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Tuesday's Amateur Hours

David Cook by Frank Micelotta/Fox

Midway through George Takei's cheerful yet depressing mauling of a country-music classic last night, I wondered if this is what it would be like to drop acid in Branson, while I was also wondering what a world would be like if so-called stars would be so kind as to keep their hidden talents hidden.No such luck. Look what Dancing with the Stars hath wrought: CBS' cheesy circus of marginal celeb-reality: Secret Talents of the Stars, which premiered Tuesday night as a flat nightcap to a long night of unimpressive reality-show competition. (For Cheers & Jeers' take on this debacle, go here.) Is it wrong of me to think the only truly genuine performance I saw Tuesday night was that adorable 8-year-old couple doing the paso doble as part of the Dancing results-show filler?I’m with Clint Black, who in his affable but instantly forgettable Secret Talents stand-up routine quipped, “You what I can’t stand? These TV shows where people compete and America votes. You know what... read more

Eviction Night 3

I was glad we got to learn the bottom two tonight, but was shocked that it was down to Priscilla and Adam not Marissa and Adam. Sadly, the goof factor of this show is now gone and Adam won't be riding unicycles in a Zorro costume anymore. At least not in the ballroom! Since getting rid of Marissa wasn't an option, I was hoping Adam would stay over Priscilla. Obviously, she is way better than him but I get a lot more enjoyment out of his performances than I do hers. Also, I think Julianne is so adorable. Well, at least they got the encore dance this evening so they were able to perform together one last time.I loved how the show started with Sheryl Crow singing "All I Wanna Do". She looked great. Now that's how you rock a performance in HD after 40. She may be doing a little botox, but she doesn't look like plastic. I could be wrong though and she could just have great skin. I don't mind that the professionals dance during the musical performances, but I also thought it took away fro... read more

The Judges Lose Their Minds!

Still seething from the eviction of my beloved Mahoney and reeling from the embarrassment of totally getting fooled by the most obvious April Fool's joke ever, I decided to let it all go and move on! Who knows, maybe I'll have a new favorite after the night is over. After all, the paso doble is my second favorite dance and anyone can viennese waltz their way into my cold, black heart. It could be tough though because I'm sick and as cranky as Len on his worst day — so let's chew on some D-List stew!Kristi — Although Mark is still suffering from sporadic open-mouth syndrome, this was a great dance. I'm running out of nice things to say about them since every week is exceptional. If she's not in the final two, the voters failed her.Paso Doble 29 (grrrr looks like Len is cranky again!)Cilla — I realize that someone injected motor oil into this poor woman's face (or something crazy like that), but I don't think the excessive amounts of make-up she wears really helps. I ... read more

Please Pass the Fiber!

The tango and the jive are two of the liveliest dances in the ballroom repertoire, so I knew we were in for an interesting night. The tango is by far my favorite (the pasa doble is a close second) because of the fire and emotion and the jive is entertaining because there is a lot of movement. But they are not just entertaining, they are challenging. The tango must be tight yet look effortless and the jive is crazy yet the movements must be controlled. There were some hits and misses tonight, so let's get to it! Marlee — I was anti-Fabian because he took over for my beloved Maksim, but he really won me when he screamed in her ear "Can you hear this?" That was hilarious. My only concern is that they were a bit out of sync tonight. It seemed he was a step ahead of her. They have to rely on other senses to work together, so I think in the coming weeks they will be able to get it together. Jive 21Mahoney (aka Steve for those of you under a rock) — This was by far an improvem... read more

Double Eviction Night

All the magic in the world couldn't keep Penn Jillette and Monica Seles in the competition. Good job, America. I wonder how long Adam Carolla will hang on? Marissa and him may be hanging on by the skin of their teeth. In the midst of the hour-long fluff that is the results show, I started thinking about what a colossal waste of time it is. Do I need two performances by the Jonas Brothers? Do I need to see people flying in mid-air? No, I don't. With the sixth installment under way, I must say this show is in need of a makeover. So let's get a discussion started: What do you want to see changed for next season of Dancing with the Stars? Maybe if we make enough noise, ABC will listen. Mmmm…not bloody likely. But at least we can say we tried! Here are a few of my suggestions:• Enough with the fluffThose two hour shows could easily be 90 or 60 minutes if they cut out the intro pieces before the contestants dance. Another option would be to considerably shorten them (do I need... read more

You say Mambo, I say Mango

Phew! Tonight was a marathon, not a sprint. As much as I love this show, 2 hours and all 12 competitors was a bit much for me. Luckily, there was nothing a good mambo couldn't fix. Raise your hand if you totally fantasize about being a competitor on this show. I do, I do! I always have the coolest dress, the best technique and a song that doesn't stink! Oh, and Maksim is my partner every time. Yeah, you know it!But enough about my delusions of grandeur, it's D-List casserole time. So get yourself a plate and I'll serve up some recap for ya! Mahoney — Could he be any cuter? Despite some major stiffness (hehe), he seemed to be enjoying himself. I hope he sticks around long enough to revive his career. ABC — get this man a pilot! Mambo 16Cristián — The military bit was ridiculous but his dancing was not. Thankfully, Cheryl has someone who can keep up with her this year.Quickstep 20Monica — It wasn't as big of a disaster as I thought, but it wasn't pretty eith... read more

Backstage at Dancing with the Stars: Ryan Seacrest?!

Bruno Tonioli by Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Judge Bruno Tonioli was in rare form Tuesday night. In an interview with TV Guide just moments after the show, he let loose on the male stars of Season 6, calling them "lazy bastards." Apart from R&B star Mario, Tonioli says he was not impressed by the quality of dancing on the season-opener. "I'm so relieved seeing the girls," says Tonioli, "because the boys needed a kick in the ass. Mario was the only one who really sparkled. The others? They were lazy bastards. Sorry, but it's true. They did the dances, but not enough. You're not going to get away with that on Dancing with the Stars. And if you try, we're going to go after you."This isn't the first time, of course, that the first dances of the season have been less than stellar.... The efforts of Master P., Kenny Mayne and Billy Ray Cyrus come to mind. So why is Tonioli so wound up this time? Maybe because now, Dancing is the No. 2 show in the land and we've grown to expect more. Maybe it's because on Tuesday night, the show ... read more

Back in the Ballroom Again!

Leapin' lizards! It's time for another season of Dancing with the Stars. Welcome back, everyone! I've missed my weekly helping of D-list casserole — so let's get right to it, shall we?My first giggle of the season came in the middle of the opening dance by the pros. It wasn't my normal snicker about how the men's hips go all girlie, but a pure gleeful giggle at how cheesy this whole show is and what a dork I am for it. What's better? I get to goof on it all and then some of you write in and tell me what an idiot I am. This is the life!Penn Jillette — We've found this season's funny guy. He's not going to win but he'll last a few weeks because he's good for a chuckle. He should have Teller dress up like a girl and dance with him. Cha-cha 16 Jason Taylor — He's dancing with Edyta, so they have the hotness factor working for them. He was a bit stiff, but he definitely has potential. It's probably out of his comfort zone and he'll loosen up in no time.Fox-trot 22C... read more

Meet Dancing Stars Kristi Yamaguchi and Adam Carolla

Kristi Yamaguchi and Adam Carolla by Bob D'Amico/ABC

As Dancing with the Stars' newbies get ready to dazzle on the dance floor — the hit reality competition returns Monday, March 17 — we've got a week-long guide to who's hoofing for Season 7. Check back each day for our profiles of more pairings. — Deborah Starr SeibelKristi YamaguchiAge 36 Best Known For Taking home the gold in the 1992 Olympics for figure skating Lives In Raleigh, North Carolina Partner Mark Ballas Advantages Yamaguchi knows how to quiet her mind before a big performance. “I apologize to my partner ahead of time,” she says, “because I kind of shut off on show days and use a lot of visualization.”Disadvantages The main thing that’s worrying her is the dance shoes. “I’m terrible in heels,” says Yamaguchi. “And I’m a lot clumsier on the floor than I am on the ice.”Adam CarollaAge 43 Best Known For His syndicated radio program The Adam Carolla Show, and Comedy Central’s The Man Show Lives In Los ... read more

In Praise of the SNL Parody

Hello, all. It's been another great week for The Office and the Office drunk. I'm the redhead at the corner desk. Wild week. Not the typical Meredith-takes-her-top-off wild. Just interesting-and-jam-packed wild. The Office has now crossed a new threshold: An SNL parody! That is a milestone. Rainn Wilson hosted this past week and kicked some major ass. He is one of the most talented actors who I will ever work with. The Office sketch in the opening was pretty cool. Lorne Michaels was more like "Lorne Michaels Scott." No Meredith, but that's OK. (It could have been a guy in drag. I love drag, but I am sure it would have been subpar drag.) Anyway, as a comic actress who has had my own SNL "almost" story, I was really happy to see the Office opening. When I was in Chicago in 1991, I was touring with Second City and I did a show called The Miss Vagina Pageant (directed by Jill Soloway, a writer-producer from Six Feet Under) at the Annoyance Theater, and Lorne Michaels came to see it and ... read more

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