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'Dancing With the Stars': Watch Kirstie Alley and Ralph Macchio dance

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Macchio Alley Dancing Stars
Adam Larkey/ABC (2)

There were two standouts on last night’s season 12 premiere of Dancing With the Stars: Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley. As EW’s own Fringe Fairy Annie Barrett said in her recap, both were a surprise. In their rehearsal clip reels, Macchio, 49, was shocked partner Karina Smirnoff hadn’t put him in a stretcher yet, and Alley, 60, said her goal was simply to “stay upright” with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Then, their music started, and they were both so delightful, for a few moments, you didn’t have to feel guilty DVRing this show. (Watch their routines below.) He’s more of a showman than you’d expect, and she didn’t just rely on her personality. My biggest pet peeve on DWTS is if the pro partner does all the work and the celebrity just stands there switching holds. Not a problem with these two. At all. Maybe their success shouldn’t be a surprise: Remember this from Look Who’s Talking? And he was coordinated enough to do three Karate Kid films. But what I love most about these two is that they’re not singers who’ve been doing some form of choreography for years. You see them, and you find yourself thinking, I wonder if I’m secretly good at this? Of course, we’ve yet to see if Macchio can shake his hips in a Latin number or if Alley is graceful enough to pull off a waltz, but you have to be rooting for them. Another reason why: They take the competition seriously, but not too seriously. Perhaps they’ll be the first two contestants in recent memory to go the distance and not be reduced to tears by the stress. Let’s hope…

Read more:

‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: Back to the Ballroom

Ralph Macchio on ‘DWTS’: I have these orangutan arms’

Ralph Macchio Q&A: The story behind ‘Wax On, F*ck Off’