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DANCING WITH THE STARS: Trevor Donovan, Wayne Brady, Daniel Durant & Gabby Windey Impress Judges On ‘Elvis Night’

Photo: Disney+

In the second episode of Dancing with the Stars new season exclusively on Disney+, it was ‘Elvis Night’ and the couples put on a show for the judges performing to songs by ‘The King of Rock and Roll.”

Before the stars and their pro partners hit the ballroom floor, hosts Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro, revealed that since dancer, Daniella Karagach tested positive for Covid-19 Sunday night.  Therefore, her celebrity partner Joseph Baena had to mask up through the evening and perform his planned routine with a temporarily replacement, Alexis Warr. As well, a few others in the cast who were noted to be in close proximity of Karagach, also wore masks during the live show and their performances.

Here’s a rundown of a few of the performances that wowed the judges for various reasons.

Trevor Donovan (ex-Days, 92010) and Emma Slater – The duo danced the Rumba to the Elvis Classic “Always on My Mind.” Donovan, who keeps letting us know in the pre-package that he is not comfortable as a dancer, did a complete 180 from opening night and delivered what the judges deemed a very sexy routine with Emma. The judges (Carrie Ann, Bruno, Len and Derek) were impressed by Trevor’s hip rotation, his arm extensions through the dance, and of course his abs! Derek Hough said it best in his feedback to Donovan following the routine, “Remember when you were scared of dance? You love dance.” Score: 30 out of 40

Photo: Disney+

Wayne Brady (ex-The Bold and the Beautiful, Let’s Make a Deal) and Witney Carson –  Dancing the Jive to “Burning Love”, Brady, who is great at impersonations anyway, brought some of the Elvis moves, facial expressions and ticks to the routine. In the pre-package, Wayne revealed he has trouble with one of his knees. The performance was highly-entertaining given the choreography and closed the show.  The judges told Wayne to pace himself and protect his knees, because he is a wonderful dancer and they want to see him make it through the entire season. Score: 30 out of 40

Photo: Disney+

Gabby Windey (The Bachelotette) and Val Chmerkovskiy – The dance duo took to the floor to perform a classic Viennese Waltz to “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” During the pre-package, Windey, who is also a former Denver Broncos cheerleader, felt she was ‘lost in space” doing so many twirls, but she clearly got it all under control and with Val by her side, her new fiancé Eric Schwer in the house. Val and Gabby delivered a stellar performance.  The ending of the routine was punctuated by Windey walking over to Schwer, who entered the edge of the dance floor, to give him a smooch. Score: 32 out of 40

Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart – Taking on Elvis’ “King Creole”, this dance duo performed the Jive.  It is amazing to witness from the pre-package to the actual performance, how Britt communicates with Daniel, who is deaf, and how Durant is able to feel the vibrations, watch Stewart’s face and inhabit a character so well, without barely any missteps. The most noticeable, and the most difficult challenge posed to Durant, is dancing in the side-by-side sections where precision/synch is always favored upon by the judges. In the DWTS audience were Durant’s CODA co-stars, Oscar Winners Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur, rooting hm on. It was an impressive performance! Of note: how much did we love Durant’s two moms showing up in rehearsal and dancing some moves from the routing with him! Score: 29 out of 40

Photo: Disney+

Breaking News

Hollywood Reacts to the Death of Former ‘Cheers’ Star Kirstie Alley

Over the last 24 hours, friends, colleagues and former co-star have paid tribute to Kirstie Alley, the former Cheers and Veronica Closet star, who passed away at age 71.

On Tuesday, a rep for Kirstie Alley confirmed to PEOPLE.com that the actress died from complications from Colon Cancer.

Alley rose to fame in 1987 as Rebecca Howe on NBC’s Cheers. For that tole she earned a Golden Globe for Best Actress and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy series in1991. In 1994, she received her second Emmy win for her portrayal of Sally Goodson in David’s Mother.

Some of her other roles included: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Summer School (1987), Look Who’s Talking (1989), It Takes Two (1995) and Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).

Alley also starred on in other TV sitcoms such as: Veronica’s ClosetFat ActressKirstie and Scream Queens.  She later appeared on two reality series: A&E’s Kirstie Alley’s Big Life and was a celebrity competitor on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars.

Alley’s children, True and Lillie broke the news of their mother’s death via an Instagram post: “To all our friends, far and wide around the world. We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered. She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead. As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother. We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care. Our mother’s zest and passion for life, her children, grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating, were unparalleled and leave us inspired to live life to the fullest just as she did. We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

Photo: KAlleyIG

Kirstie’s controversial relationship with Scientology had been much talked about in the press and through her years in Hollywood.  The late actress shared in the past that through Scientology, it gave her the strength to climb out of her drug addiction and depression. In her 2012 memoir, The Art of Men, she noted that she stumbled upon Scientology at a very dark period in her life; that for 26 days, she drove from Kansas to Newport Beach, California, to visit a Scientology center, stopping periodically along the way to buy drugs.  After, she said Scientology helped her kicked her addition, Kirstie then became a devotee and spent decades publicly defending the church and building friendships within it, but later in life, she found some of those relationships fracture such as with Leah Ramini.

Below are some remembrances from stars from daytime, primetime, and motion pictures that offered up their sentiments on Alley’s sudden passing:

Greg Vaughan (Eric, DAYS): “I am beyond thankful to have had the pleasure to embrace your love, laughter & kindness!!! All my love & prayers”

Finola Hughes (Anna, GH): “#rip #kirstialley one of a kind”

Maksim Chmerkovskiy (DWTS) “My dearest Kirstie, We haven’t spoken lately and I’ll tell you everything when I finally see you, but for now I want to say that I love you very much and I wish you the most peaceful rest. You were one of the most unique people I have ever met and easily one of the brightest moments of my personal and professional life.  Some of our relationship is heavily documented. Most of it is known to select few. All of it was like a wild rollercoaster. From Maude to DJ Lil Buttercup you were always all in for life. As I’m typing this, memories of our time together rush to my head, I remember how absolutely wild you were and I start to tear up. Something you’d absolutely hate. And now I can’t help but smile because I remembered exactly what you wanted me to say at your funeral. Don’t think I can do it here… I thought you’d be around forever.  I wish we spoke often. Thank you for everything. I love you Kirstie Alley”

Photo: NBC

Ted Danson (ex-Cheers, ex-Mr. Mayor, ex-AW):  “I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do. “I watched an old episode of Cheers.  It was the episode where Tom Berenger proposes to Kirstie, who keeps saying no, even though she desperately wants to say yes. Kirstie was truly brilliant in it. Her ability to play a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown was both moving and hysterically funny,  She made me laugh 30 years ago when she shot that scene, and she made me laugh today just as hard. As I got off the plane, I heard that Kirstie had died. I am so sad and so grateful for all the times she made me laugh. I send my love to her children. As they well know, their mother had a heart of gold. I will miss her.”

Kelsey Grammar (ex-Cheers): “I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her.”

Rhea Perlman (ex-Cheers): “Kirstie was a unique and wonderful person and friend. Her joy of being was boundless. We became friends almost instantly when she joined the cast of Cheers. She loved kids and my kids loved her too. We had sleepovers at her house, with treasure hunts that she created.  She had massive Halloween and Easter parties, and invited the entire crew of the show, and their families. She wanted everyone to feel included. She loved her children deeply. I’ve never met anyone remotely like her. I feel so thankful to have known her. I’m going to miss her very, very much.”

John Travolta: “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had.  I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”

Jamie Lee Curtis: “I’ve just heard the sad news that Kirstie Alley has died. She was a great comic foil in Scream Queens and a beautiful mama bear in her very real life. She helped me buy onesies for my family that year for Christmas. We agreed to disagree about some things but had a mutual respect and connection. Sad news.”

Share your thoughts on the passing of Kirstie Alley in the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Maksim Chmerkovskiy (@maksimc)

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Dancing with the Stars

DANCING WITH THE STARS: Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas Crowned Season 31 Champs!

Dancing with the Stars first season exclusively streaming on Disney+ has come to an end with last night’s season finale.

If anything can be said about this season, it’s that it was truly the most emotional and memorable, and featured some of the best dancing and choreography ever on the long-running series. Now the question is, did enough people even watch it on the streamer, or can or will Disney move the ballroom competition back to network TV and ABC next season?  If they do, it will also look a lot different with the announcement of some key departures.

The season finale featured the emotional farewells of head judge Len Goodman, and two-time Mirrorball professional dance champ and mainstay with the show, Cheryl Burke.

Now on to the final night of competition. The couples danced two rounds – the first was the redemption dance, where each couple was tasked with repeating a dance they did earlier in the season – and it’s usually the one they had the hardest time executing. Drag queen extraordinaire, Shangela and her pro partner Gleb, and former B&B star, and Let’s Make a Deal host Wayne Brady and his partner Witney scored 36 out of 40 after round 1.

Photo: Disney+

However, TikTok sensation Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas, who performed a Jive, and The Bachelorette’s Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy, who danced the Cha-Cha, each received perfect scores of 40 from the judges, and their routines were just stunning in the process.

Later in the night, it was one last chance for the couples to impress the judges and the viewers at home with their freestyle routine.  Everyone’s freestyle was off the hook, but none more so than Charli and Mark, who danced and told the story of losing their love of dance and then re-capturing it.  It had everything: the Waltz, the Tango, the Quickstep, tap dancing, lifts and more. Kudos to the brilliance of Ballas for his choreography, and the choice of song “Us Again” by Pinar Toprak.

Photo: Disney+

Gabby and Val played up Windey’s sex appeal and strength with a number choreographed to “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago, Wayne and Witney brought the throwback funk with a routine to a mashup of Bruno Mars “24K Magic” and Ciara ft Chamillionaire’s “Get Up”.

The final dance of the season was a drag queens and entertainment delight when Shangela, and Gleb (now in drag as his alter-ego, Natasha) gave a fierce glitz and glamour performance to “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child and Rupaul’s “Call Me Mother”.

Photo: Disney+

Before the results were revealed, host Tyra Banks said that this season there were the most votes ever in the history of the show. (Problem is, there has been no data provided by the streamer to know how many viewers have actually watched the show on Disney+).

Photo: Disney+

Here is how it played out after the nationwide vote combined with judges scores: fourth place went to Shangela and Savchenko.  Third place went to Brady and Carson.  In second and runners-up were Gabby and Val.  So as predicted, Charli and Mark are named the champions and the Mirrorball trophy winners!

So, what did you think of this season of DWTS? Are you happy that Charli and Mark were crowned the champs? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Dancing with the Stars

DANCING WITH THE STARS Season Finale: Who Will Win The Mirror Ball Trophy? (Poll)

It all comes down to tonight! After weeks of competition, four celebrity contestants and their pro partners, will have one last opportunity to earn the judges and the viewers votes at home on the season finale of Dancing with the Stars.  The two-hour finale streams on Disney+ beginning at 8pm EST/5PM PST.

Let’s Make a Deal host, and former ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ star Wayne Brady, (Ex-Dr. Reese Buckingham) will vie for the Mirror Ball Trophy against TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, RuPaul’s Drag Race favorite Shangela, and former ‘Bachelorette’ Gabby Windey.

Throughout the season, D’Amelio has proven to be the consistent frontrunner and it has been noted by DWTS judges: Len, Carrie Ann, Derek and Bruno, that her routines with her pro partner, Mark Ballas have been some of the best ever in the 31 seasons of the series.  Charli’s huge following on TikTok is also a factor in getting the most votes to take home the top prize.

Meanwhile, Gabby Windey and her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy have given Charli and Mark a run for their money all season long.  Will ‘Bachelor Nation’ have a strong showing tonight and overcome D’Amelio’s legend of followers on social media?

Solid as they come is Wayne Brady.  The actor/singer/dancer is coming off last night’s gig as the host of the American Music Awards and has earned his spot in the finals with pro partner, Witney Carson (who also made a cameo in the opening number of last night’s AMA’s with Brady).

Finally, Shangela is bringing in the LGBTQ voters as the first draq queen to ever appear on Dancing with the Stars in competition. Last week, Shangela boasted how Lady Gaga was encouraging fans to vote for Shangela and her pro partner, Gleb Savchenko.  Could Shangela have the votes to knock off D’Amelio or Windey?

During tonight’s season finale, the remaining couples will dance twice to impress the viewers at home and the judges with the ‘Dancing’ title on the line.

Now, vote in our DWTS poll below.  Who do you think will win the Mirror Ball Trophy and why? Will it be Charli, Gabby, Wayne or Shangela?   Let us know your thoughts in the comment section,

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