Dancing With The Stars’ 22nd season premiered last night. Nyle DiMarco blew me away. He was good by any standards, but the fact that he is completely deaf made it all the more amazing:
I’ve mentioned before my fondness for Dancing With The Stars, which I see as a weekly morality tale for conservative values. Sure, I like watching beautiful people dance beautifully, but the show’s real attraction is how gosh-darned hard the winners — and most of the losers — work.
The most recent example of the work ethic that creates winners is 17-year-old Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin:
Bindi Irwin delivered another sparkling performance on Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars” as she earned 28 out of 30 points by channeling Grace Kelly in her foxtrot with partner Derek Hough.
But rehearsal footage aired revealed something less glamorous: Bindi’s feet are a mess!
Irwin, 17, showed the cameras that her toenails are falling off and she has to use Super Glue to put them back on.
Like she did on her show package, however, Irwin bravely downplayed the situation.
“It’s fine. You can keep going,” she declared.
When asked if it was painful, she admitted, “Yeah!” with a laugh, but quickly added, “It’s all right. Everyone gets like this. I just have to Super Glue them, and tape them up. It’s all good.”
Irwin then told FOX411 that her toenails aren’t all she has to deal with – there are also a lot of unsightly calluses: “There’s like holes—the skin rubs out so there’s actual craters in my feet. Every night I’m kind of like cutting all the skin off ’cause it catches. You know when you get a hangnail? Think about tearing a hangnail but dancing on top of it.”
That’s a pretty darn serious work ethic right there. Nor is Bindi the only star to perform despite physical injuries, illness, and exhaustion. It turns out that dancing all day is grueling work, and it takes a toll on a body unused to that exertion. In addition, many of the stars still have active performance schedules that require them to fly back and forth across the country, all the while trying to learn a brand new, challenging skill that takes the form of four or five hours of hard physical exercise a day.
When I watch Dancing With The Stars, I almost invariably end up fast forwarding through the rumbas. Rather than being classy, sinuous dances, they’re invariably sleazy gyrations that look like the prelude to a strip show. Except that last night I got to see a different kind of rumba. Rumer Willis (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore) and her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy did one of the most beautiful, elegant, sensual (but not sleazy) rumbas I’ve ever seen. It was mesmerizing and fully deserved the perfect score it got from the judges:
Rumer Willis is an interesting person. She’s a ferociously hard worker, a real talent, and never seems to play the diva — which is something one might expect from the child of two of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Instead, she has a down-to-earth sweetness that is very endearing. She is also one of the most talented natural dancers I’ve seen on the show in the years I’ve been watching.
I have work to do today, but no actual deadlines, so naturally I’m procrastinating like crazy. And what better way to do so than to share a few interesting things with you? How about my starting with the most inspirational. I’ll go from the sublime to the ridiculous, which means I’ll end with links to articles about Hillary’s candidacy.
Noah Galloway, American soldier, DWTS contender
Noah Galloway lost his left arm and leg in Iraq. His appearance on Dancing With The Stars was a little bit by way of being a gimmick because how can someone dance without an arm and with a totally lost leg (i.e., no knee)?
Regular readers know that I’m quite fond of Dancing With The Stars. I like it on several levels. First, it’s what I call a “getting it right” show. The stars begin as neophytes, and through a lot of hard work, all get better and some get totally wonderful. Second, I love watching dancing and the pros on this show are really good. Third, I like the camaraderie that develops on the show. It most certainly could be faked, but I actually don’t think so. These people are living in each other’s back pockets for weeks at a time, and they seem to enjoy each other’s company. Given how much I liked the show, I thought I’d share a season wrap-up with you, including a few facts and tidbits that aren’t so obvious.
This season, after a lackluster start, proved to be one of the most exciting Dancing With The Stars seasons I’ve watched. While those who dropped out early were an unimpressive bunch (although I think Randy Couture should have lasted much longer than he did), the four stars going into the finals proved to be really exciting dancers who matured beautifully during the short season. Here’s a bit about each of those four:
Here, I’m happy to say, it’s raining! Considering that Marin is constantly hovering just a few gallons away from water rationing during this drought, rain is always good news. Equally good is the fact that it’s supposed to rain for another day, and then rain again in five days. Woo-hoo!!!
When I watch Dancing With The Stars, I never watch the Rumba. Invariably, there’s no line between sexy and sleazy, so I always feel like a peeping Tom, watching a bedroom ritual. Certainly there’s never room at all for elegance and romance. That is, until Sadie Robertson does the Rumba, which Mark Ballas choreographed beautifully with respect for Sadie’s strong religious and moral beliefs. Fred and Ginger could have done this without embarrassment:
I was watching Dancing With The Stars. Then, the family descended, insisting (collectively) that it needed to watch something else. So I found this instead:
Have I mentioned that today has been a Murphy’s Law day?
Also, am I the only one who’s ever noticed that watching baseball players is like watching a whole team of people with Tourette’s? This is not meant to denigrate people who struggle with Tourette’s. I’ve known some people with this condition and admire greatly their courage in going through life. This is just an observation about the obsessive spitting, twitching, licking, uniform adjusting, cap fussing, ticcing, manic behavior you see when you watch pitcher and batter in close-up during a baseball game. And let me just say that the spitting is revolting.
Blogging will resume tomorrow. Since it’s 9:25 p.m. now and this is the first time I’ve gotten to my computer in 12 hours, you can probably guess that I’m not ready to start writing anything.
I meant to post this last week, but I thought I’d get it in before tonight, when there’s a new episode of Dancing With The Stars. Sadie Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame, claims never to have danced before appearing on DWTS. If that’s true, all I can say is that she’s a natural and utterly charming. She’s helped, too, by Mark Ballas’s delightful choreography:
Oh, and for those familiar with the Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire and the dance called “The Carlton,” Alfonso Ribeiro, who originated the dance, comes back with it on DWTS. I should add here that he’s my favorite kind of performer: hard-working, incredibly good, professional, optimistic, and gracious:
Those of you who don’t watch Dancing With The Stars might not know this, but one of the contestants is 17-year-old Sadie Robertson, of the Duck Dynasty family. She is an absolute delight as a dancer. Although she’s never danced before, she turns out to be a natural, from the tips of her fingers to her always well-placed toes. Although the judges didn’t agree, I thought she turned in the best performance last night:
And I was sad to see ” target=”_blank”>Randy Couture get sent home. I knew he wasn’t going to last, because he’s not a good dancer, but there was something appealing about him. In addition to his good looks, I like that he served his country for six years (retiring with the rank of sergeant) and that he’s a kick-ass fighter.
Since I’m not an Oprah fan, I skipped that part of the video. Hearing her talk about the different prosthetics, though, and watching her and Derek dance was a delight:
I’ve gotten to the point at which I no longer see Amy Purdy’s prosthetic legs. Her dancing is so tight it’s amazing: