I’m going go out on a limb and declare Amber Riley and her pro partner Derek Hough as “Dancing with the Stars” Season 17 winners. Why? Have you been watching them for the past 10 weeks?! Hough’s an excellent choreographer and Riley is a quick study who beautifully interprets his direction. Even with knee injuries, this girl still shines. For their first performance, the pair did a jazz number reminiscent of Bob Fosse with choreography that very cleverly protected her knees. “Your versatility is astonishing–astonishing” judge Bruno Tonioli told her. An excited Carrie Ann Inaba offered: “It’s like you’re in a class of your own. If Einstein could dance, I imagine that’s how he would dance. You did everything perfectly. It was like a mathematical equation.” They walked away with 39 out of 40 possible points. For the second round, Riley and Hough performed a perfect Viennese waltz that earned a 10 from all four judges, making them Monday night’s highest scorers. “All I can say is: you danced like an angel. Lovely,” Tonioli told Riley. Next Monday will be the finals and we’ll see if my prediction is correct. Two things threaten a Riley-Hough victory: worsened injuries and Corbin Bleu and his pro partner Karina Smirnoff (they’re good too). Otherwise, that mirrored ball is theirs. “Dancing with the Stars” airs Monday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. Catch up here.
Watch Amber Riley and Derek Hough’s Viennese waltz
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Here’s what else is happening…
CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon will temporarily host a new primetime show on the network that’ll air at 11 p.m. EST during the first three weeks of December, according to Mediaite. The half-hour program is called “The 11th Hour” (how original). Lemon also will host “OutFront” while Erin Burnett is on maternity leave. That show airs at 7 p.m. EST. Will this three-week stint lead to a more permanent weekday hosting gig for Lemon? Time will tell. Last week I shared that Don Cheadle will play Miles Davis in a long “Kill the Trumpet Player,”a long-planned biopic about the jazz trumpeter (Read here). So enthused by this news, I completely overlooked another of the films appropriate casting decisions: Zoe Saldana as his first wife, Frances Davis. Saldana received a ton of backlash when it was announced last year that she would star as Nina Simone in a biopic about the late “High Priestess of Soul” (See this). (Photos surfaced of Saldana wearing dark makeup and a prosthetic nose to favor Simone. Yeah, folks were ticked.). It’s safe to say that this casting selection, Saldana as Frances Davis, is a much better fit, at least physically. For those of you unfamiliar with the former Mrs. Miles Davis, she appears on the cover of Davis’ album “Someday My Prince Will Come,” an image still embedded in my mind from watching my father flip through his album crates as a kid. See who else will star in the film here. Did you get a chance to watch Fox’s new show “Almost Human?” The futuristic cop show stars Karl Urban as a human detective and Michael Ealy as his android partner. If not, you can catch up here.
Watch the “Almost Human” pilot
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On my watchlist tonight? What I'm tuning in to see and what I'll catch up with XFINITY On Demand…
“Chicago Fire”: Last week’s episode was very good and I want to see if Chief Boden’s leave will be permanent. It airs at 10 p.m. EST on NBC. [Watch here]
“Once Upon a Time”: Will see if Henry will be saved from the clutches of Peter Pan. It airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. [Watch here]
The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Representatives from retailers like Macy’s Inc., Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus Group, Lord & Taylor, Saks Inc. and Bloomingale’s are reportedly confirmed to attend a meeting over racial profiling (Guess this is a step in the right direction).
NOT: George Zimmerman’s girlfriend alleging he strangled her (Quite clear this dude has some serious issues).
HOT: Whoopi Goldberg making sure “Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley” saw the light of day. (This HBO documentary is excellent!).
NOT: France warning tourists to stay away from certain Chicago neighborhoods (It was such a blanket statement that ignored a lot of great areas).
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.