NeNe Leakes has already parlayed her gig on the Real Housewives of Atlanta star into stints on Celebrity Apprentice, Glee and The New Norml, and on Monday, she began a new frontier in her domination of the boob tube with her debut on Dancing with the Stars on the show’s 18th season opener.
The 46-year-old beauty, who once worked as an exotic dancer, said she was focused on “shaking her bon-bon” for the national audience, and delivered a premiere performance Ricky Martin would have been proud of.
The charismatic Leakes, who’s paired with Tony Dovolani, showed off her nimble feet dancing the cha-cha-cha to Robin Thicke‘s “Give It 2 U,” garnering a standing ovation from the studio audience, and 21 out of 30 possible points from the judges in her first time out.
Len Goodman compared her routine to an “all you can eat buffet of fun and entertainment,” while Bruno Tonioli said the mercurial TV beauty was just “scratching the surface of her potential.”
After receiving 7s across the board, a humble Leakes said of her scores: “I think it’s great, I’m honored so much, thank you.”
Watch the video on RadarOnline.com
The other scores (out of 30 possible points) Monday were: Olympian Charlie White (27), Full House’s Candace Cameron Bure (27), Olympian Meryl Davis (24), double-amputee snowboarder Amy Purdy (24), The Wonder Years star Danica McKellar (24), Aussie singer Cody Simpson (22), Big Time Rush’s James Maslow (21), The Price Is Right host Drew Carey (21), Hockey player Sean Avery (20), swimming legend Diana Nyad (18) and Star Wars hunk Billy Dee Williams (15).
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.