Monthly Archives: November 2008

Ox Notes: November 26, 2008

As Dancing with the Stars 7 draws to a close, here’s a last round of post-show interviews from TV Guide, OK! Magazine, E! and Us Magazine.

During her interviews for Access Hollywood, Mel B asked all of the couples about a fight between Derek Hough and Warren Sapp that supposedly took place during rehearsal for the Samba Smackdown. TMZ has the details on the brawl.

After deciding to take a break from the show to focus on her musical career, Derek’s sister, Julianne, has earned some cautionary remarks from her coworkers. Fellow Dancing with the Stars pros Edyta Sliwinska & Alec Mazo told E! in a video interview that Julianne needs to make sure she doesn’t alienate her DwtS fans. "[T]he show is where she started. If I was her," said Edyta, "I would be doing both."

People filed a report from the set of Monday night’s final DwtS 7 Performance Show, which was watched by 21.1 million viewers. Ousted contestant Kim Kardashian posted some backstage photos at her MSN blog.

If you’re just not sure how to pass the time until Dancing with the Stars 8 premieres in the spring, NBC has you covered. Superstars of Dance debuts on January 4, wrapping up its brief inaugural season on January 26.

Happy Thanksgiving! Ox Notes will return on Monday, December 2. I leave you with video of DwtS 7 champs Brooke Burke & Derek Hough on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

DwtS 7: The Finale

She earned the highest scores, again — as she had for most of the season. But did the at-home voters give Brooke Burke enough support to earn her the Dancing with the Stars 7 trophy?

(Hint: Yes.)

The show started with a video package of Cloris Leachman at an outdoor mall asking people whom they voted for. One bewildered young lady said, "I can’t vote. I’m not a citizen."

Alicia Keys provided the first vocal performance of the night, singing "I Need You."

Then the eliminated couples returned to perform their best routines as Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris recapped the season, week by week:

Jeffrey Ross & Edyta Sliwinska — Quickstep
Ted McGinley & Inna Brayer — Fox Trot
Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas — Mambo
Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff — Mambo
Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas — Tango
Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani — Paso Doble
Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Salsa
Cody Linley & Julianne Hough — Jitterbug

Tom and Samantha chatted with Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who were forced to drop out earlier in the season due to an injury Misty suffered. Toni Braxton also didn’t perform due to a recent surgery, so she and partner Alec Mazo chatted with Tom and Samantha as well.

For me, the highlight of the night was Jeffrey Ross’s roast of the finalists. After mocking his own last place finish and calling Cloris Leachman’s routines with Corky Ballas "Weekend at Bernie’s: The Musical," he asked, "What can you say about Lance Bass that hasn’t already been said about Clay Aiken?"

Finally, it was time for the finalists to dance their favorite routines from earlier in the season and receive their final scores from the judges.

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson — Hustle
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann Inaba…9, Len Goodman…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30
Total score for both nights: 80/90

Lance Bass & Lacey Johnson — Jitterbug
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 28/30
Total score for both nights: 81/90

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Viennese Waltz
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30
Total score for both nights: 88/90

As time in the overly long show wound down, Lance & Lacey graciously accepted their third place finish.

Well after most of her young fans had gone to bed, Miley Cyrus took the stage to sing "Fly on the Wall."

After a final commercial break, host Tom Bergeron named Brooke & Derek winners of Dancing with the Stars 7, and they were promptly hoisted onto the shoulders of Corky and Mark Ballas.

Ox Notes: November 25, 2008

There are plenty of Dancing with the Stars post-show interviews to keep you occupied until tonight’s DwtS 7 Finale: Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, OK! and Us. E! was also on-set to chronicle the trouble Miley Cyrus had while filming her vocal performance, which airs tonight.

Lance Bass wrote in his Us Magazine DwtS Diary that he and Lacey Schwimmer will reprise their Jitterbug during tonight’s finale.

To coincide with Wednesday night’s new episode of Top Chef: New York, Bravo is launching a Web series called "After the Knife" about what happens to the chefs after they’ve been cut from the show.

Reality Blurred wrote about a CBS News Sunday Morning profile of Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio.

TBS recently staged a celebrity grocery bagging competition between cast members of Mad Men, The Young and the Restless, My Boys and, appropriately, 10 Items or Less.

In an interview with People, Survivor: Gabon‘s Randy Bailey offered some insight into the difficult transition contestants face after the show when they return to their real lives.

A&E has ordered a new reality series called Steven Seagal: Lawman about the action star’s off-camera work as a sheriff’s deputy in Louisiana. Thank goodness it’s not called Steven Seagal: Musician.

DwtS 7, Week 10: Final Performances

As she has almost every week, Brooke Burke topped the leaderboard in the final round of Dancing with the Stars 7.

The show began with a series of segments in which the couples chose their favorite Standard and Latin dances from the season. Those performances were replayed in their entirety. Brooke Burke & Derek Hough picked their Quickstep and Paso Doble, Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer chose their Tango and Mambo, and Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson selected their Viennese Waltz and Paso Doble.

Then, siblings Craig & Samantha were named the winners of the season’s Ballroom Kids competition, and they danced their winning Jive. Given her knack for hamming it up on camera, I’d like to see junior Samantha take over co-hosting duties from Samantha Harris.

After the performance, the announcer unexpectedly proclaimed, "Live from Hollywood, this is Dancing with the Stars." If this marked the official beginning of the Performance Show, then what the hell had I been watching for the last 30 minutes?

Round 1 — Samba Smackdown
All three couples danced to the same song, performing some group choreography and solos, and everyone did well. The workload was most evenly distributed between Brooke & Derek (as opposed to Lacey, who overdanced a bit and distracted me from Lance’s performance), and they get my votes for this dance. Len Goodman called Brooke "the sensation of Season 7." Bruno Tonioli told Warren, "Your sense of fun compensates for, obviously, your lack of technique." Carrie Ann Inaba said that Lance had "momentum" after his high scores last week.

Judges’ Scores
Brooke & Derek: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 28/30
Lance & Lacey: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 26/30
Warren & Kym: Carrie Ann…9, Len…7, Bruno…9 = 25/30

Freestyle Round

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough
Dancing to "You’re the One That I Want" from Grease, the routine was pretty much non-stop tricks. Bruno yelled, "Follow that! You are the one that we all want!" Carrie Ann said, "Tonight, Brooke, Derek, you brought it." Len said, "That was, I think, the best freestyle I’ve ever seen."

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

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer
The hip-hop routine was good, but not as flashy as Brooke & Derek’s routine. Carrie Ann said, "I thought what you did was fantastic, but then there was one little section [of Cha Cha moves] that threw it off." Len said, "I was really pleased with it." Bruno said the routine had "creativity and wit."

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

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson
They paid tribute to Tina Turner by dancing to "Proud Mary." Len said, "This show is not only about dancing, it’s about entertainment. And as an entertainer, you have no one that touches you." Bruno said, "With you, all resistance is futile. Lay back, and enjoy the ride." Carrie Ann said, "In all honesty, out of all the routines, that one was my favorite. But I saw a mistake."

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

Judges’ Leaderboard (60 points possible)
58 — Brooke & Derek
53 — Lance & Lacey, Warren & Kym

For me, the judges’ scores say it all: Brooke Burke is this season’s best dancer. For me, that outweighs any arguments for entertainment value or improvement that can be made in support of Warren and Lance — though they both deserve credit for those achievements. Go Brooke & Derek!

Ox Notes: November 24, 2008

According to a report in The Orlando Sentinel, the Dancing with the Stars 7 finalists will compete in a Samba Smackdown tonight before performing their freestyle routines. Then on Tuesday night, the couples will perform their favorite routines from the season, which will be scored by the judges. So that means that tonight’s final Performance Show will feature just four dances in 90 minutes.

Maybe that news will make it easier on DwtS fans in Wisconsin, where the Performance Show is being bumped back to 11:05 p.m. to make way for a Green Bay Packers game. With so little content in the show, you can hit record, go to sleep and still have time to watch the performances before heading to work Tuesday morning.

Fans can chat online with DwtS pro Julianne Hough at noon ET today at Fancast.

The Los Angeles Times asked DwtS judge Carrie Ann Inaba to describe her "Favorite Weekend."

Because Hollywood actors have been working without a contract with the studios since June, the Screen Actors Guild is pushing its members to agree to a strike.

Several cast members of AMC’s Mad Men are considering taking a musical revue on the road.

FOX is working on a special Christmas edition of COPS.

In case you missed The Amazing Race last night, here’s a video clip of the best part: frat guy Dan’s bizarre, pathetic attempt to march in time with Russian army troops.

Ox Notes: November 21, 2008

Last night’s episode of Survivor: Gabon had a terrific setup that resulted in a surprisingly uncomfortable Tribal Council. Host Jeff Probst blogged about the episode for EW, and CBS posted videos of the latest ousted contestant kicking it at Ponderosa. Try not to wince every time Charlie mispronounces it "pon-duh-ROSS-ah."

Reality Blurred has details about how you can win a chance to meet Jeff Probst.

Based on this People interview with Top Chef: New York‘s Jill Snyder, it’s obvious the cheftestant still doesn’t understand why she was eliminated from the show.

The CW is replacing the shows in its floundering Sunday night lineup with reruns of Jericho.

It looks like time has run out for ABC’s Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money and Pushing Daisies.

I’m no big-shot TV show creator like Heroes‘ Tim Kring, but I’m pretty sure it’s a bad move to call the people who watch your show "saps" and "dipsh*ts."

Ox Notes: November 20, 2008

Julianne Hough used her Fancast blog to thank her fans and encourage them to vote for her brother, Derek, and Brooke Burke for Dancing with the Stars 7 champs. She also wrote that she will not participate in DwtS this spring and may sit out the next fall season as well.

Lance Bass colorfully explained to People why he considers Brooke his biggest competition for the DwtS 7 trophy: "She could pee on the floor and they would give her 10s for it."

People has a backstage report from Tuesday night’s DwtS 7 Results Show, which was the highest rated Results Show this season.

DwtS alums Kelly Monaco and Mel B are joining a topless Las Vegas revue, though they’ll be keeping their tops on.

Bravo’s website has a Q&A with Fabio, my favorite Top Chef: New York contestant. Tom Colicchio helpfully explains in his blog what "New American Cuisine" is.

Since Thanksgiving is only one week away, Variety’s Brian Lowry wrote an article about things on TV that he’s not thankful for.

Gwyneth Paltrow got in trouble with Peta recently for wearing a fur stole in a print ad, and her response is the perfect example of how to gracefully deal with bad publicity.

I’ve enjoyed watching Paltrow in Spain…on the road Again on PBS, as she tours the country with Mario Batali, Mark Bittman and Claudia Bassols. Check out this clip of the show, and then look for it on your local PBS station:

Ox Notes: November 19, 2008

The Dancing with the Stars 7 contestants were chatty after last night’s Results Show. In addition to filming interviews with Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight, they also spoke to E!, OK!, Us and TV Guide.

In the above interviews, the finalists revealed that they’ll be performing three dances during next week’s Finale: a reprise of their favorite routine, a group Samba number (each couple will dance a one-minute solo) and a freestyle routine.

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer said that their freestyle will be Hip-Hop. Brooke Burke & Derek Hough said they won’t be doing any Hip-Hop moves, but they promised that their freestyle will include lots of tricks, as will Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson’s routine.

Eliminated couple Cody Linley & Julianne Hough made the interview rounds immediately after the Results Show. They stopped by the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live last night and appeared via satellite on Good Morning America this morning.

Catching up on news from Monday night’s DwtS 7 Performance Show, People and TV Guide filed backstage reports from the set.

When I read that the 2009 season of Masterpiece Classic, which begins on January 4 on PBS, will feature adaptations of Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Wuthering Heights, I let out a restrained, dignified squeal.

Hugh Jackman’s wife is hilarious. When he told her he’d been named People’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2008, she said, "Obviously, Brad [Pitt] wasn’t available this year."

People also has an interview with ousted Amazing Racers Terence & Sarah. They’re still together, but the interview didn’t do anything to bolster my confidence in their future as a couple.

Ending as this post began, with Dancing with the Stars news, enjoy this randy interview Tom Bergeron did with Chelsea Handler. And check out Tom’s huge biceps!

DwtS 7, Week 9: Results

The Dancing with the Stars 7 finalists have been revealed. No teens allowed!

This Results Show was packed with performances. Instead of the usual encore dance, Aretha Franklin kicked off the show with a vocal performance, accompanied by pro dancers Karina Smirnoff, Anna Trebunskaya, Louis van Amstel and Dmitry Chaplin.

After a brief recap of last night’s dances, singer Leona Lewis performed her hit "Bleeding Love," accompanied by DwtS pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina.

Julianne Hough was up next, only this time she was behind the mic, singing "My Hallelujah Song." The performance was recorded a few weeks ago (before her surgery) and featured dancing by Mark Ballas, Derek Hough and Lacey Schwimmer.

Following that performance, John Legend sang "Greenlight," supported by a whole dance troupe.

After a video package featuring some of the stars’ family members, Aretha Franklin took the stage again. This time, she was accompanied by DwtS 6 champs Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas. After watching them dance, I’m inclined to give them the trophy for Season 7, too.

The clip package that followed the performance was easily the strangest part of the show. The remaining contestants analyzed their competitors in a foggy basement boiler room that reminded me of Bonnie Tyler’s insane video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Tom Bergeron quipped, "Nice segment, but we almost lost two of them to smoke inhalation."

Finally, it was time for the results. Lance Bass & Lacey and Brooke Burke & Derek were told that they’d be moving on to the Finals, and Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson soon joined them.

As Cody Linley bade farewell to the ballroom, he said of Julianne, "I love her so much."

Samantha Harris noted that next week’s Finale will have two rounds. The couples will all dance to the same song before dancing their freestyle routines.

Ox Notes: November 18, 2008

After last night’s Dancing with the Stars 7 Semifinals, the contestants chatted with Us Magazine and OK! Magazine. Mel B was also in the ballroom to interview the couples for Access Hollywood.

Next week’s two-hour (yes, two hours) DwtS 7 Finale will feature a performance by Miley Cyrus. It’s Miley!

Cloris Leachman became the latest DwtS 7 contestant to develop a medical condition during the season, even though she’s no longer dancing. She went to the hospital over the weekend for what her reps told People was a "bad cold," though she’s fine now.

Dancing with the Stars 5 contestant Mark Cuban was charged with insider trading yesterday, and so ends my dream of him owning the Chicago Cubs.

This isn’t DwtS news, but The New York Times has a great article about a 12-year-old restaurant critic. Enjoy!