October 25, 2016
        Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar        

“Dancing With the Stars” Shocker! Host Tom Bergeron Drops a Bombshell Tonight

hollywoodnews.com: A big shocker is coming to Dancing with the Stars tonight. Host Tom Bergeron said he’s about to drop a bombshell on the remaining four contestants on Monday night’s episode. This could change everything.

“I’m going to be mentioning something on the show Monday night that I think will surprise our couples, and our viewers as well, pertaining to moving forward into the finals,” Bergeron said. “It’s sort of pulling back the curtain more than we normally do. Not so much a curveball as a piece of information that I think they’ll find very interesting.”

Bergon would never pick favorites to win, so right now it’s a dead heat between Nicole Scherzinger, Chad Ochocinco, Erin Andrews and Evan Lysacek. Sherzinger has more dance experience, but as DWTS often shows, sometimes the underdog can take the whole contest.

“That to me is the purest form of the show, the latter,” Bergeron said. “Sometimes being the better dancer – and this has been proven in past seasons – isn’t necessarily to your advantage. Sabrina is one case. Another case: Emmitt Smith winning over Mario Lopez. I think that there was a case where even Emmitt would agree that Mario was a better dancer, but Emmitt was a better story and performer and there was a sense that he was the biggest surprise. So being the best dancer coming out of the gate can actually work to your disadvantage. Having said that, Nicole is great, Derek is a brilliant choreographer. They’ve put in some incredible performances, but nothing’s in the bag.”

Andrews is bringing extra publicity to DWTS, thanks to The View’s Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s controversial comments about the contestant, and subsequent apology. “It’s funny because we all have the same agent, all three of us. So I asked her, ‘Are you like Henry Kissinger this week, playing shuttle diplomacy between Elizabeth and Erin?’ I think in Elizabeth’s defense it was just a really clumsy, ill-considered attempt at being funny. And I think it was one where Whoopi and the rest were trying to throw her a life raft and she just wouldn’t take it and just kept going. The things that are personally hurtful, like some of the stuff Erin’s put up with earlier and prior to the season, things like what L.T.’s faced with now, all of those things are in the personally tragic and sad department. The other stuff, the who’s-sleeping-with-who, fighting-with-whom, I love it!”

When a “showmance” forms in DWTS rehearsals, Bergeron is happy to put it on the air. “I think the general rule of thumb is if our camera crews are with them in all the training and they are bold enough to go off and snog each other in front of the camera, it’s fair game. We’re going to bring it up. Or if someone is tabloid fodder, we’ll ask them about it. But if it ain’t there, it ain’t there. I think some may have been short-lived, or may have veered into that direction until the morning after.”

Kate Gosselin provided more controversial attention this year, competing on the show after her public split from the father of her eight children. Unfortunately, she has been bumped.

“I would’ve liked to have seen her stay another week or two. I think she created a level of interest and I knew, before the season started, based on just watching tabloid covers and magazine covers with various members of the cast, be it Pamela or Kate or any combination of them, that we were going to hit higher than we had been. So I had a bet going with the producers. And my bet was 24 million [viewers] for the premiere, and so one came in at 20.2 and one came in at 19.8, and the final audience was 23.9, so they treated me to dinner.”

The ratings represent a drastic improvement over DWTS’s previous season. “Well, I think what was wrong in the fall, and we knew it as it was unfolding, was that there were too many people. That was really a reaction to a commitment the network made to the affiliates that we’d be on two hours every Monday. So you had to frontload it with more bodies, more spray-tanned bodies. I remember, as a matter of fact, on that first show of season nine, when the couples all filed down the stairs and they all lined up and it came to me, I adlibbed, ‘And that’s it for tonight. Thanks so much! We’re out of time’ It was just like a sea of fabric remnants and spray tans. That was one thing. The other thing was, and I say this with affection because I like them personally, not everybody was that well known. It was too high a ‘Google factor.’ Then as you got deeper into the run to keep those two-hour shows going, you were adding more water to the soup, stretching the shows out more. So the network and the producers wisely got back to basics with 11 couples tops, a higher caliber of notoriety I think this season, and the production values were tweaked. The Celebriquarium, as I call it, to oversee the whole studio is a beautiful addition to the show. So I think we got back to really the basics. Last season was proof that you can only stretch this format so far.”

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC.

About Fred Topel

Fred Topel has been an entertainment journalist in Los Angeles since 1999, for websites like Daily Radar, About.com, Crave Online and Sci Fi Wire. Follow his celebrity encounters on Twitter @FredTopel.

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