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Keep Your Hands Off Our Dancers

10/17/2014 3:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Dancing With the Stars" wants the competition to know ... they're the head pimp in the dancing game ... and they're going after a rival show for stealing their look and their pro dancers.

There's a live performance stage show called "Ballroom with a Twist" that tours around the U.S. -- but it features a bunch of "DWTS" dancers ... like Peta Murgatroyd, Tony Dovolani and Val Chmerkovskiy (Max's little bro).

The BBC, which owns "DWTS," is suing Scott Stander -- whose company produces "Ballroom with a Twist" -- because those dancers can't work side gigs for a competing show without approval ... according to the suit.

The BBC also says it's pissed 'BWAT' is using 'DWTS' styled graphics to promote the show ... and perhaps the ultimate insult -- in the dancing world, we're guessing -- 'Dancing' alum Louis Van Amstel choreographed the upstart live show.

The BBC wants to shut down the copycat promos, and they want their dancers back. In other words ... beat it, we've got this corner on lock!


Derek Hough & Mark Ballas

Our Junker is Now Fit for a Pimp

10/13/2014 12:54 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mark Ballas Derek Hough HomeMove over Ty Pennington, the house Derek Hough and Mark Ballas bought has officially been souped-up -- and now the famous dancers are looking to cash out.

The "Dancing With the Stars" duo purchased the Studio City pad together earlier this year for $1.275 mil ... and now they're listing it for $1.895 million -- $620K more than they paid.

The flipping process caught the eye of HGTV, which will air a special in January featuring their home pirouette ... tentatively called "Mark & Derek's Excellent Flip."

We're told the "Dancing" stars completely tore up the inside ... and replaced all the windows and doors with fancy new ones -- same goes for the roof.

We're told Derek and Mark forked over at least $200K to rebuild it, with the help of real estate agent Andrew Gulyas ... and now each of the 'DWTS' stars stand to waltz away with some nice pocket change.

Not bad for 8 months work.


Karina Smirnoff

Carted Off 'DWTS' Set

With Multiple Injuries

10/13/2014 9:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Karina Smirnoff Injured
Karina Smirnoff went down so hard during a "Dancing With the Stars" rehearsal ... she had to get lifted onto a stretcher and rushed to the hospital. 

TMZ obtained video of EMTs whisking Smirnoff away after she bit it in practice ... suffering knee and wrist injuries. Watch the video ... Karina's clearly in pain, and her wrist is already wrapped up in an ice pack.

Sources close to the show tell us x-rays show she didn't fracture anything, but just in case ... producers are scrambling to find a replacement. Karina's already been voted out, but she still performs in each show.

Biggest take away from this clip though -- Hollywood EMTs are hot and camera ready.

Sadie Robertson

Now She's Gotta Cut Loose

From Anti-Dance High School Rules

9/22/2014 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mark Ballas
has a true rookie on his hands with Sadie Robertson because the "Duck Dynasty" star hails from a high school where dancing is strictly forbidden ... just like "Footloose."

Willie Robertson's 17-year-old daughter is partnered with Ballas for this season of "Dancing With the Stars" ... but she also attends Ouachita Christian School in Monroe, LA where administrators have a longstanding ban on all school dances. 

We spoke to Sadie's principal Jamie Stokes, and he was unapologetic about the school's policy ... which he says includes banning all dances. Even proms. Zero tolerance dancing, y'all.

Mark and Sadie advanced last week, but judge Julianne Hough told the 'DD' heir she's gonna need to get "more down and dirty" to win it all.

Sadie's dad shot that down almost immediately -- and we're guessing it's ditto from her principal.


'Dancing' Judge to Lolo Jones:

'S**t Happens!'

... Move On Already!

9/20/2014 12:08 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Truth bomb from "Dancing with the Stars" judge Bruno Tonioli to Lolo Jones -- STOP CRYING ABOUT LOSING ALREADY AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE!!!

This video is great ... we asked Bruno how he felt about Lolo's emotional breakdown after she became the 1st person eliminated from the show last week -- and the guy didn't hold back.

As we previously reported, Lolo expressed her devastation on Facebook after she was 86'd -- saying she was sick of being a loser ... and wanted to use the show to redeem herself after multiple failures in the Olympics.

But as Bruno says ... "s**t happens. Move on."

Alfonso Ribeiro

Leaves Club High and Dry

Carlton wants to Charleston

9/19/2014 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

10:20 A.M. PDT --
Ribeiro's rep tells TMZ ... Alfonso was never booked for a firm date -- the hotel jumped the gun by printing and selling tickets with Alfonso's picture. We're told they've now worked out a settlement ... he says the club will issue a retraction and Ribeiro will appear at the club after he finishes DWTS. 
Alfonso Ribeiro
 bailed on a heavily promoted birthday bash in Atlantic City -- costing the nightclub a fortune -- because he didn't want his tango to suck on a TV reality show.

Alfonso -- famous for The Carlton Dance -- made a last-minute decision NOT to headline The Pool After Dark event Saturday. He notified the club Wednesday, which is a problem -- his face is plastered all over the flyer.

Alfonso is a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" and apparently he made the decision he could earn more if he wins the trophy. He could have made $35K at the club, but he stands to rake in $345K if he wins DWTS.

As for the club ... it got screwed. It has to eat the $1,500 it paid for a customized cake, and refund $10K worth of pre-sold tickets.

Shockingly ... we're told the club isn't going after Alfonso for all it's out.

Lolo Jones


After 'Dancing with the Stars' Loss

9/17/2014 7:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lolo Jones says she felt broken, unlovable and embarrassed after she was eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars" Tuesday night ... and penned an emotional letter saying she's sick of being a loser.

The former Olympian unloaded on Facebook right after she got the boot from the ballroom ... saying, "When I was dancing last night and messed up I had flashbacks of the three Olympics and that people constantly tease me about. I thought oh no here it comes again. People are going to ridicule me. I'm so tired of feeling embarrassed."

"I joined the other competitors upstairs and I couldn't force a smile on my face. I felt like vomiting and in between the other dances I went in a back room and fought back tears. I felt so broken. So unlovable. Embarssed."

Jones -- who's been RIPPED in the public over her lackluster performances at the Olympics over the years -- added, "I really wanted to stay on the show and have the layers of hurt wash away by showing the public how hard I work. I wanted to come away a victor for once. I wanted to do so good performing in public that the haters would stop teasing me."

"But that is my way of thinking. Not Gods. Instead I need to trust God that he would heal my heart. That I would not work so hard for the world to validate and redeem me but know that God already conquered that for me on the cross."

She concluded ... "My time was brief but the lesson is lasting. Thank you everyone who wrote me kind messages. You were helping me not fall into darkness."

Yeah, she's taking this pretty hard.

'Dancing With The Stars'

Fashion Rules

For New Cast

8/28/2014 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Betsey Johnson Dancing With The Stars
Famously eccentric designer Betsey Johnson is bringing her brand of crazy to "Dancing with Stars" ... along with the much younger YouTube fashionista Bethany Mota.

As we told you ... ABC had been looking to sign a big social media star ... and found her in 18-year-old Mota ... who's amassed more than 7 million fans with her YouTube tutorials on fashion, hair and makeup. 

Sources close to the show tell us ... producers have also tapped "Back to the Future" actress Lea Thompson, Jonathan Bennett from "Mean Girls," Janel Parrish from "Pretty Little Liars," and Sadie Robertson -- granddaughter of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson.

Still missing ... a major Hollywood star.

Dancing With the Stars

Athletes & YouTube Stars

Will Save Our Show

8/27/2014 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dancing With The Stars Cast
The new "Dancing with the Stars" cast could have its hardest bodies yet -- a bunch of pro athletes and an Olympian -- along with something new ... a YouTube superstar, TMZ has learned. 

We got a hold of the 'DWTS' producers wish list -- the celebs they're gunning to get for Season 19 -- and it includes 'Bachelorette' Andi Dorfman, ex-UFC fighter Randy Couture, "American Ninja Warrior" contestant Kacy Catanzaro, Olympic track star Lolo Jones and Antonio Sabato Jr.

Our 'DWTS' sources tell us they're also trying to land a female YouTube star ... who we're told has tens of millions of followers. It's a smart ploy for a veteran show with aging viewers to pull in fresh, younger viewers.

We're told some of the celebs are already negotiating their 'DWTS' contracts. The one thing still missing though ... a really big traditional TV or movie star. The full cast will be announced Sept. 4.


'DWTS' Heroes

Rescue Kitten Trapped In Car Engine!!

8/21/2014 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
082014_dwts_cat_launchCat-astrophe avoided at "Dancing With the Stars" -- when a stowaway kitten that had been stuck inside a car's motor was rescued by two PAs -- who heard the engine purring -- literally.

Production sources tell us ... the PAs heard noises from a random vehicle on the lot. They walked up to the car and heard the meows ... then discovered a kitten trapped under the hood. 

Interesting Fact: Cats are known to climb near car engines to stay warm at night.

Back to the story ... The PAs tried luring the critter out with tuna ... when that didn't work, one of them crawled under the car, reached into the engine compartment and snatched the kitty.

The most amazing part ... the heroes believe the stray was inside the engine when the driver took the car from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood.

The DWTS wardrobe dept. is now caring for the cat ... which they've named Steve ... and he's feel-ine fine.

Julianne Hough

Returns to DWTS

As a Judge

8/19/2014 12:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Julianne Hough has learned a hard lesson about the movie biz ... it ain't that easy, so she's returning to "Dancing with the Stars" but this time as a judge ... TMZ has learned.

Sources connected with the show tell us ... they've made an offer to Julianne to become the 4th judge ... the other 3 are coming back. We're told the 2 sides are in negotiations and are expected to make the deal.

Julianne left the show years ago to pursue an acting and singing career, but it's been rough going ... particularly "Rock of Ages" and "Footloose."  

We're told her commitment to DWTS is only a couple of hours a week, so she'll still pursue acting.


'DWTS' Star Cheryl Burke

I'm Not Dying

7/11/2014 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Dancing with the Stars" star Cheryl Burke looks dramatically different these days ... but she says she's NOT deathly ill ... hasn't had plastic surgery ... and she's pissed at all the trash talk.

Burke -- who recently dropped a sizable amount of weight -- posted this pic on Facebook ... and got bombarded with comments from people saying she looks anorexic.  Someone even suggested she's dying of AIDS. 

One person wrote, "Those Botox lips need there [sic] own FB page, gross" ... and another said she should delete the pic before it ends up on TMZ.

Burke is especially upset because she believes the same people who are trash-talking her now are the ones who called her fat before.

Burke -- who was once a regular on the club/party circuit -- tells TMZ there's absolutely nothing wrong with her ... she recently turned 30 and decided to stop drinking and hard partying.  She says she's living healthy ... and that what you see is the result of hard work.

Burke tells us, "I didn't have plastic surgery and I don't have an eating disorder. I'm just actually happy."


Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Totally With JLo

… Maybe

6/25/2014 12:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Jennifer Lopez Together

Anyone who was banging Jennifer Lopez would shout it from the rooftops … unfortunately Maksim Chmerkovskiy is not just anyone.

Our photog tried to confirm the rumors the two dancers were knocking boots, but Maksim didn't bite. Well, kinda ...


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