Dancing with the Stars' Laila Ali
At Monday night's Dancing with the Stars, the fun began even before the big band blasted its first notes. But to get the whole picture, you need to understand a few logistics: ABC's Dancing is shot live at CBS Television City (which rents out its popular Los Angeles sound studios) and in the very same building as Fox's American Idol. What that means is that in the corridors, washrooms and elevators, stars can collide.
Which they did, tonight, when Idol's beat-boxing contestant Blake Lewis stepped out of an elevator, only to be greeted by Dancing pro Tony Dovolani. "Hey, man, how're you doing?" asked Dovolani.
Dovolani congratulated Lewis on la
Last night our stars had a sort of second chance to make a first impression. Initially, I was against not having an elimination last week, but the judges commented that they were grateful for the chance to see everyone do both Latin and ballroom dances, and that is a good point some people are simply better at one style than the other. OK, so they won me over with this new wait-a-week system.So who benefited from this extra week? First and foremost, Billy Ray Cyrus. Wow, did he step it up. The judges crowned him most improved performer and it was a well deserved title. I enjoyed watching his performance; he was actually doing the quick step, and moving at a fast pace. Taking into account this turnaround and adding in his huge Hannah fanbase, I dont think this cowboy will be exiting the dance floor just yet.In addition to Billy Ray, Heather Mills also gained a lot from this part-two performance. Love her or hate her (she seems to inspire impassioned responses...
Topic One: Dancing with the Stars. One long grin, that show is. Id forgotten what a fun lark it can be, after the last few months of watching American Idol take itself way too seriously. Nothings really at stake on the Dancing show, except minor issues like dignity and rescuing B-list reputations from the celebrity coal bin. Early front-runners: Joey Fatone (especially if he keeps shedding the pounds as he dances) and Apolo Anton Ohno, the closest thing the show has to a hottie. (Possible miscalculation of keeping up his skating schedule when he should be perfecting his dance moves. He wasnt nearly as electrifying as he needs to be.) And because a female is overdue a win on this show, lets not count out Laila Ali, an interesting mix of athleticism, aggression and (when it matters) unexpected grace and charm.Charm really is the selling point of this ABC phenom. Even a klutz like Billy Ray Cyrus probably earned a few pity points for being a good sport. And I...
And theyre off! The 11 latest celebrities to put on their dancing shoes hit the ballroom live last night. It was step one of their quest for that fabulous, sparkling Dancing with the Stars trophy. Throughout the show, the hosts pointed out that this is the most remarkable cast ever and that we were watching history-making television. Its good to know that theyre keeping this fun, lighthearted dance show in perspective.OK, while they may have overstated things a bit, there were some firsts last night that did indeed set it apart from past seasons: their tallest contestant ever, NBA star Clyde Drexler, standing at 6-foot-7; their first contestant with an artificial limb, Heather Mills; and their youngest competitor, professional dancer Julianne Hough, who is all of 18.Another big difference from last season was that, overall, most of the celebrities participating this year are pretty well known. Theres much less of the Whos t...
Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke, Dancing with the Stars
Who's the youngest? The most surprisingly fit? The tallest toe-tapper in the show's history? As the Monday, 8 pm/ET premiere of the new season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars nears, TV Guide invites you to step right up and meet the new line of celebrity hoofers.
Billy Ray Cyrus, 45Best known for: His country-music career and playing Dad on Disney's Hannah MontanaLives in: Los Angeles and NashvilleDancing for: daughter Noah, who told her first-grade teacher that Daddy was "scared" to sign on for DWTS. "The teacher told my little girl to go home and tell me, ‘Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game,'" he says.Partner: Last season's runner-up,
Who'll be hoofing it this time in the name of winning that garish trophy? Onetime Dancing with the Stars competitor Jerry Springer unveiled the new season's contenders on Wednesday's Good Morning America, and they are: Laila Ali, the daughter of the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali Country music star Billy Ray Cyrus Paul McCartney's soon-to-be ex, Heather Mills Former NBA star Clyde Drexler 'N Sync alum Joey Fatone Miss USA-turned-GSN hostess Shandi Finnessey Entertainment reporter Leeza Gibbons Former supermodel Paulina Porizkova 90120's Ian Ziering Sopranos alum/Sirius Satellite Radio host Vincent Pastore Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno Dancing with the Stars returns Mar. 19, on ABC.
Housewives' James Denton with his wife, Erin, and their son, Sheppard
With Dad's day almost upon us — Sunday, June 18, if you still need to run out and grab a card — your favorite stars from Desperate Housewives, Prison Break, Without a Trace and more share their best bits of fatherly wisdom. For photos of these proud pops with some of their kids, pick up the new issue of TV Guide.