Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Secret Passion

I apologize in advance....this is a very superficial blog about people who really don't matter.

Don't tell anyone, but I enjoy watching shows like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.  Whoopi Goldberg has joked that the show should be called "Dancing with the Star", singular, and I see her point.  Of the eleven "celebrities" dancing this year, I only recognized four of the names, five if you count that I'd vaguely heard of Romeo, a has-been hip-hopist.  Of course the show tries to appeal to a broad audience by hiring celebrities from all venues; sports, television, movies, music, reality shows, modeling.  I don't watch sports or reality shows so that limits my familiarity.  I do like to watch dancing; escaping from my own out-of-shape, uncoordinated body by watching others do what I can't.

The celebrities get paid; the longer they stay on the show, the more money they earn.  I imagine most of them don't really need the money and do it to revitalize a sluggish career.  Some have honestly said they're doing it to lose weight.  DWTS certainly transformed the bodies of Kelly Osbourne and Marie Osmond; dancing 6-8 hours daily gave them a weight loss turbo boost.

In previous years, I was irritated when a celebrity with an obvious advantage was put on the show.  I knew Kristi Yamaguchi would win and stopped watching that year.  As much as a figure skater can try to claim that dancing is "so much different" than skating, you know it's still more closely related than say, playing football or acting.  Same thing with Jennifer Grey, last year's shoe-in winner.  She didn't get the lead in Dirty Dancing without having taken years of dance lessons.  So they made her back injury and cancer survival a big deal in order for her to appear like she was at a disadvantage. 

This year, there's no one with a major dance experience advantage.  Watching the first show, I tried to come up with a percentage of celebrities who had been surgically enhanced.  This year's obvious ones are the boob jobs.  Of the women celebrity dancers, my best guess is three out of five have gone under the knife; the Playboy bunny, the model, and probably Wendy Williams.  At least this year I don't see as much of the botox and nose jobs as in the past, i.e. Wayne Newton, Jennifer Grey, Buzz Aldrin (yes, the botox was obvious men).

As I don't care about/don't know the other "celebrities", I'll just focus on those I do.  Some of them are pretty good dancers, but since the audience decides who wins, it really all comes down to popularity.

Wendy Williams has a daytime talk show.  I've never watched more than 2 minutes of it, but I'm aware of who she is.  However, I never realized until DWTS how much Wendy looks like a transgender.  If she was born female, I feel sorry for her.  Without the make-up, hair and very large, perky bosom, Wendy could easily be a Wendell.  With all the accoutriments, she could be mistaken for any of the drag queens on Bourbon Street in New Orleans (don't ask me how I know that).  The boob job I'm not sure about because Wendy is a large person; usually a boob job is more obvious when a very thin person has a lot up top for the size of her frame.  Breasts are made of fat tissue so guess what goes first when you lose weight?  Wendy probably will go home soon because she is clearly the worst dancer and tends to march through her dance steps with the grace of Kate Gosselin.  If Wendy stays and wears out her welcome, it's because she's better known than some of the others and will solicite more votes from her fans.

Tony Dovoloni and Wendy/Wendell Williams
Even though I don't follow a lot of sports, I know who Sugar Ray Leonard is...mostly because I've always thought he was very cute.  He's still cute, but not a very good dancer.

I know Kirstie Alley from the TV sitcom Cheers.  She is probably the most overweight person I remember being on DWTS (no doubt one reason she wanted to do the show) and is a funny actress.  She has been suprisingly well-coordinated in her dance moves.  I'm curious to see how much weight she loses and expect her to last a while.

Ralph Macchio, best known from the Karate Kid movies.  He still has that young baby-face, but looks like he's wearing too much make-up.  When they did Ralph's introduction piece, he came across as a geek.  Geeky hair style (but still all his), goofy jokes and an intellectual family man.  He reminded me of a skinny version of my brother.  When he danced, however, Ralph had a very graceful style (unlike my brother).  I guess he still has some of that martial arts coordination.  Ralph could end up winning, but I'd love to see big Kirstie take it.

My goofy brother Paul, aka "Howard" demonstrates his dance moves
Compared to American Idol, DWTS has more professional judges who give better critiques.  Winning DWTS doesn't carry the same weight with a rich celebrity that it does with a singing amateur who's trying to break into the business so American Idol has less fabricated drama (especially now that Paula is gone).  The dance show contestants have a drama or story each week to draw people in.  The celebrities argue or sleep with their professional dancing partner, walk off in frustration, cry, get hurt, show off their families, have trouble connecting with the dance, etc. for their "story" each week. 

My biggest pet peeve with Dancing with the Stars is the constant audience clapping.  I don't know how anyone could think that having the background noise of applause the entire time the hosts are talking would be a good idea.  If someone else is talking, it's rude to make noise so no one can hear the person with the microphone.  I wish host Tom Bergeron would just once say, "Quiet people!  May I have your attention please?"

I'll be watching tonight to see who gets booted.  After last week's non-drama-after-all-the-buildup-to-get-ratings show with anger management drop-out Chris Brown, the DWTS will have to come up with another entertainment tension-builder.  Maybe Charlie Sheen will show up in the audience to promote the loser "L" on his forehead too.

1 comment:

  1. He reminded me of a skinny version of my brother. When he danced, however, Ralph had a very graceful style (unlike my brother).

    Pfft! Like Ralph Macchio can improv a dance off the Twelve Days of Christmas. My spazzo-dance style is rarely imitated or admired, for good reason -- pure jealousy (and its tendency to frighten small children)!