Monthly Archives: September 2008

DwtS 7, Week 1: First Performances

She didn’t earn the highest scores, but Cloris Leachman stole the spotlight on the premiere of Dancing with the Stars 7.

Cody Linley & Julianne Hough — Cha Cha Cha
In footage of their rehearsals, Cody said that he occasionally gets distracted by Julianne’s "hotness." But he kept his head in the game and kicked off the show in fine fashion with a competent Cha Cha Cha.

Head Judge Len Goodman said that Cody looked "full of confidence," but cautioned him against "wildness." Bruno Tonioli told Cody to focus on his feet. Carrie Ann Inaba said the pair has "incredible potential."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…6 = 18/30

Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff — Fox Trot
Karina sprained her ankle this morning during rehearsal, but she danced anyway. Rocco repeatedly said in their rehearsal footage that he was out of his comfort zone, and it looked that way on the dance floor.

Bruno called it a "Fox Trot on the brink of chaos," but Carrie Ann said the performance was "cute." Len said, "You dance like I cook: just chuck it all in and hope for the best."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…5, Len…4, Bruno…5 = 14/30

Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo — Cha Cha Cha
Perhaps due to Toni’s heart condition, they danced a slow Cha Cha that was good, but unrefined.

"That was fantastic,"cheered Carrie Ann. Len told Toni to straighten her legs for more natural hip action. Bruno called Toni "slinky, sultry, sexy."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…7, Bruno…8 = 22/30

Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Fox Trot
In hold, Maurice was as slow on the dance floor as he is fast on the track. He’ll do better in the Mambo tomorrow night.

Len said parts were "wild," "wacky," and "wonderful." Bruno said Maurice needs to work on his footwork and posture when in hold. Carrie Ann "you gotta work on the styles that we’re asking of you."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…6 = 18/30

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Cha Cha Cha
Brooke’s crazy-long arms and legs produce beautiful lines, and hers was the most polished looking performance of the night.

Carrie Ann told Brooke, "You have an amazing body that’s totally designed to dance." Bruno said, "That hip action…Len was panting. I mean, his tongue was hanging out of his mouth." Tom quipped, "That’s mostly an age thing." Len called it "the best dance so far."

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

Ted McGinley & Inna Brayer — Fox Trot
Ted toned down his "macho" tendencies for his performance, nicely complementing the lovely Inna.

Bruno called it a "very, very entertaining routine." Len told Ted, "Your footwork was very, very good." Carrie Ann said, "You’ve got great potential, great lines."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…6 = 18/30

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer — Cha Cha Cha
This rockin’ number finally woke up the sedate studio audience.

Len said, "It was young and modern. The trouble is I’m old and traditional." Carrie Ann said the performance was "hot, hot, hot," and Bruno called it "edgy."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…6, Bruno…8 = 22/30

Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas — Fox Trot
Cloris danced nicely, especially for an 82-year-old. But it was her interaction with the judges and her backstage commentary that stole the show and made her my favorite performer of the night.

As Bruno began to talk, Cloris walked over and put her leg up on the judges’ table. Then she knelt in front of Len as though she were praying, before getting up and leaning over the judges’ table. Len interrupted his comments to tell Cloris, "Mind your cleavage, it’s putting me off a bit." Cloris then sat on Carrie Ann’s lap and asked people to vote for her because, "I’m an orphan, so if you wanna vote for me, just remember there’s a lot of sadness in being an orphan."

But the shenanigans didn’t end there. The censors had to go to work as the scores were read, with Cloris saying, "Shit!" in response to Carrie Ann’s and Bruno’s scores. When Len held up his paddle, Cloris said, "Five? You bastard." It was possibly the best moment in the history of Dancing with the Stars.
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…5, Bruno…5 = 16/30

Jeffrey Ross & Edyta Sliwinska — Cha Cha Cha
During rehearsal, Jeffrey said, "I don’t have an Olympic medal or a Super Bowl ring, but I have a heart of gold and I love onion rings." But as they practiced this morning, Edyta poked Jeffrey in the eye and scratched his cornea. He danced against doctor’s advice, ditching his rhinestoned eyepatch for a performance that was gutsy, if not graceful.

Carrie Ann said, "I just didn’t feel like you were having a great time." Bruno called the performance "ungainly carnage." Jeff interrupted, "Len, obviously I respect your opinion the most because you’re a legend. You’ve been judging Dancing with the Stars since it was a radio show."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…4, Len…4, Bruno…4 = 12/30

Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas — Fox Trot
Kim was clumsy in their rehearsal footage, but she looked smooth on the dance floor. It helps that she’s dancing with the reigning champ.

Len said, "It was a bit cold. There was no chemistry between you." Bruno called Kim a "dusky beauty." Carrie Ann said, "I was happily surprised."

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

Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani — Cha Cha Cha
The soap opera queen was good, but a little slow.

Bruno said of the performance, "It was very, very careful." Carrie Ann told Susan, "I think you need to put on a little more weight so that you can be stronger, because you looked a bit frail out there." Len said, "I think you’ve gotta throw caution to the wind."

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

Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Fox Trot
During rehearsal, Maks tried to find the "shred of gracefulness" in Misty. She looked lovely on the dance floor, making them one of the couples to beat.

Carrie Ann told Misty, "Try not to muscle everything. You can just relax into it a little bit more." Len said the performance "had an elegance about it." Bruno said that if Misty works on her turns and her shoulders, she’ll "go a long way."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…8, Bruno…7 = 21/30

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson — Cha Cha Cha
Warren is huge, but really light on his feet. And funny. He was the nicest surprise of the night.

Len called Warren a "great, big bundle of joy." Carrie Ann said he had "great transitions." Bruno cheered, "Big boys can dance!"

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

Judges’ Leaderboard:
23 — Brooke & Derek
22 — Toni & Alec, Lance & Lacey
21 — Misty & Maks, Warren & Kym
19 — Kim & Mark
18 — Cody & Julianne, Maurice & Cheryl, Ted & Inna
16 — Cloris & Corky
15 — Susan & Tony
14 — Rocco & Karina
12 — Jeffrey & Edyta

Jeffrey Ross seems like a lock to be eliminated tomorrow night. It may not be such a bad thing, since it’ll give him a chance to let his injured eye recover. For the same reason, it might be good for Karina Smirnoff’s ankle if Rocco DiSpirito gets booted early. Wednesday night, perhaps?

There was no question about who would get all of my votes tonight: Cloris Leachman. As soon as she called Len a "bastard," I was sold. She may not be the best dancer in the bunch, but Dancing with the Stars needs her.

Ox Notes: September 22, 2008

Tonight’s the big night: the premiere of Dancing with the Stars 7. Join us here at MOIB for a live chat during the East Coast broadcast of the show, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

The youngest duo in the DwtS 7 cast, Cody Linley & Julianne Hough, chatted with People about staying healthy during the competition.

DwtS host Tom Bergeron has little time to recover after hosting last night’s Emmy Awards. Variety has the complete list of winners, TV Guide posted a list of top moments from the telecast, and EW has a gallery of the best and worst dressed celebrities in attendance.

With 18 of last night’s 28 Emmys going to shows on cable networks, Variety wonders how worried the four major broadcast networks should be.

Reality Blurred profiled Survivor: Gabon contestant Jessica "Sugar" Kiper.

Catching up on last week’s episode of Project Runway, TV Guide has a video interview with auf’d designer Joe Faris, who knew he was doomed the minute the college grad makeover challenge was announced.

Joe was also interviewed by EW and People, and he answered some Burning Questions for Bravo.

Bravo’s website, as always, has blog posts about the latest challenge by Michael Kors and Tim Gunn, who didn’t think that Leanne belonged in the Bottom Three. Guess which of the Top Three designers he thought should’ve been at the bottom.

Ox Notes: September 19, 2008

The Emmy Awards presentation is on Sunday night, and the five nominees for Reality Show Host have been giving interviews about hosting the ceremony together. Tom Bergeron told The AP that, next to Heidi Klum, he and Ryan Seacrest, Howie Mandel and Jeff Probst are "gonna look like Snow White and the four dwarfs."

Access Hollywood posted a funny video of the five hosts sitting down for a Barbara Walters-style interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

In honor of the Emmys, Us Magazine posted a slideshow titled Emmys: Worst Dressed of All Time that starts with a photo of Tina Yothers from 1986.

If you’re in the mood for Web lists, EW has a slideshow of the 20 Dumbest TV Shows Ever, Uncoached lists 13 People You Wouldn’t Have Realized That Appeared on The Wonder Years, and Zap2It has a slideshow of faces new to fall TV and where you’ve seen them before.

Reality Blurred posted links to several behind-the-scenes videos from the set of Survivor: Gabon, along with first impressions of contestant Crystal Cox.

Former Dancing with the Stars contestant Mel B wants to tone your "jubbily bits" with a new fitness video.

The new DwtS contestants are getting ready for their debut on Monday night. Lance Bass complained to People about dancing in heels, and Access Hollywood has a rehearsal video featuring Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas, Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani and Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Ted McGinley told People, "I am the Monica Seles of this season!"

Be sure to join us on Monday night at 8 ET for our Dancing with the Stars chat. We’ll keep up a running commentary on the performances as they air live — perfect for international fans who can’t watch the show on TV or for impatient West Coasters who don’t want to wait until the show airs in the Pacific time zone.

We’ll post a link to the chatroom on the MOIB homepage just before showtime. See you then!

Ox Notes: September 18, 2008

Some of the Dancing with the Stars 7 contestants are blogging about their experiences thus far. Misty May-Treanor writes a blog for USA Today, while Kim Kardashian posted a lengthy account of her rehearsals with Mark Ballas at her MySpace page.

Meanwhile, Cloris Leachman seems intent on tormenting every man who comes near her, going so far as to tickle one of Access Hollywood‘s crew guys in this interview video.

Samantha Harris haters are going to love this next story. On Tuesday, she’s throwing a birthday party for her one-year-old at a spa for kids. Whatever happened to a game of Bozo Buckets and a Barbie cake from the grocery store?

Smallville and Supernatural return to The CW tonight, although the episodes won’t air in the Chicago area until 10:30 p.m. because of a White Sox game. Variety reviewed the Smallville premiere, and Zap2It has interviews with Supernatural executive producer Kim Manners and Jim Beaver, who plays Bobby.

Next time you’re at the dry cleaners, keep an eye out for CBS promotional clothes hangers.

Fans of CBS’s Survivor are the most emotionally invested viewers of any TV show, according to a recent survey. But fans might not invest much in Survivor: Gabon contestant Jacquie Berg, whom Reality Blurred describes as "totally forgettable."

Ox Notes: September 17, 2008

The daily flurry of Dancing with the Stars news includes ET’s video of Cody Linley & Julianne Hough in rehearsal. Julianne and her brother, Derek, chatted with the website SheKnows. And Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer talked with E! about some of his insecurities, including his fear of being asked to dance shirtless.

E! has a photo from the set of Stephen Colbert’s holiday special, called A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!.

Observers at New York Fashion Week noticed several former America’s Next Top Model contestants on the catwalk last week, with some even modelling garments for the Project Runway 5 finale.

Ahead of tonight’s new episode of PR 5, EW posted a handy glossary of Runway lingo. EW also has a slideshow of 18 Shameless Reality TV Stars, headlined by Survivor‘s Jonny Fairplay, of course.

Reality Blurred’s Andy Dehnart wrote about his interview with Survivor: Gabon‘s Paloma Soto-Castillo.

Producers of MTV’s The Island deny allegations that they wrecked a Panamanian rainforest.

After only two weeks, I’m bailing on Fringe. I enjoyed the pilot episode but had some concerns about the dialog, which only got worse in last night’s second episode. It’s tough to make dialog in science-heavy shows flow (e.g., every episode of Star Trek), but dumping Agent Farnsworth into the mix just so that there’s someone around to ask, "Hey, guys, what kind of sciency stuff are ya up to?" is lame.

The second episode of Fringe followed the "monster of the week" format, which has been done plenty of times before, particularly on The X-Files. It doesn’t seem like anything new. Am I missing something, or is Fringe just an average sci-fi show?

Fans of Fringe might want to check out the game Heavenly Sword on the Playstation 3. The main character, Nariko, is modelled on Fringe star Anna Torv, who voiced the character. Andy Serkis (Gollum from the Lord of the Rings movies) plays the game’s villain and directed all of the voice acting, which is some of the best I’ve heard in a video game.

Ox Notes: September 16, 2008

With less that a week to go until the Dancing with the Stars 7 premiere, the cast members have been giving interviews left and right. ET has a video interview with Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff. Lance Bass chatted with E! Online. And ESPN caught up with Misty May-Treanor.

Based on this Fresno Bee interview with Kym Johnson, Edyta Sliwinska, and Karina Smirnoff, it sounds like the DwtS pros know within hours of meeting their celebrities whether they have a shot at the trophy or not.

TV Guide did its own group interview with Emmy-nominated hosts Tom Bergeron, Howie Mandel, Ryan Seacrest, Jeff Probst, and Heidi Klum. As much as I like Heidi, she’s not even in the same league as the other nominees in the Reality Show Host category, as is apparent in the interview.

Project Runway 4 winner Christian Siriano showed off some of his spring collection for TV Guide.

Believe it or not, product placement during primetime broadcasts is actually on the decline.

Reality Blurred has the scoop on Survivor: Gabon contestants Ken Hoang and Marcus Lehman.

Bio Channel is developing a show about female police officers called Female Forces, featuring members of my local police squad.

Martha Stewart’s daughter, Alexis (who was the best thing about Martha’s edition of The Apprentice), is premiering a new show on the Fine Living Network today. The show, called Whatever, Martha!, will feature Alexis ripping on old episodes of her mom’s shows, including Martha’s "habit of mixing sexual innuendo with her household hints."

If, like me, there will be a void in your life after Wipeout wraps its season tonight, The Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan recommends Unbeatable Banzuke on G4 network. Mo, you had me at "cat-shaped wheelbarrow."

Ox Notes: September 15, 2008

The Creative Arts Emmys were awarded last night, and Variety has the complete list of winners. Wade Robson won the Outstanding Choreography award for his "Hummingbird and Flower" routine from So You Think You Can Dance 3.

Controversy surrounds Jennifer Lopez’s absence from last week’s Project Runway 4 finale, including speculation that she may have skipped out on the show because she didn’t get a part in an upcoming film by PR producer Harvey Weinstein. The foot injury excuse appears to be a smokescreen since Lopez was fit enough, according to her trainer, to compete in a triathlon yesterday.

In other Project Runway news, TV Guide has a video interview with Season 4 designer Terri Stevens, who used to be a female Michael Jackson impersonator.

EW has a slideshow featuring 26 Favorite TV Housewives.

Cable network Versus is working on a sports edition of E!’s pop culture clip show The Soup.

The latest season of MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge, dubbed The Island, debuted last week with the premise of stranding the usual cast of drunken twentysomethings on a deserted island. According to a report out of Panama, MTV’s crew destroyed an area of pristine rainforest in order to build the set for the show, which was located only a few hundred feet from several luxury homes.

If you ever bemoan the state of television programming in America, consider this: Germany is about to launch a 24/7 reality show about a fast-food restaurant. Ach, du lieber!

Ox Notes: September 12, 2008

If you only follow one link in today’s Ox Notes, make it this link to Access Hollywood‘s video interview with Cloris Leachman. It’s worth watching just to hear how Cloris torments her Dancing with the Stars 7 partner, Corky Ballas, by relentlessly hitting on him during rehearsal.

Access Hollywood also caught up with DwtS 7 contestant Toni Braxton, who only a few months ago couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without chest pains due to her heart condition.

DwtS pro Mark Ballas landed a guest spot in the season premiere of Samantha Who? on October 13. He’ll play fellow guest star Cybill Shepherd’s dance partner.

Former DwtS contestant Heather Mills lost her spot on Celebrity Apprentice 2 after she reportedly asked that it be written into her contract that she would be a finalist. Oh, Heather.

But Heather Mills getting fired before Celebrity Apprentice 2 even begins isn’t the most humiliating career development for a former DwtSer this week. Bush’s Beans is holding a contest to find a chant to replace the classic "Beans, beans, the musical fruit…," and the prize for winning is an opportunity to perform your chant for DwtS 2 champ Drew Lachey. Oh, Drew.

Reality Blurred posted interviews with Survivor: Gabon contestants Dan Kay and Charlie Herschel.

Bill Nye, of Bill Nye the Science Guy fame, has a new show on Planet Green called Stuff Happens that focuses on how all of the stuff in our lives is made, and what impact it has on the environment.

There was a change of plans at this morning’s filming of the Project Runway 5 finale. Original guest judge Jennifer Lopez was unable to attend the runway show, so PR mentor Tim Gunn filled in as guest judge.

Last night, Project Runway 4 winner Christian Siriano showed a collection at Fashion Week.

People interviewed Project Runway‘s Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia, who promised better sewing machines for Season 6. The mag also interviewed this week’s auf’d designers, Blayne Walsh and Terri Stevens. Terri admitted that, during filming, she staged a hunger strike until the producers brought her a McDonald’s Cheeseburger Happy Meal.

EW also has interviews with Blayne and Terri.

Ox Notes: September 11, 2008

Last night’s double elimination episode of Project Runway was a bit of a downer. Along with a designer that had long outstayed his welcome, one of my favorite designers, whom I thought was a lock for the finale, was eliminated for reasons that elude me, despite Michael Kors’ explanation in his blog. I won’t spoil the outcome in case you Tivo’d it, but Tim Gunn writes of the auf’d designer: "I feel sick about losing you." Me, too, Tim.

Presumably, all six of the designers remaining in the competition will show collections at Fashion Week Friday morning as part of the Project Runway 5 finale, so as not to give away the identities of the three finalists.

PR judge Nina Garcia is getting her own reality show called Running in Heels, which will follow her around the offices of Marie Claire magazine.

Former soap star Antonio Sabato, Jr. is getting a reality show as well. VH1 will do what it does best and help Antonio wade through a collection of sluts to find that one woman he’ll profess to love, only to break up with her a few months later.

ET had Kris Jenner interview her daughter, Kim Kardashian, about what it’s like to train with Mark Ballas for Dancing with the Stars 7.

EW has a photo gallery of the 17 Sauciest TV Chefs. What, no love for DwtS 7 competitor Rocco DiSpirito?

In 90210 news, Shannen Doherty has no plans to continue working on the remake, while Brian Austin Green and Jason Priestly say they wouldn’t mind being involved with the show if they weren’t so darned busy.

Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse has temporarily ceased production so that the Firefly creator can work on script rewrites.

TV Guide asked Fringe executive producer Roberto Orci some burning questions about the series premiere. The interview will interest those of you looking for Lost-like clues in the new sci-fi drama from J.J. Abrams.

Zap2It interviewed Hole in the Wall hosts Brooke Burns and Mark Thompson ahead of the show’s official, hour-long premiere tonight at 8 ET on FOX. I watched the special preview on Tuesday night and felt that the show was so loud and overproduced that it detracted from the simple enjoyment of people trying (and failing) to fit through awkwardly shaped holes in a wall. It definitely looked like a FOX game show, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.

Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick with Wipeout.

Ox Notes: September 10, 2008

The cast of Dancing with the Stars 7 has been spending time in front of the cameras, and the show hasn’t even started yet. ET caught up with Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke in the studio, while Access Hollywood‘s Nancy O’Dell talked to Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer during rehearsal.

Access Hollywood also stopped Cheryl Burke and fellow DwtS pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy at a red carpet event to ask if they’d watched 90210 or John McCain’s speech from the Republican National Convention. Weird.

Residents and businesses in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood are reportedly shunning cast members of The Real World Brooklyn, which is currently filming in the area. I guess the neighbors already know how calm and classy Real World cast members usually are.

Today’s featured Survivor: Gabon contestant at Reality Blurred is Randy Bailey, who sounds like a true student of the game.

NBC Universal shows are back on sale at iTunes. The debut episodes of new series Knight Rider, Kath & Kim, and My Own Worst Enemy will be available for purchase the week before their broadcast premieres.

ABC wants viewers to vote for TV’s Most Memorable Moment in either a drama or a comedy, although Zap2It questions the merit of some of the moments up for consideration.

Salon gave its annual Buffy Award, which honors "the most underrated, overlooked show on television," to The Shield (the second page of the article contains spoilers).

Producer Mark Burnett is advertising on Craigslist for contestants for an MTV show based on the video game Rock Band 2. We’ve seen what happens when producers try to turn video games into TV shows, and it ain’t pretty: