By Vanesa Vennard, EnStarz | Mar 18, 2013 08:46 PM EDT
Former American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler might be on her way to winning the 16th season of Dancing With the Stars.
Pickler and her partner Derek Hough were the first dance duo to perform on the season premier of DWTS and they performed the Cha Cha to a cover of Jessie J's Domino. Pickler dazzled in a backless dress covered in jewels with a short flowing skirt. She proved to have a lot of flexibility and was all smiles.
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Judge Bruno Tonioli said, "The shape of things to come," in his usual sensual way. He and judge Len Goodman said she was a bit stiff legged at time, but Goodman, Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba all agreed she had great torso movement.
After the dance, Pickler said her relationship with Derek Hough is like being with an older brother.
She scored 7s across the board and ended up with a 21 from the judges.
The country artist from New Orleans rocking a pixie haircut and already impressed her partner Derek Hough during a clip of their rehearsals.
In the rehearsal clip, he is heard repeatedly saying "nice" and "beautiful" after she completes the steps he teaches her. But not after first commenting on her thick southern accent when she said the dance floor was slippery with her socks on.
"Are you ready to win?" Pickler asked Hough when she first found out they were partners. He responded with "Are you ready to get down?"
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