Tue, 25 Sep 2007 03:52:11 PM PDT
He already knows the ins and outs of the ballroom, after all.
After helping Tom Bergeron kick off season five Monday night, season-two champ Drew Lachey will continue to fill in for Dancing with the Stars cohost Samantha Harris for the extent of her maternity leave, E! News has confirmed.
Harris gave birth to daughter Josselyn Sydney Hess early Sunday morning in Los Angeles, the first child for her and husband Michael.
So, about a day and a half before showtime, Lachey got the call and promptly stepped into Harris' shoes (albeit not her usual heels), conducting backstage interviews and urging viewers to vote for their favorite contestants.
While Lachey didn't miss a beat, being on the other side of the microphone did make him long for his dancing days—for about a minute.
"Then I remember how my back hurt and my knees hurt by the time it was over, and I’m happy with my new job," the former boy bander told People backstage. "I’m all dressed up [with] somewhere to go for once."
Monday saw the premiere of Dancing with the Stars' new three-night format, with the men and women competing on separate shows, followed by a results show on Wednesday.
It was the women who took a turn around the floor first, doing either the fox-trot or the cha-cha.
Female faces (and legs, hands, carriage and charisma) to watch this season include Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan, who wowed the judges with her cha-cha and scored a 27 her first time out of the gate; Spice Girl Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, whose girl power was on full display en route to earning a 24; and former Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Bond girl Jane Seymour, who at 56 is going to be giving those younger gals a run for that disco ball trophy. She also scored a 24.
Rounding out the pack were Marie Osmond, Jennie Garth and Sports Illustrated cover girl Josie Maran, whose 16 was the lowest score of the night.
The ABC hoofers dominated the ratings, finishing as Monday's most watched show with 21.2 million viewers. The season premiere was up 1 million viewers over last September's opener.
The men—Vegas legend Wayne Newton, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., race car driver Helio Castroneves, model Albert Reed, billionaire Mark Cuban and soap star Cameron Mathison—strut their stuff Tuesday.