updated 09/20/2006 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/21/2006 AT 6:00 AM ET
Over Here, Mario!
Mario Lopez was like a fly darting around after Tuesday night’s show. While chatting with PEOPLE, he jetted over mid-sentence to talk to a friend. His small-but-mighty partner Karina Smirnoff took control and yanked him back to her side. “We are still talking here,” she reminded him. A contrite Lopez apologized and flashed his dimples. “Oh, I’m so sorry. Where were we?”
Rumor has it that there’s chemistry off the dance floor between Lopez (whose pals George Lopez and José Canseco cheered him on in the audience) and Smirnoff. So, what’s the real deal? “Oh no, I’m single,” he told PEOPLE. “Available. Not really looking. When it happens it happens.”
All Aboard the Love Chain
During the commercial break that followed Harry Hamlin’s dance on Tuesday, he hit the craft-service table and loaded up on Reese’s Pieces. Wife Lisa Rinna rushed over to him and gave him a big hug and whispered in his ear. Hamlin’s overheard reply? “I told you we were going to be okay.”
After the show, when asked if his wife was more nervous about him dancing than he was, he exclaimed, “Yes! I looked out at her just before our dance and I saw her holding hands with all of her friends. They were in a chain-link lock. I was like, ‘Lisa, I’m okay. I’m okay! Calm down!’ ”
The Popular Girl
The dancer with the most fans in the audience, by far, was Monique Coleman. The High School Musical star signed autographs, posed for pictures with fans, and three of her HSM costars (Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu and Lucas Grabeel) also did the same.
After the show, a bald audience member approached Joey Lawrence and asked to get his photo taken with him. “I feel like I’m looking in a mirror,” the fan told Lawrence. The major difference: The admirer was about 30 lbs. overweight while Lawrence, who laughed and happily posed for the shot, is a workout buff.
Dressed to Impress
Of course, Dancing with the Stars isn’t just about the fancy footwork – it’s also about the fashion. Country singer Sara Evans wasn’t the least bit self-conscious about the ultra-short red dress she wore for Tuesday’s show. “I love to show my body because I’m a real woman,” she told PEOPLE. Meanwhile, Shanna Moakler said she felt like Tina Turner in her fringed number. And Vivica A. Fox wanted to emblazon her and partner Nick Kosovich’s name “across my butt tonight because I did a cartwheel in our routine,” she said. “But we’d have to put it upside down because I was doing the cartwheel. Baby, I’m shameless!”