Monthly Archives: May 2008

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.

Ox Notes: May 19, 2008

Tonight’s final Dancing with the Stars 6 Performance Show will run a mere 62 minutes, in order to make way for a two-hour Bachelorette premiere. Reality TV Magazine has a schedule of events for both the Performance Show and tomorrow night’s Results Show.

(On a personal note, I’ll be attending an Emily Giffin booksigning tonight, so don’t be surprised if I can’t make it to the MOIB chatroom. Have fun while I’m away!)

Kristi Yamaguchi, who deserves kudos for diligently posting at her OK! Magazine blog throughout the season, wrote this morning that she and Mark Ballas have big plans for their freestyle routine. TV Guide has an interview with Kristi, who is Julianne Hough’s pick to win this season.

Entertainment Tonight caught up with Kristi & Mark and their fellow competitors, Cristian de le Fuente & Cheryl Burke, during rehearsals. ESPN has a report about Jason Taylor’s post-DwtS Hollywood plans.

Not to overlook the DwtS supporting cast, AfterElton has an interview with Bruno Tonioli, and the Palm Beach Post interviewed Samantha Harris.

In other reality show news, Project Runway is planning an all-star reunion special.

Fox is hoping to speed Survivor‘s demise by running ratings champs like Moment of Truth and Hell’s Kitchen against the aging franchise. With episodes of all three shows available for free online, will this aggressive counterprogramming even make a difference?

One network that is worrying about its declining ratings is The CW. TV Guide reports that the network could fold in 2009.

The CW’s problems are just part of a larger upheaval taking place in Hollywood, prompted in part by the writers strike, and which could worsen if the actors strike this summer. Variety has reports about a recent spate of stars firing their agents, and TV’s rush to get shows produced while they still have actors at their disposal.

Ox Notes: May 16, 2008

I’ve been posting about Moonlight’s cancellation all week, and it turns out that our pal Kira co-wrote the series finale. Check it out tonight on CBS.

At this time next week, DwtS finalist Cristian de la Fuente will be in surgery to repair the ruptured tendon in his arm.

Dancing with the Stars 3 contestant Joey Lawrence will host a new reality competition called Master of Dance on TLC this summer.

Reality Blurred outlined all of the reality fare on TV this summer, while TV Crunch compiled a list of the 15 Worst Reality Shows of all time.

June 24 can’t come soon enough for me. That’s when I Survived a Japanese Game Show debuts on ABC. So far, the games the contestants will participate in sound AWESOME.

When the Summer Olympics begin in August, Sportscenter will air live on ESPN from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

Fox announced its plans for Fall 2008 and Winter 2009, which include running half the usual number of commercials during two new series, Fringe and Dollhouse.

If you’re looking for a good read this summer, I recommend Emily Giffin’s new book, Love the One You’re With. My interview with the author is in today’s edition of the Naperville Sun.

Ox Notes: May 15, 2008

MOIB reader Deb found this Mel B radio interview, in which she revealed that the producers of Dancing with the Stars want Paula Abdul and Denise Richards for Season 7, but that both ladies insist on dancing with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

People posted a "What You Didn’t See" report from Tuesday night’s Dancing with the Stars 6 Results Show, which was watched by 16.6 million viewers.

DwtS pro Ashly DelGrosso is keeping an online video diary. And Maks Chmerkovskiy was interviewed by The Insider at an event for Modern Bride magazine, of all places.

Karina Smirnoff told Us that she plans to join boyfriend Mario Lopez on a book signing tour to promote Mario Lopez Knockout Fitness, which was released on Tuesday.

TV Guide has an interview with Survivor: Micronesia winner, Parvati Shallow.

Turns out the revamped American Gladiators might not be the ratings juggernaut NBC thought it was. Its second season premiere on Monday (which I didn’t even know about until the next next morning) was watched by fewer than 5 million people.

The Amazing Race 13‘s finalists will cross the finish line today in Portland, Oregon.

Fans of Moonlight will gather outside the gates of Warner Brothers Studios at noon today to encourage producers to find a new home for the show. Good luck, vamp fans!

Ox Notes: May 14, 2008

The worst thing about Dancing with the Stars 6 wrapping next week is that Tom Bergeron will only be on TV one night a week, hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos. This excerpt from TV Guide’s Backstage Report shows why Tom is the best:

He also makes himself accessible to [former] dancers, like Mel B., who made a habit of goosing him after every dance last season. As she tries to distract him from this interview, he calls out to her. "Don’t make faces, Mel, when I’m talking to TV Guide. But if you’d like to grab anything, you know you have carte blanche."

Mel filed a humorous video report from last night’s Results Show, in which Cristian de la Fuente took her to task for doubting him earlier in the season. Entertainment Tonight has a video report as well.

Based on her interview with OK!, Marissa Jaret Winokur seems too busy to be down about being eliminated from Dancing with the Stars.

Kristi Yamaguchi is understandably pumped about making the finals, as she wrote in her blog for OK! Magazine. She also posted after Monday night’s Performance Show.

Catching up on other news items from Monday night’s episode of DwtS, which was seen by 18.27 million viewers, People filed a "What You Didn’t See" report from the set.

Following the show, the dancers usually go out to dinner with their friends and family. The Insider has a video of a swarm of photographers waiting outside of a restaurant for the stars to emerge.

MOIB covert operative "Oxpal" went out to dinner with Cristian & Cheryl after the May 6 Performance Show, and she got to experience the paparazzi first hand. When Oxpal left the restaurant to get something from her car, one of photogs yelled, "Put your cameras down. It’s nobody." Don’t worry, Oxpal. You’re a big star here at My Ox Is Broken!

Another friend of the Ox is waiting to learn if her show will be back on the air this fall. Writer Kira Snyder‘s show, Moonlight, was cancelled by CBS yesterday, although the producers are holding out hope that another network, like The CW, will pick up the show for a second season.

I’d be cool with The CW canning Smallville — which is losing its stars left and right — in favor of Moonlight. TV Guide’s Matt Roush sounds like he’d be on board, too.

CBS announced the rest of its fall plans, which are viewable in grid form at TV Guide’s website.