March 20, 2012 at 06:53 AM EDT

“Who wouldn’t want to see this group dance twice?” Right you are, Tom Bergeron. And welcome back, DANCMSTRs one and all, for a 14th season of America’s twice-yearly fever dream! Like Jaleel White, “I feel like somebody just shot me up with something — like, for real” — because I’m still riding high on some seriously good vibes from Planet Mirrorballus. I also ate a tube of glitter earlier to gear up for the show, so I guess this out-of-body experience could be due to anything!

But no. It was a fabulous premiere with a comprehensive swell of energy that just wouldn’t quit. Well, maybe it ebbed a little when Brooke decided to translate Tristan from Irish to English, but it was still a pretty good flow! And I had no idea she had translating experience. Not only were there a bunch of great dances, but everyone looked so freaking thrilled to be there. “Without doubt, this is the best first show of any season,” said the original DANCMSTR himself, head judge Len Goodman. I think he was right! Hand to Val’s butt — “God is real!”

One of the things I love about this show (and brace yourselves because it has nothing to do with sartorial embellishment) is that it never really matters which names are on the cast — who they are and why they’re (maybe) celebrities can have virtually nothing to do with what they’ll do after they’ve been deposited onto a bizarre planet in a ballroom-dancing-centric alternate reality. This random group of people is basically reborn for our amusement — hatched from a giant Faberge egg in the middle of outer space — to dance for us. It’s so ridiculous! It’s so wonderful. “What a nice night!” cried a giddy Tom.

That’s why I never have strong opinions on how a season will go during the weeks before it begins. How would I know?! Sometimes they’re duds, sometimes they surprise us. Hopefully they can dance. And all 12 of these baby glitterbots did. Here they are.

Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhh-ber!

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 26 out of possible 30 If Mark was fuming at Tristan the whole time for stealing those red spats out of his closet, Sir Ballas certainly did a nice job of playing it cool. He seems more relaxed this season, and he has a picture-perfect partner in Katherine. I can’t even handle how lovely her Welsh accent and syrupy voice make everything sound. Halfway through the judges’ comments following their foxtrot, I gave up on taking notes and just typed “She’s so f—-ing LOVELY.” The crying helped. Everyone loves tears on this show, as long as they’re not accompanied by pain. (Give it time.) Katherine surprised me big-time. I thought she looked nervous and unsure of this whole crazy situation while lounging in the celebriquarium, but boy did she turn it on.

It was after Katherine and Mark’s foxtrot that Tom decided “This is my favorite premiere, start to finish, we’ve ever done.” At that point I teared up. Get it together, Barrett! Urkel’s up next!

NEXT: Don’t call him Urkel, though

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