Dancing with the Stars Recap: We Eat the Cheese So You Don't Have To, Edition
My main thought while slogging through last night's two-hour, live Dancing with the Stars premire this morning on the office TiVo: Is there any modern TV show as willfully cheesy as this one?
Of course, ABC's hit dance/reality competition defines star rather loosely. Heather Mills, for example, wasn't introduced during last night's live show as a former model, or for the real reason anyone knows her name -- that she's the former Mrs. Paul McCartney dancing with a prosthetic leg (on camera, she's a "charity campaigner").
Since ABC announced the celebrity lineup, it's the two questions most casual observers had: Will she mention Macca? And how will she handle twirling and kicking with a fake leg? (answer so far: no and okay)
In typical network TV fashion, they pushed her dance nearly to the end of the two-hour live show, sending her out on the floor in an ankle length dress with a routine that avoided most of the jumps, leg points and splits that women use to spice up their performances. (Of course, the judges couldn't say any of this, because it would look like they were kicking an amputee while she was trying -- so expect lots more boring routines that no one will directly criticize because they don't have the testicular fortitude of Idol grump Simon Cowell) See her routine and judge for yourself below.
So far, the Jerry Springer Two Left Feet Award goes to -- big surprise! -- one-hit country music wonder Billy Ray Cyrus, who drew snickers during his time on the music charts for his awful dancing in his own music videos (now, he draws snickers because he's known mostly as Hannah Montana's dad -- and there's so many photos around of him in this chees-tastic mullet).
He was followed closely by former Cheers star John Ratzenberger, who stalked his Polish hottie dancing partner on stage like the creepy uncle you always avoid at wedding receptions. But at least the voice of Mr. Potato Head had an excuse -- because he was replacing drop out Vinnie "Big Pussy" Pastore, he only had half the time anyone else did to rehearse.
Worse than American Idol, Dancing with the Stars is that most awful of reality shows: so steeped in BS that snide criticism seems redundant, and yet popular enough that some attention seems warranted. My guess: Ian Ziering and Joey Fatone are the early favorites, but most folks will just be watching to see if Mills' leg falls off.
Now THAT's quality television.
(of course, click on any of the wonderful photos from ABC's publicity department to see them larger)