Video: Will Tucker keep 'Dancing'?

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msnbc.com
updated 9/15/2006 1:44:29 PM ET 2006-09-15T17:44:29

Last week “Tucker” senior producer Willie Geist reported that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay had endorsed country singer Sara Evans on “Dancing with the Stars.”

“We need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television by supporting good people like Sara Evans,” the letter read. “Sara will be a great representative of the values that we want to see in the media and we should all support her to keep her on the show as long as possible.”

If a vote for Sara Evans is a vote for good values in the media, what then, is a vote for media personality and veteran reporter Tucker Carlson?

“It’s a vote for fun,” said Carlson, who was subsequently endorsed by Rev. Al Sharpton and political consultant James Carville .

The judges agreed Carlson had a lot of fun during his performance on the “Dancing” premiere, for which Carlson temporarily donned the iconic bow tie that once defined his on-air personality. But the compliments stopped there.

“What an awful mess,” judge Bruno Tonioli decreed, comparing Carlson’s dance to sitting on a toilet and punishing him with a score of three out of 10.

Carlson was undaunted.

“I’m going to win Bruno over,” Carlson responded.  “The seeds of affection are there and once he marinates in me a little bit, we’ll be friends.”

Carlson – along with Evans – will need the help of his political supporters and his own “base” if he is to get the chance to impress

With a combined score of 12, Carlson was the low score on the night followed by Evans with a 15.  Jerry Springer, the oldest dancer in the competition, scored a 16.

Mario “A.C. Slater” Lopez led the pack with a 26 followed by NFL legend Emmitt Smith with a 24.

Luckily for Carlson, audience vote counts for half the overall score.

To encourage fans to weigh in, “Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron read a quote from a letter Sharpton wrote to endorse Tucker at the end of the show: “Voting in celebrity dance contests is not just your right in this country, it’s a privilege.”

Bergeron did not read the first part of Sharpton's letter:

“I don’t have to remind you that we are living in trying and uncertain times. That’s why now, more than ever, we need a strong leader who will stand up for what we believe. Better yet, we need a leader who will dance for what we believe. Tucker Carlson is just such a dancer. I ask you to join me in supporting Tucker as he competes on the ABC program, ‘Dancing With The Stars’.”

To vote for Tucker -- to vote for fun -- click here.

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