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'Dancing With the Stars: Athletes' Winner Adam Rippon Admits His Freestyle Was 'Risky'

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:30am

Despite a chancy freestyle that went outside the box, Olympian Adam Rippon and pro partner Jenna Johnson were declared mirror ball champs of Dancing With the Stars: Athletes last night.

“I’m still trying to think,” Rippon told TV Insider shortly after the show ended Monday night when ask how he felt about his win. “This happened like five minutes ago!”

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Sharna Burgess, Mirai Nagasu, and Adam Rippon tell us they're totally on board.

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said she couldn’t fault Rippon for what he did in his freestyle but she felt something was “missing,” hastening to add that she’s enjoyed watching him “every step of the way.”

“Jenna and I knew it was a risk, but we wanted to take the risk,” Rippon says. “It was different and quirky.”

“At the end of the day, he killed it,” adds Mirai Nagasu, Rippon’s pal and pro ice-skating colleague. “It’s great that he has something to hang his Olympic medal on.”

“America loved it,” dance pro Alan Bersten notes.

“It was really cool in that it was different and risky,” says pro Witney Carson of Rippon’s freestyle. “It’s not something we’re used to.”

It was — and this is a compliment — something that two-time mirror ball champ Mark Ballas might have come up with in week four.

“Yeah, yeah, exactly,” Carson chuckles. “It was very creative.”

Runner-up pairs Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber, and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess reflected on their finale performances.

“It felt like I was being tossed like a salad — in a very good way,” Harding said about her freestyle that had her and Farber doing Shawn Johnson-like flips. “Just making it this far was exciting. I know how to dance a little bit now so maybe I’ll get to come back sometime?”

Sasha Farber and Tonya Harding

“My son said that I was beautiful and he was proud of me,” Harding adds. “He said, ‘I’m sorry, Mommy, that you didn’t win.’ I said, ‘That’s okay. The best part is the journey.’”

“I was really rooting for Sasha, obviously,” says Emma Slater, Farber’s wife. “I really, really wanted to see him win because then we’d have matching mirror balls on the mantel piece.” (Actually, the DWTS: Athletes trophy has the word “Athletes” on it and, perhaps because it’s a shorter season, it’s a smaller-sized trophy.)

“I wish I could have done it for Josh,” Burgess says of wanting to win for her celeb partner. “His freestyle was so epic! If we’d had a 24-hour voting period [instead of final votes coming in during the show] we could have had it go in a different way, but Adam was absolutely incredible and Jenna did a great job with him. You can’t deny that. I looked at Josh just before [Adam was announced as the winner] and I said to him, ‘No matter what happens tonight you will have that epic freestyle. It will live on forever.’”

Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Roberts noted, perhaps pointedly, that the finale was an hour and the season was only four weeks; needless to say, the abbreviated season didn’t sit well with the show’s devotees, who are used to 10 weeks of dances and a two-hour finale packed with musical acts and full routines by ejected contestants.

“We’re getting kind of pushed out by some of these other shows, but I think people still really love the show and what it represents,” Carson admits.

“It’s definitely hard to meet the celebrities [in just four weeks],” adds Farber.

“Having a one-hour finale was ambitious,” says Slater. “The show still packs a punch. People want more and that’s what you gotta leave ‘em with — wanting more.”

Mirai Nagasu's Olympic Free Skate Was Her 'Dancing With the Stars' Audition Mirai Nagasu's Olympic Free Skate Was Her 'Dancing With the Stars' Audition

The figure skater loves the reality dance competition.

While the season ran only four weeks, the dance pros have this fall to look forward to when DWTS returns this fall on Mondays. There’s also Dancing With the Stars Juniors which will air on Sundays.

“I’d love to be a judge on [DWTS Juniors],” Burgess says. “It suits me and where I am. I think I have a lot of expertise to share. We’ll see what happens.”

The celebs know that even a month’s worth of exposure on DWTS can lead to future opportunities.

“I don’t know what else will arise,” says Nagasu. “But I’m so grateful I’ve been given this opportunity to showcase my personality.”

Norman says he’s been offered to play a role in a production of The Nutcracker in Washington, D.C. After that, he shrugs, “Who knows what’s next?”

Jenna Johnson and Adam Rippon

Rippon’s open to a hosting gigs and reality series, but says, “Right now, I‘ve just been hosting my own reality.”

“I’m going to be training for the next Olympics in Beijing,” says Chris Mazdzer, Olympic silver medalist in the single’s luge competition. “We have World Cups and World Championships every year. I’d [also] love any opportunities to show off my personality a little more.”

Has Hollywood seriously not been calling this guy?

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“Not that I know of,” Mazdzer quips. “I had my phone number on the Internet during the Olympics, but I took it off. Hosting would be a lot of fun. I love asking the hard questions and playing around with questions, too.”

“Maybe,” he jokes. “I can ask questions while everyone’s lying down?”

Chris Mazdzer

Speaking of jokes, did Rippon get Bergeron’s remark that black bowl cut wig he wore in his freestyle was very “Moe Howard”?

“Yeah,” Rippon quipped. “From The Three Stooges, right? [Moe’s] my style icon.”


'Splitting Up Together' EP Emily Kapnek Teases 'Juicy Cliffhangers' in Finale

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:00am

Divorce is a good thing! At least it has been for controlling Lena (Jenna Fischer) and laid-back Martin (Oliver Hudson), who continued cohabitating post-split for the sake of their family in ABC's Splitting Up Together.

 Breaking Fun With Oliver Hudson, Q&A With Emily Kapnek Jenna Fischer's 'Splitting Up Together' Blog: Breaking Fun With Oliver Hudson, Q&A With Emily Kapnek

Learn why one scene in 'Star of Milo' had Jenna & Oliver 'breaking' more than any other of the series.

But with their three children off to camp, a spark could reignite. Emily Kapnek, the comedy’s executive producer, teases, “What’s it like to be alone together for the first time without the kids?”

Stick around through the end credits to find out. “There are two juicy cliffhangers,” she promises.

When the kids are away, the exes will play! The season finale of #SplittingUpTogether is TUESDAY!

— SplittingUpTogether (@SplittingUpABC) May 20, 2018

Splitting Up Together, Season Finale, Tuesday, May 22, 9:30/8:30c, ABC

The 'SMILF' Cast on What to Expect in an 'Intense' Season 2

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 4:00pm

Frankie Shaw and team are back for Season 2 of SMILF.

Filming is beginning soon, and the Showtime series — in an effort to say more authentic to its South Boston-setting — has moved production to Beantown.

"I'm thrilled," Rosie O'Donnell (who plays Tutu) said of the move to the East Coast. "I can take the train and my little five-year-old thinks there's nothing better than the train."

Season 1 left off with Shaw's character, single mom Bridgette Bird, confronting her father about physically abusing her when she was a child, and Shaw has previously teased that Season 2 will be about identity and the masks we wear in front of other people.

O'Donnell teased that the premiere episode is "wow."

"It's about childbirth," she said to TV Insider at an Emmy For Your Consideration event in New York City at the Whitney Museum. "We just read it and oh boy, we do explore childbirth from every single angle."

"It's the 23 hours of labor of Larry's birth. It's intense," added Shaw, who, in addition to being the series' lead actor is also its creator, director, producer, and writer.

 Rosie O'Donnell Is Fearless in Showtime's New Dramedy 'SMILF': Rosie O'Donnell Is Fearless in Showtime's New Dramedy

'I’m looking to get away from pop-culture Rosie,' says the actress.

And when you get down to the nitty-gritty, O'Donnell believes the show strikes a chord with audiences because it's about relationships. "I think family is the theme of this show and what makes a family — all the ugly parts underneath as well as the joyous moments," she said.

Something else fans can look for in Season 2 is the development of the supporting characters, so get ready for more Connie Britton as Ally, an over-the-top housewife, and Raven Goodwin as Eliza, Bridgette's BFF.

"Raven will be a bigger part this season. We have a really exciting episode with Connie's character and, of course, more Tutu and more Rafi," teased Shaw.

"We also have one episode I'm really excited about where we follow the housekeepers at Ally's house, who we don't normally see, and we go into their world."

Britton is excited to learn more about Ally, whom she calls "complex."

"I think there are aspects of the character that I have seen in women that I've known in my own life," Britton added. "The character goes to a more extreme place but she deals with a lot of normal elements of feeling unfulfilled in her own life because she gave up things to be a wife and a mother.

"Those are things I find very relatable, which are humorous and also heartbreaking."

SMILF, Season 1 available on Showtime

Is 'SmackDown' Moving From USA to Fox? What This Could Mean for the WWE

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 3:00pm

Not long after Fox Sports signed a major deal to be the new home for the NFL's Thursday Night Football franchise, it appears that Fox is also making a huge acquisition within the realm of sports entertainment.

Fox is said to soon become the new network for one of the WWE's major shows, SmackDown, following a new deal expected to be near completion and which would take effect in October 2019, according to reports Monday from The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap.

Fox Gets NFL's 'Thursday Night Football' in 5-Year Deal Beginning With 2018 Season Fox Gets NFL's 'Thursday Night Football' in 5-Year Deal Beginning With 2018 Season

The big question: Will Fox get better games or get rid of those hideous color rush uniforms?

Sources have told THR that the deal is a massive, billion-dollar, five-year agreement worth $205 million per year — a three-fold increase over what NBCUniversal is currently paying to air the WWE hit on USA Network.

The Wrap's source indicated that the show will be shifted to Fridays on Fox, though WWE and Fox Sports declined comments to The Wrap about the report. SmackDown currently airs Tuesdays on USA.

While WWE's Monday Night RAW juggernaut (which will still air on USA) is still the primary face of WWE on television, SmackDown continues to be a ratings star among cable competition, and it is still a key part of the wrestling company's TV presence, even if it has juggled networks over the years.

'Total Bellas' Season 3 Premiere Offered Glimmers of Hope for John Cena & Nikki Bella (RECAP) 'Total Bellas' Season 3 Premiere Offered Glimmers of Hope for John Cena & Nikki Bella (RECAP)

We learned what went wrong with the WWE power couple's relationship, but also that it might yet be saved.

Since its debut in 1999, SmackDown has been seen on the now-defunct UPN network and MyNetworkTV, as well as on The CW and even Syfy, before moving over to USA Network two years ago to consolidate the WWE programs on one network.

The move from cable back to a broadcast network like Fox could mean even more visibility for SmackDown, and for WWE as a whole, both of which are already highly viewed and popular.

It will also be interesting to see if there still remains the sort of synergy that takes place among the various WWE franchises, especially sister series RAW and SmackDown, now that one of those tentpole shows will be on network television.

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These Superstars of the ring put a ring on it and said, 'I do.'

'Roseanne' Finale: Sneak Peek at the Stormy Conclusion to the Revival's First Season (PHOTOS)

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 2:30pm

A storm is coming to Lanford in the Roseanne season finale airing May 22 on ABC.

The Conners gear up for the inclimate weather while they continue to search for solutions regarding Roseanne's (Roseanne Barr) bum knee. Will a miracle occur? Judge for yourself by checking out some images from the episode marking the end of the first revival season.

A Storm Is Coming in the 'Roseanne' Season Finale — Will Old Wounds be Healed? A Storm Is Coming in the 'Roseanne' Season Finale — Will Old Wounds be Healed?

The final episode of the reboot's first season airs May 22.

Click through the gallery above for a look at your favorite characters as they come together during this important time, and see which guest star returns for this finale episode.

Roseanne, Season Finale, Tuesday, May 22, 8/7c, ABC

'American Idol' Top 3: Who Should Win in Tonight's Finale? Take Our Poll!

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 1:30pm

It's time to sing your heart out.

The country has voted, and tonight is the season finale of the rebooted American Idol with only three hopefuls left: Gabby Barrett, Maddie Poppe, and Caleb Lee Hutchinson.

On Sunday's Part 1 of the finale, the trio had a chance to sing three songs each — one dedicated to their hometowns, one personal selection, and one original song.

The song breakdown:

Caleb Lee Hutchinson — "Johnny Cash Heart," "Don’t Close Your Eyes," and "Folsom Prison Blues"

Gabby Barrett — "Rivers Deep," "Little Red Wagon," and "Don’t Stop Believin'"

Maddie Poppe — "Going, Going Gone," "Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up," and "Landslide"

In Part 2 on Monday, fans can expect more singing from the final three and also performances by some music superstars, including the three American Idol judges: Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Perry. And, of course, host Ryan Seacrest will announce the winner in the last five minutes.

So, before the results come in, let's look back at the top three's best three performances this season:

Maddie Poppe

When she made Katy cry with an original song:

When she made Lionel say, "Wow":

Disney night with her ukulele:

Caleb Lee Hutchinson

With his banjo:

When he plays that guitar:

That low growl of a voice:

Gabby Barrett

When she took us to church:

When Luke said it was the best vocal this season:

Carrie Underwood's twin showed up:

Voice your opinion below and take our poll: Who do you think should be the next American Idol winner?

'Total Bellas' Season 3 Premiere Offered Glimmers of Hope for John Cena & Nikki Bella (RECAP)

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 1:00pm

Ever since Nikki Bella and John Cena announced they were ending their engagement, canceling the wedding and breaking up, WWE fans wondered what went wrong. The May 20 Season 3 premiere of E!'s Total Bellas began addressing that question and many others.

The show started with Nikki and John settling into their new palatial residence in San Diego. Twin sister Brie Bella and Bryan Danielson (a.k.a. Daniel Bryan) are also settling back in California with their baby Birdie. The more Nikki (a.k.a. Auntie Coco) sees Birdie grow, she feels a connection and yearning to become a mom. John, whose career has never been hotter, remains steadfast against the idea of becoming a dad.

John Cena & Nikki Bella Plus More TV Star Splits of 2018 John Cena & Nikki Bella Plus More TV Star Splits of 2018

RIP Love!

It’s something Nikki began accepting, but she is hinting toward the opposite. By the way John was reacting even near Birdie it’s hard to picture him in the parental role. But if there is one thing John apparently can't get enough of is rugs. He loves those. Never question a rug man. It’s revealed that Nikki put her dream wedding plans on the back burner to make John happy with nuptials taking place in John’s hometown of West Newberry, Massachusetts.


Brie is surprised sis would not do it in Napa Valley and Wine Country. To her, it’s another example of Nikki sacrificing so much for John. She shows her feelings more with the feeling Nikki walks on eggshells around John for fear he will change his mind about getting married. Nikki also doesn’t want to live through the nightmare of being Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, left at the altar by Mr. Big.

Then comes the “Downton Abbey” when Nikki’s family came over to see the new place. Discussion comes up about Brie and if she would return to the ring despite being a mom and all her other commitments. Earlier in the show the consummate businesswomen found it was hard to catch moments like Birdie’s first ride on the carousel and swim lessons while she is away at photo shoots or meetings.

10 WWE Couples Who Found Lasting Love & Marriage 10 WWE Couples Who Found Lasting Love & Marriage

These Superstars of the ring put a ring on it and said, 'I do.'

Sister-in-law Lola talked of being fulfilled being a mother to Vivienne. Cut to Nikki who appears uncomfortable by the topic as a reminder of what she is missing out on with a life with John. She revealed during the confessional interview that through the entire engagement thus far out of around six months, they’ve shared a bed really 30 to 40 days. Despite the fancy houses, Nikki feels alone.

After watching Total Bellas there were signs pointing to the recent events. However, John and Nikki have not given up on each other while speaking about their relationship on the media trail. They were also spotted together the last few days in San Diego.

Back to the dinner, we do see some change with John’s OCD nature. He allows the family to wear shoes indoors and didn’t freak out after Daniel spilled water all over his suit. Would he had been as cool if it was wine or landed on one of his beloved rugs?


We don’t know, but he made it clear that the home was open and free of any rules. That’s some major progress.

And maybe potential proof that John is willing to change and win Nikki back?

Total Bellas, Sundays, 9/8c, E!

A Storm Is Coming in the 'Roseanne' Season Finale — Will Old Wounds be Healed?

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 12:00pm

In most cases, a storm hitting town isn’t reason stand up and cheer. But Roseanne isn’t most shows, is it?

When the smash revival ends its first year, Roseanne’s (Roseanne Barr) bum knee nearly forces Dan (John Goodman) to make a big life change…until said tempest brings an unexpected blessing. And the Connors have more to celebrate.

'Roseanne' to Steer Away From Politics & Focus on Family in Season 2 of the Revival 'Roseanne' to Steer Away From Politics & Focus on Family in Season 2 of the Revival

The revival made a splash in the first season when it tackled politics.

Darlene (Sara Gilbert), who between splitting with her hubby and working as a cocktail waitress hasn’t had the best run, returns to her original passion: writing.

“She hasn’t achieved her dream because she was making ends meet for her kids,” Gilbert says, “but the dream is still burning inside her.”

Roseanne, Season Finale, Tuesday, May 22, 8/7c, ABC


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