Carrie Ann Inaba makes no secret of her love for animals. But she objects to fellow Dancing With the Stars judge Len Goodman’s characterization of her as a “crazy cat lady.” One can assume Goodman’s comment was mere teasing, but Inaba took to her Access Hollywood blog to confirm she has several rescue animals, including two cats and three dogs, and has started a foundation to help all kinds of furry creatures. Inaba’s Animal Project Foundation funds existing animal rescues and specific projects to support animal welfare.
Although her foundation has been around for some time, Carrie Ann just announced a new line of apparel that will fund the non-profit. She announced the initiative on her blog and appeared on a local television station, KTLA, to discuss its potential impact. She also talked about Dancing With the Stars, which is only one week away from its season finale. On Monday night’s show, two pairs will be eliminated, leaving three to compete at the end for the mirror ball trophy.
— The Animal Project (@AnimalProj) May 14, 2016
— Carrie Ann Inaba (@carrieanninaba) May 14, 2016
KTLA, on Friday, had both an animal charity and Dancing With the Stars theme, as last year’s winner Bindi Irwin was on-hand in a separate interview to talk about an upcoming gala in Los Angeles to support a foundation named after her father, Steve Irwin. Inaba took to social media to praise Irwin as the two celebrities chatted backstage.
— Carrie Ann Inaba (@carrieanninaba) May 13, 2016
While Carrie Ann told Access Hollywood that there is no clear front-runner this year on Dancing With the Stars, she said that last year, Irwin was clearly running away with the title weeks before the finale. She also praised the diversity of this season’s contestants, saying they are all succeeding for different reasons. The final five — Nyle DiMarco, Antonio Brown, Ginger Zee, Wanya Morris, and Paige VanZant — are nearing the end of a quick but action-packed season.
During last Monday’s episode, the pairs competed individually and as part of a judges’ dance. Inaba set her concept to the song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and pros Sharna Burgess and Mark Ballas translated her ideas into specific choreography. In her blog, Inaba praised the dancers — Ballas, Burgess and their celeb partners Brown and VanZant — for working diligently to create the cohesive dance she envisioned — despite the challenge of merging their distinctive talents and strengths.
“These incredible athletes, led by their talented choreographers, worked right up until show time, to match each other’s lines and intensity.
“I’m so proud and honored to have worked with my team. They gave 100 percent and left it all on the dance floor. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
The three judges’ dances all received scores of 29/30, according to Yahoo!’s recap — interestingly, the non-competing judges all awarded 10s to their colleagues, but the third judge — America — scored a 9 every time. At the end of the night, Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe were eliminated, and the tight leaderboard had DiMarco and Zee tied for first at 59/60; VanZant at 57/60; Brown at 56/60; and Morris at 54/60.
Meanwhile, Carrie Ann is not just saving animals and doing judging duties on Dancing With the Stars — she’s getting cozy with her new love, actor Rob Derringer. She recently confirmed their relationship and has used her Twitter account to broadcast his romantic gestures.
— Carrie Ann Inaba (@carrieanninaba) May 15, 2016
Dancing With the Stars airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC.
[Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images]