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.
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."
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.
This week, dancers Lacey Schwimmer and Jonathan Roberts took to the social networking site to announce that they will not be returning to fight for the mirrorball trophy when season 10 kicks off next month.
"Hey twitterbugs! I will not be doing DWTS this season," Schwimmer tweeted. "But be sure to tune in! <3"
Since she joined the show in 2008, Schwimmer has danced with Lance Bass, Steve-O and Mark Dacascos of 'Iron Chef America.' No word on whether the decision came from producers or was made on her own accord.
The jump basically can plant an already established fanbase onto a different television show. One great example is Ty Murray on Dancing with the Stars. I'm not sure what the percentage of votes for Ty came from fans of Chelsie Hightower and her work from SYTYCD or his charm, but he definitely benefited from someone who knew to make routines that were camera friendly.
(S08E02) - "We all know what Bruno wants." - Chuck
The show was a little off this week with the random sound cue during Ty's judging, the frozen video with Lawrence, the new judges paddles and Steve-O, but the performances were a lot better than last week. Most of the weaker dancers improved, and the rest basically stayed in the same scoring bracket. After the jump, an overall look at all the performances.
(S07E12) It's time to head back to the ballroom, and week 6 brought with it another change to the format. In addition to one regular performance from each couple, they all got together for a big group number as well. Shotyme stopped by to choreograph what was billed as the "Old School Hip Hop" performance. As you might expect, that went better for some than it did for others. We also had a special guest judge this week. Michael Flatley, best known for Lord of the Dance, filled in for Len Goodman. He got the full DWTS experience, witnessing some fantastic performances... and Cloris. A look at all of the performances, is after the jump.
With that said, I know that the announcement of each season's DWTS cast is heavily anticipated and rumored for months before the actual announcement. We heard that Dan Marino may be a contestant; a claim that was soon denied. 82-year-old Cloris Leachman was another name floated, as was Magnum, P.I. himself, Tom Selleck. Kim Kardashian and Kathy Griffin were also said to have been approached.
As with most rumors, some of these turned out to be false, but others had some truth to them. Follow me after the jump for the official (and completely insane) cast of Dancing With the Stars' seventh season, along with some twists the producers have cooked up for this go-around.
So I started thinking about my favorite pieces from past seasons. I thought about how I got goose bumps when Anya and Danny did the Viennese Waltz. I remembered how Benji's solos always put a smile on my face. I'll concede that season four hit it's stride after this week. But, you can't argue that previous seasons, especially two and three, left a lot for these new dancers to live up to.
Some of my favorite pieces from Fox's hit show are after the jump. I'll probably come up with more but here's something to start you off. Enjoy!
The fact that David kind of sucked last week might lead one to think that a hot, new fling may have temporarily distracted him from the business at hand. Things got back on track this week, though. The article also states that Lacey is shy about going public with their burgeoning relationship, so she's been sitting behind the judges rather than with "David's Friends and Family." Has anyone seen her there? If so, can you tell her that she was awesome on SYTYCD for me? Then ask about her and Cook, but make sure you specify you're talking about David. Otherwise ... awkward!
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