Even "Dancing with the Stars" judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli seemed pleasantly surprised that "Karate Kid" Ralph Macchio and actress Kirstie Alley were, well, good on the first episode of DWTS Season 12.
The biggest surprise of the night? The show wasn't boring.
Here's a recap of Week 1 of Season 12:
Ralph earned the highest score of the night with 24 out of 30 points. Sixty-year-old Kirstie was a close second with 23 points. Likely pleased that there's no elimination show tomorrow are radio personality "Psycho" Mike Catherwood, who earned 13 points, and talk show host Wendy Williams, who earned 14.
All 11 contestants will dance again next Monday (March 21) before the first elimination show on Tuesday, March 29. DWTS officials will add this week's performance scores and votes to next week's. The star receiving the lowest combined scores will be eliminated.
The original "Karate Kid" Ralph Macchio, encouraged partner Karina Smirnoff not to be deceived by his youthful face. His body was every bit of 49 years old, he said. Karina promised to be an even tougher teacher than Mr. Miyagi to earn Ralph's best performances. Their Fox Trot was a crowd and judges' favorite. It earned the loudest cheering and the highest scores of the night with 24 out of 30 points. Each judge awarded them 8 points.
Bruno Tonioli loved Ralph's "great showmanship" but he called his hand gestures "creepy."
Carrie Ann Inaba called Ralph "an amazing surprise."
Len Goodman declared the dance the best Fox Trot of the night.
Actress Kirstie Alley, 60, seemed years younger when dancing the Cha Cha Cha with Maksim Chmerkovskiy who calls her "G," which is short for grandma. They earned 23 points (8 from Carrie Ann and Bruno and 7 from Len).
Bruno Tonioli "I like what I see. Look Who's Dancing." He called her foot placement the best of any Cha Cha Cha that night.
Carrie Ann Inaba thanked Kirstie for her "sizzle."
Len Goodman said Kirstie was "fun, cheeky and entertaining."
The first dancers of the night were the confident looking Chelsea Kane, Disney star, and Mark Ballas, 2-time DWTS champion. In her pre-dance interview Chelsea confessed that she's kissed a Jonas brother and "it didn't suck." Mark and Chelsea earned 21 out of 30 points (7 from each judge) for their Fox trot.
Head judge Len Goodman called the dance "young and fresh" just like Mark and Chelsea.
Bruno Tonioli said Chelsea was a bit messy and she needed to extend her arms and improve her control, but he said Chelsea showed talent.
Carrie Ann Inaba thought the dance was youthful, elegant and fun.
NFL wide receiver and University of Georgia alum Hines Ward said he doesn't do touchdown dances because "I can't dance." Partner Kym Johnson, who said she's famous for taking big clumsy men and making them into dancers, is hoping to change that. It appears that she's succeeding. Hines looked like he was having fun throughout his entertaining Cha Cha Cha. Hines and Kym earned 21 points (7 from each judge).
Carrie Ann Inaba called the dance "the sparkliest Cha Cha Cha" that she'd ever seen. "You were in control."
Len Goodman was impressed that Hines' movement was clean, crisp and confident. Len confessed to staring at Hines' booty. "Your bottom's the tops," Len said.
Bruno Tonioli said Hines proved he was nimble and light-footed with great timing.
Actor and singer Romeo said there were "fireworks" when he met partner Chelsie Hightower. When Romeo's dad Master P was on the show, he earned 2s, the lowest scores ever given on DWTS. Romeo and Chelsie hoped to see higher scores. After the dance, host Tom Bergeron was sure they would. He said Romeo danced more in his first routine than his dad did in the four weeks he was on the show. The judges agreed. They gave the Cha Cha Cha 19 points (6 from Bruno and Len and 7 from Carrie Ann.)
Bruno Tonioli called the dance vibrant, playful and energetic but complained that Romeo was flat-footed.
Carrie Ann Inaba was impressed. "You have sex appeal for days."
Len Goodman wanted to see better technique. "You've got plenty of energy," but he called the performance "too carefree."
WWE star Chris Jericho ripped off the sleeves of his shirt to reveal his muscular arms during his Cha Cha Cha with Cheryl Burke. Their dance earned 19 points (7 from Carrie Ann and 6 from Bruno and Len).
Carrie Ann Inaba said, "It was kind of like a Chippendales Cha Cha" She enjoyed it, but wants to see more content next time.
Len Goodman was troubled. "I think your hips are allergic to music."
Bruno Tonioli was entertained. He said he hadn't had so much fun with leather since the Village People.
Reality star and former playmate Kendra Wilkinson promised her dances with Louis van Amstel would be hot. "Not club hot, but classy hot," she clarified. They earned 18 points (6 from each judge) for their Cha Cha Cha.
Len Goodman said "You held my interest from start to finish." Unfortunately, he said it wasn't always for the right reasons.
Bruno Tonioli applauded Kendra for "strutting her stuff" but said the routine needed to be clean.
Carrie Ann Inaba said "I love your spunk." She called the choreography fast and ambitious.
Supermodel and Tsunami survivor Petra Nemcova dedicated her Fox Trot with Dmitry Chaplin to everyone impacted by the devastating earthquake in Japan. The judges awarded her 18 points (6 from each judge).
Len Goodman said Petra showed charm, grace and elegance but needed to work on her posture.
Bruno Tonioli saw "moments of extreme beauty and sophistication" but said she needed to get stronger in the middle of the dance.
Carrie Ann Inaba called Petra's natural grace "truly breathtaking."
Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard said dancing was so hard it made him want to cry. Partner Anna Trebunskaya summoned "Rocky" for inspiration, "I will break you into a dancer," she promised. Sugar Ray's confidence grew after practicing. "Yes, I'm making a comeback but this time on the dance floor," he said. They earned 17 points for their Fox trot (6 from Carrie Ann and Bruno and 5 from Len.)
Carrie Ann Inaba said Sugar Ray was sure to be a crowd favorite, but said he needed to work on his posture.
Len Goodman said the Fox Trot should be "fine wine and caviar" and what Sugar Ray showed was "beer and pizza." Ouch.
Bruno Tonioli enjoyed the performance but found the technique lacking.
A stiff and scared looking Wendy Williams, author and talk show host, did the Cha Cha Cha with Tony Dovolani. In her pre-dance interview, she called herself a perfect fit for the show because she's "too much, too loud and too fast." She walked through her Cha Cha Cha looking lost and scored just 14 points (5s from Bruno and Carrie Ann and a 4 from Len). "I did the best that I could for this week," a disappointed Wendy said.
Bruno Tonioli encouraged Wendy to find the sultry side that she's famous for and give the audience a performance.
Carrie Ann Inaba agreed. "Unleash the beast," she shouted.
Len Goodman was surprised Wendy seemed to timid on the dance floor. "You have to bring your personality out," he said.
Radio personality "Psycho" Mike Catherwood was confused about partner Lacey Schwimmer's insistence that dancing was just walking. "Dancing is just walking, except not at all," he joked. The couple received 13 points for their Fox Trot (4 from Len and Bruno and 5 from Carrie Ann).
Len Goodman said dancing was all about moving to music. "You did move and there was music," he joked. He warned Mike that he needed to come back stronger next week or he'd be going home.
Bruno Tonioli called the dance "uncoordinated" and said Mike sometimes looked constipated.
Carrie Ann Inaba said he was a bit jerky but she thought he kept up well.