Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dancing with the Stars

The hugely popular dance show was pretty bizarre as it kicked off its first season Monday night.
Heather Mills, Paul McCartney's ex, is one of the contestants and she has an artificial leg. I'm not sure why she agreed to do the show but I would hope it is because she wants to be a role model for others with disabilities. But the show -- and ABC -- sure didn't help her do that.
I should have seen in coming in the commercials that were airing before the show premiered -- the ones that showed an endless supply of pre-shoed artificial limbs. It was as if ABC was telling viewers to watch to see if something bad would happen. Seems a little tacky to me.
On the show, she danced OK, I guess. But there is something about her that has nothing to do with her legs. She's not very engaging. She certainly doesn't have the personality of Emmitt Smith, last season's winner.
The contestant with personality is Laila Ali, the boxing daughter of Muhammad. She is my early favorite to win it all.
The most abysmal was Billy Ray Cyrus whose performance judge Bruno likened to "a crazy bear lost in a swamp." I can't say it much better than that.
A close most-abysmal second was Miss USA 2004 Shandi Finnessey. Between all her awkward dance steps she managed to flash huge fake grins at the camera. She might be the first one booted off.
On the other hand, I predict Olympic gold medalist speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno to be in the Final Four and maybe even take a dancing gold. He needs some practice but it's pretty clear he's got what it takes -- even with his less-than-classy 18-year-old professional dance partner Julianne.
The "best dress" of the competition was worn by professional dancer Edyta Sliwinska. It was like a pink bikini with a ruffled half-skirt. She danced with John Ratzenberger -- Cliff Clavin from "Cheers" -- who was tapped to take the place of the Sopranos' Vincent Pastore who dropped out because the practice was too grueling. Hmmm. Guess that makes the name of his character on the Sopranos pretty appropriate. Cliff, er, John wasn't too shabby.
This season's charming athlete is former Houston Rocket Clyde Drexler, who at 6-foot-7 and 44 years of age, could very well glide his way into the hearts of the judges and the audience. He's a longshot to win but it's a possibility.
So those were the highlights -- and lowlights -- as I saw them. What did you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I’m DELIGHTED that you are a DWTS fan, too! I wasn’t sure whether the appeal of the show scanned the “generation spectrum,” knowing ONLY that my husband, who is a “ballroom purist,” won’t watch or hear a word of it—leaving me out on the proverbial limb (sry abt that reference Ms. Mills).
It’ll take me a couple of weeks before I’ve committed to memory the new cast of has-beens, (oops, I mean “celebrities”). My initial reaction to the inclusion of soon-to-be the ex-Mrs. McCartney was totally visceral. Apparently, the heat of the British paparazzi DROVE her to cross the Atlantic for a respite. After seeing the look of total TERROR on her face, however, I did have to give her “props” for a truly gutsy move.
Unlike those “purists” of ballroom, my reasons for watching have less to do with DANCE, but the motivation of the “contestants,” the critiques of the judges (whether or not I agree with their assessments), and, of course, the costumes (how DO they stay ON?)!! Even better, the “hotties!” (NEVER TOO OLD TO LOOK, BOYS AND GIRLS!) Without Mario, however, I’m afraid that I can only HOPE that Maksim will hang in there longer this year than he did last year! (WHEW!) Of course, Apolo Ohno won’t have a difficult time taking up the slack in that department, but, honestly, I’d rather watch him speed-skate!
Hopefully, Leeza will survive the first cut—she deserves the exposure if, for no other reason than the great work she is doing with Alzheimer’s (check it out those who have interest or concerns regarding this devastating disease
I would have PREFERRED that the 2nd dance competition would have been today rather than next week—easier to compare without those annoying “quick-cuts” and flashbacks.