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'DWTS' debut: New cast, same old story

Sports reporter Erin Andrews rehearses with Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Sports reporter Erin Andrews rehearses with Maksim Chmerkovskiy for "Dancing with the Stars". Photo Credit: ABC

The 10th season of "Dancing With the Stars" promised - and pretty much had to - deliver the best cast ever, and just to prove that it was really, really serious about that "best" boast, added Pamela Anderson, too.

That's what we call in the old reality TV game an insurance policy - and not a federally subsidized one, either. Can Anderson dance? Who cares.

But new cast, same old story. There were some good performances, some middling ones and a head-scratcher or two.

Why, for example, would Buzz Aldrin choose to append "One small step for a man - one giant leap for mankind" with "I stepped on the moon and tonight, I dance with the stars?" (Fortunately, Neil Armstrong first said the "giant leap" line, so maybe Aldrin is allowed his own Bartlett's quotation too.)

Sure, of course: Evan Lysacek, recent gold medal winner, and partner Anna Trebunskaya, were good, maybe the best - actually the second best to ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, who got the highest score of the night.

Athletes usually do very well on "Dancing With the Stars," and so did Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco - whom some Jets fans gleefully refer to as "Choke-o Cinco." No choke-o last night-o.

Shannen Doherty? Brenda has her footwork cut out for her.

Those clever rascals at ABC held back the two (arguably) biggest draws of the night until the dazzling, cheesy, sequin-saturated closing moments.

We speak of Kate Gosselin and Anderson. Gosselin (with Tony Dovolani) was soporific, dancing to Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman."

Anderson? Let's just say she was not soporific.

Bruno Tonioli (who is gay) said, "all I can think of is sex, sex and sex."

Why did "Dancing With the Stars" need to change the set, add a new co-host, Brooke Burke - who was accessorized with a neckline on her gown that added new meaning to the word "plunging" - and get Gosselin and Anderson onboard?

Ratings, which have also plunged.

But me? I'll tune in Tuesday night. Can't help myself.

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