Friday, August 19, 2005

Oh Dear God, Please Make It Stop

From the AP, here: Kelly Monaco will defend her dancing title against John O’Hurley on September 20th. That’s when they’ll go toe-to-toe for "Dancing with the Stars: Dance-Off" on ABC.

Sweet fancy Moses, it's a rematch. Will the madness never stop?

It wasn't enough that the first six weeks of this show (an air-conditioned version of "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!") was very clearly rigged in Ms. Monaco's favor. Look at her competition. Rachel Hunter: looked like she was in labor most of the time. Joey McIntire: not bad, but he's no John O'Hurley. Evander Holyfield: 'nuff said. And Trista Sutter: ugh.

And then there was Mister Smooth, O'Hurley himself, who returns for the rematch. The guy who exudes refinement and class. The guy who glides across the floor, obviously having a blast (which is what dancing is all about). The guy who SHOULD have won. And over there, holding her winner's trophy in one hand and her costume top in the other, is Ms. Monaco, snotty attitude oozing from every pore of her flesh.

Consensus popular opinion is that John-O won. Yet on the final show, the three dance judges (one of whom was Fook Yu from "Austin Powers: Goldmember", so I guess we know how qualified THAT panel was), in a moment of absurd theater that rivaled anything on "The Gong Show", gave Kelly the first perfect "10s" of the entire series. (Kelly Monaco: the Nadia Comaneci of the ballroom dancing world. Chew on that for a moment.)

Pop quiz: Which of these six "celebrities" stars on a current ABC show? Oh, just guess, go ahead. Can you say "cross-promotion"? Can you say "rigged like the carnival midway games"? (Not like I think a lot of "Dancing" viewers would tune in to see "General Hospital" just because Kelly won, but we all know TV execs don't think like the rest of us.)

So, on September 20th, John-O and Monaco will tango and meringue (that's not a dance, that's a dessert topping) and waste another hour of our lives as they have a "dance-off". And the judges will be there, but they won't get to vote. Only YOU, the television viewer, shall choose the winner! And on September 22nd, there will be another show, where they will annouce the winner but only after they run clips from ALL THE PRECEDING FRICKIN' SHOWS.

Makes you pine for "Fear Factor", doesn't it?

To me, the worst part is not the dancing. It's Tom Bergeron. For some reason that I can't explain, the mere sight of the man makes my skin crawl. No, literally. My skin tries to leave my skeleton and go someplace where it won't be exposed to Tommy Boy.

Don't get me wrong. Bergeron was fine as host of "Hollywood Squares". Of course, with that show, he had a tight production structure and funny people to play off of. Not a lot of ad-libbing came from the host's podium. It was about the time that Bergeron took over as host of "America's Funniest Home Videos" -- a show so vapid that it twisted Bob Saget's face into that of a man in the middle of a perpetual root canal -- that Tom really started to get on my nerves. Was it the pithy, unscripted wisecracks? The smarmy smile? Personally, I think it was the Flowbee haircut. But whatever the reason, it became obvious that the mere sight of him made my hand twitch for the TV remote.

Now, the problem is that "Dancing With The Stars" was a live show. And you'd think Bergeron, as a long-time radio morning host, might be a good choice to improvise his way through this minefield of Evander, Trista and Fook Yu. Well, if you like the annoying, smug smile on Dubya's face most of the time, you'll love Bergeron's. Smug and annoying and very proud of the one-liners he's tossing off on national TV, the only difference between the two (apart from Tom's much stronger command of the English language) is the knowledge that Tom Bergeron isn't going to declare war on any Middle Eastern countries anytime soon. (North Korea, he might.)

When "Dancing With The Stars" returns for its next installment -- and you know it will -- can we please, please, PLEASE GOD PLEASE make the new host ... John O'Hurley? Because he's vastly more entertaining than Tom Bergeron. And he did a good job hosting "To Tell The Truth". And best of all, he's actually played the game, so he can provide an ex-jock's insightful analysis.

But most of all, he's got a MUCH better haircut than Tom Bergeron.

posted by Gary @ 12:51 PM


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Location: Houston, Texas

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