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Cloris Leachman bows out of “Dancing With the Stars”


(Reporting and writing by Alex Dobuzinskis)

The judges on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” won’t have Cloris Leachman to kick around anymore. The grand dame of the show was shown the exit door on Tuesday night, but she was slow to leave.
The Oscar-winning actress and her dancing partner, Corky Ballas, were voted off a day after the judges gave them a rock-bottom score of 15. Leachman, 82, managed to stay in the competition beyond the season’s halfway point with a loyal base of fans, despite scoring at the low end of the judge’s rankings most weeks.

She always played up the humor of her being in the competition when she is way past retirement age, and Tuesday’s show was no exception. First Leachman said she was not leaving, even before the show’s hosts had announced her elimination. Moments later when she was kicked off, the crowd gave her a standing ovation. 
In the middle of it all, after thanking the judges, Leachman decided she needed a rest. So she sat down on the dance floor. Ballas and the show’s hosts followed suit.
“I’m going to get a pretty costume and be here next week,” Leachman said. “I’m going to sit right over there.” So, viewers of “Dancing With The Stars” and her fans can expect to see more of Leachman, — just not on the ballroom floor.
In the meantime, viewers will not see professional dancer Julianne Hough for at least a couple weeks. The partner to “Hannah Montana” star Cody Linley, 18, announced on Monday that she was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition in which tissue normally found in the lining of the uterus grows in other parts of the body. 
On Tuesday’s show, Linley told viewers that Hough underwent surgery to remove her appendix and the procedure went well. 
On her Web blog at, Hough on Tuesday also shed more light on her condition, which among other things involves complications from cysts. She wrote that she ruptured a cyst that was on her ovary, which required a widely reported trip to the hospital last week and led to her diagnosis.
Hough wrote that doctors wanted to “clean out the cysts” and remove her appendix also, “because later on it can be affected by the cysts.”
Hough said she expects to resume dancing with Linley in two weeks. In the meantime, Linley is partnered with dancing pro Edyta Sliwinska. And, as they say in Hollywood, the show goes on.

Toni Braxton departs “Dancing with the Stars” ballroom


braxton.jpgWe’ve seen it before on ”Dancing with the Stars.” Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how well you move across the ballroom floor or how much the judges admire your footwork, if fans don’t love you, you lose your dancing shoes (remember Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan in season No. 5?). Then again, if you have a sort of older, folksy appeal, voters seem to love it (Jerry Springer in season 3).

The latest example is Tuesday’s axing of singer Toni Braxton, even though she scored a point better than the bottom-rung contestants with 22 out of 30 points from judges. Below her at 21 was Lance Bass, who fell during his routine on Monday night. Even more shocking, perhaps, is that 82-year-old Cloris Leachman and her partner, Corky  Ballas, dubbed “Clorky,” managed to stay on the show, too, while scoring below Braxton.114361_0021_pre1.jpg

Cloris Leachman said what?


114361_0021_pre.jpgABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” hit its midway point on Monday, and  it seems no better time than now to write about it. The star of this year hasn’t been the dancing so much as the comedy provided by 82-year-old Cloris Leachman, who continues to hang on in the ballroom competition. And again on Monday night,  Leachman gave the show what was perhaps its most entertaining moment. 

When co-host Samantha Harris interviewed Leachman and and partner Corky Ballas backstage after they danced a salsa, she asked Leachman what kind of character she had tried to portray in her routine. Leachman said Ballas wanted her to play “A something ho.” She struggled to remember exactly what Ballas wanted until, finally and proudly, blurting out “A skanky ho.”