Chaz Bono truly impressed the judges last night, delivering a strong debut performance with pro partner Lacey Schwimmer on Season 13 of Dancing With the Stars.
Chaz, born Chastity, is the son of Cher and the late Sonny Bono and his casting caused a media firestorm and was met with dissension from conservative groups.
During his introduction, he explained exactly who he was and transitioned into.
“I’m Chaz Bono, I’m the first transgender contestant on Dancing With the Stars, which means that I was born with a female body, but have transitioned and am now a male,” he said. “People first got to know me as Sonny and Cher’s child on their TV show.”
“Chazzy Boy you can dance! I think people have been waiting all night to see you Chaz, and you did not disappoint,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba gushed after the 42-year-old’s upbeat Cha Cha performance. “You’ve got great footwork.”
Len Goodman echoed a similar sentiment.
“Right on time, good footwork and great attitude, well done,” he shared.
And Bruno Tonioli‘s critique was quirky as always.
“Cheeky but so cute and cuddly, and you’re timing is so on, so joyous out here,” he said.
The judges gave Chaz an admirable 17 out of 30, putting him in the middle of the leader board.
Co-host Brooke Burke asked Chaz if the pressure was more intense for him given all the media attention he’s received.
“A little bit, I’ve gotten so much support, I wanted to do well for those supporting me,” he shared.
Backstage, Chaz gushed to OK! about his partner Lacey.
“You know she’s amazing,” he shared. “She’s just the best, she’s fun, a great teacher, choreographer, she’s got the whole package.”
Catch Chaz’s performance below. Do you think he is a frontrunner in this season’s competition? Sound off in the comments.