Monthly Archives: April 2008

Ox Notes: April 30, 2008

Mel B managed to get one of the few post-show interviews with Shannon Elizabeth after last night’s Dancing with the Stars Results Show. Shannon and Derek Hough left the ballroom pretty quickly after being eliminated. Fellow competitor Mario told OK!, "They may go make hot, sexy love. Who knows?"

Cristian de la Fuente offered some gross details about his injury to Entertainment Tonight. DwtS producer Conrad Green explained to TV Guide how the decision to let Cristian continue competing was made. reported yesterday that Karina Smirnoff and Mario Lopez had broken up, although Karina told Us that the report is false. A breakup could make things awkward when Lopez returns to the ballroom next Tuesday as part of the DwtS 100th episode celebration.

Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars Performance Show was watched by 17.92 million viewers.

In other TV news, episodes of BBC America shows Little Britain, Robin Hood, and Torchwood are now available on iTunes.

Variety has an article about British TV comedy talent being imported to America that confirms something I’ve feared: two of the writers/producers of Peep Show are remaking the show for American viewers.

Peep Show is the funniest show I have ever seen, displaying far more shocking and politically incorrect humor than would be allowed on US TV. The Americanized version is slated to air on Spike, which gives the writers a bit more leeway than a major network would, but I just don’t believe it’s possible to improve on the original.

The fifth season of Peep Show premieres in the UK on May 2. The first season DVD — the only one available in US DVD format — is an investment worth making.

DwtS 6, Week 7: Results

Cristian’s injury was more serious than initially suspected. But was it serious enough to force him to leave Dancing with the Stars 6?

Following a recap of last night’s Performance Show, the judges awarded the encore to Jason & Edyta for their Quickstep.

Len addressed the couples after the performance, telling them that, since all of the couples were doing lifts anyway, each couple would be allowed to do one lift in each dance next week, so long as they retained the character of the dance. If only my parents would have had the same approach to rule enforcement when I was growing up.

Then Kristi & Mark were told that they were safe for another week.

At long last, it was time for DanceCenter with Kenny Mayne, Jerry Rice, and Len. In this segment, Kenny and Jerry (both sporting glittery eye shadow) gave their opinions of three of the competitors. These were some of the highlights:

Mario has a "brother called Luigi."
Shannon: "She’ll cry at the drop of a hat."
Cristian: "He flies the only plane in the Chilean Air Force."

Def Leppard took the stage to perform the most important song of my youth: "Pour Some Sugar On Me." DwtS pros Tony, Karina, Cheryl, Louis, Mark, and Anna — who were covered in what looked like 100 yards of black vinyl — danced a Paso Doble as the band played.

After Samantha conducted a bland interview with Kristi & Mark and Jason & Edyta, DanceCenter was back to handicap the remaining contestants:

Kristi: Nicknamed "The Yam."
Marissa: "The very loudest competitor maybe in the history of television."
Jason: "Has a flatulence problem," illustrated with fart noises dubbed over video of him dancing.

When the clip ended, Tom was in tears and couldn’t stop giggling. Samantha had to take over and tell Mario & Karina that they were safe.

Def Leppard returned to perform their new song, "Nine Lives." As the band played, American Rhythm champions Jose Decamps & Joanna Zacharewicz danced.

The performance was followed by a package of clips, in which all of the stars admitted to being physically and mentally exhausted by having to learn two dances in one week.

As Tom threw the show to commercial, he cryptically said, "In the past eight or nine hours, the trajectory of the show has changed three or four times — the most recent time, minutes before we went on the air." That could only mean that, at least at some point during the day, Cristian had planned (or was told by doctors) to quit the show.

With only six minutes of show left, Tom asked Cristian to explain the extent of his injury. Cristian said than an MRI revealed a ruptured bicep tendon that would need surgery. But just before the episode started, his doctor told him that surgery could wait until after the season. Cristian said that, if he survived the vote, he would like to continue dancing with Cheryl.

Cristian & Cheryl did survive the vote, as did Jason & Edyta. That left Marissa & Tony and Shannon & Derek in the Bottom Two. Ultimately, Shannon & Derek were sent home.

During their farewell speech, Shannon got teary-eyed, just like DanceCenter said she always does. Derek called Shannon a "big dork" before they danced to the Burt Bacharach tune, "I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself."

Ox Notes: April 29, 2008

Cristian de la Fuente’s injury might be more serious than viewers were led to believe on last night’s Dancing with the Stars Performance Show. Cheryl Burke told TV Guide that, when Cristian caught her during a move early in their routine, she heard something pop. Assuming that sound came from Cristian’s arm, then the injury is certainly worse than a cramp.

In the video of the performance, Cristian catches Cheryl about 30 seconds into their routine. After that, you’ll see his arm gradually lose mobility, and by the time they’re through the Samba rolls, his left arm is basically hanging by his side.

Ever the compassionate celebrity gossip show, Entertainment Tonight tried to interview Cristian as he was being wheeled to an ambulance on a stretcher.

Lest you think all of last night’s post-show coverage was somber and free of snark, Joey Lawrence & Diane Mizota giggled about how poorly Cristian & Cheryl’s Samba was going before the injury in the Yahoo! Buzz Session. And, on behalf of Access Hollywood, Mel B asked the other couples if they thought Cristian was faking it in order to get sympathy votes.

Kristi Yamaguchi respectfully addressed the negative criticism she and Mark Ballas got from Len Goodman last night in a blog post.

E!’s Marc Malkin is still trying to find evidence of an off-camera romance between Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough, and he’s not having much luck.

In other TV news, my hopes of Hilary Duff joining the cast of the Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-off have been dashed.

The current season of Beauty and the Geek is probably the series’ last.

In August, vanished network The WB will be revived online. The site will feature new content, as well as stream episodes of old favorites like Friends and Gilmore Girls.

DwtS 6, Week 7: Performances

This week, each couple performed two dances, but an injury to one of the stars overshadowed all the performances.

Ballroom Round

Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani — Tango
Nice, traditional choreography showed off what a competent dancer Marissa has become.

Len Goodman said, "Three words: your best dance." Bruno Tonioli complimented Marissa for her "drama, passion, and I liked the hint of disdain." Carrie Ann Inaba told Marissa, "That was such a wonderful performance and shows a completely new side of you."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke — Viennese Waltz
The highlight of this routine the way Cristian pulled Cheryl out of a death spiral.

Bruno called Cristian "South America’s Clark Gable." Carrie Ann like Cristian’s "new fluidity." Len said, "It was very nice to watch, but I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more of a traditional Viennese Waltz."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 25/30

Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas — Viennese Waltz
The leaders of the pack used an umbrella as a prop, and Kristi did a million turns in a row. I counted.

Carrie Ann said, "That was so emotional," but she noted that Kristi’s turns were "a hair off." Len didn’t like "all that mincing around. The umbrella — you don’t need props." When Bruno objected, Len blamed global warming on Bruno’s "hot air." Bruno told Kristi, "It’s good to see you acting the part."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 26/30

Mario & Karina Smirnoff — Fox Trot
Mario’s "brain is fried" after learning a routine for a music video in addition to his two dances for DwtS. But it certainly looked like he remembered all of his moves.

Len told Mario, "You’re not the most elegant of dancers, unfortunately." Bruno said, "You bring so much youthful vitality to everything you do." Carrie Ann said, "You do very ambitious and difficult routines, and you don’t miss a step. In these type of dances…we just need you to be a little stiffer."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30

Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough — Tango
Shannon channeled all of her frustrations from last week into the Tango; you could see the fire in her eyes.

Bruno said, "The Tango really is a bitch of a dance to master, and I’m happy to say, this one fascinated." Carrie Ann told Shannon, "Your best dance yet. By far. I can tell you really worked hard on your lines, and it paid off on the dance floor." Len said, "I thought you did a terrific job. Well done."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska — Quickstep
The routine was pretty straight, until Jason stole the papers from the judges’ table and tossed them into the air. He picked them up after the performance.

Carrie Ann said, "That was great. It was larger than life." Len told Jason, "With performances like that, you’re in the final." Bruno said, "The performance of the night, I think."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 29/30

Latin Round

Marissa & Tony — Rumba
The routine was nice, although the most memorable part of it was the strangely-styled costumes.

Bruno said, "It was very romantic. You could’ve pushed a little bit more on the sex, but it was nice." Carrie Ann enthused, "I thought it was GREAT!" Len said, "There wasn’t much hip action for me, and it was all a tad careful throughout."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 25/30

Cristian & Cheryl — Samba
Cristian was happily shaking his bum. Then, halfway though the routine, he pulled a muscle in his arm. He struggled to finish the routine, and wound up dropping Cheryl in their final move. Tom Bergeron sent the show to commercial before the judges gave their scores, so that Cristian could get some medical treatment.

When the show returned, Tom said the initial diagnosis was a severe muscle cramp. Then he asked the judges, "Do you judge up to the point that the injury occurred?" Carrie Ann answered, "Yes," and proceeded to give Cheryl and a noticeably pained Cristian their comments.

Carrie Ann said, "I really appreciate that you went the whole round, and you were there for Cheryl." Len said, "I think you were brave." Bruno said, "I hope you’re coming back because you’re a great performer."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 21/30

Kristi & Mark — Cha Cha Cha
This performance gave the show a jolt of energy when it was most needed. Too bad you couldn’t hear the bass in the song.

Len didn’t like the "boogaloo hip-hop dancing." Bruno called it "a fantastic Cha Cha Cha, very inventive." Carrie Ann told Kristi, "Girlfriend, two snaps up."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…8, Bruno…10 = 28/30

Mario & Karina — Mambo
Mario wore some high-waisted white pants worthy of a Florida retirement village. They definitely captured the spirit of the dance.

Bruno told Mario, "This is your comfort zone. You’re great in the Latin dances." Carrie Ann — "You guys set this place on fire." Len said the performance was "Wild. Wacky. Wonderful."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Shannon & Derek — Mambo
Shannon started the routine by shaking her bum in front of the judges’ table, later revealing that she was wearing pads on her butt to accentuate her derriere.

Carrie Ann said, "The attack was fantastic. Some of your lines are still awkward." Len said, "I thought, for a moment, I’d died and gone to heaven," thanks to Shannon’s "bionic bum." Bruno told Shannon, ”You really were working your tushy like a wild woman."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30

Jason & Edyta — Paso Doble
Jason & Edyta danced to the Monday Night Football anthem and wore Miami Dolphins colors. Does it even really matter how they danced? Probably.

Len told Jason, "A bit too much posing going on, but when you’ve got a body like yours and mine, we like to pose." Bruno inexplicably compared Jason to the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz. Carrie Ann said, "The thing that kills me…your foot came off the ground, Edyta. Why? Why? Why? Why?"

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 26/30

Judges’ Leaderboard (Scores out of 60):
55 — Jason & Edyta
54 — Kristi & Mark
52 — Marissa & Tony
51 — Mario & Karina, Shannon & Derek
46 — Cristian & Cheryl

I’m splitting my votes between the top two couples, Jason & Edyta and Kristi & Mark. Cristian will probably get some sympathy votes, and he and Cheryl should qualify to dance next week as long as Cristian is able. But if his injury is more serious than a muscle cramp, it may not be wise for him to continue.

If Cristian & Cheryl do stick around, then Mario & Karina and Shannon & Derek are in the most danger. And if there’s any fallout from last week’s blow up, Shannon & Derek may be asked to hit the road.

Ox Notes: April 28, 2008

In order to accommodate twelve dances, tonight’s Dancing with the Stars Performance Show has expanded to 98 minutes.

According to Tony Dovolani’s MySpace blog, he and Marissa Jaret Winokur will dance the Rumba and Tango tonight (thanks for the tip, Marina). Marissa writes for US Magazine that she’ll miss palling around after the show with Marlee Matlin.

Brandon, who won the most recent round of the Ballroom Kids Competition on DwtS, said that he couldn’t hear the judges when they offered their critiques: "I was just watching Brittany and whenever she nodded yes I said yes thank you." Brandon & Brittany will return on May 13 for the final round of competition, with the winners to be announced on May 20.

TV Grapevine has an interview with DwtS pro Alec Mazo, who’s promoting his and wife Edyta Sliwinska’s website,

Entertainment Tonight recruited another DwtS pro, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, to give an engaged couple some dance lessons before their wedding.

Survivor host Jeff Probst opened up about his personal life to USA Today. He does give one semi-spoiler in the interview, regarding something that was teased in last week’s episode, so be warned.

It had to happen eventually. Production company FremantleMedia is developing a dating reality show that utilizes Facebook and MySpace.

Given how hard I struggled to suppress the urge to sing at top of my lungs when "Wake Up" came on at the gym this weekend, you could say I’m a little excited that singer Hilary Duff could wind up on the new Beverly Hills, 90210 spinoff.

Ox Notes: April 25, 2008

Good news, sports fans: Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice will debut a new edition of DanceCenter on Tuesday’s Dancing with the Stars Results Show. As a way of thanking him, go buy a copy of Kenny’s new book, An Incomplete & Inaccurate History of Sport.

Not surprisingly, former DwtS contestant Cameron Mathison is predicting his old dance partner, Edyta Sliwinska, to win this season of DwtS with her new partner, Jason Taylor.

Another former DwtSer, Marie Osmond, is planning a 6-month run in Las Vegas with her brother, Donny, starting in September.

Current Dancing with the Stars contestant Shannon Elizabeth’s new movie, Deal, opens this weekend, but my editor, Josh Larsen, recommends that you don’t go see it. Check out more of Josh’s movie reviews here.

DwtS pro Julianne Hough’s former fiance, and winner of Dance War, Zack Wilson, will serve as Zac Efron’s stand-in during High School Musical 3 rehearsals while Efron finishes filming Me and Orson Welles.

Jimmy Fallon will reportedly take over Late Night hosting duties from Conan O’Brien when O’Brien replaces Jay Leno on The Tonight Show in 2009.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Lindsay Lohan is worried that the upcoming reality show starring her mom, Dina, and little sister, Ali, will negatively impact Ali’s life. It’s not a good sign when Lindsay sounds like the most responsible Lohan.

Finally, the outcome of last night’s Survivor: Micronesia was tragically inevitable. Natalie’s emergence as a villain prompts Zap2It’s recapper, Andrew Stubinski, to ask, "How long before Parvati and Cirie start feeling threatened by her?"

Again, Erik proved to be the show’s most reliable source of humor. The sight of him essentially molesting Cirie’s hand in order to lick every last crumb of chocolate cake from it will stay in my memory for a long time. And Cirie is probably still having nightmares about it. has two new videos from The Ponderosa, including footage of the newly eliminated castaway’s arrival. Eliza revealed that, in six days, she’s already gained back the twelve pounds she lost while on the island, and added two extra pounds as well. I’m sure Ozzy’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup s’mores contributed to that.

Ox Notes: April 24, 2008

17.5 million viewers tuned in to see Derek Hough point out his competitors’ flaws on the latest Dancing with the Stars Results Show. Cristian de la Fuente told People that Derek "should probably learn to stay quiet."

Cristian’s partner, Cheryl Burke, confirmed for Extra that she’s been out on a date with actor Gerard Butler.

Local news outlets featured interviews with the lead couple in Tuesday night’s Riverdance performance, and with Brittany, the young dancer who won the Ballroom Kids competition with her partner, Brandon.

Tennis fans can stop entertaining hopes that legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova will appear on a future season of Dancing with the Stars. Evert asked The Post and Courier, "Why would I want to do that?" while Navratilova said simply, "Hell, no."

Ozzy Lusth gave a terse interview to TV Guide about getting blindsided on Survivor: Micronesia.

The writers of CSI have a surprise in store for viewers. They wrote the May 5 episode of the sitcom Two and a Half Men, and the sitcom writers penned the May 8 episode of CSI.

I think I’d like to see more of this staff-swapping. An America’s Funniest Home Videos/Lost crossover, perhaps?

Ox Notes: April 23, 2008

Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba admitted to TV Guide that, while Marlee Matlin was good for the show, "with the schedule the way it is, she can’t keep up."

Marlee told OK! that her kids were one of the main reasons she signed on for the show: "Most of my work was stuff they couldn’t watch."

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight after last night’s Results Show, Carrie Ann was noticeably miffed with Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough for lashing out against the judges. And Cheryl Burke emphasized to Access Hollywood the importance of always keeping your cool when on camera.

Some other DwtS links: Kristi Yamaguchi wrote in her OK! blog about being born with a club foot. E! has an interview with Mario about his cute little brother, Ray. US Magazine has a photo of DwtS cast members at a party thrown by — who else? — US Magazine. And People interviewed Adam Carolla about his post-DwtS plans.

Ratings for Monday night’s DwtS Performance Show were back up to 17.82 million viewers.

Reality show hosts have officially gotten their own Emmy category. I nominate Tom Bergeron.

And Zap2It has a Top Chef preview video on its homepage indicating that tonight’s episode involves pastry. I know that most of the chefs will spend the entire episode bitching, "But I’m not a pastry chef," but I am pumped. Given the choice between a beautifully constructed dessert and a steak (or vegetarian equivalent), I’m taking the dessert any day of the week.

DwtS 6, Week 6: Results

For a third week in a row, the lowest scoring couple was kicked off of Dancing with the Stars 6.

Usually, the recaps of the prior evening’s Performance Show are uneventful. But this week, Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough had a meltdown during their confessional interview over the judges’ remarks. Shannon sobbed, and Derek pointed out slip-ups by other couples that the judges didn’t comment on, including the "horrific, demented lines people are making out there."

That led into an encore of the horrific, demented group dance. I didn’t like it any better the second time.

Ashlee Simpson then took to the stage with her new single, "Boys," accompanied by her own dancers.

Following the performances, Shannon & Derek learned that they were safe, and Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez were told that they were in the Bottom Two.

When Samantha Harris interviewed the couples a few minutes later, Shannon addressed the judges by saying, "We got a little heated last night, and we want to apologize."

Then, the cast of Riverdance took the floor for my favorite performance of the night.

Two more sets of ballroom kids were up next, as part of the DwtS Youth Division, or whatever they’re calling it. 13-year-olds Brandon & Brittany triumphed with their Cha Cha Cha over 12-year-olds Austin & Liza, who performed a Samba. Both couples were great, and for once, I wasn’t creeped out.

After a video package of the judges talking about how hard it is to critique the stars, Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani, Cristian de la Fuenta & Cheryl Burke, Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas, and Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska found out they’d dance again next week.

That left Mario & Karina Smirnoff in the Bottom Two with Marlee & Fabian. Marlee & Fabian were cut, and both gave gracious exit speeches. Marlee thanked Henry Winkler for his encouragement, and Tom Bergeron acknowledged that he and Marlee were friends, telling her, "I am so proud of you."

Marlee & Fabian danced off to Kansas’ "Dust in the Wind," which was almost too morbid to be funny.

Ox Notes: April 22, 2008

All of the reports from backstage at last night’s Dancing with the Stars focus on the same thing: Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough’s "showmance." TV Guide and OK! have articles devoted specifically to the topic. The OK! piece also mentions that the sheet Karina Smirnoff wore in her Rumba with Mario was detachable, but they elected to keep it in place to tone down the raunch.

Tony Dovolani gave the definitive statement on the showmance to Entertainment Tonight. When guest interviewer Helio Castroneves presented him with a copy of the photo of Shannon & Derek locking lips, Tony said, "He’s telling her something in her mouth."

Access Hollywood‘s interview video reveals just how garishly made-up the women were for the group dance number. Somehow, the makeup department defied all laws of nature and managed to make Edyta Sliwinska look less-than-beautiful. All the more reason to give tonight’s encore to Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas for their Jive, instead of giving it to the group.

Other DwtS links of note are People’s What You Didn’t See article, Kristi Yamaguchi’s blog post about her perfect score, TV Guide’s interview with Bruno Tonioli about Paula Abdul possibly competing on the show, and the latest Yahoo! Buzz Session, in which Joey Lawrence calls Jason Taylor "overrated."

The D-list cast members for NBC’s Celebrity Circus and VH1’s Celebracadabra! have been announced, and I now officially have no interest in either show.

If, like me, you fret about the lack of intellectually stimulating fare on TV, this will really chap your hide: NBC ousted an Emmy-winning writer from the upcoming series The Philanthropist because he wanted to deal with serious issues, and the network wanted something more "escapist" in nature. At least now we know that NBC thinks its viewers are a bunch of dolts.