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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Former POWs; Interview With Maureen McCormick; 'Dancing With the Stars'

Aired April 05, 2007 - 21:00   ET


PHIL MCGRAW, GUEST HOST: Tonight, the world held its breath while they were held captive for 13 days in Iran. Now, these British sailors are finally home. But what is the deal with the way they thanked Iran's president?
Did they mean it or were they saying whatever it took to survive?

We'll ask people who have been held against their will in life or death situations. Former POWs in Iraq. And an American who turned 21 while a hostage in Iran.

And then an emotional prime-time exclusive. "Brady Bunch" star Maureen McCormick, a teen dream to millions, finally opening up about her private nightmare, battling deadly bulimia and drug abuse.

Plus, the beauty queen who just became "Dancing with the Stars'" reject number two. Should other stars have gotten the boot instead? We'll ask the show's hot button judge.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, it spoiled it.


MCGRAW: And what some call the show's prom queen and king couple, Olympic skater Apollo Anton Ohno and his partner Julianne Hough. How is their chemistry off the dance floor? They're all next with me, Dr. Phil McGraw on LARRY KING LIVE.

Well, thanks for joining us. I'm Dr. Phil McGraw. Now I'm usually on the other side of the desk when I do this show, but Larry is off tonight. So I'm sitting in the King's chair. The captivity ordeal of these 15 British sailors and marines is over. After nearly two weeks of detention in Iran, they are back on their native soil and reunited with members of their families.

But the question is, what happens to them now? Sure, they've survived being held prisoner, but how do they deal with the psychological challenges that may come with their return to freedom?

Now joining us, three guests who have firsthand experience with what it is like to come home after being held a military captive. In Green Bay, Wisconsin, Kevin Hermening, former U.S. Marine. He was one of the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days. In El Paso, Texas, Shoshana Johnson. She and other members of the U.S. Army's 507th Maintenance Company were captured and held captive in Iraq for 22 days in 2003. She was seriously wounded before being taken prisoner.

In Ozark, Alabama, Ron Young. He and another army chief warrant officer were captured when their Apache helicopter went down amid fierce gunfire south of Baghdad.

Ron and six other Americans including Shoshana were rescued on April 13th, 2003.

And with me here in L.A., one of the smartest, best credentialed psychologists I know, Dr. Frank Lawlis. He has had a lot of experience dealing with post-traumatic stress.

So, first, let me ask the three of you that have been through this, how do these captives look to you at this point?

SHOSHANA JOHNSON, 22 DAYS AS A PRISONER OF WAR IN IRAQ: I think they look pretty good, considering the stress that they were under. Of course, we don't know everything that happened to them. What they were eating, what kind of situations they were in, but considering the fact that they were worried if they would ever go home for the last 13 days, they look really great.

MCGRAW: Well, Shoshana, when you look at this and, Ron, you and Kevin just jump in as well, when you look at this moment of release, which has got to be filled with elation, does this take you back to that time in life when you went through this yourself?

RON YOUNG, FORMER POW: I don't think ...

KEVIN HERMENING, FORMER HOSTAGE: For me there is no question about it other than the fact -- go ahead, Ron.

MCGRAW: Go ahead, Ron.

YOUNG: No, go ahead.

HERMENING: I was going to say that in our situation over at the U.S. embassy in Iran, we had heard frequently over the 14 1/2 months that we were about to be freed. So there were a lot of emotional roller coasters on which we found ourselves. And it wasn't until we were actually boarding the aircraft on January 20th, 1981, after 14 1/2 months that it very much felt real.

Otherwise, prior to that, even that incident was surreal, but there is no question that these folks looked terrific, they were, in my opinion, definitely attempting to let their families see how they were holding up during their time in captivity. And perhaps as much as anything else, their exit from Iran when they were shaking President Ahmadinejad's hand was just an effort to get the situation over with and get themselves home.

MCGRAW: Right, Ron what is it really like once you get out of there. And Kevin said you don't realize at first that it is real until finally you step up to that person. What is it really like to see your family again when you had to be thinking in your mind, I may never see them again or them me?

YOUNG: Exactly. The thing that you always think about when you're in captivity and stuff like this is you think about your family. It is the thing you miss the most and the thing you think about every single day is you may not there be to see your mother and father and things like that again.

So it is intensely emotional when you finally get back and you step off that plane and, you know you see your mother for first time and you know she's been worried to death about you. And it is really one of those special moments that -- I would rank it as the most special moment that I've ever had in my entire life was getting off that plane and putting my arms around my mother and my father.

You know and being able to at least tell them I love them again and I'm just happy to be here. To be able to see them. And I mean, words can't even describe what you're feeling at that point. Also you run down, you've been through all this emotional trauma and thinking that you're not going to make it back alive. And just, you know, the deep breath. All I wanted to do -- excuse me?

MCGRAW: Do you ever get over it?

YOUNG: I don't think there is ever a day that goes by that you don't think about it.

MCGRAW: All right, Kevin. How about you? You've had more time pass. Is this something you ever get over or does it continue to haunt you?

HERMENING: Well, actually I think the younger you are, the easier it is to get over. I did not have a wife or children at the time. With a wife and two daughters, teenage daughters now, I sense that I can empathize a little better with some of the roommates who I finally had while we were in captivity. But 27 years heals a lot of wounds both physically and emotionally.

And I would submit that as long as you don't keep the situation bottled up inside of you, and you share it, that acts as a catharsis to get it out of your system.

MCGRAW: Dr. Frank Lawlis is with us tonight. And Dr. Frank Lawlis is with us tonight. Dr. Lawlis, you worked with this for more years than you probably would like to acknowledge. But do they ever get over this? Do these people ever successfully return to military duty? And what about their families?

FRANK LAWLIS, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, yes, they can return to normal lives. But it does take some process because after all, they have been traumatized. Their minds have been traumatized. So there is a process of adjustment, a new adjustment. And as well as their families have to go through the same adjustment.

MCGRAW: So there is all this elation but there is a lot of stress associated with this as well, is there not?

LAWLIS: Well, absolutely. Because as we heard, we're talking about returning to home, we are returning to a reality that we trust. We have just gone through a reality that is so strange and traumatic to us that we just don't know quite how to handle it. So, yes, there is a lot of welcoming back, but there is still that kind of process of how to re-enter.

MCGRAW: Well, shortly before their actual release, the 15 British sailors and marines were trotted out for a photo-op with Iran's president. And let's take a look at that event, which included the captives dressed up in really newly made suits, looking quite dapper.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to say -- my whole team, we're very grateful for your forgiveness. I'd like to thank yourself and the Iranian people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have good luck, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, sir.


MCGRAW: Shoshana, what do you think about that? How does it look to you? Staged, real? How does that appear to you having been in that very situation?

JOHNSON: After that time and you're not sure if you're ever going to see your family again, you're pretty much going to do almost what it takes to come home to your family, you know. Short of committing a crime, you know? The fact of the matter is words -- you can say very easily and when you get home, you can explain the situation to your family and your country. The point is getting home to do that.

MCGRAW: That's right. The main thing is survive. More with the former hostages when we come back.

And a little later, she was the envy of every teenage girl in America. The original Marcia Brady. But she'll talk about how parts of her life weren't so enviable. We'll be right back.



TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: To the Iranian people I would simply say this. We bear you no ill will. On the contrary we respect Iran as an ancient civilization, as a nation with a proud and dignified history. And the disagreements that we have with your government, we wish to resolve peacefully through dialogue. I hope, as I've always hoped, that in the future we are able to do so.


MCGRAW: Dr. Phil here sitting in for Larry King tonight. We're talking about the 15 British sailors and marines that have been released after 13 days in captivity. And we're talking to some captives that have walked the walk that these people have been through.

Kevin, I have a question for you. Now, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been very involved in this process with these detainees. You actually think he was involved in your situation some years ago, correct?

HERMENING: Yes, sir. As a matter of fact the U.S. State Department and the Homeland Security Department have also identified him as having been involved in the situation, though not directly involved in holding the hostages. I disagree with that as do several of my colleagues.

But, you know this is more about the government of Iran wanting to, I think, put their strongest foot forward in their best way that they can possibly defy the West. And really that's why I think he's been so involved.

MCGRAW: But you think he was actually one of the students that overran the embassy when you were captured before and, in fact, may have done some of interrogations, correct?

HERMENING: Yes, sir. Now, he doesn't speak English. So he was directing the interrogations and directing us to open up safes and answer some of the other questions regarding the communications vault. So he was directing it. He wasn't actually doing the interrogations because he doesn't speak English.

MCGRAW: All right, Shoshana, much like the released British sailor Faye Turney, you were the lone female captive in a group of men. Tell us that was likely an experience for her and what was it like for you?

JOHNSON: Well, in my situation, in the situation in Iraq it was a little different because we were in the middle of a conflict. There was a lot of bombs and things going on at the time. So our safety was always in question. Not just from our captors, but just the acts of war itself.

So that in itself was scary. And then the thought of being used against my fellow soldiers is another fear that you have as a female being captured.

MCGRAW: Used in what way?

JOHNSON: Well, basically what kind of torture they would inflict on me in order to get the males to talk or do something that was out of character for them.

Their instinct was, of course, to protect me in any kind of way possible, see for my safety. And mine was also for theirs. I didn't want to be used as a pawn in this game to get information from our fellow soldiers.

MCGRAW: While we so much appreciate all three of you talking about this tonight to give us some insight into what these British sailors and marines are likely going through, does this bring it back? Does this make this a reality in your mind again, Ron? Is this something that kind of brings it all fresh?

JOHNSON: Hell, yes.

YOUNG: It does make it a little bit more fresh. Like I said, you see these guys on TV, you know what they're going through, how scared they are, what they're fearing for, the things that they're thinking about. And your mind kind of goes back there. And I think it does it a lot for my mother. And the family also because every time something like this happens, my mother calls me and it is almost like she relives it. Because this it is equally traumatic for families as it is for us who are going through.

MCGRAW: Thank you, Ron. Dr. Lawlis, what is the hardest thing for the families that the point?

LAWLIS: Well, first of all, they see their family member go off and then they see him come back. But at the same time, that family member may actually have been changed a little bit from the trauma. So it is kind of a search by the family to see that person that they love again. Sometimes it is wrapped up with other kinds of denial. But that is the stress for the family.

MCGRAW: So the family needs help as well. Now, we have all heard of military prisoners giving captors nothing more than name, rank and serial number. Now before their release was announced, while their fates were still very uncertain, some of the British captives made on camera statements. Let's take a quick look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to apologize for entering your waters without any permission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were seized apparently at this point here from their maps from the GPS they showed us which is inside Iranian territorial waters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to say to the Iranian people, I can understand why you are so angry by our intrusion into your waters.


MCGRAW: Is this something that they're going to have guilt and shame about after standing up and saying these things, which the government and the world, on certainly the western side, has said didn't happen, isn't true, they were not in Iranian waters?

LAWLIS: Well, it might be expected that their friends and their family and their communities may actually ask them about this situation. And so they're going to have to say that they lied or they were having to explain why they said what they did. So this is going to be a little bit of a gap between -- in their relationship.

MCGRAW: You think they'll have a need to explain themselves and say, look, I'm saying whatever I need to do stay alive.

LAWLIS: Right. It is going to have to be explained over and over and over again and they're going get very tired. And maybe even feel a little isolated because of it.

MCGRAW: And, of course that happens and they know, I suppose anybody looking at this logically is going to say you say what you got to do to stay alive. I mean, that's what Shoshana was saying before. You do what you got to do to survive. You do what you got to do. It is words. Get by, get alive, and get out.

But sometimes people don't feel that that was a courageous thing to do after the fact. So what do you say to those folks? What do you say to those folks who are feeling, if they are feeling guilt or shame about making those declarations, although clearly under duress.

LAWLIS: What I would tell them is they really have to be truthful, and show themselves, their authentic selves as much as possible. And just kind of let the other people kind of believe what they want to believe. But they have to know in their hearts that they did the right thing.

MCGRAW: Well, thanks to Shoshana, Ron, Kevin and Dr. Frank Lawlis. This is a happy ending to something that could have certainly gone way, way the other way.

Up next, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, America's 1960s teenage sweetheart goes public with the trouble she's battled in life, from drugs to a potentially deadly eating disorder. That's just ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, you guys -- oh, my nose!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's take a look at it, honey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is getting bigger by the minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a brand new season of "Celebrity Fit Club."

First up was Maureen "Marcia Brady" McCormick.

MAUREEN MCCORMICK, ACTRESS: What has been the hardest part? Just I've been eating. And eating out of depression.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a brand new season of "Celebrity Fit Club."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight chubby celebrities fighting to get down to their perfect weight. And win $150,000 in prizes. And this year, a twist. It is the men versus the women.



MCGRAW: Welcome back. Now you'll remember TV's Marcia Brady, right? Perky, pretty, darn near perfect. Well, the actress who played her on the "The Brady Bunch" is now making news as one of the participants on "Celebrity Fit Club." Edition five, it's the men versus the women. And it debuts on VH1 on April 22nd.

Maureen McCormick joins me from New York to talk about what life is really like, because it is certainly not TV. She's going to talk about battling bulimia, dealing with an addictive personality, her own description, and shedding some personal demons along with a bunch of unwanted pounds. So Maureen, are you there?

MCCORMICK: I'm here, Dr. Phil. And I just want to say hi. My daughter says hello to you. And I have to say hello to a good friend, Rowe (ph).

MCGRAW: Good. Thank you.

MCCORMICK: I'm a huge fan of yours.

MCGRAW: Well, I appreciate that. So, tell me now, listen, we all grew up watching you, right? You were, "The Brady Bunch" was what all of our real families were not like, what we watched.


MCGRAW: Was your real family like that?

MCCORMICK: Oh, no. My real family was far from "The Brady Bunch." Yeah in fact it was very strange because while I was on the show, I always felt like, you know what, this isn't real life. There is a whole other part of life that we're not showing.

MCGRAW: Yeah. And you have been through an awful lot. We'll talk about that in a minute. Let's kind of fast-forward three decades. How are you doing now? How do you feel? How is everything going in your life?

MCCORMICK: You know, I feel so lucky. "Celebrity Fit Club" came into my life at a great time. I'm 50 years old. I just shed a lot of weight. And I married so incredibly happily to a wonderful man named Michael. I've got a 17-year-old daughter. And life is really, really good.

MCGRAW: Now, you know, we all watched you when you were on the air and you were this, you know, pretty and perky and slender and what everybody wanted to be, was one of the in crowd, of course.

But when we see you again now coming into "Fit Club," which will probably freak out a lot of baby boomers, you certainly weren't that when you turned yourself into the "Fit Club," right?

MCCORMICK: No. I had actually gone through quite a few years of some really, really hard things in my life.

My mother had cancer. And I was going to all the therapy sessions with her. That was really, really difficult. She died.

And a month before she died, my father came to me and he said, Maureen, I have a brother who is mentally retarded, and he said, Maureen, you need to put Denny into a home, which totally freaked me out. It was something that we had never, ever discussed growing up.

I just always thought that I would take care of Denny or that one of my brothers would take care of Denny. And it was really, really hard for me to think that I was going to put him into a home.

Also, at the same time, there is an individual who has kind of taken my father away, who has been influencing him and I'm just concerned about my father medically and physically and I'm hoping -- there is a -- we're in the court system right now. And I'm hoping that it is going to have a happy ending. I'm hoping I'm going to be able to see my father again.

MCGRAW: Dealing with the things that you had to with your mother, we all -- everybody has different coping strategies. You have been very candid about your weight getting away from you. By the way, what did you weigh when you started "The Fit Club"?

MCCORMICK: One-fifty, 154. Somewhere in there.

MCGRAW: OK. All right. And you said there were years in your life that you were bulimic.


MCGRAW: And suffering with that.


MCGRAW: And in fact, times when you were involved in cocaine.


MCGRAW: Were these coping mechanisms for you? Was this -- we always hear about child stars that come tumbling down and they wind up in trouble with the law and drugs and alcohol. Is this true for you or did this come from the stress in your life? MCCORMICK: You know, the bulimia came when I was back in high school with a whole bunch of girlfriends and it was really more peer pressure. I was with a bunch of girls and we were eating a ton of ice cream and a ton of cookies and they said, hey, you know what you can do? And I was like, you're kidding me? I mean, I had no idea. I had never heard that you could actually, you know, throw up the food. So that was really kind of peer pressure. And then I wanted to stay looking thin. So it was ...

MCGRAW: How long did you do that? How long did you consider yourself an active bulimic?

MCCORMICK: I would say for 10 years.

MCGRAW: Ten years?

MCCORMICK: Ten years, yeah.

MCGRAW: Did you have health complications from it?

MCCORMICK: Health? You know, I am so lucky, Dr. Phil. Because I've heard -- and I don't even know the health complications that you can have, I don't know if you do, but I'm not even aware of a lot of the things that can happen, but, no, I haven't.

MCGRAW: Well, it is great that you haven't, but believe me, there are serious complications that can arise from that.

We'll talk about that some as we move along. More with Maureen McCormick when we come back. Stick around. As we go to break, Maureen, early on in her "Fit Club" membership. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A "Brady Bunch" star confronts the personal losses that sent her health into a tail spin.

MCCORMICK: My mother died. I think I've just been eating out of depression.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "The Brady Bunch")

MCCORMICK: Hey, you guys -- oh, my nose!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're really sorry.

FLORENCE HENDERSON, ACTRESS: Let's take a look at it, honey.

MCCORMICK: It's getting bigger by the minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we better get her to a doctor right away.

HENDERSON: I hope it isn't broken.

MCCORMICK: What's the difference? There goes my date with Doug.


MCGRAW: We're back and we're talking with Maureen McCormick. Thank you for being here. We're kind of talking about several things in your life, "The Brady Bunch" era, which was '69 to '74?

MCCORMICK: That's right, five years.

MCGRAW: Now we're seeing you in the reality "Fit Club" number 5. And you showed up there, what, 5'3", 150 pounds.

MCCORMICK: I did. I did, yes. I was shocked. You know I was really shocked when they came to me and asked me to be on the show. I was in total denial and was really very humiliated to think that, you know that I had to lose weight.

MCGRAW: Was that tough for you to step up in front of the cameras and in front of the world and...

MCCORMICK: It was, Dr. Phil.

MCGRAW: We're looking at a clip now of you kind of, you know, turning around and showing all of the unbecoming aspects.

MCCORMICK: It was the hardest thing I've ever done. But I'm telling you it was one of the greatest things I've ever done. It was really like a cathartic experience. And I feel like it's helping me just let out other things in my life and just to be really real and honest and open.

MCGRAW: So you say let out other things in your life. Of course this is a shrink in me asking these questions now, but you know you've said that you think you have an addictive personality.


MCGRAW: And this was a cathartic thing for you. What kinds of things did this decompress for you?

MCCORMICK: You know, I think my whole life, I guess, I feel like I've hidden a side of myself and I don't feel like I have to hide anymore. I feel like I can just be me and say where I've been and help other people. You know, hiding is no fun.

MCGRAW: You've been candid and forthcoming about having gotten involved in cocaine. Has your daughter -- you've got a daughter, what, 17 now?


MCGRAW: What's been the reaction to these revelations for her? MCCORMICK: You know, I think it's been difficult for her to hear that her mother went through those things, but at the same time, I think she's really just -- I think we've become a lot closer because there is an honesty now and she knows that if she has problems, that she can come to me, that I'm not going to freak out and she can be honest with me and that, you know, that I've been there.

MCGRAW: In looking back, what do you think led you to get involved with drugs?

MCCORMICK: I think it was peer pressure, definitely.

MCGRAW: Is that something that you've talked with her about because you got to know the pressure is there for her just as it is for you. Is this something you sat down and said, "Let me tell you what got me in trouble so you don't go down that road?"

MCCORMICK: You know, I started to -- I'm just starting to kind of let all of this stuff out for the first time in my life. It's been really in the last year or two and I'm in the process of writing, which is very cathartic and freeing and wonderful. I'm working on writing a book. So have I talked to her? I have talked to her but not a lot about peer pressure.

MCGRAW: Did you scare yourself? I mean looking back in the time when you were involved with drugs, when you were doing cocaine, did you ever get to the point where it really scared you that you were getting in too deep?


MCGRAW: Do you talk to her about those things? I mean, I guess my question is, as a parent, boy, can you give her some lessons and show her where some turns and twists in the road are. And I'm curious if you've done that and what her reaction has been?

MCCORMICK: You're right. And I haven't done that to a large extent yet but I plan on doing it. I think that's a great idea.

MCGRAW: Do you think you are vulnerable to -- you say you have an addictive personality. Do you think you're vulnerable to gaining weight back, to being involved with drugs, or do you think you've turned this to the point that you know you got your feet squarely on the ground?

MCCORMICK: Well, my feet are squarely on the ground, that's for sure. I definitely feel like I've turned a page in my life and that I'm doing good and positive things now. I think that once you're an addictive personality, that you will always be one. So I think that you have to be careful.

And I think for me, one huge thing that helped was finding God and a higher power and just knowing that I was weak and that I needed help. And that's something that I rely on all the time.

MCGRAW: Well, I think it is great that you got the courage to talk about this now and use your life not only with your own daughter, but with everybody else that is watching what's happening with Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, who we know as a real person with real life and real challenges like the rest of us.

More with Maureen when we come back. And later in the show, Brutal Bruno, the "Dancing with the Stars" judge and one of the contestants that he gave low marks. Maybe she's going to mark him up. There's more Larry King Live just ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please step on the scale.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your weight tonight is 150 pounds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's been the hardest part?

MCCORMICK: I've just been going through a lot in my personal life. Well, I just have been eating.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, we're going to calibrate the scales to make it even. All right, from now on, the giant scale will show us which team is ahead and closer to winning the grand prize at the end of the season. Good luck, don't cheat and remember the scales don't lie.


MCGRAW: Dr. Phil here in for Larry King tonight. We're talking to Maureen McCormick. You knew her as Marcia Brady and now at 50 years old, looking fit and fighting trim, she's back talking about her life and what's happened in the last three decades and her current involvement in VH1's "Fit Club 5."

Maureen, let me ask you, I asked you just before we went to break, I said are you still vulnerable or have you got your feet on the ground? And you said, "No, I've got my feet on the ground." I've got to tell you, from where I sit and looking at you, I have to agree. You look bright eyed, bushy tailed, and tremendously focused. How did you go from where you were to where you are now? How did you beat the bulimia? How did you kick the cocaine? How did you do the things to put your life where it is right now?

MCCORMICK: Well, wow, I've done so much. You know it's really a process. When you're an addictive personality, I think it's something that you're dealing with your whole life in all different kinds of areas. But what worked for me was therapy and I went to rehab. And I got to a point where I said, "You know what, I can't do this anymore. I need help and I need help really big help." And I got down on my knees and said some prayers and had to hand it over.

MCGRAW: You've been married for 22 years.


MCGRAW: How did your husband feel about a, you getting involved in the "Fit Club" and kind of putting all of that out there for America to see. And how does he feel about you being so forthcoming about those chapters in your life that certainly were not constructive?

MCCORMICK: You know I've got the greatest husband in the whole world. Honey, I love you, I love you, I love you. I'm so lucky. It's one of the best things that I ever did.

He was very weary of me doing this show. He didn't want me to do it. He is not really a fan of reality TV. And when I told him that they approached me, he was like; you got to be kidding me. But I came home and my daughter, Natalie, said, "Oh, mom, it's 'Celebrity Fit Club,' you have to do it. And I said, "What?" She goes, "Yes, 'Celebrity Fit Club,' you have to do it." And you know what; a lot of wisdom comes out of 17-year-old kids. And I've always run by everything, you know, before I do a job, with my husband and my daughter. And obviously she's 17 and I don't want to embarrass her with anything I do. And you know it was just the right point in my life that I really needed something like this just to kind of shake me free and to say do it.

MCGRAW: Well, it wasn't all smooth sailing once you got into "Fit Club 5." I understand that Dustin "Screech" Diamond was a little bit of handful for everybody.

MCCORMICK: He was -- yes, he was two different people. He was one person on camera and one person off camera. And we never really knew which Dustin was going to be there. It was -- he said a lot of comments that were really hard because we were all there for one purpose, to become better people, and to become, you know, more fit and healthy. And we all took it really, really seriously.

MCGRAW: I can tell you did I mean just based on your results. You clearly took it very, very seriously because you worked hard and you look great.

And Maureen, I want to thank you for coming on the show tonight and I particularly want to thank you for your honesty because it gives everybody kind of something that they can look and say, "Look, if she can do it, I can do it." And it is a great victory in your life and I thank you for sharing it with us.

MCCORMICK: Thank you very much. That's what life is all about. So I agree with you. Thank you.

MCGRAW: All right, thank you, Maureen.

Up next, "Dancing with the Stars," I might get up and bust a move myself, who knows. One who made the cut and one who couldn't quite stay in step with viewers. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it was a great performance. Your free arm -- when you're doing that, the free arm, the one that's not being held by Brian, was a little bit like a bit of washing floating about in the breeze. So that was the only criticism I've got.








UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-one out of 30 for Shandi.



MCGRAW: We're back, Dr. Phil in for Larry King tonight.

Joining us now, a former beauty queen and I don't see the former in it. I'll let you make up your own mind who's been given the boot. And the eagle eye judge who helped trip her up, take away her high- heeled hopes of ballroom glory.

Shandi Finnessey, Miss U.S.A. 2004, has become the second contestant to be eliminated from the latest season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." She's here with me in L.A. along with her, one of the show's three judges, Bruno Tonioli. I did pretty good on the Italian.

TONIOLI: Perfect, perfect.

MCGRAW: All right, do you give me a 10 for that?

TONIOLI: You'll get a 10 and a quarter.

MCGRAW: But you didn't give her a 10, what's up?

TONIOLI: Well, no, she got a seven. She did very well. You know she wasn't at the bottom. She had very quite good scores. It's short three, seven is not bad. You know it's not the judges.

MCGRAW: You're sucking up now.

TONIOLI: I'm not sucking up. I never slack, Phil. I never slack.

MCGRAW: I didn't say "slack" I said "suck."

TONIOLI: Oh, "suck."

MCGRAW: "Suck up."


MCGRAW: Yes, you're not listening.

TONIOLI: No, no...

MCGRAW: But you do have a good eye. You give good feedback.

So what did you think? Were you surprised that you went off?

SHANDI FINNESSEY, FORMER MISS AMERICA & "DANCING WITH THE STARS" CONTESTANT: I actually was. I was feeling really good about that last night and I really didn't think there was going to be a problem. I felt we did the dance awesome. The jive was my stronger dance because it was fun, kind of all American, a lot of energy and more music that I tend to like. I'm like an oldie but a goody and I loved it. And I really didn't think we were going to leave and so I was a little shocked.


FINNESSEY: But it was so much fun while it lasted. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

MCGRAW: Were you bummed out? I mean it is really like...

FINNESSEY: Yes, it is a little bumming. You watch previous seasons and you see people go off and they get so sad and you're thinking it's a reality show, why are you sad?

MCGRAW: Yes, but, see, I think about this, because a lot of reality shows have civilians. They bring people from nowhere that have never been on television. You know you were Miss U.S.A. 2004. You now host two shows, "Lingo" and "Playmania" on the Game Show Network, so it's not like the silence is deafening for you, right? You go back. For a lot of people, there's nothing -- it's a long way to fall.

FINNESSEY: But you know also though by being a celebrity in this position, you kind of almost build yourself up for more criticism, you know, because being like on these other reality shows that you have when you are the typical civilian, maybe you can take criticism differently. But when you're like I am a celebrity, and then you have people like Bruno -- I'm just joking...

TONIOLI: I think in this show, I think whatever you do, even if you get kicked out on week one, you show yourself taking on something that is so challenging, so different and it should be inspiring. I don't think this -- anybody should feel disappointed or depressed about it because whatever they do, even after week one, they are taking something on, that they achieve something.

MCGRAW: Were you glad you weren't the first one, though, I mean really?

FINNESSEY: I guess so, you're right.

MCGRAW: I mean you don't want to be the first one out, right? You want to at least be the last pig out of the gate. If they're going to kick you out, then you want to be the last one through the gate.

TONIOLI: Well, I don't think it's that. Obviously, I know -- I understand. You're disappointed, but OK, I don't think it's that bad because if you see the atmosphere in the show, what these kids learn, and what the celebrities learn, everybody comes out and say this was the greatest experience in my life.

MCGRAW: Can you dance?

TONIOLI: I used to, yes.

MCGRAW: You used to dance? So...

TONIOLI: Yes, many years.

MCGRAW: Do you wish you could get out there and do it sometimes?

TONIOLI: Not anymore. I think there's a time and a place for it.


Coming up, his name is Apollo and some fans say the sky is the limit for this Olympic speed skater. He and his dancing partner are going to join us with this mix here. So it's going to be like three to one, one judge, three contestants. Stick around, we'll be right back.

TONIOLI: I'll take it on.



FINNESSEY: Now, you've got five days to learn the jive. I'm going to leave it all in Brian's hands. Whatever he wants to choreograph, I will do because right now we're on the chopping block.


FINNESSEY: She's absent today.


Shandi and I really want to come in and nail the jive. And we're going to do that through a lot of hard work and focus. Six, seven, eight, yes, again.

FINNESSEY: I don't want to be the reason why we leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three, that was good. Did you work on that?

FINNESSEY: Yes, a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've been doing jive for two days. That's pretty amazing.

FINNESSEY: Well, the difference is now I'm dancing to save us.



MCGRAW: Here with me now, the "Dancing With the Stars" competitors whose fancy footwork and on stage chemistry has everybody buzzing. Olympic medal winning speed skater Apollo Anton Ohno and his professional partner, Julianne Hough.

So welcome, guys.


MCGRAW: So everybody is saying you're like the king and queen of the prom, that you guys are like...

OHNO: That's good.

MCGRAW: ... that you're just way too cute to be together.

OHNO: That's a good thing.

MCGRAW: So is it -- are you selling that? Is that part of the strategy?

OHNO: That's what this whole show is about. I think what I've learned through this dancing and what Julianne has taught me is that the chemistry you have as a dancer -- if we didn't have that chemistry, I probably would have been gone a long time ago.

JULIANNE HOUGH, PROFESSIONAL DANCER: We would be boring to watch.

OHNO: Yes. So that's -- especially what we're going to do for our next dance. We're really try to play that up and the fact that people even ask those questions means that I think we're doing our job.

MCGRAW: So what do you think of Bruno here and his judging?

TONIOLI: Be very careful. OHNO: I'm still on.


MCGRAW: How does he do? Does he give you good constructive feedback?

OHNO: Very constructive and I think he brings a lot of flavor to the show, you know, a lot of energy. It's a lot of fun.

MCGRAW: All right, now you've met my wife, Robin.

OHNO: I have, yes.

MCGRAW: You met my wife, Robin, and she said I had to ask this question, do you feel funny if they criticize choreography that the professional did? I mean does that -- I mean do you to feel like you got in trouble for something you didn't do? Do you worry about that, Julianne?

HOUGH: Absolutely, we worry about that.

OHNO: Yes.

HOUGH: But you know we just do the best we can and you never know what they're going to say to you so you just...

TONIOLI: Yes, but the rules are the rules. You know the rules. You know the rules.

OHNO: We take chances too because, you know, 50 percent of the votes do come from the judges and 50 percent come from the fans.

TONIOLI: But sometimes do push the envelope, you know?

MCGRAW: Yes, but you want some excitement, right?

TONIOLI: You do, but there are certain things that they know they're supposed to be doing and so certain things they're not supposed be -- like last week, Laila and Marks made a big boo-boo. And you know it is our job...


TONIOLI: She hasn't forgotten.

MCGRAW: You guys were dogging on them because they separated during the tango, right? See I watch the show, I know.

TONIOLI: Of course.

OHNO: And we've been OK.

HOUGH: Yes, we haven't broken any rules. And last week with the whole twisting thing, I mean, I personally...

OHNO: It's a fine line.

MCGRAW: Were you surprised that Shandi got eliminated?

OHNO: That's the thing is you never know who is going to go. You never know because you could have the highest score and if people aren't calling in and voting for you, you could be...

MCGRAW: Are you competitive backstage?

HOUGH: No, not at all. Everybody is like a big family out there.

FINNESSEY: Yes, we actually all get along really well.

TONIOLI: And you're very close this season. If you see the scores there is hardly a point in between. You know the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is big fast, but come on, the seven, eight. I mean there is a match to it. And obviously so much -- the audience contributes so much to this. It does give you the kind drama and sense that -- it's like a thriller, isn't it out there?

MCGRAW: Well, yes, don't forget that we're out there because these guys, they have -- they say what they say. That's just fine. Let them say what they say.

All right, that's Larry King Live" for tonight. Thanks for watching, thanks to all of my guests tonight and thanks especially to Larry for allowing me to sit in the King's throne here to fill in for him.