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May 2009 Archives

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Patti Blagojevich won't be the only bawdy Chicago lady braving the jungles of Costa Rica.

Former Second City comics Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton said late Tuesday that they'll be competing next week on NBC's "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!"

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests on today's talk shows:

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A collection of guests on tonight's talk shows:

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

New 'Dancing with the Stars' champion

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The ballroom has a new champion, and that person is Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, and her partner Mark Ballas.

It was a nail-biter down to the very end, as Melissa Rycroft was already relegated to third place, leaving Shawn and Gilles Marini standing and waiting as that thumping music played.
Host Tom Bergeron was beside himself as he revealed that only 1 percent separated Shawn and second-place finisher Gilles (and partner Cheryl Burke) when all the votes were counted, making this the closest finish in "Dancing" history.

In the end, it was toe-to-toe as the final three couples danced for one last round of judges' scores. Each nabbed a perfect "30" for their respective dances, but in the end, viewers' votes (combined with the judges' scores) that determined the champ for season 8.

Shawn, of course, was not my choice for champ, though she was an incredible dancer and competitor.

So for those of us who crossed our fingers and toes an hoped for a Gilles win, what happened?

Looking back, Gilles really blew it in the freestyle the night before, when he should have scored a perfect "30" if he and Cheryl had danced as well as they had the past five weeks straight. What were they thinking with that ridiculous "Flash Dance" number? We'll never know, but it probably cost them the trophy.

I will not soon forget Gilles Marini's exquisite dances, throughout the season, none more than that passionate, sexy, fiery, precise and sensuous Argentine tango that he and partner Cheryl Burke reprised tonight. And what about their stunning Viennese waltz? Pulsating paso doble? Judge Len Goodman said it for many of us when he commented that no dancer this season has given him more pleasure to watch than Gilles.

Bachelorette Melissa Rycroft (and her partner Tony Dovolani) had to settle for third place, but as she stated most graciously, her life has "completely changed in the past 11 weeks." Believe me, she's headed for bigger television pastures than the ballroom. Weep not for her this time around.

Here's to next season of "Dancing with the Stars"!

'Dancing with the Stars' finale quotables

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It was a great night of dancing, but on the way to the final results, there was a lot of comedy thanks to contestants and a mini-roast by comedian Jeffrey Ross.
To wit, here are some highlights of the evening's ballroom banter:

"I have a new appreciation for satin, silk, glitter and thongs." Celeb contestant Chuck Wicks

"My three favorite judges in the whole world--- smokin', croakin', and flamin'." --- Jeffrey Ross to Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli

"You didn't have the biggest role, but you had the biggest part," Ross, to celeb Gilles Marini, on his role in "Sex and the City" feature film

"What is this? Dancing with the vaguely familiar?" Ross, to the three finalists, on their relative "non-celebrity"

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Who will be the 'Dancing with the Stars' season 8 champ?

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They are done dancing for season 8. The final three couples, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, and Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke gave it their all tonight in the finals competition.

While all their individual dances were potent, it was Gilles who wound up with a perfect score of 30 going into the freestyle part of the competition. I have to admit, he and cheryl were rock-solid out there!

I really wasn't wowed by any of the three freestyle dances, however. There didn't seem to be a lot of originality of moves, or "wow" moments of really breakthrough choreography and execution. You can get the same stuff pretty much from the dancers on any pop star tour these days. Shawn may have nabbed a 30 for her efforts, but I found it uninteresting. It was fun, had a lot of acrobatics thrown in, but maybe the judges just didn't see a few missteps that we saw from our television viewpoint. For Melissa, it was just a case of too many cheerleading moves, and not enough dancing. And for someone with a hairline fracture, she sure moved every which way possible and then some. And I still don't know WHAT Gilles and Cheryl were thinking!! He is my prediction for season 8 champ, and yet he did VERY little dancing in his freestyle routine; most of the time it was Cheryl kicking up a storm while Gilles just stood there as her "frame." This could cost him the mirrorball trophy!!!

Here's to Tuesday night in one of the best finals in this show's history.
(I'm still rooting for Gilles, big-time!!)

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests on today's TV talk shows:

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Flashy costumes were part of the semi-finals of "Dancing with the Stars." (ABC)


By Miriam Di Nunzio

Ever wonder how the celebrities and pros look so amazing every week on "Dancing with the Stars?" I mean, besides their spray-on tans and rock-hard bodies? Just who's behind the "wow" factor of every stitch of clothing they wear?

The answer is the man behind every costume on the show since season 2, Emmy-winning costume designer Randall Christensen. He's also responsible for most of the fashions worn by the three judges, and hosts Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris. And if all that is not enough, he also costumes every guest singing star and Macy's "stars of dance" performance (unless the guest star has specific costuming in tow).

So how does all the magic, no, make that artistry, happen? I spoke to Christensen this weekend to get the 411 on what goes into all those sparkly, sexy and dazzling costumes. Oh, if you were wondering (and because I asked), Edyta Sliwinska's costumes require a measly half to three-quarters a yard of fabric. "She's got the hottest body of any dancer I've ever worked with," Christensen said.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests on today's TV talk shows:

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests on tonight's talk shows:

'Dancing with the Stars' grand finale is set

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In the end, the cowboy road off into the sunset.

Ty Murray and Melissa Rycroft were standing shoulder to shoulder, awaiting their fate. Gilles Marlini and his partner Cheryl Burke, as well as Shawn Johnson and her partner Mark Ballas had already made it through to next week's finals.

Cue the thumping music and the eerie red light. And the third dancer to make it to the finals turned out to be Melissa Rycroft, to no one 's surprise.

So the stage is set.

WIll the mirrorball trophy go to the dumped bachelorette? The gold-medal Olympic champion? Or the sexy French actor/model?

All I can say is... ooh-la-la.

And if you need a bigger hint: Gilles will be the winner of this season's "Dancing with the Stars." See you next week!

'Dancing with the Stars' is soooo OOH-LA-LA

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Three words for the semi-finals: OOH-LA-LA!

And that is totally thanks to Gilles Marini for some of the most beautiful, sexy, hot, fiery, gorgeoulsy elegant dancing this show will ever see. What a gorgeous Viennese waltz and fiery hot salsa this Cannes-born and raised Gilles delivered tonight. A perfect "60" for two dances that were simply breathtaking!

(Carrie Ann just couldn't contain herself anymore in her whooping and hollerin' and giddy summation of Gilles and Cheryl's salsa).

And then there was Melissa, who looked tired and very deliberate in places tonight. IHer cha-cha didn' t have the usual fire of her dances, and it cost her; she managed only a 29. In the Latin round it was the cha-cha that did her in; she looked tired, and the dance was very deliberate. She eeked out a costly 27. It's the semi-finals Melissa, and you had to bring it. Seems you left it at the door. Ouch!

Shawn had a weird night. A perfect 30 for her Argentine tango (frankly I thought it paled by comparison to Gilles' waltz) was not sustainable in her goofy jive. Like Melissa, Shawn seemed just "lost" in parts of the jive; it was cute and fast and playful, but I gotta agree (gulp) with judge Bruno, it really did look more like the Lindy hop. It cost her dearly, netting her a measly 26. Ouch redux!

And then there was Ty! No, his Viennese waltz wasn't exactly glistening, but he gave it all he had, earning a very solid 25. What a trooper! In the Latin round, he roped in a solid 23 for his feisty efforts! Unless the viewers save him, he's pretty much done for in terms of competing in the ballroom.

I gotta admit it, I'm glad Gilles is back! (He was one of my early picks for making it to the finals). Enough of the "theatrics" of the past few weeks! He is a gorgeous dancer and he proved it tonight with his perfect turns on the dancefloor.

Predictions? I'm thinking Ty's outta there and it will come down to Melissa, Shawn and my prediction for the series champ, Gilles. But there's still the finals next week, so anything can happen. Hey, stranger things have happened in the ballroom. (Melissa, think Lil Kim).
Stay tuned.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

'Dancing with the Brides' set for Chicago

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And now for something competely different....

Brides Magazine is hosting their first-ever instructional dance series/contest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 31 at the Drake Hotel, (140 E. Walton Place, Chicago), where engaged couples get free dance lessons (think salsa, waltz, fox trot!) and a chance to win cash prizes toward their wedding expenses. Your wedding has to be scheduled by May 1, 2010 to qualify. One couple will win a $10,000 Grand Prize toward their wedding expenses at the finals (between Chicago, Dallas and New York couples) held in October. Additional prizes include a chance to appear on television and in the magazine.

This interactive all-day event includes hands-on dance instruction, chances to win prizes, bridal-related items from Brides Magazine partners and contest sponsors, and a swag bag for attendees (no purchase necessary; while supplies last).

For complete information and contest rules, and to register for the May 31 Chicago event, check out www.dancingwithbrides.com.

Len Goodman topless! Who woudda thunk it?

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It was just an insane night on "Dancing with the Stars" Tuesday when the results sent shockwaves throughout the ballroom (and pretty much all of television land!). Of course, that paled by comparison to the "Dance Center" segment with Kenny Mayne, Len Goodman and Jerry Rice that featured one of the most hilarious sights in the history of "DWTS": the boys were topless!! Yup, there sat Rice, Mayne and Goodman, sans shirts, with Mane in all his pasty-white glory sandwiched between the very buff Rice and Goodman, who I gotta say, looked great with his spray-on tan and nice physique. Gotta admit, the running bit is one of the highlights of the series, thanks to Mayne's dry sense of humor and Rice and Goodman who will pretty much go with whatever that wild and crazy Kenny has in store.

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat show highlights

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Just goes to show you... anything can happen in the ballroom.
Case in point: In tonight's elimination round, the setup for next week's semi-finals, it was that super-charged, "Bionic Bootie" herself Lil Kim that wound up exiting the ballroom, instead of the "expected" Ty Murray.

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No matter how much Lil Kim shook her "bionic bootie" on Monday night, it wasn't enough to save her from elimination on "Dancing with the Stars."


In an astonishing upset in terms of overall performances up till now (anyone remember Sabrina Bryan's early departure from the ballroom), viewers' votes kept Ty in the running even though he was at the bottom of the leader board Monday night. Lil Kim, who had consistently been in the top five on the leaderboard, was just one notch above Ty after her dismal dancing Monday night. But even the judges' rude comments to Ty couldn't dissuade viewers. Never under-estimate a cowboy with a charming smile!

It's always a bittersweet moment when the show gets to this point and someone is out of the running. I think no one was more stunned than Ty, but I gotta say he has just as much right as anybody else to hold his head up high for the semi-finals round next week. Ty has come a long, long way in this competition, and he has embodied the very essence of the show: He became a ballroom dancer. Go Ty!!!

So here's the set up for next week's semi-finals: Melissa Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani; Ty Murray and partner Chelsie Hightower; Shawn Johnson and partner Mark Ballas; and Gilles Marini and partner Cheryl Burke. Here's to an exciting night of dancing!

Let's just call it "What a crock, part II."

Honestly, after tonight's scores, could the judges make it any more personal?
They want Ty gone,and granted, he's not in the same league as the other four remaining dancers, but could the judges be a little more obvious about it?

Melissa's samba had an awkward solo at the very beginning, and yet the judges didn't even mention it on the way to giving her a perfect "30" for what really wasn't that spectacular of a samba (look back at a few really great, fun sambas this season). Yet, Gilles' "opening" solo of his rhumba was labeled quite awkward, on the way to his score of 27. Give me a break!.

Okay Len, Okay Bruno.... Melissa will undoubtedly be back next week. But do you have to be so cruel to Ty to send your message home to viewers: "Don't vote for Ty"? He's made it quite far in the competition, and at the very least deserves the judges' respect. I can honestly say, I rooted all season for Ty, not because I thought he could win, but because he embodied what this show was all about way back in season one: taking folks COMPLETELY out of their element and turning them into respectable dancers. He may not end up with the mirrorball trophy, but Ty Murray is a winner when it comes to dancing.

Still don't know what Lil Kim was thinking with her salsa or her Viennese waltz. This is no time to make the number of mistakes she made throuhgout the routines. Her startling scores of 25 and 27 could really jeopardize her chance at a final four spot. And Gilles, what has happened? His over-danced rhumba left me (and the judges) shaking our heads. What should have been a chance at another 30, wound up a 27, and cost him the lead in tonight's competition. Shawn was equally impressive but again, stupid judgement mistakes were made in the choreography of her quick step routine, costing her a chance at a 30; she had to settle for a 27. She did come back with her 29 for a sizling paso doble.

Tomorrow night's results show is anybody's guess. The competition going into next week's semi-finals is just out-of-this-world intense. I'm predicting Ty goes home Tuesday night, leaving Melissa, Lil Kim, Shawn and Gilles set for the greatest semi-finals in the show's history.

Stay tuned...

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests on today's talk shows:

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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