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Alfonso Ribeiro

Leaves Club High and Dry

Carlton wants to Charleston

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

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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. 
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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

EMOTIONALLY BROKEN

After 'Dancing with the Stars' Loss

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

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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
EXCLUSIVE

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
EXCLUSIVE

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.

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'DWTS' Heroes

Rescue Kitten Trapped In Car Engine!!

8/21/2014 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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
EXCLUSIVE

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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.

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'DWTS' Star Cheryl Burke

I'm Not Dying

7/11/2014 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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"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."

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Totally With JLo

… Maybe

6/25/2014 12:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
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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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Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Talking Jennifer Lopez ...

'It's Going Great'

6/24/2014 9:46 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Jennifer LopezMaksim Chmerkovskiy danced around the question ... is he banging Jennifer Lopez?

We got Maksim in NYC and asked him about the pic we posted Monday ... showing him and JLo hanging out in Connecticut Saturday night ... definitely looking cozy.

Our photog was pretty direct, and Maksim very cleverly deflected the questions.

Yeah, they're totally together.

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JLo and Maksim

Hooking Up, Maybe

6/23/2014 4:36 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Jennifer Lopez
and Maksim Chmerkovskiy say they're just friends, but they could smell each others pheromones judging from this pic ... obtained by TMZ.

JLo and Maksim were at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut Saturday night after her show.  They hit up the Shrine nightclub and were certainly close.

They say they're just friends with a common interest ... dancing.  Interesting ... she said on a TV show recently that dancers were better in the sack than actors.  It's a compliment to Maksim and a diss to you know who.

But it looks like they're into some serious Rumba.

Mark Ballas

Taken to Hospital

After Bad Car Crash

6/16/2014 4:08 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Mark Ballas
was in a bad car accident Monday afternoon and ended up in an L.A. hospital ... TMZ has learned.

We're told Mark was driving on an L.A. street, in the process of turning right, when another car was speeding in his lane, couldn't stop in time and slammed into his back right side.

Mark complained of whiplash and back pain.  His girlfriend took him to Cedars-Sinai Medial Center where doctors examined him and prescribed some pain meds.  Doctors told him the pain would get worse tomorrow, which isn't great news because Mark is scheduled to perform this week where he'll have a guitar strapped to his body as he sings and dances.

Mark's car was towed away.  We're told 5 guys in the car that hit him jumped out and accused him of causing the crash, but an eyewitness came forward and told cops it was not Mark's fault ... the other driver was speeding.

'Dancing with the Stars'

$70K of Food Porn for Everyone

... Except the Champs

5/21/2014 2:24 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0521_dwts_wrap_party_food_photos_launchMaksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis from "Dancing with the Stars" are huge losers ... 'cause even though they won the disco ball thingy ... they missed out on a ridiculously over-the-top feast at the wrap party.

After the finale, 'DWTS' threw the bash featuring a $70K menu designed by a bunch of TV chefs --  from "MasterChef" and "Top Chef." Some of the gut-busting highlights included:  

-- Beef cheeks over pureed cauliflower
-- Bacon grilled cheese served w/ chilled heirloom roasted red & yellow tomato soup
-- Louisiana pan fried chicken
-- Andouille and sausage gumbo w/ cornbread

Go ahead and drool through the gallery ... which includes the kick ass dessert -- a dance floor made of 200 chocolate and strawberry infused cupcakes, all whipped up by Blendtec. 

Champs Meryl and Maksim had to hop a plane to NYC right after the show, so ... yeah. Big mistake. Huge.

James Maslow

'Dancing With the Stars' Is Rigged

... Claim Disgruntled Fans

5/20/2014 8:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

5020-dwts-james-maslow-and-peta-murgatroyd-getty-01James Maslow's fans are fuming mad he got kicked off "Dancing With the Stars" this week ... claiming a glitch in fan voting might have cost James votes ... TMZ has learned.

Maslow and his partner Peta Murgatroyd got the ax on Monday's show, despite not finishing with the lowest score from the judges (that would be Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas).

Several fans have voiced outrage over Facebook voting, claiming votes for James and Peta were instead counted for Meryl and Maxim (see below). 

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But a rep for ABC claims despite the automated Facebook response ... the votes were all counted correctly. The rep blew off the apparent error as a "caching anomaly" that only affected a small amount of users.

Tell that to James and Peta.

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