Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pole Dancing with the Stars

I've been pulling for Erin Andrews all season on Dancing with the Stars. She is the single reason Steve agrees to watch it with me. I love her. Clearly, Steve loves her. My chunky butt isn't at all threatened. She's the all-American girl, and she's the only finalist who isn't a professional dancer. Yeah, I said it. Nicole Scherzinger and Evan Lysacek have unfair advantages and I'm so irritated that it's been downplayed and dismissed all season. That's not what the spirit of this show was about. No, they don't professionally ballroom dance, but anyone who has ever studied dance (15 years of classical ballet right here) knows that if you are trained in one discipline of dance, you are more easily adaptable when it comes to learning other forms of dance. And, ballroom or not, a dancer is a dancer is a dancer. Additionally, I'm willing to bet my tap shoes that, if prior to their appearances on this amateur dancing competition, had you approached Nicole on the set of her "Buttons" music video, or Evan at Smuckers Stars on Ice and said, "You are not a dancer!" they would have taken their stilettos and skates respectively, and told you to stick them where the sun doesn't shine. But now, they're on national television, blushing and stammering "Oh, I'm so out of my comfort zone here!" and being gushed over by Carrie Ann Inaba because they're so "naturally talented" when in fact they are trained professionals who earn their living in part based on their dance skills. So there.

I've felt this entire time that Erin is in it to win it. She's sort of the underdog, but she's also the darling of the competition. Then, there was last night's Freestyle round of competition. I was blowing up Amy's cell phone with my text messages of criticism and disapproval:

"Erin wanted her freestyle dance to tell the story of her and Maks, and that dance takes place on a mattress. How subtle, Erin."

"Erin is gonna lose DWTS because instead of doing a fun freestyle she decided to have simulated sex onscreen. FAIL."

Yes, I text in complete sentences with minimal abbreviations.

Erin claims that the decision to perform a lyrical dance was to "take a risk." Never kid a kidder, Erin. The decision to perform a lyrical dance was a self-indulgent one. It's like when I entered the Jefferson County Junior Miss Pageant Scholarship Program, and the judges asked me about my choice of talent, a ballet en pointe to The Wizard of Oz. I answered honestly that as a little girl I made a promise to myself that I would one day perform on stage while wearing a pair of red glittered pointe shoes, and I was here to make good on that promise. I think the judges appreciated my candor.

Then they asked me if I knew who Tony Blair was. I didn't.
Then they asked me if I knew who Alan Greenspan was. I didn't.
Caitlin Upton, Miss Teen South Carolina, isn't the only one whose ignorance cost her the crown...

Enough about my glory days, let's get back to Erin. We're close in age, both raised in the south, and both took dance lessons as children. I have no doubt that, like me, she has many happy memories doing pique turns and slowly sliding into the splits to a Celine Dion song. So she likes lyrical dance. So she had the opportunity to perform a lyrical dance by a renowned choreographer on a national stage and she took it. So she couldn't pass up the chance to roll around on a mattress with a hot Russian so that everyone and my Nana could see what Maks taught her. Own it, but know that unless her fan base is randy fellas who love to vote the maximum number of times, she probably lost the disco ball trophy to my arch rival, Nicole "I'm not a professional dancer" Scherzinger.

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