Entertainment behind the scenes
(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)
Brooke Burke hoisted the championship trophy on “Dancing with the Stars” on Tuesday, and although her win came as a surprise to virtually no one, the former travel show host and mother of four was left almost speechless by it all.
It was an emotional night for Burke, who ended her last dance routine by waltzing over to her two daughters and kissing them. Her Viennese Waltz was not as acrobatic as the routines Warren Sapp and Lance Bass performed for their last dances, but the judges liked Brooke’s style and they gave her a perfect score, with judge Carrie Ann Inaba nearly weeping as she talked about how great the performance was.
Brooke’s perfect score of 30 capped off a season in which she had long been the front-runner. The 37-year-old performer with long eyelashes and flawless footwork consistently impressed, with judge Bruno Tonioli on Tuesday telling her, “You truly are the jewel in the crown of this really grand finale.”
And with that, Warren and his partner Kym Johnson and Lance and his partner Lacey Schwimmer, or Lancey as they liked to be called, graciously bowed out. Lance was the first of Tuesday’s three finalists to be eliminated, telling the judges and the crowd, “This has been the most fun I’ve had in my entire life.” He is not the only contestant to talk of the show in such glowing terms. On Monday, Warren said that if he won the championship it would be “the greatest accomplishment of my life.” And this from a man who was on a Super Bowl winning team during his professional football career.
Also on Tuesday’s show, 82-year-old former contestant Cloris Leachman made a comeback of sorts, dancing with partner Corky Ballas again and performing in a couple comedy sketches, not to mention going after random citizens with a microphone in a man-on-the-street interview segment. Comedian and former contestant Jeffrey Ross roasted Leachman, and just about everyone else. But his best jokes were aimed at Cloris. Referring to a 1989 movie in which two young men drag along a dead man and pretend he’s alive, Ross described Leachman’s dancing style thusly, “It’s like Weekend at Bernie’s: The Musical.’”
After having her appendix removed only two weeks ago, popular dancer Julianne Hough made her comeback on “Dancing with the Stars” Tuesday, twisting the night away with her brother, Derek Hough, to the tune of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire”.
And Hough’s partner on the show, “Hannah Montana” star Cody Linley, was glad to have her back. In a segment with relationship expert Drew Pinsky, better known as Dr. Drew, the 18-year-old Cody opened up about his feelings for Julianne.
With tears streaming, Cody said he worried about Julianne during her hospitalization, which was related to complications from a condition called endometriosis. “She’s an amazing person who has let me grow as a person,” a tearful Cody said. Dr. Drew put a box of tissues between Cody and Julianne, who sat nearby also crying. All the couples got the Dr. Drew treatment on Tuesday, but the other contestants limited their concerns to overcoming rehearsal room sniping, while Julianne and Cody were the only ones to cry tears over their friendship.
The fans’ desire to see Cody and Julianne dance together again, after pro dancer Edyta Sliwinska stepped in as a replacement partner for Julianne, could have earned Cody some votes this week as he escaped elimination. Instead, Olympic sprinter Maurice Greene and his partner Cheryl Burke were voted off.
Burke told Greene that in her years on “Dancing with the Stars” she has never encountered a partner who worked harder. And playing off their catchphrase “winner, winner chicken dinner,” Burke told Greene, “You will always be the winner, winner chicken dinner of my heart.” And with that, four couples were left to compete next week.
(Reporting and writing by Alex Dobuzinskis)
Five celebrities are left on “Dancing with the Stars,” but only one is a woman. Fortunately for her and for fans, hostess and model Brooke Burke knows how to do the jitterbug, the samba, the rumba and whatever else the show’s producers throw at her.
Chalk it up, perhaps, to Burke’s time waltzing around the globe as the host of the E! travel show “Wild On…” All that globe-trotting must have taught her a few dance steps. On Monday’s show, Burke, 37, topped the leader board with a judges’ score of 55 out of 60 for two dances. Last week, she and her professtional dance partner Derek Hough scored this season’s first perfect 30. So, it’s a fairly safe bet she won’t be traveling anywhere except across the ballroom floor anytime soon.
Meanwhile, retired professional football star Warren Sapp is pressing on in the competition. On Monday’s show he huffed and puffed about being 300 pounds and having to glide across the dance floor. But he finished second in Monday’s scoring, with 54 out of 60, and got the judges smiling with a routine that included his partner tapping a door-knock on his head.
And Julianne Hough, the popular dancing partner of “Hannah Montana” star Cody Linley, is due back on Tuesday’s show, after taking a couple weeks off for surgery to deal with a complication from a medical condition called endometriosis. The 18-year-old Linley could probably use Hough’s help. His scores have been average throughout the competition, except for in week 5 when Hough helped him to a 28 out of 30 with a jitterbug inspired by 1950s icons Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Despite finishing at the bottom of the judges’ scoring on Monday, Linley stood next to thinly-clad temporary partner Edyta Sliwinska and delivered the best line of the night. When co-host Samantha Harris asked if he ever expected to be dancing with a half-naked woman, he answered, ”I may have imagined it but I never expected it.”
Still, funny lines are not enough to win the competition (as Cloris Leachman found out). And the question remains, does any man in the competition have what it takes to defeat Brooke? Or, could Brooke repeat Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi’s win from last season and give the women two wins in a row on “DWTS”?