Dish Of Salt: The ‘Dancing’ Scandal (October 19, 2006)

The Sara Evans fiasco has dominated the entertainment world. I’m not surprised. People in LA or NYC may not know much about her but all those country music followers in the fly over states (including my home state of Arkansas) know her well. They love her music. They buy her CD’s. They are watching her win top awards while they sit with their families watching the CMA’s and they can’t wait to catch her new videos on CMT.

Many people, at least at my office, thought the “Dancing with the Stars” producers were lame to make such a big deal about her exit and milk the big “exclusive” interview with her till the end of Tuesday’s show. I totally disagree. Any hit reality show would have done the same thing. It’s called good producing. They also lost one of their biggest stars. Let me take that back, they lost THE big star. Sure Emmitt has a huge following with his impressive sports resume. People love him. They will vote for him all the way to the finals. But don’t even think that Sara Evans wouldn’t have been beside him and Mario in the final three.

She would have been. I bet she was (until Wednesday night) one of the highest vote getters, if not THE highest one. Female country fans adore her. I predict now, with her scandalous divorce drama, she will be bigger than ever. When her next album hits the charts it’ll be followed by Access Hollywood. Her first week’s sales - huge. Her tour (which will be choreographed with dance partner Tony Dovolani) will sell out and yes, Access Hollywood will do it’s best to be backstage. She’s a powerhouse in her business.

And Sara is getting the support from her TV family. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was teary-eyed Tuesday night when my colleague Tony Potts brought up Sara. “I’m just really sad for her because she is a women and I’m a women and all women are worried that the guys are cheating on them and it’s so horrible to see somebody so close go through something in such a large way.”

And the king of trash TV, Jerry Springer, who knows very well the in’s and out’s of marital mayhem summed up Sara’s current tabloid spectacle the best. “I said it before, that life is the only real dance and you don’t get to choose your own tune and that is a perfect example of it but she’ll get the steps together and make it.”

Also I can tell you that they are planning a “Dancing With The Stars” tour. Yes, you’ll soon see your favorites getting jiggy with it. I thought they would do small venues. Uh, nope, they think they will sell out LA’s Staples Center. Now that’s confidence. I know first-hand that last year’s champ Drew Lachey has agreed to put on his dancing shoes again. He’ll reteam with Cheryl Burke — right after she takes home another cheesy trophy. Yes, that’s my prediction. I think Mario’s Latin lover ways may just catch up with him. Can we say ‘implosion’! That’s all I’m sayin’.

Now moving onto another reality favorite “Project Runway.” What the #$%# happened last night? Clearly Uli should have won. Fan favorite Michael choked under the pressure. Laura was my second choice with her impressive detail but Jeffrey crowned the champ? You’ve got to be kidding. Third place… sure, but I’m so irritated I don’t even want to give it more time. Heidi honey, love ya but I won’t be back for season four.

Now last week I told you that I was going to take advantage of my time as Laura Saltman’s resident “sub” to mention a show she would sooner die than bring up. That show (drum roll please) is Sci-Fi’s “Battlestar Galactica.” Don’t let the title fool you.

Yes, it’s a remake of the classic ‘70s series but this show has an incredibly fresh spin. It’s so smart. It’s so well written. It’s post 9-11 in space and it makes you think. And it’s sexy to boot. Take my advice - -set the Tivo and if you don’t put it on your season pass after you watch it, I’d be surprised.

It’s been fun filling in for Salty. She’s doing a bang up job on MSNBC too by the way. Look for her when the next TV scandal breaks. The next time I see her, I’m gonna beg and plead for her to add NBC’s “Heroes” to her weekly viewing. If you love “Lost” folks, you’ll love “Heroes.”

Trust me.

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