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Dancing With (Some) Stars

February 21, 2007

IF IT CAN SURVIVE THIS GROUP OF CELEBRITIES, IT CAN SURVIVE ANYTHING 

I am not embarrassed to admit that I enjoy Dancing With The Stars.  It is one of the only shows on network television an entire family can watch together and enjoy, without the risk of seeing the kind of off-color humor most sitcoms employ before 10PM. 

As the season progresses,  it can be quite exciting (and amusing) to see the professional dancers and their amateur partners mix it up from week to week.  Frankly, it’s just nice to have a competitive reality show whose contestants don’t have to rely on cut-throat tactics or snarky remarks in order to succeed. 

Dancing With The Stars has also shown that you don’t have to be a great dancer to be entertaining.  When Jerry Springer competed last season, I was floored by how well he did with what little skill he possessed.  His positive attitude and likable personality were justly rewarded by the show’s audience.  I never expected the guy to win, but I was happy to see him succeed over some of the ‘wet blankets’ they chose to fill the other spots on the show.

The latest installment of ABC’s hit series is set to debut March 19th from 8-10PM.  I am not holding out much hope of finding myself drawn in by any of the folks they have picked this time around.  One has to wonder if using the term ‘Stars’ in the title is even more of a stretch than it has been in past seasons.

Speaking of ‘has beens’, here’s my breakdown of the semi-famous contestants you will be seeing in the coming weeks:

  • Laila Ali– Her daddy may have been ‘the Greatest’ but there is no way to tell if her dancing will live up to that title.  Look for fear in the eyes of the judges (and maybe a right hook to their jaws) if they have to tell her she lacks talent.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus– Seeing his name associated with the show gives me hope that line dancing will make its debut this season.  If he has his trademark mullet hairstyle, you might see him stick around for a while.
  • Clyde Drexler– Clyde ‘The Glide’ is the first NBA star to participate on the show.  He has some big shoes to fill (he wears size 14) following two seasons in which former NFL players did quite well.  At 6’7″, he is the tallest contestant they’ve had compete.  I expect his unlucky partner will have to wear platform shoes to compensate for his size.  He may make it past the first couple of rounds, but he won’t last very long. 
  • Joey Fatone– I find it funny when people ask, “Which guy in ‘N Sync is he?” My answer: He’s the ‘fat-one.’ Stocky or not, his Broadway experience can only help.  Expect some of those millions of girls he has entertained over the past decade to keep him in the competition for a while.
  • Shandi Finnissey– This former Miss USA may be easy on the eyes, but she’s dumber than a box of rocks.  People who have avoided GSN shows like Lingo and Playmania won’t recognize her, but that won’t prevent the ‘pervert vote’ from allowing her to stick around longer than she probably should.   
  • Leeza Gibbons– Apparently Ms. Gibbons has run out of infomercials to star in.  This former talk show host and Entertainment Tonight anchor may prove to be a dark horse in the competition.  Can John Tesh be far behind?
  • Heather Mills– Normally I would cheer for any amputee in a dance competition.  But when she tries to ruin the life of a music icon by slandering him in the press, all bets are off.  Hopefully we will get to see her hobble around to the song ‘Gold Digger’ before voters come to their senses and send her back to divorce court.
  • Apolo Anton Ohno– He is the only person I want to be eliminated faster than Heather Mills.  This guy has ruined the past two winter Olympics for me simply by existing.  I  have no rational reason for harboring such hostilities towards this Olympic Gold medalist. There is just something about him that drives me insane.  I will be cheering along with thousands of South Koreans for him to choke (like he often has in speed skating.)  The sooner he goes, the better. 
  • Vincent PastoreThe Sopranos ‘Big Pussy’ proves that even men who have plead guilty to assaulting their girlfriends can compete on a network reality show.  If he acts up, I think Laila Ali should show him what it’s like when a girl hits back.  Expect this fat bastard to disappear quicker than a mafia snitch.
  • Paulina Porizkova– She’s a former super model who married (quite possibly) the ugliest man in rock and roll (The Cars lead singer, Ric Ocasek.)  Can she dance? Probably.  But her relative obscurity may prevent her from getting very far.  If she is any good, expect her to outlast most of the other women.
  • Ian Ziering– Many of us watched him on ten seasons of 90210 as his hairline steadily crept backwards, leaving his believability as a Beverly Hills teenager next to zero.  I hope he shows up in a bad wig and dances like Denny Tario.  Most likely he is just going prove why he has been absent from TV for the past seven years.

That sums up the 11 ‘celebrities’ we are stuck with for the next installment of Dancing With The Stars.  Let’s enjoy it while we can.  I may be proven wrong, but I just don’t think these stars are going to maintain the kind of ratings the show needs in order to bring it back for a few more seasons.  Then again…

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