Monday’s Dancing: What You Didn’t See

Monday’s Dancing: What You Didn’t See
Adam Larkey/ABC (2)

03/23/2010 AT 12:00 AM EDT

DAZZLING DEBUT: Three cheers for Brooke Burke, whose ballroom co-hosting debut was a huge success! "Having a partner like Tom Bergeron who's impeccable helps," Burke told PEOPLE after the show. "There was so much anxiety in the room tonight with everybody stretching, everybody trying to remember their routines. I know what it's like and I wanted to just throw out the index cards and give everybody a big hug." Derek Hough, Burke's former partner, told PEOPLE, "Brooke nailed it tonight. She was smooth, great and she looked gorgeous."

OUTSIDE THE BOX: Burke, who wore $200,000 worth of Rafinity diamonds (including a pink diamond ring, a cuff bracelet and hoop earrings), helped debut the new, glass results room, which allowed the studio audience to see the couples all night long. To make things even more intimate, dancers and celebrities stepped outside of the box to watch their competitors perform. "I like the skybox," Louis Van Amstel said. "We can watch the show live instead of watching monitors. Tony Dovolani agreed: "All these seasons we've been saying we felt separated from the audience. Now we feel like we're part of the audience."

MIAMI VICE: Leading up to Monday's season premiere, Cheryl Burke and Chad Ochocinco rehearsed in Miami, where he lives. "It was like being with the President," Burke joked of the time she spent on the Cincinnati Bengal's home turf. "He's the king of Miami. People stopped their cars to say hello. He drives around in these very bright, extravagant cars and he has a great life there." But his McDonald's-heavy diet, Burke says, defies the odds. "I don't know how he has a 12-pack," she says. "Seriously, he eats there every single day. Meanwhile I'm at the salad shop next door."

JAKE'S WOMEN: The Bachelor winner Vienna Girardi was front and center, but so were other women in Jake Pavelka's life -- namely his mother, Sally, former Bachelor contestant Gia Allemand, and The Bachelorette's Jillian Harris, who was accompanied by her fiancé Ed Swiderski. All of the women were rooting for the Texas pilot, who turned out a respectable Viennese waltz with partner Chelsie Hightower. Performing in front of the live audience "was awesome," Pavelka told PEOPLE after the show. "It created an energy you can feed off of. I wish we could have been out there a little bit longer." Girardi says she wasn't nervous at all. But mom Sally definitely had a case of the jitters. "You know how it is when you're a mom," she said, "you want your child to do well."

TEARS OF JOY: Shannen Doherty and partner Mark Ballas provided one of the night's most memorable moments when the Beverly Hills, 90210 star, who signed on to do the show for her father Tom who suffered a stroke in December, wept after her debut Viennese waltz. "I couldn't keep it together," she told PEOPLE. "I always said I'd never be that girl that cried on camera, but I did. Oh well, it's my Daddy." Meanwhile, Niecy Nash brought the house down with the spirited cha cha she performed with Van Amstel. Despite the raucous ovation, Nash was also in tears. "They were happy tears," Nash said. "I had a fantastic time dancing for redemption after being kicked out of my eighth-grade dance class. I was dancing for every woman in America who is not a size two, and I was dancing for every person who's ever had a dream deferred."

HAIR TREATMENT: Pamela Anderson says she "has never rehearsed for anything a day in her life." But her sexy bed head-inspired cha cha was surely worth the hours she and her partner, newcomer Damian Whitewood, logged in the studio the past three weeks. "This was a lot of training, a lot of learning how to walk," says Anderson. Fans of the Baywatch beauty shouldn't expect her to bring the sexy back every time she performs. "We want to do something different every time," she says. "It's not always going to be sex, drugs, rock and roll and ripping off clothes." --Monica Rizzo Adam Larkey/ABC (2)

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