What is it about athletes and "Dancing with the Stars?" In the season premiere Monday night, Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver joined a long list of athletes who made themselves the immediate favorite to win the competition with a sensational first dance.
Driver and his partner, Peta Murgatroyd, danced a cha cha Monday night that, while technically not the best, had the crowd on its feet for a standing ovation when the dance was over.
Driver's smile and charisma overpowered any technical problems as even the judges were impressed with his style. Or, as judge Carrie Ann Inaba put it: "You are nothing but charisma and charm … you kicked that cha cha’s booty!"
Driver was given a score of 21, which was booed by the crowd, which wanted him to get a much higher score. But a 21 for your first dance is nothing to sneeze at.
So will Driver join Emmitt Smith, Apolo Anton Ohno, Helio Castroneves, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson and Hines Ward as pro athlete/"Dancing with the Stars" champion?
If he can get a little bit better technically, sure. But there's some strong competition out there, and one thing to keep in mind: Don't mess with Steve Urkel.
Ranking this season's competitors, in order from best chance to win to worst:
1. Jaleel White; 2. Donald Driver; 3. William Levy; 4. Maria Menounos; 5. Katherine Jenkins; 6. Gladys Knight; 7. Sherri Shepherd; 8. Roshon Fegan; 9. Gavin DeGraw; 10. Jack Wagner; 11. Martina Navratilova; 12. Melissa Gilbert.
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Donald Driver thrills the crowd on 'Dancing with the Stars'