Monthly Archives: May 2008

Ox Notes: May 30, 2008

Cristian de la Fuente told USA Today that fellow Dancing with the Stars 6 competitor Steve Guttenberg brought him pizza and cupcakes to aid his recovery after arm surgery. The doctor who performed the surgery told Entertainment Tonight that Cristian should be fully recovered in three months.

Buddy TV has an informative interview with DwtS judge Carrie Ann Inaba in which she clarifies how the judges award points.

Jason Taylor spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday about his future with the Miami Dolphins.

CMT has an interview with Julianne Hough about her new album.

Bill Cosby’s actual "Cosby sweaters" are being auctioned for charity, with bids starting at $5000.

I had to catch up on last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance by reading Zap2It’s recap, as I watched the Lost finale instead. Harold Perrineau, who plays Michael, gave a candid interview to TV Guide about what he thinks of his character’s story arc. Perrineau did not divulge the total number of times he’s had to yell "My boy!" or "Walt!" during his tenure on the show.

In order to keep the cast and crew from divulging what happened at the end of the season finale, Lost producers shot three possible endings. The two alternate endings were shown on today’s edition of Good Morning America.

My mom will be delighted to learn that Emmitt Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is being turned into a stage musical. Do you think they’ll encourage moshing during the performance by The Nightmare?

Ox Notes: May 29, 2008

The New York Times has a list of the Top Twenty Shows of the 2007-08 season, in terms of numbers of viewers. It’s not clear in the Times’ list, but based on the generally lower ratings for Dancing with the Stars 6, I’m assuming that DwtS 5‘s Performance and Results shows ranked #3 and #5, respectively, and DwtS 6‘s ranked #4 and#7.

I didn’t watch So You Think You Can Dance last night; did I miss anything? Zap2It has a recap of the second audition episode.

I did catch the latest episode of Top Chef: Chicago. I think the overall level of competition dropped a bit with Dale’s elimination last week, and Tom Colicchio and Harold Dieterle agreed with me on that in their blog posts about last night’s episode.

Out of the top six contestants, I would’ve given Dale and Antonia an outside chance to win, with Stephanie and Richard being the favorites. Spike and Lisa never had a chance, and yet one of them is in the Final Four (I won’t spoil it). has blog posts about last night’s show by Gail Simmons and Ted Allen, as well as Q&A with guest judge Rick Tramonto.

In other Bravo TV news, Project Runway‘s Nick Verreos and Laura Bennett are keeping mini-blogs at MSN’s Style Studio. Laura also has a clothing line available through QVC (enter "Laura Bennett" in the search box).

Supernatural creator Eric Kripke told TV Guide that fans needn’t freak out after the dramatic season finale: they can’t do the show without Dean.

The cast list for ABC’s I Survived a Japanese Game Show was released. One of the contestants is the caretaker of weather-predicting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.

This last link isn’t TV related, but the Telegraph has a fascinating interview with John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten. You don’t have to be a fan of punk rock to appreciate this well-written article about the former Sex Pistols frontman.

Ox Notes: May 28, 2008

Australia’s version of Dancing with the Stars has approached Tara Reid to compete on the show. Normally, I’d make some quip like, "Let’s hope producers of the US version don’t get the same idea," but I would absolutely love it if Tara Reid was cast for DwtS 7. In fact, the show should shoot for a whole Josie and the Pussycats reunion. Parker Posey ain’t busy.

American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe isn’t thrilled about Paula Abdul’s public campaign to be cast on Dancing with the Stars.

Maybe Laila Ali’s in such a grumpy mood lately because new episodes of American Gladiators are getting beaten in the ratings by reruns, but she told that she didn’t want her son to be a dancer; she wanted him to be "a serious athlete."

Former DwtSer Cameron Mathison will cohost the Daytime Emmy Awards on June 20 with Sherri "Flat Earth" Shepherd. has more pictures from the Mark Ballas-Derek Hough birthday party in Vegas, in case you’re interested.

Ahead of tonight’s new episode of Top Chef: Chicago, has an interview with Dale, who was recently ousted for letting Lisa serve awful-tasting soup.

One of Top Chef‘s producers was quoted in a Hollywood Reporter article about the ways networks are trying to cut costs at reality shows, which are already notoriously cheap to produce.

The studios reached an agreement on a three-year contract with AFTRA this morning. The contract covers almost a dozen shows, including Curb Your Enthusiasm and Reaper. SAG resumes its negotiations with the studios today.

One of the issues that might be on the table during SAG’s negotiations is compensation for video game voice actors, who are paid a fee for their services, but don’t get any residuals from game sales. That means that Michael Hollick, who played the lead in Grand Theft Auto IV, won’t ever get a cut of the game’s profits, which have already exceeded $600 million.

Ox Notes: May 27, 2008

Dancing with the Stars 6 contestant Cristian de la Fuente is recovering after successful arm surgery last Friday. has an article about Mark Ballas’s Las Vegas birthday party, as well as a picture of Karina Smirnoff & Mario Lopez frolicking on the beach.

To my dismay, colorful Dallas Cowboy’s star Terrell Owens turned down the opportunity to appear on DwtS.

Actors union AFTRA is reportedly close to reaching a deal with the studios. A deal could put pressure on the other actors union, SAG, to reach similar terms with the studios, and could go a long way toward preventing another Hollywood strike.

NBC announced premiere dates for its Fall shows.

The CW announced its upcoming slate of Sunday night shows. Recently canceled CBS vampire drama Moonlight isn’t on The CW’s schedule, putting an end to fans’ hopes that the network might bring the show back from the dead.

Ox Notes: May 23, 2008

Yahoo! has a slideshow of TV shows that were canceled this season. It’s fascinating to see how many shows lasted just a few episodes.

Reality Blurred wrote about some new reality shows hoping to fill the voids left by those canceled shows next season.

Details have emerged about Virtuality, the new show from Battlestar Galactica‘s Ron Moore.

Sam Neill is getting all the headlines for his role in NBC’s new series, Crusoe, but I’m way more excited about one of his co-stars: Sean Bean!

Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee is getting his own animated series, which will center on a rock star whose tattoos come to life an talk to him.

A bunch of American Idol fans were disappointed when their Tivos stopped recording before the winner was announced on Wednesday night. I wish networks would go back to having their shows finish before the end of the hour, instead of this ending-two-minutes-after-the-hour nonsense.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League Final broke viewership records for ESPN 2.

CBS is using the next two Saturday nights to burn off a couple of TV movies it didn’t know what else to do with.

In honor of the return of So You Think You Can Dance, Zap2It has an interview with host Cat Deeley, as well as updates on the Season 3 finalists. Looks like SYTYCD is a good career move for dancers.

I did wind up watching part of the SYTYCD 4 premiere last night after all. I’d forgotten how easy it is to get sucked in to the show, particularly during the audition phase. Happily, I tuned in just in time to see my favorite dancer audition: Gold Inferno!

Ox Notes: May 22, 2008

The Dancing with the Stars 6 Finale was watched by 19.94 million viewers, a 17 percent drop from the DwtS 5 Finale. American Idol 7‘s finale, on the other hand, was up four percent, with an average of 30.6 million viewers.

People has a What You Didn’t See report from Tuesday’s DwtS 6 Finale.

Season 6 winner Kristi Yamaguchi wrote a lengthy blog post about her post-DwtS plans, and where she’s going to display her mirrorball trophy.

Runner up Jason Taylor’s post-DwtS plans evidently don’t include attending any Miami Dolphins’ training camps this summer.

CMT is holding a contest to win a private concert by Julianne Hough.

Bravo has an interview with Top Chef 4 contestant Stephanie about last night’s Restaurant Wars challenge. Lee Ann Wong blogged about some of the production prep that went into making the episode.

Variety writes that negotiations between studios and the actors’ union AFTRA have hit a snag over the rebroadcast of material online.

Fox, recognizing this as the official week of two-hour TV events, is premiering So You Think You Can Dance 4 tonight in a — you guessed it — two-hour TV event. The MOIB chat room will be open for those interested in slamming the delusional folks (remember Sex?) who will inevitably dominate the first audition episode.

I’ve watched my quota of dancing on TV for the week, so I’ll probably just check in on the SYTYCD 4 premiere sporadically. I’d like to do some reading tonight, or maybe watch a PBS documentary about the Japanese American experience during WWII. But I confess that I’m just as likely to wind up watching Jaws on TCM.

Ox Notes: May 21, 2008

Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and The Insider all posted video interviews with Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas last night as they celebrated winning Dancing with the Stars 6. And Insider correspondent Cojo revealed his desire to compete on the next season of DwtS — with Derek Hough as his partner.

Yahoo! has a special DwtS Buzz Session in honor of the finale. Diane Mizota and Joey Lawrence announced that they’ll bring the Buzz Session back next season.

Of all of the dancers interviewed about Kristi & Mark’s win, the only sore loser seems to be Laila Ali, of all people. The DwtS 4 competitor told TV Guide, "If she had been on my season, I would’ve been like, ‘That’s not fair!’ I consider her a dancer already, but on ice. The truth is the truth."

OK! has updates on what the competitors will be doing now that the season is over. Edyta says she’s heading to Poland: "I need my mom to take care of me."

In other TV news, Variety’s Brian Lowry offered his opinion of fan campaigns to save cancelled TV shows.

Reality Blurred posted links to a couple of articles about The Deadliest Catch, which I might actually get to watch now that Dancing with the Stars is over.

DwtS 6: Results Show Finale

Kristi Yamaguchi broke the curse, becoming the first woman since Season One to win Dancing with the Stars.

Though I was happy with the outcome, I have to say that ABC should rethink its decision to make the final Results Show two hours long — ending a full hour later than regular Results Shows. There wasn’t nearly enough new material to warrant the extended length. And while ABC undoubtedly saw the extra time as an easy way to sell more ad time to sponsors, I saw every commercial break as an opportunity to do anything other than be held prisoner on my couch.

If it weren’t for the dedicated gabbers in the My Ox Is Broken chatroom, I don’t think I could’ve made it through the whole show.

Here were some of the highlights of an otherwise lackluster finale:

After a recap of last night’s final Performance Show, Usher performed his song "Love in This Club," accompanied by his own dancers.

Then, former contestants, like Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, weighed in on who they thought would win the mirrorball trophy. The bit seemed a little off, since it was obviously filmed when the celebs gathered weeks ago for the 100th episode special.

The announcement of the third place couple was next. Cristian & Cheryl were eliminated, and Cheryl cried as she told Cristian, "I love you, and I’ll miss you and your family so much."

The duo immediately danced their Paso Doble, which was the routine they’d chosen to perform in front of the judges, had they made it into the top two. This performance wasn’t scored, though, and Cristian did a lot less yelling than he did the first time they performed it.

Then began an hour and a half of time-killing segments. All of the couples who competed this season returned to dance their favorite routines. The performances were interspersed with easy-to-ignore video segments about things that happened during the season.

Pro-Celeb Demos:
Penn Jillette & Kym Johnson — Cha Cha Cha
Monica Seles & Jonathan Roberts — Mambo
Steve Guttenberg & Anna Trebunskaya — Tango
Adam Carolla & Julianne Hough — Paso Doble

Upon finishing his performance, which did include the unicycle, Adam gave a stirring speech about DwtS as a microcosm of America, in which everyone is accepted, "gay, straight, and Guttenberg."

Following those performances, Brandon & Brittany were crowned the winners of the Ballroom Kids competition. Brandon’s dreams came true when three members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders presented him with his own mini mirrorball trophy.

Pro-Celeb Demos:
Priscilla Presley & Louis van Amstel — Tango
Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez — Mambo
Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough — Quickstep

When Tom Bergeron teased Shannon for being exhausted after every performance, she climbed on Tom, and he was forced to hold her up while she answered questions from Samantha Harris. After returning from another pointless video montage, Tom joked, "It was cute. After Shannon left, my wife called…with her lawyer."

Pro-Celeb Demos:
Mario & Karina – Cha Cha Cha
Marissa & Tony — Paso Doble

Usher and his dancers were joined by DwtS pros Karina, Kym, Derek, and Cheryl for a performance of his hit song, "Yeah."

With about 30 minutes left in the show, Kristi and Jason returned to the floor to give their final performances in front of the judges. The judges’ scores for these routines were added to the totals from the previous night.

Kristi & Mark — 1st Jive
Len told Kristi, "For me, you are the most consistent dancer, not only on this season, any season." Bruno said, "Another great achievement from the great achiever." Carrie Ann said "Together as a team, you guys set the standard for the season from day one."

Backstage with Samantha, Kristi cried as she thanked Mark for all of his help.

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

Jason & Edyta — Quickstep
Bruno said, "Jason & Edyta, I think the term ‘heavenly bodies’ has been coined for you." Carrie Ann said, "You are untouchable as far as grace goes." Len told Jason, "Kristi may be the judges’ champion. You’re the people’s champion."

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

At long last, it was time to announce this season’s winners. Kristi & Mark were handed their mirrorball trophy, and then carried around the ballroom on the shoulders of their fellow competitors, as the band played James Brown’s "I Feel Good."

Ox Notes: May 20, 2008

After last night’s Dancing with the Stars 6 Finals, Jason Taylor wrote in his ESPN blog, "Kristi will win."

Kristi Yamaguchi didn’t sound so sure of the outcome in her OK! blog. And Mark Ballas’s parents told TV Guide that Mark’s early ouster from Season 4 gave him a healthy degree of paranoia this season.

DwtS pro Jonathan Roberts told TV Squad that he’s rooting for Kristi & Mark to win, as are Diane Mizota and Joey Lawrence of the Yahoo! Buzz Session.

Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and The Insider all have interview videos from last night’s shows (warning: Cojo conducts the interviews for The Insider).

In other TV news, networks’ paucity of completed pilots is limiting the number of American shows foreign buyers are purchasing for next season.

Survivor lowered its age limit for applicants from 21 to 18.

Gordon Ramsey told TV Guide that he’s pissed at Fox for casting Hell’s Kitchen contestants that are "flamboyant," but lacking in cooking skills.

Maybe he’ll lighten up a bit when he sees Fox’s upcoming American version of the game show Hole in the Wall. This TV Guide article includes a clip from the Danish edition.

DwtS 6: The Finals

After the first night of the Dancing with the Stars 6 Finals, Kristi’s perfect evening left her well ahead of the other competitors.

Cha Cha Face-Off
The first round of competition featured all three of the couples dancing a Cha Cha Cha to the same song: an extended remix of Lionel Richie’s "Dancin’ On the Ceiling." Disappointingly, nobody actually danced on a ceiling. The couples took turns dancing, with Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke performing first, followed by Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska, and Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas.

Len Goodman told Cristian he had "all the gear at the rear." Bruno Tonioli said Jason was "a bit off." And Carrie Ann Inaba told Kristi, "You won that, hands down."

Cristian & Cheryl: Carrie Ann…8, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 26/30
Jason & Edyta: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30
Kristi & Mark
: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30

Freestyle Round

Kristi & Mark
Julianne Hough stopped by rehearsal to give Kristi tips on doing lifts with Mark, and the advice paid off. The routine was full of cool lifts and tricks, including Kristi launching Mark into a backflip. The pair’s glittery pants and Moonwalk moves were a nice nod to their song, Michael Jackson’s "Workin’ Day and Night."

Bruno called the routine "an inspiring infusion of Mambo and hip-hop. Worthy of the championship, for me." Carrie Ann told Kristi, "You were the big crowd pleaser. Love it." Len said, "I’m not a lover of hip-hop. But for me, this held my attention from start to finish. I absolutely loved it."

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

Jason & Edyta
Jason’s physical strength was a real asset, as it allowed them to perform some impressive lifts. But his height hampered his speed, and Edyta spent most of the time in the spotlight as they danced to Will Smith’s "Miami." For a little voting insurance, Edyta ripped off Jason’s shirt at the end of their freestyle.

Carrie Ann said, "Edyta, it is so nice to see you here in the finals," adding, "The most ambitious lifts I’ve ever seen." Referencing the song, Len told Jason, "I can see us on South Beach, you in your Speedo, me in my thong." Bruno said (to Jason & Edyta, not to Len), "If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And the dance wasn’t bad either."

Samantha Harris repeatedly cut off Jason & Edyta as she spoke with them backstage, prompting Tom Bergeron to jokingly refer to the exchange as an "interview in Haiku."

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

Cristian & Cheryl
Cristian kept hurting his arm during rehearsal, but he refused to cut any lifts from the routine. During the performance, the lifts were impressive because they were executed with one arm, but they didn’t reach the same heights as the lifts done by Kristi and Jason. Overall, it was a fun Latin routine that played to Cristian’s strengths.

Len said, "As far as I was concerned, some of the lifts weren’t quit up to the standard of the other two. Bruno told Cristian, "For one arm, you did bloody well." Carrie Ann said, "I don’t know if either [you or Jason] compare to Kristi tonight, but when I look at you, I see a winner in so many other ways."

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

Judges’ Leaderboard:
60 — Kristi & Mark
52 — Cristian & Cheryl
51 — Jason & Edyta

Based on tonight’s performances, there’s no question in my mind who should win. Kristi, who started strong, refined her performance skills over the course of the season to become the most impressive female celebrity ever to compete on the show. All of my votes went to Kristi & Mark.