‘Dancing’ pros do their own choreography

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/ Source: msnbc.com
By By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Andy Dehnart

Wondering about how a certain reality show pulled something off? Have a question about a certain contestant?

Whether it's "Survivor," "American Idol," "The Apprentice," "Real World" or another show, . Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, MSNBC.com's Television Editor, and Andy Dehnart, creator of ,will try to answer them.

Before you send in your question, — you may be able to get your answer right away.

Q: In “Dancing with the Stars,” who does the choreography for each star? Is it their professional partner or a third party? Thanks.    —Courtney, Hawaii

A: The celebrities’ professional partners choreograph each dance. After receiving the music and/or style of dance for the week, the partners are entirely on their own. That explains why many of them are not just dancers, but also renowned choreographers.

Cheryl Burke, who has now won twice, recently to TV Guide, and discussed how she created the dances with her partner in mind. First, she says that, on Wednesday evenings, after the live results show, she can “usually can choreograph both dances by 2 am.”

She told the magazine, “it’s a task to make sure that each and every dance is original and up to the expectations of the crowds and the judges. I like to design our dances around Emmitt’s strengths and incorporate moves that I know he’ll enjoy doing and that the audience wants to see.”

Clearly, that strategy worked for her this season — and last.    —A.D.

Q: I would like to know how to contact someone about getting my sister on “Extreme Makeover” for a makeover.    —Anonymous

A: Sorry, that's not possible now. After returning in October for just , ABC's original version of “Extreme Makeover” — the plastic-surgery edition, not the home-renovation version — was canceled.

Before the show returned, Variety had said the show was likely to run through the November sweeps, but due to low ratings, it was quickly yanked for reruns of "Grey's Anatomy." More people watched the reruns of the popular doctor show than watched "Makeover," which drew just 4.8 million viewers. (Oddly enough, the with a Jan. 31, 2007 deadline.)    —G.F.C.

Q: Were Uchenna and Joyce, winners of "The Amazing Race 7," successful in their quest to have a baby or adopt one?    —M.P.

A: Not yet, according to an Oct. 31 article in the Calgary Sun. The Sun reports that the Agus, favorites of many "Race" viewers, are planning to undergo one more round of in-vitro fertilization treatments before looking into adoption.

Joyce and Uchenna may have a reason to postpone the family planning for just a little while. It's been a rumor for some time now, and CBS has confirmed that "The Amazing Race" is planning an all-star season, following in the footsteps of "Survivor" and "Big Brother." Although CBS would not confirm any cast information to us, Variety is reporting that Joyce and Uchenna, Rob and Amber, and David and Mary are among the couples selected for the all-star show. However, infamous "Amazing Race" couple won't be racing — Victoria just gave birth to a baby girl, Trease Alynette Baker, on Oct. 6.    —G.F.C.

Update, Feb. 20, 2007: At the CBS finale party, Joyce told CBS News that they didn't even have to pay for their latest in vitro procedure: "My doctors offered us a free round of in vitro. So after all this is over, if it doesn't work out, we have the money. We can adopt."

Alas, the procedure did not work out, as we learned at the start of "The Amazing Race 11." (The all-star edition of the race features teams from the first 10 seasons, although Uchenna and Joyce are the only winning team to be on the all-star season.)

Worse, in their introductory video, Uchenna said the couple's relationship has not improved since the race. "We're growing apart. The fact that we haven't had the child and the failed in vitro has caused stress," he said.

While Joyce hasn't yet said anything about having a baby or adopting, she also indicated that they're struggling to make their relationship work. "We're still trying to uncover that secret to a really happy and lasting marriage," she said. Now, they're doing that by racing around the world again.    —A.D.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is MSNBC.com's Television Editor. is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality TV news.