Non-Emmy TV News Roundup: Chelsie Hightower is a 'SYTYCD' All-Star, 'One Tree Hill' Actor Returns & More
Judge/executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told TV Guide that the first dancer returning to the show is none other than Chelsie Hightower, current 'Dancing With the Stars' pro. "We're delighted she's coming back from 'Dancing With the Stars' for us," he told the site.
The move isn't permanent, though -- "She'll be going back to them, of course," he admitted.
In other non-Emmy TV news ...
Ward and his partner Kym Johnson took home the coveted mirrorball trophy. Emmy-winning actress Kirstie Alley and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy came in second. Disney star Chelsea Kane and partner Mark Ballas, who was celebrating his 25th birthday yesterday, came in third.
Immediately after the show, the ballroom dance floor turned into a media frenzy. ABC publicists quickly set up a press line with a white, plastic chain-link fence, separated by poles, with press on one side, stars and dancers on the other, and a flurry of interviews began.
AOL TV was on the scene to talk to the new champions, the runner-ups and other Season 12 participants.
"When it comes down to the finale, it really comes down to who has the best freestyle. So ... I think that Chelsea Kane and Mark [Ballas] will have a pretty good freestyle. So, I might say that they might take the whole thing," Hightower said.
It looked like Ralph Macchio and his partner Karina Smirnoff might be going home after an injury he received had contributed to them earning low scores from the judges on Monday. But 'The Karate Kid's fans rallied to support him and he survived to dance another day.
Romeo and Hightower walked the post-show press line to talk about their journey, and the four finalists -- Macchio, Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward and Chelsea Kane -- shared their hopes of taking home the coveted mirror ball trophy. Also, fan favorite Alley confided to TV Squad the real reason she wants to emerge as this season's victor.
Jimmy Kimmel immediately started in on the impromptu kiss Romeo gave Chelsie Hightower earlier in the competition. He wanted to know if that was a hint of perhaps a deeper connection between the two, and Romeo seemed more than game.
But Kimmel pointed out that they got a 10 from judge Carrie Ann Inaba for that performance with the kiss. "Did you consider kissing then and making out really the rest of the show?" he asked.
Alas, he and partner Karina Smirnoff scored the lowest of the night with a total of 46 points, trailing leaders Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas by 9 points.
Macchio, Kane and the other three remaining season 12 celebrities -- Kirstie Alley, Romeo and Hines Ward -- walked the post-show press line in order to share their thoughts on their performances and just how badly they all want to make next week's coveted semifinals.
Backstage Interviews at 'Dancing With the Stars': Shocker! Romeo's Safe! Kendra Wilkinson on Her Exit!
After Wilkinson and partner Louis Van Amstel, who she credits for her successful journey, did a final twirl on the dance floor the couple walked the post-show press line.
TV Squad was on the scene to get reactions from the ejected duo and the surviving five pairs, who weighed in on a variety of topics including how and why they've survived and what they need to do to make it to the finals.
Backstage Interviews at 'Dancing With the Stars': Who's Going Home? Will Shirley Ballas Join the Show?
All the dancers started out with 30 points after performing in group dances. Romeo and his partner Chelsie Hightower then scored 30 points (out of 40) with their Samba while Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy earned the same for their Jive.
It's likely all going to come down to fan bases. The pairs spoke to TV Squad on the post-show press line to discuss what they think of their loyal followers.
The scene stealer of the night was guest instructor Shirley Ballas, Mark's mother, who takes no prisoners when it comes to being a dance teacher. She shared her thoughts with TV Squad on whether or not she'd join the show as a pro partner.
Chelsea Kane was chosen as one of the team leaders, because along with Hines Ward she has the highest points from the judges so far this season. Made up of Kane & Mark Ballas, Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff, and Romeo & Chelsie Hightower, the couples did a great job of sharing the floor, spotlighting one another, and performing in tandem.
Romeo placed a planned kiss on Hightower's lips after the pair completed a waltz to 'My Heart Will Go On' from 'Titanic.' And although it looked passionate enough, Hightower gave the lip lock a mediocre rating, said Dovolani.
Backstage Interviews at 'Dancing With the Stars': Karina Smirnoff on Her Fall; Maksim Chmerkovskiy Is Not Married
Monday's performance show contained many surprises, including the first two 10s of the season for Romeo and his pro partner Chelsie Hightower. The competition's other Chelsea -- Chelsea Kane -- earned a 10 with her pro partner Mark Ballas.
There were a pair of mishaps, too, but neither belong to Kirstie Alley. Karina Smirnoff took a brief fall while doing the paso doble with her partner, Ralph Macchio, and Ballas twisted his ankle during dress rehearsal, but he soldiered through with his and Kane's quick step.
AOL TV was on the post-show press line to talk to the remaining contestants, during which time Maksim Chmerkovskiy cleared up those rumors that he's secretly married.
Backstage Interviews at 'Dancing With the Stars': Petra Leaves the Show Happy; Kirstie Says Maks Is 'Sex on a Stick'
The ousting proves that this season of the show is the most unpredictable. Nemcova recently topped the leader board, but after slipping to a three-way tie for last place this week she became vulnerable. After failing to gain enough votes to remain in the game, she and Chaplin learned their time on the show had come to an end.
Traditionally, models haven't fared well on 'DWTS.' Albert Reed was voted off early in season 5. Joanna Krupa, who arguably should have won season 9, was cut during the semifinals. Nemcova proved she's just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, however, in her post-show interview in which she and Chaplin reflected on their time on the show and the duo's plans for the future.
If there's a sliver lining to their exit it's that they're not likely to find any embarrassing rehearsal footage of themselves in future video packages in the way Chelsie Hightower, Hines Ward and Maksim Chmerkovskiy did on Tuesday's results show.
He and Chelsie Hightower matched their sharp looks with smooth moves, winning so much praise from the panel that Len Goodman leaned away from a manic Bruno Tonioli to avoid getting smacked in the face by his excited arms.
"You did have swagger and spunk and full of flavor," Tonioli shouted incoherently. "I never seen a fox trot so cheeky."
The couple had scored 21 points on Monday's performance show and earned high praise from taskmaster judge Len Goodman, who said he was "thoroughly entertained" by the duo's Viennese Waltz.
Producers kept everyone guessing by having host Tom Bergeron announce that top-scoring duo Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas were in jeopardy and could be sent home. In the end, however, it was the revered fighter who went down for the count.
Leonard and Trebunskaya spoke to TV Squad on the post-show press line immediately after the live results show.
The decisions that the stars and dancers made yielded some interesting results: Hines Ward and Petra Nemcova tied for first place, taking the top position from previous front-runner Ralph Macchio.
But the most dramatic moment of last night's performance was when Maksim Chmerkovskiy suffered a spasm in his thigh, which sent him and partner Kirstie Alley to the dance floor, shortly after they began their dance.
The Ukrainian-born ballroom bad boy and comedic actress extraordinaire quickly composed themselves, however, and resumed their rumba to 'Over the Rainbow,' earning applause from the audience and classy comments from the judges, who praised them for their inspiring comeback.
After the show, the stars and their pro dance partners reflected on the highs and lows of the evening. TV Squad was on the scene to get the scoop.
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