By Chris Johnson
Waltzing to success: Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough topped the leaderboard last night on the U.S. show Dancing With The Stars
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It was hardly a surprising result.
Nicole Scherzinger, of dance troupe Pussycat Dolls, last night topped the leaderboard as the new season of Dancing With The Stars premiered in America.
The 31-year-old beauty was cheered on by her Formula One boyfriend Lewis Hamilton, who was among her supporters in the audience.
Support: The Pussycat Doll's boyfriend, F1 ace Lewis Hamilton
Nicole and her partner Derek Hough - who comforted Cheryl Cole in the days after her split from Ashley - scored the first two nines and a seven on the premiere of the 10th season of the show, beating off stiff competition from the new cast.
Judge Bruno Tonioli called Scherzinger's Viennese waltz a 'performance of startling finesse.' He added: 'I'm astounded.'
Fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba added: 'Apparently, the bar has just been set.
'I haven't seen a routine out of the gate like that ever.' But Len Goodman was not as impressed, giving the dance a seven.
He said: 'There was no footwork. Great performance but work on your technique.'
Scherzinger denied her experiences with the Pussycat Dolls gave her an unfair advantage, saying: 'This is a whole other world for me.
'I have experienced dancing but I have never done anything like this before. It is a far cry from chest pumps and booty dips.'
But perhaps Nicole should not get too used to having Lewis as her cheerleader - he's off to Melbourne soon for the next round of the Grand Prix on March 28.
At least he was on hand to return the favour, though, after Nicole 's support at many of his races, including in 2008 when he became the youngest F1 title holder in São Paulo.
High hopes: Nicole dismissed claims her dancing background gave her an advantage, saying this is a 'whole other world for me'
True to style, fellow Dancing With The Star contestant Pamela Anderson sexed up the show after she ripped the shirt off her dance partner Damian Whitewood during a red-hot cha-cha that won the praises of judge Tonioli.
Tonioli said: 'I can only think of sex, sex and more sex. The dirtier the better! I can't wait until next week for some more.'
Pam, 42, said she had been terrified before coming out on the dance floor.
Show stopping: Pamela Anderson with dancer partner Damian Whitewood and host of the show Tom Bergeron
She said: 'This is the first time I've had to deal with choreography. I have no rhythm and I'm tone deaf - but I like music.'
Bruno gave Pam an eight while Carrie scored her seven and Len a six. Goodman said: 'It was a mess, you were off time.'
Beverly Hills 90210 star Shannen Doherty provided the drama for the premiere.
The 38-year-old actress, famous for playing Brenda Walsh, suffered such stage fright that she broke out in a rash just moments before she was due to dance.
Sex factor: Pammy spiced up the show in her skimpy pink outfit
Chemistry:And she ensured her dance partner flashed the flesh as she ripped his shirt off during a red hot cha-cha
She could be seen scratching her arms as she waited to enter the ballroom with partner Mark Ballas.
Doherty said: 'I'm doing Dancing With The Stars for my dad. He had a massive stroke and the road he faces is a very hard one.
Drama: Beverly Hills 90210 star Shannen Doherty and Mark Ballas
'He loves the show, he asked me to do it and I can never say no to my dad.
'But being judged terrifies me. Not only are there three judges but the whole audience. It's super scary and I'm going to get hives.'
The judges said they could tell she was worried as she performed her Viennese waltz, receiving three sixes. Bruno Tonioli gave her perhaps his harshest criticism of the night.
'You were swinging your arms around like a primate,' he said.
Doherty replied: 'You see my dad's face? That's all that matters to me.'
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man to step foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969, is the oldest contestant of the current series.
The 80-year-old, who was partnered with professional dancer Ashly Costa, joked about his appearance, saying: 'I've stepped on the Moon so now I'm going to dance with the stars.'
The rest of the celebrity line up includes American Football star Chad Ochocinco, sports reporter Erin Andrews, The Bachelor star Jake Pavelka, comedienne Niecy Nash, figure skater Evan Lysacek, U.S. soap star Aiden Turner and reality TV mother Kate Gosselin.
Pretty in pink: Reality TV star Kate Gosselin and dancer partner Tony Dovolani
Stars and the moon: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man to step foot on the Moon, with dance partner Ashly Costa