DWTS: Under the Rainbow
Let’s cut right to the quick: the two on the elimination podium last night were Bristol Palin and Margaret Cho (in a rainbow tassle dress), and it wasn’t the “teen activist” who went home. Luckily, ABC didn’t milk the awkward stand-off that could be looked at as representative of current culture wars, and Cho had a nice goodbye speech and even qualified for a montage before going home. I understand that some people will be disheartened by this outcome (I still remember the pain I felt when the higher scoring Lil Kim was sent home over the aw-shucks blond rodeo cowboy got more votes two seasons ago), but I can’t say I was surprised. Margaret showed moments of being a dancer, but that Copacabana routine couldn’t shoot enough rainbow streams out onto the ballroom floor to cover her shakey footwork and, more importantly, the completely lack of story. It’s Story Week, people, and when someone asks for your dance’s story, don’t say “it’s about having pride in who you are even when others criticize.” That’s what the story is about, that is not what the story is. A story needs specific characters and action and your explanation had neither. See for yourself.
I love Copacabana! I love dancers with rainbow tassels! If they had simply said, “it’s the story of a nervous show queen performing for the first time at a gay discotheque”, they could have easily gotten a 7 out of Bruno, maybe Carrie Ann too. This is not Margaret’s fault, this is her partner Louis van Amstel’s responsibility — I love the man, I love how he is a dance therapist to his partners each season, he looks great dancing and even pulled off the Jack LaLane jumpsuit with a rainbow belt, but he’s not so good at paying attention to what the judges are looking for and how to plan accordingly. They wanted a story, no matter how trashy or bad, as evidenced by Cheryl and Rick who basically told the story of a sad athlete picking up a dancer at a strip club. (Those two were, however, still placed the bottom three with those shenanigans, despite getting much better scores from the judges.)
I was underwhelmed in general this week. Perhaps the judges were too, as I’m a little stunned as to why The Situation and Karina were asked to repeat the fox trot from a time machine routine. First, he lacks fluidity, ease, and musicality. Secondly, Karina stole the styling, outfit, and concept from Derek’s futuristic paso doble two seasons ago. Audrina from The Hills stepped up to first place on the leaderboard this week, so I took the time to learn her name. As it stands now, she, Jennifer Grey, and Kyle Massey seem poised to go the distance, possibly Brandy too, if Maks can keep it together (and stop hitting her on the ass, please, that’s not cool). Florence Henderson looked lovely dancing to Edelweiss, but I’m not sure how many more weeks she has in her. The quarterback guy hasn’t danced well enough so I’m not compelled to learn his name. The best part of this week was when judge Carrie Ann Inaba was trying to be encouraging of Margaret Cho’s dance and said, “Dancing with the Stars has gone gay!!!” and off to the side you heard fellow judge (and very out) Bruno say, “really?” Carrie Ann, you should know – Dancing with the Stars has been gay.