February 27, 2006


It's said that when you attend a ballroom competition, the only reliable thing about the judging is that the best six couples make it to the finals. That is, whether you get knocked out in the semifinals or in the hexadecifinals (hey, I've been to some big comps), it just means you're not as good as the best six.

The corollary for a tournament like Dancing with the Stars is that only the final champ matters, and if so, I guess I agree with the judging. In the very, very final tally, I think the right person won. I just disagreed with a lot of the choices along the way (not always the judges' decisions, but the outcomes after audience voting). Specifically, I'd rank the competitors as follows:

My rankStarDwtS rank
10"Master P"7

Note in particular that with the exceptions of Drew and Tatum, all the women were better than all the men. Drew's push to first in my personal ranking was a very recent event, pretty much just in the last week; I feel that Stacy hit her limit, and while she was still very good, he pushed past her in the final surge for the finish line. Freaky Lips Lisa was easily the most improved of the whole lot, easily rounded out the top three, and would've given Drew and Stacy a run for their money if she'd made it to the finals. Tia and Giselle just got the shaft, plain and simple. They could both dance rings around any of the guys other than Drew. A combination of poor judging and lacking fanbase is what did them in. Jerry really did get a lot better over the course of the competition, and he really was very gentlemanly about the whole thing, so I didn't especially mind him making the semifinals, but he simply wasn't in the same league as the others. While the top five on my list had long since lost the characteristic newcomer look, if they'd had it at all, even on the very last day Jerry was still not straightening his legs, still sticking his neck out, still flinging his arms around, and all around looking like someone I'd expect to see in the Bronze-level events. George had had a promising start, but actually got worse over time; and his patter, initially funny, became obnoxious and annoying weeks before they finally got rid of him. Tatum may have just gotten unlucky at getting her "bad" dance early on, because her waltz looked fine. And Kenny's chief virtue is that he wasn't as totally horrible as "Master P". (Also, I liked his snarky comment at the end about the funny ranking system.)

So here we are at the end of another series. Based on the ratings its gotten (and that with 2½ hours a week dedicated to it), I think we can expect at least a few more. I wonder how long it will be—and who they'll get in the next batch. :)

Incidentally, someone gets a Best Targetted Advertising award for the two-minute commercial for Take the lead, sort of a Stand and deliver-meets-Shall we dance?-meets-Save the last dance starring Antonio Banderas (I mean, seriously, what's not to like?), which looks to be an excellent addition to the ballroom film canon.

"The nice thing about it being 12 degrees out is that having a space heater pointed at my bare feet is the most luxurious opulent sensually enjoyable thing I can imagine experiencing while I work on a boring porn site for money AND I AM DOING IT RIGHT NOW." --Zach Miller

Posted by blahedo at 12:40am on 27 Feb 2006
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