I must admit to a complete fascination with DANCING WITH THE STARS. When it was first aired during the summer, I almost didn't watch it because it looked like a desperate limbo for c-list celebrities (not actually "stars") and a form of dancing that belonged on a cruise ship. I'm happy to say I was totally wrong. I've come to realize that ballroom dancing is awesome--especially the Latin dances. I love to watch the professional partners because, basically, these people are one hundred times the athlete I'll ever be. And how much do I admire the celebrities for putting in all this effort? (Well, most of them give it their all, but we'll get to that in a second.) I'm truly amazed at their routines because I would never be able to do what they do. In addition to a horrendous lack of rhythm, I'd never get over my need to lead. Put those two together and you've got one bad dancer.
This season, I was really happy to see the list of competitors expand from six to ten, and I think, for the most part, the celebrities were well chosen. True, there's this whole thing with Master P that I'm not enjoying, but I think it was great of him to step in at the last minute for his son. Still, at this point in the season, I want to see a competition, not a popularity contest, and if this show is ultimately going to be based on who has the biggest fan base as opposed to how they actually dance, then let's just get it over with now by having the celebrities merely stand there and stare at the camera without spending any time rehearsing or caring. Why go through the actual dancing part at all? I want to see the celebrities improving week by week, like Kelly Monaco did last year. Seeing them putting such sweat and tears into their performances makes me feel good and, IMHO, it's only right to separate the chaff from the wheat. If a celebrity isn't going to put in the hours that it takes to excel, then I have no problem seeing them go. The competitor in me just doesn't respect a job half done.
So that was my Type A diatribe, and here's my fangirl blip board for last night's episode:
George and Edyta: Charm aplenty from "the gay blade." George Hamilton is out there trying his heart out, even if his body can't keep up with his enthusiasm. I hate to say it, but he's falling behind and it won't be long until he's gone. Nonetheless, he's been very entertaining and his attitude is kick-ass. I just wish he were twenty years younger so he could really spank that dance.
Tia and Maksim: Every week I notice that Tia's increase in poise and talent is equaled by the loss of that baby chub around her middle. I'd say that the Foxtrot is my least favorite ballroom dance, but she carried it off with style and grace. If this couple isn't worked over by the phone call portion of the voting process, I can see them gaining momentum and being a force to deal with in the finals. Tia's been improving that much. (But what do I know about dancing? I just like what I see.)
P and Ashly: Scott Savol from American Idol, part 2, anyone? Good for P for taking a chance in something that's way out of his league, much like Kenny, who got voted off first, did. But I can't help but notice that Ashly does 99% of the dancing. Looking at last night's performance strictly from a competitive point of view, I thought the judge Carrie Ann's "4" was extremely generous. Then again, I grew up competing in one thing or another, so I put a lot of stock in scoring. Still, Ashly admitted that they hadn't rehearsed more than 20 hours so far when all the other couples have put in about 130 hours on the average. Wow. It really shows that hard work can pay off...if you do it.
Stacy and Tony: There have been rumors that Stacy has had, like, 14 years of dance training. If that's true, then I think she probably belongs in a different competition, but...my God, do I enjoy watching these two dance. I think Stacy's legs are the length of my torso, and the girl can sure use those gams.
Drew and Cheryl: My favorite. Did I love the Michael Jackson "Thriller" choreography? Yes! Did I bop up and down in my chair when Drew swished around his cape as if he were inviting "the bull" (Cheryl) to charge him at the beginning? Oh, yeah. Was I on the edge of my seat during the whole dance? Scarily, yup, I was, because I'm such a geek. But did these two use everyone else to wipe the floor this time or what? If they get voted out, I'm going to be ill--especially since that means I'm way too invested in this program for my own good.
Jerry and Anna: Jerry Rice is a demigod. On the football field, he was an artist. He made some of the most astounding plays ever recorded for posterity. This man is a COMPETITOR (upper case well earned). I see a lot of improvement in Jerry, notwithstanding last week, and I'm hoping he's going to blow everyone away as the competition goes on. He definitely has the heart to do it as well as the athletic skills. I think he's at his best when he's being smooth on the floor, as last night proved. My dad noted that maybe some of Jerry's difficulties in previous dances had to do with knee injuries he suffered during football, and I think that could be a factor, even though he seems to be working through them.
Lisa and Louis: To me, Lisa is the Kelly Monaco of this season, except with an accelerated learning curve and even more power to do backbends and leg lifts. Last night, she worked those head snaps. All in all, this couple's Paso Doble was high-energy and dazzling. (OMG, I just used the word "dazzling." Help me.)
And there you go. If you think my interest in this show is unhealthy, then you should see me when I watch NFL football games. It ain't pretty, either.