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It was well worth the wait. Dancing with the Stars made its fourth season debut tonight and it was the best debut show of the series. Here’s my ranking of tonight’s performances from best to worst:

  • Joey continued the tradition of the boy-band performers having what it takes, coming out with a great cha-cha. Great job ignoring the mic malfunction too.
  • Laila was a delight, and a surprise, as she did a wonderful foxtrot.
  • Apolo was solid (he is my pick to win the whole thing). He is going to have a hard go because he’s in the middle of his speed skating season, but he is committed. His only glitch: that horrible headband/bandanna thing.
  • Ian had the difficult job of being first out of the gate, and he looked good. Of course, he’s got Cheryl as a partner too so he’s in good hands.
  • Heather did a good job with her foxtrot. You could tell she was nervous about what her artificial leg might do, but it turned out great.
  • Paulina was great and I loved her sense of humor as she got to know Alec.
  • Shandi was cute. Bruno’s comment that she and Brian were like Barbie and Ken was dead on.
  • Leeza was just to nervous. Her technical movements may have been good, but she was way too tense.
  • John was much better than expected for his limited training. He definitely has potential.
  • Clyde charmed the judges, but it just didn’t work for me. He looked like he was working too hard.
  • Billy Ray… he wasn’t the full out disaster Tucker Carlson was last season, but it was pretty bad. He’s going to have to improve a lot next to avoid being the first out.

And besides the great batch of stars, they did a great job getting some of the hottest guys for the professional partners. It’s great to see Jonathan back after he took last season off (he is my favorite), and to have Tony, Alec and Max back along with the new hottie Brian… it’s going to be a good season.

Already looking forward to next week!