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Tampa's Erin Andrews shines on Dancing with the Stars despite death threats



Andrews2 Is there any Dancing with the Stars contestant who has had to deal with more offstage weirdness than Erin Andrews?

Just at a point when she might be settling into the competition, Tampa-raised ESPN star Andrews had to deal with increased security for both herself and her family amid reports that the sideline reporter received emailed death threats.

You wouldn't have known it from her performance Monday, where Andrews continued vibing with dance partner/close pal Maksim Chmerkovskiy in a waltz where she was blindfolded for part of the proceedings (ever tactful, judge Bruno Tonioli noted "first ees the blindfold, then comes the handcuffs." Maybe in your bizarro DWTS competition, my friend)

Andrews has denied anything deeper than friendship, but Chemerkovskiy is clearly enjoying his time with her and together they come off like giggly high school buddies -- bubbly, joking and always close. Together, they racked up another solid performance, though judge Len Goodman is sliding into his role as resident crank, disdaining any elements of the performances which go beyond the traditional stuff (translation: no love for the blindfold).

Anderson6 Otherwise, the show's standings didn't change much; skater Evan Lysacek was ahead in the judges' scores, mostly because Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger pulled off a dazzling homage to Gene Kelly which unfortunately lacked the basic dance elements to please Grumpy Goodman.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was again clearly the worst dancer onstage and earned the lowest scores, but since more than 60 percent of DWTS viewers are over age 50, I wouldn't be surprised if vixen Pam Anderson lands at the bottom of the pack again (perhaps she should channel Betty White instead of Marilyn Monroe).

The nights biggest funny: Watching reality TV beeyotch Kate Gosselin try desperately to register an emotion beyond annoyance during her practice sessions and dance. Heads up guys -- she's not a performer. Might be why she's so bad at, you know, performing.

Regarding the threats, Andrews' attorney released a statement saying her family -- including WFLA-Ch. 8 investigative reporter Steve Andrews -- were protected and authorities are on the case.

"It is correct that within the past few days death threats have been made against Erin Andrews. As soon as we learned of them the FBI was notified. They are on the case. Erin and her family are protected. It is unfortunate that there are sick people who prey on the fears and threaten the well being of others. Erin is not alone among those who have to deal with such predators.  Erin is looking forward to the future and will keep all of her commitments including her appearance on Dancing with the Stars. We ask that the privacy of Erin and her family be respected."

With any luck, the frenetic pace of the show is a welcome distraction from the oddballs drawn to Andrews' long shadow. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:06pm]


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