You don't have to dig too far into 'Dancing With the Stars' fans' comments on blogs to gauge that most were -- and still are -- pretty upset that R&B pop diva Brandy Norwood and her 'DWTS' partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy finished in fourth place in the just-concluded 11th season, especially since many fans were looking at the duo as potential champs.
Brandy herself has a complete different take on the competition, however.
Many predicted that the singer would advance to the finals, but her surprise departure means that teen activist Bristol Palin, who not only entered the contest with no dance or performing experience but also scored consistently low with the judges, is going to the final round along with actress Jennifer Grey and actor Kyle Massey.
The three finalist duos walked the post-show press line, understandably enthusiastic over their victories, but members of the press had one question on their minds: How has Palin managed to make it to the finals?
"I've known that I've worked hard to get to where I am now," Palin said. "I definitely feel like I'm one of the most improved dancers on the show."
On 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (weeknights, 12:05AM ET on ABC), the host tried to draw some anger out of Brandy, but she was very gracious, saying the experience had restored her confidence. "I believe more in myself now." Kimmel countered, "This would destroy my confidence."
He then brought up the conspiracy theories: "Do you believe there is an organized tea party voting bloc? Maksim, you're from Russia, right, you know about these blocs and this sort of thing," he joked. "I blame America for this!"
Top-notch routines and high scores dominated the season 11 semifinals of 'Dancing With the Stars.'
It was also "cut open a vein night" with video packages that profiled difficult times in the lives of the remaining four celebrity contestants: Bristol Palin re-lived how her unplanned teen pregnancy thrust her into the spotlight after her mother, Sarah Palin, became John McCain's running mate in the last presidential election; Jennifer Grey re-visited the deadly car accident that she was in with then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick in 1987; Brandy Norwood also reflected on a fatal automobile accident in which she was involved in 2006; and Kyle Massey looked back at his difficult road to Hollywood.
The segments aired shortly before each couple did their second dance.
Three of the four remaining couples spoke to TV Squad on the post-show press line and shared their thoughts and feelings about the semifinal episode, including the emotional video packages.
Bruno Tonioli described their performance as "voluptuous, full of flavor, great emotional depth." He added, "Len is absolutely right the way you extended your body ... right to the limit and back up," dramatically leaning into Len as he spoke. The judges then presented Brandy and Maks with a row of 10s for a perfect score of 30.
The former pro football player's departure means the four semi-finalists of 'DWTS'' season 11 will be singer Brandy Norwood, actor Kyle Massey, actress Jennifer Grey and teen activist Bristol Palin.
"Gosh, it was unfair," Warner said of his exit to reporters with faux outrage on the post show press line.
On a serious note, he added, "We all think it's unfair when we get kicked off the show. We felt for a long time that we should have gotten better scores than we did so, yes, you're disappointed when [this happens.] I'm just glad it's me and not one of the other guys [who's going home.] I don't want anyone to have to go."
Chmerkovskiy took exception to Inaba critcizing his creative choice to wait until four beats passed before starting his "instant dance," a cha cha cha to Kate Perry's 'Teenage Dream,' with partner Brandy Norwood.
The Ukranian-born dancer didn't feel that Brandy should've been penalized with a lower score for his decision.
Host Tom Bergeron deftly tried to squash the tension by proclaiming, "Welcome to 'Ballroom Smackdown.'"
For the second week in a row (third if you thought Florence Henderson was robbed, which -- let's face it, she was), there's been another shocking elimination on 'Dancing With the Stars.'
Former pro basketball star Rick Fox and partner Cheryl Burke were sent home despite having higher scores (61) than other "in jeopardy" duos actor Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer (59) and teen activist Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas (57.)
"This is the most shocking elimination I've had in 10 seasons," Burke said after the show. "It shows you that nobody's safe and you have to vote. Rick did the best he could. It was our best night. Better to go out on top."
For starters, the teen activist and partner Mark Ballas earned their highest score yet with a 23 for their tango Monday night. They also picked up an additional 4 points during a group competition, which gives them a 5 point lead over the show's bottom-scoring couple.
"I realized if I wasn't going to go all out this week, that I'd be going home," Palin told TV Squad after the show's taping. "So I put everything I had into this dance and worked my butt off! Messing up last week could have destroyed me or given me more motivation and it did [the latter.]"
A few couples revealed what song they'll be dancing to on the post-show press line, but it's up in the air if the most natural choice, Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas twirling to the theme song from 'The Brady Bunch,' is going to happen. First, the duo has to survive tonight's elimination show. Second, the song needs to go through certain legal clearances so it can be used on the show.
Henderson told TV Squad, "We're hoping [we dance to 'The Brady Bunch' theme]. I can't imagine that they would not [clear it.]" Of course, as her partner, Ballas, pointed out, "But first, we have to get saved."
The stars and dancers think so, but not because Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli were trying to make up for being extremely harsh on Michael Bolton last week. (Bolton was ejected after dancing a disappointing jive that Bruno called the worst in 11 seasons of 'DWTS.')
"Last week some of the comments were definitely harsh," said Anna Trebunskaya. "This week everyone got scared of those comments so they worked really hard and we had a great show as a result. We [all] did our absolute best."
Host Tom Bergeron gave judge Bruno Tonioli an opportunity to amend, apologize for or even retract the harsh comment he gave Bolton on Monday's show (he called their jive "the worst ... in 11 seasons"). Instead, Tonioli held his ground.
Bolton called the judge's remarks "inappropriate" and "disrespectful."
On 'Good Morning America,' Bolton demanded an apology from Tonioli. "You heard the tone. Even Len [Goodman] stopped him and said, 'That's inappropriate,'" he said. "I think he should apologize publicly and be reprimanded for it."
The first night jitters are officially out of the way. Twelve stars and their celebrity pro partners took to the dance floor and performed either a Cha-Cha or a Viennese Waltz on the 'Dancing With the Stars' season 11 opening night show. Actress Jennifer Grey, singer Brandy Norwood and athletes Rick Fox and Kurt Warner performed well -- as expected -- but the surprise of the night was teen actor Kyle Massey, who brought to mind a young Warren Sapp (Kym Johnson's season 7 partner) when he performed a dynamite dance with Lacey Schwimmer.
TV Squad was on the post-show press line to get reactions from all 24 participants. For one unlucky couple, alas, it's their second-to-last interview, because tonight one duo is going home.
According to OK! magazine and the Los Angeles Times, the 'Jersey Shore' star will be showing off his abs on ABC's dancing competition this fall. Don't be surprised if Sorrentino gets in at least one shirtless contest with professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
While ABC has been mum on the cast -- it plans to announce the celebrities Aug. 30 during 'The Bachelor Pad' -- rumors have been swirling about several names.
But the combo may just work for siblings Brandy Norwood and Ray J in their new VH1 reality TV show 'A Family Business' (premiering Sun., April 11 at 9Pm ET). The singers will be working alongside their mother, Sonja, and father, Willie, while taking on a bigger role in their family's record company, Rn'B Productions.
The siblings spoke to AOL TV about the secret to working with family, what they fight about and whether Ray J's dating show, 'For the Love of Ray J,' will be returning for season 3.
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