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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Dancing'' with Richard Simmons' shorts? 9, 9, 9!

If Richard Simmons pops up on "the reality show you're not ashamed to admit you like'' (see my TV-viewing profile posted on Monday), is it too late to change your answer? The skimpy costumes on "Dancing with the Stars'' took a scary turn on Monday night when Simmons showed up in a taped rehearsal segment to play self-help cheerleader to Jennie Garth. And yes, he was waving pompoms.

In the soap opera that has been "Dancing'' this season (fainting, deaths in the family, food poisoning, the now-infamous Sabrina snub), poor Jennie has been the dancer struggling with a lack of confidence. So who better to pump her up than a 59-year-old guy with the frizzies and disturbingly short shorts? Apparently, it worked, because Garth was crying by the time he left (or was it until he left?).

But the judges still showed her little love in both rounds of competition on Monday, and co-host Tom Bergeron took a swipe at her Jolly Green Giant/Sprout costume. Don't you listen to them, Jennie. Buck up. Make believe the competition is Valerie Malone and give us some of that Kelly Taylor 'tude from the "90210'' ZIP.

Who should go tonight? Marie Osmond. Her self-deprecating humor, Osmond perkiness and the endless shots of bro Donny in the audience each week have made her America's sweetheart contestant. But the "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?'' number on Monday made it clear she's not semi-finalist material. It's shaping up to be a showdown between Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough and Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy for the title, with Helio's smile getting the early edge.

By the way, "Dancing with the Stars'' The Tour is hitting the road in December for a national tour that includes a Jan. 11 stop at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Cheryl Burke, Sabrina Bryan, Mark Ballas, Joey Lawrence, Edyta Sliwinska and Monique Coleman are among the performers on that stop. For the full itinerary, go to

-- Kendra Meinert,

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