Marlee Matlin

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The Winner is Crowned!

Well kids, this is it! It's been just over two months since this crazy season started and now it's all coming to an end. Who would be taking home the crown and who would go home in utter defeat? More importantly, who is being booted right away and settling for third place? I'm anticipating an interesting (yet long!) night ahead, so let's dive into it one last time!After a short interview with our finalists, Usher entered the ballroom and I shouted with glee. He's sexy and talented and he really hasn't had a song I haven't liked. Despite having a headset, I definitely think he wasn't singing his new hit song "Love in This Club" but that's really fine with me. It's a dancing show and if singing live would have made it hard for him to break it down at the end then he shouldn't have sang. I also think every performer on this show has lip-synched so this isn't abnormal. We've had some pretty great performances this year. Which was your favorite? Then the first big moment of the night arr... read more

Backstage Report: Competition's too 'Difficult' for Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin and Fabian Sanchez by Kelsey McNeal/ABC

After Monday night's Dancing with the Stars performance show, head judge Len Goodman headed home and turned on his television. Thanks to the west coast tape delay, when Goodman got home, that night's show was still in progress, "and Marlee [Matlin] came on," he says. "So I pressed the mute button, and I'm watching her, and thinking, ''That's what she's hearing. Nothing.'" That was the night before Matlin was sent home, and it was Goodman's way of trying to understand the almost impossible odds facing Dancing's first deaf contestant. All three judges have been trying to put themselves in Matlin's shoes. "I think it's very lonely out there for her, whenever she makes a misstep," says judge Carrie Ann Inaba. "I really get the sense that every time she makes a mistake, it's like a vacuum, like suddenly she's just alone. Even her partner is connected to the outside world. And she doesn't get to hear the applause, so she doesn't get that added momentum." "She does incredibly well," ... read more

Eviction Night 5

Some people may say that Marlee Matlin just couldn't overcome her disability and that's why she was voted off of the show tonight. I would disagree completely. I don't think I understood the magnitude of what she did every week until she was giving her speech at the end. She made me realize how lucky I am to have all my senses and how I take it all for granted. She started out well but had two bad weeks in a row and that was her demise. I can't say what went wrong, but we all saw in the beginning that she can dance despite being deaf so that had nothing to do with it. Maybe the dances just got a bit too difficult for her. The voters made the right choice, but it was still sort of sad.The show started out like usual with a recap of the previous night's dances and some comments from the celebs thrown in. Usually nothing of note happens during this segment, but I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow to Shannon and Derek. I actually like her but she was being a bit of a cry baby and the w... read more

Showdown at the Ballroom Corral

The stakes increased this week as each contestant was trying to make it to the second part of the season and the "double dance shows." Much like this season has hit the halfway point — my enthusiasm has hit a plateau. Fear not, this usually happens every year because I've come off the high of a new season and have settled in with the celebs. However, as we start picking off the decent dancers and get down to the end I know I'll get excited. Did that sound convincing? I think part of the problem is that no one seems to be improving that much and I feel we see the same dances every week. I'm looking for someone to turn it on and start making Kristi quake in her boots. Luckily, I have the real life drama of Shannon and Derek totally caught being all smoochy-smoochy on the beach to keep me invested. More on that later. It's time to add a twist of lemon to this D-List martini we call Dancing with the Stars. Jason — I still think he has a lot of loosening up to do, but I'd s... read more

Ay Ca-rumba!

Holy smokes, it's Latin Night! With the exception of the quickstep, I will take a Latin dance over a ballroom dance any day. There's something so mundane about the fox trot that makes me slip into a boredom-induced coma. Luckily, we get a whole night of booty-shaking goodness. Who will the samba and rumba take as a victim this week? Let's dab on some Eau de D-List and find out! Yes, I have a million of these stupid D-List intros and they are all corny and ridiculous. If you are rolling your eyes right now, my work is done! Mario — I enjoy his dancing so much it makes me crazy that more people aren't on the Mario bandwagon. He's very smooth and exudes sexuality. I hope he gains some fans so he can stay in the competition. Also, Karina is not my favorite pro but she looked amazing in that yellow outfit. Samba 27Cilla — Finally they left that woman's hair alone. She looked decent for the first time this competition. I'm extremely jealous that she can still do a split! I'm ea... read more

Top 8 Rankings: The Most Lopsided Dancing Ever?

Dancing With The Stars by Kelsey McNeal/ABC

TVGuide.com's new Dancing with the Stars Power Rankings — based on the weekly polling of you, the readers — are out, and Kristi and Mark are still waltzing away with this thing. Seriously, is there no catching them? Is the ice-skating fan base that massive a force to be reckoned with? Or is no one else on the parquet anywhere near up to par?For what it's worth, Shannon and Derek are putting their best feet forward these days, and are somewhat inching up on Team YamaBallas. Meanwhile, Marissa and Tony linger in (a tie for) last, veritably tapping their toes until the scythe comes.The Top 8 Power Rankings56.2% Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas 18.8% Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough10.6% Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska 9.1% Cristián De La Fuente and Cheryl Burke 1.9% Marlee Matlin and Fabian Sanchez 1.4% Mario and Karina Smirnoff 1.0% Priscilla Presley and Louis Van Amstel 1.0% Marissa Jaret Winokur and Tony DovolaniRelated:• Photo Gallery: Top 8 Power R... 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

Backstage at Dancing: No Drama, Only Laughs

Dancing with the Stars by Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Right about now, the producers of Dancing with the Stars must be thinking, "I wish we had a little more of the life-and-death drama that surrounded Season 5." Marie Osmond fainting, Marie and Jane Seymour carrying on despite family crises, Jane and Mark Ballas being carted off to the emergency room for food poisoning and a dislocated shoulder.... There will never be a cycle like Season 5. Instead, what we have is the calm sense that stars are working really hard to dance really well, and then — given permission to let loose by comedians Penn Jillette and Adam Carolla — getting loopy with the judges. Take Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough, sitting on the floor (along with host Tom Bergeron) to catch their breath as they get their scores. "I had to sit down," Elizabeth shares after her jive. Her secret goal in life is to play Wonder Woman, but right now, she wouldn't have the energy. "I was so tired and so happy that it was over. I just wanted to get through this dance so... 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

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

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