How did you find me? - Mr. Peterman
Well, you were the only white poet warlord in the neighborhood. -Elaine
Reality TV is quick and cheap to make, and it appears to be largely successful in terms of ratings, so it can come as no surprise that the networks fill up summer months with plenty of reality shows. The Times had an article on several of these new shows (including the one on NBC for washed-up singers, called Hit Me Baby One More Time).
Last night, at Gena's suggestion, I watched Dancing with the Stars on ABC. I am so glad I have been suckered into this latest reality craze. It rules!
The premise is akin to American Idol, of course, although it does actually appear that thus far, the better dancers are winning. A bunch of somewhat has-been actors, actresses, models, New Kids on the Block, or boxers are paired up with a professional dancer, and each week must perform a specific dance - tango, rumba, jive, quick step, waltz, and fox trot. There are three judges who provide a score for the dancers after they perform. Those scores are added to the audience vote and a couple gets booted at the end of the hour. Last night, former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield got eliminated, mercifully I might add, since he's a terrible dancer. I can't think of Evander without thinking of the Snoop Dogg line "And that's realer than real deal Holyfield/ and now you hookers and hos know how I feel." Amen to that, Snoop.
Annnnyyyywaaaayyy, I used to take dance classes back in the day - I can fox trot, rumba, salsa, merengue, and swing. Good times, people, good times. And it's a fun way to exercise! My dance partners - Seth and Marc were both excellent leads and as any lady who has danced before can tell you, it's all about the lead. As such, I approached this show with some skepticism - it would seem to me that a woman who has never danced before would fare much better with a professional male dancer than a gent who had never danced before with a professional woman.
I was so wrong, and I ought to have known better. Truly talented female dancers have no problem teaching someone how to lead. Likewise, dancing ought to look effortless and fun, and some of the amateur ladies look like they are working way too hard at this.
Last night, three of the couples danced the jive, and two danced the tango. The "couple to beat" right now is John O'Hurley (Mr. Peterman from Seinfeld!) and his partner, Charlotte (pronounced Charlotta). They performed a tango and I was tremendously impressed at how good O'Hurley is. It helps that Charlotte is quite the taskmaster and has been dancing professionaly for quite awhile, but O'Hurley is also clearly enjoying himself. The winner last night though, from the judges perspective, was Rachel Hunter, who danced a tango. Indeed, it was an excellent tango, but it really does not surprise me that lithe Rachel Hunter would be able to dance well. I don't particularly care for her though - she looks perpetually pissy. Probably because she's on a reality TV show. Go, Peterman, go!
Meanwhile, the soap actress, whose name I have forgotten, looks like she's concentrating too hard when she's dancing. You can practically see her counting her steps. And former New Kid Joey McIntyre's jive, while somewhat cute and kitschy, was not remotely controlled - he kept flailing his arms and legs about like he wasn't sure what he was doing.
And in the event that you think dancing is silly, which I understand, consider that John O'Hurley has lost 13 pounds since this has started. Hopefully O'Hurley won't run off to Burma - Dancing airs on ABC on Wednesdays at 9pm.