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OTRC: Ricki Lake feels 'great connection' with 'Dancing' partner Derek Hough

Ricki Lake talks to OnTheRedCarpet.com during a rehearsal for 'Dancing With The Stars.'

Ricki Lake says the great and natural chemistry between her and partner Derek Hough is the recipe for success on 'Dancing with The Stars.'

The 42-year-old actress and television host and three-time champion Hough, 26, received a score of 20 out of 30 from the judges for their Viennese Waltz on the season 13 premiere of ABC's hit celebrity ballroom dancing series (read recap). The pair was in 4th place at the end of the night.

"I definitely feel a great connection with him. It's like a brother - sister thing. And he's also really attractive," Lake told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "He's a great dancer and he's a great partner and teacher - so I do feel like we have great chemistry."

She added that while they do have a great time rehearsing, it's definitely a mix of work and play.

"He is tough on me," Lake added. "At first it was like, he was charming and he was charmed by me, and then you know, he puts me to work."

Contestant Chynna Phillips, known for her work with the musical trio 'Wilson Phillips,' and professional partner Tony Dovolani earned the top score of 22 out of 30 for the night. Contestant J.R. Martinez, known for his service overseas and his work in the ABC daytime drama 'All My Children,' and partner Karina Smirnoff also earned a score of 22, tying the two pairs in first place for the premiere episode.

The 12 pairs return on Tuesday, September 20, and the first couple is expected to be eliminated. Lake and Hough plan to perform the Jive.

"I'm happy with how we did," Lake added. "I really wanted to connect with him and do everything he told me to do, and I feel like I did my best. I hope people vote for us and we can stick around."

(See photos from the episode, as well as video interviews with the cast backstage, updated after every show).

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