05:24 PM EDT 03/07/2014
Originally posted 11/18/2013 11:15AM
Corbin Bleu is a former High School Musical star who is competing on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars with season 13 champion Karina Smirnoff. The Disney alum will blog for PEOPLE.com about his experience on ABC's hit show.
We're going dark this week. We're going really dark. We have a great song. This week, everybody's doing two dances to the same song. One is the original and one is the cover.
Our first dance, a rumba, is a very stripped down version of the other dance. It's slow and melodic and a completely different song. Our dances are connected, story-wise. I play a dark and sinister villain – very devil-like almost. I end up seducing Karina in the rumba and she's very reluctant. And by the end, she gives in. I take her as my queen of darkness. That's our prequel.
Originally posted 11/18/2013 07:30AM
Maksim Chmerkovskiy will make his judging debut on Dancing with the Stars on Monday and he tells PEOPLE he can't wait.
"I never thought this would happen. I'm excited to be back," he says.
The fiery dancer, who often went toe-to-toe with the judges, insists there was never any bad blood between them.
"We had our run-ins but it's like [my brother] Val and me. We are the closest of people and obviously get into arguments," he says.
Originally posted 11/17/2013 11:30AM
He's outdanced and outlasted competitors with perfect scores and dancing experience, so what is it about comedian Bill Engvall that has landed him in the semifinals of Dancing with the Stars?
"I try twice as hard as anybody because I'm twice the age of some of these people," Engvall, 56, told PEOPLE during a recent rehearsal with partner Emma Slater.
"It takes me a little bit longer to get the steps, so I'm willing to put in that extra effort. But more than anything the fans have kept us here. I've got the most wonderful group of fans that – for whatever reason – decided that I'm the guy they want to move on. America loves to watch people growing and getting better."
Originally posted 11/14/2013 10:05AM
Is Maks ready to waltz back into the ballroom?
Maksim Chmerkovskiy, one of the most popular pros in the history of Dancing with the Stars, will make a surprise return to the show on Monday, though not as a dancer, ABC confirmed Thursday.
Chmerkovskiy, 33, will be a guest judge, sitting alongside Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli for the semifinal performances. (Watch competitor Bill Engvall's reaction in video below).
Originally posted 11/12/2013 10:00AM
In a Dancing with the Stars season known for its shocking eliminations, Elizabeth Berkley expressed distress on Monday night after becoming the latest contestant to get dismissed.
"I felt a little sucker punch because I was excited about next week," Berkley, 41, told PEOPLE backstage after bidding adieu to the ballroom. "I just feel, like, cut short a little bit – not that I feel entitled by any means. I just felt excited and grateful, that's all. Don't be sad that it's over, smile because it happened."
Lowest scoring contestant Bill Engvall was once again saved from jeopardy with partner Emma Slater.
Originally posted 11/12/2013 09:25AM
Did she or didn't she?
On Monday's episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Kyle and Kim Richards claimed that Lisa Vanderpump "fake-fainted" while training with partner Gleb Savchenko on last season's Dancing with the Stars.
"Some people just aren't cut out for fake faints," said former child star Kim, 49, who joined her sister at her home to watch Vanderpump, 53, dance on the show. Instead, they watched her collapse dramatically to the floor while in the midst of rehearsal.
Originally posted 11/11/2013 10:35PM
Monday was a night of change-ups on the leader board at the Dancing with the Stars quarterfinals. But at the end of the night, Bill Engvall had the lowest score with 42 points out of 60.
With Jack Osbourne landing two 10s for his Viennese waltz – and regular frontrunner Amber Riley scoring just 24 points for a quickstep that was critiqued for footwork and had "a few mess-ups," according to judge Carrie Ann Inaba – the competition was shaping up to be anyone's game.
So, at the end of the night, did Engvall and partner Emma Slater pack their bags? Or did the evening follow in the path of recent weeks with another surprise elimination? Read on to find out ...
Originally posted 11/11/2013 03:00PM
Corbin Bleu is a former High School Musical star who is competing on season 17 of Dancing with the Stars with season 13 champion Karina Smirnoff. The Disney alum is blogging for PEOPLE.com about his experience on ABC's hit show.
This week's dances are great. We have the jazz and the slow waltz. We're having so much fun. Our jazz dance is a trio with Whitney from the troupe, and it is turning out to be pretty sick. We've pretty much thrown in everything except the kitchen sink into the number.
Our original plan was to wear jumpsuits and masks so that you couldn't tell us apart, but in the end we realized it's two girls and a guy, so you can easily tell us apart.
And once we started working with the masks, we realized it was a little more difficult to get the choreography in there. So we nixed the mask in the back and now we only have a front mask and it's only half of a mask so that way it doesn't look as terrifying.
The dance has a lot of hints of Michael Jackson. There's even a tap section at the end. Karina's never tapped before, but she's picking it up really quick. The tables have kind of turned. I've been the student the entire time, so it was fun to be able to teach her something.
Originally posted 11/11/2013 12:30PM
Karina Smirnoff is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 13 with J.R. Martinez. The longtime competitor is blogging for PEOPLE.com about competing with former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in season 17.
I've been drinking four espressos in the morning and it's not working. I am literally dragging myself. Mentally, I'm awake to comprehend what's going on, but physically, my body is like, I don't think so. These days, once you power through, you feel better.
We didn't necessarily predict Amber [Riley] and Derek [Hough] would get a 10, but we kind of joked, "Oh, and now the last couple is dancing." We had a feeling the leader board was going to change. When the judges gave that 10, we all kind of started laughing because we knew that was going to happen.
Originally posted 11/05/2013 09:00AM
It was an emotional farewell for Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd, who fought back tears backstage after being dismissed from Monday night's Cher-themed Dancing with the Stars.
"I just really learned a lot about myself," the Pretty Little Liars actor, 28, said, with his partner by his side. "I had to push myself in how far I'd go. I can learn new things. I can always keep going."
Daugherty believes being on the show helped him in the long run with his career.
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