Okay so maybe I watched Dancing With The Stars just one more time. It’s still safe. There are no close personal attachments formed; I needn’t worry about my loathing of public humiliation (anybody’s, really) on national television.
Plus, watching all of these famous people struggle with their feet is actually starting to assuage my own nightmare of enforced Friday night dancing classes as a child. Oh sure, I still wake up in the middle of the night with memories of white cotton gloves and the clammy nine- year-old boys’ palms that clutched them. Nor have I any nostalgia for the agony that preceded the “selection” of one’s dance partner so that thirty-five miserable children could take cues from Mrs. Rayburn, the bourbon-soaked guinea hen in charge of our lessons. Still, there are moments of DWTS when they’re gliding (or when at least one half of each couple is) where it’s kind of spectacular. Amazing to watch, even. Nor, in my dancing days, did anything last a blessed ninety-seconds, as each performance did on last night’s show.
I still don’t know why we have to watch everyone practice beforehand (unless it’s a) to build up suspense, b) to prove that celebrities do own sweatpants, or c) to create a place for not-so-credible crying jags from strippers). I would rather they recap and then have them just burst onto the scene and dance. Nor have I seen enough of the show to have ever witnessed real slips and/or falls. Which I think would be genuinely upsetting (not to mention an ultra-painful reminder of my own short-lived figure skating career, so I’ll hope for safe steps ahead). Still, the show is kind of genius in that you really do learn to appreciate someone for making what must be a huge and considered effort. And even though I doubt I’ll watch too much more of it I was vaguely startled by its curious psychological effects. For never in my wildest dreams would I imagine actually applauding a wrestler (Chris Jericho, whose walls show zero sign of tumbling anywhere), but I did. Kirstie Alley, once again, wins for everyone because she’s smart enough to be self-effacing and talented enough to get around just fine. Nor did I ever think I’d feel sorry for a supermodel (Petra) because she is sooo tall and sooo angular and sooo lean that, well, it’s just not working for her. Really? Really. This is to DWTS’s credit: who feels sorry for someone like that?? Still, you do. Similarly young Romeo — whose swagger and bravado I might find offputting — is someone you suddenly view as trying, damnit, so give him a chance! Moreover, despite caring not one iota about the Super Bowl, I couldn’t help but wish all those Steeler Nation doubters Hines Ward referenced might shut their traps and let the man do his job. Ralph Macchio is continuing to play out his Nice Guy/Could Win card, and so we’ll stand by. Who wouldn’t like to see him pull this off? Not that I’ll still be watching by then, but for now, I have to say there are worse ways to kill time waiting for the delicious shenanigans and Cabot’s Coverie that is Castle.
1) Mike and Lacey
2) Petra and Dmitry
3) Sugar Ray and Anna
4) Wendy and Tony
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