And in the first week of competition, the "Dirty Dancing" star cleaned up.
Actress Jennifer Grey and her partner are this week's judges' favorites, scoring triple eights for their elegant Viennese Waltz to Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine."
The judges loved it, and the performance brought judge Carrie Ann Inaba to tears. Their overall score was the highest of the night, garnering 24 out of 30 points.
One point behind, there was a tie for second between actor-rapper Kyle Massey and actress-singer Brandy.
"Tied for second," Massey said. "Next week we're going to be leading. Bring it."
Their spirited cha cha cha earned them an overall score of 23 out of 30.
Meanwhile, Brandy looked like she was so excited she might up out of her skin.
One point behind them in fourth place was a very competitive Rick Fox.
The height difference between Fox and his partner, Cheryl Burke, is a whopping 15 inches, but they seemed to overcome any difficulty and brought a gorgeous and graceful , smooth and sexy Viennese Waltz to the floor. They earned a strong 22 out of 30 points.
"Why compete if you're not looking to win?" Fox said. "We're looking for people to get behind us because we're looking to be the best we can be at the end of this."
Reality star Audrina Patridge and her partner, Tony Dovolani, are fifth on the leader board after performing a feisty cha cha cha. Dolovani said he's thrilled that Audrina catches on to things very quickly.
"I look forward to every rehearsal," Dovolani said. "I get to see a smiling face. There's somebody that really wants it. She's willing to work as hard as I push her."
The judges commented that they had "good technique and a good start," and gave them a score of 19 out of 30.
But they're not alone. They tied with Kurt Warner and his partner Anna Trebunskaya.
The judges, Inaba and Bruno Tonioli thought he was a natural and showed potential. But head judge Len Goodman said the waltz they performed had very little grace and elegance.
"We wanted to have fun," Warner said. "We wanted to perform. We wanted to get that one under our belt and hopefully we'll be back next week and get another shot at it."
Bristol Palin, 19, tied for seventh place with 76-year-old Florence Henderson.
"I'm definitely feeling a lot more confident than I was three weeks ago and I think that we're just going to go up from here," Palin said. "I think it was a fun performance. I think we did well."
Inaba said she thought Pailin would be boring, but admitted she was wrong. Palin's overall score was 18 out of 30.
Michael Bolton ranked low, but not last. He landed in ninth place with a score of 16 out of 30 points.
He appeared to be concentrating so hard, he might not have been enjoying himself at all.
Margaret Cho, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and David Hasselhoff all tied for last, scoring triple fives.
The comedienne couldn't help herself and brought some of her comedy schtick to the dance floor. Problem was, she was dancing a classic Viennese Waltz.
Sorrentino looked like he was trying to catch up and catch on during his performance.
"I have courage to go out in front of millions of people with five days of prep and, you know," Sorrentino said, before partner Karina Smirnoff ended his sentence: "and dance in heels and tight pants and rhinestones."
The judges did not cut them any slack, however, and while they think Sorrentino has potential, they said his first dance lacked polish.
Meanwhile, Hasselhoff's performance, a cha cha cha to an odd rendition of "Sex Bomb," was mediocre. He said his body can't keep up with his heart.
"I'm 58, baby," Hasselhoff said. "I can feel all of it tonight, but I feel great. It was a lot of fun."
(Get a dance-by-dance recap, of all the action in 'Dancing With the Stars' premiere.)