Monthly Archives: January 2007

America’s Ballroom Challenge Is Back

On Wednesday, public broadcasting’s contribution to televised ballroom dancing returns for a second season.

America’s Ballroom Challenge premiered last year, a reinvention of the perennial pledge-drive favorite, Championship Ballroom Dancing. Both seasons of America’s Ballroom Challenge were filmed at The Ohio Star Ball, one of the most prestigious ballroom competitions in America.

season, the show’s format changes from two episodes to five hour-long
episodes. One hour is devoted to each of the featured dance styles —
American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Standard, and
International Latin — before a final round of dancing to determine the
overall winner.

Several of the professional dancers featured on Dancing with the Stars participated in the competition, including show regulars Tony Dovolani and Elena Grinenko.

America’s Ballroom Challenge airs on Chicago’s WTTW at 8 pm on Wednesday, January 31. Check for your local listing.

To get in the mood for the new season, here’s my favorite performance from last season.

Apprentice L.A.: Episode 4

“Two chickens!” That was the only argument Marisa offered in her defense in the Apprentice boardroom. No wonder she was fired.

Surya jumped ship from Kinetic to join the woefully undermanned Team Arrow, Trump gave the teams
the task of designing a new dish for the fast food chain, El Pollo Loco.

keeping with the “crazy chicken” theme of the restaurant, Marisa wanted
to promote Team Kinetic’s pineapple and mango chicken bowl — the
“Paradise Pollo Bowl” — by strategically positioning two people in
chicken costumes on street corners. Her Kinetic teammates politely
rejected the idea.

When her first idea didn’t fly, Marisa
suggested…two guys in chicken costumes, again. And again, the idea
was rejected. It wasn’t accepted after the third and fourth times she
mentioned it, either.

Kinetic ended up losing the challenge
because they relied on single sales from their restaurant, while Arrow
managed a bulk sale of their own tortilla and chicken concoctions to
the employees at a nearby car dealership.

But you can guess why Marisa thought her team lost.

the boardroom, she kept interrupting everyone, including Trump, crying,
“Two chickens! Two chickens!” Eventually her teammates just laughed at
her, and even Trump’s patience ran out.

Trump fired Marisa, but his customary, “That decision was very hard,” statement rang more hollow than usual.

The Apprentice
is off next week because the Chicago Bears will be busy winning Super
Bowl XLI. In two weeks, the candidates try their hand at bee farming.

DwtS Offseason Update: 1-26-07

Season 4 Rumors
ABC announced that DwtS 4 will premiere on Monday, March 19 at 8 EST with a two-hour Performance Show. No one will be eliminated until after the second Performance Show on March 26. The first Results Show will be Tuesday, March 27 at 9 EST, which prevents a direct showdown with the American Idol performance show that night.

Singer Billy Ray Cyrus, boxer Laila Ali, and Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering are the latest celebs rumored to be a part of the cast of DwtS 4, joining boy-bander Joey Fatone. According to the article at TMZ, Sarah Ferguson has dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Sharon and Kelly Osbourne were also supposedly cast but dropped out as well.

Tour News
Get the scoop on the Dancing with the Stars Tour from Cheryl Burke’s video diary at

If you’ve been dying to get up close and personal with Maksim Chmerkovskiy,  he’ll be in Buffalo Grove, Illinois on Tuesday, January 30 conducting two dance workshops at the Fred Astaire Chicago North Studio. The studio is the home of Maks’ fellow DwtS pro, Jesse DeSoto. To reserve a place in the workshop, call 847-634-1100.

If New Jersey is more convenient for you, Maks will lead another dance workshop at the Dance With Me studio on February 15. Email for information.

Football players-turned-dancers Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice are taking over a number of sitcoms on Monday, February 5. Both start the night on CBS, with Emmitt guesting on How I Met Your Mother at 8 EST, and Jerry on The Class at 8:30. Then Jerry moves over to the CW for an appearance on The Game at 9:30.

Beginning March 8, John O’Hurley takes on the role of King Arthur in a new Las Vegas production of the musical Spamalot through September 1.

Mario Lopez may be preparing to host the Miss America pageant on CMT on Monday, January 29 at 8 EST, but it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas. He and former teenage witch Melissa Joan Hart have been cast as the leads in the ABC Family movie Holiday in Handcuffs, which will air in December.

Thoughts on Beauty and the Geek 3

I followed the first two seasons of Beauty and the Geek because it was a charming, harmless show featuring my kind of people: geeks. But the third season is sorely lacking the very charm that made it a success.

fact, this season has somehow managed to lack authenticity, while reinforcing the stereotypes it intends to break.
The cast confirms the perception that pretty women are intellectually
uninterested, cliquish, and vindictive. And the nerds in their lives
don’t stand a chance.

All of the blonde women of this season
ganged up on the non-blondes, who preferred studying for the challenges
to socializing and lounging pool-side. When any of the brunettes tried
to stand up to the blonde bullies, they were further humiliated and
targeted with vengeful retribution.

Those of us who witnessed
the same cliquish behavior in high school certainly don’t need to
relive it on television — especially not when it comes from women in
their mid-to-late twenties (Cecille, Erin, Nadia, and Megan are all 25
or older).

While this season has been dominated by the
relationships between the women, the men have been bland and
uninspiring. There’s no one to root for, because the men don’t seem to
be learning much about themselves or forging friendships with their

I’m even inclined to believe that at least a couple of
the geeks, specifically Niels and Nate, are frauds. While their
interests are a little out there, they are not socially inept — a
necessary attribute of a true geek.

Niels is a PhD candidate too
busy for an active social life; he’s not a recluse. And, in his regular
life, Nate is confident enough to play in a rock band and perform
original stand-up comedy material.

What really gives Nate away is the verse he sang in the show’s promos. His Star Wars-inspired band has a song with the following lyrics: “Han Solo can’t help with my fate. He’s still blind from the carbonate.”

Any Star Wars fan worth his or her salt knows that Han Solo was frozen in carbonite, not carbonate. Nate is either only a casual fan of the series, or he took liberty with the Star Wars canon — which, if you’re a geek, you simply do not do.

two seasons, it would be nearly impossible to cast the series with
authentic bubble-headed babes (more sweet and naive than stupid and
mean) and timid dweebs. Everyone applying for the show knows what is
expected, and they all play up those attributes.

Beauty and the Geek was a nice show when it started, but it’s run its course.

Apprentice L.A.: Episode 3

Michelle was singled out as her team’s bad apple last episode, and
things didn’t get any better for her on this week’s Apprentice. When it looked like she
was sure to be fired, she took control of her destiny — sort of — and

Kinetic’s victory on the last task earned them an
exemption from this episode’s task. Instead of working, they spent the
day lounging around a hotel pool, boozing it up and getting massages.

Kinetic was exempt, The Donald told Arrow they would split into two
sub-teams and compete against each other in this week’s task. Aaron and
Michelle became the Project Managers (Aaron volunteered, while Michelle
was volunteered by Trump) of the squads. Their task: arranging a
double-decker bus tour of Los Angeles.

For some reason, Michelle
selected Tim, Nicole, and Frank — her most vocal detractors — for her
team. Aaron picked James and Stefani.

Aaron’s team got to work
quickly, selecting “Famous Places, Beautiful Faces” as their theme, and
running with James’s idea to hire eight Laker Girls to sign autographs
for customers waiting in line.

Michelle suggested the theme “A
Day in the Life of the Rich & Famous,” qualifying that she’d only
go with the theme if her teammates were 100% supportive. After repeated
assurances from Frank, they were on their way.

Tim and Michelle
hopped in a van and drove all over Hollywood and Beverly Hills looking
for possible tour highlights, only to realize that most of Hollywood is
unattractive and Beverly Hills is boring. By evening, Michelle was
begging Tim to just tell her what to do.

As Aaron’s team
snoozed, Michelle’s worked all night, without any real purpose or
direction. Yet Michelle was upset when Nicole decided to take an hour
nap, rather than sit in front of a laptop doing nothing.

proved to be a critical factor in team performance on the tour. Tour
host James was actually a little too well rested, as he rambled
manically on the top deck. At first he was high on entertainment value,
but low on information. As time went on, his act wore thin. So, in a
move that may have won the task for her team, Stefani wrested the mic
from James and delivered an informative presentation with the skills of
an experienced guide.

After pulling an all-nighter, Michelle and
her team were definitely the worse for wear. On the microphone,
Michelle was incoherent and Tim used poor judgment. At one point, he
told the families on the bus about the hotel where John Belushi died
from “injecting a speedball of heroin.” It wasn’t until afterward that
Tim realized a bunch of parents were now going to have to explain
speedballs to their kids.

Mercifully, the mic’s annoying feedback drowned out most of their nonsensical chatter.

on customer opinion surveys, Aaron’s team won decisively. Michelle
blamed their loss on the faulty mic, while her teammates blamed her.

When Trump asked to see the losing team back in the boardroom, Michelle announced that the Apprentice
experience — specifically living in tents — wasn’t what she signed up
for, and she’d prefer to resign and go home. Michelle said she’d love
to reapply for Trumps organization via more conventional means. It was
the most cogent she’d been all episode; too bad she waited to quit
until she was going to get fired, anyway.

Trump gave her the standard “You’re a quitter, and you’ll never succeed” speech before he accepted her resignation.

the end, though she was divisive and and indecisive as a contestant, I
found myself sympathizing with Michelle. Is forced camping always a
part of the Trump organization’s hiring process? The Apprentice already
finds enough excuses to ridicule its cast, without making them live

But Michelle should’ve kept her thoughts to herself.
All she needed to say was, “I take responsibility for the loss, and I
don’t want any of my teammates to be fired.” By daring Trump to fire
her, she’d get the same result and leave as a hero instead of a quitter.

Next week, some unnamed shocking thing happens. If the show’s ratings stop declining, I really will be shocked.

Thoughts on the TAR: All-Stars Cast

CBS announced the cast of The Amazing Race: All-Stars, and even with ten seasons of candidates to choose from, they still only got half of the teams right.

the ten seasons, not all will be represented. No teams from Seasons 4,
6, or 8 made the cut. Here’s the list of teams that did:

Joe & Bill (Season 1): Team Guido set the standard for villainy on TAR.
Since their season aired, they’ve remained highly involved in the
series, through their participation in message boards and by blogging
at CBS’s website. Let’s see if the goodwill they’ve built up with the
show’s hardcore fans carries over into goodwill from their competitors.

Kevin & Drew
(Season 1): These buddies from New York also set a standard — for likable, funny-guy
teams. Their bio says they don’t see each other as often as they used
to. Can they recreate the same chemistry they had when they first ran
the race?

Oswald & Danny
(Season 2): The Cha Cha Chas had a casual attitude that carried them
far in Season 2. Here’s hoping their easy, fun style does the same this
time around.

John (Vito) & Jill
(Season 3): When they first ran the race, these nice, if bland, New
Yorkers were dating. Now that they’ve broken up — and John’s
apparently dropped the Vito from his name — let’s hope for more sparks
than they generated as lovers.

Teri & Ian (Season 3): Ugh. I hated them the first time around, and I can only hope that Ian’s changed his boorish, chauvinistic ways.

Charla & Mirna (Season 5): Without these insane cousins, All-Stars might not even be worth watching. It’s unfortunate that they’re the only representatives from a season full of worthy teams. Here are some of C&M’s greatest hits:

Uchenna & Joyce
(Season 7): The only team of previous winners, Uchenna & Joyce
garnered sympathy when they announced their plan to use their winnings
for in vitro fertilization treatments. Apparently that didn’t work,
because, according to them, their relationship is still strained by
their inability to have children. I’m not sure that this second round
of racing is going to help.

Rob & Amber
(Season 7): These reality show whores just won’t go away. In their
defense, they are two of the most skilled Racers ever, and I’m actually
looking forward to watching them compete again.

Eric & Danielle
(Season 9): This duo started dating after their season ended, ditching
their former partners, Jeremy and Dani, to create the only “new” team
on the race. They should be a competent pair, but they’ll be missing
Jeremy’s quirky sense of humor and Dani’s… whatever she has.

David & Mary
(Season 10): I’m guessing that the coal miner and his wife were brought
in only after another slow, overachieving couple — Chicololo Gretchen
& Meredith — were unable to participate. If David & Mary last more than two episodes, I’ll be stunned.

Dustin & Kandice
(Season 10): The Beauty Queens have a bad reputation (not that kind of
bad reputation), but they’re certainly strong competitors. Teams that
discount the Queens as a potential threat may be in for a big surprise.

I’m happy with many of the teams in the cast, I could do without John
& Jill, Teri & Ian, Uchenna & Joyce, Eric & Danielle,
and David & Mary. Of those five, only Teri & Ian left a lasting
impression the first time I saw them. Here are my suggestions for their
ideal replacements:

Colin & Christie (Season 5): Their absence from All-Stars
is unfathomable. Not only are they two of the best competitors from any
season, their ox-induced meltdown is the most memorable event in TAR history.

Kelly & Jon
(Season 4): Their season wasn’t one of the best, so it’s easy to forget
how devilishly funny they were (unless you hated them and thought they
were just devils). Kelly & Jon were the team that got me hooked on
the race, and it would’ve been great to see them again.

Ken & Gerard
(Season 3): While Kevin & Drew may be the original goofy guy team,
brothers Ken & Gerard perfected the form. The scene of them
repeatedly falling into the water while punting on the River Cam was a
highlight of Season 3.

Brian & Greg
(Season 7): What can I say, I’ve got a thing for the teams of brothers.
Brian & Greg didn’t make it anywhere near the end of Season 7, but
their exit — clad only in sunglasses, winter hats, and swim trunks —
was classic.

Kami & Karli
(Season 5): Another sibling team, these identical twins bore an uncanny
facial resemblance to John Lithgow. In nearly every episode, they
garnered one of those gong sound effects reserved for particularly
stupid moments — like when they stripped to their underwear and swam
through two feet of water to a Pit Stop, while all of the other teams
simply walked.

Honorable mention goes to Chip & Kim and
BJ & Tyler. They’re two of my favorite teams, but they’ve already
won, so I had to give other teams priority.

The Amazing Race: All-Stars begins Sunday, February 18, at 8 p.m. EST.

Apprentice L.A.: Episode 2

Carey thought that the pink man-kini bottom he designed would be the big hit of the Apprentice L.A. fashion show. He was the only one surprised when Trump gave him the axe.

teams had to design three women’s and three men’s swimsuits for a
runway show on the beach at Palisades Park. Whichever team sold the
most suits to prospective buyers would spend the next week in the Apprentice mansion, take a trip to the Playboy Mansion, and also be exempt from next week’s task.

team, which now calls itself Kinetic, designed six traditional suits in
solid colors. The team functioned well as a group, although Marisa
wondered if it might be time for Heidi to take a back seat and let
someone else lead. Unfortunately for Marisa, the project manager stays
in charge until the team loses, and that may not happen for a while.

took over last week’s losers, team Arrow. She gave Carey control over
the design of the men’s suits, and that’s where it all went wrong.

said he had dreamed of being a fashion designer, and this was his
chance. His first suit was a standard knee-length board short for the
straight man. Second was a mid-thigh boxer brief style suit for the
metro sexual man. And finally, the piece de resistance — a spandex
short short in a pink print for the gay man.

And that gay man was Carey.

enthusiastic was Carey about his tiny swim bottom that he modeled it on
the runway himself, oblivious to the uncomfortable snickering of his
fellow candidates, Donald Trump, and the swimsuit buyers.

experiment in minimalism doomed team Arrow. They sold $19,600 in
merchandise, while Kinetic sold over $20,000. Arrow’s total sales from
their three men’s suits was only $360.

In the boardroom, several
people, including Carey, blamed the loss on sourpuss Michelle, but
Trump wasn’t buying it. Carey designed a suit that could be worn by
only a small number of men — although Trump did clarify that he
himself could wear it, because of his own “great, GREAT body.” Trump decided that the suit’s designer deserved the blame for the loss.

only Carey could have swallowed his pride and stopped defending his
design, he could’ve more forcefully argued that Nicole the Project
Manager had final approval of the suits. But he was blinded by his love
for his tiny pink swimsuit, which he continued to moon over in the
boardroom. Consequently, he was downsized.

Next week, the winning
Kinetic Corp. spends the day lounging around, while the losers of Arrow
Corp. fight for the right to spend another night in crappy tents.

I think I’d rather be fired.

DwtS Tour Recap

The Dancing with the Stars Tour made a stop in Chicago last week, and MOIB was in attendance.

The event got off to a rocky start, thanks to tour sponsor Slim-Fast. Christian Perry — Tysonia’s dance instructor for Season 3’s heartwarmingly
boring Slim-Fast Challenge clips — walked onto the dance floor and
introduced himself as the emcee of a special, local version of the

Audience members had come to the arena expecting a
glitzy, glamorous Hollywood show, but instead, the first performances
were by ten competent — but neither professional nor celebrity —
dancing couples.

Ten pairs of students from Arthur Murray’s
Chicago studio competed in two rounds of dances, during which celebrity
guest judge Alec Mazo
chose two couples to move on to a final round later in the show. Alec
confessed that his selections were based simply on which couple’s
numbers he could read as they twirled in front of him.

the studio had only been given three days notice to find twenty
students brave enough to dance in front of thousands of people. The
dancers gave their all, but unfortunately for them, the the Challenge
had zero production value. The arena lights (including giant banner
advertisements for Budweiser) were left on, and the sound quality
would’ve embarrassed a bad wedding DJ. Though Perry and Mazo had some amateurish charm when speaking to the audience, they were still out of their element.

Many audience members spent the duration of the Challenge scanning the arena with confused expressions, wondering, Are we in for a whole night of this?
I worried that I’d made a huge mistake in buying tickets as Christmas
presents for my parents and in-laws. I wasn’t too scared about the
quality of the dancing to come, but I didn’t want the lights and sound
to give the whole evening a college basketball atmosphere. (The arena
in which the event was held also plays host to the DePaul Blue Demons.)

I breathed a little easier when the Pee Wee Herman-esque Perry announced that the Challenge was only “the pre-show,” and the real show wouldn’t begin for a few minutes.

a five-minute long Slim-Fast commercial aired on three giant screens
hovering over the dance floor, the PA announcer (the same faceless
British voice from the TV show) said that the show would actually begin
following another brief break.

Finally, 30 minutes after the
scheduled start time, the lights dimmed (Phew!), and it was time for
the show. Harry Hamlin limped out to announce that he’d tweaked his
back in Vegas a few days earlier, so he wouldn’t be performing.

that Harry’s partner, Karina Smirnoff, wasn’t completely left to fend
for herself, she was paired with one of the tour’s company dancers, of
which there were eight — including Christian Perry and Alec Mazo. Karina sported a bob-style wig, and some of the audience members near me went most of the show without recognizing her.)

One couple at a time, each of the tour’s remaining celebrities (Lisa Rinna, Joey McIntyre, Joey Lawrence, and Drew Lachey) came out with their respective professional partners (Louis van Amstel, Kym Johnson, Edyta Sliwinska, and Cheryl Burke) to perform one of their best routines from the the television show.

dancing was great, and the music sounded top-notch. To me, it looked
like all the celebs had improved the routines since being on Dancing with the Stars. And the band — a guitar/bass/keyboards/drums outfit (not Harold Wheeler’s show orchestra) — sounded spot-on.

each performance, each dancing couple spoke a bit about their time on
the show, how excited they were to be touring, and who was coming up
next. Since he was there, I think they should have had Harry Hamlin
host the evening, introducing each dance. It’s not that I didn’t
appreciate Lisa’s manic energy and Drew’s constant “Woo!”-ing. But Harry seemed very comfortable speaking to the audience, and it would’ve been nice to see more of him.

celebrities and their partners danced a few new numbers with the rest
of the company dancers, but the most exciting routines were the ones
that didn’t include the celebrities. Alec & Edyta
and Louis & Karina danced a Rumba that was more romantic and
beautiful than anything seen on any season of the television show to
date. (The song they danced to, however, Enrique Iglesias’s “Hero,” just makes me think of this Scrubs clip, which I could only find dubbed into Spanish.)

of the pro dancers were extremely talented, and it was great to see
Alec dance again. After watching Christian Perry, I couldn’t help but
feel that Slim-Fast did him a great disservice by having him host the pre-show. He’s amazing to watch when he’s allowed to just shut up and dance.

Speaking of the pre-show, it was then time to award the Slim-Fast Challenge trophy to one of the amateur couples who’d danced during the pre-show,
Drew and the two Joeys emceed, referring to this final dance-off as
“the best part of the show.” This statement prompted my dad, Jim, to
turn to me and whisper in mock horror, “This is the best part of the
show? Oh, shit!”

One of the male competitors was 6’7″ and
dwarfed Drew and both Joeys. Drew compensated for the height
differential by jumping on Joey L’s back.

Their three celebs’ corny shtick fit in perfectly with the thrown together style of the pre-show.
Both of the competing couples danced at similar levels to one another, but,
ultimately, victory went to the couple whose female half wore the
shiniest dress.

Drew & Cheryl were far and away the most popular couple, and their reprises of the “Thriller” Paso Doble and “Save a Horse” freestyle garnered the evening’s loudest applause.

were nearly eclipsed by a special appearance from Jerry Springer. He
joined Kym Johnson for a reprise of their Mambo, complete with maracas.
He followed the dance with a bit of stand-up comedy.

rehashed a joke he made during the season about the disadvantage he
faced because all of his fans were prison inmates, who were allowed
only one phone call to vote for him. He added, “Do you think people on
my TV show watch ballroom dancing? You think they do Paso Doble in a double wide?”

had another suggestion for the TV show: “They should have a senior
season. Everyone else is 30 years old. They can all walk without
getting dizzy.”

Overall, the show (as opposed to the pre-show)
was orchestrated well. It was high energy, although part of that had to
do with an over-reliance on Latin dances and a paucity of standard
ballroom. The staging and lighting were wonderful, except in the
professional group dances, when a spotlight would’ve made it easier to
see couples as they soloed.

The biggest surprise of the night
had to be the musicians. The band of six instrumentalists was tight and
produced a much larger and fuller sound than you’d expect from such a
small group.

But it was the singers who stole the show. And no,
I’m not talking about Joey McIntyre, who performed a couple of ditties
from his latest album. Performing some of Sinatra’s biggest hits, Joey
sounded like, well, a former boy bander
performing Sinatra’s greatest hits. I left the arena without buying a
copy of the CD, even though Joey was autographing them after the show.

singers I’m talking about are the same four singers from the television
series. They’re also providing the vocals for the tour, and they were
AMAZING. I’ve ragged on the quality of the singing on the show, but
their performance on the tour shows what these singers are capable of
when they’re given more than a couple of days to learn 15 songs.

During Season 4, I vow to be more forgiving of any vocal mishaps. Unless they’re really funny.

ticket price was well worth it to see quality ballroom dancing in
person. Chicago is not one of the hot spots in the world of competitive
ballroom, and $75 per ticket seems reasonable compared to the cost of
booking a flight to Ohio or Florida or California, and then paying for
hotel rooms, admission fees, and fancy clothes.

Ultimately, I
know that the show was a success, because my dad and father-in-law both
enjoyed themselves. It was a good bet that my mom, Sandy, and
mother-in-law, Joan, would like the show, so long as it was
well-executed. But Jim and Ron are guys who you’d think would rather
spend a night at a high school basketball game than at a ballroom
dancing exhibition.

Both guys had a great time (I’m sure seeing Edyta
and Kym in person didn’t hurt), and they said they’d happily go back
and see the show again. Looks like I’m set for next Christmas.

Apprentice L.A.: Episode 1

The Apprentice‘s move to Los Angeles from New York City wasn’t
the only change revealed in the Season 6 premiere. Half of the
contestants live in tents. Trump has only one viceroy. And he didn’t
keep the goofy guy with no shot at winning around just to manufacture

Trump opened the show by asking the contestants to
introduce themselves to him and each other. During the introductions,
Martin, a lawyer/professor from Atlanta, asked Trump if he could use
the bathroom, making him the most obvious target in the whole group.
Trump ridiculed Martin for his inappropriate comment. And Trump’s lone
viceroy, his daughter Ivanka, instructed Martin to “hold it.”

alpha competitors emerged from the cast as they led the others in
pitching the aforementioned tents. Once the tents were up, Trump asked
the two early leaders, Frank and Heidi, to pick teams and serve as
Project Managers on the season’s first task.

Heidi’s team
narrowly triumphed in the first challenge — selling car washes — when
they decided to roll up their French cuffs and dry some of the cars
themselves. The winning team took up residence in a mansion, while
Frank’s losers were forced to live in the backyard tents.

After a sleepless night under the stars, the finger pointing began.

team members blamed Frank for setting the price too low and printing up
handouts instead of signs that drivers could actually see from their
cars. Frank attributed the loss to Martin’s low number of sales. Since
Trump already thought Martin was a goofball, finding any excuse to
target him was probably a good idea.

In addition to living in
the mansion with her team, victorious Project Manager Heidi got to sit
next to Trump and Ivanka during the Boardroom and act as honorary
viceroy. She and Ivanka had the same advice for Trump: Martin had to go.

hemmed and hawed about possibly firing his fellow New Yorker,
“Frankie,” but he ultimately agreed that Martin just wouldn’t fit in
with the Trump organization.

I’m still somewhat stunned that
Trump opted for the good of the company, instead of the drama Martin’s
prolonged presence would cause. Maybe The Apprentice really is
different this season.

Next week, the teams design and model swimsuits. After all, that’s what Harvard-educated lawyers and real estate moguls do best.

DwtS Offseason Update: 1-03-07

It’s only two days until the Dancing with the Stars Tour stops
in Chicago, and we here at MOIB will be in attendance (along with the
MOIBs-in-law). I’ll post my thoughts on the live show later in the
week. Until then, here’s the latest DwtS news.

DwtS Tour
The recent Tour stop in Las Vegas
gave Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin the chance to party with Nikki Sixx,
Jason Giambi, and Pauly Shore. Go ahead and take a minute to let that
bizarre image sink in.

Season 4 Rumors
Former Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller is the latest star to turn down an invitation to participate in DwtS 4. He cited Emmitt Smith’s victory as the reason he declined: “He ruined it for all athletes because he was so good.”

Ashly DelGrosso sent out an announcement about her future with the show today: “I am looking forward to another season of Dancing with the Stars,
but I have not heard from the producers yet whether they have found a
new partner for me. So, until I do I will not know if I’ll be back.”

Mario Lopez has been announced as the host of this year’s Miss America pageant, which will air on Country Music Television on January 29.

Stacy Keibler’s seven-episode stint on ABC’s What About Brian starts on February 5. She’ll also guest star on two episodes of George Lopez, on January 31 and February 21.

Other News
Maksim Chmerkovskiy took some time last week to answer fans’ questions at his website. He revealed that he’s already shot a video in association with Dancing with the Stars that will come out in March.

Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo have created videos of their own. The series of seven DVDs, titled Dancing Like the Pros, include fitness and instructional dance lessons taught by Alec & Edyta.