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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

'Dancing With The Stars' Competitors Discuss Challenges, Triumphs

Aired November 11, 2010 - 21:00   ET

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


LARRY KING, HOST (voice over): Tonight, we are "Dancing With The Stars". Bristol Palin, Jennifer Grey, Brandy, Kyle Massey and their partners, are here, with the truth behind the tears.

JENNIFER GREY, ACTRESS: The pain is just a feeling, you know, just push through.

KING: The home sickness that almost crushed one of the contestants.

BRISTOL PALIN, CELEBRITY: I'm going to miss being able to spend time with my family.

KING: The sniping beyond the spotlight. Tom and Brooke tell us what they think of the competition so far.

Shine up the mirror ball trophy, we are "Dancing With The Stars" next, on LARRY KING LIVE.

KING: Season 11 of "Dancing With The Stars" and joining us the four contestants who are still standing and still dancing. Actress Jennifer Grey, Bristol Palin, the former first daughter of Alaska, the Grammy winning singer and actress Brandy and Actor Kyle Massey, the youngest of this year.

Let's look back at what got the contestants where they are today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING, DANCING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love the taste of Brandy in the evening. After this, I could have more and more and more.

SINGING: That ain't the way to have fun, no, no. That ain't the way to have fun, son

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way you step on your legs, the way you undulate you body, girlfriend, I see a future for you.

SINGING: Shake, shake it, shake, shake it, shake it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of like a sexy, hot, energizing bionic bunny out there dancing the jive. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was by far the most fun I have had as a viewer, as a judge.

KING: As we say in college basketball, the final four.

Jennifer, you surprised you made it this far?

JENNIFER GREY, ACTRESS: I'm just grateful and glad I'm still chugging along.

KING: Bristol, why did you say yes to doing this?

PALIN: I said yes to doing this because I knew people were going to talk about me no matter what. So I might as well do it.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Brandy, are you surprised at how far you have gotten?

BRANDY: I am surprised.

KING: You're not known as a dancer.

BRANDY: Not at all. I'm just wanted to go as far as I could and very thankful I'm here. So much fun, and exciting.

KING: Kyle, were you surprised to be asked?

KYLE MASSEY, SINGER: I'm surprised about everything. Surprised I made it this far. I'm just surprised I'm on the show. But I'm very happy. Like it has been probably one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I think I can speak for all of us, when I say just the set is breathtaking.

KING: Jennifer says, that we've been doing this for years. How difficult is it, the work leading up to it.

GREY: It is really-it's grueling. It's relentless and it is beyond fun. It may be the funnest thing I have ever done.

KING: Even though it's all of what you said before?

GREY: Yeah, because what it is you are being challenged and learning to do something you have never done before and learning to do it-like, fast.

KING: People saw you dance in a famous movie.

GREY: Yeah, it is different. Live is different. Doing a different dance every week and a having this amazing dance teacher, this pro who is a great dancer, spend all day, every day to make you good. What about that? It's good.

KING: What's it been like for you Bristol? The experience?

PALIN: Such an awesome experience. I never danced before in my life. I never performed. I'm coming out of My shell and I'm blessed to be here and I'm having such, just a good time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, you are.

KING: We are going to have everybody with their individual partners and individual segments, and then they will all be on together at the end. And the hosts will be with us, too.

Brandy, has it been tough?

BRANDY: It has been very tough. But at the same time, exciting and inspiring. I'm learning how to do something that I have never done before. I love a challenge. This is the perfect show for that.

KING: Are you competitive, Kyle?

MASSEY: I am definitely competitive. Mainly because like, whenever you enter a situation, you never want to enter it, like, doing it half way. You want to completely commit to it. If I'm going to dance on national television in front of half the world, I might as well commit to it and have fun while I'm doing it. So, it's a blast.

KING: The people voted off so far, Kurt Warner, just got voted off. Rick Fox, Margaret Cho, Florence Henderson, THE SITUATION, David Hasselhoff, Adrina (ph) Partridge-Patridge (ph), rather-and Michael Bolton.

Were you surprised at any of them, Jennifer?

GREY: I have been surprised.

KING: Going off, I mean.

GREY: Every week, I have been surprised by who is sent home. Every week, it is like we never know. I'm always a little shocked.

KING: What about you Brandy?

BRANDY: Me, too. I was very shocked at Rick Fox and Adrina (ph). They were doing great and they did some of their best dances, and they were voted off. I didn't understand that. I was really disturbed by that, because they were so good.

KING: Bristol, were you surprised at some of the people cut?

PALIN: Yes, I think we are all surprised every week. Because you can have such high scores and be voted off.

KING: How competitive is it to you?

PALIN: I'm extremely competitive, in general.

KING: You want to win.

PALIN: Yes, of course, I want to win. But I think, for me, I have been lowest score since the beginning of the show. For me, it's just going against myself, and working my hardest and just improving for myself.

KING: Do you think the public likes you more than the judges? Obviously?

PALIN: Yeah, obviously.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Kyle.

MASSEY: Yes, sir?

KING: Anyone you are particularly disappointed at getting voted off?

MASSEY: Well, I mean, like being on this show for, what, eight weeks now. Like each week that we are there, we actually grow a bond closer to each other. I mean, because we all share the same building and we share the same everything.

KING: So, you made friends out of this?

MASSEY: Yeah, so it is like, it always sucks to see people go. I said that this show is probably the only show on television that it is normal for the show to be unpredictable. Normal for it to be unpredictable.

KING: One never knows when you do live television.

MASSEY: Never know. Never know.

KING: Jennifer, when it is competitive, and you say it is competitive, are you there rooting for people to get tossed? You must be.

(LAUGHTER)

GREY: Actually, all of my attention goes to doing my best. I don't really have an ounce of extra energy to put toward anyone else's destiny. I'm trying to do my best, honestly.

KING: Is it rough, Bristol, when the judges rap you?

PALIN: When they --

KING: Knock you?

PALIN: Not for me. I have really tough skin. Sitting out there, and they are critiquing me and what not, I just take what they are saying and use it to my next week's dance.

KING: Do you think coming from a political family helps?

PALIN: Yes, I think so. I have really tough skin.

KING: You have been involved in winning, I mean, in politics, there are nights you win and lose.

PALIN: Yeah, there are lots of nights where you win and lose. I'm just thankful to be around.

KING: Brandy, have they knocked you?

BRANDY: They have criticize me, of course. And, again, what Bristol said, I just take that and try to apply it to every dance I get a chance to do.

KING: Kyle you are unknockable, because (INAUDIBLE).

(LAUGHTER)

Let's check in with the host of the show, Tom Bergeron.

My buddy, Tom, tell us what's next.

TOM BERGERON, HOST, DANCING WITH THE STARS: Well, Larry, coming up, is a young man, a friend of mine, whom William Shatner believes to be the greatest dancer in America, despite his woeful ability to grow facial hair. Derek Hough, coming up next, Larry.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: You got it and we'll be right back.

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough have consistently scored some of the highest marks on this season's shows. Here is a look at some fancy footwork. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jennifer is unstoppable, because she is hot, hot, hot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jennifer Grey and her partner Derek Hough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This really is prime time delight!

KING: How is she doing, Derek?

HOUGH: She's doing great. Unbelievable. It's a such a joy and pleasure to work with her and, you know, it's been fantastic. She works so hard. She puts 110 percent into every rehearsal. We have been on a roller coaster. It started out fantastic. We went through tough times physically, but she's pushed through it. She found a second wind.

KING: What's he like as teacher, Jennifer?

GREY: Well, because he's so gifted, it's hard for him to imagine not being gifted. He's very much a perfectionist, which makes him a great dancer and a great teacher. He's got eyes in the back of his head. He's got eyes on every part of my body with every move I make. Don't you?

KING: You dance for a living?

HOUGH: Yeah, I do other things as well, but I definitely take pride in being able to teach someone and see them grow as a student, and also as a friend and also as just a person. It's very rewarding to do that.

KING: Maybe not surprising to see Jennifer doing so well. Because we are going to show you a scene now from one of the most famous movies ever made, "Dirty Dancing." Here is Jennifer, it is hard to say this, with the late Patrick Swayze.

(BEGIN MOVIE CLIP)

SINGING: I owe it all to you.

I had the time of my life and I owe it all to you, I been waiting for so long, now I finally found someone to stand by me

KING: He was something, wasn't he?

GREY: He was a very, very special guy. Very gifted and special.

KING: You saw the movie, I assume, Derek.

HOUGH: Yes, absolutely.

KING: Did it make it tough to dance when you started dancing with her?

HOUGH: Well, you know, I think-I definitely didn't have any like expectations, because I knew the movie was from a long time ago. The also the amount of dancing she did in the film was actually quite minimal, you know, compared to what you do on the show, as far as the intensity and the amount of work you do. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased to see she has a sort of -- it's in her body. Her father is Joe Grey. I think that entertainment, kind of dancing is in her body. She's not a trained dancer by any means, but she's got it in her. She's got the passion. She loves doing it and that to me translates.

KING: Her father is the living George M. Cohen.

GREY: If he came back to life, he would come back as Joel Grey. Who could forget? He's unbelievable. Academy awards-he's coming back to Broadway, right?

GREY: Yeah. He'll be doing "Anything Goes", this spring, in New York.

KING: How are your legs holding up?

GREY: My legs. I don't know, how are they holding up.

KING: The wear and tear?

GREY: I'm still walking, aren't I?

KING: The wear and tear, must be-I mean, you rehearse every day, right?

GREY: I would say that my body is experiencing sensations it's never had before. I feel like I'm pushing through and taking care of myself. I feel, I don't know, I feel like this whole new excitement about the next couple of weeks. I feel like this pain is just a feeling, you know, just push through. It's almost over. Let's make the most of it.

HOUGH: It's cool kind of cool, you know, watching Jennifer surprise herself every week. She's like I don't know if I can do this, I don't know, then she goes out there and does it. That's what makes the whole experience rewarding. Seeing this light go wow, I did it. I can't believe it.

KING: Thank you, guys. You will be back at the end. Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough.

Now, back to Tom. Who is next, Thomas?

BERGERON: I'm standing with two people. Bristol Palin improved remarkably week in and week out on "Dancing With the Stars," the other, Mark Ballas who, frankly, hasn't improved that much.

But, he started out OK. They are coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Bristol Palin and her partner, Mark Ballas. They have taken critical jabs from the judges. They keep on keeping on. Here is a look at their team work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, there's pistol, Bristol Palin and her partner, Mark Ballas.

Bristol, I have to say, has got guts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a confession. I thought you were going to come out and be boring. I was so wrong.

(MUSIC, DANCING)

KING: Has she gotten better week in and week out?

MARK BALLAS, DANCER: Absolutely. If you watch the first tape to her Argentine Tango, last week, I think it's a miracle. You have come so far. I really do, because on our first day, she had no idea how to count. Had zero, zero dance experience.

KING: Did you say to yourself, hopeless? BALLAS: I would say so. On the first day, I was like, OK, we really have to knuckle down. And she has come so far. This has been one of my favorite seasons to take a true beginner.

KING: What's he been like with you?

PALIN: He's been so great with me. I remember walking in the first day and was like, OK, I hope you have a lot of patience. He's had so much patience with me and he's really taken me out of my shell, and given me extra confidence to go in and perform.

KING: How do you deal with all the rumors about you two?

BALLAS: Oh, man, every season people likes to say something is going on.

PALIN: I haven't heard that many rumors.

KING: It was in the New York papers almost every other day.

BALLAS: Oh, really?

PALIN: Interesting.

KING: No truth?

BALLAS: No truth to that.

KING: Your mom has been to the show.

PALIN: Yes.

KING: Did it make you more nervous?

PALIN: No, it was really comforting, our mom's were sitting there together and just looking at them, and seeing them sitting there cheering us on, it was great.

KING: Where is little Trip during all of this?

PALIN: Trip is in California with me.

KING: Oh, he's here with you.

PALIN: Yes.

KING: That's terrific. Has Levi been supportive? Do you hear from him?

PALIN: I don't really hear from him. But I'm not here to talk about Levi, I'm here to talk about "Dancing With The Stars".

KING: Well, you know, people would be interested. You know, he's running. Well, I'm not going to ask you who you are going to vote for. That is your business.

(LAUGHTER)

Mark, what was the toughest part getting her over the hurdles?

BALLAS: The main challenge for Bristol has always been having a fear and just letting go. Just showing her personality. It's hard to capture in a 1:55 package how we are doing in rehearsal.

KING: That's all it is?

BALLAS: Yeah, it's like a 1:55. And just want people to see how funs she is and she is going for it. I think in our later dances, it's really starting to show. Getting her personality to shine has been the challenge. It's definitely happening now and we are glad to be here.

KING: We touched on it a little earlier, Bristol, you keep overcoming what the judges say, and the public keeps voting for you. Do you think it's due to the Palin name in addition to you getting better?

PALIN: I don't know. I just think people see my rawness and my vulnerability. I'm going into this competition and I'm very relatable. And the fact that I don't have performance background or don't have any dancing background. I think people would step back and say that's how I would be. It's how I would feel and how I would perform. I think I'm relatable in that fact.

KING: Didn't it take some guts for her to do this, Mark?

BALLAS: Absolutely. I admire her everyday. I think it's inspiring. For people at home tuning into the show, when they come home from their jobs, to their family, and just going about their normal day. They watch and they say that's how I would be. I'm not a dancer. If I took part in the show, it's how I would be. They like to see that journey. I think it is inspiring.

KING: Is it, you have mixed feelings, because I know you miss home.

PALIN: Yeah, I definitely miss home. I miss being able to spend time with my family. I'm having such a wonderful time here. I'm blessed to be on the show. We are going into week nine. I'm just thrilled to be around. This has been an awesome experience.

KING: Do you get nervous every week?

PALIN: Yes, of course.

BALLAS: I think I get more nervous than you, though.

PALIN: He gets pretty nervous elimination day.

KING: Who picks the dances?

BALLAS: When you get saved, they tell you your dance for the next week, and then they'll give you your song. KING: What's yours next?

BALLAS: Next we have Pasadelay (ph) and the slow waltz. We have two dances next week.

KING: The slow waltz would seem easier to teach?

BALLAS: It's kind of has a double-edged sword. Because it's slow, you can think and pace yourself, but it takes a lot more control. So you have to be very controlled. You can't rush through it. So that's a challenge in this dance.

KING: Have you started on it yet?

PALIN: We have not started on the waltz, but we started the Pasadelay this morning. I think they are completely different dances.

BALLAS: Yes.

PALIN: One is intense and one is elegant and graceful. It's going to be interesting to see if I can juggle both of them.

KING: Are you enjoying the sexy part of this? Because some of these dances--

(LAUGHTER)

KING: They are not unsexy.

PALIN: I think it's what I struggle with the most. I'm not the type of person that's like, oh, look at me at all. But, I'm having so much fun. Mark is really helping me with just going out there and jumping into it and trying my hardest.

KING: Are you a professional dancer?

BALLAS: Am I?

KING: Yes.

BALLAS: Yes.

KING: Do you teach dancing?

BALLAS: This is what I do for a living. I've devoted my life to it. And it's been an honor to take Bristol through this experience and get her to improve and I'm just really happy that we are still going.

KING: They will be back at the end. The show's co-host Brooke Burke is backstage.

Brook, who is coming up next?

BROOKE BURKE, DANCING WITH THE STARS: Well, Larry, I'm back here in the green room with Brandy and Mak. And these two have been on quite a roll for the last two weeks. And I have to tell you, Larry, they are giving up some very precious rehearsal time to be here with you today. You are going to hear all about it. Brandy and Max are coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Brandy and Mak have been getting good scores all season and are getting better. Check this out.

(MUSIC, DANCING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brandy has all the ingredients to make a great dancer.

She is one of the few contenders that has the fire for the Latin dances, but the elegance for the ballroom dancing.

(MUSIC, DANCING)

KING: OK, Mak Chmerkovskiy, how is she doing?

MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, DANCER: She's doing fantastic. We started off slow. It was sure footed. Everything was going well, according to plan. The audience kept bringing us back. Every week, she shows signs of improvement. We hit our stride a couple of weeks ago and been up there ever since. I'm very proud of her.

KING: How good of a teacher is he?

BRANDY: He's a great teacher. He's very passionate. He's a champion on the inside. I'm so happy to work with him everyday. He's tough, but I love it.

KING: You have to like him, right? For this to work.

BRANDY: He's definitely a friend of mine now. I think he really believes in me and he pushes me to be the best I can be. I want to thank him for that.

KING: OK, you are admittedly not a dancer?

BRANDY: I'm not a dancer.

KING: What was the toughest hurdle for you?

BRANDY: The toughest hurdle for me was connecting to my confidence and really believing in it myself. I think I was getting in my own way in the beginning and that was messing me up. That's me. Actually, I know that theory.

KING: How much of dancing is mental?

CHMERKOVSKIY: Most of it is mental. Anybody can dance. It's not a, you know, it's not a secret. I'm in the business of making anybody dance. But mentally, not everybody is up for a challenge. Also, not everybody is mentally strong enough to withhold the schedule of the show and all the celebrities going far in this competition, are a testament to their strength and will power.

KING: Brandy, Russians can be tough. Is he tough?

(LAUGHTER)

CHMERKOVSKIY: Don't help me.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Is he tough?

BRANDY: He's very tough, but a passionate tough. Like I said, he really believes in me. I need that. I need that push, because I don't want to slack off and I really want to go as far as I can in this competition.

KING: It is harder work than you thought?

BRANDY: Yes, absolutely. It is hard work, it is challenging but it's something I need to reawaken my strength. It's great.

KING: What happened with you and Judge Carrie Ann? Were you fighting?

CHMERKOVSKIY: We're not fighting. We are just passionate about our jobs, about what we do.

KING: You disagree with her?

CHMERKOVSKIY: Well, that's our job. Judges give their opinion, you know, I'm in the business of being judged and have been for the past 25 years. All the pros on the show that come from a dance circuit know what it's like to have a 15-people panel of judges and win a competition with seven of them marking you first and five marking you last. And you know, it is a matter of opinion.

KING: It is all subjective.

CHMERKOVSKIY: It's very subjective. And you know, I don't undermine Carry Ann's opinion, I just disagree with it. But I guess that's where we come back the next week and try to prove her wrong in do something she wants us to do.

KING: You think she's fair?

CHMERKOVSKIY: I think all the judges are fair in their own mind.

KING: How do you take criticism?

BRANDY: I take it well, I think. I try to apply what the judges say every week to every dance that I get a chance to do. It's been working out for me.

KING: Have they helped you?

BRANDY: They have helped me a lot. It's funny because the judges say the same things that Max always tell me in rehearsal. So I get to hear it before they even say it.

KING: How do you think you are going to come out? Truthfully.

BRANDY: I think anything is possible. But I'm definitely trying to push forward to win. I really want to win this.

KING: Would it shock you if you won this whole thing?

BRANDY: Oh yes, it would shock me, yes. I'm very humble about it. Of course, if that happens -- but I definitely want to go far.

KING: Brandy and Max will be back. Tom, who is next?

BERGERON Larry, coming up, a young man whom I have repeatedly been beating in backstage pull-ups, and a young woman who's blond hair is highly suspect. Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer are next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Kyle Massey has surprised a lot of people this season, maybe even himself. He and his partner, Lacey Schwimmer, know how to roll. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On to the stage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kyle is our star entertainer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I just fell in love. You are officially my first crush of Season 11.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: All right, Lacey, how's he doing?

LACEY SCHWIMMER, "DANCING WITH THE STARS": He's doing all right.

KYLE MASSEY, ACTOR: Not too bad.

SCHWIMMER: No, he's doing awesome. It was so unexpected what came out of him the first day in rehearsals and I've been super-proud of him every since.

KING: Was it tough at the start?

SCHWIMMER: Well, try taking a 19-year-old boy who would rather be at the movies and playing video games and stick him in a rehearsal studio for hours. It's a bit tough, yeah.

KING: What's it been like for you?

MASSEY: It really is probably one of the greatest experiences that anyone could ever -- KING: In all of your 19 years.

MASSEY: In all of my many 19 years, it's been pretty amazing. Like every step of the way has just been unforgettable, to the rehearsals, to the hours.

KING: What is Lacey like?

SCHWIMMER: Be nice.

MASSEY: She's not bad.

KING: Tough?

MASSEY: Yes, she's tough on me. But it's necessary. I understand that it's not personal. But she's just frustrated when sometimes I can't get a dance step.

SCHWIMMER: Or not remembering.

MASSEY: Yeah, sometimes the hardest part is actually remembering all the steps you learn, because, week by week, you learn so many dance steps that, after a while, they kind of all look alike.

KING: Nothing is perfect. Do you know when you goof?

MASSEY: Yeah, definitely. I think Lacey made a great point. I am my hardest critic, because I look at a dance and be like, oh my gosh, I messed that one step up. But the whole audience is going crazy. My mom is like you did so good. And I'm like, no, I messed up. I messed up, no.

Even her, the other day, I was like, Lacey, I messed up that one step. She was like it's OK. We got through it.

KING: A lot different audience from Disney?

MASSEY: Yeah, it's a little bit bigger. It's like 600 people instead of 35 million. I used to go out and the kids would be tugging at their parents, that's the guy. Now, it's the parents like, hey honey, that's the guy.

KING: Lacey, you cooled off after a hot start. How do you rebound?

SCHWIMMER: Well, we have been having a lot of fun this season. What you see with Kyle is what you get. He's a happy go lucky guy. We just hope to keep that going. If we can make it into the finale, that would be great. So we just need to keep that energy up.

KING: What's been the hardest dance?

SCHWIMMER: Can you remember any of the names?

MASSEY: I can't -- I think the Viennese Waltz was -- .

KING: You did the Viennese Waltz?

MASSEY: I did the Viennese Waltz. This hot body was Viennese waltzing all on "Dancing With the Stars." That was tough and I think --

SCHWIMMER: Tango was hard for you.

MASSEY: Tango was hard also.

KING: Tango is sexy dancing.

MASSEY: You know, it's -- I'm a sexy man in my sexy pants doing my sexy dance. That's what I always say. So --

KING: All right, it has to be asked, Lacey. During the tango, were you turned on?

SCHWIMMER: You have no idea.

(CROSS TALK)

SCHWIMMER: I love 19-year-olds. It's my thing.

MASSEY: It's something about my facial hair.

KING: You like him so much, you may adopt him.

SCHWIMMER: I know.

MASSEY: Exactly. Mommy.

KING: All right. What is your next dance?

SCHWIMMER: We have two full dances. We have the Argentine Tango, which is another sexy dance. So he's really excited about that one. And then we also have the Samba, which is really fun.

AMSSEY: Yes.

KING: There is a tango other than the Argentine Tango?

SCHWIMMER: Yes, different styles. Kind of crazy.

KING: Really, I only know -- it's all Argentine, isn't it? I thought.

MASSEY: Some are more fast paced. I have been Googling them and Youtubing some of the dances. And the Argentine Tango is more with the feet.

SCHWIMMER: It's more close.

MASSEY: More close hold.

SCHWIMMER: Good job, Kyle.

MASSEY: She choreographed. She doesn't want me to let go of her.

KING: Do you have a girlfriend, Kyle?

MASSEY: I do. But --

KING: Is she jealous.

MASSEY: Lacey is trying to mess that up. You know what I'm saying. Lacey is al over me. What can I say?

SCHWIMMER: You wish.

KING: It almost don't matter whether they win or lose. Tom, I understand we have a couple great looking guests coming up.

BERGERON: Well, Larry, you and I will handle the mature male category. But Dimples Burke will join us as well at the desk.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We welcome -- what are you doing? We welcome Tom Bergeron. He's back, of course, the host of "Dancing With the Stars." He was just touching her. With Brooke Burke, not only the co-host, she was the winner of Season seven. Brooke, why is this show so successful?

BROOKE BURKE, "DANCING WITH THE STARS": I think people get a chance to see a different side of celebrities. They get to see growth. They get to see fear. They get to see challenge. Everyone's true colors come out on this show. It's totally unpredictable.

I love this cast. We never know what's going to happen week after week. It's usually not like that.

BERGERON: Yes.

KING: What's it been like for you, tom?

BERGERON: This has been good. Season ten was very successful. That was the season that we occasionally beat "Idol" in the ratings. So that cast a long shadow. I think the producing team has done a superb job of not only assembly a cast that could equal season ten and, as Brooke says, continually surprising, in a way that season 10 wasn't. But also the production itself has been, from theme nights to our 200th show, to these instant dances that we did -- it's all working. It's all working, yes.

KING: "Dancing With the Stars" is in how many countries now? They have other -- each country has one.

BERGERON: Sixty.

BURKE: I'm not sure how many countries.

BERGERON: I think about 60 countries.

KING: Israel has one.

BERGERON: Yeah.

KING: Their "Dancing With the Stars," they have a same-sex couple? What do you think of that?

BURKE: I'm not quite sure. We were just talking about that earlier. I think it is going to be interesting for the pro that has to take on the role of the opposite sex and become the teacher. I don't know.

BERGERON: I'll just go on the record as saying I'm all for that.

(CROSS TALK)

BURKE: Ballroom, though, I'm not sure. Maybe a different style of dance. I don't know.

KING: What is the market value -- I know they are paid not a great amount of money. What is the market value of the Mirrored Ball?

BERGERON: Of the actual trophy? I think --

BURKE: Priceless.

BERGERON: I think so. But if you were to like put it on eBay, for example, I'm guessing 20 to 30 bucks.

KING: Maybe 35.

BURKE: Do you have any idea how hard I worked for that Mirror Ball Trophy? My Mirror Ball trophy rotates rooms, my daughters rooms. It's funny, because when people come over to the house, they don't want a picture with the family or with me. They want a picture with that Mirror Ball Trophy. So 30 dollars, I'm sorry.

BERGERON: But Apolo -- Apolo Ohno has said I think people want to see the Mirror Ball Trophy before his Olympic medals.

KING: Do you, in your heart, pick a favorite? You don't have to tell us.

BERGERON: Yes. Yes.

KING: Someone you want to win or who you think will win?

BERGERON: Both. I think -- yes, it's not always the same person using those different categories. Sometimes the person I would like to see win probably won't. I have been notoriously bad at predicting who will win from season to season.

BURKE: Especially this season. That's a tough question, because I think it changes from week to week, you know.

KING: Are you surprised sometimes at who gets tossed?

BURKE: This season has been very surprising, yes.

BERGERON: Week one was surprising with the Hoff gone right away.

KING: Who?

BERGERON: David Hasselhoff. We thought he would be around for a while.

BURKE: Then Audrina (ph). You know, I thought she had a lot of potential. I was always a Kurt Warner fan. It was a little bit sad last night. Rick took it so seriously. He was emotional. It's always a surprise. Tuesdays are always tough.

KING: Do you think it's tougher on Ms. Palin?

BERGERON: Look, it's funny. Somebody said to me today, as a matter of fact, when I was getting coffee, wow, Bristol is still there. Do you think you're going to have to look at the voting? I said, no, it's working. It's working perfectly.

I think Bristol said it herself, the judges have been scoring her low, but clearly the viewing public who comprise 50 percent of the vote have been rallying to her. So to anybody who said to me, well, it's not fair, I immediately say, so then you voted for -- well, I didn't vote. Well then look at the midterms, too.

KING: How many votes come in?

BURKE: We are not privileged to that information. We don't get that information. It's very secretive. In fact, we don't find out who is leaving until moments before that elimination happens live.

KING: You don't know?

BURKE: I choose not to know.

KING: Tom?

BERGERON: I didn't used to know, because I didn't trust my ability. I thought that if I saw that person during the day, I would go bye.

BURKE: I think I would treat them differently.

BERGERON: But now quite often, I do know.

KING: Isn't it better not to know?

BERGERON: I'll just say this, we have two daughters, my wife and I -- not Brooke and I, but my wife and I.

KING: You wish.

BERGERON: That will need explaining at home. But for the first daughter, I knew for six months that we were having a girl and my wife didn't. So I can keep a secret pretty well. BURKE: I don't want to know. I want to experience that moment live. I don't want to treat anybody differently. I don't want to be like hi. How are you?

BERGERON: That's how you treat me every week.

KING: After talking to them all tonight, this seems like a very -- this final four a very fun group.

BERGERON: They are. They really are.

BURKE: It's a lot of fun. Those instant dances last week also were so exciting. There's so much energy.

KING: You both do a great job.

BERGERON: Thank you.

BURKE: Thank you very much.

BERGERON: By the way, it's been great to come back. Next time, we do this at Nate and Al's I was saying.

KING: Good idea. Put you in the aisles. When we come back, everybody will be here. So stick around.

(NEWS BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Jennifer and Derek, Bristol and Mark, Brandy and Max, and Kyle and Lacey. Derrick, do you choreograph the act?

HOUGH: Yeah, yeah.

KING: It's up to you. There's no outside choreographer.

HOUGH: No, no, no outside choreographer. We are up to everything. So it's everything from the costumes to the concepts to the choreography. So it's a big task. A lot of weight on our shoulders, but it's a lot of fun.

KING: Let's get a tab on the competition. Bristol and Mark, what do you think about Jennifer and Derrick?

BALLAS: I think they're really strong. And they've definitely had awesome improvement from the start. Jennifer was -- got a great partner, so she's lucky to have Derek. He's been a two time champ. He knows what it's all about. And I think she's in good hands.

KING: Would you make them one of the favorites?

PALIN: Of course. They're awesome.

KING: It would be not humbling to lose to them? You want to beat them, don't you?

PALIN: Of course I want to beat you guys, but you guys are great.

KING: Jennifer and Derek, what do you think of Bristol and Mark? Truth.

GREY: The truth is you're so amazing to watch blossom. It's just been gorgeous. And I'm just so impress the with the huge, huge jump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I gave her a nickname. I call her the Bristallion.

KING: Brandy, what are your thoughts, you and Max, on Kyle and Lacey?

BRANDY: Kyle and Lacey are actually my favorite couple. They are. I've told them that a million times.

I mean, I love you all too. We've got a bond. You know what it is. But I just -- I've watched Kyle for a long time on television. And my daughter loves him. And Lacey's so cute. So we like them a lot.

KING: Max, you may be the most competitive of all. I sense that in you. I don't know what it is. It's just the feeling I have. Maybe it's my impression, my mother was Russian and -- what do you make of Kyle and Lacey?

CHMERKOVSKIY: I think -- I make same thing as everybody else makes of them. They're probably the most entertaining couple we've had on the show ever. And he comes out -- his smile is very contagious. We all backstage, we can be in a bad mood for whatever reason, and Kyle walks in, everybody's laughing and joking five minutes later.

So, you know, it's amazing to watch. And he translates that into his dancing, which is great. And then Lacey's been doing a phenomenal job, given that he's gotten the attention --

KING: All right. We'll turn the tables. Kyle, what do you think of Brandy and Max?

MASSEY: I think Brandy and Max, they're just -- they are unbelievable, man. I think that they have a great chemistry. And I think that they have excellent work ethic. Like you guys are in the dance studio all the time and no matter what going on, ups and downs, fights or smiles --

KING: Are you all working out in the same area?

MASSEY: Yes, we're all in the same area. That's the reason I said it always sucks to see somebody go home, because we've all grown so fond of each other, minus Mark, I mean --

(CROSS TALK)

KING: Lacey, what do you think of Brandy and Max?

SCHWIMMER: Well, I think that they're the perfect partnership. I think his strength with her is bringing out the character that she plays every week. And you see it on camera. And she just transforms. It's amazing to see. She's one of the best dancers on the show. And it's great to be cast with her.

KING: She mentioned character. Jennifer, do you become a character in a sense? Are you acting?

GREY: I feel like each dance is a different role. Yeah. I do feel that.

KING: What was the hardest dance for you?

GREY: The Pasa Doble (ph) was the hardest dance for me.

KING: Because?

GREY: It was that whole rock 'n' roll theme that I felt a little long in the tooth for. But I think I pushed because I felt like I needed to. And I think that was where I went off the rails a little bit.

HOUGH: It was kind of crazy with all the explosions going off. And actually what they didn't show you, too, was we had a black floor for the show and they changed it like five minutes before the live show. And it was the kind of crazy thing that you don't see behind the scenes. But they always change things on us back stage. So it's kind of crazy.

KING: Do you worry about the judges? Do you think about them when you're dancing?

PALIN: Yeah, like I catch a glimpse of their face and sometimes it's like, oh, great, like got to just get through this routine, and sometimes it's like, oh, we're doing good. But -- I'm serious.

KING: You're judge aware, as they say.

PALIN: Yeah. Yeah. Kind of.

KING: Mark, are you?

BALLAS: Yeah, you have to be. You have to take what they say and kind of apply it to the dance each week. But for us, we're more challenging ourselves. We want to just push through and get better and better every week. Our scores have kept us consistently at the bottom, but, you know what, that's all right. We're having fun and we're having a good time. We just want to keep pushing.

KING: We're going to gather everyone in front of our wall. And when we come back, we'll get each of their predictions on who is going to win. I want an honest prediction. Entire cast is going to dance us off, too. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: OK. By the way, Michael Moore tomorrow night. This will not be taken personally. Let's run them down, Jennifer, Derek, who's going to win?

GREY: I think it could be anybody.

KING: oh, come on.

GREY: I'm serious. It could be anyone.

HOUGH: I think at this point in the competition, everyone is kind of an equal playing field. I think everyone has a different strength and a different --

(CROSS TALK)

KING: Kyle, why are you hiding over there?

MASSEY: I'm not.

KING: Lacey, Kyle, who's going to win?

SCHWIMMER: Who do you think is going to win?

MASSEY: That's your question.

SCHWIMMER: What?

MASSEY: Huh?

SCHWIMMER: Huh? Honestly, I think it's either between Brandy or Jennifer.

KING: OK.

(CROSS TALK)

KING: Bristol and Mark, who's going to win?

BALLAS: I have to agree with Lacey on that. I think it's, between Jennifer and Brandy.

PALIN: I disagree. I think it's going to be Kyle, because Kyle has a good personality, on and off the dance floor.

MASSEY: That a girl, Bristol, right here.

KING: Max and Brandy, who's going to win?

BRANDY: I think we're all winners at this point. We're all in the same boat. But if I had to choose, I would want Max to win, because he's been in the finals so many times and --

KING: Max, are you picking yourself?

BRANDY: I want him to win.

CHMERKOVSKIY: I think all the pros can relate to the fact that we don't go into competition not trying to be a winner.

KING: So you should pick yourself.

CHMERKOVSKIY: So we all pick ourselves. But I'm rooting for everybody every week.

KING: Can you be objective, Brandy? Who's going to win?

BRANDY: I can't be. I'm sorry.

KING: Can you have an opinion?

BRANDY: I'm going with Tom.

BERGERON: I actually have a winner, but I was thinking "Survivor Nicaragua," that barrel chested guy with the sun burn. Shoo-in.

KING: You have a winner?

BURKE: Every week it changes, and I honestly don't know. I really, really don't know. But I wish you all luck.

KING: By the way, Tom, there's a white wagon waiting for you outside. OK. Let's dance us out, guys.

(CROS TALK)

KING: You go, girl. You go, girl.