Monthly Archives: September 2008

DwtS 7, Week 2: Results

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.

Ox Notes: September 30, 2008

After last night’s meh episode of Dancing with the Stars 7, Entertainment Tonight turned their mics over to the contestants. For Access Hollywood‘s video report from the set, Mel B asked all of the couples about Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer’s kiss.

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.

As he was leaving a restaurant late last night, Warren Sapp reacted to a TMZ photographer’s questions about Warren’s rumored "man-diva attitude" on the DwtS set.

Before they performed yesterday, Lance Bass and Misty May-Treanor wrote about their routines at their blogs.

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.

DwtS 7, Week 2: Performances

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.

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 23/30

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Paso Doble
Brooke was able to stay in character during the performance, despite the trouble she had keeping up the intensity during rehearsal.

Carrie Ann said, "I was truly mesmerized," even though Brooke’s balance was off a bit. Len liked Brooke’s "controlled aggression." Bruno told Brooke, "You are born to dance."

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

Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff — Rumba
Rocco fed Karina a snack at the end of the routine. Even though he’s a chef, it was a little weird.

Bruno told Rocco, "You were standing there like The Thing." Carrie Ann said, "What’s lacking is musicality." Len said, "There was more tears than jeers about the whole thing."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…5, Len…6, Bruno…5 = 16/30

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%."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…6, Bruno…7 = 20/30

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."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…5 = 17/30

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."

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

Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Rumba
In rehearsal, Cheryl said, "Maurice has embraced the character of the Rumba, maybe a little too well," after he started calling himself "the ultimate lover."

Len said, "It’s all right, what you do, but it’s a bit rough." Carrie Ann agreed: "It was a little too stiff." Bruno told Maurice that he moved "rough and clunky."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…6, Bruno…6 = 19/30

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."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…5, Len…5, Bruno…5 = 15/30

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."

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

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson — Paso Doble
This Matrix-themed routine finally brought some life back to the ballroom.

Len said, "I thought it had a lovely, dark, menacing feeling to it." Carrie Ann yelled, "We have a Paso Doble killah in the house!" Bruno called the performance "big, bold, heroic."

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

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."

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

Judges’ Leaderboard:
24 — Brooke & Derek, Warren & Kim
23 — Toni & Alec
21 — Misty & Maks, Susan & Tony, Cody & Julianne
20 — Lance & Lacey
19 — Maurice & Cheryl
17 — Kim & Mark
16 — Rocco & Karina
15 — Cloris & Corky

Normally, I write how I’m splitting my votes for the week, but after this snooze of an episode, I’ve decided not to vote. Consider it my silent protest.

Cloris & Corky’s serious Paso Doble will probably cost them votes, and they seem the most likely candidates to go home. Though it won’t surprise me if Rocco & Karina get the boot.

Ox Notes: September 29, 2008

Dancing with the Stars 7 contestants were hard at work over the weekend, and Entertainment Tonight has video to prove it. The show filmed Cody Linley & Julianne Hough and Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani rehearsing their Week 2 routines, and cameras caught up with Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff in the gym.

Updated DwtS 7 betting odds have Brooke Burke as the favorite to win, with Toni Braxton, Maurice Greene, Cody Linley, Susan Lucci, and Misty May-Treanor tied for second.

In case you missed Tina Fey’s dead-on impersonation of Gov. Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live this weekend, The Chicago Tribune’s TV blog, The Watcher, has video from the show.

Yahoo! caught up with contestants from past season’s of The Biggest Loser to see if they’ve been able to keep the weight off.

A court has temporarily blocked Lifetime from airing or promoting Project Runway 6, which recently started filming.

Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn shared some style secrets with OK! Magazine.

This probably won’t surprise you, but most of the science in Fringe isn’t very realistic.

My brother will appreciate Time’s interview with Seth MacFarlane, because the Family Guy creator makes a reference to Joe Versus the Volcano.

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.

Ox Notes: September 26, 2008

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.

EW’s Michael Ausiello reports that FOX’s Do Not Disturb is the first new series to be canceled this season.

Survivor: Gabon premiered last night to an audience of 13 million. Reality Blurred has the scoop on what happened when a group of reporters were allowed to run the first Immunity Challenge.

Survivor host Jeff Probst is blogging about the current season for EW, and his latest post includes a video that’s worth watching for the payoff line at the very end.

Engaged Survivor: China contestants Erik Huffman and Jaime Dugan announced their "low-key love story" in a press release, apparently unaware of the irony.

Rock Star: INXS contestant Marty Casey will hock jewelry and perform a mini-concert at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois this Saturday.

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:

Ox Notes: September 25, 2008

Ted McGinley told ET and Us Magazine that his greatest regret about leaving Dancing with the Stars 7 so early is that he let down his partner, Inna Brayer.

People profiled Inna and the other two new Dancing pros, Corky Ballas and Lacey Schwimmer.

As for why he thought he went home so soon, Ted told OK! that his fans aren’t the kind who vote for DwtS: "My people aren’t necessarily tech-savvy."

EW’s Results Show recap includes audio of a phone interview with DwtS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

People has an article about "what you didn’t see" on Tuesday night’s episode of DwtS. E! caught up with Rocco DiSpirito on Wednesday morning.

BravoTV.com has blog posts by the latest auf’d Project Runway designer and Tim Gunn, who appreciated seeing guest judge LL Cool J take bratty Kenley down a peg.

Discovery signed a deal with YouTube giving the website exclusive video content from its nine affiliated cable networks.

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.

DwtS 7, Week 1: Results

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.