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Ralph Macchio provides the kick in 'Dancing With The Stars' premiere

March 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
During Monday night's season 12 premiere of "Dancing With The Stars," the judges saw potential, great showmanship and a lot of personality.

(Get a dance-by-dance recap of all the action in week one of 'Dancing With The Stars.')

But when the evening ended, the "Karate Kid" won round one.

Actor Ralph Macchio, with partner Karina Smirnoff, topped the judges' first leaderboard with 24 points out of 30 for the Foxtrot.

During the rehearsal piece, Macchio appeared to be a stiff and unsure dancer. But he came out light on his feet and doing high kicks.

"This was really special to be able to put out that performance and I was very confident in the choreography," he said.

One point behind them were actress Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, whose Cha Cha landed them in second place with a score of 23 out of 30.

"I wanted an eight slightly desperately and he said, 'Don't count on it.' Now I want a nine," Alley said.

Tied for third were Disney star Chelsea Kane with partner Mark Ballas and football star Hines Ward with partner Kym Johnson. Both couples received triple sevens.

"To go right into the dance was pretty much like jumping out of a plane, but it was great," Kane said. "I'm so happy by how it turned out."

Tied for fifth with their Cha Chas were hip-hop star Romeo with partner Chelsie Hightower and wrestling star Chris Jericho with Cheryl Burke, who both scored 19.

"I don't care how happy you are, how good the chemistry is, if you don't have that technique, you can't be great and we want to go for greatness," Romeo said.

Jericho seemed to be more content with his dancing.

"Cheryl put together a great routine where there were some really good Jericho moments, like the jump and the clap and the slide," he said. "That's who I am."

Model Petra Nemcova with partner Dmitry Chaplin tied for seventh place with reality star Kendra Wilkinson and partner Louis van Amstel. They each received 18 out of 30 points for their Foxtrot and Cha Cha, respectively.

"I was an elephant and he had the job to turn me into a butterfly with grace," Nemcova said.

One point behind them was boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya with a score of 17.

"I have the desire to improve, to make this wonderful lady proud of me and to go on," Leonard said.

Near last was talk show host Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani with 14 points.

And radio's Mike Catherwood landed at the bottom with a score of 13.

"If you analyze the entire case, I'm most like you," Catherwood said speaking to TV audiences. "I don't have any Super Bowl rings, I've never been in a big time movie or on a big time TV show. I'm not a playmate or a supermodel. I'm just a dude."

(Get a dance-by-dance recap of all the action in week one of 'Dancing With The Stars.')

There will be no results show Tuesday night because all 11 couples get to dance again next Monday before anyone is eliminated.

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