Bruno Tonioli

Dancing With The Stars Kicks Off 17th Season: Valerie Harper Wows!

The new season of “Dancing with the Stars” got under way on Monday night with a fresh crop of celebs and some very high scores.

“Glee” star Amber Riley and partner Derek Hough wowed the judges with their cha-cha and earned the night’s top marks — three nines, for a combined score 27 out of a possible 30.

Bruno Tonioli called Riley the “tigress of season 17,” while Len Goodman professed, “I’m palpitating, perspirating and flatulating.”

Former “High School Musical” star Corbin Bleu also made a smashing debut, earning a trio of eights for his contemporary routine with Karina Smirnoff. “Saved by the Bell” star Elizabeth Berkley earned the same score for her contemporary routine with Val Chmerkovskiy. Read more at ABC News

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Dancing With The Stars Elimination Recap: Chaz Bono and Hope Solo Land In Bottom 2

The two lowest scorers this week on Dancing with the Stars found themselves facing elimination on Tuesday night’s results show. Chaz Bono and Hope Solo scored 19 and 20 points respectively on Monday and both faced harsh criticism from judges. Bono felt disrespected when Bruno Tonioli compared him to a “cute little penguin” while Solo’s partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy took offense to Len Goodmen declaring their performance the “worst dance of the season.”
Bono and partner Lacey Schwimmer held their peace until they were away from the judge’s table.  “It’s a bit insulting. One judge in particular week after week paints me as this… I don’t know… chubby, cuddly little Ewok, little penguin. That’s not about my dancing,” Bono said of the name calling. “If you want to talk to me about my dancing and how I can improve, I have no problem with that. That would be fine!”
Chmerkovskiy did not hold his peace. When Goodman slammed Solo’s dance and pointed out that he had 50 years of experience in dancing, Chmerkovskiy snapped, “Maybe it’s time to get out.”
In the end, Chmerkovskiy’s outburst did not have a negative effect on Solo’s time on the show. He and Solo were declared safe and Bono was sent packing.
“I took so much away from this. This was an amazing journey that really pushed me and showed me I could do so much more than I thought I could,” Bono said after his elimination. “I came on this show because I wanted to show America a different kind of man, and I know that if there was someone like me on TV when I was growing up, my whole life would have been different. I dedicate everything I did to all the people out there like me — especially the kids and teens who are struggling. You can have a wonderful, great life and be successful and happy.”

Backstage at DWTS: Chaz Bono "Upset" With Judges’ Comments While Mom Cher "Could Cut a Bitch!"

Looks like Maksim Chmerkovskiy isn’t the only dancer on Dancing With the Stars to feel frustration with the judges this season.

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer still had a few choice words of their own to share with us after the show, and you won’t believe what message Chaz’s mom, Cher, had for the judges…

“We were upset, not with the scores but with the comments toward me personally,” Chaz told us after he got eliminated tonight, referring to Bruno Tonioli’s likening Chaz to a cute, fluffy penguin. “We thought we did a good job [last night].”

“The judges always have a favorite or two,” Lacey lamented. “We are just not that couple this season.”

So what went wrong? Why did the judges feel compelled to get personal? Chaz said only that he knows that their commentary certainly can affect the voting, and Lacey agreed.

“For Middle America who knows nothing about ballroom dancing,” she explained, “they look at these three judges and think they know everything there is to know about ballroom dancing. And when they make comments like that, it does influence how people will vote or support or view the show.”


‘Dancing With the Stars’ Week Four Recap: Dance by Dance, Plus Cher Watches Chaz

The remaining nine celebrity competitors on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,”danced to famous movie themes tonight under the watchful eyes of their equally famous family members gathered in the audience, including Chaz Bono’s mother, Cher; and David Arquette’s sisters, Rosanna Arquette and Patricia Arquette, and his ex-wife, Courteney Cox.

Up first were Chynna Phillips and her partner, Tony Dovolani, who danced the tango to the theme from “Mission Impossible.”

The Wilson Phillips singer lost her place during the dance and struggled to the finish, and the judges noticed.
“You lost it, it went wrong, you didn’t know where you were and you panicked,” head judge Len Goodman said, telling Phillips she’d made a lot of mistakes.
Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli agreed, yet all three believed the portions of tango she did before she lost her place were done very well.  She got  21 points out of a possible 30.
David Arquette channeled his inner Indiana Jones, and he and partner Kym Johnson got a standing ovation for their energetic paso doble to the theme from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Inaba and Tonioli were wildly enthusiastic — Inaba said the actor had strength and charisma — but Goodman said Arquette stomped too hard and failed to display proper posture.
The judges awarded him 23 points.
He was followed by fashion guru Carson Kressley, who took to the dance floor with Anna Trebunskaya to perform a swashbuckling Viennese waltz to the theme from “The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”
In keeping with their previous critiques of Kressley, the judges all said they loved his performance but faulted him for a lack of technique.
“It’s like childbirth, terrible while it’s happening but a joy when it’s over,” Goodman said, eliciting a chorus of boos from the audience.
Kressley scored a total of 20 points.
Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus danced the paso doble to the theme from the science fiction cult classic “Flash Gordon.”
Goodman said her dancing was “competent” but not exciting, and Tonioli said the dance needed to be more assertive, but Inaba disagreed.
Noting that the attorney and TV host was one of the older competitors on the show, Inaba said Grace deserved more credit for having performed good routines with solid technique. They gave Grace 21 points.
Soccer World Cup star Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy unveiled a sweet foxtrot to the theme from “Toy Story,” earning them a total of 24 points from the judges.
“It was so lovely … I loved it,” Tonioli said, while Goodman encouraged the pair to work more as a team.
Rob Kardashian’s paso doble to the “Superman” theme also earned him 24 points, tying him with Solo for third place in the night’s scoring.
Kardashian was partnered with Cheryl Burke.
Inaba told Kardashian that he embodied everything that a man should be on the dance floor, saying he had style, strength, sensuality and fluidity.
“Rob Kardashian, I like the way you move,” she added.
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough — who topped the leaderboard with 27 points last week — performed a tense  tango to the theme of the movie “Psycho.”  The dance opened and closed with Lake and Hough enacting a chilling chase scene in shadow.
The audience surged to its feet when the pair’s routine ended, and the three judges loved it. They gave the pair 29 points — the highest score of season 13.
“You’re like the U.S. Mail, you always deliver,” Goodman told Lake.
Bono and Lacey Schwimmer turned in a rousing paso doble to the theme of “Rocky.”
The activist is battling a knee injury and has been struggling in the competition, but his performance tonight brought tears to Inaba’s eyes. She said she was touched by Bono’s determination to succeed.
Bono’s mother, Cher, was also emotional in the audience, cheering and applauding her son.
“In the true spirit of Rocky, you keep coming back, you keep fighting, you keep getting stronger,” Tonioli said, and Goodman said Bono had turned in his best performance of the competition.
Bono earned 21 points.
Actor and Iraq war veteran J.R. Martinez has become a fan favorite, and he delivered a humorous, crowd-pleasing foxtrot with partner Karina Smirnoff.
Inaba said it was technically OK, but the humor was unnecessary, although Goodman and Tonioli were impressed.
“This was the best male dance of the night … this is fabulous,” Goodman said.
The pair earned a total of 26 points.
Based on a combination of judges’ and viewers’ scores,  one celebrity will be voted off during the results show Tuesday.
Reality TV star Kristin Cavallari was eliminated last week in a shocking decision.  NBA champ Metta World Peace (former Ron Artest) had and Italian model Elisabetta Canalis had been voted off in the first and second weeks of the competition.
Tonight’s Scores
Lake and Hough: 29/30
Phillips and Dovolani:  21/30
Martinez  and Smirnoff: 26/30
Kardashian and Burke: 24/30
Kressley and Trebunskaya: 20/30
Arquette and Johnson:  23/30
Solo and Chmerkovskiy: 24/30
Grace and MacManus: 21/30
Bono and Schwimmer: 21/30