Monthly Archives: October 2008

DwtS 7, Week 5: Results

Toni Braxton only made it to the halfway point of DwtS 7. But at least she broke Alec Mazo’s curse, as she kept him from being the first pro eliminated this season.

The DwtS 7 Results Show started with a segment featuring Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba discussing the previous night’s performances. It gave the judges a chance to elaborate on the reasons behind their scores and suggest ideas on what the couples can do to improve.

Just before the judges awarded their encore to Cody Linley & Julianne Hough for their Jitterbug, Tom Bergeron revealed that Michael Flatley will fill in for Len next week.

Then, Michael Flatley lookalike Brian Setzer took the stage with his orchestra to perform "Rock This Town," accompanied by DwtS pros Louis van Amstel and Karina Smirnoff.

After Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson and Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas learned that they were safe for another week, the Ballroom Kids competition resumed. Alisa & Anthony’s Jive lost to Maria & Mitchell’s Paso Doble.

The much-hyped Macy’s Stars of Dance performance followed, as a company of 26 dancers performed an elaborate number called "Dancing Through the Decades." It showcased dance styles from the 1930s, the 1960s, the 1980s, and — somehow — the future.

Finally, Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo and Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani learned that they were in the Bottom Two. Again, Alec failed to reach the same level of success that he did in Season 1; he and Toni were eliminated.

The duo’s farewell song was Supertramp’s "Take the Long Way Home."

Ox Notes: October 21, 2008

After getting criticized by the judges for stealing the spotlight from Lance Bass in their West Coast Swing, new Dancing with the Stars pro Lacey Schwimmer made things worse by telling Access Hollywood that the judges don’t know what they’re talking about. She was equally huffy in this ET interview video.

Kym Johnson admitted to TV Guide that most of the DwtS pros found choreographing outside of the usual styles for this week’s show very stressful.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy stopped by the Entertainment Weekly offices before last night’s show to offer his thoughts on the four new dance styles.

Though it wasn’t shown in their rehearsal footage, Brooke Burke was taken to the hospital before yesterday’s Performance Show to have her foot X-rayed. Obviously, Brooke felt well enough to earn the highest scores from the judges, but OK! has the details of her injury.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra will perform the song "Rock This Town" on tonight’s Results Show, accompanied by the DwtS pros.

This is likely the last season for Len Goodman on one of the shows he judges (Strictly Come Dancing in the United Kingdom and Dancing with the Stars in the United States). According to the News of the World, Goodman’s leaning toward staying with DwtS, where he earns nearly three times the salary that he does on SCD.

Choreographer Shane Sparks spoke with TV Guide about preparations for the third season of America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV.

TV Guide also chatted with Fringe‘s Jasika Nicole on the possibility of utilizing her musical theater background on the show.

USA Today has an article about the music on Nickelodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba!

Since I’m in a musical mood today, here’s a old punk song that my hubby forwarded me this morning: "Lights Out" by the Angry Samoans. Greg said that, for some reason, Lacey’s complaining made him think of this song.

DwtS 7, Week 5: Performances

The dance styles might’ve been new to Dancing with the Stars, but things stayed the same on the leaderboard.

While the idea of introducing four new dance styles to the show was an interesting one, the execution fell flat (for the most part) because the styles weren’t demonstrated in advance. I don’t know the technical rules for a Hustle or West Coast Swing, so I’m not sure if what I saw was good.

All I know is that the Jitterbug is cool, and I wish that all of the couples would’ve gotten the chance to perform it.

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer — West Coast Swing
Lacey is a world champion in West Coast Swing, but this wasn’t a world champion-caliber routine. To make things worse, Lance fell during the performance. Len Goodman told Lacey to "show off your partner a little bit more." Bruno Tonioli reminded her, "It’s not Dance Around the Stars." Carrie Ann Inaba agreed with the other judges.

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

Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo — West Coast Swing
This performance felt slow, and the tired Michael Jackson moves didn’t help. Bruno told Toni, "When you want to, you can actually deliver." Carrie Ann said Toni was "overdancing it." Len said, "Your potential is huge, and we’re just not seeing it."

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

Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani — Hustle
This performance also felt slow, perhaps because Susan has two broken bones in her foot. Carrie Ann said, "I didn’t see an ounce of pain out there." Len told Tony, "You’re treating Susan like a china doll. Get out there and wow me." Bruno called the dance an "uptown girl hustle."

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

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson — Hustle
Kym was the first choreographer to really take advantage of the fact that they could do lifts this week. Len cheered, "It was great!" Bruno said, "That’s a guy who really knows how to funk," and offered a bunch of sexual metaphors that probably had the censors wishing they’d pressed the button. Carrie Ann said, "You tapped into the nostalgia. Disco’s such a nostalgic dance."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 25/30

Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas — Salsa
Not terrible, not great, but kudos to Cloris for dancing in high heels at age 82. Bruno said, "The old girl can still turn a trick." Carrie Ann told Cloris, "I love you." Len said, "You were hotter than a chili pepper."

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

Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Salsa
This was Maurice’s best performance yet. Carrie Ann hugged Maurice. Len said, "You came out full bore and gave it your all." Bruno told Maurice, "You were like a master of theater tonight."

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

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Jitterbug
Derek had to look up Jitterbug instructions on the Internet, but he and his reliable celeb partner, Brooke, delivered again. Len said, "You are consistently tops." Bruno called the performance "vigorous" and "upbeat." Carrie Ann asked, "Can I nitpick?" Brooke replied, "Yes, please," but Carrie Ann said, "I can’t! That was amazing!"

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

Cody Linley & Julianne Hough — Jitterbug
Their fun performance proved that everyone should’ve danced the Jitterbug tonight. Bruno said, "The frantic energy was incredible." Carrie Ann told Cody, "That was the perfect dance for you." Len said, "I liked it very much."

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

Judges’ Leaderboard:
29 — Brooke & Derek
28 — Cody & Julianne
27 — Maurice & Cheryl
25 — Warren & Kym
22 — Toni & Alec, Susan & Tony
21 — Lance & Lacey, Cloris & Corky

As always, I’ve gotta give some of my votes to the leaders, Brooke & Derek. But Cody was a real surprise tonight. He got the right dance style, and he took advantage of it.

Cloris & Corky will undoubtedly be back in the Bottom Two this week, but who will join them? My hunch is that Lance & Lacey will skate by, and that Toni & Alec will join Cloris & Corky. But, for her own sake, I hope Susan goes soon, so that she can heal her injured foot.

Ox Notes: October 20, 2008

In Dancing with the Stars 7 news, Lance Bass did interviews with The New York Daily News and Entertainment Tonight. And Toni Braxton put out an APB on her disappearing butt.

Recently ousted Survivor: Gabon contestant GC told People and Reality Blurred that he didn’t exactly quit, he just made it clear that he was sick of playing. After going without food and sleep for more than ten days, I probably would’ve done the same.

The New York Times has a lengthy article about Survivor, which wins its timeslot every season, even though its been losing viewers.

Survivor host Jeff Probst is working on a new show for CBS called Live Like You’re Dying, which will feature terminally ill people living out their dreams. Probst promises that the show won’t be depressing, but I think I’ll pass on it, just in case.

Ox Notes: October 17, 2008

Jeff Probst blogged about the Fang tribe’s wildlife encounter on last night’s episode of Survivor: Gabon at EW.com.

Good news for Mad Men fans: AMC is picking up the show for a third season, provided producers Lionsgate can sign show creator Matt Weiner to new contract.

Gossip Girl author Cecily von Ziegesar loves all of the characters on the TV show except Vanessa.

The Battlestar Galactica Season 4.0 DVD is scheduled for release on January 6, leaving me just enough time to get caught up on the show before the final season begins on January 16 on Sci Fi.

ABC canceled Opportunity Knocks and is replacing it with an hour-long Dancing with the Stars recap show. If you don’t vote for the couples, you might as well skip Monday night’s DwtS Performance Show and save yourself 30 minutes by watching the Tuesday recap show.

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will appear on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

Including two re-airs of the episode, more than 7 million people watched the Project Runway 5 finale on Wednesday night. Winner Leanne Marshall told People that her boyfriend, Nate, composed the music for her runway show.

If you just can get enough Project Runway, check out Leanne’s interviews with Bravo, TV Guide and EW, Korto Momolu’s interviews with TV Guide and EW, and Kenley Collins’s interviews with TV Guide and EW.

Ox Notes: October 16, 2008

Project Runway 5 crowned a winner last night. EW’s recap of the episode was written by someone who attended the Bryant Park runway show. At Bravo’s website, Michael Kors has career advice for the winning designer, and Tim Gunn explains how he became the last minute guest judge.

Producers wanted David Charvet to compete against his fiancee, Brooke Burke, in this season of Dancing with the Stars, but the former Baywatch star had to turn down the offer because of a scheduling conflict.

Julianne Hough blogged that she feared she and Cody Linley might be the couple sent home on Tuesday night’s Results Show. People has a report about What You Didn’t See backstage at the show, which had Kim Kardashian screaming at her TV.

This week’s DwtS Results Show lost in its timeslot to The Mentalist, pulling in only 14.4 million viewers. Perhaps this sports psychologist can turn things around next week..

Dancing with the Stars isn’t the only show seeing its audience decline. Variety reports that all of the networks are hurting, in part because the presidential election is driving viewers to cable news outlets.

The CW hopes that bringing on a bunch of guest stars will help its shows during November Sweeps.

Spike is developing a silly-sounding show that imagines who would win if legendary warriors fought against one another, such as Genghis Khan’s Army vs. Vikings. My money’s on Chuck Norris every time.

The United States Supreme Court is content to let original Survivor winner Richard Hatch stay in jail for another year.

The blog Televisionary has Five Suggestions to Improve Fringe. After reading the list, I feel better about my decision to stop watching after two episodes. It doesn’t sound like any of the problems that I had with the show (who is Astrid, and why is she even there?) have been worked out yet.

Ox Notes: October 15, 2008

After last night’s Dancing with the Stars 7 Results show, cast members spilled the beans about the next week’s new dance styles. In Access Hollywood‘s interview video, Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer reveal that they’ll dance West Coast Swing, while Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas and Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke will Salsa.

Cody Linley told OK! that he and Julianne Hough will dance the Jitterbug.

During his video interview with Entertainment Tonight, Rocco DiSpirito promised to buy Karina Smirnoff "lots of shoes" as a reward for her patience while teaching him how to dance. TV Guide and E! also have interviews with the eliminated contestant.

Catching up on news from Monday night’s DwtS Performance Show, which was watched by nearly 18 million viewers, Julianne Hough and Kim Kardashian posted their thoughts on the performances. And People has an article about What You Didn’t See off the dance floor.

In honor of tonight’s Project Runway 5 finale, EW posted a slideshow of 12 Project Runway All-Stars and Their Unforgettable Designs.

An article at Reality Blurred notes how fitting it is that the Project Runway 5 finale is up against a huge televised event like the last Presidential Debate, given how Bravo went out of its way to tank this season. The network isn’t even doing a cast reunion show.

Proving the adage that everything old is new again, the Cartoon Network is developing a Hot Wheels cartoon. My brother had better hope that our mom doesn’t read this post, lest it remind her of the day 20 years ago when he buried a bunch of the miniature toy cars in the back yard. Just think of what our replica Fall Guy truck would be worth today!

DwtS 7, Week 4: Results

For the second week in a row, Rocco DiSpirito earned the fewest votes. Only this week, there were consequences.

Tonight’s Dancing with the Stars 7 Results Show began with Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer reprising their Tango as the Judges’ Encore.

The remainder of the show was punctuated with mock political ads featuring the contestants. For example, footage of Cody Linley acting immature included the tag line, "Cody Linley is a baby," followed by Brooke Burke stating, "I’m Brooke Burke, and I approved this message."

Here are links to videos of the spoof ads mocking Cody, Rocco, Brooke, Maurice, Cloris, Lance, Toni, Susan and Warren.

The ads were amusing enough, but they were still filler for a show that doesn’t warrant 62 minutes of airtime.

Then it was time for a dance performance by Los Vivancos, seven muscly dudes who looked like a Chippendales Flamenco review. Shirts were shed, and the women in the studio audience squealed with delight.

Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani and Lance & Lacey were the first couples to learn that they were safe. Since everyone expected it anyway, Tom Bergeron told Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff that they were in the Bottom Two.

Then the Ballroom Kids competition made its season debut. In the first round of competition for couples 13-years-old and younger, Jessica & Mitchell’s Cha Cha lost to Hannah & Kirill’s Samba.

After the dance-off, Singer Ne-Yo performed his song "Closer," accompanied by his own dancers.

Finally, the fates of the remaining couples were revealed, leaving Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas in the Bottom Two with Rocco & Karina.

To no one’s surprise, Rocco & Karina were eliminated. Rocco thanked everyone for their support, and asked Bruno to show him how to properly move his hips. Bruno left the judges table, and he and Rocco gyrated in tandem on the dance floor.

Ox Notes: October 14, 2008

After learning about the new dance styles debuting on Dancing with the Stars next week, Susan Lucci told OK! that she wants the Hustle. Cloris Leachman told TV Guide that she hopes she’ll get to show off her Jitterbug skills. Cloris said they called it "The Roosevelt Hop" when she danced it 67 years ago.

Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight filed video reports from backstage at the latest DwtS 7 Performance Show.

Here’s an MSN interview with Rocco DiSpirito, before he danced his frilly-sleeved Samba last night.

The Examiner has pictures of Tony Dovolani’s newborn twins.

A guy is living in a tree house in New York City to promote NBC’s new series Crusoe.

Married Daily Show correspondents Samantha Bee and Jason Jones are developing a sitcom for CBS.

Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas is working on a new show about caterers for Starz.

The CW’s decision to farm out their Sunday night programming to a third party appears to be failing. Production has stopped on new scripted series Valentine and Easy Money, which had an audience of less than 1 million viewers this week.

DwtS 7, Week 4: Performances

The leaderboard didn’t change much on this week’s Dancing with the Stars 7 Performance Show. But big changes are in store for the couples next week.

During tonight’s show, Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris announced that, next week, the couples would perform four styles of dances never before seen on the show: Jitterbug, West Coast Swing, Salsa and Hustle.

Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Samba
Their disco-influenced Samba was a bit too gimmicky. Len Goodman told the duo, "Work on refining the dance." Bruno Tonioli agreed: "It’s a little bit too loose." Carrie Ann Inaba told Maurice, "I kind of feel like you’re stuck at the same place."

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

Cody Linley & Julianne Hough — Tango
They avoided gimmicks and gave a solid performance. Bruno said, "Cody, it looks like you’re starting to find your mojo." Carrie Ann said, "I love that you were going for a proper Tango." Len said, "Your best dance so far."

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

Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo — Samba
Pretty good, despite a couple of missteps. Carrie Ann told Toni, "Work on your shoulders." Len said, "I like the fact that you put in those shadow samba rolls." Bruno enthused, "Sugar and spice, my darling. I can’t wait to have some more."

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

Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas — Tango
They took the performance seriously, and it paid off. Len said, "If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it. It was absolutely fabulous, and I loved it." Bruno called Cloris, "The Grand Duchess in Lust." Carrie Ann told Cloris, "I underestimated you."

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

Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff — Samba
Rocco’s puffy, removable sleeves were flashier than any of his moves. Bruno yelled at Rocco, "My accountant does a better Samba!" Carrie Ann said, "The dancing is still lacking." Len said, "You came out and had fun."

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

Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani — Tango
I didn’t like this somber performance as much as the judges. Carrie Ann told Susan, "That is what I want to see you bring to every dance." Len said, "That was your best dance so far." Bruno called Susan a "tough broad."

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

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Samba
This was the best performance of the night, even though it wasn’t quite as good as the routine most commonly associated with the song Derek & Brooke danced to: "Hip Hip, Chin Chin" (video and explanation at the end of this recap). Len said the dance was "slightly too erotic." Bruno gushed, "This was raunchy with a capital (growls) RRRRR…" Carrie Ann told Brooke she is "a perfect candidate to, maybe, go all the way."

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

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer — Tango
Bruno said the routine was "quirky with a Gothic twist, and yet always a perfect Tango." Carrie Ann said, "Tonight was amazing." Len told Lance, "You are — this is my big line — Sir Dance-a-Lot."

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

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson — Samba
The evening ended with a competent but uninspired Samba. Carrie Ann said, "I felt like it was lacking a hair of content." Len told Warren, "There was too much of you gyrating, and Kym, sort of, dancing around." Bruno added: "You have all the ability to blow us away. You didn’t do it tonight."

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

Judges’ Leaderboard (combined scores from this week and last, 60 possible points):
54 — Brooke & Derek
48 — Lance & Lacey
47 — Warren & Kym
45 — Susan & Tony
44 — Toni & Alec, Maurice & Cheryl, Cody & Julianne
38 — Rocco & Karina, Cloris & Corky

Once again, most of my votes go to Brooke & Derek, though I’ll throw a couple Lance & Lacey’s way, for finally turning this into a competition.

After getting a second chance last week, Rocco didn’t show any improvement, unlike fellow low-scorer, Cloris, who’s more flexible than any of us could’ve imagined. He got the chance that many other couples wish they had, and he didn’t capitalize on it. Happy trails, Chef.

Here’s the routine I referenced above, performed to the same song to which Brooke & Derek danced. The couple is Maxim Kozhevnikov & Yulia Zagoryuchenko.