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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Encore Presentation - Dancing with the Stars: Who Will Win?

Aired November 23, 2007 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MARIO LOPEZ, GUEST HOST, "EXTRA": Tonight, the finalists from "Dancing With The Stars".
(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

LOPEZ: America's quickstepping sweetheart, Marie Osmond. Mel B. Brown -- she's the "scary" Spice Girl and a spicy competitor.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

LOPEZ: Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

LOPEZ: We've got judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, too.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

LOPEZ: Also joining us, "Dancing With The Stars" co-host Samantha Harris. Plus, last season's winner, Olympic gold medalist Apolo Antone Ohno.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

LOPEZ: Our "Dancing With The Stars" guests are stepping out, speaking up and hey, who knows, maybe stealing some backstage moves.

All of that and more next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Thanks for joining us.

I'm Mario Lopez from "Extra," sitting in for Larry King.

And then there were three. The final couples for season five of the hit TV show, "Dancing With The Stars," were announced last night. They compete for the top prize next week. And you can bet they're training real hard.

But tonight, the finalists are taking a break to join us.

Marie Osmond -- her journey to the finals has been a real roller coaster ride, to put it mildly.

Melanie Brown -- she's rehearsing for The Spice Girls reunion tour. And champion race car driver Helio Castroneves. He'll need to put pedal to the metal if he's going to out-dance Marie and Madam B.

(LAUGHTER)

Well, first off, congratulations to you both.

MARIE OSMOND, FINALIST, LOST FATHER DURING COMPETITION & SON ENTERED REHAB: You know, I just realized I'm surrounded by dimples here. Look at George and look at George.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes.

OSMOND: What is this about?

LOPEZ: It's like a couple of golf balls.

(LAUGHTER)

HELIO CASTRONEVES, FINALIST AND TWO-TIME INDY 500 CHAMPION: That's good, huh?

LOPEZ: You know, Marie, I usually gauge how the competition is going by speaking with my mother because this happens to be her favorite show and she's the target demographic...

OSMOND: Well, she watched you.

LOPEZ: She did. She was great. Very supportive.

OSMOND: and you were brilliant.

LOPEZ: Thank you.

I appreciate that. She's a big fan of yours.

OSMOND: Oh.

LOPEZ: Loves you and your doll collection, might I add?

OSMOND: Oh, thank you.

LOPEZ: And I've got to tell you...

CASTRONEVES: I'm a big fan of Marie. You know, everybody's a big fan of Marie.

LOPEZ: You're (INAUDIBLE) Marie. I'm sure.

OSMOND: Oh, you're sweet. You're very cute.

LOPEZ: I've always thought you were great. But I've got to tell you, I have a whole new level of respect for you, just for the things you've had to deal with this last nine weeks -- I mean everything from your father passing, finalizing a divorce, having a son in rehab, fainting in front of 25 million people, losing over 30 some odd pounds.

OSMOND: And those are just the things you know about.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: And 10 dances.

Right. Exactly.

How have you managed to handle it all?

OSMOND: Do you know, Mario, I -- there's a lot of women out there like me. Women are resilient. We multitask. We compartmentalize. We're like -- it's like I say, we're like water. We kind of flow in and out of things, making sure that everything is taken care of. And, honestly, the support, the feedback that I've gotten from the show, the show has been a gift to me because it makes you focus on something. And it kind of gives you a little time out. And so it's been -- it's been a healthy diversion for me because it releases the endorphins and it's -- it's been a wonderful experience.

LOPEZ: Therapeutic (INAUDIBLE)?

OSMOND: Yes, therapeutic in a very strange way. But, you know, life isn't going to change because you're dancing.

But you know what?

You can change your attitude. And I've always said I would rather climb a mountain than climb into a hole. And this has been a huge mountain to climb.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: It has. I mean, Marie...

OSMOND: But I laugh.

LOPEZ: ...in point, though.

OSMOND: I try to keep a good, positive attitude.

LOPEZ: You've dealt with it just wonderfully. But at any point, did you ever consider quitting?

OSMOND: No. Never. Nope.

I'm not a quitter. No.

LOPEZ: Just point blank.

OSMOND: Yes. Just not.

LOPEZ: Mel B., I believe, has just joined us via satellite from rehearsing her -- hey, there she is.

Hi, Mel B.

OSMOND: There she is.

MELANIE BROWN, FINALIST AND "SCARY SPICE" IN SPICE GIRLS: Hi.

CASTRONEVES: Hey.

How are you?

BROWN: Hi.

How are you both?

LOPEZ: Mel B., of course...

BROWN: I'm very well, thank you.

LOPEZ: ...is known as "Scary" Spice. But I think you've evolved to "Super Spice".

BROWN: No. No.

LOPEZ: Because you...

BROWN: Oh, I like that...

LOPEZ: ...a lot to deal with, as well.

BROWN: ...a lot.

LOPEZ: You like that?

I mean you've recently had a baby...

BROWN: Yes, I do. In fact, I just...

LOPEZ: You've gotten married?

BROWN: Yes, that's true. And I just finished my Spice rehearsals today.

LOPEZ: You just finished your Spice rehearsal. You've got the tour to deal with.

How have you been juggling it all?

BROWN: It's all about balance -- all about balance and planning everything so everything gets done equally. My kids, The Spice Girls, Maks, "Dancing With The Stars," then me -- sleep.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: So, because you're so busy, Mel, I know -- are you proud of the fact that you've probably put in the fewest hours of rehearsal and yet have made it to the finals?

BROWN: You know what?

I rehearse in my head all night long. I've been waking up at 2:00 in the morning going what was that step again? It doesn't stop. My brain doesn't switch off, honestly. But it's been so much fun. I am so shocked that I'm still in it. And I've learned all these amazing dances. You know, I feel very, very lucky. I really do.

LOPEZ: Helio, you are the last man standing, literally.

CASTRONEVES: That's right. That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: Watch out, girls.

BROWN: Yes, he is.

LOPEZ: You're in the final lap -- fun pun fully intended there.

CASTRONEVES: Absolutely.

LOPEZ: What -- what is going through your head.

CASTRONEVES: I can't believe it. I mean, at the beginning of the show, absolutely my first goal was to not be eliminated first. You know, so and all of a sudden I'm here with amazing people and having a good time. You heard Mel B. saying, you were listening to Marie -- we're all having a great time. And, actually, you've been part of it. So you know how much fun it is.

Yes, everybody wants to win. You remember, we talk about we don't want to -- you don't want to go there to be last or third or finish fourth. But, you know, right now, it's to the point that wow, we're in the finals. So this is -- this is incredible.

BROWN: I know. That's a big deal. Well done, you two. Well, done. (INAUDIBLE).

(LAUGHTER)

OSMOND: But we do love each other. I mean it's like a family, it really is. And I don't know how your cast was, but we're insane.

LOPEZ: Oh, yes.

OSMOND: and we're happy.

BROWN: Yes.

OSMOND: We really are. And I tell you...

CASTRONEVES: That's right.

OSMOND: ...Mel, I couldn't love her more if I tried. She cracks me up. She's a -- she's a funny woman.

BROWN: You crack me up, too.

(LAUGHTER)

OSMOND: You -- she's so funny. And -- and he's just like hey (INAUDIBLE), what did you say?

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: I love it. A very international flavor.

CASTRONEVES: Quite right.

BROWN: Yes.

LOPEZ: Melanie, is it what you expected?

Is it -- did you think it would be a little more fierce, the competition?

Did you think you would be -- you would get as chummy with the competitors?

BROWN: Do you know I walked into this completely open-minded, not knowing what to expect. And I think that's the best thing to do in these kinds of situations. I am having so much fun. I'm glad I didn't go in with it already pre-thought. Yes, it's great.

(CROSSTALK)

OSMOND: And I think, Mel, I think you and I are the two that really just sat on the couch and just had fun, don't you think -- I mean as far as females?

BROWN: Yes, definitely. Yes.

OSMOND: He's having a ball. CASTRONEVES: I'm having a good time.

OSMOND: He's wonderful.

CASTRONEVES: Oh, boy.

LOPEZ: But at the same time, Helio, it's taken a bit of -- of an effect on your personal life, because I know that you've postponed your wedding until after the show.

CASTRONEVES: That's right.

LOPEZ: Correct?

CASTRONEVES: That's correct. Yes.

LOPEZ: How has your fiance been dealing with it?

BROWN: Oh, have you?

I didn't know that.

OSMOND: I didn't know that. CASTRONEVES: I didn't know (INAUDIBLE).

BROWN: I didn't know that either.

LOPEZ: We're learning things here.

CASTRONEVES: OK. So, well, actually, yes. I knew it would be extremely tough. And, you know, the championship was off -- I mean finished -- on the racing. And all of a sudden, I decided -- when I decided to do the show, I knew it would be very time demanding. And she was very cooperative. She was very nice. She said, you know, whatever we need and let's postpone for next year and it will be fine. So I'm a very lucky person, I guess.

BROWN: I'd better be invited.

Am I invited?

CASTRONEVES: You will be.

OSMOND: Yes.

CASTRONEVES: You'll all be invited.

OSMOND: Are we?

CASTRONEVES: We're all going to be dancing over there. That will be a great dance.

OSMOND: We won't dance.

LOPEZ: Excellent.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: So who do you think will win "Dancing With The Stars?"

That's the quick vote right now on Larry's Web site, CNN.com/larryking. Head there right now and vote for your favorite contestant.

When we come back, we will meet their dance partners. Here they are.

Stick around.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

LOPEZ: Welcome back.

I'm Mario Lopez.

And now we're joined by the talented dance partners of these fine celebrities.

Meet Marie's partner, Jonathan Roberts.

Here with Helio is his prettier half, Juliane Hough.

And Melanie Brown's dance partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy rounds out the group.

How are you guys doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good.

LOPEZ: I've got to tell you, I've got to give you just a positive just shout-out right off the bat. I think the pro-dancers are the hardest working people in show business.

OSMOND: I agree with you.

JULIANNE HOUGH, HELIO CASTRONEVES' PROFESSIONAL DANCE PARTNER: Wow!

Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Because -- and that's...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: I'll back it up by saying...

BROWN: Yes, they are. I agree.

LOPEZ: ...not -- thank you, Mel.

Not only do you come up with original -- I don't know if the public knows this -- not only do you come up with original choreography every week, but you also have to, obviously, dance with the partner and coach and teach them. And, at the same time, you're sometimes you're sometimes playing counselor and psychologist and physical therapist.

BROWN: Oh, complete (INAUDIBLE). Yes.

LOPEZ: Many hats they wear -- many, many hats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

LOPEZ: I don't know what you're compensated, but I'm sure it's not enough.

(LAUGHTER)

HOUGH: Well, thanks for noticing. (LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: How does that feel, though -- all of that hard work, all of that time, how does it feel to finally make it to the finals now?

MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, MELANIE BROWN'S PROFESSIONAL DANCE PARTNER: Really good.

HOUGH: It pays off, you know?

I mean we are so proud of our partners for getting that far. They do have to learn a lot. We have to teach a lot. And it's hard work. But to get there, in the end, it's all worth it.

OSMOND: This is the first time John has been to the finals.

JONATHAN ROBERTS, MARIE OSMOND'S PROFESSIONAL DANCE PARTNER: I know. And I am so excited.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: That's why you are going to suffer all this week, because I am going to push you.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: Well, John -- let's take a little look here at some of Marie and Jonathan's most memorable moments so far.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

ROBERTS: Oh, the brothers.

OSMOND: My brothers.

ROBERTS: Very nice.

LOPEZ: Yes.

Very nice. You've come a long way there.

Now, Juliane was the professional half of last season's winning couple.

Does that give her and Helio an edge or are expectations even higher?

Let's take a look at their dancing.

CASTRONEVES: I hope so.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: There's never -- you don't get together as a couple of and watch what you did, like the night (INAUDIBLE)?

HOUGH: Not really. You know, we do the dance and then we move on to the next day, so...

CASTRONEVES: That's right. For me it's better. I mean I kind of like -- when I learn it, right away the next, you know, routine. And if I try to think what happened to the past, you know, it's bad. So I turn the page, move on, whatever happens, happens, you know?

LOPEZ: All right. Well, now let's take a look at Melanie and Maksim in action on the dance court.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

LOPEZ: Melanie, you seem very proud of your work there.

How do you feel looking back and seeing all your body of work?

BROWN: I like that. I can't believe I actually do it like that. You know, when I'm in the moment, it all seems a bit of a blur. But then watching it back on TiVo, I'm like, wow! I actually made it through and didn't look too bad.

ROBERTS: What people don't know is that she's in a blur while she's doing it, too, so...

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: Is it sort of surreal?

BROWN: All right, Maks. Be nice.

LOPEZ: I mean is it -- do you look at it and you think, wow, that's not me or I've transformed into this other type of performer that I didn't know existed?

BROWN: Yes. I'm very proud of myself. Maks is a very good teacher. He makes me look good. (INAUDIBLE) Maks.

CHMERKOVSKIY: And a very good psychiatrist.

BROWN: No more compliments.

CHMERKOVSKIY: You're welcome, Mel.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: You know, it's a unique situation because there's not many situations -- especially on television -- where you rely so much on teamwork as on this show.

OSMOND: That's true.

BROWN: Yes.

LOPEZ: And it's such an important component. I know it's thrown around as a common phrase. But it truly is -- it epitomizes teamwork.

Have you learned more about yourself working as a team with your experience with the show?

ROBERTS: Especially, you've never met this person before and all of a sudden, for three months you spend like eight to 10 hours a day with them. And every moment you're sitting there criticizing each other, building each other up. You deal with like the judges' criticisms...

BROWN: You literally get on each other's nerves.

ROBERTS: Everything.

(LAUGHTER)

CHMERKOVSKIY: I was going to say, because everybody assumes that we're the ones changing them into dancers and that's not entirely true. They change us as people, too. You know, I turned from a very serious person into a clown clot clown -- a class clown with that one.

(LAUGHTER)

CHMERKOVSKIY: Thanks, Mel.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

CHMERKOVSKIY: But, you know, we learned a lot...

LOPEZ: You learn a lot from each other.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: It's not just about dance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

LOPEZ: So it helps you grow as an individual.

BROWN: Very true.

HOUGH: Yes.

CHMERKOVSKIY: Well, basically, I work with a team, I mean, in my business, you know?

I have 25 or 30 guys and we're all...

BROWN: Yes. But he's the one being in control. And I think we've both learned, actually, (INAUDIBLE) to keep the trust going.

CHMERKOVSKIY: I control my team. But this one I cannot control.

(LAUGHTER) CHMERKOVSKIY: This is a troublemaker.

LOPEZ: She's the quarterback of that team, right?

CHMERKOVSKIY: Oh, yes. She is (INAUDIBLE).

LOPEZ: OK.

BROWN: But, no, we've learned a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So are you (INAUDIBLE)...

LOPEZ: Well...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...in this program?

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Our finalists and their dance partners will continue talking and arguing and return shortly.

But, when we come back, we'll talk to the judges.

OSMOND: You notice, we're fine over here.

LOPEZ: Yes, you are. I see that. One of the hosts.

All right, last season's winner, Apolo Ohno.

And we're just getting warmed up, everybody.

Stay with us.

Don't go away.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I think the king of speed has now become the king of charm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was truly a great -- I'll tell you what, that could have been on Pay-Per-View.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think you got more hip action lying in those hips. You've got to wake it up and bring it to the floor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You gyrated, you rotated and you pulsated. It was like watching a stripper. (INAUDIBLE) was out tonight and she was right on the money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's not do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot do well with this competition without putting all the hours you can possibly give into training.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How am I going to do this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those who have trained hard and have been focused just on this competition usually make that great first impression.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To make a good first impression, you have to be mentally ready, as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You make me nervous and I forget the step.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever helps you to mentally prepare to go live to America, do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOPEZ: We're back.

And we're now joined by "Dancing With The Stars" judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. And, of course, from Salt Lake City, we have last season's winner, Apolo Ohno, and one of the hosts of the show, Samantha Harris.

Welcome, everyone.

Great to see you.

SAMANTHA HARRIS, "DANCING WITH THE STARS" CO-HOST: Hello.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Nice to see you.

BRUNO TONIOLI, "DANCING WITH THE STARS" JUDGE: I must say, Larry, you look amazing.

LOPEZ: Well, you know...

TONIOLI: don't you think so?

LOPEZ: The proper diet and exercise -- it'll do a lot.

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: I want that guy. I want that exercise now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Apolo.

APOLLO ANTON OHNO, LAST SEASON'S WINNER, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST IN SPEED SKATING: Hi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes, Apolo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We miss you.

LOPEZ: A mini reunion here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's up?

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: I wanted to start off by asking Bruno and Carrie Ann...

CARRY ANN INABA, "DANCING WITH THE STARS" JUDGE: Yes?

LOPEZ: ...do you pride yourself on this being a legitimate true dance show competition?

TONIOLI: Of course it is. Of course it is. I mean it seems based upon ballroom and Latin. And you've seen -- you've done it. You know how much work -- it is a serious, serious competition. If you don't put the work, if you don't work hard, you do not get to that final, forget it. You know.

LOPEZ: Because -- no, no, I do know. But it seems to me -- and I think to a lot of the public out there, too -- that every season has its share of controversy. You know, if we take it down the line a little bit, in the first season, we had Kelly Monaco winning and it was so controversial that they had a dance-off and John O'Hurley and (INAUDIBLE) Victor.

The second season, Stacy Keibler, who was clearly the best dancer, doesn't even make it to the finals.

The third season, whatever with that.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: And then...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: And then the next season...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Well, they...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Sabrina Bryan.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Sabrina Bryan, who happens to be probably the best female dancer that the show has had... TONIOLI: Absolutely. She should have made the final.

LOPEZ: ...doesn't get even in the top -- not even in the top five.

TONIOLI: Yes, but it's not us. It is the public.

LOPEZ: So what -- well, that's my (INAUDIBLE).

What are your thoughts?

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Why is that the case?

(CROSSTALK)

INABA: This is what I think. I'm going to tell you.

LOPEZ: OK.

INABA: I think this is just because the show is not only about dancing. Dancing is obviously what we're looking for, for the judges. For the three of us, we're looking for the dancing, right?

But the audience gets to look at the people and the transformations they make as they come into the show. And I notice people really get behind the people that kind of have this sudden growth and suddenly start like becoming a ballroom dancer, becoming a Latin dancer. That's what I've noticed. And I think people really get excited for that, because they can relate to that.

And what's great is the American public can vote for whatever they want to. We three have to vote on the judge of the dancing.

TONIOLI: Yes.

INABA: We have to judge on that...

TONIOLI: So we can only -- we can only guide.

INABA: Yes.

TONIOLI: look at our scores. Look exactly what we do at the end of the night.

HARRIS: Yes. They're really actually quite obvious.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: I mean, as you saw -- you can tell with who you want to go to the finals by how you score in a sense.

TONIOLI: Yes.

INABA: Well, actually, it's up to what they do on the dance floor.

HARRIS: Right.

INABA: I mean, of course, naturally, there's people that you're going to want to see. But we're not -- we're human beings, OK. But they have to bring it to the floor. If it's not in the routine, you can't give the score.

LOPEZ: OK. Well, with that said, then, it seems that -- to (INAUDIBLE) again to the public...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: No, no, no, no. Well, no, it seems like...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: ...come the semifinals, all right?

TONIOLI: Yes.

LOPEZ: Come the semifinals, when it's really crunch time and you're asking everybody to up their game, it seems like all of a sudden, nines and tens are starting to fly around anywhere. And it seems like the playing field ends up being very even and you're like OK public, there you have it.

TONIOLI: Well...

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: I can -- this year, if you look at the...

LOPEZ: But, Bruno, if I may interrupt.

But isn't that the time that you should be the most meticulous and really point out the subtle nuances and really educate the public on who has become the better dancer?

TONIOLI: But we did. If you listen to what we said -- or what I said -- I don't know what the others are doing, but I know what I am doing. And if you see my scoring and the way I scored the night, I'm absolutely standing by Melanie and Helio definitely, definitely are equal -- coming from the backgrounds they come, what they delivered, top notch.

And Jennie -- breakthrough night.

Marie, I love her to death. I love her to death. And quite an incredible performer. But as a dancer, she's not as good as the others.

INABA: But listen, it is slightly subjective.

TONIOLI: You've got it. INABA: We come from three different backgrounds. And I think that's what keeps us there. I look for certain things, Bruno looks for certain things. I look for the way my body reacts to things. You know, it's got to something special and magical for a 10 to come out.

If not, it just doesn't happen, you know what I mean?

There's -- there's got to that X factor that's almost indescribable for a 10 to happen for me. And, you know, I think that we have this going very well this year. I think it's been a really good season as far as scoring goes.

TONIOLI: But it is the nature of the beast. That's why this is so exciting. You know, we can only guide. We always say we give our opinion. We are not infallible. The American public has the right -- we're doing it for them. We're not doing it for me. We are doing it for America. So if America decides that they want this winner, what am I to say?

No, you shouldn't.

HARRIS: They are making America a better place one dancer at a time.

TONIOLI: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: And God bless you, Tori.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: From one dancer who is definitely a great guy and a great dancer. He won last season.

Apolo, how are you doing up there in Salt Lake City, Buddy?

OHNO: I'm doing good. The weather is good, too.

LOPEZ: Have you been keeping up with your dancing?

OHNO: Well, as much as I can. I've been doing a lot of training. I've been watching the show, which is kind of keeping up with the dancing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so, of course, we know probably who you want...

LOPEZ: What do you...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).

LOPEZ: What do you think about the dancing this time around?

How do you would have fared this season? OHNO: I'm glad that I'm not in this season. I think these people are dancing really well. Honestly, you know, the very first show that I watched, I was amazed at how good people were right off the bat. You know, when I go back and watch YouTube videos of my very first time dancing, I have to like stop half way because I don't want to watch anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you were good, too.

TONIOLI: You were brilliant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And welcome back right now, where we can see you. You were amazing.

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: Look at that.

(CROSSTALK)

OHNO: Well, you know, I had a very...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's good.

(CROSSTALK)

OHNO: I had a very good -- I mean, obviously, I was -- I had, I think I had the best partner. I mean Julianne -- she -- I could literally just stand there and step and she could just dance around me and do cartwheels and flips over my head. I really tried to still do really well.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you wouldn't have, actually. Not with us.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we would have...

TONIOLI: You did one of the best rides we've (INAUDIBLE) in "Dancing With The Stars".

OHNO: Thank you.

LOPEZ: Samantha, I want to get to you in a second.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: We will be right back. More with our judges, co-hosts and Apolo when we come back. And still ahead, the finalists and dancers return.

Stay with us.

(VIDEO CLIP FROM "DANCING WITH THE STARS," COURTESY ABC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM BERGERON, HOST, "DANCING WITH THE STARS": Jennie and Derek, Helio and Julianne, on this ninth week of competition, the couple with the lowest combined total and therefore leaving right now.

Jennie and Derek.

And the crowd comes to their feet! Come on, Jennie!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOPEZ: And we're back, of course, with Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Samantha Harris, and Apolo Ohno joining us from Salt Lake City. We saw Jennie get eliminated. She had quite a journey because she was struggling in some of her dances, but she definitely made improvements. And I thought she was peaking at just the right time.

TONIOLI: She did. I think the cha-cha-cha for me was when I finally saw -- I kept saying, it lacks the luster, it lacks the continuity, the commitment, the star power. And for me, it just happened with the cha-cha-cha.

HARRIS: One thing about Jennie, and I think we went over it again and again throughout the season, was her level of confidence and whether or not she was confident enough when she hit the dance floor because she was so nervous.

And she said last night to Tom at the very end, it was never that she lacked confidence. It's that she -- getting out there and performing, as you well know, in front of millions of people in a live ballroom of 500 is really nerve-wracking.

And I think she really overcame that and by the end really grew so much. And that's what the show is about, so much.

LOPEZ: Good for her.

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: You love Jennie. You were hot on her. We need...

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: You know, I tell you, Super Mario we do miss.

LOPEZ: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: I miss you, Bruno.

INABA: We want to do an encore show, we're going to bring you all back.

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: Bring back the best of the best.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Let's do it. Get it all set up, my friend.

HARRIS: You and Sabrina and we get, you know, like the -- and then we get you and Cameron Mathison in like a shirt-off dancethon.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: That's another show.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: That's another show.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: I've got to ask, because I know a lot of viewers have been wanting to know, you had a baby recently.

HARRIS: Yes.

LOPEZ: And it seems like a couple weeks later you were back on the show.

HARRIS: I was.

LOPEZ: Looking thinner than ever, by the way.

HARRIS: Well, I don't know about that. But three weeks after Josselyn was born I came back to the show. She was due two weeks after the premiere but she came the day before we premiered. So I was in the hospital watching the premiere of the show, holding this new baby, saying, wow, this is such a blessing and so fabulous, and boy, I also miss my show. So I was really excited to get back. And thankfully, I felt great. I really bounced back very quickly in terms of feeling well.

LOPEZ: How were you able to do that though with -- because most people...

HARRIS: Lucky, I guess. You know, I think it was, I worked out throughout my pregnancy, up to my 35th week, which I think helped, because I was already kind of a fitness buff beforehand. And I think that helped keep my body strong throughout my pregnancy. And I think it really helped get back quickly on my feet.

I will say, though, you know, the first week-and-a-half out of the hospital, two weeks was not easy. And I would be lying to say, hey, I just came home from the hospital, woo-hoo, I'm ready to go. Not so much. Not so fast.

TONIOLI: Yes, but you were radiant. You were radiant and glowing.

INABA: Glowing, absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: Well, I have a happy little baby at home, of course, I'm glowing.

LOPEZ: And ripped, and in great shape.

HARRIS: Carrying that baby.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: It's a good workout.

HARRIS: Work out the guns.

LOPEZ: Bruno, Carrie, was there ever a time where you regretted any comments that you made towards the celebrities?

INABA: When I told Mel she sounded like a truck driver.

(LAUGHTER)

INABA: I did feel bad. Sorry, Melanie!

(CROSSTALK)

INABA: I know, but I didn't mean it that way. She's kind of tough, you know?

LOPEZ: And I actually felt bad for you, but I know you meant it as a compliment, we have discussed.

(CROSSTALK)

INABA: I did -- meant it as a compliment. I know, you...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: When she called, I had forgotten...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: ... a cougar.

INABA: Oh, I know, I called Marie a cougar too, and a lot of people called me, like, oh my God, you called Marie a cougar!

(CROSSTALK)

INABA: Being a cougar is a great thing. OK? Cougar is a -- she is a hot cougar.

TONIOLI: What is this business with cougars? Yes, I don't know because I'm...

INABA: Cougar is a hot woman.

HARRIS: A hot woman...

TONIOLI: Well, that's not an insult. That's good.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: There's a gray area there which we will discuss...

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: I slightly regret when people misunderstood my comment on Billy Ray. There was a lot made about my comment and I didn't actually say to Billy Ray, you're crap. I said -- we were only a couple...

INABA: He said it to me.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: ... Carrie Ann.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: ... dancing in the particular...

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: It wasn't directed to him. (INAUDIBLE) discussion.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: I remember watching that show, Bruno. And you don't have a mean bone in your body.

TONIOLI: No.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: ... just for one second because the bottom line is, you have a really tough job. And you have to be critical but they are so constructive. And I know obviously standing on the floor it's different because you are getting the criticism after working so hard on rehearsing. But it's all really in a positive light, unlike some other reality shows that are cruel in their judging...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: That's what is great about this show, I must say. It's not mean-spirited, aside from it being a family-oriented show, it really puts the celebrities in a positive light. It helps sort of catapult their career, really give them a boost. And it is a very feel-good type of show and there's not that much programming out there like that.

INABA: Also, you know, it makes you guys -- you guys are -- what's so wonderful about all of you who come on the show, the celebrities, you make yourselves vulnerable. And I think it's so inspiring to the people at home who kind of aspire to be like you all.

And they look at you and you guys give it your best, you make yourself vulnerable, you try something new. And they think in their lives, you know what, I can try something new too, as well. And I think that is fantastic.

TONIOLI: It inspires, it's a celebration and it creates inspiration. That's what it's all about. And it's all done with sense of fun. Whatever I say, I'm not saying it ever to insult anybody.

LOPEZ: No, no.

(CROSSTALK)

TONIOLI: Maybe have a bit of a laugh.

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: You're all about entertainment and inspiration, Bruno, I get it.

TONIOLI: You know, a little bit of spice thrown in, but it's never meant to be an insult, absolutely not.

LOPEZ: Of course. Well, a big thanks to Carrie Ann, Bruno and Samantha. When we come back, finalists and dance partners. I'm Mario Lopez and this is LARRY KING LIVE. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIE BROWN, FINALIST: It's really important I do well because the main competition is in my head, so I have to do well for me. Otherwise, I'll let myself down. And I don't want to let my dance partner down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANE SEYMOUR, ACTOR: Hey, you guys, congratulations. I am so proud of you. You're all unbelievable and amazing. I mean, you have grown into these amazingly wonderful performers and the whole of America is in love with you. And you deserve it so much.

And I know firsthand from hanging out with you guys backstage and all of that training that we did, it's an amazing journey. And here you are, you're at the finale. And as far as I'm concerned, you all won. You really have. You're just astounding. And I'm just thrilled for you and I cannot wait to see you again so we can all have fun and we can kick up our heels after this is over. Because, trust me, your body starts feeling really good when you finish.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOPEZ: Jane Seymour, of course, wishing everyone well. I'm Mario Lopez from "Extra," filling in for Larry King. And we are back with finalists Marie Osmond and Helio Castroneves. And they are joined by their dance partners Jonathan Roberts and Julianne Hough. And Melanie Brown is not here, but her dance partner Maksim is here to represent.

And don't forget you can still vote for who you think will win at cnn.com/larryking.

JONATHAN ROBERTS, MARIE OSMOND'S DANCE PARTNER: And, Mario, here, I have to disagree with Bruno. You know, I think in the beginning of the competition, you could say that Helio and Mel were one of the best dancers, but this competition is all about who improves the most, and if we look at now the three finalists, I think Marie has improved more than anyone else, and now it's up to each of them, have their own strengths.

Who can say speed is more importance than elegance is more important than playing a character? All three of these finalists brings something the other one doesn't bring. And that's what makes each one special and unique. So I don't agree with Bruno.

LOPEZ: Well, first of all, I admire you having your partner's back and supporting her. But you know what, to your point, it's not a race. It's not who crosses the finish line first and there's a clear- cut winner. Obviously, you're judging art and art and beauty are in the eye of the beholder. So there's a pretty clear point.

MARIE OSMOND, FINALIST: Well, and I appreciate that. And Bruno has -- you know, he has his sight and his vision. We know he needs glasses now. But the fact is...

(LAUGHTER) OSMOND: No, it's opinions. It's whoever you like. If you want to vote for a guy, you vote for him. If you want to vote for girls, you vote for Mel and myself. But I'm really happy because I definitely am the older competitor here. And, you know, as much as they say that they are comparing me to Helio, I'm being compared to Julianne, and...

(LAUGHTER)

OSMOND: Because you can't take your eyes off her. And so...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Talking about Bruno, let's judge the judges for a second. All right. Let's go down the line here.

HELIO CASTRONEVES, FINALIST: We still have one more round so we can't say what...

MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, MELANIE BROWN'S DANCE PARTNER: Yes, do we do this next week?

LOPEZ: Then take it as you well. But who is the toughest, would you say?

JULIANNE HOUGH, HELIO CASTRONEVES' DANCE PARTNER: Oh, man, I think everybody, each week, they almost take turns. That's how it feels. But you know...

LOPEZ: Like, you will be tough this week, I will be tough next week?

HOUGH: No, I mean, they all have their unique, you know, what they are pointing out, what they are looking for. And it just depends how well you do that day. I respect each one of them in exactly what they say. We try to take that. And I don't know, some of them are more critical than the other.

(CROSSTALK)

CASTRONEVES: ... and I note this, actually, is sometimes when they say that you did good and they don't tell what you improved. Like, for example, I remember one of the -- the dance that we had and (INAUDIBLE) was telling about Helio lead and stuff like that. It was...

HOUGH: It helped so much.

CASTRONEVES: It helped a lot, because now I'm focusing about in what they are going to look -- details. And so far it's being incredible, interesting story.

OSMOND: And you have to remember this is a television show. This is not rocket science. And it's part of entertainment and they provide that element of entertainment to it. And I think they do a great job at it. LOPEZ: And at the same time, as opposed to other competition shows where it's not like "American Idol," where the celebrities aren't looking for a future as a professional dancer, it really is about the entertainment and taking the journey.

OSMOND: I mean, every celebrity that has done the show that I have seen, I mean, they are all very successful in their careers. I mean, look at what he's accomplished in his life. And you know, I mean, I have accomplished a few things. And I mean, Mel, look at what she -- the fact that -- I mean, she and I are both going on tour. I start the 29th. I have not even rehearsed yet.

And so I mean, we are kind of like these workers and I did an album in five weeks that should have taken six months. I mean, it is just all of this stuff. So we are here to have a good time too.

LOPEZ: And you know, I don't think the public truly realizes how much hard work really goes into it, how many man hours you're actually putting into it.

CHMERKOVSKIY: You know.

LOPEZ: I know exactly. That's why I'm making the point, because especially when you're juggling things. I remember I was very busy and it would have been a lot easier had I just had to focus on dancing. But you have got a concert to worry about, your family, and then...

(CROSSTALK)

CASTRONEVES: Mario, let me tell you, I never thought dancing, it's like -- the way I'm thinking right now, it's like a sport. It's so physical. Those guys here, they are actually working us extremely hard. Obviously, they want to make us -- push us to our limit. It is amazing.

CHMERKOVSKIY: With all due respect, this is called dance sport. We actually are a sport.

(CROSSTALK)

CASTRONEVES: People don't realize, you know, that it's like, oh, it's art. Just go around and hey, beautiful. Yes. No, it's not that. It's...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: It's work. It's a lot, a lot of tough work. (INAUDIBLE) I have such respect for it. Now before we continue, we need to check in with John King, who is filling in for Anderson Cooper tonight.

John, what is up at the top of the hour?

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: You know, Mario, I was standing, I wanted to do this dancing but they made me sit down on the chair here. Coming up at the top of the hour on "360," when this alert crossed the wires today, the newsroom was shocked. An arrest in the murder of Natalee Holloway, the high-schooler from Alabama missing in Aruba, her body never found.

Today, three local men who had been arrested before were arrested again. This case has gotten a lot of attention for more than two years. So why an arrest knew? We will find out.

Also an update for you on travel trouble for Thanksgiving.

Mario, if you and your guests want to know if the relatives will make it for dinner tomorrow, stick around and find out.

LOPEZ: Thank you, John. We will definitely do that. Now more with our "Dancing with the Stars" panel when we come back, stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OSMOND: Show me again oh might choreographer.

It's important to dazzle the fans, because they are the ones keeping me here. Now I just have to get the judges on my side.

At this stage in the game, you give it everything you have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So who do you think is going to win "Dancing with the Stars"?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marie and Jonathan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scary Spice, I think Melanie Brown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Julianne and Helio is my favorite.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they are the best. Julianne's choreography is the best there. Their dancing is, I think, superior to everybody else's.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you think is going to win?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know exactly who is going to win, Mario. Mario is going to win, even though he won last year. He played last year. He might win this year. So he's one of those guy that can come back and win it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though he's not in it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though he's not in it, he can win again. (END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: What show is that guy watching? I love him though anyway. God bless you. That's great. You know, it's great how you see such diversity and everyone has their favorites and they can relate to.

Julianne, your brother was on this show as Jennie Garth's partner. How was it competing against your brother?

HOUGH: You know, everybody wanted there to be this like brother/sister rivalry. But we have always been the kind of people that support each other and help each other out. And I know I would give Jennie a few tips backstage and Derek would help Helio out just a little bit.

And I don't know. I would have liked it to have been brother/sister rivalry in the final. That would have been fun. And kick my older brother's butt. But it didn't happen. But I'm really proud of him. This was his first season and he brought Jennie so far, not only in dancing but with her confidence and everything.

So I was really proud of him and supported him all the way.

LOPEZ: Now, going over some of the surprise moments of the season I think that stand out of course is our Cheetah Girl, Sabrina Bryan, her being eliminated when she was. How was the feeling among the contestants?

CASTRONEVES: Everyone was basically shocked, you know, I mean, we all -- definitely, you could clearly see she was one the best dancers out there.

OSMOND: She was a dancer. Look at her.

ROBERTS: After Sabrina got kicked off, every single person freaked out next week because we thought, if Sabrina can go, anybody can.

HOUGH: She was almost like our motivation, I guess. Keep pushing yourselves so you can be up there with her.

CHMERKOVSKIY: That probably answers the question of what the show is about. And it is up to the viewers. And we can sit here and argue and argue with the judges and not like their opinions and what they have to say. But at the end of the day, whatever the audience decides, that's what it is.

And I just wanted to add that, you know, it doesn't really matter who improves the most or who started off as being a semipro. I can start dancing with a complete beginner but I will do the best possible job in camouflaging that. So everybody has their strategy.

I think Mel and I are very calm about this competition. We have been since the week one. Exactly, because I knew that something like Sabrina might happen. And especially after that, there's nothing to worry about.

LOPEZ: We will continue to go over some of the highlights in the season. The time is flying by, everyone. We will be right back with our final segment. So, please, stay tuned.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASTRONEVES: All right. So you tell me what I need to do. I will follow instructions. Oh, my lord!

Oh, man! I'm dancing, woo-hoo!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LOPEZ: Welcome back. I'm Mario Lopez from "Extra," filling in for Larry King. We are joined by the "Dancing with the Stars" finalists and their wonderful partners, of course.

Now we were going over some of the highlights of the season before we went to break. And we talked about, of course, Sabrina. And I think what stands out in everyone's mind, I don't know if it is necessarily a highlight, but a moment is when you fainted, my dear.

OSMOND: Of course you would bring that up again.

LOPEZ: Now we have a clip, we can show -- oh, well, it happened. It was so quick. Jonathan, I have got to ask you, what was that like from your perspective?

ROBERTS: You know, Marie and I...

(CROSSTALK)

LOPEZ: Because you had your arm around her. I mean, that's what I was thinking.

ROBERTS: We finished dancing, and she was so excited. I can tell she was breathing hard through the whole dance. And she was jumping up and down and I just happened to be grabbing her.

OSMOND: I was dancing (INAUDIBLE) all through it.

ROBERTS: And then I felt her weight go. And at first I thought she was joking and then when she was just out, I just panicked, you know?

OSMOND: Joking.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: What went through my mind, there she is and there she goes. ROBERTS: But then when she's laying there and her kids are going, mom, mom, mom, and she is not moving, then we got scared.

LOPEZ: You had your arm around her and at that point, I'm thinking, I never want to be drowning with Jonathan around, because, God forbid, I'm a goner.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: The man has got a grip...

OSMOND: It was comforting for me to know that not very many people saw that.

LOPEZ: Exactly. No one could tell. But I will tell you, what, Marie, what I found fascinating about it is how quickly you bounced back and you were...

(CROSSTALK)

OSMOND: Well, hello, was I terrified? I woke up, I saw my son, and I saw Jon, and then I saw Tom, and I went, oh, crap. And so, I mean, the first thing you do is, wake up! It was terrible.

CASTRONEVES: You know, she was backstage and like, I'm OK. I am OK. We're like, are you sure? You just fainted. She's like, no, no, I'm OK. OK, all right.

ROBERTS: Well, we can laugh about it now, thank goodness. So everything was fine.

CHMERKOVSKIY: Oh, we laughed about it.

(LAUGHTER)

CHMERKOVSKIY: We definitely laughed about it.

LOPEZ: Well, I have got an e-mail question I want to get to from Marie from Mallory in Syracuse. And Marie (sic) writes: "Hi, Marie, with all you have been through, how has dancing helped you? And good luck."

OSMOND: Oh, how sweet. You know, it's really interesting because I have gotten thousands of e-mails in response to a lot of women out there who are my age -- and I'm a single mom, and you kind of get in your 40s and you feel like, well, my life is kind of done and it's a young person's world.

It is not. It has been great for me. I have lost weight. I feel good. I get it healthy. And it says to other women, never give up. Life is too great. I'm smarter than I have ever been, finally! And I'm having more fun than I have ever had. And really, that's why I did the show, is to say, you know what, this is not just a young person's sport, this is an every-person's sport. And that's why I did it. LOPEZ: It definitely is. That's the beautiful thing about dancing, is you can do it for the rest of your life. One more quick e-mail question. This is for Helio, from Melissa in Dayton, Ohio. She wants to know: "When you won the Indy 500, you climbed the fence and you drank milk. What will you do if you win 'Dancing with the Stars'?"

CASTRONEVES: Wow, Melissa. Yes there was milk, I mean, I don't know, actually, that's a good problem to have right now. It's tradition in Indy. So hopefully -- hopefully, we will have champagne here. That will be interesting.

HOUGH: We can build a fence or something.

CASTRONEVES: It is a good problem to have.

LOPEZ: And maybe a big kiss.

HOUGH: Oh!

CASTRONEVES: Hey, oh, there he goes!

HOUGH: We already did that!

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: All right. Well, everyone, that is, unfortunately, all the we have time for tonight. Don't forget to check out Larry's Web site, cnn.com/larryking. There is still time to vote for who you think will win "Dancing with the Stars." Thanks to Larry, a big thank you for letting fill in.

I'm Mario Lopez. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" with John King starts right now.

KING: Thanks, Mario. And Happy Thanksgiving, and good luck to your finalists there, your guests at the end.

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