Kirstie Alley, “Karate Kid” Start Strong on “DWTS”

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Monday, Mar 21, 2011  |  Updated 10:30 PM CDT
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AP

Kirstie Alley started strong on "Dancing."

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Look who’s dancing.

Kirstie Alley had an impressive debut on the Season 12 premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” soaring to the No. 2 spot on the leaderboard Monday with a cha cha judge Bruno Tonioli said boasted the best footwork of the night.

“We are just scratching at the surface of what you can do,” Tonioli said moments before the Emmy-winning “Cheers” star learned she’d scored 23 points out of 30.

Alley looked stunned to have earned a standing ovation from ABC’s studio audience, having earlier worried about not being able to “move quickly enough.”

“If someone told me to haul ass it would take two trips,” she joked in rehearsals.

The “Look Who’s Talking” actress wasn’t the only self-deprecating celeb to steal the show on Monday.

Ralph Macchio, whose claim to fame is having starred in the original “Karate Kid,” said he’d be happy making it through the competition without throwing his back out. Instead, the 49-year-old topped the leaderboard with 24 points for his fox trot, which judge Carrie Ann Inaba called “elegant.”

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and Disney star Chelsea Kane also scored compliments from the judges and stand tied for third place with 21 points apiece.

At the bottom of the leaderboard going into next week are talk show host Wendy Williams and “Loveline” DJ “Psycho Mike” Catherwood.

Williams was shown crying during rehearsal and scored just 14 points for her lifeless cha cha.

Catherwood, who referred to himself as the “least known” celebrity on the cast, scored 13 points and was told he looked “constipated” on the dance floor. 

Landing in the middle of the pack were: pro-wrestler Chris Jericho and musician Romeo (19 points each), "booty shaking" reality star Kendra Wilkinson and model Petra Nemcova (18 points each); and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard (17 points).

The group will have one more dance next week before the show eliminates its first star from the ballroom.
 

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