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October 2011 Archives

It was an eerie night in the "Dancing With the Stars" ballroom. Blame it on Halloween.
Or blame it on the fact that it's week seven and the contestants for the most part seemed well, tired. Their scores reflected it.
Not that it wasn't a fun night. Far from it.
With ghoulish costumes and makeup, the troupe of contestants competed in solo dances and then in the team dance. Scores for both dances were combined for one total to be added to viewer votes on Tuesday.

David Arquette kicked things off with a funky cha cha that was peppered with goofy footwork and not so cool choreography by his partner Kym Johnson. Still, the popular duo managed a 24 from the judges.

J.R. Martinez slipped from first place on this night with a, well, not very good tango, with partner Karina Smirnoff. And he knew it. J.R. didn't have quite the polish and timing of his previous performances and though he landed a 25 from the judges, it should have been so much more at this stage of the competition.

Next up, Nancy Grace and her partner Tristan McManus, who've had an odd sort of relationship all season long, just never connected in their jive. It lacked bounce, fun, speed and good footwork. Score: 21. Note to judges: please stop referring to her age of 51 as if she were 91!

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke turned in a sexy, fiery tango (dress as Morticia and Gomez Addams, no less) that was good enough to earn a 25 from the judges.

Ricki Lake, suffering from a painful ribcage/nerve injury, turned in the night's best performance by far with a sultry, powerful, precise paso doble with partner Derek Hough. The judges (and the ballroom) couldn't get enough of it and rewarded her with a much deserved 27.

Hope Solo and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy continued to demonstrate the ABSOLUTE lack of chemistry they have displayed all season long. An injured Maks (minor toe injury) brought in another pro to help Hope during rehearsals. She promptly turned into a giggling 13-year-old with her giggly new mate and showed Maks a thing or two with her sudden improvement. It was childish; and her performance on the dance floor (though the judges liked it) was not very polished. Still, she earned a 24, which kept her off the bottom run of the leader board ladder.

What followed were the team dance performances: Team Tango (J.R., David and Nancy) vs. Team Paso (Ricki, Rob and Maks). Team Tango was first up with a group effort that was OK at best. Even judge Len Goodman couldn't contain his disappointment when he pointed out that their solos within the team dance were "just a disaster." Score: a dismal 23. Team Paso faired much better thanks to much better choreography, more powerful footwork and the anchor leg of Ricki and Derek. Score: 26.

At week 7, it's hard to imagine that folks would be earning scores as low as a 21. Who will leave Tuesday night? It should come down to Nancy and Hope. Here's hopin' it's Hope... for her sake, for Maks' sake and for viewers' sake.

Guest star on the results show will be Justin Bieber.

Chaz Bono voted off 'Dancing with the Stars'

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After a very intense Monday night of competition in which tempers flared and insults were hurled, the drama continued into the "Dancing with the Stars" results show tonight.
You could have cut the tension in the room with a knife, and when all was said and done, Chaz Bono was sent packing after scoring the lowest points the night before and failing to earn enough viewer votes to keep him on for another week.
Standing in the elimination round with Bono was Hope Solo, who along with her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, found themselves Monday night at the center of the maelstrom.

Earlier today, Chaz and his partner Lacey Schwimmer were very vocal about their support for Maks' comments Monday night about the judges' "lack of fairness" and their penchant for allegedly playing favorites. Schwimmer went so far as to tell "Access Hollywood" that it was obvious the judges didn't like Chaz Bono, how he looked, how he danced and that she thought it was just rude that they kept referring to Bono as an "animal" (Bruno on Monday night compared Chaz' dancing to "a menacing bird of prey"). In the interview, Lacey says that "unnecessary words and things are said about Chaz. Just because he isn't their favorite doesn't mean they have to treat him like that."

That things have gotten ugly in the ballroom is an understatement, and it was only a matter of time that tempers would boil over. The judging on the show has been frustrating viewers for many seasons now, and pros such as Maks and Mark Ballas have often shown their disgust with the judges' remarks (mostly those of Len Goodman, a stalwart on the ballroom circuit.) On Monday night, Maks suggested it was time for Len to "get out" of the ballroom competition business. It was not a proud moment for the show. I can't remember any other similarly styled reality show (read: live judges giving criticism) in which the competitors basically told the judges to shove off. There are no winners here.

Maybe it's time some of the pros took a season or two off from the show? Maybe it's time the judges were given the chance to bow out for one season? What do you think?

Sparks fly, tempers flare on 'Dancing With the Stars'

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Week six of "Dancing with the Stars" brought out the good, the bad and the ugly. And it was "Broadway music night" to boot.

Some of the evening's dancing was good, as in the quickstep performed by David Arquette and his partner Kym Johnson. It wasn't great, as they were out of synch in several spots, but it was good and fun to watch. Score: 23

Some of the evening's dancing was bad, as in the awful tango performed by Chaz Bono and his partner Lacey Schwimmer. And though the judges tried to couch it as "lacking personality," the dance lacked, well, dancing. Bad footwork, bad choreography (though to Lacey's credit she too was frustrated in rehearsals for not being able to up the ante in the footwork department). Score: 19, the lowest of the night. Even judge Bruno Tonioli quipped to Bono: "It was like a cute little penguin trying to be a menacing bird of prey."

And some of the dancing was ugly, or at least the outcome of the routine was ugly, as in the disgraceful exchange that occurred between judge Len Goodman and pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Coming out of a really bad rumba routine with Hope Solo (who really just never grasped the idea of the sexiness of the rumba), Len laid into both of the dancers, citing Hope's flat-heeled boots (and her flat-footedness) and Maks' poor choreography ("50 percent is your fault," Len chirped). Maks couldn't stay quiet any longer and basically told the veteran judge (who had just stated he'd been in the ballroom dance business for nearly 50 years): "Maybe it's time to get out." A whole bunch of yelling and talking over one another and the audience booing and screaming then ensued with judge Carrie Ann Inaba telling Maks not to disrespect Len. (Let's not forget the run-ins that Carrie Ann and Maks have had in previous seasons, either). No matter. It was an ugly moment. Made even uglier by Maks, who, after receiving a score of 20 for their routine, proclaimed "This is my show. I help make it what it is" in disdain of his low score.

Can't we all just get a long?

There was also plenty of beautiful dancing tonight, especially from Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez. who tied for the top of the leader board with scores of 29. Lake and partner Derek Hough turned in an electrifying quickstep, full of razzle-dazzle, style, glamor and incredible speed. It was breathtaking. J.R. and his partner Karina Smirnoff were also exciting to watch, stylish and dazzling in their quickstep.

As for the rest, Nancy Grace surprised everyone with a well-danced fox trot that was cheeky and fun and earned her a 24 from the judges. Rob Kardashian earned a 22 for his OK take on the cha cha; it was not his best dance this season.

The troupe came together as one for the big group dance (no judges' scores applied) in which everyone got the chance to show they can dance as a group and as individual pairs all in the same number.

So who goes home Tuesday night? By all rights, it should be Chaz for consistently landing at the bottom or near bottom of the pack. It's week six already.... there's just way too much serious and impressive dancing going on out there. The "sleeper" could be Hope Solo, who, like Chaz, just can't compete with the rest of the pack at this stage of the competition.

Carson Kressley exits 'Dancing with the Stars'

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The votes were all counted, and to no one's big surprise, Carson Kressley was sent packing from the "Dancing with the Stars" ballroom on tonight's results show.

The flamboyant Kressley was one of the highlights of the season when it came to entertainment value and sheer joy of competing. His low score of 19 from Monday night for a ridiculous cheerleading routine (very little dancing, mind you) pretty much sealed his fate.

Sharing the elimination spotlight tonight was soccer star Hope Solo, who along with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, joined Kressley and his partner Anna Trebunskya in the battle for the last spot in next week's episode. Solo also was lackluster Monday night, which could seal her fate next week. The rest of the pack is just too solid (except for Chaz Bono who has a huge fan base to thank for his continued presence) with competitors such as J.R. Martinez, Ricki Lake and to everyone's surprise, Rob Kardashian.

David Arquette had a bit of a scare on tonight's show when he and partner Kym Johnson were also relegated to "in jeopardy" status early on. But he will dance another week. Also returning will be Nancy Grace who was "saved" early on.

Next Monday night it's all about Broadway music, and a second dance, for each remaining couple. Let's see who can stand up to the pressure of learning two dances in less than a week.

'80s Night on 'Dancing with the Stars' a mixed bag

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To paraphrase that old song.... Oh yes it's 80s night and the feeling's right.. . but somehow, the feeling tonight on "Dancing with the Stars" -- the 80s night, wasn't all that right.

There was plenty of good dancing.... David Arquette, J.R. Martinez, Rob Kardashian and even Chaz Bono (who's been doing better of late) all turned in decent spins on the dance floor with their respective partners. And it was Martinez who walked away with the night's high score of 28 when all was said and done.

But the rest of the pack.... Nancy Grace, Carson Kressley, Ricki Lake (the leader for three previous weeks) and Hope
Solo failed to ignite the ballroom. Hope and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy have little chemistry out on that floor (or perhaps it was just more evident tonight during their choppy tango). The judges' score of 24 was far better than the dance warranted.

Kardashian has surprised everyone in the past few weeks with his steady progression and determination to hang in there. Tonight's sultry samba proved he really CAN dance. It was one of the night's highlights.

But even the judges' remarks seemed sleepy tonight (though all three of them couldn't resist pointing out that Nancy Grace was, ahem, "older" than her dashing young partner Tristan MacManus and that she turned in a "proper" rumba for a lady of her age) How rude. Yes she's "older," but we're not talking Cloris Leachman territory by any means.

By all accounts, Kressley should be heading home Tuesday night on the results show, judging by his ridiculous cheerleader routine tonight (not quite sure there was any real jive in the entire routine). His paltry 19 on this, the halfway point of the competition, should seal his fate.

And who has a better cheering section that Arquette? His adorable daughter Coco just beamed when her dad earned high praises from (and a coveted "9") from judge Len Goodman.

Chynna Phillips the latest to exit 'Dancing with the Stars'

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When it was all over, and not too much to anyone's surprise, singer Chynna Phillips was the latest celebrity to be eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars."

The hourlong results show moved blissfully along, and included several guest star highlights including singer Susan Boyle (performing "Unchained Melody" from her new album due out soon), and the return of Julianne Hough, the two-time "DWTS" champ, who was on board to promote her new film, the remake of "Footloose" due out in theaters Friday. Hough performed with her on-screen co-star Kenny Wormald. Blake Shelton delivered his cover of the film's title song. She also danced a second routine with her brother Derek, who is leading this season's competition with partner Ricki Lake. It was an emotional night for Hough, who said it was so good to be home.

The always-exciting Raphael Saadiq returned to the ballroom and opened the show on a very high note!

In terms of this week's competitive outcome, it came down to Phillips and Rob Kardashian. But after last night's debacle, in which Phillips completely forgot her dance routine with partner Tony Dovolani, even the judges' inflated scores couldn't keep her in around for one more week.

Next week's show theme is all about the '80s. Stay tuned.

P.S. Did Brooke Burke really refer to Susan Boyle's song as "Enchanted Melody"?!?

So we turn to "Movie Music" theme night on "Dancing with the Stars," always a favorite of viewers, contestants, and one blogger, alike. And did we mention Cher was in the house? More on that later.

Ricki Lake proved why she deserves to be on the top of the leader board for a third week in a row. The actress/talk show host turned in one of the most incredible routines of this season (and quite a few otheres) with a powerful tango set to the creepy violin-driven music from "Psycho." Derek Hough delivered impossibly thrilling choreography and the pair were near flawless in their execution. Her score? A totally deserved 29 --- 10s from judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli and a 9 from Len Goodman who complained that her chin dropped down one or two times during the routine. Really, Len? A droopy chin movement?

But let's return to the beginning of the night, when Goodman's judgment was equally out of whack.

First up tonight was Chynna Philips with her partner Tony Dovolani who went on to NOT dance their intended tango as Philips completely forgot pretty much all of her steps.

Looking much like a deer with eyes in the proverbial headlights, the singer completely "lost the dance" (choreographed to the theme from "Mission Impossible") and though she did her best to just keep moving (which she did, spurred on by Tony's very visible verbal coaching), she didn't pull it off. She even admitted as much as she fought back tears, waiting for the judging hammer to fall hard.

Alas, the judges served up a very hefty score of 21 (three 7s in case you were wondering how it played out) --- for a dance that wasn't danced. Just last week, Chaz Bono didn't do much dancing either during his moment in the spotlight and he was promptly chastized and rewarded (rightfully so) with a score of 18. Maybe the judges' "6" paddles weren't available tonight for Chynna?

Following Chynna was David Arquette and his partner Kym Johnson, who turned in a fun paso doble to the theme from "Raiders of the Lost Ark." It was very entertaining, exciting and Arquette danced quite well, though not perfect. But at least he danced. And yet, the judges handed out a score of 23. Seriously? It earned a standing ovation from the audience for a VERY good reason. It was pretty darn good.

Of course, the scoring debacle continued as Carson Kressley and his partner Anna Trebunskya earned a paltry 20 for their VERY entertaining Viennese waltz to music from "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Black Pearl." Sure, he messed up some steps here and there and here and there, but it deserved at least a 21 or even a 22. This was not the worst dance of the night.

Nancy Grace didn't do much for the paso doble with her partner Tristan McManus. In fact, the only highlight of their routine was listening to a cover of Queen's "Flash's Theme" from the film "Flash Gordon. Score: 21. Go figure.

Hope Solo and Maks Chmerkovskiy were cartoon eye candy during their adorable fox trot to "You've Got a Friend in Me" from "Toy Story." It was cute to watch, but not as fiery as some of their earlier routines. Still, judge Len Goodman proclaimed Hope would likely make it all the way (as in win the whole shebang). Not as long as Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez have anything to say about it. Score: 24, one of the night's highest.

Rob Kardashian and partner Cheryl Burke attempted a paso doble to the theme from "Superman" and their efforts were rewarded handsomely (amid a few gripes from judge Len Goodman) with a score of 24. Rob even ripped open his shirt to reveal --- an emblazoned "K" sted of the requisite "S" sported by the fictional superhero. Way to keep that family brand name front-and-center! And wasn't Cheryl's costume more reminiscent of the enslaved Princess Leia Organa than Lois Lane? :)

True to her word, er, her tweet, Cher was in the ballroom tonight to cheer on Chaz.The singer-actress had tweeted last week that she would indeed attend tonight's competition if Chaz made it through to another week.

Chaz pulled out all the stops in his paso doble to the theme from "Rocky" with partner Lacey Schwimmer. And it all worked pretty well. Cher lept to her feet, fought back tears (she couldn't hold them back very long) when Chaz ran up the ballroom's staircase ( a la Rocky Balboa ) raising his arms in triumph, and the audience joined in the emotional moment with a standing ovation. The score: 21 --- should pretty much guarantee Chaz will be back to dance another day.

Last up tonight was J.R. Martinez, who along with partner Karina Smirnoff, was pretty in pink ---- as in "Pink Panther" ---- as the couple turned in a pretty snazzy fox trot to the unmistakable theme. Not quite as good as his previous outings, and though technically smooth, it was not good enough to overtake Ricki Lake who earlier turned in what would be the performance of the night. Score for J.R.? 26.

So who goes home Tuesday? It should be Chynna, but Carson will have to hope for a huge fan base voter turnout to overcome Philips' judges' scores and live to dance another day.

Cher enters the ballroom to cheer on Chaz

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True to her word, er, her tweet, Cher was in the ballroom tonight on "Dancing with the Stars" to cheer on Chaz.The singer-actress had tweeted last week that she would indeed attend tonight's competition if Chaz made it through to another week.
Chaz pulled out all the stops in his paso doble to the theme from "Rocky" with partner Lacey Schwimmer. And it all worked pretty well. Cher lept to her feet, fought back tears (she couldn't hold them back very long) when Chaz ran up the ballroom's staircase ( a la Rocky Balboa ) raising his arms in triumph, and the audience joined in the emotional moment with a standing ovation. The score: 21; should pretty much guarantee Chaz will be back to dance another day.

Alas, not even the Bears' Jay Cutler could save the game for former fiancee Kristin Cavallari on tonight's "Dancing with the Stars" results show. The former "Hills" star was eliminated from the competition amid boos and an then a silent ballroom. Gotta admit it, this was a shocker, as Cavallari demonstrated potential in her first two weeks of competition.

The ladies' partners, Maks Chmerkovskiy and Mark Ballas, two of THE most popular pros on the show, also were left standing in the scary red elimination light tonight. Even Len Goodman couldn't believe the two couples were on the chopping block in week two! The venerable head judge called it "madness."

And it was madness. Or call it what it really is: a popularity contest. Even though Chaz Bono scored the lowest on Monday's competition (and wasn't much better the week before), and by all rights should have exited gracefully tonight, his fan base (and that of mom Cher) is just too much for any other contestant to overcome. Heck, Cher even tweeted that if Chaz made it through to next week, she'd be in the audience to cheer on her child. Can you say ABC ratings bonanza?

If all that was the lowlight of the night, the highlight of the evening was a playful and exciting production number centering around "The Twist" and featuring Grammy-winner Estelle and in a great move, Chubby Checker himself. Even Len got out on the floor to uhm, twist, the night away. (THAT was the big Len Goodman dance number Tom Bergeron was hawking Monday night?)

On to week four, "movie" night, in which contestants will be dancing to songs from some of the greatest movies of all time. Pass me the popcorn.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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