Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Post-Mortem: Week 4

Welcome to a new weekly feature here on Grey Skies, the DWTS post-mortem, in which your humble blogess tells you exactly what you should think about the week's dances and elimination, and why, if you disagree with me, you are wrong. I have been watching DWTS for years, ever since Season 3, when a co-worker of mine said, "No, trust me, just watch. It's awesome." And I did. And it was!

My husband, a usually calm and laid back, chill kind of guy, hates this show with the type of toxic virulence he usually reserves for Republican presidential candidates. But he loves me, so he puts up with it. Grudgingly. And with many noisy complaints. ("Live! From my personal Hell! It's Dancing With the Stars!") And usually with his new iPhone in hand to distract him from the agony of having to watch "stars" do their "dancing" on our TV.

If you are one of those "I need 'SPOILER ALERT!!1!!!!' written on everything or else I will sue you!" types, then please avert your eyes nowish.

I know, I know. Enough coddling. Let's just jump in, shall we?

Week 4's theme was "Movie Scores," and I have to say, I kind of loved it. I don't usually like when the couples use props and other stupid stuff like benches or hats in their dances, but I like movie score week. It's just fun, you know? Kind of cheeky, kind of cute. I dig it.

And I think that most of the stars liked getting into character for their dances this week. The actors especially - Ricki Lake and David Arquette - really nailed this one. Of course, that's to be expected, right? They're actors! Give them a character and they will act! And though I like Ricki Lake a lot, and I think she will go far in this competition, I don't think she was 29-worthy. Part of it is that I hate when the judges bust out their "10" paddles too early in the season, but part of it is that I think her dance was good, and a 29 should be reserved for a really great dance. Hers was maybe a 25 or 26.

David Arquette did amazing, I thought, especially considering his past dances have been kind of blah. As my husband so eloquently put it last night, the guy's brain seems to have been fried from his substance abuse and now he's just a space cadet. (Husband's words, not mine. For someone who hates the show so much, he pays an awful lot of attention, knowwhatImean?) I don't know if it was getting into character as Indiana Jones that did it for him or what, but he nailed that Paso Doble. I hope this dance gives him some confidence and he comes back next week doing equally well or better, because I really like seeing Courtney Cox and their daughter Coco in the audience.

My two favorite dances of the night were, by far, Hope Solo's Foxtrot and Carson Kressley's Viennese Waltz. I know that Carson isn't the judges' favorite, and he probably won't make it past week 6 or 7 because that's how this show works, but I like him a lot. He's funny, he's fun, and his dances are consistently entertaining. And Hope is a much better dancer than she seems at first, but most of the athletes are. Except you, Mr. Ron Artest I don't care about your stupid new name! My only problem with Hope is her professional partner, Maks, who is probably my lease favorite of the pros. He's just too conceited for me, and I don't like how he mumbles.  You have an accent! Try to articulate better so I can at least hear you, even if I can't understand you! A few years ago I tried that DWTS exercise video starring Maks and Cheryl, and, seriously, Maks is, like, comatose for the whole thing. Just...blech, Maks. Anyway, Hope did a super-cute dance to the Toy Story song (does Disney actually own Randy Newman, or what?) with her nephew in the audience IN A BUZZ LIGHTYEAR COSTUME. I COULD SERIOUSLY DIE OF ADORABLE OMGNOMNOMNOM.

Nancy Grace was OK. I think she could be a decent dancer, and I know Tristan is newish, but I'm not digging his choreography. I think he plays it safe, and maybe that's because Nancy isn't as strong a dancer as some of the others, but their dances are kind of zzzzz.... to watch, and I fully blame Tristan for that, even though he is kind of a hottie. I kind of wanted Nancy to be eliminated this week, though. Not because I don't like her, but because I think hers are the weakest of all the dances overall.

I've been supporting Chaz Bono from the start because I identify as an LGBTQ-ally, and because I wanted to see Cher in the audience. Maybe she could perform a song on one of the results shows? Maybe she could do "If I Could Turn Back Time" for us? Cher? You listening? But let's face it: Chaz seemed utterly disappointed last week when he didn't get sent home, and even though his Paso was pretty good this week, I think he still wants to go home. Either that or he's just massively media unfriendly. Either way, I think voting him off soon will be a mercy for everyone and for Chaz most of all.

Me: "If my kid was on this show, I'd be in the audience for every single episode."
Husband: "Maybe the producers told Cher to wait, so people would have to keep voting to keep Chaz on."
Me: "Yeah, well, if that were the Juban Princeling there, I'd be like, 'Fuck you and your ratings, producers! That's my kid and I'm going to go be there for him!'"

I'm not saying I'm a better mother than Cher is that way - not at all, as I'm sure she can beat me up. I'm just saying we have different mothering styles. Please don't hurt me, Cher.

J.R. Martinez did OK. Last week his dance made me cry my face off, and I think that he may win this whole thing, but this week he was just pretty good. I didn't think he did as badly as the judges thought he did, but he's done better. He's a really good dancer. I worried at first that he'd only get the sympathy vote, but the guy can really, really move. This week, though, he lacked a certain effortlessness he usually has. 

Rob Kardashian pleasantly surprised me this week, and even though I can't stand his professional partner Cheryl "Man Stealer" Burke, I kind of crushed out on his Superman-inspired Paso. I was shocked he wound up in the bottom three, but happy that he survived another week. I think he's going to continue to surprise us all. (Note to Carrie-Ann: "Rob Kardashian is a better dancer than Kim Kardashian!" This isn't a competition between siblings, OK? That comment was wholly unnecessary, and, I think, a little mean.)

And so we come to the train wreck of the night, Chynna Phillips's Tango. Oh, Chynna. I'm so sorry you got eliminated this week. I can't believe the audience wasn't more forgiving of her little - ok, major - boo-boo. I fully expected the championship dance to be between her and JR. Was her complete breakdown on the dance floor worth sending her home? I didn't think so. Was it painful to watch? Oh, hell yes. And, since Tony is my favorite professional dancer, I have to say BOO TO YOU, AUDIENCE! You sent my Tony away! Waaaaaaaah!

Next week: Bruno gesticulates wildly; Carrie-Anne gets emotional; Len gives the studio audience dirty looks. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

LOL, I don't watch DWTS but, your blog about it was entertaining! :O)

Meredith L. said...

Thank you!

Christy McKee said...

I love your BLOG. Of course I'm an addict to DWTS. It seems this year dancing ability doesn't carry much weight--Ms. Cavaleri (sp?) as a case in point. Then, the talented Ms. China had an off night--maybe a bit more than that--and was history. I'll be checking back to get your take on the rest of the season.

Christy McKee

Meredith L. said...

Hi Christy, welcome to Grey Skies!

From the many seasons I've watched, it seems the dancing ability has very little to do with anything in this competition. I didn't think Emmet Smith or Donny Osmond were that great, but they won the whole thing. I think it's part what the producers think will get the most ratings, and who the audience likes.

And honestly, I was glad that Kristin got booted, but then, I have a natural dislike for perky, skinny blondes. I know, I know, I'm going to classes to work on my prejudice.

Anonymous said...

This year my family and I decided not to watch DWTS. It no longer has stars, but celebrites who have a social agenda. I think you're wrong about Chaz. She has not had a sex change yet so technically is not a male. I'm sorry for her, but I wull not expose my children to this sort of program.

Meredith L. said...


This year my family and I decided not to watch DWTS.

Ah, I've skipped seasons. I skipped the last two. AND LIVED TO REGRET IT! Once DWTS has you in its sequined grip, it will not let go!

It no longer has stars, but celebrites who have a social agenda.

Well, yeah, but it's been that way for a while. Heather Mills, anyone?

I think you're wrong about Chaz. She has not had a sex change yet so technically is not a male.

He has, though I have it on excellent authority that it's technically called "gender confirmation surgery." Chaz is a male, and even if he hadn't had the surgery, when a transgendered person - in whatever stage of process - asks to be called by a certain pronoun, it's polite to honor their request.

I'm sorry for her, but I wull not expose my children to this sort of program.

Why are you sorry for him? And why won't you expose your children to the show? Because of Chaz? That's your decision to make as a parent, but honestly, I think you are missing out. The show never addresses Chaz's transgender identity. It's never brought up. Chaz is just there, dancing as a dude, and that's sort of it. It's a non-issue. Not only that, but if you think you are somehow protecting your children from something by banning DWTS in your home this season, then I have to respectfully disagree. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people exist in the world. Exposing children to this fact will not make kids gay or anything else: people are what they are. When we show our children that people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and sexual- and gendered- orientations, we help them to not feel ashamed about themselves, whether they are a boy who likes pink or a girl who likes football or a boy who likes other boys or a girl who self-identifies as a boy. We also teach them that when their friends, or someone else at school, is a little bit different, or doesn't conform perfectly with what is expected of them, that that's OK, too.

I hope that I read this post wrong and that you are banning DWTS in your home because you're sick of the predictability of the show and because the show has become less about dancing and more about gimmicks. But if I'm not wrong, I hope you will at least think about what I've said. It's a big world out there, and the better we equip our children for it the better off they'll be later in life.

VĂ©ronique said...

I'm another who doesn't watch DWTS (big fan of SYTYCD), but your post was still wonderfully entertaining.

Meredith L. said...

Thank you, Veronique!