tampabay.com

'Deliciously awful' Cyrus is gone

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 9, 2007


DANCING WITH THE STARS

Billy Ray Cyrus, who said appearing on Dancing With the Stars was "the scariest thing I could possibly think of to do, " has bid farewell. The 45-year-old singer and actor was eliminated from the ABC dance-off Tuesday. He seemed to know his time was up before the results were announced. "This is a celebration tonight, " he said early in the show. "I got to meet my hero, Muhammad Ali, last night. I conquered my fear. I'm happy to be here and I'm ready to go on Jimmy Kimmel." Each week, Kimmel interviews the eliminated celebrity dancer on his late-night show. Ali made a rare public appearance Monday, coming to Dancing With the Stars to watch his daughter, Laila Ali, perform the waltz and the jive. After Cyrus danced the mambo and the fox-trot, judge Bruno Tonioli told Cyrus, "You are always deliciously awful." He and his professional partner, Karina Smirnoff, earned this week's lowest score.

Change delays filming 

Production has been postponed for Todd Solondz's feature film Life During Wartime, which was expected to begin filming in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties May 15. Scheduling conflicts forced Academy Award winner Emma Thompson to drop out of a leading role, said Tampa film commissioner Krista Soroka and Life During Wartime producer Mike Ryan. Producers who had begun working in an office in Tampa have returned to New York to seek another actor. Life During Wartime continues the stories of characters from Solondz's 1998 release, Happiness. Ryan said in an e-mail that he hopes to resume production in September.

Musical reaps awards

Spring Awakening, the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater rock musical, has taken the New York Drama Critics' Circle and Lucille Lortel awards for best musical of the New York theater season. For the Lortel, which honors off-Broadway productions, the musical about sexually adventurous teenagers in late 19th century Germany, tied with In the Heights. Spring Awakening, which opened off-Broadway in June, moved to Broadway in December. The Drama Critics' Circle, composed of critics from daily newspapers, magazines and wire services in the New York metro area, chose Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia as best play.

Singer pleads guilty

George Michael pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of driving while unfit through drugs. Michael, 43, said in a London court that he was guilty due to "tiredness and prescribed drugs, " the Associated Press reported. A charge of being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drugs was dropped. Sentencing was deferred until May 30, pending more blood tests. Michael was arrested in the early hours of Oct. 2 after police responded to complaints that a car was blocking an intersection in North London.