Viewers weren’t fired up enough to vote for the latest celebrity eliminated from Dancing with the Stars 7. At least she still has her other show to fall back on.
The evening started with the season’s first Judges’ Encore, which went to Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson for their Matrix Paso Doble.
Following that, the first two safe couples were announced: Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo and Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff. Karina was so convinced that she and Rocco had been in trouble that she immediately started squealing and jumping on Rocco.
Then tonight’s musical guest, Jessica Simpson, gave the first of two performances. Her singing was overshadowed by the pair of dancers accompanying her: Pasha Kovalev & Anya Garnis from So You Think You Can Dance 3! I’m still surprised that they haven’t been hired as DwtS pros yet.
The next two couples to learn that they were safe were Cody Linley & Julianne Hough and Brooke Burke & Derek Hough.
Bruno Tonioli & Len Goodman were then featured in a video about their double duty as judges on DwtS and Strictly Come Dancing in the U.K. Len said that he and his travel companion, Bruno, "get on famously well," and Bruno agreed: "I couldn’t choose anybody better to do this with."
After the segment, choreographer Brian Friedman and company performed a special routine wearing outfits adorned with lights, similar to those worn during the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
Then, Jessica Simpson was back, this time accompanied by Cheryl Burke & Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
The next safe couple announced was Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani.
Tom Bergeron introduced the next segment by walking from the stage, down the hallway, and into the waiting room where the couples get their scores and talk with Samantha Harris. A video montage showed exactly what happens while the dancers wait in The Red Room.
As the show neared its end, Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson, Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke, Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer and Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy were told that they were safe.
That left Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas and Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas alone on stage, although Tom had to clarify that the couples weren’t necessarily the Bottom Two. Since Tom has to waste time explaining it every week, I wish they’d just go back to having a Bottom Two.
Kim & Mark were told that they were going home, and Tom quickly urged them off the stage saying, "We just have a few seconds." Kim said that today is the five year anniversary of her father’s death, and that she knows she made him proud.
Mark, then, made things really awkward as he said of his dad, Corky, "I’m so proud to be sharing the stage with him. I’m glad he’s still alive." As if things weren’t uncomfortable enough, the band played a peppy version of "See You Later, Alligator" as the credits rolled.
TV Guide reports that Lacey’s contemporary Paso Doble routine had the support of So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman, who were seated in the studio audience.
Pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy didn’t sound fond of Lacey’s choreography when he called EW.com after the show. He also mentioned some of the conflicts between DwtS cast members with traditional ballroom backgrounds (Maks, Tony, Karina, and Len) and those with more contemporary training (Lacey, Carrie Ann, and Bruno).
Regarding the low scores she received from the judges, Cloris Leachman told OK!, "We were robbed!" Brooke Burke told Us that her kids love to watch her dance.
The new Dancing with the Stars: Latin Cardio Dance workout DVD, which features DwtS pros Cheryl Burke and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, got a negative review from The Sun Herald.
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch star Melissa Joan Hart spoke during a recent radio interview about being rejected by the producers of Dancing with the Stars several times.
Turner Classic Movies will run a Paul Newman marathon on Sunday, October 12, including films like Cool Hand Luke and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Actor Michael Cera told The National Post that an Arrested Development movie isn’t likely to happen. Cera has a supporting role in the film adaptation of C. D. Payne’s Youth in Revolt, one of my hubby’s favorite books.
For the most part, the second week of Dancing with the Stars 7 was notable only for the consistent blandness of its performances.
Maybe it was because three episodes last week left the couples with precious little time to rehearse this week’s routines. Perhaps the producers went out of their way to avoid casting someone like Kristi Yamaguchi, who dominated DwtS 6 from her first dance.
Whatever the reason, this episode of Dancing with the Stars was totally boring. None of the performances was memorable, or even of very good quality. Unless things pick up soon, this could be a long season.
Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo — Rumba
In their rehearsal footage, Toni turned the tables on Alec and made him karaoke "Unbreak My Heart." Alec’s off-key singing left his wife, Edyta, shaking her head. Toni wore an outfit that looked like it was borrowed from Edyta’s collection for their performance.
Len Goodman said, "I was surprised how good that performance was," although he wanted more basic steps. Bruno Tonioli said Toni showed "sensuality and vulnerability." Carrie Ann Inaba said, "Toni, you move like you sing," though the judge noted two lifts in the routine.
Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer — Paso Doble
Lance & Lacey decided to ditch the capes and danced to the Katy Perry song "I Kissed a Girl," because Lance is gay, in case you didn’t know. And then Lance kissed Lacey on the lips at the end of the routine. Oh, boy.
Len directed his comments at Lacey: "I know your game, and I know your brain. Chuck in a couple of twist turns, keep the old boy happy, and then do a load of stuff that has no relationship to Paso Doble. It doesn’t work, my old sausage, I’m sorry to say." Carrie Ann said, "I thought it was a very clever song choice." Bruno said, "You go for it 100%."
Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas — Rumba
Kim needed coaching from the founder of The Pussycat Dolls on how to be sexy. It didn’t appear to help in the performance.
Bruno called Kim’s performance "colder and more distant than Siberia." Len wanted more hip action from Kim: "You’ve got all the gear in the rear, but nothing occurs." Carrie Ann suggested, "Watch yourself on tape. See if you really look and compare to everybody else. If not, figure out a way to bring more to the dance floor."
Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Paso Doble
This week, Maks put Misty through a training regimen that brought her to the brink of tears. In the performance, Misty did a drop and a flip that were pretty cool.
Carrie Ann said, "Compare to what we just last saw, that’s the kind of energy and determination that I like to see on the dance floor." Bruno called Misty "Mighty Xena, The Warrior Princess." Len encouraged Misty to look at Maks to keep their connection, instead of "looking like you’re in the home for the bewildered."
Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas — Paso Doble
The slow tempo of the song allowed Cloris to show some technique, until Corky started tossing her around like a sandbag.
Bruno called the performance "surreal." Len said, "It was a lovely traditional dance to traditional music." Carrie Ann told Cloris, "One of your assets is your incredible wit, and I didn’t see it that much in that performance, and I missed it."
Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani — Rumba
Tony bared his chest and Susan wore a headpiece that reminded me of The Childlike Empress in The NeverEnding Story.
Carrie Ann said, "Susan, I thought that was really nice. Nice chest, Tony." Bruno said, "You still dance a little bit like the Virgin Queen." Len grumbled, "I didn’t like it when Tony exposed himself."
Cody Linley & Julianne Hough — Rumba
This routine was faster than most of the other Rumbas tonight, which was a welcome change. After the performance, Cody said that a girl could win his heart by bringing him "a Twinkie and some chicken."
Bruno told Cody, "You’ve gotta learn control." Len said, "It just lacked a little bit of polish and finesse." Carrie Ann said, "I thought it was really an age-appropriate Rumba."
CBS’s usually diligent censors failed to blur "Little Marcus" when he made an appearance during the Survivor: Gabon premiere.
There are tons of videos from the current season available at Survivor‘s website.
I enjoyed the premiere of The Amazing Race 13 last night, even though it was obvious which couple would be the first eliminated. EW’s Josh Wolk wrote a funny recap of the episode, making frequent references to the Brazilian candy, Blong, that featured in one of the challenges.
Information about Blong is hard to find online. Perhaps one of MOIB’s Brazilian readers (paging Marina and Leo!) could clue the rest of us in to what exactly Blong is.
It seems like there’s no end to Dancing with the Stars news. TV Guide and People posted reports from behind-the-scenes at Wednesday night’s Results Show. Mel B interviewed the couples for Access Hollywood.
In an article for TV Guide, the founder of JumpTheShark.com wonders if his website’s patron saint, Ted McGinley, brought some bad mojo to Dancing with the Stars 7. After all, the show lost 5 million viewers over the course of its marathon three-night premiere.
Kim Kardashian is keeping a blog for MSN, where she posted some photos from backstage at DwtS.
The Amazing Race 13 premieres Sunday night on CBS. Host Phil Keoghan chatted with USA Today about the new season, which features locations like (spoiler alert) India and New Zealand, where Phil’s dad, John, will make a cameo appearance.
To get you fired up for the new season, here’s a TAR parody video that MOIB reader Kells alerted me to:
In other Web video news, special Ugly Betty webisodes are now available at ABC.com. Scrubs and Brothers & Sisters webisodes will debut later this season.
Yesterday, John McCain canceled his scheduled appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman because of an urgent need to return to Washington to deal with the economy. But Letterman busted McCain, who was actually still in New York taping an interview with Katie Couric at the same time that The Late Show was filming. E! has video of Dave, who was understandably miffed at the Senator’s brush off.
Survivor: Gabon premieres tonight on CBS with two back-to-back episodes. Reality Blurred explained why the show is important to Gabon’s economy, and also interviewed contestant Michelle Chase.
Another Survivor: Gabon contestant, Charlie Herschel, is telling everyone that he’s a confidant of Clay Aiken. How fortunate that Clay outted himself right before your TV debut, Charlie.
After a second straight night of eliminations, Dancing with the Stars 7 is another man down.
The DwtS pros kicked off the Results Show, dancing to a rendition of David Bowie and Queen’s "Under Pressure."
After a lengthy recap of Tuesday night’s show, Brooke Burke & Derek Hough and Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas learned that they had earned enough votes to continue on to next week.
Instead of the traditional judges’ encore, the season’s first eliminated couple, Jeffrey Ross & Edyta Sliwinska, danced the Quickstep that they didn’t get to perform last night. It was much better than their first dance.
Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas were the next duo to learn that they were safe.
Then it was time for singer Jesse McCartney to perform. He was accompanied by former DwtS pro Ashly DelGrosso and another dancer, whose name Samantha Harris mumbled unintelligibly.
After the performance, DwtS 6 contestant Adam Carolla returned to conduct man-on-the-street interviews with folks in Hollywood. Adam asked one man, "You don’t know who Cloris Leachman is?" The man responded, "I don’t know who you are!"
The bit was followed by the announcement that Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke were safe.
Finally, it was the moment in the show that all of the teenage girls in the audience had been waiting for: The Jonas Brothers performed, accompanied by DwtS pros Mark, Derek, Lacey and Inna.
With time running out, the following couples were told they were safe: Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson, Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani, Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff, Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer, and Cody Linley & Julianne Hough.
That left Ted McGinley & Inna Brayer and Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo standing onstage, awaiting their fate. The ax fell on Ted & Inna, who both seemed genuinely bummed to be leaving. The departing duo didn’t get a farewell dance, as ABC cut directly to President Bush’s speech on the state of the economy. Here, I’ll sum that up, too: It’s bad.
After becoming the first celebrity eliminated from Dancing with the Stars 7, comedian Jeffrey Ross told Us Magazine that he was "heartbroken." On top of that, he told OK! that he was in incredible pain from his scratched cornea: "It woke me up this morning and I literally whispered to my girlfriend, Meaghan, ‘This is the worst day of my life.’"
But Jeffrey and partner Edyta Sliwinska aren’t done dancing yet. According to TV Guide, the duo will perform the Quickstep they’ve been rehearsing for the last month on tonight’s Results Show.
This season’s first official DwtS Results Show will be followed tonight by a two-hour special about magician David Blaine’s latest stunt. According to The New York Daily News and EW, folks who’ve stopped by Central Park to see the prestidigitator hanging upside down aren’t impressed.
In two years, you’ll be able to watch reruns of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother on Lifetime.
Netflix announced deals with CBS and Disney that will allow members to stream episodes of shows like CSI and Hannah Montana online.
George Clooney officially said that he won’t return to ER for a cameo during its final season.
Reality Blurred has an interview with Survivor: Gabon contestant Corinne Kaplan, whom he describes as "unapologetically awful." Read this interview and you will forever eye with suspicion those cute, young pharmaceutical sales reps sitting in your doctor’s waiting room.
Dancing with the Stars 7‘s second Performance Show featured the season’s first elimination, and the ballroom got a little less funny as a result.
The show began with all of the couples on the stage, waiting to learn if they’d be dancing tonight or going home. One by one, each couple was told that they were safe and, following a few clips from rehearsal, they danced.
Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer — Quickstep
Like last night, they went for a punky take on a classic style.
Len Goodman didn’t like Lance’s posture or hold and said the routine wasn’t his "cup of tea." Bruno Tonioli liked their "fresh take" on the dances. Carrie Ann Inaba said she was "entertained" but not "impressed," saying that they deviated too much from the International style.
Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Mambo
This was a free-form Mambo, and Maurice even did The Worm near the end of the routine.
Bruno said, "It strayed a little bit from the Mambo. It was like being at a party." Carrie Ann told Maurice, "The music pumps through your body." Len asked, "Why did you do the Free Willy step? I don’t want all that nonsense."
Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Quickstep
After topping the leaderboard last night, Brooke was amazing again tonight. Her form is great, and her face is very expressive. She’s establishing herself as an early favorite to win.
Len repeated his comment from last night: "Best dance so far." Bruno cheered, "Sen! Sa! Tion! Al!" Carrie Ann enthused, "I’m blown away."
Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas — Mambo
The performance was raunchy and utterly lacking in technique, but it was still entertaining.
Before she even danced, Cloris gave each judge $10 as bribe because "I know they don’t give you very much money." They gave the money back before commenting. Carrie Ann said, "Golden girl can shimmy." Len told Corky, "I think you’ve done a fantastic job." Bruno started to speak, but Cloris interrupted, telling him, "Speak English." Bruno taunted her with the threat, "Shady Pines, Ma. Shady Pines."
Upon seeing her scores, Cloris threatened to leave and called for her chauffeur.
Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo — Quickstep
Toni was running out of breath in their rehearsal footage, but she looked great during the performance.
Bruno said the dance had "all the qualities of a fine Champagne." Carrie Ann liked the couple’s chemistry. Len said, "The whole thing was very, very nice," apart from what he referred to as Toni’s "funny head."
Ted McGinley & Inna Brayer — Mambo
Ted warned in his rehearsal footage, "This Mambo King has dance fever, and watch out — because it’s contagious." He stood around a lot during the routine, but it was still fun.
Carrie Ann told Ted, "There is a bit of an awkwardness to the way you move." Len said, "What you showed, Ted, is that with hard work, anything is possible." When Bruno told Ted, "You grabbed your Mambo with both hands, and you squeezed every ounce of fun out of it," Tom Bergeron quipped, "That sounds so painful."
Cody Linley & Julianne Hough — Quickstep
Cody had good energy and competent dance moves to boot.
Bruno called the couple, "King and Queen of the prom. Your parents must be so proud." Carrie Ann said, "Cody, you have gone from being a boy to a man on the ballroom dance floor." Len said Cody danced with "great maturity."
Jeffery Ross and Kim Kardashian were the last two celebrities waiting to learn their fate, although Tom cautioned that they didn’t necessarily represent the Bottom Two vote-getters. Tom told Jeffrey that he’d lost, making Kim and Mark Ballas the last couple to dance this evening.
But first, Jeffrey and Edyta Sliwinska got to say goodbye. Jeff joked about his injury, "They told me Edyta was going to be easy on the eyes." He said, in all seriousness, "This has been the most fun I’ve ever had." Regarding his partner, Jeffrey called Edyta "a champion in waiting," and jokingly begged audience members, "Please support Edyta and her nine children back in Poland."
Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas — Mambo
In a nod to Kim’s famous derriere, they danced to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s "Baby Got Back." Kim didn’t commit to her moves, and her energy level didn’t match Mark’s.
Bruno said of Kim’s performance, "More wasted assets than Fannie and Freddie." Len said, "Mark was overdancing to try and compensate, and the whole thing lacked a bit of balance." Carrie Ann told Kim, "I think you did really good with what you had. I see you trying."
Judges’ Leaderboard: 26 — Brooke & Derek 23 — Toni & Alec, Cody & Julianne 22 — Warren & Kym, Susan & Tony 21 — Lance & Lacey, Misty & Maks, Maurice & Cheryl, Rocco & Karina 19 — Ted & Inna 18 — Kim & Mark 16 — Cloris & Corky
Brooke Burke has the jump on her fellow contestants, so she’s getting the majority of my votes tonight. The rest are going to Cloris Leachman because of the comedic value she brings to the show. Plus, I don’t feel like any of the couples, apart from Brooke & Derek, have distinguished themselves enough that the show would suffer without them, so I’m happy to have Cloris stick around for another week.
If I had my way, Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas would go home Wednesday night. She said herself that she’s a shy person, and it’s often harder to train away that kind of personality trait than it is to improve something technical like footwork.
One of the best things about the last season of Dancing with the Stars was watching the politically incorrect Mel B interview the contestants after the show. Mel’s back behind the mic for Access Hollywood with her first post-show video interview of the season.
ET also has video footage from last night’s DwtS 7 premiere. Note that, in both videos, Julianne Hough does all the talking for Cody Linley. I hope that changes in the coming weeks.
Cloris Leachman explained to OK! Magazine what prompted her to get up close and personal with the judges: "I forgot four steps and I got a little hysterical after that. I was inspired."
Warren Sapp told TV Guide that, as he waited to make his entrance at the opening of the show, he was afraid of falling down the stairs. His partner, Kym Johnson, assured him that "it would make great television."
It’s no surprise that Dancing with the Stars earned the highest ratings of any show on TV last night.
Before hitting the dance floor, Misty May-Treanor talked with E! about checking out the competition, Lance Bass blogged about his training for Us Magazine, and former DwtSer Joey Fatone told People what advice he offered his old band mate, Lance.