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November 2009 Archives

Tinsel TV: Holiday shows scheduled today

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"The Dog Who Saved Christmas" (5 p.m., ABC Family) See Nov. 29.

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (7 p.m., AMC) Chevy Chase. Relatives gather at the Griswold home, and chaos ensues. Repeats at 9:15 p.m. 1989

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (7:30 p.m., WLS-Channel 7) Animated classic about a mean one trying to ruin Whoville's holiday.


"Shrek the Halls" (7:30 p.m., WLS-Channel 7) For his kids' sake, the ogre pretends to like Christmas.

Tinsel TV: Holiday shows scheduled today

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"Jingle All the Way" (5 p.m., TBS) See Nov. 28.

"Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Ghosts of Christmas Eve" (5:30 p.m., WTTW-Channel 11) Ossie Davis and Jewel in a musical fairy tale.

"The Dog Who Saved Christmas" (7 p.m., ABC Family) Dean Cain. A pooch who won't bark is home alone during a Christmas Eve break-in. Repeats at 9 p.m. 2009


"The Santa Clause" (7 p.m., TBS) See Nov. 27. (Repeats at 8:45 p.m.)

"A Dog Named Christmas" (8 p.m., WBBM-Channel 2) Bruce Greenwood. A young animal lover helps a shelter's adoption program. 2009

"Straight No Chaser: Live in New York" (9 p.m., WTTW-Channel 11) A cappella singers perform numbers from its Christmas albums.

"Larry the Cable Guy's Hula-Palooza Christmas Luau" (9 p.m., CMT) See Nov. 26.

"Larry the Cable Guy's Star Studded Christmas Extravaganza" (10:30 p.m., CMT) The comedian gits 'er done with guests Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry and Jeff Foxworthy.

Tinsel TV: Holiday shows scheduled today

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112809xmas.jpg"Magnificent Mile Lights Festival" (12:30 p.m., WLS-Channel 7) Highlights from the Nov. 21 Michigan Avenue festivities.

"The Santa Clause" (6 p.m., TBS) See Nov. 27.

"Merry Madagascar" (7 p.m., WMAQ-Channel 5) When Santa crash-lands, the animals must make his rounds.

"Jingle All the Way" (8 p.m., TBS) Arnold Schwarzenegger. A dad stops at nothing to get the toy his son craves. 1996

"Elf" (8 p.m., USA) See Nov. 26.

Tinsel TV: Holiday shows scheduled today

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"Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special" (6 p.m., Comedy Central) See Nov. 26.


"Elf" (6 p.m., USA) See Nov. 26.

"The Santa Clause" (8 p.m., TBS) Tim Allen. A divorced dad puts on Santa's suit and inherits the job. 1994

WKRP's classic 'Turkeys Away" episode

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Enjoy watching one of the best Thanksgiving episodes in all of TV (ahem) ...

Tinsel TV: Holiday shows scheduled today

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"The Thanksgiving Day Parade" (8 a.m., WBBM-Channel 2) The Macy's extravaganza, live from New York.

"McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade" (8 a.m., WGN-Channel 9) Live coverage of the State Street procession.

"Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" (9 a.m., WMAQ-Channel 5) Floats, bands and big balloons on Seventh Avenue.

"Bozo, Gar & Ray" (11 a.m., WGN-Channel 9) A look back at WGN children's classics includes the 1950s favorites "Hardrock, Coco and Joe," "Suzy Snowflake" and "Frosty the Snowman."


"Home Alone" (11 a.m., FX) Macaulay Culkin. A boy left on his own takes on bumbling burglars. Repeats until 11 p.m. 1990

"Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special" (7 p.m., Comedy Central) The ventriloquist spends the holiday with dummies.

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (7 p.m., WLS-Channel 7) Snoopy serves the gang toast and popcorn.

"Miracle on 34th Street" (7 p.m., ABC Family) Dylan McDermott. A girl's skepticism about Santa is put to the test. 1994

"Elf" (8 p.m., USA) Will Ferrell. A man brought up at Santa's workshop searches for his identity in New York. 2003

"Sting: A Winter's Tale" (10:30 p.m., WTTW-Channel 11) The rocker performs seasonal songs at an English cathedral.

"Larry the Cable Guy's Hula-Palooza Christmas Luau" (11 p.m., CMT) Mele Kalikimaka from the hick comedian and guests Kenan Thompson, Billy Currington and the Zac Brown Band.

NEW YORK -- Donny Osmond may have been the celebrity winner on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," but his professional dancing partner already has her next gig lined up -- Broadway.

Kym Johnson will make her Broadway debut Friday in "Burn the Floor," the hot-blooded ballroom dance show at the Longacre Theatre. She will be partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, another alum of "Stars." He opened "Burn the Floor" on Broadway in August.

Johnson will be on Broadway through Jan. 10. She did the original workshop of "Burn the Floor" in London in 1998 and later toured around the world with the production

'Dancing with the Stars' finals nets smallest viewing audience

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To no one's surprise (especially mine), "Dancing with the Stars" has lost some of its lustre. The ratings were not as strong this season and ABC might want to seriousy rethink its celebrity lineups and how it packages the show, especially the intolerable results shows, which have become a musical variety hour each week.

According to Associated Press, an estimated 19.2 million people watched Donny Osmond win "Dancing With the Stars" -- the smallest audience for the show's finale since the first season.

This was the ninth edition of the contest, one of television's most popular shows. The Nielsen Co. says ratings have been down all season for the show, an indication that viewers weren't as attached to the contestants as they had in the past.

Osmond said the show has been a highlight in a career of ups and downs. He competed during the show's finale Tuesday against singer Mya and Kelly Osbourne, daughter of rock star Ozzy Osbourne. AP

Donny Osmond the champ of season 9 of 'Dancing with the Stars'

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Where was Donny Osmond's dancing hiding all season?

When the unbearable two-hour results show of "Dancing with the Stars" came to its not-so-unexpected conclusion tonight, it was Donny Osmond holding the mirrorball trophy high and proud as he and his pro partner Kym Johnson and Osmond's wife, sons and sister Marie celebrated the sweet taste of victory. Season nine had its champion, and it was Donny Osmond.

Over on the other side of the floor was R&B singer Mya, who pretty much seemed like a sure thing this season in terms of taking home the coveted trophy. It was not meant to be. Or maybe she finally realized there was no way to defeat the mighty Osmond viewer voting machine? It seemed as if Mya already had thrown in the towel last night during her dismal freestyle routine; tonight, it was as if she was just ready to pack up her dancing shoes and go home. The jive she and partner Dmitry Chaplin performed was just lackluster.

So what about the dancing prowess that Donny suddenly discovered? Between last night and tonight, Osmond danced like nobody's business, turning in some pretty sensational footwork and igniting a viewer voting war like no other. For the season, Donny had earned only one set of perfect scores --- and that was last night; tonight, he blew past Mya (who earned quite a few 30s this season as she danced rings around everybody else in the judges' minds) in the final round of dances, earning first place ranking from the judges who were probably wondering where the heck did Osmond's newfound footwork come from?

When it counted most, Osmond pulled out all the stops, and coupled with some serious missteps by Mya both last night and tonight, well, let's just say (as I did a few weeks back) that Donny pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win. He's got his uber-huge fan base to thank for much of it, no doubt about it.

But let's not forget the fabulous Kelly Osbourne, who came so far this season, who hung in there and worked hard and proved she could dance toe-to-toe with the best of them. Finishing in third place is not bad at all, considering some of the better dancers who were sent packing weeks ago. Again, fan base had much to do with Osbourne making it through to the finals, but no matter. It was a joy to watch her all season long.

And what happened to tonight's guest star Whitney Houston, who found it oh so difficult to vocalize during "I Want to Dance with Somebody," her second song of the evening? Just wondering.

What's on tap for season 10? Here's hoping for a much more streamlined results show (are you listening ABC?) and hopefully a more exciting roster of celebs. And a roster that doesn't include ANYONE who has ever had ANY kind of dance training in their lives. Wouldn't that be a nice change of pace?

Did Mya hand over the mirrorball trophy on a silver platter to Donny Osmond on tonight's finals of "Dancing with the Stars"?

In one of the most shocking and jaw-dropping finals in the show's history, the odds-on favorite --- that would be Mya--- turned in one of the least-inspired freestyle dances to open the ballroom doors wide open for Osmond to take that trophy on Tuesday night.

The prize was Mya's to lose and Donny's to win, going into the finals. No offense to Kelly, but she was just not up to the task of the finals. She proved it tonight as her Argentine tango lacked passion and confidence and netted her a measly 26 from the judges. Mya then stepped onto the dance floor with one of the best paso dobles this show has produced and promptly earned a 30 score. The gauntlet had been thrown down, and Donny up to the challenge, turned in a fun and fiery cha cha cha which netted him a solid 27 from the judges.

So far, it seemed like all the stars and planets were in alignment. That's when the floodgates opened wide.

The megamix challenge --- a ridiculous routine in which all three couples danced bits of the same three dances (Viennese waltz, samba and jive) side by side, was an exercise in synchronicity that should have been exiled to the pool. Mya was off during the waltz, Kelly was off during the jive, but Donny missed nary a step. Still, when the ridiculous scoring was announced, Mya nabbed a perfect 30, Donny had to settle for 28 and Kelly rightfully snagged third place with a 26. I don't know what the judges were watching but there was no way Mya danced better than Donny throughout the routine.

Kelly started the freestyle round in a fabulously dramatic style, all glistening in white and silver, but that euphoria would be short-lived as she fell/dropped out of Louis Van Amstel's grip during their routine (or as Kelly succinctly summed it up: "It looked like Louis pooped me out.") No matter, Osbourne was laughing too hard to care about the judges' score, which turned out to be a 24.

And then...

In a rehearsal video montage, Mya was shown discussing the fact that she didn't want a "Broadway" routine, when her partner Dmitry Chaplin suggested they recreate a number from "Hairspray" for the freestyle round. She wanted Vegas, baby! In the end, she gave in to the pro and it cost her DEARLY. Their homage to the Tony-winning musical was a downright bore, and even the judges were left shaking their heads in disbelief. What should have been scored no more than a 24, instead became a trio of 9s from Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, proving once again that the scoring process has to be overhauled. Nonetheless, this was the point in which Mya pretty much handed over the competition to Donny, who was absolutely on fire.

Osmond and his partner Kym Johnson smartly chose to play to Donny's strong suit, in this case, his amazing skills as a showman. And it all worked beautifully. Decked out in white tie and tails, Osmond could do no wrong, and the smart, polished, fabulously entertaining routine earned him the coveted 30 from the judges, and rightfully so.

I had said previously that the main reason Osmond made it to the finals was his fan base and not his dancing. Tonight, Osmond proved me right --- and wrong. His dancing earned him a 10; his fan base will win him a mirrorball trophy Tuesday night.

The stage is set for 'Dancing with the Stars' finals

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So it's here ---- the finals of Season 9 of "Dancing with the Stars".... and none too soon.

This hasn't been one of my favorite seasons in terms of line-up and especially the scoring process, but finals must take place, and tonight we will watch Donny Osmond, Kelly Osbourne and Mya compete for that fabulous mirrorball trophy.


Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson will be competing tonight in the finals of "Dancing with the Stars."

According to an ABC press release, here's how it will go down tonight:

"In the final performance show, the couples will face off against one another with three more dances. They will each perform the last Ballroom or Latin round dance they have not yet performed on the show, as well as the freestyle dance and then the megamix challenge. In the megamix, the three finalists will face-off at the same time in a group number made up of three dance styles, the Viennese Waltz, the Samba and the Jive, all choreographed by "Dancing with the Stars" alum Nick Kosovich. The judges will rank the couples in this performance."

So there you have it.

Come Tuesday night, ABC sums it up quite nicely:

"In Tuesday's two-hour Finale, all 16 couples from Season 9 will return to the dance floor for some special performances. "Iron Chef America" star Mark Dacascos and UFC champion Chuck Liddell battle it out in a dance floor face-off, while Season 2 competitor Jerry Rice and this season's Michael Irvin take their good natured rivalry to the dance floor for a dance-off. "Roast Master" Jeffrey Ross returns to induct Ashley Hamilton to the "Loser's Club" and Adam Carolla returns as "The Coach" for the finalists. Also returning this season are The Muppets, made famous by Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff's quickstep in week 2."

Couple all this with a performance by Whitney Houston on Tuesday night, and after what will seem like an eternity, the winner will be announced.

As I blogged last week, Mya should be the champ on Tuesday night, unless she performs miserably tonight. (Like that will happen.) Can Donny survive THREE performances again in one evening? Will Kelly be able to get over her lack of confidence? Why are we still pondering these questions at this stage of the game?

Because Donny, who is great at what he does as a showman, shouldn't be in the finals. His fans put him over the top and they may very well put him past Mya when all the votes are tallied up. Kelly, who I have cheered for since the very first night, likewise seems to be coasting on her fan base, despite having improved unbelievably as the weeks went by. But the finals? The finals should have featured Mya, Joanna (who was every bit as sexy and graceful and exciting to watch as Mya) and Aaron (who proved he could do it if he put his ego and silliness aside and concentrated!). Not because the trio were my favorites, but because they truly displayed dancing skills either honed in their "real" worlds or acquired and polished during the season. I also think the finals field would have been much more difficult to handicap and much more unpredictable under this scenario (and the fan bases might have been much more even).

So here's to tonight; no matter the outcome, there's always next season to look forward to.

'Dancing with the Stars' finalists revealed

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It came down to Joanna Krupa and Kelly Osbourne, and when the creepy elimination music stopped, it was Ozzie's little girl Kelly who will continue on to the finals next week on "Dancing with the Stars." Osbourne joins the previously revealed Mya and Donny Osmond in the quest for the mirrorball trophy.

Again, it's the popularity contest syndrome that plagues many a reality show, because there's no way Donny danced better than Joanna all season. And while I have cheered on Kelly all season, she too did not dance as well as Joanna most weeks. Which is not to say that I was championing Joanna, either. I was just pretty sure that the finals would have included Kelly, Joanna and Mya, given Donny's crummy performances on Monday night. But viewers' votes trumped all reason and all reality.

It's pretty clear Mya should walk away with the whole shebang next week, unless Osmond's fans REALLY pull an upset. He is a very good entertainer, but he is not a dancer in the same league as Mya, or even for that matter Kelly, who has simply gotten better each week. But the voting all season long has been all over the map, so even a seemingly sure thing like Mya winning it all is anybody's guess at this point.

So there you have it. The trophy is completely up for grabs next week, and don't be surprised if there's a stunning upset when the confetti settles.

P.S. And a really big shout-out to my co-worker Chris W. who called it (tonight's results) early this afternoon!!

'Dancing with the Stars' results show borders on what the?

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Okay, so it's 8:43 and at this moment, it's official: Mya and her partner Dmitri Chaplin and Donny Osmond and his partner Kym Johnson have made it to the finals in "Dancing with the Stars." One couple is still awaiting their fate.

What a horrible results show this has been.

Let's call it what it was---- a musical variety hour with a little bit of "Dancing" thrown in here and there. In fact, I can't remember a more ridiculous results show in the history of the show. Don't get me wrong, it was amazing to see Alicia Keys, and Leona Lewis perform, preceded by a scene from the upcoming film "Nine" and followed by a performance by the remaining Bee Gees ---- Barry and Robin --- turning in a fine rendition of "You Should Be Dancing." (Sadness at the loss of Maurice was obvious.) And did I mention that there was something about figuring out who's going to the "DWTS" finals peppered in?

How ridiculous it was to parade the four remaining couples out onto the dance floor REPEATEDLY and then cut away to a commercial or to another musical guest before any finalists were revealed? Make that annoying. And cruel.

And then there were two.... and again, ABC had to take care of business, leaving Joanna Krupa and partner Derek Hough, and Kelly Osbourne and partner Louis Van Amstel dangling in the wind, so we could be treated to 6 minutes (or thereabouts) of commercials.


'Dancing with the Stars' semi-finals hot to trot

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Okay, so the semi-finals tonight really proved why these four celebs are still in the running for the mirrorball trophy:

Mya, because she's a professional dancer (dancing since she was a tot);

Joanna, because she has proven that even someone who gave up on a dream of dance as a little girl, could rekindle that dream so many years later in such an amazing way;

Kelly, because the "wild child" --- as she has been affectionately dubbed in this season's lineup -- proved that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt (she has truly blossomed into an elegant dancing lady, who can still swear like a sailor but that's neither here nor there);

Donny, because, well, he had more fans than Aaron Carter. Osmond is a true entertainer, but he is not of the dancing caliber of the three ladies who faced off against him tonight.

And what an amazing night it was. Kym Johnson (who borrowed Edyta Slywinska's VERY revealing wardrobe for the night) and Donny Osmond just completely fell apart during their first dance (each couple had three tonight) turning a tango into a tang-not. Not even the super-sexy king of "Dancing" Gilles Marini could make Donny see what it takes to deliver the most passionate of all dances. And what was with Donny's swipe at his sister Marie (seated next to Mary Hart, who might just be eyeing a spot in next seaons's DWTS?). Remarking everything was great until he "saw Marie" wasn't funny. He was a little better in round two with a samba that Carrie Ann described as "sloppy." Not an adjective you want to hear in the semi-finals. But it still earned him a 26.

Kelly came out with guns blazing, doing a decent rhumba on her first try and then knocking it out of the park in round two. Her scores of 24 and 27 were nice, but at this stage of the game, she really needed a pair of 27s, or more.

Joanna also came to do battle with a positively gorgeous Viennese waltz that truly deserved 10s from the judges, but alas, she had to settle for a trio of 9s. In round two, her cha cha cha was again, positively sizzling, and yet, the judges couldn't bring themselves to raise the "10" paddles, sending her to the dressing rooms with another round of 9s.

Mya, the pro dancer/singer, of course took home the night's highest scores, first with a 28 for her waltz followed by a perfect score of 30 for her salsa --- a dance that led judge Len Goodman to remark "I was mesmerized by your buttocks." Nice Len, real nice.

Then it was off to the homestretch is the "knockout dance" round, wherein each couple got to do their 60-second "dance-off" routine. Donny's jitterbug pleased the judges, , earning him a generous 27. Joanna did a perfect salsa, but again, the judges couldn't find their 10 paddles, instead showering her with a round of 9s (the same score they gave Donny's jitterbug). Kelly really came out swinging, or more to the point, cha cha cha-ing and earned a 27 for her efforts. And then Mya, who was poised to nab another perfect 30 came out and did the unthinkable: she earned a 9 from Carrie Ann who remarked she just wasn't too crazy about the routine. Still she walked away with a 29.

In the end, it was Mya atop the leaderboard, with Joanna in second, Kelly in third and Donny in 4th. Tomorrow night, one couple will be sent packing, setting the stage for the finals next week. Who will that be?

I can tell you it SHOULD be Donny, but it will probably be Kelly as tonight, more than ever, the fan clubs of the world will determine who stays and who goes and Donny's fan base is astronomical. So the finals will more than likely feature Mya, Joanna and if viewer voting stays the course, Donny. Sorry, but he doesn't stand a chance next to the ladies when it comes time for the presentation of the trophy.

Of course, anything can happen.

Stay tuned.

P.S. Another great reason for tuning in Tuesday is to catch the Bee Gees --- Robin and Barry Gibb ---- who are slated to perform!

Emotions run high on 'Dancing with the Stars' results show

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It was perhaps the most emotional night in the history of "Dancing with the Stars." And in the end Aaron Carter went home. But what a night it was.

Where to begin? How 'bout with the triumphant return of Sabrina Bryan and her former pro partner Mark Ballas, paired for the "Stars of Dance" performance. What an incredible paso doble, and how marvelous to see the two of them light up the dance floor like nobody's business.

Peppered in between was the slow elimination process, that soon found Mya and Joanna Krupa headed toward the semi-finals next week. There they stood, Donny Osmond, Aaron Carter and Kelly Osbourne fighting for their dancing lives, and the two remaining slots in the semi-finals.

But the emotions grew as Michael Buble turned in a stylish performance with his hit single "Haven't Met You Yet" (and later he returned for his signature smokin' rendition of "I'm Feelin' Good" made even hotter by the dance routine of two pro dancers... I must get their names!! Yowza what a combination of Buble and dancing!).

Then it was on to Susan Boyle, who sparkled both in couture and voice on what's become her signature tune, "I Dreamed a Dream." It was not the bombastic, go-for-broke, positively enchanting version she wowed the world with on "Britain's Got Talent," (thanks to a smart blogger out there for correcting me!) but it worked. It did show how much Boyle has adapted to the music biz; she's a bit more polished in presentation and tone, a bit more reserved; that can be both good and bad. Or maybe it was just nerves. Here's hoping she isn't get lost in the hype of Hollywood and superstardom. Of course, the accompanying dance routine by Tony Dovolani and Chelsie Hightower was just gorgeous, powerful and provocative. Bravo!

Then just when emotions couldn't get any higher, it came down to the final two, Aaron and Kelly, standing in those red lights and listening to the spooky "elimination" music. In the end it was Aaron that was sent packing, much to the shock of many in the ballroom and especially the judges. Carrie Ann Inaba couldn't even applaud Kelly's good fortune (though I don't think she was ready to see Kelly leave either), and for the first time judge Len Goodman asked to say a few words.

It was those words to Carter, most notably the passage that went something along the lines of: "If you were my son I would be so proud of you. But more important, you be proud of yourself, because you've been great." Carter, completely shocked and overcome with emotion almost lost his footing (and his composure) as he stepped over to shake Goodman's hand.

There were very few dry eyes in the house!

Of course, the best and most lighthearted moments came courtesy of Kenny Mayne, Jerry Rice and Len Goodman with their "Dance Center" analysis of the competitors. This stuff is priceless! The show could use more bits like this to keep it interesting and amp up the fun quotient.

So the finals will find Osmond, Osbourne, Krupa and Mya competing for the mirrorball trophy. Alas, I'm thinking Osbourne will most likely be the next to go, unless Krupa really screws up next week during competition (like she did last night in her ballroom dance). Donny and Mya will most likely make it to the finals, folks; Mya because she really can dance, and Donny because he has the biggest fan base on the show.

Stay tuned.

Susan Boyle sings tonight on 'Dancing with the Stars'

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Susan Boyle will perform the title track off her forthcoming album 'I Dreamed a Dream' (Columbia) tonight on "Dancing with the Stars." The album is slated for release on Nov. 23. To coincide with the release, Boyle will make her live morning TV debut on "The Today Show" on the 23rd.

Produced by Steve Mac (Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson), the 12-track collection features the title track (natch) as well as Boyle's take on "Cry Me A River," the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," Madonna's "You'll See," The Monkees' "Daydream Believer," and "Who I Was Born To Be," an original recording written especially for Boyle.


Worldwide singing sensation Susan Boyle will guest-star tonight on "Dancing with the Stars: The Results Show." AP

Could Donny Osmond be the next celeb to exit 'Dancing' ballroom?

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So it took me oh, 14 hours or so to get over Monday night's "Dancing with the Stars" Donny Osmond HIGHlarity! I couldn't help but guffaw out loud at Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba's totally genuine reactions/laughter following Osmond's 80s' inspired passo. The darling pop star received average votes from the judges who seem just a wee bit anxious to have him exit the ballroom. No matter how they couch it, they're just not as enchanted by Osmond's antics anymore. You can see it on their faces. Have you noticed all they ever say is how "entertaining" he is? Okay, but this is not "Entertaining with the Stars."

Are the judges right? We're headed to the semi-finals folks, and frankly, there wasn't much about last night save for Derek and Joanna's marvy futuristic paso doble (and Mya's killer 70s routine) that screamed out: "I'm a semi-finalist!"

Donny may have a super-huge fan base, but will it be enough to keep him around? Even if the other dancers are better? That's how it goes on "DWTS." When it comes down to the semi-finals, it's the better dancers that often pay the price for fan bases. Is Donny dancing as well as Mya? Not really. Is Kelly dancing as well as Mya. Nope. Is Joanna dancing better than Donny? Yep. Is Aaron dancing better than Donny? Uh-huh. Was Kelly's eye-shadow better than Donny's. Yes! Confused? Me too.

If I had to predict tonight's departure, I would say it's a toss-up between Donny and Kelly Osbourne, with Donny getting a slight edge based on his goofy performance last night. But does Kelly have a strong enough following to edge him out? It's anybody's guess. I will be positively stunned if Aaron is sent packing. He has come so far over the past few weeks and is dancing beyond anything I could have imagined at the onset of the season. But he may the sacrificial fan-base lamb.

Of special note: hot, hot Michael Buble and darling of the world Susan Boyle are on the docket for tonight's guest star spots. Should be a very, very exciting evening of song.

Irvin, Dacascos get the 'Dancing with the Stars' boot

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No surprise, Michael Irvin and Mark Dacascos were sent packing from "Dancing with the Stars" tonight. It's unfortunate because Irvin had been steadily improving as the weeks went on; Dacascos on the other hand seemed to lose his footing in the past few competitions regardless of his partner (Lacey Schwimmer came down with a miserable case of the flu and did not dance Monday night with Dacascos). But both celebs have been consistently toward the middle or bottom of the pack, and as we head into week 8, it's dog-eat-dog out on that dance floor and this is where it comes down absolutely to fan base. Regardless of the judges' scores we're down to a pack of scoring leaders --- there really isn't a weak link left --- so it will be up to the fans to pour on the votes.

In a rather stunning turn of events tonight, Aaron Carter found himself in the bottom three after earning his highest score of the season, a 29, on Monday night. While Irvin learned his fate early on in the proceedings, Carter and Dacascos faced off in the dance-off until only one was left standing. It wasn't even close. No matter how much the judges praised Dacascos for his cha cha, it couldn't hold a candle to the fiery jive delivered by Carter and his partner Karina Smirnoff.

On the entertainment side of things: Colbie Caillat turned in a lovely performance. Note to Derek Hough and Mark Ballas aka Ballas Hough: If you want to make your lip synching even slightly believable please dump the hand mikes for headsets. Nothing is more ridiculous than watching, uhm, singer-dancers forget to hold their mikes up to their mouths while concentrating on the dance moves---- and by gosh, don't their vocals just keep on going!

Of course, special guest star Rod Stewart showed the youngun's how it's done with a marvy rendtion of the Four Tops classic "It's the Same Old Song." Not a synching lip in sight!

On to week 8.. I'm thinking Aaron and Kelly are the weakest of the strongest links right now. But Mya has been known to displease the judges (Okay, Len Goodman) with her penchant for "gimmicks" in her dance routines. That's a slippery slope to be on this late in the game. And Donny Osmond needs to start relying more on his footwork and less on showmanship if he wants to be the one holding the mirrorball trophy at season's end. Joanna Krupa has managed to enchant the judging panel, but does she have enough of a fan base to hold up against the rest, including Aaron Carter and Kelly Osbourne who could come on like gangbusters.

Stay tuned.

Stay tuned.

Stay tuned.

Week 7 of "Dancing with the Stars" was one of the most odd if my memory serves me right... and it does.

There was judge Bruno Tonioli awarding a crummy "7" to Michael Irvin, talking about how much the former pro footballer has improved!! Moments later, after loudly pointing out to Donny Osmond that his performance was just riddled with mistakes, Bruno promptly awarded the popster an "8"! I'm sure there's a logical explanation. I'm waiting, Bruno. Still waiting.

Kudos to Aaron Carter for finally picking up a personality at the mall over the weekend. He and Karina finally clicked in their fiery jive!

It was also a night filled with snotty noses... literally. There was Lacey Schwimmer looking like the flu had completely taken over every inch of her being, until Mark smartly told her to JUST GO HOME. Alas, poor Mark had only two days to work with substitute partner Anna Trebunskya and the result was a samba that the judges said was akin to "a mess," or as Bruno so eloquently put it: "It was like Kung-Fu Panda does the samba on Planet of the Apes." Just sit back and let that comment waft over you.

In the team competition, Team paso doble (Mark, Mya, Aaron and Michael) did their stomping best but just couldn't put the sync into their in-sync dancing. The final score: 24. Did you get a look at Michael Irvin's six-pack abs?
And now back to our program....

Over on Team tango, Kelly, Donny and Joanna were just too hot and too coordinated, and their tango was a sizzling success wtih the judges. Score: 29.

Back to runny noses... there was Donny in rehearsal footage going on and on and on and on about how sick he felt. There's something nasty going around the halls of the ballroom.

It's a double-elimination Tuesday night, and I'm thinking Mark and Michael will probably be hitting the road. I for one will be sad to see Michael leaving as his scores have steadily climbed and his dancing really has improved. Mark just hasn't been able to find his stride as the weeks went on. The stunning upset might be Kelly, who has been (up until tonight's solo samba and group tango) just a bit lackluster.(She was my early pick to make it to the finals, btw).

Stay tuned.

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