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'Dancing With the Stars': Mid-season controversy

October 23, 2008 | 11:07 am

I doubt the oddsmakers even had a scenario in which 82-year-old Cloris Leachman stayed in contention through half of the season, but that's now officially the case.  And you know who's not happy about it?  That whippersnapper Florence Henderson, 74.  According to Life & Style Weekly, Henderson said, "I hope the audience doesn’t think all older people act like her."  She continues: "I love Cloris, but sometimes she acts like she’s not all there, or she’s wandering around the ballroom acting silly."  And Florence concurs with many of our commenters here when she says that Leachman “is given a lot of leeway because of her age.  But you also have to respect the rules, the show and what it’s about.” 

And TV Guide is reporting that pro Louis van Amstel (who appeared with Priscilla Presley last season and is not paired with any of the current season's stars) wants dancers Cheryl Burke and Lacey Schwimmer to take responsibility for their apparent weight gain: "If you want to gain weight, it's your prerogative.  We all put on weight because there was no summer tour.  But you have to deal with the consequences."  And he thinks those consequences could be the demoralization of America: "If [the viewers] watch someone who's dancing her butt off and she's still heavy, they can be discouraged.  You have to take responsibility."  TV Guide also managed to get a supporting dis from dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who said, "When I first saw these women this season, I said, 'Guys, you know the camera adds 10 pounds.'  You have to do something about this." 

-- Sarah Rogers