It's Not Just About the Cha-Cha-Cha, Y'Know... (edited with epiphany!!!)

Edited to add: OK. Tina C asks in the comments why people bash this show as the worst form of entertainment. GOOD QUESTION. On one level this does seem the "lowest common demoninator" form of entertainment--totally glitzy, girls in skimpy costumes, cheesy jokes by the host, lounge acts at half time. But the reason why this show is a superior talent/reality show in my opinion is that despite the personalities and the glitz, etc., this show is *not* about self. In fact, to do what they do requires not only an amazing amount of discipline, it requires a good degree of self effacement. The unique talent or personality of an individual does not come into play, instead he or she must entertain by a strict set of rules. Very strict. One aspect of the enjoyment here is watching how well people allow themselves to be taught, how well they give themselves over almost entirely to something totally difficult and new. Now I realize this I LOVE IT MORE!!!

OK. That might be a tad over the top, but you get my general drift.

I was in a stink yesterday. In fact, all weekend. Boob Douche aside (and the magical cure for the itch? Monsistat. Fucking Monistat) it's been like Typhoid Mary around our place lately. I am sick of listening to myself complain about various ailments, but suffice it to say that our walls have resonated with the sounds of hacking coughs, raspy voices, and throwing up. It's been pretty rank, really. But now I think we are all on the mend.

So last night I was prepared to let my mood grow even fouler by complaining about the dearth that is Monday night television (and no we don't Tivo. We just don't. And yes. Television is My Life).

And lo and behold, I discover a new season of Dancing with the Stars is on and I become a new woman. DWS stands out as a reality show for me, because it's nice. It is seriously just some good, clean fun. No backbiting or voting off because of personality (although Tucker Carlson was the first to be voted off last season, which pleases). Just a bunch of D-list celebrities who can't dance for shit actually learning to dance rather well. And not just dance, but dance traditional ballroom, which requires a whole new level of discipline and honest hard work, and so garners my respect for these D-Listers all the more.

For instance, Billy Ray Sirus--who "demulleted" his partner in a playful dance move last night (genius!)--was compared by the judges to a Bear staggering in the swamp. And yes there was something tragically lumbering and buffoonish about his performance. Will Billy pull through and astound us all? It can happen. (but not for Master P, it seemed)

Joey Fatone from 'N Sync--What a goofball! I love him. I didn't know it before, but I am a mega Joey fan! I have never seen anyone have such gleeful fun while dancing the Cha-Cha-Cha, or anything for that matter. It warmed the cockles of my heart. Watch Joey and I challenge you not to smile.

Laila Ali. Boxer. (Daughter of Muhammed). Brick. House. Lady's got an arse on her (which I can respect) and let me tell you she carries it with grace and dexterity. She is also probably the only non-vapid (or criminally insane) female contestant this year.

John Ratzenburger. Cliff from Cheers. Came into the competition two weeks after everyone else (replacing Uncle Pussy from the Sopranos--a loss sorely felt in these here parts)Looked like it could be a clusterfuck in the making. But no sirree. He was lithe, playful, and totally pulled off the fancy footwork. Fabulous! He was even--dare I say it--a teensy bit sexy. (Yes. These miracles occur on DWT). Last season's show made me a believer in Jerry Springer (what a great attitude) and this year I am hoping Ratzenburger can prove to the world he is so so so much more than Cliff from Cheers and the voice of all those Pixar creatures.

Shandi Finnessey. Former Miss USA. Seems nice enough. Had the tremendous misfortune of being paired up with this guy. If you think he looks alarming here, you should see him in live action. Makes your jaw hurt.

Heather Mills (formerly McCartney). Was referred to as "Celebrity Charity Worker" all night (as opposed to Paul's psychotic? ex-wife). I was impressed by how much the show downplayed the fact she has a prosthetic leg. NOT!!!!! (cue video clip of her bandying about her various prosthetics five million times). Her appearance marred the evening for me, not least because it made my BeatleManic husband veritably froth at the mouth. When she was awarded the scores of 6, 6, and 6 he started ranting about Satan's Spawn and "the sign, the SIGN." (you think I'm kidding). I found her attempt to join in the good clean fun rather strained. Anyone would think it's a publicity stunt to curry good favor among the plebs or something.


slouching mom said...


Jerry Springer was appealing? Really?

I'm an Idol fan, myself.

PDX Mama said...

Oh, I know, I am a total Joey fan now! Never thought much of him when he was w/the boy band, but now, I think he's awesome! Cliff was pretty likeable as well. That was a terrific photo of Miss USA's partner - scary!

Did you completely forget about speed skating sensation Apollo? I kind of like him (teensy crush), had more personality than some of the others.

Glad you're on the mend, been there frequently this year!

Bon said...

i wanted to watch it just for John Ratzenberger - i felt quite compelled, actually, to see what on earth the man looked like in square heels - but The Child woke from his sound sleep to pitch a fit worthy of ten grinches plus one, so i missed most of it.

but the recap was nice. :)

i too found Heather Mills an odd bit in the mix when i read about the show...seems sadly publicity whore on her part where the rest haven't had a People cover between them in ten years so i just assume they have lifestyles of moderate cheap luxury to maintain. but then i missed her completely! there's always next week...

Mrs. Chicky said...

The 666 thing cracked me up. So deserved (says this Beatles fan).

As for Ali, she did much better than I expected (as did my darling Cliff Clavin), but if I were one of the judges I'd be afraid to give her a bad comment. She could lay the smack down big time.

Beaman said...

I must say I agree with your husband. Suffice to say I didn't watch the show. :p

Lawyer Mama said...

I must admit that I got sucked into this show the other night too. I had never watched it before, so I'll take your word on Springer. I will say, however, that I thought Shandi's partner's head was crafted entirely from plastic.

Mrs. Davis said...

I kwym about this being a "nice" show. And I love it -- reminds me of the old variety shows from when I was growing up, like Carol Burnett, Donnie & Marie, etc. Idol sometimes reminds me of those, but it has such a nasty element.

I'm kind of disappointed in the line-up of "stars" this season. But I was strangely impressed with Cliff Clavin.

Kelly said...

Okay, that photo of Brian will be giving me nightmares this evening. Thanks a bunch!

I might just have to tune in next week to see a sexy John Ratzenberger. If Joy says it, it must be so!

flutter said...

I'm an Idol fan, also but DWS is really fun.

karrie said...

I've never seen the show, but the idea of a clip art model who can dance is reeling me in.

Woman with kids said...

That guy? Shandi's partner? He's a scary looking woman.

Tere said...

Heather Mills is there TOTALLY as a publicity stunt! She's so hated in her country, she needs some public sympathy, pronto! She's a phony.

Plus, her dress was HIDEOUS.

John R. was utterly charming. As was Paulina.

And I fell for Joey after I saw him in My Big, Fat Greek Wedding.

Tere said...

Oh, and the picture of Ms. USA's partner looks weird and fake. Like a character from Shrek that was left on the cutting room floor.

Tina C said...

tee-hee. why do you think so many people bash this show? why have so many people said it symbolizes the worst of TV?

Dana said...

I love, love, love DWS. This is my show. I look forward to it every season. And my husband teases me relentlessly about it, but seriously. I love it!!

I usually start out voting for the underdogs and at the end of the competition I vote for who I feel is a better dancer.

I was seriously displeased that Mario didn't win. He was by far the better dancer than Emmitt.

Anyway -- this season, I'm hoping John Ratzenberger gets a win. Or Laila Ali. I like her, too.

Fatone is hot, but I think he has an advantage being an N'Sync boy and all.

cinnamon gurl said...

I watched this last night totally thinking of you. AND I loved Billy Ray Cyrus. AND I enjoyed seeing Ian Ziering too. And I think it was the boxer who was like the only decent female contestant. I fear I may be hooked. Crap.