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'DWTS': Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley are the show at its best -- WATCH!

There were two standouts on last night’s season 12 premiere of Dancing With the Stars: Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley. As EW’s own Fringe Fairy Annie Barrett said in her recap, both were a surprise. In their rehearsal clip reels, Macchio, 49, was shocked partner Karina Smirnoff hadn’t put him in a stretcher yet, and Alley, 60, said her goal was simply to “stay upright” with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Then, their music started, and they were both so delightful, for a few moments, you didn’t have to feel guilty DVRing this show. (Watch their routines below.) He’s more of a showman than you’d expect, and she didn’t just rely on her personality. My biggest pet peeve on DWTS is if the pro partner does all the work and the celebrity just stands there switching holds. Not a problem with these two. At all. Maybe their success shouldn’t be a surprise: Remember this from Look Who’s Talking? And he was coordinated enough to do three Karate Kid films. But what I love most about these two is that they’re not singers who’ve been doing some form of choreography for years. You see them, and you find yourself thinking, I wonder if I’m secretly good at this? Of course, we’ve yet to see if Macchio can shake his hips in a Latin number or if Alley is graceful enough to pull off a waltz, but you have to be rooting for them. Another reason why: They take the competition seriously, but not too seriously. Perhaps they’ll be the first two contestants in recent memory to go the distance and not be reduced to tears by the stress. Let’s hope…


Charlie Sheen gets 'Winning' autotune treatment

In entirely expected news, Charlie Sheen now boasts his own autotuned YouTube hit, “Winning — a Song by Charlie Sheen.” The song, which has attracted over one million poor eyes and ears, combines some of the former Two and a Half Men actor’s best lines with a good beat — which made me realize something: With all his talk of Vatican assassins, warlocks, rock stars from mars, and seven-gram rocks, Charlie Sheen’s mind is officially Saturday Night Live‘s Stefon’s next hottest club. It. Has. Everything. Listen to “Winning — a Song by Charlie Sheen,” brought to you by the same folks who made the “Bed Intruder” and “Double Rainbow” autotuned songs, below:  READ FULL STORY

James Franco and Anne Hathaway reenact the carnival scene from 'Grease'

This really is a new way to do the Oscars. James Franco continues his Twitter teases as Sunday’s ceremony approaches, most recently with a 19-second clip of he, co-host Anne Hathaway, and some dancing extras reenacting the carnival scene from Grease. This could be something from their opening, which producer Bruce Cohen has told EW will involve a combination of filmed and live elements, some singing, and “a very exciting and special guest star or two.” Or perhaps it’s a part of some kind of tribute to the movie musical. (Rumors had been circulating that the duo would be performing “Suddenly, Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors, which Cohen told us sadly didn’t make the cut.) Watch the clip below, as well as some bonus promo outtakes. So far, I’m loving everything about the build-up to this year’s Oscars except ABC’s insistence that Franco and Hathaway are hosting “Oscar.” That annoy anyone else?  READ FULL STORY

'Shedding for the Wedding' premiere brings out best and worst in TV, weight loss, weddings, humanity

Shedding-for-the-WeddingImage Credit: J Squared/The CWHow’s that for an all-encompassing headline? This show is everything, ever! The CW’s new couples weight loss series Shedding for the Wedding debuted tonight after the cycle 16 premiere of America’s Next Top Model. So far, I like it much better than The Tired and Boring Biggest Loser and any other reality show that deals with self-involved bitches obsessing over THEIR BIG DAY. Out of nine couples, only a few are truly obnoxious, and some are actually likable! READ FULL STORY

Howard Stern calls Prince an 'arrogant a-hole' for thinking Kim Kardashian should know to dance? Really?

stern-prince-kimImage Credit: Janet Mayer/Photorazzi/PR Photos; Randee St. Nicholas; Keadrick D. Washington/PR PhotosWe all know Prince is a little… let’s call it eccentric. But I don’t think he deserves the flogging Howard Stern gave him on the radio yesterday for telling Kim Kardashian to “get off the stage” at Madison Square Garden Monday night when she was invited up during a jam and just awkwardly stood there. As Stern described it: “Prince is such an arrogant a–hole…. So she walks up on the stage…evidently you’re supposed to know what to do when Prince calls you up on the stage, you are supposed to dance like a stripper. READ FULL STORY

Ellen DeGeneres' birthday show: A hot kiss from Colin Farrell trumps a surprise visit from Julia Roberts -- Watch!

Ellen DeGeneres celebrated her 53rd birthday today with a show full of surprises — to her. In case you missed it, here are the highlights. Watch videos after the jump.

George, a nurse from Portland, Ore. who wanted to spend his birthday with Ellen, was flown to the show and not only gifted a pair of scrubs with Ellen’s face all over them — he got to be Julia Roberts’ mouthpiece as a blind-folded Ellen asked her first mystery guest questions to try to guess who it was. It was Roberts’ first appearance on the show, which DeGeneres joked was more exciting than John Jacobson, who’d been on moments earlier doing his Double Dream Hands routine. “Just barely,” Roberts joked. (Roberts also joked that she was happy she hadn’t worn khakis, and Ellen said that’s how she should have made her entrance  — among his backup dancers. Seriously. Yes.)  READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber movie poster reaction shows adults just how bitter they are

never-say-neverThe new poster for the 3-D Justin Bieber concert film Never Say Never comes with the tagline “Find out what’s possible if you never give up.” If you’re thinking that sentiment coming from a 16-YEAR-OLD MILLIONAIRE is grating, you are not alone. But, you are also a little bitter. It’s a good message for tweens/teens who are at the age when they’re just starting to realize that not all dreams come true and have to decide whether or not to follow theirs. So, let’s breathe and let Bieber have this one. And try not to say something inappropriate about the position of the sun.

Paula Abdul returns to television tonight with 'Live to Dance.' What can we expect from the daffy judge?

Live-Dance-AbdulImage Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSThis is it, folks. Get ready to say “Hey, Paula!” tonight, when we’ll see former American Idol judge Paula Abdul return to television for her new dance competition series, Live to Dance, which premieres at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. I’m so excited right now, I could squish David Archuleta, squeeze his head off, and dangle him from my rear-view mirror. And that’s not just because, as EW’s resident So You Think You Can Dance recapper, I’m already a fan of the art. Nope, it’s because Abdul is heading back to exactly where she belongs: on reality television. Mama’s coming home, PopWatchers!

Honestly, at this point, it’s difficult to tell whether Live to Dance will live to see multiple seasons, particularly when you consider how it will soon be stacked up against ratings behemoth, and former Abdul home, American Idol. But if Randy Jackson could pull off a successful dance competition show, America’s Best Dance Crew, surely trained dancer and choreographer Abdul can attract at least some of the reality-attracted masses — at least the ones who enjoyed watching her warble, cry, and be generally nonsensical (translation: bring great television) to Idol.

But what can we expect from Abdul this time around? READ FULL STORY

Trend Watch: Is ballet suddenly the new 'Twilight'?

ballerinasImage Credit: Tatiana Beller/PR Photos; Niko TaverniseOkay, I know, I know. But bear with me here: Both surround beautiful things that can cause bodily harm (Twilight: vampires; ballet: pointe shoes), both involve glitter (Twilight: sparkly vampires!; ballet: sparkly costumes!), both involve forbidden love (Twilight: between vampires and humans; ballet: between ballerinas and Hostess products), and both are enjoying their moment in the spotlight. That’s right: Ballet is so hot right now. Or, I should say, the dark underbelly of the ballet world is so hot right now.

Let’s run it down: For months now, chatter has surrounded Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, a ballet thriller about the art form’s dangerously competitive nature that has ignited Oscar talk for star Natalie Portman. Then a pack of black leotard-clad ballerinas toasted the a-hole that is Kanye West in his “Runaway” video. Furthermore, New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer made headlines yesterday after The New York Times‘ Alastair Macaulay said the dancer “looked as if she’d eaten one sugar plum too many” in his review of the company’s Nutcracker. (Dude, as a writer, I love me my puns, but that was way harsh, Tai.) And finally, news broke today that Chloë Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, and Bailee Madison have joined Kristen Bell in Dance of the Mirlitons, a film about a curvy ballerina with a stage mom (Bell) who attempts to make it in the tough business. (Producer Daniel Dubiecki’s rep confirms The Hollywood Reporter‘s report with EW; Madison will play the ballerina, Moretz will play the class’ ace pupil, and Haley will play a sadistic Russian ballet teacher in the film, which will be helmed by Evan Greenberg.)

And yet, I’m conflicted about ballet’s trendy, dark turn in pop-culture: READ FULL STORY

Statute of limitations on 'N Sync fans feeling guilty for liking Backstreet Boys officially expired

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

All you people, can’t you see (can’t you see): Enough years have gone by that you can admit you like BSB. This is an important development for die-hard ‘N Sync fans (like myself), who’d always felt like she had to choose between the two. Backstreet Boys started wearing me down with their 2005 music video for “Incomplete,” which I’ve always said deserved an honorary MTV VMA for Best Dramatic Acting by a Boy Band Ever. (And yes, that song is on my iPod, and I like it even more than “I Want It That Way,” which is, of course, widely considered one of the best boy band songs of all time.) But last night’s performance at the American Music Awards with NKOTB (watch it below) sealed the deal. I will no longer feel guilty for liking BSB. Other things I realized watching their performance last night:

• Pat Monahan of Train also enjoys the Backstreet Boys (you were totally sing along, sir!).

• Even though my high school yearbook is full of people wishing Jordan Knight and I a happily ever after, I now prefer Backstreet Boys to NKOTB. (GASP!)

• NKOTB’s “Step By Step” dance has got to go.

What did you learn last night? As cool as it was to see BSB and NKOTB lined up on stage, do you think it’s the kind of fun that’s best enjoyed in six-minute doses, or could you see it lasting through their full concert? (To consider the latter, I would need to know everyone would be singing on key. But due to the overwhelming response, 18 more summer 2011 tour dates have just been added, including second shows in the sold-out Toronto and Chicago.)

P.S. How fitting is it that Jonathan Knight didn’t make it into this picture? We love you Jonathan, even if this photographer didn’t!  READ FULL STORY

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