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Drew Carey makes his "Dancing" debut

By Rich Heldenfels Published: March 17, 2014

Northeast Ohio's own Drew Carey made his "Dancing With the Stars" debut tonight, foxtrotting to the rock & roll classic "Money" with Cheryl Burke.

In the pre-performance clips, Carey said he was a guy making the best of what he has. Although Carey danced more than once in musical numbers on his old sitcom, he said the discipline of "DWTS" rehearsal had him "so out of my comfort zone. ... I can't slouch. ... Everything has to be precise."

But the number, with Carey in top hat and tails, blended dance moves with little comedy bits -- while Carey grinned throughout. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba proclaimed him this year's contestant who "just makes everybody smile," judge Len Goodman called his routine "very watchable" and judge Bruno Tonioli said Carey had plenty of content in his dance.

He received scores of 7 (out of a possible 10) from each judge, for a total of 21. That was the same score given competitors NeNeLeakes and James Maslow, and better than those for Sean Avery (20), Diana Nyad (18) and Billy Dee Williams (15).

At the end of the show, Charlie White led with a 27. Candace Cameron Bure followed with a 25. Danica McKellar scored 24, as did Amy Purdy and Meryl Davis. Cody Simpson had a 22. Judges' scores are combined with viewer votes to determine who is eliminated on next week's show.

Next week, Carey will perform a jive.

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