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CNN Larry King Live

Encore Presentation: Stars of 'Dancing With the Stars' Tell All

Aired February 25, 2006 - 21:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is "Dancing With the Stars."


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, the stars of "Dancing With the Stars" tell all and take you inside the TV sensation that swept America off its feet. Which celebrity is going to win?

We'll ask actress and TV host Lisa Rinna, eliminated from the show last week; actor George Hamilton, he was eliminated earlier this season; Drew Lachey, the singer/actor is one of the last three stars left dancing, along with Stacy Keibler, the leggy wrestling diva and Jerry Rice, the pro football great who's still alive despite the lowest scores last week.

They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening and then there were three. Season two of "Dancing With the Stars" started with ten couples but only a trio of duos remain and for the next hour we'll put some of the survivors and a couple of the casualties through their paces here on LARRY KING LIVE.

Stacy Keibler, why did you enter this?

STACY KEIBLER, PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER: Well, I thought that this was going to be such a great experience and it really has been the best thing I've ever done.

KING: Because?

KEIBLER: I've never worked so hard for something in my entire life and I've given up my life. I put my heart and soul into it and I'm just so excited that the show is a hit and that I'm a part of it and that I'm working for it. I'm working to entertain and perform for people.

KING: Does it beat wrestling?

KEIBLER: It's totally different than wrestling. It's a totally different experience. This is the best thing I've ever done so...

KING: And you've made that clear.

KEIBLER: And it's true like so seven years in the wrestling business I thought that that was the best thing I've ever been a part of and now this came along, so...

KING: George Hamilton, I know you're now eliminated after round five but why George? You didn't need this for the career, why?

GEORGE HAMILTON: Larry, this was a near death experience for me. I was -- I would have shot myself in the knee had I gone any longer. It was great. I actually started and thought it would be a fun thing to do until they told me what it was about and then all of a sudden I busted four ribs and I thought I was out of it.

And, instead they saw Sea Biscuit here and I went on week after week and I actually got better and felt so good at the end of the time that it was a little bit of a disappointment but I was very happy to exit when I did. It was great for me.

KING: Did you expect to last longer?

HAMILTON: No, not really. I thought I'd be out in a couple of days but it kept getting on and it's so bizarre. A lot of the people not in the outside world have no idea right now what you're in for the minute you go in a nightclub. I've been asked last night in the Dominican Republic, I was asked by 30 women to dance and one woman just threw herself on me and knocked me down on the floor. And I said I had four busted ribs. She said "You don't tonight."

KING: All right, Lisa, what was the kick for you? Lisa's the host of "Soap Talk" on cable TV and you're out now but what was the click for you?

LISA RINNA, ACTRESS/TV HOST: Well, you know, Larry, it changed my life. It touched me so deeply emotionally I would have never imagined that in a million years. It just opened me up. It was like taking me out of my comfort zone and putting me in this situation where I was rehearsing seven hours a day with Louie, who is a genius, genius champion dancer, who turned my life around and I feel changed forever.

I really truly do. It moved me so incredibly and I loved all these people that we worked with. I loved every single one of them. We had the time of our lives. I wouldn't change it for the world.

KING: But it is a competition, isn't it?

RINNA: It is a competition. It really is. And I think we were all competing really against ourselves more than anyone else. Don't you all think that?


HAMILTON: Absolutely.

RINNA: I really do. I mean it is a competition but we were all out there doing our personal best. Yes, it's sad not to be there this week but I love Drew, Stacy and Jerry and I hope the best for all of them. Whoever wins, any of them are fabulous. We've all had such a great time. I mean truly it changed my life. KING: Drew Lachey, as a competitor you're still around right?

DREW LACHEY, SINGER/ACTOR: Still hanging on.

KING: He's a former member of the boy band 98 Degrees, the brother of Nick Lachey of Nick and Jessica fame, actor, Broadway performer. Why did you go into this?

LACHEY: Basically for me it was just because I love to perform. From my days of 98 Degrees I've been doing this since I was 19 years old so I started just performing at that age and then Broadway came along and I started doing that and I just -- this is where I feel comfortable.

This is what I feel comfortable doing is just performing, whether it's dancing or whether it's on Broadway or whether it's singing, it's just this is what I do.

KING: Are you a professional dancer?

LACHEY: Some people will say I am now but no way, no way. I see the guys, the professionals that actually do this and I see what they're capable of and I've seen their competition tapes and it would take me years upon years to even come close to touching what they do. I mean it's ridiculous what these guys are capable of.

KING: Yet you enjoy it?

LACHEY: Oh, absolutely. I mean I'm getting in good shape. I have a good time. I have fun with my partner. I've met great people, great friends. It's been -- it's been an amazing experience.

KING: And now in San Francisco the great Jerry Rice. If you don't know it, he's the greatest wide receiver in the history of football, one of the great professional athletes of all time. He's a record setter in every department, touchdowns, passes caught. He played 16 seasons, won three Super Bowls. Why, why are you in this?

JERRY RICE, FORMER NFL GREAT: Why? I don't know. No, to be honest with you, you know, after performing for 20 years on the football field, then I got approached with "Dancing With the Stars" and I said to myself why not, you know, go for it, you know, because it totally took me out of my comfort zone.

And it's been really a great experience, a very, you know, a learning process for everyone and I had a chance to meet so many fantastic people and I think we're competitors and we go out there weekly but, you know, we support each other and you want to win. And, you know, I have always looked at myself that way and when I'm on that dance floor it's 100 percent.

KING: Had you taken this up sooner, had there been a dancing with the stars when you were 21, would you have been a better wide receiver?

RICE: Well you look at Lynn Swann. I think he took ballet and he was, he did some amazing things, you know, like when he was floating through the air he was catching the football.

There's a possibility because, you know, this learning experience has just been unbelievable, going out there and you have to use muscles that you're not accustomed to using. And when I'm on that floor, you know, it's my partner and I and we go for it, you know. We want to entertain the crowd.

And you look at George, you look at all the competitors, you know, these guys they know how to entertain a crowd and I take my hat off to them because I feel like we have done a wonderful job, you know, on "Dancing With the Stars."

KING: Stacy, did it surprise you how much you like it?

KEIBLER: Yes, it did. It surprised me how much hard work we put in, how much time and how much I'm really enjoying this. I don't want it to be over. I really don't.

KING: I've never seen anyone as giddy about it as you. Do you think you're going to win?

KEIBLER: I don't know what's going to happen at all. I have no idea.

KING: Who's your partner?

KEIBLER: Tony Dovolani (ph).

KING: And do you know when is the next -- when is the next show?

KEIBLER: Thursday.

KING: And then there's another show on Sunday right?

KEIBLER: Yes that's correct. Thursday we have a show as normal where we each perform two dances and then on Sunday we'll all be performing one more dance and we find out who's the winner.

KING: When we come back we'll ask these folks why this show is such a hit. As we go to break, George Hamilton in rehearsal loses something. Watch.


HAMILTON: Sabotage. You know I try to make it fun for myself every day because you couldn't do this otherwise. If you don't find the joke in it, you couldn't do it.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stacy is the most naturally talented of all our celebrities. Stacy's legs are amazing. I've never seen anything like it, I mean super model legs. She's got the best legs I've ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She might be the best naturally gifted dancer but she doesn't communicate to us when she's dancing. She looks pretty. She looks relaxed. It looks easy. We all wish we could be like her but I don't know what she's actually saying to us.


KING: Her legs have been called weapons of mass seduction. Do you buy that criticism?

KEIBLER: What? Which one?

KING: That you're not communicating?

KEIBLER: No, I don't really buy it. Maybe in particular she's talking about one dance but I think over the course of the whole show I've showed a different range of emotions for each dance. I think that because I'm normally a very generally happy, smiley girl.

KING: No kidding.

KEIBLER: It was really hard for me in the tango to show anger and just having that "I hate you" face on so I think I've done an OK job of showing emotion.

KING: George Hamilton, why is this show a hit?

HAMILTON: Well, Larry, I think -- I think what's fascinating about this show is that you have -- the level four is not there. You have so many demographics here and you have so many people from different fields and there is not a way. I'm 66 years old.

Now there's no way that I could be, I can compete with those guys but what's wonderful is you have these judges who basically will say things straight. It could offend. But then you have the public who can balance it out and overrule everything that's been said. So what you've got here is great TV and what's wonderful about it is that we did love each other, all of us.

RINNA: Yes, we did.

HAMILTON: We were all -- all of us were really enthralled with each other but at the same time it's like being thrown to the lions. One of us has to win. I was just happy I had -- I got out before I had to kill myself or one of them.

KING: Last week by the way this show had a million more viewers than -- a million more viewers than the Olympics.

KEIBLER: Really?

KING: Lisa, Lisa why is it a hit? RINNA: I think it touches America's heart. I think everyone really loves to dance and they would love to secretly be out there. They love to see us struggle. They love to see our passion. They love to see us go out there. They're with us. They're fighting with us. They see themselves in us.

I think we're all learning and growing together through the show and you can watch it with your kids, your grandparents, your mom and dad. It is like the variety show of the '60s I think.

KING: Nick, why do you think?

LACHEY: I think the biggest thing that appeals to people from the show is the fact that it's bringing a little bit of class back (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Oh, I said Nick. Nick is your brother.

LACHEY: That's all right. My third grade teacher did the same thing so I'm used to it. Ms. DeGraffenery (ph) what's going on? No, I think it brings a little bit of class and elegance back to television. With so much garbage on TV right now it's nice to see people getting dressed up. The audience is dressed up. People are there having a good time.

And it's -- there's built-in human drama. I mean people are out there risking embarrassment in front of 20-some million people and sometimes they do embarrass themselves and sometimes it works out for the best. It's the human drama.

KING: Jerry Rice, did your former teammates kid you?

RICE: No, you know what, when I was in Detroit for the Super Bowl all the MVPs they supported me. They said "You're doing a fantastic job. Just keep doing what you're doing."

And what I like about this show is that, you know, families can watch and so many little kids, you know. They, you know, they are watching and they're voting and those little kids are involved.

And, you know like I said, this really this is like an experience of a lifetime for me. When I'm 60, I'm 70, you know, I'm going to look back and I'm going to say, wow, you know. If I'm in that rocker I'm going to say to myself I had a great time, you know, out there dancing. And also, you know, the people that I competed against, you know, I'll never forget and it will always be a part of my life.

RINNA: And, Larry, I think this show inspires people. It's all about being inspired and how great to be a part of something like that.

HAMILTON: And I would have been a better wide receiver if we'd started this 20 years ago.

RICE: George, you need to keep your pants up. That's what you need to do. RINNA: We love you George.

HAMILTON: We love you.

KING: By the way, Jerry, '60s and '70s is not sitting in a rocker.

HAMILTON: Yes, tell him will you Larry? Tell him.

KING: OK, Stacy when did you -- how did you take up wrestling?

KEIBLER: How did I get in wrestling?

KING: Yes, why wrestling?

KEIBLER: I was a fan of the show. I went to all the events and then I saw an ad on television for the Nitro Girls and they were the group of girls that went out. They danced on commercial breaks. They threw out tee shirts and basically kept the fans alive during the commercial breaks of the show because there's nothing going on in the arenas.

And then got to do this kind of stuff, I won a contest. The fans voted for me and about a month after being a part of the Nitro Girls the writers and the producers of the show were like "We'd like you to be a character and be a wrestler on the show." And I went for it. I was 18 years old. I had no idea what I was getting into and now I'm sitting here because of it.

KING: Ever get hurt?

KEIBLER: Yes. Well I've broken my nose twice. I've cracked my ribs. I've had a hip pointer and I've had muscle sprains and bruises but I cannot compare that to anything that the men that are wrestling consistently every week have broken necks, broken backs. They work through their injuries and so that's really irrelevant to injuries in the wrestling business.

KING: We go to break. Here's Lisa Rinna's final appearance. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this seventh week of competition, the couple who after coming this far will not compete in the "Dancing With the Stars" finals, Lisa and Louie.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first couple definitely continuing on, Drew and Cheryl, Jerry and Anna (ph).


KING: It looks like you just scored a touchdown.

RICE: Yes, yes.

KING: Let's include some...

RICE: It felt that way.

KING: Let's include some calls, Norfolk, Virginia, hello.

CALLER FROM VIRGINIA: Hi. I'd just like to know how do you pair the professional dancers with the stars?

KING: Oh, how is that done do you know?

LACHEY: Well in my case it was whoever the shortest dancer was got paired with me. That's pretty much the way that worked out.

KING: Is there a method?

LACHEY: I'm sure there is. I'm sure -- I'm sure height comes into it and also I think people's ages and professional backgrounds. I think they put people that aren't naturally going to go together well I think they naturally put them together so they get a little good TV.

KING: Are you paired with tall people?

KEIBLER: Tony's tall, yes he is.

KING: I mean that would be logical to do that; Miami, hello.

CALLER FROM MIAMI: Hi. I would just like to know how Lisa's been doing since Thursday and to say I think she's a winner and she touched my heart by her -- by her very essence.

RINNA: Thank you so much and I want you to know that I'm doing really, really well. I know that I touched your heart. I know I touched a lot of people's hearts because I've had so many people come up to me and share their stories and share their love. I feel like a winner in many ways, you know. I feel like I did my job. I mean I was sad to go, of course, but I'm doing fine. I'm doing fine.

KING: Salem, Oregon, hello, Salem, Oregon are you there?


KING: OK, I'm sorry, go ahead Vancouver. I had the wrong number, go ahead.

CALLER: My question is for Stacy.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: Obviously this has been a great thing for your career going on "Dancing With the Stars," way more than WWE has been for you. Is there any future in the WWE for Stacy now that movie offers may be coming in more?

KEIBLER: Well, I'm still under contract with WWE so I will be going back to them as soon as this is over, after I take a slight vacation of some sort and get myself back together and get some sleep.

KING: OK, to Salem, Oregon, hello.

CALLER FROM OREGON: Hi, Jerry -- this is for Jerry.

RICE: Yes.

CALLER: Hi. With all the things that you've learned through this dance competition would he recommend it to any other football players because just the foot coordination, the speed, the athletic ability that you need would you recommend it to any other football players?

RICE: Yes, I would. I would recommend dancing. For me, you know, being this professional football player that had accomplished so much on the football field for me to cross over to dancing that was a major step for me.

But, you know, like all the other participants, you know, you open yourself up for criticism and I think I was able to overcome that. I was able to learn how to dance. I was able to use muscles that I have never used before.

And my wife -- my wife is really just loving me right now for that. I would recommend that, you know, and I think these guys by me making that major step like that, you know, they're looking and they're probably saying "It's OK." You know this guy he did everything on the football field and for him to go into dancing it's all right.

KING: George, were you crushed, fallen when you were eliminated?

HAMILTON: No, not at -- not at all. I actually was crushed, really crushed when Master P went because I knew I had -- I had to keep up the standard and I received all of his votes and then I gave all of his votes to Stacy because I'm -- I can't tell you how much I'm in love with this woman. She is such a wonderful person and such humility.

RICE: We know George. We know.

HAMILTON: She has such humility. It doesn't mean I'm taking away from the other guys but I've -- if this was a presidential campaign I would give all my votes to her right now (INAUDIBLE).

KEIBLER: Thank you George.

KING: So, in other words, George you're saying you want Stacy to win?

HAMILTON: Well, yes that would be the trophy I'd like to take home.

KING: He'd like to present it to her at home.

HAMILTON: Yes, you got it. You got it. No but this is -- she's a wonderful person and really deserves it. The things that she's gone through that I know that she's gone through with WWE in the sense of traveling and having to go 200 miles and eat cheeseburgers and wrestle and this woman has such humility and goes out there and effortlessly does this and then works all week, she's wonderful. And that's not taking anything away from Drew. I love Drew. Drew and I laughed the whole time. Jerry, Jerry and I are brothers. We know that.

RICE: That's right.

HAMILTON: We were separated at birth and...


HAMILTON: And I miss a lot of the people there. You know it was great.

RINNA: And, George, I know you love me. I know you love me, George.


HAMILTON: Lisa, you and I are -- there's nobody who's got more heart, any football player than Lisa has, nobody's got more heart.


KING: Wouldn't it be nice if someone just said "I don't like you"?

KEIBLER: Yes, it's not going to happen, Larry.

KING: Not a person here. How can there be this much -- do you all really...

RINNA: I don't -- I don't know what it is. It's a great group.

HAMILTON: We went through a war together.


HAMILTON: We were all stuck in an elevator together. We know what it's like.

KEIBLER: Yes, that's true. I really have never worked with such a great group of people and we all have the same goals and we're all working just as hard, so I think that's why we've all -- we all have a very special bond.

KING: You know you are competitive Drew right? You want to win.

LACHEY: Oh, absolutely and I mean I wouldn't -- I wouldn't have entered this if I didn't want to win but at the same time I can only do what I can do. I can only control what I can control on a dance floor. I want to see Stacy do well.

KEIBLER: Yes and I want Drew to do well.

LACHEY: I just want to do a little bit better.

RICE: And what about Jerry? Hey, what about Jerry?


LACHEY: Oh, Jerry.

RICE: You guys have forgotten about me.


KING: Probably no one wants to win more than Jerry right?

RICE: That's right. That's right.

KING: Jerry -- Jerry's a born competitor.

RICE: Absolutely.

KING: And he's been competing all of his life.

RICE: And guys you know -- you know but we still, we compete but we -- basically we respect each other and that's why we get along so well.

RINNA: It's very special. I have never seen it before. I really haven't. I mean we've all worked many different jobs and I don't know this group of people, we're all so different and we come from all these different walks of life really and we've all melded together even with the professional dancers. Everybody gets along and it's been magical.

HAMILTON: Jerry said to me the night that I was booted off the show he said to me, "It's my turn. I know I'm going to go tonight." I said, "No, Jerry, you're not going to go." He said "Yes, I know" he said "I can't understand why I've got the score I've got and I have worked so hard and I have worked at football and never worked this hard in my whole life and I'm not getting better." I said, "Jerry, I'm not a dancer. You're not a dancer." I said "We're just not dancers." I said, "We're doing the best we can."

I keep coming up with rabbits out of hats and trying to make movies out of this stuff and you're doing some great football plays. And I said "You know you're going to stay here. I'm going this week." I knew I was down and it's unfortunate but we -- Jerry can win this on popularity but you can't look at those legs of Stacy's and not say they're the longest things in captivity.

RINNA: That's true.

HAMILTON: It's unbelievable.

KING: George, it's coming through clearly (INAUDIBLE).

KEIBLER: I paid him before the show just to make sure that...

RICE: George is getting paid.

HAMILTON: I have an 800 line just dial in. Vote for Stacy.

KING: We'll take a break.

RICE: Hey, George, I've been known for my legs also OK.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. As we go to break here's a Drew Lachey moment.







UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A blockbusting ten.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There it is. There it is, a 30. man you are (INAUDIBLE). You got three of them together. Did you ever think that would happen this soon?





RINNA: This is the best experience I think I've ever had.


LOUIS VAN AMSTEL, DANCER: I will miss dancing with Lisa so much. She's my favorite student forever.

RINNA: It has been magical for me. Absolutely magical.


KING: We're looking at the extraordinary successful "Dancing with the Stars." And joining us now is Tom Bergeron, the co-host of "Dancing with the Stars." He co-hosts with Samantha Harris, who's a correspondent for E Entertainment. Tom also hosts "Hollywood Squares" and "America's Funniest Home Videos." And he's been a fill-in anchor on "Good Morning America" and on "The Early Show." How did you get this?

TOM BERGERON, CO-HOST, DANCING WITH THE STARS: I'm exhausted just listening to that. I got this, my agent called me and said ABC would like you to host a summer show, I think you should do it. I said, what is it? She said, it's a ballroom dancing show. I said, excuse me, I think I have a problem with the line. And then they showed me the British show which this is based on, "Strictly Come Dancing," immediately loved it, immediately loved it.

KING: Why?

BERGERON: Well I think Lisa mentioned something about it being like a throw-back to old style variety with the reality show element, the eliminations. The story lines, the personalities that you develop allegiances with in the course of the show, and it's live television. Unlike the bug eaters or the island hoppers, this is happening in realtime. It's true.

And she doesn't have to ride 200 miles to eat cheeseburgers and wrestle. I love that, George. That was great.

KING: Do you find yourself getting involved?

BERGERON: More than I thought I would. I actually danced for the first time in my life.

HAMILTON: Well, we'll hold our judgment on that. We gave you a nine, a seven, and a four.

BERGERON: Oh, really?

RINNA: No, he was fabulous, all nines.

HAMILTON: You were great. You were great.

KEIBLER: He was awesome.

BERGERON: But he did get, I got involved in the first series, just, I was amazed at the athleticism and the elegance and the sensuality of the dance. And then this season, I decided -- because Master P wouldn't show up on time.

So you know, there was a blocking rehearsal and all you guys had your partners and Ashley is standing there kind of twiddling her thumbs. He eventually showed up, but in the interim, I went over and I put on a P had and have it my best Connecticut boy from the hood look. And then ended up dancing with her on the set and we decided to do a routine last Friday.

KING: Are you doing something all day Saturday at ABC?

BERGERON: This weekend is crazy. I'm doing the two-hour live "Dancing with the Stars" Thursday. We have a two-hour "America's Funniest Videos" special Friday. Then "America's Funniest Videos" in its normal time period Sunday at 7:00, followed by two hours of "Dancing with the Stars" live on Sunday. It's the all-Bergeron company, ABC.

HAMILTON: Tom is the fastest gun in the West. I've never seen a guy with better ad libs, and he thinks on his feet better than any host I've seen.

BERGERON: Thank you, George, thank you.

RINNA: So good, we love Tom.

BERGERON: Thank you, Lisa.

KING: Were you surprised at its success?

RINNA: We love you.

BERGERON: Yes, I was surprised in the first season, a little less surprised this season in all candor because -- and I was excited about going on Thursdays because that's the most competitive night on television. And ABC has, you know, had tumbleweed rolling through on Thursdays for years. And so -- I'll hear from them now. So it was particularly gratifying that we have been doing as well as we've done.

KING: How important, Lisa, is the host?

RINNA: Oh, I think the host is so important. I mean, he is the show. He runs the show. It starts with him. And Tom is so quick and he's so loving. I love Tom Bergeron so much. He made the show that much more special.

KING: Does anyone not like anyone?

BERGERON: Yes, Drew doesn't.

LACHEY: I don't like Tom very much.

KING: Oh, good, thank God.

BERGERON: Here's where the love fest goes right in the crapper.

KING: What don't you like about him, Drew? He's a pain, right?

LACHEY: No, no, honestly, Tom has done an amazing job with the show. I mean, just the flow of the show, and how quick he is on his feet. I've gave him a couple of softballs in the past and he's hit them out of the park.

BERGERON: Well thank you for those.

LACHEY: You're very welcome. But it makes the show that much more fun. I mean, if you're worried about what the host is doing, you're uptight. But you're so relaxed.

KING: Stacy, we know you like him. KEIBLER: I love him. I know, I love everything. I'm so happy and I love everyone.

BERGERON: Can I say though, because I was sitting over there trying not to laugh, because they're shushing us in the background here. And that moment when we showed the tape of Carrie Ann saying, "I don't know what she's saying," and they took a shot of you. That was meanest I have seen you. And knowing you for two and half months.

KEIBLER: I was watching it.

BERGERON: You did it, it was sort of like...

KEIBLER: ... Carrie Ann, I'll get you this week, don't you worry.

KING: Jerry, you like Tom?

RICE: I think Tom is cool, you know. He does a fantastic job. And you know, he makes us really relaxed out there. He makes us laugh. And you know, for him to go out and dance the way he did, I was really surprised by that. He's tried to show us up. That was it. You know, he really did. Hey George, I think I might have to take him out, you know?

HAMILTON: I still miss Kenny Mayne. He went out a little too early because he had the best humor of anybody so far in the show, I thought.

RINNA: I don't know, George, you're pretty funny yourself.

KEIBLER: Yes, George.

HAMILTON: Well I miss Kenny and I miss Tia and I -- and we've also got, on Sunday night, Master P's back again and Tatum's back.

BERGERON: Everybody.

HAMILTON: Tatum's back. We get to reprise the dance.

KING: Is this a tough show to do live?

BERGERON: I love live T.V. I mean, it's like breathing pure oxygen to me. And so, no, it's tougher for me to do a taped show than a live show.

KING: Yes, me too. But I mean, with all the dances and the set- ups and everything.

BERGERON: No, that's hard for them. I mean, I danced last Friday to more fully appreciate what you guys go through. Having done that, this hosting thing's cushy.

KING: Thanks, Tom.

BERGERON: You bet, pleasure to be here. KING: Tom Bergeron.

BERGERON: Best of luck, guys. Best of luck, Jerry.

RINNA: Bye, Tom.

KING: When we come back, Bruno Tonioli will join us when we come back. We'll be including more phone calls and I'm going to dance later. Don't go away.


RICE: I have played in Super Bowls. I have played in the big games. This competition coming up, it's just like the Super Bowl to me. I want people to look and say, wow. Not only can this guy play football, but this guy can dance. Football is easy. This is -- this is hard.

ANNA TREBUNSKAYA, DANCER: He's already an amazing athlete. But it's still so different. The coordination, the speed, the footwork. Left heel down. This side moves. This stretches back.

RICE: Oh my God. You're just -- you're killing me right now.




LEN GOODMAN, JUDGE: It was all sizzle, no sausage.

BRUNO TONIOLI, JUDGE: Oh, no, no, I disagree. Len, it's American food.

GOODMAN: I want to get them into ballroom dancing. I didn't say...

TONIOLI: ... You are a weapon of mass seduction.


KING: We're back, and we now welcome to our panel Bruno Tonioli, the acclaimed choreographer who started his career as a dancer. He is one of the judges for "Dancing with the Stars." He also judges the very popular United Kingdom version of the show called "Strictly Come Dancing."

Is the show in Britain the same?

TONIOLI: Yes. It's a sensation. I mean, each season is stronger. What they all said is absolutely true. It captures. It is like going back in the golden days of Hollywood. It's a long time since you had a show on television that is all embracing. Everybody can enjoy. It doesn't exclude any element of your audience. And you have this kind of sporting atmosphere. If you come to the taping, it's like being in a gladiator situation. People screaming. They are shouting. There is the energy...

KING: Is it live in Great Britain too?

TONIOLI: Exactly the same, live. It's incredible.

KING: How do you as a professional choreographer judge amateur dancers?

TONIOLI: You see, you have to take each person as an individual. And you judge on what you see. You cannot be too -- you have to be very honest. I react -- I have a very gut reaction.

KING: But you can't judge them professionally? They're not Fred Astaire.

TONIOLI: It's not -- you don't judge them the same way you would judge a proper, let's say, ballroom competition. There are many elements you take into consideration. And I tend to favor the performance.

Each one of our -- each one of the judges has a direct and different approach to it. I tend to respond more to a very strong performance than let's say I kind of tend to sometimes be lenient on certain technical aspects. But as the competition progresses, obviously they learn more. So you expect more from them.

KING: Is he tough, Lisa?

RINNA: You know, I think he's really a pussycat. I do. No, I think the judges are very helpful actually. And I think they are very honest with us.

TONIOLI: It's true. Because if they actually listen to what we say, we actually always give them hints in the direction to go.

KING: Does he help you, Jerry, as good as a coach would?

RICE: Bruno? Bruno? No, you know, I'm surprised by that. Because, you know, Bruno, you've been very hard on me. You've been very hard. But, you know, I've got nothing but love for you.

TONIOLI: You're a legend. You really are great. It's the posture. I'm surprised that you still haven't got your posture right after all this way.

RICE: Bruno, I'm not a professional dancer. I'm not a professional dancer. I'm working on it, and I'm trying to get my posture right.

TONIOLI: I know. Even more so.

KING: What about Hamilton?

TONIOLI: So I feel like Tom Cruise on "Oprah."

KING: What about Hamilton?

TONIOLI: Oh, Hamilton's performances -- I mean, I know he's not the best dancer. But his performances were delicious. You were getting 25 different movies each time he did a routine. The only thing left out was drag. I think he's done almost -- we better get out because he's going to be unshowable.

KING: What about Stacy?

TONIOLI: Oh, but she's the natural. She really is. I've never seen -- this is the fifth series I've been doing. Literally, one after the other. And she really has an incredible, natural ability to dance. Those things is a gift. You've got a gift. Work on it because you really could work professionally on Broadway. You should dance for me in "The Producers."

KING: And how about Drew?

TONIOLI: Drew, again, I called him top gun. Because he's so efficient. He's like a jet fighter on target. His footwork -- I've seen some of the best footwork I've seen on Drew. Excellent.

KING: Bruno, you're a delightful addition. Stay with us. Hold it. We will come right back. We've got to take a break. We'll take a break and before we go to break let's check in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360" coming up at the top of the hour.

Anderson, want to dance?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm not a good dancer, Larry. But not as you good as you, nearly as good as you. That was quite was something. Thanks Larry.

Coming up at the top of the hour, we are going to take you inside a world you will rarely see, a world we wish you didn't have to see. A look inside the business of dog dealing.

Animal rights workers went undercover to work for what is called a class B dog dealer, a company that provides dogs to places like vet schools and research labs. What he found wasn't a business really. It was more like a torture chamber. Now, the question is, how many of these companies are out there?

Plus, we are going to take an in-depth look at medical mysteries, stories that literally are confounding doctors like a young boy who feels no pain or a girl whose skin burns when she is exposed to light. We'll have that and more at the top of the hour -- Larry.

KING: Thanks Anderson.

And as we go to break, a preview of what you are going to see in a little while. Watch.


I'm no Fred Astaire, but I've been known to bust a few moves on the dance floor now and then. So in honor of tonight's topic I brought in two of the show's professional dancers to teach me some fancy footwork.

They're Ashley DelGrosso and Jonathan Roberts, and they're incredible at their craft. And their first order of business was to show me the dance they'd have me doing.

Here's Ashley and Jonathan and the cha-cha-cha.

KING: OK, Bruno, how good were they?

TONIOLI: Well, they are very good. They're professionals. I mean, they've given you a kind of exhibition dance that a ballroom dancer would give you. So you can't really compare a couple that is used to this kind of competition to these guys that are coming in and being thrown into the lions.

KING: So they would each of them be a partner for these people, right?

TONIOLI: Yes. They just, you know, partner one of our guest celebrities in the competition, yes. But they're great.

KING: They showed me a little. Are we ready?

RICE: Bruno.


RICE: I love when you say good things about me. I just love it. I was waiting to get that in. I love it when you say good things about me, Bruno.

TONIOLI: But you are great. I really mean it.

KING: Hold it, hold it.

TONIOLI: I love legends.

KING: Hold it. That looked easy enough, right? After watching Ashley and Jonathan do the dance a couple of times I jumped in with both feet as they walked me through the steps. Take a look at phase two of my lesson.




KING: You're going to show me now?

DELGROSSO: Yes, I am going to do a little bit of a cha-cha.

So you are going to take this foot. You are going to step to the side on count one. So you go to the side one. Then you are going to step forward with this foot, forward, so you are going to step into my leg then back. And then go side together side. One, two, three. Step back with this foot. Back, then forward with this foot. One, two, three. One, two, three. Yes. Again. That's a cha cha basic.

KING: Play the music.

DELGROSSO: And a cha cha cha and a back and a front and a cha cha cha.

KING: Play the music! Play the music!

DELGROSSO: He wants the music played. Not bad, though.

KING: OK. I think I'm ready because I don't know what I'm doing. What happened to the dance?

Are we going to do the dance now? I was a little lost.

What about the heat packs?

KING: "Survivor" has its tribal council, "Extreme Makeover" has its big reveal. It's time to reveal just how much good was my lesson was in the cha cha cha. Judges, get the scorecard ready and watch.

Are you ready, Larry? Let's go.

KING: Dismissed. Play the music. Don't play the music.


KING: You're just running around.

DELGROSSO: I know, that's still good.

KING: Come here.

My turn.


KING: Be honest, Bruno.

TONIOLI: I'll be ruthless. I'm always honest. The basic, you started quite well. The hip action, that is always the thing. She actually didn't show the hip action. You have to use your foot correctly to get the correct hip action. But the basic was good. And you got a natural sense of rhythm, I can sense. And I think with a little bit more practice, especially maybe, you know, you should have a try, the two of you together. I know she can move.

KING: She's a wrestler.

TONIOLI: That's what I mean.

RINNA: I'm still learning myself how to do this.

KING: How did I look, Lisa?

RINNA: I think you looked great. I think you did a great job, awesome. How did you feel? Did you like it?

KING: I felt good. I liked it. I enjoyed it. I've gotten a little old for it.

HAMILTON: Call 911. That's how I felt every night.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments with the whole gang of "Dancing With the Stars." Don't go away.


KING: We're milking it now. Who was Master P?

TONIOLI: Master P, that's with Ashley. Master P is the one that didn't do anything. Master of nothing.

KING: He was a dancer?

RICE: I'm Master P now.

LACHEY: Master P is a rapper. His big battle between the judges and him was that he didn't really put in the time to learn the dances. He relied more on the fan votes. Which is part of the game, which is part of the breakdown of how it works. He stuck around for four weeks. And had eight weeks of total rehearsal.

TONIOLI: It was a bit unfair to Ashley. I mean, OK, you know you're not a great dancer, but you can still give a performance that is entertaining and satisfying to watch. One thing, I understand that you're not everybody's -- he doesn't do anything.

HAMILTON: Don't dis my homey, don't dis my homey.

TONIOLI: I say it as it is. That's the way it is.

HAMILTON: I know you do.

TONIOLI: George, you know me better than that.

RICE: You have to commit to it.

KING: Jerry, do you have a favorite dance?

RICE: I like them all. And I think I really like the foxtrot. I like the freestyle that we're going to do this coming week. And hopefully Bruno, you guys will get a chance to see another side of me. And you know --

TONIOLI: Jerry's working it. RICE: And I'll be able to come out and have a good time.

DELGROSSO: What's the secret?

RICE: My secret? I can't reveal my secret. You know I can't do that.

TONIOLI: You've got the package. You've got to use it right.

RICE: I'm going to use it. Okay, well thank you, Bruno, that's a compliment from you. Thank you.

KING: What's your favorite dance?

KEIBLER: I definitely prefer the Latin dances over the ball room. The Latin are more fast and more hip action.

KING: You've got a lot of hip.

LACHEY: For me it's the jazz. All the footwork and just the care free attitude of the jive. You know, it's a lot of fun to do.

KING: Lisa?

RICE: Come on, you guys are so good you can dance whatever you want to dance, you and Stacy, come on.

KING: Sounds like you're giving up. George, what's your favorite dance?

HAMILTON: I've certainly liked the one with the mask on. That was a fun thing. The mask and the sword. I never danced, I just used props every night. They never saw me. They accused me of using a body double.

KING: Lisa, what's your favorite?

RINNA: I like the jive. The jive and the pasa doble are my two favorites. I like them all but those are my two favorites.

KING: How good as judge is Bruno?

TONIOLI: Watch it, you still have a week to go.

LACHEY: Honestly, I think Bruno, he's -- he blends more of the technical side of things with the performance. He's kind of the -- Carrie-Anne is definitely more emotional. Deals more with just the performance and the feel of it. Lynn is very technical. And I think Bruno is kind of the meeting of the two.

TONIOLI: The mediator. I respond to -- I really appreciate, because I've been a performer. I've done it for years. And I really appreciate when somebody gives me heart and soul. I cannot be unaffected by it -- as a TV show audience you respond to what.

KING: The next show coming up is Thursday live. And then? TONIOLI: Sunday. We're all back.

RINNA: We're all back. We can't wait.

KEIBLER: All back together.

KING: The whole crew. Thanks, Lisa Rinna and George Hamilton and Drew Lachey and Stacy Keibler and Jerry Rice and Bruno Tonioli. We all thank them very much for being with us. We note with sadness the passing today of Curt Gowdy, one of the great and original sportscasters of all time.

Curt was 86 years old, he was a good friend of mine and everybody who knew and loved sports. He was the first really broadcaster for the American Football League. And he was on ABC and CBS and he did Olympics and he did that wonderful show about hunting and the outdoors. Kurt Gowdy will be sorely missed, a great name in sports broadcasting.

We now remind you that tomorrow night Carolyn Thomas will be with us. That's the young lady who was so badly shot up and wait till you see what she looks like now.

Anderson Cooper is standing by to host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. Which is coming up right now. Anderson, what's up?