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No tears, no jeers; Cody Linley exits “Dancing with the Stars”


(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

It could hardly come as a surprise to many viewers when Cody Linley was voted off “Dancing with the Stars” on Tuesday, after he finished at the bottom of the judges’ scoring tally for three straight weeks.

“DWTS” co-host Samantha Harris told Cody, 18, that he had grown up in his time on the show. Last week a small contingent of his young fans squealed in delight when Maurice Greene was eliminated instead of him. On Tuesday, the crowd gave Cody a warm send-off.
“Words can’t even explain the true amazing, growing, learning journey that I’ve had on this show,” Cody said. “I can’t show my appreciation any more to Julianne. I can’t say thank you. I love her so much. This opportunity has been so amazing.”

Then, Cody hugged his partner Julianne Hough for a long goodbye. But this time, he held back the tears that only last week streamed down his cheeks when talking about Julianne’s return to the show following her surgery. She obviously meant a lot to the young star.   
Linley’s elimination means fans will no longer see the popular Julianne Hough bop around the dance floor. And, after her singing performance on Tuesday’s show, it’s clear she has more to offer in the future than just dancing. She can carry a tune. 
With her brother, Derek, as one of the three dancers performing on stage, Hough sang “My Hallelujah Song” from her self-titled album released in May. The crowd cheered as Hough proved she is a star in her own right and not just a sidekick to Cody, a “Hannah Montana” actor who comes out of the Disney talent factory.
Also on Tuesday’s show, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin sang as last season’s champion Kristi Yamaguchi, the Olympic skater, danced with her partner Mark Ballas and showed she would be a strong contender if she was in this season’s competition. Remaining contestants Brooke Burke, Warren Sapp and Lance Bass will face each other in next week’s final.

(Photos: copyright ABC Inc.; Kelsey McNeal)

On “Dancing With the Stars,” is it Cody Linley’s last dance?


(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)
“Hannah Montana” star Cody Linley has waited patiently until he could reunite with his favorite high-stepper, Julianne Hough, who was out on medical leave. On Tuesday they hit the floor together again on “Dancing With The Stars,” after Cody squeaked past last week’s elimination round. But how long will they last? 

Tuesday night, 18-year-old Cody fretted over whether he could pull off his paso doble, saying he worried his young age could keep him from looking manly enough for the dance style, which is meant to resemble a bull fight. As it turns out, Cody had other problems with the dance. The judges called his performance wooden and stiff, and judge Len Goodman remarked on Cody’s military outfit and marshal choreography as he gave Cody a dressing-down.

Julianne Hough twists again on “Dancing with the Stars”


(Reporting and Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis)

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.

Brooke Burke: Last woman dancing on “DWTS”


(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”?

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