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The daily dish ...

Dancer back on stage ...

Dancer Tony Bellissimo, who grew up in Hamburg, is back on the big stage.

Bellissimo, 20, an athletic 6-foot-3 dancer, was one of the two men hoisting Neil Patrick Harris to their shoulders during his surprise song-and-dance opening to the Academy Awards. As Harris sang his song, he rested his arm on Bellissimo's head, and Bellissimo looked up, smiling.

Harris, says Bellissimo, was "incredible to work with, so humble, so funny and such a cool guy. He wanted to practice that lift over and over again, to be sure it was exactly right. He was nervous about getting picked up so fast."

Bellissimo made the finals of "So You Think You Can Dance" last summer. He is now living in North Hollywood, where he is working part-time jobs and going to tryouts for dance work.

"We're excited for Anthony; he's always moving forward," says his dad, David, who owns Wee-Folk Child Care Center in Hamburg with his wife, Debbie.

The couple's other son, Jack, is an Army Airborne Ranger based in Fort Benning, Ga., and currently deployed overseas.
Tony Bellissimo, who graduated in 2007 from Frontier High School, will dance in the opening number of the Kids Choice Awards show, which will be broadcast live on Nickelodeon starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. "I get to do some of my specialty, hip-hop," he says.

-- Anne Neville


In the driver's seat ...

"Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts has spent years watching the Indianapolis 500. Now she'll be in the driver's seat.

Three-time winner Helio Castroneves announced during Thursday's show that Roberts would drive the 2010 Chevy Camaro pace car at the May 30 race.

Roberts is only the second woman to lead the field of 33 around the historic oval. Model Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp, the wife of Indiana rocker John Mellencamp, drove the pace car in 2001.
Speech spurs visit ...

After mentioning an Iowa City bookstore in his health care speech Thursday, President Obama stuck his head in and spent $37 on kids' books.

Obama said the Prairie Lights bookstore would benefit from his health care overhaul. He said the store has offered coverage to its full-time employees for the past 20 years, but that its premiums shot up by 35 percent last year.

The president bought two books for his daughters, 11-year-old Malia and 8-year-old Sasha.

He also paid for a "Star Wars" pop-up book for the 6-year-old son of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.


Palin does reality TV ...

Maybe there will be a crossover episode with Kate Gosselin.

Discovery Communications' TLC cable network -- home to Kate Gosselin and her brood as well as "Cake Boss" -- has just added former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to its roster.

TLC is the new home for a reality show featuring Palin and her family. Details about the show, which will be produced by Mark Burnett, whose credits include the CBS hit "Survivor," are sketchy. The show has an eight-episode commitment and is expected to premiere later this year at the earliest.

The program likely will be as much about Alaska as it is about Palin and her family. With a political career still in the offing, it seems unlikely that she will open the door that wide on the day-to-day life of her family.

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