DANCING WITH THE STARS—SEASON 26—ALL ATHLETES
First let me state that my absolute disgust with ABC for what they’re doing to this show this season is overriding my enjoyment of what I’m seeing on the dance floor!
This “athletes-only” rendition of Dancing With The Stars should have been put on hold until September so that it could be a full one, rather than a truncated four-week fiasco. It’s unfair to everyone—“celeb” contestants, pro dancers, and viewers alike. It’s total baloney. (But there is one silver lining to this brief showing—we have less time to be repulsed by creepy co-host Erin Andrews. How is she still on TV?)
It’s so rude to the supposed “stars” to give them just a few weeks, (if they make it to the Final, that is,) and especially to have eliminated two of them at the end of the season premiere!!! After all the hype they’ve had to endure! But none of them could turn-down the show because this chance might not come again for them.
Why couldn’t DWTS have been given either one more week in the season, or at the very least, a half hour results show the next night? With all the crapola shows on ABC (like The [Idiotic] Bachelor,) the network could not spare that tiny bit of airtime?! Especially for one of their most popular, and long-running, shows??? As Johnny Carson once said to me on The Tonight Show, give me a break!!!
On top of this being only a four-week season, the new voting rules are 100% unfair. I don’t know how they’re going to do it on the other three shows, but on the premiere, they had “live voting,” which means that only two time zones could vote! Of course, fans of one competitor or another could procure the phone numbers in advance, (or go online,) and just vote…without even seeing anyone dance!!! How is that fair???
And viewers were able to vote all show long, which meant voting without watching all the duos dance. That means that dancing doesn’t count for much—the votes are on popularity alone! I hate that. And, best case scenario—if an East Coast viewer was trying to be fair, and watch everyone before voting, the last dance team were afforded the least time to be voted for!
But, sad as it is to say, it will come down not to dancing but rather to outside influences, such as fan bases, race, and age. The two best contestants are clearly figure skater Adam Rippon and footballer Josh Norman. Josh will have the black vote while Adam will have the gay vote. I’m not saying anything controversial—that’s just the way things are. They’ll divide the young vote, but Adam will have to share the skater-fan votes with Mirai Nagasu. But then again, since Adam was very recently the sensation of the Winter Olympics, that might help him trump the football vote. And skating fans are often also rabid dance fans, while I just don’t see football fans, who are mainly guys, sitting around casting votes for a dance show. (Please do correct me if I’m wrong.)
There’s also the case of the popularity of their dance partners. Adam is paired with Jenna Johnson, who’s been a pro partner only one time before, being the first to be eliminated that season. Viewers of DWTS and So You Think You Can Dance, (where she first competed,) just don’t seem to take to her. But charming, flame-haired sexpot from Down Under, Sharna Burgess, has been runner-up twice before, which means fans are not only more familiar with her, but are used to voting for her. But then again, Jenna is the girlfriend of Val Chmerkovskiy, so she has her uber-popular beau out there begging for votes for her, along with his brother Maks and sister-in-law Peta Murgatroyd. So that will help Team Adam and Jenna, for sure. We’ll find-out how this all plays-out in just the aforementioned three more weeks, which is insane.
Okay, here are my very brief assessments of all the couples this season:
Arike Ogunbowale and Gleb Savchenko—If you’re thinking you don’t recognize either of these names, I totally get it. Gorgeous Gleb has been a pro dancer on the show a few times, and he expressed to everyone that he really wants to be paired with someone who has a shot to win. Yet, they gave him this obscure female college basketball player!!! Yes, she did help her team win the Championship with a last second shot, but her being on this show is ridiculous. And…she was really the worst one on Monday night, and therefore, should have been the first to be eliminated. Oh well.
Jamie Anderson and Artem Chigvintsev–While I have nothing against snowboarder Jaime, (and she does appear to have a great pair of natural boobs, which I noticed in that sheer dress,) I’m sort-of glad that she was one of the first two to go because I just could not listen to her lisp anymore, even for the brief four weeks!
Johnny Damon and Emma Slater—This team got screwed. Johnny danced sort-of charmingly, and if it was a longer season, I’m just about positive they would have lasted longer. Oh well—more time for new bride Emma to do…bride things! (Including cheering on her husband Sasha, about whom you’ll read in a minute.)
Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson—Since I watched just about every second of the recent Winter Olympics, (and I really do mean every second—some of them twice!,) I know who this Luge Silver Medalist is. But I doubt that anyone else does. But he did really well on the first show, making me wish that he was one of the people who had the usual eight or nine weeks to develop.
Jennie Finch Daigle and Keo Motsepe–I was thrilled for Keo that for once, he was not the first pro eliminated. [Note: I always used to wish that the show would can him already, until I met him a little bit ago, and he was lovely. Now I know why they keep him around!] I’ve always been a fan of beautiful Jennie, so it’s nice to see her again. But let’s face facts—she doesn’t dance very well. Still, I’m thrilled for her to have some time off from her obscure farm life, even though I’m sure she loves it.
Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten—Even though I doubt that she would remember it, I’ve met Mirai several times as she was growing up. She and her pals used to laugh at everything I said backstage at the Champions On Ice shows. So I’ve rooted for her forever now, and am happy for her success. But I was shocked and disappointed at her rudeness for telling her partner, upon meeting him for the first time, that she had never seen him on the show! The producers must have thought it rude, as well, or they would have never shown it. Still, with her dance skill, I believe she’ll make it to the Final.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lindsay Arnold—Kareem is another athlete I’ve met over the years. I was even at one of his birthday parties back in the day, and his retirement fete, as well. And we even shared a chiropractor! I’ve always rooted for him in life. But I can’t on this show. The man cannot dance. I was actually shocked that he accepted to be on the show. I love Lindsay, but they should have given Kareem a taller, older pro. There are plenty of them out there who would have been more than grateful for the gig. Still, I think he’ll last long on popularity alone, which is a travesty.
Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess–As I outlined above, these two should either win or take second place. The guy can really dance. And they’re fabulous together. Even being a major sports fan, I had never heard of him before, but he won me over pretty quickly. And I always root for ever-pleasant Sharna.
Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson–I’ve always loved him, for years before the Olympics. I’m glad that everyone’s finally getting on the bandwagon now. Better late than never. I love his face, his skating, his dancing, and his personality. What more could anyone want in an entertainer??? (But, in rehearsal, he did scare me a bit—he looked pretty bad. Good thing he really pulled it together for the show. And that final pose—OMG!!!)
Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber—I had predicted that they would be the first to go because, sadly, everybody still hates Tonya. It’s weird because I would guess that most of this show’s voters are too young to have seen all the coverage of her supposed wickedness in 1994. I would have thought that this year’s movie about her life, I, Tonya, would have gained her some sympathy. But she wound-up almost being eliminated the first week, despite dancing beautifully, and getting the second highest marks of the evening. That doesn’t bode too well for her time there. But again, it’s only three more weeks, so it should not be a biggie. Still, I’m happy for her to finally have a tiny bit of happiness in her way-too-hard life.
And, as I’ve been doing since the second they announced the new cast, (sorry, Jimmy Kimmel, that we do not agree,) I predict that Adam Rippon will win. Duh. He’s one of the most popular people in America right now! The adoration of him supersedes his athletic prowess—people are loving his honesty and entertaining personality. (Now, if only I had any athletic talent at all, we’d be twins!!!)
But tune in quickly, folks—three weeks goes by in the blink of an eye!!!