It was one raunchy results night. Returning celeb Lisa Rinna, wearing a cut-down-to-there black sequined minidress, was about to perform a song-and-dance number from her upcoming Broadway stint as Roxie Hart in Chicago. In the commercial break, host Tom Bergeron turned to her and warned that she'd better keep her dress on. Rinna shot back, "Unless you want better ratings…. "
The crowd ate it up. And besides, it's hard to argue with Dancing's runaway sex appeal. Comedian Kathy Griffin, sitting ringside, was smitten with the show's new golden boy, Apolo Anton Ohno, who performed an encore of his perfect-scoring samba from the night before. "I loved Apolo with the Tiger Lady," says Griffin, referring to Ohno's pro partner, Julianne Hough, who was outfitted in a tiger-striped leotard. "I don't know what the dance is called, and I don't care."
Was it the over-the-top dance costumes that captured her attention? "The outfits are drag heaven, and I'm a fan of drag," says Griffin. "That's why I come." Told that her own name was being thrown around as a possible dancing celeb for next season, Griffin emphatically shakes her head no. "I wouldn't do it," she says. "I can't dance. I would be like Jerry Springer."
Macy Gray won't consider any future openings, either. The guest singer says she "can't dance a lick." But she's rooting for Laila Ali and Joey Fatone — oh, and the one she can't keep her eyes off, either: Apolo Anton Ohno. "He's a skater, but he can dance, too," says Gray. Then she shocks you with her observations. "He has a huge bulge," she says, straight-faced. "Have you seen it in his tight pants? Is that a sock?"
When you stop laughing, she tells you that she likes the pro dancers a lot, too, but the one she really wants to run away with is Laila's partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. "Maks can come home with me," she says. "Tonight."
Maybe it was the aftermath of a night that alternated between rumba and samba — and excessive amounts of hip action — but the air seemed heavy with pheromones. Host Samantha Harris, finally freed from trying to hide her pregnancy (which was announced on the show last week) shimmied in place into and out of almost every commercial break. "I have a certain body type that made it really hard to hide the pregnancy," she says. "It makes it hard to hide a really big meal. The second week, I wore this purple dress that was a little too tight and I'd had a huge quesadilla right before the show. Big mistake. All of a sudden, the message boards were lighting up."
Harris' husband of two-and-a-half years, financier Michael Hess, says the phone never stopped ringing. "My aunt was so funny," says Hess. "She had the show on TiVo and she calls my dad. 'Is Samantha pregnant?' And he's like, 'I don't know.' And then when we told her, she said, 'I knew it! That purple dress! I had it on TiVo and when she turned, I slowed it down and watched it frame by frame and I saw that stomach.'"
The judges have been extremely solicitous of Harris since she broke the news that her first baby is due on October 6. "Bruno and Len had no idea [before the announcement on the show]," says Harris, "and it was so much fun. I think they were shocked. And ABC network and E! [her two employers]? That was my biggest fear, because I am a career woman and trying to juggle everything. But it's not going to impact my work. They've been incredibly supportive."
No wonder she feels like dancing.
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