Dramatic `Dancing' waltzes off with viewers

TV Preview

November 15, 2006|By Maria Elena Fernandez | Maria Elena Fernandez,Los Angeles Times

In a fall season of highfalutin serialized dramas, the most compelling soap opera on television has played out on the ballroom floor of Dancing with the Stars, which concludes its third season tonight.

Love -- or its lusty cousin -- has blossomed between partners Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, partners Willa Ford and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and an unidentified coupling co-host Samantha Harris will only allude to and giggle about.

Beauty queen Shanna Moakler got into a bar fight with Paris Hilton, of all people. Country singer Sara Evans had to quit because of trouble in her marriage. Daredevil Monique Coleman had a wardrobe malfunction (her bottom went whoops!) that etched itself as a season highlight for the ever-proper British judge Len Goodman. Former teen heartthrobs Lopez and Joey Lawrence got verbal spankings for their breaking-all-the-rules ways. Tucker Carlson dazzled with his skillful chair-sitting routine. Jerry Springer -- Jerry Springer! -- got choked up when he was voted off the competition not because he wanted to stay but because he was overwhelmed by the kindness he had been shown during his seven-week stint.

On TV Dancing with the Stars concludes its third season tonight at 8 on ABC.

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