tamar braxton val

Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy

*”Dancing with the Stars” was a mix of surprises and awkward moments during its Season 21 premiere Monday night…the most painfully awkward being Paula Deen joking about being so scared that she soiled her pants: “I had white underwear when I started, but it probably ain’t white no more!”

Interesting choice of words.

Tamar-Braxton-Valentin-Chmerkovskiy

Tamar Braxton and Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Tamar Braxton shocked the judges with her surprisingly good quickstep routine with Val Chmerkovskiy. Bruno Tonioli called it “high-octane,” while Carrie Ann Inaba said to the singer, “You blew me away.” They scored a 23 out of 30.

Tamar’s co-stars on “The Real,” her husband Vincent Herbert and her mom Evelyn showed up to cheer her on:

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Chaka Khan and Keo Motsepe

Chaka Khan moved very little in her royal-themed cha-cha with Keo Motsepe. “You had so much fun that sometimes you forgot the choreography a little bit,” Carrie Ann said diplomatically. Julianne Hough urged the singer to “use the space” around her when she danced. She earned 13 out of 30.

And then there was Kim Zolciak Biermann.

Kim Zolciak Biermann and Tony Dovolani

Kim Zolciak Biermann and Tony Dovolani

While her husband and his Atlanta Falcons teammates were on ESPN beating the Philadelphia Eagles, her Egyptian-themed salsa with partner Tony Dovolani was receiving the lowest score of the night (12 out of 30). All three judges felt she was phoning it in, and they were being nice.

Bindi Irwin’s Jive with Derek Hough and singer Nick Carter’s cha-cha with Sharna Burgess tied for first place with 24 points each.

The first elimination airs Tuesday, Sept. 22.