It’s been over two months since the finale of the first season of Dancing With the Stars, the reality show that took the first month of the summer reality season by storm. If you haven’t been keeping up with what’s going on, it goes like this. A bunch of celebrities learn to dance with professional ballroom dancers. Judges score and viewers vote, whittling the field of six down to only two teams, Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo and John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen. Kelly wins, John thinks he got robbed, ABC believes it can make some money with a rematch, and so they get the two back onto the parquet and return to their grueling training. A final dance-off, decided by just the viewers, will determine who is the actual daddy mack, or mack daddy if you prefer, of the ballroom. And who wouldn’t want to brag about that for all eternity?As much as I am going to make fun of this obvious attempt by ABC to distract viewers from the Big Brother finale, I do have to say that I really loved hearing that music once again. If you need a reminder, listen to it again. And then we have the return of our hosts, Tom Bergeron and Lisa Canning. Who would dare laugh at their desperate attempts at legitimacy? You know who? THIS GUY!
But to be completely honest, it’s not like we need to pick on Tom and Lisa, because the dancers are enough entertainment on their own. Take Kelly Monaco (please!). Her first outfit consisted of a red dress that sort of looked like she painted licorice on herself, except that Rachael Ray had seen it first and nibbled a bunch of holes in it. But there I go getting ahead of myself again. We can’t have a dancing segment unless we first do a flashback and look at all the hard work it took to get there.
For Kelly Monaco, Dancing With the Stars was a real accomplishment. I know nothing about her career, so maybe I am wrong when I say that her career was headed towards Daytime Emmy levels of prestige. In other words, she would only be popular amongst a subset of our society that considers a recurring role on General Hospital and appearances in Playboy lingerie shoots as the pinnacle of show business. Kelly learned something else when she became a dancing star, and she was not the only one. The viewers at home learned a lesson when she won, namely the people that consider a recurring role on General Hospital and appearances in Playboy lingerie shoots as the pinnacle of show business outnumber the people who think J Peterman rocks. These are sad times we live in.
In defense of Ms. Monaco, I can say that it is probably bullshit that this whole rematch is going on. Then again, it is probably not going to hurt her any. Whatever prime time exposure she gets is more than she ever expected to receive in her lifetime. You also have to remember that she won the fan voting the first time, and her fans were just as mad that people would dare challenge her championship as the O’Hurley fans were about the final outcome. Why would anything be different? Well, for one the producers decided to show us Kelly’s gross feet after she had been practicing for a while. I would have posted a picture, but seriously, who wants to look at gross bloody feet? Thankfully, there are plenty of shots of her in those cute boyshorts, which has an odd balancing effect with the nausea caused by her feet.
Kelly and Alec started off the Latin portion of the show by doign a Cha Cha Cha to Lady Marmalade. Does anybody know where to hire this cover band? They really are genius. Watching them do this dance, I was trying to pay attention to the footwork because I believe that when they scored perfect 10s on the finale last time, they were actually quite sloppy. Overall, it was like a normal Kelly Monaco dance. Put her in something skimpy/near slutty and then hope people are imagining what she looks like naked and not paying attention to the actual dance. The judges scored 7-9-9, making it a solid start to the competition.
Before John and Charlott-ah got started, we also had a chance to look back on what happened for him. He really was crushed when he lost, and I think he was correct when he said that he and Charlotte wanted it more than anybody else. I missed it on the season one finale, but they showed very clearly that John O’Hurley was fighting back tears on the live show. Rachel Hunter was the only person who seemed more emotional after defeat.
For their first dance, John and Charlotte did the Rhumba to the Look of Love. Charlotte, who always kept things really classy in the previous round of Dancing with the Stars, strutted out in a see-through number that I wasn’t really impressed with. It’s not that I don’t think Charlotte couldn’t pull it off, because she is in great shape for a woman of any age. Perhaps I am naive to think so, but I really did love the “I’m better than you, so I won’t dress like a prostitute” attitude we got from her before. Nevertheless the two of them gave a decent performance. I thought it was a little herky jerky at times, and the judges agreed, giving them a 7-8-7. John’s facial expressions are still a 10 in my book.
When we returned, we got to see a full routine with two pros. Ashly Del Grosso[not Stephanie, thanks RenDAWG] and Louis VanAmstel Light. Well, he was never heavy, but I let that joke go all summer, might as well try it on for size now. What? Not funny? OK, I’ll move on. I really liked the performance these two put on, but they are professionals, so that is no surprise. They danced the jive to “Proud Mary” and I couldn’t have been the only one to have Angela Basset and Laurence Fishburne in my head while this was going on, right? I really feel bad for Louis VanAmstel, not just because people make stupid beer jokes about his name, but because he was paired with Trish Sutter and nobody got to see how talented he is. I guess since they had the same sized foreheads, people thought they would look great together. Hopefully he’ll come back for some more next year.
Before Kelly and Alec performed their next step, we got a blooper reel. It was just as entertaining on screen as I have described it. So entertaining in fact, that I decided to watch an episode of The Tyra Show I had Tivoed, so I could get some fast forward time. When I came back, Kelly started talking about how life has changed after being a champion. You know, she has gone from being D-list to C-list or even C-list plus. That means that you can barely walk into a Von’s without somebody staring you down in the produce section and wondering if you really are that girl from Playboy. Therefore, you should shop at Gelson’s, Mayfair, or Bristol Farms because people there understand your right to privacy. But you should shop with your sunglasses on because that doesn’t attract ANY attention whatsoever.
The dance was the quick step, the song Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, the score 9-7-8.
From John O’Hurley, we also learned how much his life has changed. He wasn’t like Kelly, who seemed eager to get rid of her dance shoes, he said that he would do it every week if he could, and we would probably watch. During the show, they always alluded to how difficult it was for John to be dancing with the beautiful Charlotte and spending seven hours a day with her getting down and dirty, and come on, those running pants are thin. And although it’s been years since I pitched a tent simply by dancing close to a girl; 40 hours a week with the same one, and something might slip every now and then. But while I was feeling sorry for John’s wife, I actually saw John’s wife, who is not some 50 year old, past her prime, way too much plastic surgery wife, but a half his age, nearly trophy wife. She was much hotter than Charlotte, and obviously had nothing to worry about.
John and Charlotte did a waltz to “You Light Up My Life.” If there was anything that their dances didn’t have in the first season, it was the lifts. Maybe John just wasn’t in shape, or maybe they were more concerned with footwork. Whatever the case, they are now lifting like mad, but the rest of their routine was great. These two have great chemistry and they dance together like they have been partners for years. Dare I say it looked effortless, and the judges rewarded them well with a 10-10-10. Ha! Vindication!
Before the third and final dance, Jonathan Roberts, who danced with Rachel Hunter, and Anna Trubinskaya danced freestyle to Fields of Gold, with a live performance by Brian McKnight. I would rather have heard Roxanne (Put on the red light!), but it was good performance and Jonathan Roberts can actually lift a person that is not twice as tall as he his. When we heard that Anna was his real partner, not only on the dance floor, but in life, since they were married, I began wondering if he and Hugh Jackman hang out at the same singles bars.
Perhaps the treat of the episode was the focus on the rising stars of the next generation of dancing professionals. We took a little trip to a dance studio where several pairs of children between 7 and 10 years old are training to be professional dancers. I thought to myself, “shit, these kids must get ripped on all the time.” And while some admitted that they were, in fact, ridiculed, brother and sister Fay and Dale said they are kind of popular, which obviously meant that they were popular targets for swirlies. Eventually, it turned into an episode of Kids Say the Darndest Things, but we got to see them all on the dance floor, and watching them perform their moves with all of their adolescent coordination and body control was quite entertaining. They pulled off some great moves, and you can see how the exaggerated leg kicks, hip thrusts, and arm extensions have to be learned at an early age. They were even doing splits and lifts. I had to immediately put in a DVD of Falling Down because my cynicism levels were running dangerously low.
For freestyle, Kelly and Alec danced to Pink’s “Get the Party Started.” She had on a modified Xena sidekick leotard, while he had raided the wardrobe of a UPS delivery man and tore off the sleeves. Final score 8-8-9.
John and Charlotte came out, and there is not much else to say except what the hell was Charlotte wearing? She looked so very elegant during the waltz, but reverted back to some outfit that looked like it came from the Broadway production of Runnign Man. Come on, you know you want to see Yaphet Kotto in one of those. The judges also gave them a final score of 8-8-9.
By now, you have probably done the math and figured out that John and Charlotte won, right? While the judges gave scores, only the viewers would decide, and voting was over by the time this post came up, and there was no internet voting. Instead, we get a results show on Thursday at 9PM. I have no idea how they are going to fill up that time, but I do have some questions, and a suggestion.
First, if John and Charlotte win, do they take back that plastic Trophy from Kelly and Alec? Do both teams get trophies? Why isn’t the ballroom dancing governing body taking care of this? My suggestion is that they make John O’Hurley a celebrity judge. Win or lose, I think he was the delight of this competition and I think he should be on in some form, if his schedule permits.
What did you think of the competition? Were those kids also getting a little creepy towards the end of the routine? Who deserved to win this time?