known as The Waltz of Smiling Insanely While Looking Far Away from Your Partner, and all the judges completely flipped out over her.

Forget putting your hands in the air. Put your foot up there. The judges will lose their minds.

SCORE: 22

Actor and Iraq vet J. R. Martinez gave the best technical performance of the men with a lovely waltz.

Bonus: that floor has never been cleaner.

SCORE: 22

The Fun

Los Angeles Laker Ron Artest did the cha-cha. (Or, as this show insists on calling it, the cha-cha-cha. I hope you weren’t confused.) The judges called him stiff, but I thought he was enjoyable to watch and surprisingly game.

SCORE: 14 – A scandalous low-ball in my opinion, perhaps because Artest danced first. Harrumph.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy sensation Carson Kressley was far from the best dancer, but he made up for it by being funny, game, and willing to make Mick Jagger faces. I am going to go out on a limb and theorize that AfterEllen.com readers will also enjoy his partner’s performance.

SCORE: 17

Author/activist Chaz Bono already had my vote because of all the vile stuff bigots have been posting on ABC message boards about him, so I was delighted to see that I would have voted for him anyway. His performance was great fun.

SCORE: 17

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