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Bruno Tonioli

Admittedly, I didn’t think I would get as caught up in Dancing With The Stars’ final three as I actually did. Embarrassingly, I didn’t think I’d be this happy for Rob Kardashian finally doing something that didn’t involve his sisters, and he’s clearly improved tenfold throughout the season. Don’t get me wrong… I still love J.R. Martinez and I have serious respect for Ricki Lake. At least I won’t be (too) disappointed if my favorite doesn’t win the “coveted” mirror ball trophy!

As to be expected, there was a lot of fluff on last night’s finale show, but that always happens when ABC tries to drag out forty-five minutes of content into two hours of programming. It’s almost as bad as the engagement episode of any Bachelor/Bachelorette season. Each of the final three’s Monday performances are highlighted. Rob goes into the final night three points ahead of both Ricki and J.R. Rob and J.R. both managed to wrangle perfect 30s as well. Before getting into tonight’s portion of the competition, Lady Antebellum (love!) performs a song off their latest album.

Each contestant will hit the dance floor one more time to perform what they believe to be their strongest dance of the season. First, Ricki and partner Derek Hough perform their tango. Len Goodman calls it one of the most memorable dances of any season, while Bruno Tonioli proclaims it “unforgettable.” He’s so dramatic! Carrie Ann Inaba continues with the love fest and Ricki seems to have had a very strong finish.

Rob and Cheryl Burke are dancing the foxtrot at Rob’s request. He wants to improve upon the dance from the first time they performed it. As the Kardashian Klan watches on – Kris is even krying! — he proves he really has come a long way in this competition. Rob has a (very) minor slip-up… so minor, in fact, that I had to rewind to see it after host Tom Bergeron congratulated him on his “nice recovery.” Carrie Ann says she’s so proud of Rob, while Len gushes — yes, GUSHES! — about how Rob does some of the best footwork of any male contestant he’s seen on the show. Ever. That is quite some praise!

J.R. and Karina Smirnoff decide to revisit their jive, although they must tweak it a bit to appease the judges critiques of the dance the first time around. Carrie Ann calls him a “catalyst of joy” before citing his sloppiness in the middle of the routine. She also professes to miss the lift they eliminated from the dance because she penalized them for it their first go-round. Huh? Len spends most of his speech recognizing the wonderful band and singers, but seems to feel the same way everyone else feels about J.R. You can NOT smile when you see him dance. Bruno exclaims that he “LOVED IT!”

For the judges, Ricki is in the top spot earning 30 points, with J.R. garnering 28, and Rob in third with 26. After adding the point to Monday’s scores, Ricki leads, Rob is in second and J.R. is in third, although only one point separates each competitor from the next. In another filler moment that lasts far too long, a blooper reel of the judges is shown. Seriously, this whole finale really only needs to last an hour.

One couple will be eliminated before the final dance of the evening. After lots of dramatic pauses, WHAT? Ricki and Derek are eliminated. I did NOT see that one coming. She’s been such a fan and judge favorite. J.R. and Rob look totally shocked. I swear Rob has tears in his eyes. True to form, Ricki goes out like the total class act that she is.

After highlighting some of the season’s shocking moments, some of the first “stars” to be voted off return to dance again. Metta World Peace and Elisabetta Canalis perform with their partners followed by Kristin Cavallari. Chyna Phillips returns for another shot at the dance that sent her home after she froze on stage and forgot her routine. The always entertaining Carson Kressley vogues, and Nancy Grace shakes her medieval groove thang. Chaz Bono and David Arquette take to the dance floor again before another performance from Lady A, singing their hit Need You Now. A less sour Hope Solo and a less combative (I hope) Maksim Chmerkovskiy dance again as well.

It’s time for the final dance for J.R. and Rob, competing with a quick instant Samba to unknown music. J.R. and Karina dance first with a strong routine, but Rob and Cheryl are equally (dare I say more?) fierce. Len gives a rare standing ovation for both couples. Bruno believes both contestants are “brilliant” while Carrie Ann declares them both as winners. The judges give three perfect 10s to both J.R. and Rob. It’s all up to the viewer votes now! I love that Rob and J.R. seem to have become really good friends. After a long and entertaining season, the mirror ball trophy goes to…

J.R. Martinez!!! Woohoo!! I am beyond thrilled. What an amazing guy and I am so happy to see Karina’s first DWTS victory.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FINALE? DO YOU THINK THE RIGHT PERSON WON? HOW GREAT WAS IT TO SEE THE COMRADERY AMONG THE CONTESTANTS?


Rob Kardashian went into Monday night’s Dancing With The Stars finale an underdog and left a front runner!

Each of the three remaining finalists had to perform two dances each — a regular dance and a freestyle. In a total shocker, Rob finished with the highest score of the night, earning a total of 57 points!

First Rob, 24, earned a score of 27 for his classic waltz and then a perfect score of 30 (his first this season) for his retro freestyle. “You’re like the male version of Cinderella who made it to the ball, and deservedly so,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba.

Tying for second place were both Ricki Lake and war veteran J.R. Martinez each finishing the night with a total score of 54 points. J.R. earned a 24 for his lackluster cha- cha which judge Led Goodman described as “not very good,” before improving to earn a perfect score of 30 for his 80s freestyle dance!

Ricki Lake was pretty consistent last night earning a score of 27 for both of her dances, which included a cha-cha and a freestyle. “You’ve never been hotter, you’ve never been sexier,” raved judge Bruno Tonioli.

The full scores from last night are below -

Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke: (27, 30) 57
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough: (27, 27) 54
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff: (24, 30) 54

Tonight, a new DWTS champ will be crowned! So the question is…

[polldaddy poll=5692894]

TELL US – WHO ARE YOU ROOTING FOR TO WIN THE MIRROR BALL TROPHY?

As I’m sure you all know by now, Chaz Bono was voted off Dancing With the Stars this week. His elimination has sparked a lot of emotion (from both fans and haters), as well as many questions about the show. Is it a dance competition or a popularity contest? Are the judges comments actually constructive or just entertaining for shock value? And of course, the biggest question of all, is this Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s show? ;)

Chaz expressed disdain for Bruno Tonioli after the judge called him an Ewok a few weeks ago and a penguin on Monday. Taking the high road (with a bit of a dig), he tells Life and Style, “I don’t have to wake up and be Bruno tomorrow, I get to wake up and be me.” That seems to be putting a positive spin on the situation.

His dance partner, Lacey Schwimmer, elaborates , “I think they need to focus on actually judging dancing skills rather than a personality or the look. The judges and comments and scores kind of set it all up [for us to be eliminated in the public vote].” While I agree with that logic, I also feel like people who get lots of audience votes can stay around longer than improving dancers with less of a fan base. Must be the nature of the beast.

Regardless, Chaz is proud of his time on the show, as any DWTS contestant should be–especially those with no prior dancing experience. He gained a lot from the experience, stating, “I learned that I was capable of so much more than I thought I was.” Kudos to anyone who is able to say that about anything in their lives!

While Chaz seems to be bowing out gracefully, his superstar mother Cher isn’t following suit. She had some very choice tweets for Bruno and Len Goodman. Taking to twitter, Cher vented, “Going Home is Fine but why insult him b4 he Goes! Maybe Rudeness & Flapping Arms take the place of TALENT….As for the Older Gentleman ….every Show Needs A Grumpy Old Man !” Hmmm….to whom could she be referring?

Carrie Ann Inaba was spared from Cher’s tirade. Chaz’s celebrity mother gave a shout out to the third judge, tweeting, “Thank u Carrie Ann 4 your Gentility u r beautiful inside & out.” Cher later continued, “The Chick is beautiful & Polite ! The Men suck.” You can’t really fault a mother for coming to the defense of her child, can you?

It’s a slippery slope…I’m trying not to take a stance, but I do have to applaud anyone who steps out of their comfort zone and sincerely seems to be trying to bring awareness to a cause near and dear, whether it is widely accepted or hyper-criticized. Do I think Chaz is a great decent dancer? He’s better than me, but that is not saying much. However, I think anyone who goes on this show, especially with no background in dance, is pretty courageous.

Photo credit: WENN

DWTS: DANCING COMPETITION OR POPULARITY CONTEST? DO YOU THINK CHAZ (AND HIS FANS) ARE MORE UPSET ABOUT THE ELIMINATION OR THE JUDGES’ COMMENTS? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF CHER’S REACTION?

Monday night on Dancing With The Stars brought us the semi-finals competition. The four remaining contestants had to perform two new dances in addition to a winner-takes-all cha-cha for 15 bonus points.

Following a pretty scary neck injury days ago, pro dancer Kym Johnson and her partner Hines Ward managed to give two perfect performances.

During rehearsals late last week, Kym took a nasty fall and landed on her head. She was rushed to the hospital before doctors ultimately cleared her to practice with the help of a neck brace. This all makes Kym’s feat on Monday night all the more impressive as she and Hines earned a perfect score for their first dance of the night – the Argentine tango. “It was like something from the Kama Sutra,” said judge Len Goodman. “That is a tango!” The duo also earned another 30 for their salsa.

Leading the leaderboard last night, thanks to their bonus 15 points from the cha-cha dance contest, Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas also received a perfect score of 30 for their sexy rumba! Add in the 28 points they received for their earlier tango, and the pair scored a total of 73 points for the night. It’s safe to assume Chelsea and Mark will not be getting the boot tonight.

Falling to the bottom for the second week in a row was Ralph Macchio and pro partner Karina Smirnoff. It is however a comment by judge Bruno Tonioli that is making headlines today. See following their sexy salsa performance, Bruno made a racy remark in reference to Karina when he stated Ralph was “too rough” with his p–sy. He later clarified he was referring to Karina’s pussycat costume. This led to some boos from the audience.

Karina spoke to UsWeekly after the live show, stating she felt “dirty” following Bruno’s critique. “Today was just inappropriate and rude and uncalled for,” she said, adding that Bruno “wouldn’t make eye contact” with her after the incident.

Below are the full scores from last night -

Chelsea & Mark: 73 (28, 30, 15)
Hines & Kym: 60 (30, 30)
Kirstie & Maksim: 54 (27, 27)
Ralph & Karina: 48 (25, 23)

TELL US – DID BRUNO GO TOO FAR WITH HIS COMMENT TO KARINA? WHO SHOULD GO HOME TONIGHT?

Following “American night” last week on Dancing With The Stars, the show returned Monday night with a very non cheesy “guilty pleasure night.”

And it was a good night as the first 10s of the season were handed out to two contestants. Romeo received the first 10 of the night for his lovely Viennese waltz with partner Chelsie Hightower to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” “Every once in awhile in a season, magic happens,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “And that was magical.”

Romeo ended the night with a score of 28 as so did Disney starlet Chelsea Kane and partner Mark Ballas. Chelsea and Mark received the second 10 of the night for their quick-step to “Walking on Sunshine.” “I’m getting a suntan from you!” said judge Bruno Tonioli. “You have so much zest. Splendid.”

And it wouldn’t be a typical DWTS night if a mishap didn’t occur. This week, actor Ralph Macchio suffered that fate when his partner Karina Smirnoff tripped over him during their paso doble to “Everybody Dance Now” by C+C Music Factory. The duo quickly recovered and ended the night with an okay score of 24.

At the bottom of the leaderboard this week and in serious danger of going home is wrestler Chris Jericho alongside partner Cheryl Burke. The duo danced the tango to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” with Bruno stating the wrestler looked like “a lump of granite.” Ouch.

The results show airs tonight at 9/8c and someone will be going home. Below are the scores from last night -

Romeo & Chelsie Hightower: 28
Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas: 28
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson: 27
Kirstie Alley & Maks Chmerkovskiy: 26
Kendra Wilkinson & Louis van Amstel: 25
Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff: 24
Chris Jericho & Cheryl Burke: 22

In other DWTS news, it seems Mark Ballas, 24, and eliminated American Idol contestant Pia Toscano, 22, are still going strong.  The new couple was photographed dining at a Beverly Hills restaurant on Sunday night.  Also pictured with the duo were Mark’s mom (in the blue dress), and his fellow pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Those photos are below!

TELL US – WHO SHOULD GET THE BOOT TONIGHT?

Margaret Cho found herself the latest “star” to be eliminated on Dancing With the Stars Tuesday night.

Her elimination came as no surprise as she and partner Louis van Amstel had the lowest score on Monday – 18 out of 30 – for their samba dance.

“I thought the judges were hard on me, but I think [they saw] that I am a dancer for real,” she said following her elimination. “I will take that with me forever, thank you so much.”

Margaret, 41, also had some nice words for her pro dance partner Louis. “I had the best teacher and the best partner,” and he returned the sentiment, telling her, “I love you and our journey hasn’t finished.”

Singer and last week’s eliminated contestant, Michael Bolton, returned to the show last night to perform the hit song “Hallelujah.” Despite the widely publicized controversy with judge Bruno Tonioli, there was no mention of the controversy last night and Bruno joined the other judges for a standing ovation after the performance.

What started out as a minor Dancing With The Stars controversy is getting bigger by the minute.

Following his elimination on the show, UsWeekly reported yesterday that Michael Bolton, 57, demanded an apology from DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli. If you recall, Bruno completely slammed Michael’s dance on Monday night, telling him that he performed “the worst” jive in the show’s 11 season history, while making some other not so nice comments.

“I was disappointed with Bruno — to me, he let everybody down,” said Michael Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America. “My mom was there, she’s 90, she flew down to see the show … and I just didn’t expect that level of disrespect from him.”

It doesn’t end there as Michael also feels that Bruno should be reprimanded by the show for his comments. “I think he should apologize publicly and he should be reprimanded for it,” Michael said.

And despite most of the show’s stars and professional dancers publicly stating that Bruno’s comments were too harsh, it seems DWTS’ producers are standing behind Bruno, as they publicly released a statement on Wednesday defending him.

“Bruno’s role as a judge is to give his honest opinions on the quality of the dances he’s judging, which is what he did in this case,” the producers say. “While we respect the feelings of our celebrities and dancers, we don’t feel Bruno should be expected to apologize for doing his job.”

According to sources, Michael is saying he regrets doing the show.

TELL US – WHO’S SIDE ARE YOU ON? MICHAEL OR BRUNO’S?

Following his very low score of 12 on Monday night, Michael Bolton’s elimination on Dancing With The Stars came as no surprise to viewers.

Michael, 57, however seemed a bit stunned by his elimination. When asked if he was surprised, he told host Tom Bergeron, “Uh, yeah,” adding that he was “disappointed.” Michael however took things in stride stating that he met some “wonderful, warm, sincere … and gracious people.”

His partner Chelsie Hightower was however still a bit peeved at judge Bruno Tonioli’s brutal criticism on Monday night, when he referred to Michael’s jive as the worst in the show’s history. “It was very harsh,” she told UsWeekly Tuesday. “It was very, very harsh, and I don’t know where it came from. I really don’t. It was hard to hear.”

“He didn’t have anything constructive to say,” she added. “It’s just rude when someone works so hard, and they have never danced before, and then you give them that criticism.”

Meanwhile, despite being safe last night, singer Brandy had to deal with criticism from fans and viewers of the show regarding her attitude and treatment of partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Some fans felt she threw Maks under the bus on Monday night.

Maksim is however coming to Brandy’s defense in a new interview with E! Online. “I don’t know how to say it so that people understand it, so I’m just going to say it the way it is: Brandy’s probably going to be my best friend after the show is over and that’s a true fact. Brandy’s a sweetheart. She’s everything that a real person is. I’ve been hearing a lot of comments saying she’s a diva. She’s not a diva at all. While I’m flattered that people came to my protection, I really need to make sure people understand there’s nothing to protect because she didn’t try to hurt me….We are amazing friends. We are!” stated Maksim.

And finally, the show attempted to put an end to boogate last night when several media outlets speculated that Sarah Palin was booed by the audience. Footage was shown to try to shut down those rumors. I’m personally not sure where the Sarah Palin was booed rumors came from, as it never crossed my mind on Monday night. I simply assumed the audience was booing the 24 score the judges gave to Jennifer Grey, who gave a rather impressive performance.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MICHAEL’S ELIMINATION & BRANDY? DO YOU THINK SARAH PALIN WAS BOOED?

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