Low scores start 'Dancing'


While model-actress Brooke Burke dominated the dancing competition with a score of 23 out of 30, several of the seventh season celebrity participants began at the bottom of the pack. Television legend Cloris Leachman received a lousy 16. "All My Children" matriarch Susan Lucci was given a measly 15. And celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito cooked up a lukewarm 14.

"I forgot we had a 4," quipped host Tom Bergeron of the low score paddle flashed to DiSpirito.

However, the lowest number - a pathetic 12 - went to comedian Jeffrey Ross, who suffered a scratched cornea after his partner Edyta Sliwinska accidentally poked him during a rehearsal Monday. Ross wasn't the only performer to dance despite suffering a previous injury. Professional dancer Karina Smirnoff, who's partnered with DiSpirito, sprained her ankle.

Leachman brought the most drama to the ballroom. After dancing, the 82-year-old actress lifted her leg onto the judges' table, fell to her knees in front of Len Goodman and then sat on Carrie Ann Inaba's lap as the arbiters attempted to evaluate her routine. She wasn't any more subdued backstage. Her reaction to her low score had to be censored.

"They can't even add up the numbers, they're so stupid here," she said, grabbing an off-camera card with her score.

Celebrities who managed to score above 15 included singers Lance Bass and Toni Braxton; reality TV star Kim Kardashian; actors Cody Linley and Ted McGinley; NFL star Warren Sapp; and Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Maurice Greene. One dancing couple will be eliminated Tuesday. Following another routine, a second team will be sent home Wednesday.

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