Monthly Archives: May 2008

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.


DwtS 6, Week 9: Results

After nine weeks of dancing, we finally have our Dancing with the Stars 6 finalists.

A recap of this week’s Performance Show included Cheryl bragging to Tom in the hallway after the show, "Two 10s and a 9, Tom. What can you say about that?" Tom turned to Cristian and said, "Congratulations. I thought you really carried her."

The judges awarded the encore to Kristi & Mark for their Tango.

Then, it was time for the final round of the Ballroom Kids competition. 9-and-under champs Aaron & Rashell got a special visit during rehearsal from Kym Johnson. Aaron put the whole experience in perspective: "No matter if we lose or win, we were still on TV."

The pair performed a Cha Cha Cha that prompted Len to remark, "Your little bums were flying everywhere."

Following the performance, Samantha chatted with the celebs backstage, teasing Jason about his "budding romance" with Cristian.

Then it was time for a tribute to Michael Jackson, choreographed by Travis Payne and sung by Omarion. It was okay, but a bit anticlimactic.

Back to the dance floor for a performance by the 10-and-under champs, Jaryd & Cara. Maksim Chmerkovskiy stopped by their rehearsal, making Cara swoon, "He’s so cute." The duo performed Samba to the They Might Be Giants arrangement of "Istanbul, Not Constantinople." Len said, "Don’t tell them people backstage there, but I’d rather watch you two than those big ones."

13-and-under champs Brandon & Brittany were up next. Their former dance teacher, Ashly DelGrosso, helped them with their Paso Doble. After their impressive performance, Tom said to the judges, "I’ve rarely seen all three of your jaws hit the desk at the same time."

Samantha then chatted with the ballroom kids. Cara was diplomatic enough to say, "All of the [DwtS] pros are really, really good. Better than all of us." When asked which celebrity he’d like to dance with if he were a DwtS pro, Brandon said, "Any of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders."

Samantha informed the three pairs of kids that they’d all won trips to Disneyland. She threw the hosting duties back to Tom, who quipped, "Why do I think Brandon would rather go to Dallas?"

Viewers can vote for the couple they found most entertaining at ABC’s website, and the winners will be announced next Tuesday. My vote went to Jaryd & Cara, because Cara cracks me up.

In order to keep from revealing the results until the last possible second, the stars talked about how badly they want to make the finals in a pretaped segment.

Finally, after 51 minutes, the first safe couple was announced: Kristi & Mark.

Jason & Edyta were next to learn they were safe, leaving Cristian & Cheryl and Marissa & Tony waiting to learn their fates.

Marissa & Tony were told that they were out, and they didn’t look surprised. That helped the two of them stay upbeat as they watched a video montage of their highlights from the show. They danced their final dance to Frank Sinatra’s "The Best Is Yet to Come."

Ox Notes: May 13, 2008

Last night’s Dancing with the Stars 6 Semi-Finals spawned two entertaining post-show interview videos. Mel B asked all of the stars about their pre-show rituals for Access Hollywood, and got a funny answer from Marissa Jaret Winokur.

Cristian de la Fuenta commandeered Entertainment Tonight‘s microphone in order to interview Cheryl Burke, and spent most of the interview pretending like he was going to hit Cheryl in the mouth with the mic.

When she wasn’t yelling at Cristian, Cheryl revealed the plan for next week’s final round: each couple will perform their favorite dance from the season, as well as a new freestyle routine, and all of the couples will dance a Cha Cha Cha to the same song.

Mark Ballas told TV Guide that one of the biggest challenges at this point in the season is that the songs the couples are dancing to are about 25 seconds longer than they were at the beginning of the season.

This week’s DwtS Yahoo! Buzz Session was entertaining, as always. Extra has a goofy interview with Bruno Tonioli and American Idol judge Simon Cowell.

Former DwtSer Jerry Springer has an interesting Q & A with the A.V. Club.

It’s upfront week, and all of the networks are announcing plans for the 2008-09 season. Here are the latest plans from ABC, CBS, and The CW. The CW also announced that it has renewed Reaper, and Scrubs has officially moved to ABC.

Two-time loser Amanda Kimmel told TV Guide that she’s just "too nice" to win Survivor. I’m pretty sure "nice" wasn’t the adjective the jury members were thinking when Amanda was bawling at Tribal Council about the emotional toll of winning the final Immunity Challenge.

Survivor: Micronesia winner Parvati Shallow was lucky she wasn’t up against Cirie in the Final Two. Alexis, who voted for Parvati, said in this Ponderosa video that she’d been rooting for Cirie.

The kid in me is happy that The Electric Company is returning to PBS, and that Fraggle Rock is being turned into a live-action musical by executive producer Ahmet Zappa. "Dance your cares away (clap, clap)…"

DwtS 6, Week 9: Performances

In the DwtS 6 semifinals, each couple tackled two dance styles they’d performed previously.

Ballroom Round
Before the dances began, Judge Len Goodman said that, after last week’s suspension of the rules, the couples were not allowed to do lifts this week.

Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska — Fox Trot
Jason got a pep talk by Miami Dolphin legend Dan Marino: "You’re not gonna let two actors and an ice skater beat you, are ya?"

The routine was cute, and Jason had plenty of opportunities to show off his impressive wingspan. But Edyta did a lot more posing — which usually serves to cover a partner’s deficiencies — than I would’ve expected at this point in the season.

Len said, "It was fantastic. I loved every part of it." Bruno said, "This had plenty of movement. You actually gave showmanship to the dance." Carrie Ann said this routine had "a lot more content, a lot more charisma" than their previous Fox Trot.

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

Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani — Quickstep
Stacy Keibler stopped by to teach Marissa how she was able to pretend to find Tony sexy during the Rumba, despite considering Tony an "older, meaner brother."

This classic routine showed off what a strong dancer Marissa’s become, as they spent most of the performance moving in hold.

Bruno pointed out a move that Marissa missed, saying, "It’s the semifinal." Carrie Ann called Marissa "the unlikely contender." Len said, "For a dance so technical and so fast, I thought you did a great job."

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

Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke — Viennese Waltz
The duo spent some of their rehearsal time walking around town wearing sandwich boards that read "Will Dance For Votes."

Cristian’s looked much happier on the dance floor since he busted his arm. The romance of the performance transcended the fact that Cheryl was dressed like Sputnik, as they danced to Dave Matthews Band’s "Satellite."

Carrie Ann said, "The movement was great." Len felt this Viennese Waltz had "better content, better mix of steps." Bruno called the routine "a Viennese Waltz with a wow factor."

Tom Bergeron then complimented Cheryl’s silver dress before asking the crowd, "Is anyone missing a weather balloon?" Cheryl yelled, "Stop it!" and slapped him in the chest.

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

Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas — Tango
As part of their rehearsal, the pair went to an advanced Tango class to ask for tips on improving Kristi’s emotional expression.

The connection between Kristi & Mark was better in this Tango, although sometimes I wasn’t sure exactly what emotion Kristi was trying to portray. Technically, the dancing was as good as ever.

Len said, "Sometimes for me, it was a bit hectic." Bruno disagreed: "You squeezed every single drop of drama out of the Tango." Carrie Ann said, "Welcome," paused and as she adjusted her dress, which was stuck on her chair, and continued, "Welcome back to the dance floor! You are the Queen of the Dance Floor!"

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

Latin Round

Len’s Masterclass: The Man with the Golden 10
Len’s traditional visit to the couples during semifinal week was introduced like a James Bond film. He gave all of the couples a move to include in their Latin routines, before hopping back in his black stretch limo, where a "Bond Girl" — played by Kym Johnson — was waiting for him. Too bad it wasn’t Jane Seymour, who really was a Bond Girl in Live and Let Die.

Jason & Edyta — Paso Doble
Jason stayed in character, but his moves were clumsy. Halfway through the routine, they did an obvious lift, but the judges didn’t dock them for it or even mention it.

Bruno compared Jason to Iron Man (surprising, since Bruno typically only references Disney-produced movies). Carrie Ann said, "Great job, nice execution." Len told Jason, "You’re a bit like the price of gas: you’re going up."

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

Marissa & Tony — Rumba
Marissa overcame any squeamishness she had about snuggling up to Tony, so much so that her dress got stuck to the sequins on Tony’s pants at the end of the routine.

Carrie Ann said, "I wasn’t excited by that. I really don’t feel like that was a semifinal dance." Len disagreed: "I thought you did a very, very good job." Bruno told Marissa, "You went for it, and you sold it well." Carrie Ann jumped in, "It’s the semifinals! It’s not exciting enough!"

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

Cristian & Cheryl — Samba
Just in case his other arm gave out, Cristian showed a little skin and shook his bum. It was nice to see them complete the dance that almost took them out of the competition a few weeks ago.

Len said, "That was hotter than a chili pepper, my Chilean friend. Occasionally for me, it was a little flat footed." Bruno said, "Everyone was partying, me included." Carrie Ann said, "That was fantastic, Cristian."

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

Kristi & Mark — Jive
Dancing to a quirky song like Ike & Tina Turner’s "Nutbush City Limits" kept them from matching the perfect score they got for their first Jive. But it was still a strong performance.

Bruno called the performance a "sweet, sweet delicious Jive." Carrie Ann said, "That was an extremely difficult routine. Tonight you were just a hair out of sync." Len said, "I liked the basic steps you put in. But I’ve gotta say, sometimes you were a little bit stiff."

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

Judges’ Leaderboard:
57 — Kristi & Mark
56 — Cristian & Cheryl
55 — Jason & Edyta
52 — Marissa & Tony

Kristi & Mark deserved their spot atop the leaderboard, and Cristian & Cheryl merited their second place finish. But I would’ve swapped Jason & Edyta’s position with Marissa & Tony’s. It will take an amazing upset in order for Marissa to make it to next week’s finale.

Ox Notes: May 12, 2008

Entertainment Tonight has video of Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke practicing for tonight’s show, while The Insider stopped by Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas’s rehearsal.

Kristi wrote for OK! about rehearsing this week, as well as throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Friday’s L.A. Dodgers game. People has a pic of Kristi’s toss, which made it across the plate.

Star Magazine reports that Derek Hough has moved in with Shannon Elizabeth.

Marissa Jaret Winokur wrote for Us Magazine about the joy of surviving to dance another week. People caught up with the Broadway star as she shopped for baby gear.

Ox Notes: May 9, 2008

Sorry about bailing on Ox Notes yesterday. I was writing an article about author Emily Giffin, whose new book comes out on Tuesday. I’ll link to the interview when it’s published next week. It’s an entertaining read, if I do say so myself.

Access Hollywood caught up with Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska as they rehearsed the Fox Trot and Paso Doble for Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars 6 Semi-Final.

Catching up on news from the 100th episode special, People has a backstage report and video from the red carpet after party (thanks for the link, Imee). A news station in Sacramento filmed seven videos that night, including a tour of the costume room and funny interviews with Tom Bergeron and Len Goodman (links to the vids are in the sidebar).

MOIB reader Katy noticed this TV Guide report that Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough might be developing a reality show. About what?

DwtS fainter Marie Osmond talked with TV Guide about the reality show she’s hosting on Mother’s Day.

Project Runway‘s Nina Garcia has landed a gig at Marie Clarie magazine.

PR‘s current network, Bravo, is taking an earth-friendly approach to promoting its shows for Emmy consideration.

The outcome of last night’s episode of Survivor: Micronesia was so tragically inevitable that Greg & I spent the final segment laughing our butts off. The whole show is available online, as are a couple of new Ponderosa videos.

TV Guide has an interview with the Survivors eliminated last week, James and Alexis.

Sunday night, Greg and I are taking my brother, Dan, to see Crowded House in concert in Chicago. Before seeing them perform last summer during Live Earth, I was only familiar with a few of the band’s songs that were big in America. And, on our honeymoon in 2004, I’d been amused to learn that "Better Be Home Soon" is the unofficial national anthem of New Zealand.

But it was the performance at Live Earth that made me fall in love with Crowded House. Greg & I saw them perform in Milwaukee last fall as part of their first US tour in more than a decade. And I’m just as excited to see them again this time.

Here’s info on Crowded House’s current tour, lest you become hooked — as I was — after watching this video of their Live Earth performance in Sydney.

Ox Notes: May 7, 2008

OK! Magazine chatted with Mario, and Us Magazine caught up with Karina Smirnoff, after the couple was ousted from Dancing with the Stars last night.

Entertainment Tonight filed a video report from the DwtS 100th episode gala, and TV Guide interviewed Maksim Chmerkovskiy about his return to the dance floor.

Kristi Yamaguchi posted her thoughts on making the semi-finals in her OK! Magazine blog. Kristi confirmed that, after the show, the couples pulled their dances for next week out of a hat. She and Mark will dance the Jive and Tango. Cristian & Cheryl will dance the Samba and Viennese Waltz, according to the ET video.

Mark Ballas told Us that he and Sabrina Bryan have split up: "She is too busy for me. We are just friends now."

Jason Taylor wrote about his lunch with Denzel Washington for ESPN.

Monday night’s episode of Dancing with the Stars was seen by 17.9 million viewers. Here’s a link to Mel B’s backstage interviews from Monday night’s show.

Former DwtSer Cameron Mathison has signed on to host a game show on TLC.

Producers and the Screen Actors Guild have suspended talks after failing to compromise on DVD residual rates. The contract between the two groups runs out on June 30.

As if a Top Chef book wasn’t enough, Bravo is working to develop a Top Chef cruise. I’m torn between that and the upcoming Veronica Mars cruise.