Model Rachel Hunter and former NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK star Joey McIntyre proved they've got what it takes on the dancefloor by winning the first round judges' vote on reality show DANCE WITH THE STARS.

The pair and their dance partners scored 20 out of 30 to lead the pack of celebrities in the debut of the ballroom dancing contest (01JUN05), which has been a huge hit in Britain - even though Hunter was struggling with a stomach illness.

After impressing judges with her waltz with handsome Latin Dance Champion Jonathan Roberts, Hunter revealed, "I had the stomach flu so I was vomiting for the last 24 hours. It's not been fun."

McIntyre had an easier time of it with pretty dance champ ASHLYDEL GROSSO (corr), who admitted she'd had a childhood crush on the pop star-turned-actor.

The wannabe dancers must wait until next week's (08JUN05) show to find out if the public agreed with the judges' votes.

One of the eight celebrities will be axed after the public has their say. The other hopefuls include former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield and US reality TV star TRISTA SUTTER.

03/06/2005 09:16