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Working Out With the ‘Stars’

March 26, 2008 12:14 AM

Credit: Kevin Parry/The Paley Center for MediaIf Friday’s PaleyFest panel is to be believed, “Dancing With the Stars” makes “Celebrity Fit Club” look like a walk in the park.

Celebrities including Jane Seymour and “Stars” judges including Len Goodman fielded questions when dance and Marie-Osmond-fainting enthusiasts alike turned out at Hollywood’s Arclight Cinerama Dome at the Paley Center for Media’s PaleyFest.

The ABC show, in its sixth season, has been a solid hit for the network. Based on the U.K.’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” “Stars” pairs up dancing professionals and Hollywood talent in a ballroom showdown on live television.

But dancing success comes at a price. Ms. Seymour said she pulled all the muscles in her rib cage during her dancing stint in the fifth season, while season-two winner Drew Lachey talked about costume difficulties and the pros and cons of training eight to 10 hours a day.

“You literally eat a pie for breakfast, a cake for lunch and then have a gallon of ice cream for dinner, and you’ll still lose 15 pounds that week,” he said.

Stars train for four weeks before the start of the season to get ready for the show. But part of the allure of “Dancing With the Stars” is who the producers can finagle to get on the show.

“We tend to try and find one or two key people, and balance the cast out around them,” executive producer Conrad Green said.

Mr. Green credited Evander Holyfield’s appearance in season one as a kick-start for the series, as people tuned in to see the heavyweight fighter dance.

“You need that someone who really shouldn’t be there,” Mr. Green said. “No one would have thought that Jerry Springer (a contestant in season three) would have been such a charming, engaging dancer.”

Speaking of people who probably shouldn’t be there, two-time professional winner Julianne Hough said current dancer Adam Corolla is one of her harder students to teach because “I can’t get a word in edgewise.” Mr. Corolla is former co-host of “The Man Show” and “Loveline.”

— Andrew Krukowski


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