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DWTS 15: All-Stars winner

Although it’s not always the one who best deserves the mirrorball trophy that wins it, for season 15, there were three lovely women who had worked hard, but also professional dancers who had been challenged this season with never before attempted dances.

Two of the three had won mirrorball trophies before, but it was reality show personality and host Melissa Rycroft and her partner Tony Dovolani who took the mirrorball trophy. It was a first for both.

Dovolani has been with DWTS every season since he debuted on season 2 with wrestler Stacy Kiebler. They finished third and until Tuesday night (Nov. 27), that was the best finish for Dovolani. Dovolani had finished third again during season 8 with Rycroft; Shawn Johnson and her then-partner Mark Ballas took home the mirrorball trophy that season with Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke in second place.

Dovolani and Keibler received 15 tens during season 2 with four perfect scores (samba and jive). Dovolani was paired with Broadway star Marissa Jaret Winokur for a fourth place finish on season 6.With Winokur he received no perfect scores or tens.

This time, Dovolani and Rycroft beat Johnson. During season 8 with Rycroft, Dovolani earned 13 tens and two perfect scores, both for samba. Johnson and Ballas received 14 tens with three perfect scores. They received 21 tens for five perfect scores. This season with Hough, Johnson had 21 tens and three perfect scores.

Monday night, Rycroft and Dovolani were perfect.

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 30/30 for a samba to “Conga” by Gloria Estefan 
  2. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 29.5/30 (9.5,10.0,10.0) for a paso doble to ” Espana Cani“by Erich Kunzel 
  3. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 27/30 (9.0,8.5,9.5) for a quickstep to “Hey Pachuco”by Royal Crown Revue 

The super-sized freestyle added other people, making this more like “America’s Got Talent.” Each group added different people, but the standings remained the same. Johnson and Hough and Rycroft and Dovolani posted perfect scores, but Monaco and Val were only a half-point behind.

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 30/30 to “I Was Here” by Beyonce with trapeze artists.
  2. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 30/30 to “Carnival de Paris” by Dario G with the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastic Team who had just competed this summer in London (Gabby DouglasMcKayla MaroneyAly RaismanKyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber).
  3. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 29.5/30 (10.0,9.5,10.0) to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes with troupe members and a church choir. Monaco did some aerial tissu.

At the end of Monday night the rankings were:

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 60/60
  2. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 59/60
  3. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 57/60

In the final dance on Tuesday night, it was an instant Latin round.

  • Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 30.0 (10.0,10.0,10.0) for cha cha cha to “Respect” by Aretha Franklin 
  • Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 28.5 (9.5,9.5,9.5) for a Samba to “Life Is A Highway” by Tom Cochrane 
  • Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 28.5 (9.5,9.5,9.5) for a jive to “Cat and Mouse” by Nikki & Rich 

At the end of Tuesday night, the judges ranking was:

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 88.5/90
  2. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 87.5/90
  3. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 87/90

The rankings didn’t change, leaving Rycroft and Dovolani the winners, but the audience favored Johnson and Hough over Monaco and Chmerkovskiy. Rycroft is only the second TV personality to win the mirrorball trophy (the first was Brooke Burke with Derek Hough during season 7). She is the seventh female winner and the only reality TV star to win.

Dovolani has always seemed like a nice guy, even when he had what seemed like the ultimate challenge: Kate Gosselin. Their paso doble to Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” has become infamous.

Rycroft and Dovolani are perfect champions for season 15 of “Dancing with the Stars.”

DWTS 15: Finals

There will be a queen to the ballroom tomorrow after the final instant dance. Who will it be: Kelly Monaco, Melissa Rycroft or Shawn Johnson? You can still vote on  ABC.com website or by Facebook.until 11 a.m. East Coast time or 8 a.m. Pacific Standard time.

I have barely recovered from no men making the finals after last week’s double elimination took out Emmett Smith and Apolo Anton Ohno. The three female celebrity finalists are fantastic, of course, but men have a harder time learning the dancing because they are supposed to be leading.

Oh, Gilles Marini is an exceptional dancer. Apolo Anton Ohno was getting a bit more bravura than he had in his original outing. Emmett Smith has such a genial personality on the dance floor and he’s so big he can really dominate that space.

The only lovely lady who calls Los Angeles home is Kelly Monaco, the winner of the first season of “Dancing with the Stars.”  Monaco was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia but now calls West Hollywood home. She’s been on the ABC soap opera “General Hospital” since 2003 as the character Sam McCall. “General Hospital” is supposed to take place in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York. Her TV debut was with a Southern California based show “Baywatch.” She had been an actual life guard prior to being cast on the show.

When she competed on DWTS for the first season, she wasn’t the best dancer nor did she have the highest average score. She also almost had a wardrobe malfunction during one routine. Her partner was Alex Mazo and he came back for a special face-off with John O’Hurley and his partner Charlotte Jorgensen. The season was six weeks long and only required ten dances. This season (15) is 10 weeks long and requires 17 dances as of tonight, Tuesday. For the doubters, Monaco has really proved herself and has good chemistry with her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy.

Melissa Rycroft originally competed during season 8 as a last-minute replacement for the injured Nancy O’Dell. She would finish in third place in May 2009, behind Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas (winners) and Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke (runners up).  Also in 2009, Rycroft got married and just last year, in February 2011, gave birth.

Johnson won an Olympic gold medal for balance beam and all-around in 2008. She was the 2007 all-around world champion and the U.S. all-around champion in 2007 and 2008. She was on a high when she won season 8 of DWTS. She had surgery on her knee in 2010 , after injuring it skiing. But this year, despite a team gold at the Pan American Games in 2011 and a silver for uneven bars, Johnson retired due to continuing left knee problems. She was not on the Olympic team that represented the U.S. in London.

Yet this season has Maksim’s younger brother, Val Chmerkovskiy emerging from his brother’s shadow. Wouldn’t it be something if Val and his partner Kelly Monaco won the trophy that has eluded his brother for 15 seasons? Maksim, of course, hasn’t been on DWTS for all 15 seasons. He wasn’t on the first season or the sixth season. His highest finish was second with Mel B during season five and 12 with Kirstie Alley. He came in third during season 4 (Laila Ali) and 10 (Erin Andrews). He finished fourth during season 11 with Brandy and season 13 with Hope Solo.

Val just began competing on DWTS during season 13 with Elisabetta Canalis for an 11th place finish. She was beautiful, but stiff and had just broken up with George Clooney. He loosened up a bit when he had the bubbly Sherri Shepherd as a partner the next season (14) for a 10th place finish.

Tony Dovolani like Maksim did not appear during the first pilot season. He also joined during season 2 and his partner, Stacy Kiebler (now dating Clooney), finished third. Dovolani also finished third with Melissa Rycroft during season 8. He finished fourth with Broadway musical star Marissa Jaret Winokur during season 6. During season 10, he had the dubious honor of partnering with Kate Gosselin who famously made him lose his temper.  This time around Rycroft has really blossomed and they’ve remained a class act throughout.

Derek Hough is the only pro still in the competition who has actually won a mirrorball trophy. The 27-year-old was in the original London West End production of “Footloose: The Musical” as the lead, Ren. He didn’t get to star in the remake, but his sister Julianne did. Hough joined DWTS during Season 5 when he was teamed with actress Jennie Garth for a fourth place finish.  He did much better season 7 when he paired with Brooke Burke for a win. He also won with singer Nicole Scherzinger (season 10) and actress Jennifer Grey (season 11). That’s three wins. He sat out season 12 due to movie commitments. He finished third with actress/talk show host Ricki Lake during season 13. He’s finished fourth three times: Season 5 with Jennie Garth, Season 9 with Playmate Joanna Krupa and Season 14 with Maria Menounos.

This will be Hough’s last season and perhaps that’s why he’s taking so many risks with his choreography or maybe it’s just that gymnast Shawn Johnson makes him want to show off his acrobatic skills as well. Hough’s a year older than Val.

Dovolani is the oldest professional dancer in the finals at 39.

Of the celebrities, former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson is the youngest at 20. Monaco is 36. Rycroft is 29. Only Rycroft is married (to Tye Strickland with one child).   Her partner, Dovolani, is also the only professional dancer in the finals who is married. Dovolani has three children, the youngest two (twins) were born during Season 7 when Dovolani was paired with soap opera diva Susan Lucci.

At the end of Monday night the rankings were:

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 60/60
  2. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 59/60
  3. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 57/60

The first round of dances were do-overs. Each couple took a dance they had previously performed and brought the routine back to the ballroom for a better score. Hough and Johnson could have scored better, but refused to change their quickstep routine which featured a lift and also got deduction for not remaining in hold.

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 30/30 for a samba to “Conga” by Gloria Estefan 
  2. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 29.5/30 (9.5,10.0,10.0) for a paso doble to ” Espana Cani“by Erich Kunzel 
  3. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 27/30 (9.0,8.5,9.5) for a quickstep to “Hey Pachuco”by Royal Crown Revue 

The super-sized freestyle added other people, making this more like “America’s Got Talent.” Each group added different people, but the standings remained the same. Johnson and Hough and Rycroft and Dovolani posted perfect scores, but Monaco and Val were only a half-point behind.

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 30/30 to “I Was Here” by Beyonce with trapeze artists.
  2. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 30/30 to “Carnival de Paris” by Dario G with the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastic Team who had just competed this summer in London (Gabby DouglasMcKayla MaroneyAly RaismanKyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber).
  3. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 29.5/30 (10.0,9.5,10.0) to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes with troupe members and a church choir. Monaco did some aerial tissu.

You can still vote on  ABC.com website or by Facebook.until 11 a.m. East Coast time or 8 a.m. Pacific Standard time.

DWTS 15 Week 4: DWTS breaks out the gimmicks

Usually “Dancing with the Stars” confines itself to one gimmick a week, but this is the All Stars season so why not pack one week with as many gimmicks as one can to jump the shark? That doesn’t diminish the first tens of the season that left Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson and actor Gilles Marini tied for first.

Vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

As if taking a few plays from “So You Think You Can Dance,” the week started with each team picking a dance for another team because it was Opponents’ choice week. The dances were not all new. DWTS has done Charleston, rock n’ roll, disco, bolero, mambo and jitterbug before. The Charleston and bolero were used on season 9. The mambo was performed during seasons 3 through 7. The jitterbug and hustle were seen on seasons 7 and 9. Rock n’ roll was performed season 5 and 11. Disco came back for season 3. What’s new is contemporary although that’s happened in the freestyle and Maksim Chmerkovskiy tried that with Erin Andrews (remember the bedroom dance). Hip hop has also come into a freestyle before as well as giving flavor to a few other traditional dances. Also Bollywood was performed and given to Gilles Marini who performed  it well enough to inspire many I Dream of a Male Genie dreams.

DWTS has had guest judges before, but this time they had Paula Abdul. At least we know that Paula Abdul can dance. That’s not always true for celebrity judge on other shows. What I loved was Paula Abdul playing around with Bruno Tonioli, particularly when she was giving her critique of Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough dancing or…hotter, for Gilles Marini and Petra Murgatroyd.

  1. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 39.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0,10.0) Mambo “Para Los Rumberos”—Santana (Hélio & Chelsie)/Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 39.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0,10.0) Bollywood “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)“—Pussycat Dolls feat. A. R. Rahman (Bristol & Mark)
  2. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 37.5 (9.0,9.5,9.5,9.5) Contemporary “Fix You“—Coldplay (Emmitt & Cheryl)
  3. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 37.0 (9.0,9.0,9.5,9.5) Jitterbug “This Cat’s on a Hot Tin Roof”—Brian Setzer Orchestra (Apolo & Karina)
  4. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 36.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0,9.0) Bolero “Better in Time “—Leona Lewis (Kelly & Val)
  5. Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 35.5 (9.0,9.0,8.5,9.0) Disco “You Should Be Dancing“—Bee Gees (Kirstie & Maks)
  6. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 34.5 (8.5,9.0,8.5,8.5) Hip-Hop “Poison“—Bell Biv DeVoe (Melissa & Tony)
  7. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 32.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0,8.0) Rock n’ Roll “At the Hop”—Danny and the Juniors (last option left)
  8. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 30.0 (7.5,7.5,7.5,7.5) Charleston “Forty-Second Street”—from 42nd Street (Sabrina & Louis)

This is the first time that Palin and Ballas have beaten Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy although I’m not sure that I’d put Lindy hop and jitterbug in a rock n’ roll routine or perform to that particular song “At the Hop.” Alley didn’t flick her legs sideways and her movement could have been crisper. I don’t think this was one of Maksim’s most inspired routines. I think they should have gone for something down and dirty like the original, less refined Charleston.

Although I’ve truly hated this season, I have to admit that the Bollywood routine almost makes the week worthwhile. Please Disney. Find Gilles Marini a chance to be Aladdin. Broadway, how about Marini as the next King of Siam?  Also, any time you can pair Paula Abdul with Bruno Tonioli–totally watchable TV.

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 39.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0,10.0) Mambo “Para Los Rumberos”—Santana

Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 39.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0,10.0) Bollywood “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)“—Pussycat Dolls feat. A. R. Rahman

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 37.5 (9.0,9.5,9.5,9.5) Contemporary “Fix You“—Coldplay

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 37.0 (9.0,9.0,9.5,9.5) Jitterbug “This Cat’s on a Hot Tin Roof”—Brian Setzer Orchestra

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 36.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0,9.0) Bolero “Better in Time “—Leona Lewis

Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 35.5 (9.0,9.0,8.5,9.0) Disco “You Should Be Dancing“—Bee Gees

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 34.5 (8.5,9.0,8.5,8.5) Hip-Hop “Poison“—Bell Biv DeVoe

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 32.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0,8.0) Rock n’ Roll “At the Hop”—Danny and the Juniors

Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 30.0 (7.5,7.5,7.5,7.5) Charleston “Forty-Second Street”—from 42nd Street

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

DWTS 15: Week 3 has Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco tied for top spot

Last night (Monday, Oct. 8, 2012) on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” there was a tie for the top between  Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani and Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy. At the bottom again was Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas with 22.5. Tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 9) is a double elimination so there’s double trouble.

Palin and Ballas improved over their score from last week (18), but still were at the bottom of the leader board with 22.5 after performing the paso doble that originally was performed by Derek Hough and Joanna Krupa. That’s a controversial pairing–daughter of the family values Republican Sarah Palin and the Playboy model who has a reality TV celebrity habit and a live-in relationship still.

At least Ballas couldn’t go bonkers with this one. Still the oldest contestant, Kirstie Alley, scored better with a 24. She and Maksim Chmerkovskiy tied with Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya.

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough were in third place. Last week’s top scoring team, Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel were in a four-way tie for fourth with Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd, Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff and Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower.

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

  1. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0)
  2. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0)
  3. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 26.5 (9.0,8.0,9.5)
  4. Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)
  5. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)
  6. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 25.5 (9.0,8.0,8.5)
  7. Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)
  8. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 25.0 (8.5,8.0,8.5)
  9. Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0)
  10. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0)
  11. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 22.5 (7.5,7.5,7.5)

Take iconic and be more iconic.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkAI3LSuQYI]

Cha cha cha

Trebunskaya sexed it up with the costumes and stripping Lachey’s shirt.

Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0)

  • Crazy in Love“—Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z
  • Joey McIntyre & Ashly DelGrosso (Season 1)
  • Song: “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé
    Score: 20 (7,7,6)

Did you like Maksim with the long hair? Of course, we always like Maksim without the shirt. The strategy here was to improve the technique and camp it up.  This almost made iconic night worth it.

Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0)

Foxtrot

Is it possible for Apolo Anton Ohno to be steamier than Gilles Marini? Marini and Burke received two tens when they performed this and here’s where being an actor really helps. Marini was suave but sexy as the devil. Ohno was sophisticated but not with the same intensity as Marini.

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 25.5 (9.0,8.0,8.5)

Paso doble

With this dance and partner, Val finally rises out of the shadow of his brother Maksim. Kelly and Val have chemistry, but Kelly doesn’t bristle with the kind of powerful physicality that Laila Ali had–few women do. With Laila Ali, you thought that she and Maksim could punch it out and Maksim would lose. With Kelly and Maksim it’s more a match of forceful personalities.

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0)

Can Bristol Palin ever equal the sex appeal and technical skills of Joanna Krupa. You know the answer is no. Ballas goes kooky and they get to play white queen and black king. This is a chess metaphor and has nothing to do with race.

The judges felt it was their best dance of the season–that’s one out of three. It had the most content and attack.

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 22.5 (7.5,7.5,7.5)

Sabrina Bryan is a strong woman, even if she’s the youngest contestant. However, judge Carrie Ann Inaba thought this team brought nothing new artistically to this routine.

Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)

Scary Spice was definitely scarier than Sabrina Bryan. Bruno called her an “adrenaline charged dominatrix.”

With Emmitt Smith, there were some awkward moments, but he is already a commanding presence. There was a scary moment, but it all ends well.

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 25.0 (8.5,8.0,8.5)

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke had already seen this paso doble–twice. He competed against Mario Lopez and won.

Quickstep

As expected Derek Hough decided to up the acrobatics and even included an illegal lift and a lot of drama at the end.

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 26.5 (9.0,8.0,9.5)

  • “Hey Pachuco”—Royal Crown Revue
  • Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough (Season 5)
  • Score: 30

I think Johnson and Hough lacked the sophistication that Castroneves and Julianne had.  When Castroneves and Hightower performed their own quickstep it had an amazing amount of joy–even with the slight bobble when Castroneves stepped on Hightower’s dress.

Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)

I can’t choose. I love both versions and both sets of costumes.

Samba

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0)

Of course, Martinez didn’t have to perform all the drops and turns that Rycroft did because he’s the guy.

Tango

Don’t you love Gilles Marini doing the tango. Menacing and erotic, Marini delivered another solid performance, but lost points for his hold and some footwork mishaps.

Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)

Week 1, it was Drew Lachey and his partner Anna Trebunskaya who were in the bottom two. Week 2, it was Hélio Castroneves and his partner Chelsie Hightower who survived the bottom two.

I’m hoping that Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas will be eliminated and most likely Drew Lachey will go as well. With Joey Fatone gone, the entertainment factor is low with this cast so I’m hoping that Kirstie Alley and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy will continue to dance.

Remember, you can vote online until 8 a.m. PST by going to the ABC DWTS official page for voting or by using Facebook.

DWTS 15 Week 2: Sabrina Bryan quicksteps to top spot

Last night on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” was all about stamina as the teams faced the jive and the quickstep. Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel led with 26.0 points in quickstep. The low score of the night was Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas with 18.0 for their quickstep, but that doesn’t mean they will be out on Tuesday night.  You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

You can still vote online.

  1. Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 26
  2. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 25.5
  3. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 25.0
  4. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 24.5
  5. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 23.5
  6. Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 23.0
  7. Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson: 22.5/Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 22.5
  8. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 22.0
  9. Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 21.5
  10. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21.0
  11. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 18.0

Palin brings out the weird in Ballas and here it was the country quickstep. She had the smile, but those not quite daisy dukes aren’t doing her any favors. some of that footwork is pain ful to watch. The ending is ridiculous. Judge Bruno Tonioli called the routine, quickstep gangnam-style via wild, wild west.

Tonioli also commented there wasn’t much in-hold position and when the couple were in hold Palin’s frame wasn’t good. Carrie Anne Inaba reminded Ballas that according to the rules, once the couple is in hold, they must stay in hold. Goodman also commented that while he liked the enthusiasm, he didn’t like the break in the middle. “I liked the hoe down, but the technique was low down.”

During season 11, Palin and Ballas did the quickstep to “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes for a score of 22 (7, 8, 7). During that season, they posted the lowest score during week 5, 7, 8 and 9 and still made it to week 10, where they again posted the lowest score to finish third. That meant that week 5, Brady Bunch mom Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas were eliminated instead. Week 7, it was former NBA forward Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke. Week 8, it was former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya who got the axe. And the worst elimination was Grammy Award-winning Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy during week 9.

This season, Palin and Ballas danced to “Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson and received sixes. The team was the low score for their dance and for the entire night.

The high score, 26  was also in the quickstep with Bryan and van Amstel performing to “Black Betty” by Ram Jam. this team received the only nine of the night from Carrie Ann Inaba (9.0, 8.5, 8.5).

Tonioli thought this routine was a dazzler. Inaba thought the topline was incredible. Goodman liked the upper body was calm. Bryan looked glamorous and while I had doubts about this partnership, I like it better than the original Bryan and Ballas. She was elegant and vivacious and sharp.

The highest score awarded by head judge Len Goodman was 8.5 to the following teams: Bryan and van Amstel and Marini and Murgatroyd. Bruno Tonioli gave an 8.5 to Bryan and van Amstel and Marini and Murgatroyd as well as Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough. Bruno Tonioli gave an 8.5 to Bryan and van Amstel and Marini and Murgatroyd as well as Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough. Goodman awarded Johnson and Hough an 8.0.

Marini and Murgatroyd  performed the jive to “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen which started out with Marini at the piano. He was sporting a pompadour like Elvis and she was too. Marini decided to go shirtless which judge Inaba appreciated.  Murgatroyd was also showing a lot of skin (but not like the infamously uncovered Edyta Sliwinska) and swished that fringe.

Johnson and Hough performed their jive to “The Nicest Kids in Town” from “Hairspray.” Len Goodman wanted more content and that’s after host Tom Bergeron commented that Johnson wasn’t breathing hard, but Hough was. Bruno Tonioli felt differently. For him it was vibrant and eye-popping. Carrie Ann Inaba agreed and dubbed them the All-Stars sweethearts. It was a fun athletic routine that starts off with hairspray and a cartwheel (down the steps).

Kirstie Alley also at the bottom again. She was barely recognizable with that black bob wig. The theme was French streetwalker and the song was “Non Non Rien N’a Changé” by Les Poppys. Inaba had one suggestion–to match arm movements stylistically. Goodman called her flirty and dirty, but a great improvement over last week. Tonioli called her a raunchy mama.  I hope the curse of Palin doesn’t push Alley out of the competition while allowing Palin to continue.

Last week’s leaders, Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke went for a cool cat and played on Smiths fearlessness as far as color. Smith was in a fire engine red tux with tails with a leopard print bow tie and cumberbund while Burke had a long dress in matching leopard print. Goodman faulted Smith’s upper body movement in his quickstep. Tonioli noted a timing miss.

Smith and Burke received a 22.5 to tie with Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson who performed a quickstep to a Hollywood Charlie Chaplin theme. Fatone

Quickstep:

  1. Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 26
  2. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 24.5
  3. Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson: 22.5/Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 22.5
  4. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 22.0
  5. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 18.0
  • Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 24.5
  • 24.5 (8.5,8.0,8.0)
  • “Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days”—Louis Prima
  • Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 22.5
  • 22.5 (7.5,7.5,7.5)
  • “A Cool Cat In Town”—Tape Five

Jive:

  1. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 25.5
  2. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 25.0
  3. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 23.5
  4. Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 23.0
  5. Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 21.5
  6. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21.0
  • Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 25.0
  • 25.0 (8.5,8.0,8.5)
  • “The Nicest Kids in Town”—from Hairspray

Remember, you can vote online until 8 a.m. PST by going to the ABC DWTS official page for voting or by using Facebook.

DWTS 15: Pamela Anderson is gone

Is this really a shocker?  Pamela Anderson may be sexy, but on Monday night (Sept. 24, 2012) she shambled through her routine with Tristan MacManus and received the lowest score of the night, 17 on the premiere week of “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars.” Boobs and an I-just-got-out-of-bed look doesn’t get you good marks on the dance floor as it would in the Playboy Mansion.

Anderson performed her cha cha cha to “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse. Was she attempting to portray the tragedy that was Winehouse? If so, it didn’t work as well as her Dolly Parton during her original run on DWTS with Damian Whitewood.

If you look at the billboard for the show, she’s dressed in white and at the center of the celebrity V-shaped formation.

Her 2010 (spring) outing on DWTS wasn’t her only appearance in the franchise. She also appeared in the Argentinian version “Bailando por un sueño” the next year and that was a bit more intensive, going on for 24 weeks as compared to 10. She wasn’t the only American in the mix. Mike Tyson also competing.

Both Americans withdrew. Tyson was replaced by television producer Jorge “Negrito” Luengo. When Anderson left, model Paula Chaves replaced her and made the semi-finals.

Anderson’s week 1 cha cha cha for her American “Dancing with the Stars” season 10 was her first dance and she received a 21 (7, 6, 8).  Compare that to her moves and performance this week with Tristan MacManus.

MacManus is a good dancer and has a following as is apparent from the searches online, but as a celebrity choreographer he has a lot to learn. I found his choreography for the wonderful Gladys Knight last season had some unflattering poses for that lovely lady. Knight has natural rhythm and is a seasoned performer, but she thick in the waist and not very flexible.

Compare his choreography to Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s for Kirstie Alley who has the same general problem. Alley is back and she knows how to work her assets. (Her smooch to congratulate host Tom Bergeron for his Emmy made news).

Then whatever the producers may think of Anderson, she and Whitewood were in the bottom two week 2 when they didn’t turn in the lowest score. With 22 points, they were higher than:

  • Niecy Nash and Louis van Amstel: 21
  • Shannon Doherty and Mark Ballas: 20
  • Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower: 20
  • Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinka: 19
  • Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke: 16
  • Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani: 15
  • Buzz Aldrin and Ashly Costa: 12

Doherty and Ballas were eliminated.

Who was in the bottom two wasn’t revealed during weeks 3 and 4. We were given who was the last to be called safe. Week 5, Anderson and Whitewood didn’t post the lowest score, but they were again in the bottom two. This time, it was Gosselin and Dovolani who were eliminated, but they had a 15/30. Anderson and Whitewood had a 21/30 (7, 6, 8).

Week 6, her team wasn’t in the bottom-two (Jake who was eliminated and Niecy Nash). She and Whitewood were back in the bottom two week 7 (with Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy) and were eliminated. Anderson and Whitewood had received a 24 (8, 8, 8) and an additional 27 for a team score. That placed them in a tie with Andrews and Chmerkovskiy who received a 27 for their individual dance performance but a 24 for the team score.

This might not be the last DWTS appearance of the 45-year-old Anderson, but as the judges commented, she needs to put more work into the dance floor instead of trying to coast on her looks.

Also featured on the show was the YouTube discovery rags-to-riches Justin Bieber.  Talking about looks, I don’t like the look of the low-hanging “slouch” pants, but it is the fashion and Bieber was rocking it. Pitbull also appeared.

What was the shocker last night: Drew Lachey and his new partner Anna Trebunskaya were in the bottom two. Lachey and Trebunkaya scored 21.5 and were in a three-way tie for sixth place with Hélio Castroneves (and Chelsie Hightower) and Kelly Monaco (and Val Chmerkovskiy). Maybe her studio can help with the votes. Lachey isn’t one of my favorites, but he’s a lot of fun to watch on the dance floor. Of course, if one has a choice between Lachey and Gilles Marini, we’d both go for the latter.

DWTS 15: Cha cha cha

The cha cha cha was first performed during week 1. The full leader board for week 1 is:

  1. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 24.5
  2. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 24.0
  3. Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 22.5
  4. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 22.0/Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 22.0
  5. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 21.5/Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 21.5/Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 21.5
  6. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 21
  7. Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson: 20.5
  8. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 19.5
  9. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 19
  10. Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus: 17

For the cha cha cha:

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 24.5

Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 22.5

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 22.0

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 21.5

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 19.5

Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus: 17

DWTS 15: Week 1

Last night on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” the level of the competition was high, but we also saw the network returning to the low of cheap sex sell tactics. Last season went on without a Playboy bunny. This season, they brought back the pin-up factor with Pamela Anderson. Is that working for you? It wasn’t working for the judges who put her at the bottom of the board. At the top, were some all time favorites. You can still vote online either using Facebook or by going to the ABC website.

Football players have been popular with DWTS fans, even when they can’t dance like Michael Irvin. But some football players can dance and have the kind of flair on the dance floor that you can’t teach.

Retired NFL running back Emmitt Smith is one of those and he was in fine form last night, taking the top spot on the leader board, but by the slimmest of margins in DWTS history–half a point.

Yes, you heard right. Half a point is all that separates first and second place on the leader board. This season, to make things crazier, the judges now can nitpick to within half a point. And the points aren’t coming easy. In second, behind Smith who was reunited with professional dance partner Cheryl Burke, is another Burke protege: Gilles Marini.

Marini is paired with Peta Murgatroyd. Murgatroyd has proven herself an astute judge of the judges and her celebrity. Although she was eliminated quickly the first time out. She was with the recently renamed Laker Metta World Peace and the first elimination. Last season, however, with football player Donald Driver, she took the mirrorball. With the ever-so-sexy Marini, anything is possible. Last night they went for suave in their foxtrot. He was in a white tux with black details. She was in a gorgeously glamorous white gown. It was like a breath of old Hollywood.

Smith and Burke had been more get down funky in their cha cha cha. Smith can dazzle with that smile and dared to wear bright blue shoes; Burke worked that curly mane she was wearing.

In third was the fans’ choice, Sabrina Bryan who was dancing with Louis van Amstel. We were worried about the chemistry between Bryn and van Amstel. Remember the chemical badness of Margaret Cho and van Amstel? Contrast that with the wonderful mentoring van Amstel performed on Kelly Osbourne, making that British bad child bloom like a rose. Bryan had originally been partnered with Mark Ballas during season 5 and had finished seventh. That was due to lack of fan support as opposed to bad dancing.

Bryan was chosen from a pool that included Disney kid Kyle Massey and the campy Carson Kressley.  Massey had competed during season 11 with Lacey Schwimmer and they finished second to Jennifer Grey and her partner Derek Hough. He and Schwimmer beat Bristol Palin and Ballas who were third. Palin is back and her mother was in the audience last night.

The zany Cressley had been partnered with Anna Trebunskaya during season 13. They finished eighth. War vet and soap opera actor J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff won that season with Rob Kardashian a surprise second place with Burke.

Massey and Bryan are both Disney stars and have natural performance ability. Massey was a delightful surprise, but Bryan should have made it to the semi-finals. Her elimination was a shocker and DWTS has brought her back into the fold. Of course, you have to remember that ABC is owned by Disney.

As a nod to the past, the very first mirrorball winner was back, actress and Playboy Playmate Kelly Monaco. Her original partner was Alex Mazo. But the show had definitely evolved since then. During season 1, there were only six celebrities and six weeks of dancing. Monaco won against fan favorite John O’Hurley and his partner Charlotte Jorgensen. Both Mazo and Jorgensen have retired from DWTS, but Louis van Amstel was partnered with Trista Sutter from “The Bachelor.” They were the first eliminated. Edyta Sliwinska and her partner professional boxer Evander Holyfield were the second elmination. Jonathan Roberts was paired with model Rachel Hunter. Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso finished third.

Monaco (who had the first wardrobe malfunction in DWTS history) danced the waltz week 1 for a score of 13 (5, 4, 4). For week 2, she did better with the rumba, 17 (5, 6, 6). Week 3, she and Mazo were given a 21 for their jive (6, 7, 8). Week 4, when they performed a samba, they were the high score with 26 (9, 9, 8). It was the first time they beat O’Hurley and Jorgensen who received a 21 (7, 8, 6). Week 5 Monaco and Mazo performed a foxtrot for a 22 and a paso doble for a 25, but O’Hurley and Jorgensen received 27s for both dances.

Week six, Monaco and Mazo were one point ahead of O’Hurley and Jorgensen and won. That upset viewers so much ABC had a special dance off between the two couples that ended with Monaco and Mazo were three points behind. This one-off special had the couples perform one unlearned Latin dance during the first round. In the second round the couples performed an unlearned ballroom dance. The last round was the freestyle. O’Hurley and Jorgensen won by three points.

DWTS has certainly evolved and the celebrities perform for 10 weeks instead of six. That means more dances to learn and more pressure.

This season there were no clear train wrecks on the dance floor, but there were some obvious underachievers such as Pamela Anderson who, with her new partner Tristan MacManus, ended up at the bottom of the board. MacManus can dance and he has that cute Irish accent that made third sound like turd to Nancy Grace, but his ability to showcase his celebrity isn’t impressive. Grace wasn’t that graceful, but when he had Gladys Knight some of the dips were not well suited to the Empress of Soul.

Here’s how it stood at the end of the evening:

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 24.5

Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 24.0

Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 22.5

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 22.0

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 22.0

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 21.5

Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 21.5

Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 21.5

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 21

Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson: 20.5

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 19.5

Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 19

Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus: 17

It’s no surprise that Anderson ended up at the bottom. Only Bryan and Anderson had never made the semi-finals in this field of all-stars. Bryan definitely had the ability. Anderson looked worse in her performance with MacManus than she had done with her original partner (Damian Whitewood). MacManus choreographed a quick dip into a split move that looked good on other celebrities, but both times that Anderson performed it, she went into it bent-kneed and came out of if awkwardly. She seemed more involved, or self-involved, in her hairography–not the flipping, spinning type. Her hairography was more primp and look sexy like I just got out of bed. That might work for Playboy photo shoots, but not on the dance floor. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba cautioned Anderson to put in the work. Bruno Tonioli was kinder, but the message was the same.

Palin, who got to the semi-finals more on view voting than actual merit, is understandably also near the bottom. Mark Ballas is a skilled teacher, but their chemistry is almost toxic. During their original time together, Ballas went into his self-indulgent choreography funk. There was a real concern that Palin could win. We wonder if the campaign to get Palin off of DWTS will start up again. There’s an old Facebook page just for that cause.

Second from the bottom is an old favorite that we’d like to stay: Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Alley is the oldest contestant and the most in need of losing a few pounds. We love her chemistry with Maksim Chmerkovskiy and hope she doesn’t go tonight. Our choice would be Anderson, then Palin.

By dance, Smith and Burke had the top score for the cha cha cha and Anderson and MacManus had the low score. Marini and Murgatroyd were the high score for the foxtrot and Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy was at the bottom.

Online voting will remain open until 11 a.m. (Eastern Time)/ 8 a.m. (Pacific Time) today, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. You have 13 votes and spread them around, but spare the viewers from more performances by Anderson or Palin.

The results will be announced tonight, Tuesday, September 25 on the season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars: The Results” show, 8 p.m. (7 p.m. Central) on ABC. One couple will be eliminated but before that, singing sensation Justin Bieber and Pitbull will perform.

DWTS 15: Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson

Former NSYC members and television personality is happily reunited with Kym Johnson. Since they were paired together, Johnson had taken two celebrities to mirrorball trophy victories: Donny Osmond during season 9 and Hines Ward during season 12.

Johnson also finished first in the Australian version of the show (with TV/radio presenter Tom Williams). In America, Fatone was her second celebrity partner. Her first was Jerry Springer during season 3 (for a fifth place finish).  She and Fatone finished second with Brooke Burke and Derek Hough winning.

Johnson finished second with Warren Sap during season 7. Brooke Burke and Derek Hough would win the mirror ball that season.

Fatone has showmanship and a large personality on-stage. Fatone and Johnson’s tango to the theme from “Star Wars” has to be one of the highlights of DWTS 14 seasons.

Vote: 1-800-868-3401

Age: 35

Born: 28 January 1977

Website:

Season: 4

  • Winners: Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough
  • Second: Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson
  • Third: Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Best dance:

  • Jive (30)
  • Foxtrot (30)
  • Tango (30)
  • Freestyle (30)

Worst dance:

  • Cha cha cha (24)
  • Quickstep (24)

Although the cha cha cha from his first week ended up being one of his lowest scores, he was the high score of that night. Ali and Chmerkovskiy received a 23 for second on the leaderboard, but things would quickly change the next week when Ali and Chmerkovskiy posted a 27 and Fatone and Johnson received another 24.  This was another one of those seasons when week 1 and 2 scores were combined leaving Ali and Chmerkovskiy in first place on the leader board. Fatone and Johnson would be two points behind with 48, but one point behind them was Ohno and Hough. Weeks 3 and 4, Fatone and Johnson had the top score although week 3 was a four-way tie (with Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke, the Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts and Leeza Gibbons and Tony Dovolani).

Week 5 Ohno and Hough would post the high score (30) and Week 6, Ohno and Hough would tie for first (28) with Ali and Chmerkovskiy.  It was a tight race at the end with Fatone and Johnson and Ali and Chmerkovskiy in a tie for first (both receiving one perfect score) during week 7 when the contestants performed two dances. Ohno and Hough had the high score for week 8, but the team Fatone/Johnson and Ali/Chmerkovskiy would be tied with perfect scores of 60/60. Ohno and Hough were only one point behind. During week 10, Ohno and Hough received 88 points for 3 dances and were two points ahead of Fatone and Johnson.

Ohno is competing as an all-star, but without his partner, Julianne Hough. Instead Ohno is paired with Karina Smirnoff. Smirnoff has in the past lost focus, (remember Ralph Maccho) and has only one once, during season 13 with army vet and soap opera star J.R. Martinez.

Smirnoff did get to second place during her first outing on DWTS with Mario Lopez during season 3. She finished 4th with Macchio during season 12. She’s finished fifth three times: season 4 with the earnest but awkward Billy Ray Cyrus, season 6 with the surprising Mario and during season 9 with the earnest but unpopular Aaron Carter. She had the dubious honor of dancing with Steve Wozniak during season 8 for a tenth place finish.

Fatone and Johnson will be able to work on what they already know about each other and we’ll have to see if the Ohno/Smirnoff pairing has the right stuff for first place.

DWTS 14 finalist: William Levy

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

  • Salsa
  • 28 (9,9,10)
  • “La Vida es un Carnaval”—Celia Cruz

Week 4: Rock Week

Week 5: Latin Week

Week 6: Motown Week

Motown Marathon: 9

Week 7: Classical Week

Team Paso Doble

Week 8: Trio Challenge

Week 9: Semi-finals

Week 10: Finale Week

Week 10: Night 2 24-Hour Challenge
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