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Author Topic: Dancing With The Stars - Season 8, Week 1

Icon 1 posted March 09, 2009 19:59            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nearly four years ago, ABC aired the first season of Dancing With The Stars as a summer fill-in "reality" TV series, bringing the format and style of the UK's Strictly Come Dancing to American airwaves. To many people's surprise, it turned out to be a smash hit. Six more seasons have followed, each expanding on the original concept, bringing more dances, more competitors, and more excitement. The crew is mostly unchanged...Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris hosting, and Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli as your judges. Now, in the eighth season, we have what looks to be the best DWTS yet...especially for those of us of the geek persuasion, as one of this series' competitors is none other than Steve "The Woz" Wozniak, Lord High Ubergeek Extraordinaire, inventor of the Apple computer and its supremely-elegant disk drive controller. So make sure and vote for Woz!

Before we begin, a couple of bits of bad news...two competitors actually had to drop out prior to the start of the competition because of injury. Jewel Kilcher (folk singer) fractured both tibia, and Nancy O'Dell (Access Hollywood co-host) tore a meniscus, requiring surgery. This also breaks up one of ABC's big talking points about this season: Jewel and her husband, rodeo champ Ty Murray, were to have been the first husband-and-wife competitors in the same season on the American DWTS. (Previously, Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin, a married couple, competed in Season 2 and Season 3, respecively.) That's bad news...and Woz's own reports of foot problems are a little worrisome for Our Hero. Nevertheless, the show must go on!

After the grand entrance of all the (previously-announced) couples, on the newly-redesigned grand staircase, no time was wasted on getting the first couple on the floor. First up: rapper Lil'Kim, paired with Derek Hough. Kim actually first saw DWTS while in prison, and dedicated her performance tonight to her homegirls in the Federal Correctional Center. Derek intended to use her hip-hop swagger as a factor in their dance, and their cha-cha-cha routine, to "Nasty," certainly showed it! She showed good presence in her routine, and a few of her moves shined through. Len called it "first class," but thought she needed refinement and work on her posture. "Nasty but tasty!" gushed the ever-irrepressible Bruno. Carrie-Ann said she showed potential despite the jitters, and encouraged her to "let it out" in the future.
Scores: CAI 7, LG 7, BT 7, Total 21

Belinda Carlisle, lead singer of the Go-Gos in the 80's, was fanatical about the show, which is why she's here. Her pro partner, Jonathan Roberts, did everything he could to help her get over her fear of doing spins. Their waltz, to "What The World Needs Now," showed good lines on her part, but Belinda did seem rather scared and stiff, and maybe a little "off" on the footwork. Bruno said, "You started out as Julie Andrews, but you finished up as Cloris Leachman!" and condemned her performance as "heavy." Carrie-Ann disagreed with Bruno, and said she mostly needed to work on trusting Jonathan. Len observed there was some grace and some awkwardness in her performance, but it was good overall.
Scores: CAI 6, LG 6, BT 5, Total 17

Football players have tended to do well on DWTS; witness Jerry Rice's 2nd-place finish in Season 2, and Emmitt Smith's win in Season 3. That said, linebacker Lawrence Taylor was afraid he'd look "funny" on the dance floor, as he tried out his new shoes, supplied by Edyta Sliwinska. Above all, he hoped he wouldn't bring down the dance ball! Their cha-cha-cha, to "Keep On Walking," showed he had the moves, but, yes, was scared and stiff, with his speed not up to par. Carrie-Ann confirmed he wasn't quite living up to the legend yet, and he needed to move over to "offense" more in the dance. Len praised his natural rhythm, while lamenting that it could be crisper and sharper. "You have something," opined Bruno, "you just need to use it!"
Scores: CAI 6, LG 5, BT 5, Total 16

Perhaps the most unusual competitor in the competition is Steve-O from MTV's Jackass, who pulled a stunt on a bicycle when he came in to meet his pro partner, Lacey Schwimmer, for the first time. Steve-O intends to prove that, after his stint in rehab, he's "still got his mojo." Lacey, as a rebel herself, is a good match for him, but she's still got her work cut out for her. The waltz they did, to the theme from The Godfather, started with a small stunt, but, quite frankly, Steve-O looked less like Fred Astaire and more like Fred Flintstone. My girlfriend Sabrina said "That was hard to watch!" and "He looks way out of his league!" The best Len could say was, "I expected worse!" Bruno cried, "My God! What a big pile of slapstick!" Carrie-Ann had mixed emotions at the mix of beauty and weirdness she saw. All three, however, praised the fact that he came out and performed.
Scores: CAI 6, LG 5, BT 6, Total 17

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Icon 1 posted March 09, 2009 20:33            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Continued from previous post)

Gilles Marini, prior to tonight, was best known as the "naked neighnor" in the Sex and the City movie. He now gives two-time pro winner Cheryl Burke something new to play with...even if he does need some encouragment to "look like a man!" [Smile] Their cha-cha-cha, to "Addicted to Love," is easily the best male performance thusfar. He's flexible, with crisp footwork, and he's looking good! "WOOHOO!" says Carrie-Ann, gushing over his fire and bravado. "You know how to strut your stuff!" sayd Bruno. Len called it "just about right."
Scores: CAI 8, LG 8, BT 8, Total 24

Julianne Hough, the next pro dancer in the competition, knows her celebrity partner, country singer Chuck Wicks, well...they're dating! Teaching her boyfriend is a very different experience for Julianne, who calls Chuck "hard to teach"; Chuck, for his part, doesn't want to let Julianne down. They walzed to "Are You Lonesome Tonight," and meshed well, as one might expect. Bruno thought he was "chasing' her a bit, and encouraged him to "tone it down!" Len thought it a bit hectic, and recommended work on posture and movement, but praised his footwork. Carrie-Ann thought he should have kept both feet on the ground during a lift, but called him "graceful."
Scores: CAI 6, LG 7, BT 7, Total 20

We now reach one of the "replacement" celebrities, who had just 6 days to prepare after Jewel bowed out: Holly Madison, one of Hugh Hefner's Girls Next Door. Paired with "new" pro Dmitry Chaplin, Holly approached the training as only a blonde can, scared and forgetful; he, in turn, just worked on blocking out the dance for her as best he could. They did the cha-cha-cha to "Just Dance," and Holly was somewhat stiff, unsure, and slowed down a bit near the end, but her footwork was crisp. Len called it, "Not bad, but not good enough." Carrie-Ann thought she looked like a "newborn deer," but commended the way she worked her hips. Bruno, making the obvious observation that she was "easy on the eyes," found good things about her performance and said, "There is hope!"
Scores: CAI 6, LG 6, BT 6, Total 18

Even if Jewel couldn't perform, her husband, rodeo champion and "King of the Cowboys" Ty Murray, was game for the competition. His coach, National Youth Champion Chelsie Hightower, knew she had her work cut out for her. Sabrina (a rodeo and bullriding fan herself) said, "He's gonna be gettin' laughed at hard." Ty said, "This is a lot like bull riding...you're never ready, it's just your turn." No one was laughing during their cha-cha-cha to "Train in Vain," though. He rocked those hips, but bobbled a bit of the footwork; the two of them did work well together. Bruno thought his performance looked more like an Army drill. "You did come out and try!" said Len. Carrie-Ann said he was "one cute cowboy!", but did say he needed work.
Scores: CAI 5, LG 4, BT 5, Total 14

At 17 years of age, gymnast Shawn Johnson is the youngest competitor ever on DWTS. Her partner, last season's pro winner Mark Ballas, told her to forget the gymnastics, dancing is different! Shawn felt her biggest problem would be bringing off the serious, romantic nature of the waltz; as they pirouetted across the floor to the strains of "It Is You (I Have Loved)," she appeared to make it happen. With beautiful lines and nice extension, one barely noticed the odd bobble here and there. "I was truly moved," said Carrie-Ann, "you can definitely move the audience!" Bruno thought there was just a little too much of the gymnastic "quickness" in her performance, but loved it nonetheless. Len felt her fluidity was a bit off, but called it "fantastic."
Scores: CAI 8, LG 8, BT 7, Total 23

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Icon 1 posted March 09, 2009 21:03            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Continued from previous post)

This morning, as Steve Wozniak left the hotel for the final pre-show preparations, his parting words were, "I hope that everybody enjoys the day, including my competitors!" Gracious words from Our Hero, as he and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, take the floor! Woz arrived at his practice sessions on his trusty steed...a Segway! He's definitely the funnyman of this competition, saying, "If you think computers are hard, you haven't tried dancing...it's sort of analog!" He closes his eyes during practice, trying to "feel" his position and motion better; he's out to prove "Nerds CAN dance!" They did the cha-cha-cha, to "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," and even if Woz can't move like the rest of the celebrity cast (at 58, he's the oldest competitor this season), he's definitely slugging and having fun! "That looks SO..." said Sabrina, trailing off. He threw in some knee spins close to the end, which was a nice touch, but he did come across as a bit off. "Disaster!" exclaimed Len, who did praise the knee spins, though, as well as admit that it held his attention. "Delirious and hilarious!" said Bruno, who compared Woz's performance to "a Teletubby going mad." Woz took it all in stride, laughing as much as anyone else. Carrie-Ann, however, said, "You are what this contest is all about! You make us WANT to cheer for you!" And cheer we did.
Scores: CAI 5, LG 4, BT 4, Total 13

Comedian David Alan Grier joked that he was in the contest for "dance moves and maybe sexual favors." Kym Johnson, his pro partner, found him a handful. (GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER! [Smile] ) She wasn't really sure what to expect. They waltzed to "You Light Up My Life," and David proved he had presence, though his moves were a tad wooden and he seemed a bit hesitant on the finale. Bruno thought he leaned in a bit too far on some holds, and his multiple facial expressions distracted from the performance. Carrie-Ann agreed with the latter, but praised his neat, precise lines. "More good than bad," opined Len, but did note that his "bum" stuck out too far on occasion.
Scores: CAI 6, LG 7, BT 6, Total 19

Actress and Bond girl Denise Richards paired up with ballroom "bad boy" Maksim Chmerkovskiy for the cha-cha-cha; poor Maks had to get her to stop apologizing every time she screwed up in rehearsals, and, in the process, drew the first on-camera tears. They danced to "Nothin' But a Good Time," and she showed enthusiasm and energy most of all, with a cute "bump" in mid-performance and strong potential. Carrie-Ann felt her shoulders were "out" a little too much; Len thought she was "a bit loose," and Bruno said, "You've got it all, you just don't know what to do with it!" Their reactions were all encouraging, though.
Scores: CAI 6, LG 6, BT 6, Total 18

If Holly was rushed in her preparation for her performance, Melissa Rycroft, fresh off being dumped on national television just last week on The Bachelor's season finale, faced a nearly-impossible task: she had just 48 hours to prepare for tonight! With little else to work with, her pro partner, Tony Dovolani, took her knowledge of ballet, combined some ballet-type moves together, and built a passable waltz around it. There wasn't even time to film the standard "intro" segment for her; they just went straight to "Moon River" and the dance. Somehow it worked, though; she actually looked better than some people who'd been training for much longer! "The Bachelor's loss is Dancing With The Stars' gain!" said Len, who picked up on the whole "ballet" thing right away, and said she needed to put her weight on her heels more, rather than the balls of her feet. "That guy was a loser, you are a revelation!" gushed Bruno, who compared her to "a beautiful bird taking flight." Carrie-Ann also called it "beautiful" and "natural," but warned her not to take it so lightly, but connect more to the dance. Hopefully, we'll see even better out of her next week, when she has as much time to prepare as anyone else.
Scores: CAI 8, LG 7, BT 8, Total 23

And that's it for tonight! Unfortunately, Our Hero has the low score for the week, at 13, while Gilles took high score, at 24. Next week, we'll be back on Monday night for Week 2 of the competition, followed on Tuesday night by the first results show and the first couple to depart!


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Icon 1 posted March 11, 2009 07:32            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Latest update from Woz via Facebook...and I'm starting to get worried about him. I've had foot problems myself, and I know how bad it can get. Keep him in your prayers and healing thoughts, if you can!

On Mar 11, 2009, at 4:27 AM PST, Steve Wozniak wrote:

I went to the doctor today.

I snagged some of the latex gloves that always hang around hospitals. It's like taking soap home from a hotel. I used to get lots of these gloves and let the kids in my computer classes turn them into great water balloons. So call it a habit to get these when I see them. That sounds better than calling it a sickness like kleptomania.

I also hid an empty water bottle under my arms under my shirt under my sweater at one point. When 2 clinic officials came in Karina pretended to be working on my foot and then she bent it and I squeezed my arms and you heard an incredibly loud crackling sound. We did this on 2 female clinic staff members and they were shocked with mouths open for ages. When we did it on the doctor he didn't fall for it though.

At first I explained to the doctor that I had foot pain. After some discussion he spoke of the likelihood and danger of a fracture. I told him that I thought it was a good possibility. An X-ray looked good but it doesn't show early fractures in a bone. So we then did an MRI. It was a lucky day that I was able to get an MRI right away there in this Cedar-Sinai clinic.

The doctor treats a lot of athletes with sports injuries. He explained to me how dancing can fracture bones because of the incredible pressures put on them. But for a long time I was just waiting.

Finally the doctor came in and we went over the MRI. I got very serious at this point because I could tell that he was worried. My dance partner, Karina, pointed out that all the white on this MRI was bad and an indication of fluids. My doctor called another doctor who must have pulled the MRI up on his own screen and they concurred about something. The fact that my doctor wasn't talking to me made me more and more worried.

This doctor was very familiar with the DWTS show and knew how to address the camera and speak good sound bytes for possible airing on TV. He explained to me that I had a fracture and that he had only had a ten percent expectation of this. He expected something simpler, like a pulled muscle or tendonitis.

The doctor explained that he would tell me that I should stay off of the foot. I was desperate to keep anything absolute from being on the 'tape' so I kept coming around to degrees of badness of such fractures. The doctor admitted that some are worse than others. He said that in a case like mine, similar to a pro sports athlete, where it was very important to continue for a livelihood, that it might be possible, with risk, to continue.

I told the doctor how much I wanted to be on Dancing because I really loved being a part of such a good and important thing. He understood and we reached a compromise. I would wear a removable cast except during practice and I would halt everything if I got acute pain. The doctor said that if he were in my shoes, he would also continue with the dancing but watch the foot. My partner Karina was very concerned. We have become very close, especially since we are opposing others about which dance was the best. But Karina did say that were it her foot, she would go on. For her it is a profession.

I did go down for a little practice after leaving the clinic in the cast. Practice was short but went well. Karina wanted me to drive in cars and not use the Segway. After first opposing this, I came around. I have seen a lot of things to know that I can trust her. I'm glad that I have largely switched to car travel now.

Tomorrow we have a larger practice.

There is much much more to tell but I'm out of time. I had so much email, literally by the hundreds, that it's very late and I have to get up early for some show video stuff. Plus I have to practice. The other dancers got all of today for practice but I was at the clinic. Fortunately, I love my next dance, for Monday night.

I have to say to all of you that I will post what I can here. But how much I have time to post will depend on how many of you avoid filling my email boxes and phoning me and the like. I know you are all incredible supporters, but I may run out of time to even read my email. I have already cut out all reading of news.

On another note, the show set a record with 23 million viewers. I hope that the producers decide that it was largely due to my presence. I also hope that they find incredible numbers from the viewers. This is things like how many people watch You Tube clips of my performance, and how many voted for me by phone or internet. I have some worries about the internet voting. A friend told me that his gmail account had been used by someone else to vote, with an obviously computer generated name, like PCP1011011, that sort of thing. I have no idea who they were voting for but I hope it wasn't me. This is fairly disgusting.

But I assure all of you that I believe that I have the best strongest most dedicated and passionate fan base of any of the celebrity dancers this season, and that your efforts on my behalf will be duly noted and recorded. I believe that you will bring me many times more votes than anyone else. It may even be huge.

I promise to make the next dance wild and fast and all-over and crazy and fun, just like the first one. If the judges are out of sync with what the viewers like to see, so be it. The show can always get new judges.

Please keep supporting me. It is always very important.

to all my friends,



-- tv is wake zone

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Icon 14 posted March 11, 2009 18:15      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Erbo!
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Icon 1 posted March 12, 2009 08:55            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, the news report is out now: Woz has a foot fracture.

His professional partner, Karina Smirnoff, went with him to Cedars-Sinai hospital, worried that she had lost her partner. Instead, she has gained a cast member with a removable cast.

The doctor told the Woz that he can continue, as long as he's careful and wears the cast as much as he can.

Critics might say he should keep the cast on while he's dancing. However, in an e-mail to his Facebook Support Group, the Woz said he told his doctors that he is determined to continue because he "loves being part of such a good and important thing."

Shit. Foot problems are bad juju. I've had foot pain that wasn't a fracture, yet kept me hobbling for days. My ex-wife had a Jones fracture in her foot for a long time that they had to fix by putting a screw in. I hope to God Woz does what he can to rest that foot in between practices.
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Icon 1 posted March 12, 2009 14:41      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh bleah.

I've had a foot fracture. They're a weird sort of injury. Doesn't hurt as much as you think it might, but man is it a pain to heal. Took fscking forever to get an all clear out of the doctor. But then again, it took me fscking forever to get around to seeing a doctor...

And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Icon 1 posted March 14, 2009 23:14      Profile for Tech Angel     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's a cute interview of Woz (with cast) and Karina being interviewed by Access Hollywood.

We must be the change we want to see in the world. -Mahatma Ghandi

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Icon 1 posted March 16, 2009 11:02      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
More news

On Mar 16, 2009, at 2:32 PM EST, Steve Wozniak wrote:

got up smiling...went for a short Segway jaunt at 10:45 AM...awating an 11:00 AM limo pickup at my apartment...on that jaunt I came to feel happy that I get to share a dance I learned with a lot of people...a much happier thought than how am I going to do...I am confident

I'm in my trailer now. My live orchestra rehearsal is at 1140 AM and it's almost 11:30 which is when they'll call me out of my trailer. A live orchestra always sounds a bit different than the music you've been practicing to so you have to work on the tempo and getting used to the new sound. Then I should have some down time but they will rehearse thing like walking down the stairs again and then we have a 2-hour live rehearsal for all of us, red room, fake judges with scores, essentially the entire show from 1 to 3 or something. Then we have time off until the real show at 5:00 PM PDT (8 PM EDT live).

I need your votes but even more just for you to be watching me on the show.

Please remember that my life is so tight on the schedule that excess email and phone calls are not my friends.

Thanks, and smiles to you all,


-- tv is wake zone

Live long and prosper.

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Icon 1 posted March 16, 2009 11:19            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
macmcseboy: I came here to post that. [Smile]

Look for Week 2's initial report, later tonight.

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