After 14 seasons, 162 stars and more than 1,000 dances, Dancing With the Stars is back! The ABC show kicked off a special All-Star season Monday night.
It was the usual ballroom bonanza -- glittering skimpy costumes, an enthusiastic audience prompted to clap endlessly, and Emmy-winning Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet all dressed up and doing their host duties. Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli were back at the judges' desk once again to kick off the 10 weeks of competition. The first celeb will be sent home Tuesday night.
"The judging's going to be a little bit tougher," warned Len, because, after all, everyone has danced before. He announced a big change: Judges will include half points!
"I know the people who sell us paddles were thrilled," cracked Bergeron.
Spotted in the crowd: Sarah Palin with hubby Todd and Bristol's son, Tripp; Chaz Bono; Kristi Yamaguchi and Florence Henderson.
Here's who impressed - and who didn't:
"I haven't won since you," pro dancer Cheryl Burke told NFL star Emmitt Smith, 43. The two won the mirror ball trophy in 2006. His Cha-Cha to Chain of Fools allowed him to shake his hips all over the dance floor. Len loved it. "The last dance of the evening and the best." Bruno said it was the "essence of uplifting fun for everyone." Carrie Ann said to Emmitt, "You were born to dance." And she yelled up at the sky, "Hallelujah!" Scores: 8, 8.5, 8 = 24.5
Gilles Marini, 36, who competed in 2009, has been paired with Peta Murgatroyd. "Gilles is good looking. and I know that he can dance. I think I hit the jackpot," said Peta. Earlier in the day Gilles tweeted that he was getting taped up for a hamstring strain and a sacroiliac joint strain, but it didn't show. Their foxtrot to Call Me Irresponsible was dreamy and Old Hollywood-esque, with Gilles in a white dinner jacket and Peta looking like Marilyn Monroe. Bruno loved Gilles' "finesse" and said the actor was "technically so good." Said a swooning Carrie Ann: "I missed you. We all did. That was just poetic and gorgeous. And all I kept thinking was Jon Hamm didn't win (an Emmy) last night because Gilles Marini had to come out here and win it tonight." Len loved his "sophistication." Scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24
Sabrina Bryan, 28, the Cheetah Girl Disney star who was voted in by the viewers to be on the show, performed a Cha-Cha to One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful with pro Louis Van Amstel. The crowd loved it. So did Carrie Ann: "You kicked that dance's bootie." But the judge cautioned her not to "over-dance." Len said it had a lot of impact. "But so does a hammer!" When the crowd moaned and booed, he said, "I liked it!" Bruno liked it: "You went and unleashed FURY on the dance floor!" but he said some of the "passes could have been cleaner." Scores: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5 = 22.5
Olympian Shawn Johnson, 20, felt like she was "cheating" on Mark Ballas, her partner the first time around. "I'm your new husband," said Derek Hough. In rehearsals, she walked on her hands, showing she's going to be a great partner for the super-active Hough. They danced an energetic foxtrot. Bruno quibbled a little bit that she needed to be more "defined." Carrie Ann said it was "fabulous," and "the perfect package." Len, calling himself "a cup of tea in a world of lattes," said it didn't look like a foxtrot, but said it was "a good dance." Scores: 8. 6.5, 7.5 = 22 (There were some boos from the ballroom audience.)
Apolo Anton Ohno, 30, winner of eight Olympic medals and DWTS champ in 2007's Season 4, came out strong. "I'm a die-hard competitor," he vowed. "We'll see who's able to work the hardest and perform the best. I didn't sign up to get second." Dressed in blue pants and shirt, he and Karina Smirnoff danced a Cha-Cha to Party Rock Anthem. Len said it "wasn't a gold medal performance." The crowd booed. Len continued, saying it was a "bronze medal." Bruno loved Apolo's arm extension and said the dance "looked great." Carrie Ann asked if he got "3,000 times more sexy" since he was last in the ballroom. Scores: 7.5, 7, 7.5 = 22
Race car driver Helio Castroneves, 37, and Cheslie Hightower danced a foxtrot. He wore tails; she had on a flouncy white halter dress and long gloves. Again, the crowd gave them a standing ovation. "You got a standing ovation before you did anything," said Tom Bergeron. Len criticized his feet, but said he was a "good dancer." Bruno liked his "stage presence" and charm, but said he "did mess it up quite a bit tonight." Carrie Ann said she wanted to see more "body contact." Scores: 7, 7.5, 7 = 21.5
Kelly Monaco, 36 and the Season 1 winner, Val Chmerkovskiy (Maks' brother) danced a Cha-Cha that showed off their hot bods and equally hot chemistry.He had his shirt open and she wore just enough spangles to cover the important parts. Bruno raved! "Sexier and hotter than ever!" Carrie Ann said, "You look fantastic." Len "loved it" but told her work on keeping her shoulders down. Brooke asked them about their chemistry. "We're in the getting-to-know-you phase," said Kelly coyly. The judges' raves didn't seem to match the paddles they picked. Scores: 7, 7, 7.5 = 21.5
Drew Lachey, 36, said in his taped segment that he's "still got it" since his Season 2 win with Cheryl Burke. He danced a foxtrot with his new pro partner, Anna Trebunskaya. Len said, "It was all a bit too hard and hectic." Bruno said it was "dynamic." Carrie Ann praised his posture, and said she wants to see "firm but not rigid." Scores: 7, 7, 7.5 = 21.5
Melissa Rycroft, 29, took third place in Season 8. Now, the TV host is gunning for the trophy, she said. She and partner Tony Dovolani danced a foxtrot to Big Spender. The audience loved it. Carrie Ann praised her "lines," but wanted more "body contact" in the dance. Len said it was "a little bit theatrical for me." The crowd booed. "Why does everyone pick on me?" asked Len. Bruno loved her "fluidity." Scores: 7, 7, 7 = 21
Joey Fatone, 35, tackled a Cha-Cha with Kym Johnson. Wearing a black glittering suit, he opened with a big jump, then twirled and smiled his way through the number. "I can't breathe!" he said when he was done. As he huffed and puffed, Len quibbled about his posture. Bruno quibbled about his foot placement. Carrie Ann praised his showmanship and wanted to say more but claimed Tom Bergeron cut her off. Scores: 6.5, 7, 7 = 20.5
Bristol Palin, 21, is paired with USA TODAY blogger Mark Ballas, who told her she "looked amazing" -- thinner than her first time on the dance floor in 2010 and sporting dark, dark hair. (On Twitter, there was a lot of chatter about her new face: Bristol said she had "corrective jaw surgery" in 2010.) Mark told her to ditch that shy side of herself and shake her (bootie). "I'm going to shake my butt but have a smile on my face," she said. She and Mark shimmied, shook and sizzled in their Cha-Cha to Pink's Blow Me (One Last Kiss). Carrie Ann liked it: "I vote you the most improved!" She added that Bristol needed a little more pop. Len said she's got "great legs," but needed to work a little on her arms. Bruno said she has "all the elements," she just needs "power and focus." Bristol's son Tripp smiled at his mom, but kept his fingers in his ears while he sat on Grandpa Todd's lap. Scores: 6.5, 6.5, 6.5 = 19.5
Kirstie Alley, 61, was reunited with Maks Chmerkovskiy. "Maks and I have developed a great friendship," she said, and we saw none of the bad-boy Maks who was paired with Hope Solo, the Olympic soccer star who accused him of slapping her. Kirstie was shown laughing the entire time they were rehearsing. "I know I'm a better dancer than I was the first time. How much better? We'll find out." Their foxtrot included Kirstie doing lots of hair flinging. Carrie Ann told her she has the "most beautiful, sensual quality when you dance," but it wasn't quite as sharp as it could be. Len told her to "lift up" her rib cage. The dance "needed refining." Bruno liked her drama, but criticized her technique. Then Kirstie planted a long kiss on Tom Bergeron. "That's for your Emmy!" she said. Scores: 6.5, 6, 6.5 = 19
Sexpot Pamela Anderson, 45, flirted like crazy with her partner Tristan MacManus. "You'll have to contain me," she told him during rehearsal. Their Cha-Cha was sexy, too -- he danced with his shirt completely unbuttoned -- but the dance wasn't smooth. Said Bruno: "Pamela, you look like a girl you could go all the way." But he said, pounding the table, that she needed to "work harder!" Carrie Ann said Pam was "living the drama," but said she needs to put more work in. Said Len, "It was a bit like a kid on a bike when you take the training wheels off. It was a bit shaky, but you didn't fall over." Brooke Burke-Charvet asked them about their chemistry. "It's all good," said Pam. "Makes me want to go to work every day," said Tristan, who couldn't seem to keep his hands off her. Scores: 5.5, 5.5, 6 = 17