Monthly Archives: April 2008

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.

DwtS 6, Week 6: Performances

The judges awarded Dancing with the Stars 6′s first perfect score tonight. Guess who earned it.

Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska — Cha Cha Cha
This was not the Jason Taylor we’re used to seeing. He looked lost and, like the rest of us, he resorted to staring at Edyta. It didn’t help that he had to Cha Cha Cha to music that hardly felt like Cha Cha music at all.

Len Goodman said his "heart went out to [Jason]" when he noticed the football player counting his steps out loud. Bruno Tonioli said, "Your footwork wasn’t as good as it could’ve been." Carrie Ann Inaba suggested to Jason, "I think you’re dancing smaller than you should be. Just be big."

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

Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough — Rumba
Shannon’s polite smiling seemed like a cover for some discomfort on her part. Her extension was nice, and the slow movements of the Rumba emphasized it. But if you’ve been following the romance rumors about these two, the performance didn’t quite live up to the hype.

Bruno said, "The cardinal sin in the Rumba: hip action… none." Carrie Ann told Shannon, "You really are what the show is about. We’re looking for beyond potential. You have the ability to make great shapes, but you just have to sustain them a little bit more." Len liked the "great chemistry," but noted, "It needed a little more hip action here and there."

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

Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez — Mambo
Marlee looked fierce in tiger-print dress, but her face gave away every slip up. Her timing was off in parts, and her hip movements didn’t look fluid. Considering that Fabian is a Mambo champion, it would’ve been okay if he’d done a little more showing off.

Carrie Ann said, "You guys look like you were forcing and struggling." Len agreed: "I thought you did a great job. It just, it looked uncomfortable throughout." Bruno noted Marlee’s problems with timing, but added, "What you do here, I believe it is a plus for the show."

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

Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke — Fox Trot
In rehearsal, Cristian said he wanted to dance well enough to warrant being renamed "Cristian de la Fox Trot." He certainly did, giving an elegant performance and looking dapper while doing it.

Len made a bold and disturbing pronouncement: "If you’re in the Bottom Two tomorrow, I’ll show my bum in the supermarket." Bruno said, "Cristian at his dashing best. Your footwork tonight was excellent." Carrie Ann said, "There’s a fine line between being rigid and refined, and tonight you passed way into refined." Cristian told the judges that he loved them, and hugged Tom Bergeron as Tom tried to send it to commercial.

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

Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani — Viennese Waltz
Pretending to be a princess worked for Marissa. Their routine was classy and gimmick-free, and wardrobe finally made her a flattering outfit.

Bruno told Marissa she was "all light and frothy." Carrie Ann said, "I am definitely on the Winokur Wave." Len said, "Gradually we’ve seen your confidence grow, and you’ve come out now like a true princess."

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

Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas — Jive
This was a Jive to remember. The choreography was challenging and cute. Kristi’s kicks and spins were fast, and she kept her knees up — a detail many stars fail to master.

Carrie Ann shouted, "Hell, yeah! That is what I’m talking about!" Len called the performance "a smorgasbord of dance." Bruno said, "You’ve performed the best you ever have. My favorite dance to date."

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

Mario & Karina Smirnoff — Rumba
As the couple danced to Marvin Gaye’s "Let’s Get It On," Mario unbuttoned his shirt and walked up to Karina, who was basically wearing a bedsheet. Gee, I’m not sure what they were going for.

Len mentioned that they did a lift, and said, "The Rumba is a story of a developing romance. It’s not the story of a strumpet and a gigolo. It was too raunchy for me." Bruno disagreed: "I think this was fabulous. I need an ice bucket." Carrie Ann said, "That was better than good sex. That was ridiculously good. But there was a lift, so I am gonna dock you for the lift."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 28/30

Group Dance
Finally, it was time for the group country dance, which wasn’t scored by the judges. Christian Perry choreographed a showdown between the men and the women, portraying outlaws and sheriffs, respectively. None of that outlaws vs. sheriffs stuff really came through in the performance. As Carrie Ann said: "It was a little crazy."

Judges’ Leaderboard:
30 — Kristi & Mark
28 — Mario & Karina
27 — Cristian & Cheryl
26 — Marissa & Tony
24 — Jason & Edyta, Shannon & Derek
21 — Marlee & Fabian

Kristi & Mark were so far ahead of the other couples that they get all of my votes this week. Marlee & Fabian seem sure to land in the Bottom Two, but with whom? Will Cristian & Cheryl’s 27 be enough to save them from a return trip to the Bottom?


Ox Notes: April 21, 2008

Senator Barack Obama will drop by tonight’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for a little pre-Pennsylvania primary publicity.

In her OK! Magazine blog, Kristi Yamaguchi writes that she wishes she would’ve grilled those ballroom kids for some tips after last week’s Dancing with the Stars Results Show. She and Mark Ballas will Jive tonight, while Cristian de la Fuenta & Cheryl Burke will dance the Fox Trot.

Tomorrow night’s Results Show will feature a performance by the cast of Riverdance (thanks for the link, Marina). And the Broadway cast of A Chorus Lineincluding DwtS alum Mario Lopez — is scheduled for a May 6 Results Show performance.

In case you didn’t read the comments in Friday’s Ox Notes, Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough were busted smooching on a beach in Malibu. Extra has a clear shot of the kiss.

Also allegedly caught kissing recently were DwtS‘s Cheryl Burke and 300‘s Gerard Butler.

If you’ve wondered what Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s been up to during his Dancing with the Stars hiatus, he gave The Insider a behind-the-scenes tour of the Las Vegas show he’s choreographing.

I’m bummed that Gossip Girl now airs at the same time as Dancing with the Stars. I’m going to have to record the new episode of GG, and then blow through tonight’s Performance Show recap.

New York Magazine has a fascinating article about Gossip Girl‘s success amidst changing TV watching habits, especially with the desirable demographic of text-message-addicted younger viewers.

Ox Notes: April 18, 2008

Dancing with the Stars fanatics, prepare to shell out big bucks for a good cause. Shoes worn and autographed by some of the women of DwtS are up for bid at the charity auction site, Clothes Off Our Backs. To promote the auction, Julianne Hough took Entertainment Tonight shoe shopping.

Incidentally, Samantha Harris wears size 9 shoes. You’d never know, since she’s always hiding them under floor-length gowns.

The day after getting booted from DwtS, Netherlands-native Louis van Amstel became an American citizen.

In other patriotic news, Hillary Clinton’s getting a lot of hype for her appearance last night on The Colbert Report. But her bit wasn’t as funny as Barack Obama’s appearance via satellite, and both candidates were trumped by John Edwards making demands in exchange for his superdelegate vote.

TV Guide interviewed John Oliver, better known as the British guy on The Daily Show, ahead of his new stand-up special, premiering tonight on Comedy Central.

NBC’s announced its plans for an "All-American Summer," set to kick off July 1 with Celebrity Family Feud, hosted by Al Roker.

The network has over 100 hours of environmentally-themed programs scheduled for next week in honor of Earth Day (which is Tuesday, btw). The programs will be spread across the NBC-affiliated networks, under the umbrella slogan "Green Is Universal."

The CW decided that Gossip Girl is popular enough that it can make more money by only offering episodes of the show for sale at iTunes, and not streaming it online. Considering that I just ran to iTunes to buy the super-addictive song featured in Gossip Girl‘s OMG ads, "Sour Cherry" by The Kills, I think The CW could be on to something.

Last night’s episode of Survivor: Micronesia is a must-see, thanks to great one-liners from James and Erik, as well as the biggest blunder in show history. Watch the episode here before you check out how the latest jury member is enjoying life at The Ponderosa.

Ox Notes: April 17, 2008

Even if she doesn’t win Dancing with the Stars 6, Marissa Jaret Winokur will have a lot to brag about after the season is over. Sony is developing a daytime talk show for her, which they hope to debut in Fall 2009.

Here’s a link to Mel B’s post-Results Show interview video for Access Hollywood. Tuesday night’s show was watched by 15.4 million people.

Before he was eliminated, Entertainment Tonight chronicled what a week with Louis van Amstel is like.

When Cristian de la Fuente isn’t rehearsing for DwtS, he takes his adorable daughter to tea at American Girl Place — with Access Hollywood cameras in tow, of course.

Based on information gleaned from interviews posted in yesterday’s Ox Notes, Jason Taylor will dance the Cha Cha Cha next week, Kristi Yamaguchi the Jive, and Marissa the Viennese Waltz.

Last night’s episode of Top Chef was my favorite of the season thus far, if only because most the contestants’ dishes were well received, for a change. Zap2It has a very entertaining recap, in case you missed the show.

Head judge Tom Colicchio has been publicly airing his concerns about the excessive use of profanities by the contestants of Top Chef: Chicago. If only censors were paid by the bleep…

Ahead of tonight’s new episode of Survivor, TV Guide has an interview with the first member of the jury, Eliza Orlins.

Eliza also guided a video tour of the Ponderosa, where jury members are sequestered for the remainder of the season. The camp is pretty basic, but must seem like luxury living compared to a damp cave on the beach. CBS will post new Ponderosa videos after each episode.