Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do a little dance...

I think I've been way too serious lately, so I'm going to take a moment to talk about something that probably matters only to me and a few millions others: who's going to win on Dancing With the Stars.

You see, I had a breakthrough moment while watching Monday night's show. Until that instant I hadn't been able to figure out why I wasn't avidly in favor of any particular couple. And then football great Warren Sapp came on the floor and I knew. Only he and a handful of others were actually cutting loose and having fun. Even Cloris Leachman, who --let's admit it -- isn't the best dancer, has hung around because she's so obviously having a ball on the dance floor. I was so excited -- about my insight as much as Warren Sapp's performance -- that I immediately picked up the phone and voted for him several times.

Since I'm being insightful, I also have a theory about why this show is watched by millions of viewers each week. I think it has something to do with those of us who have two left feet and wish we were as graceful and agile on a dance floor as the pros on this show. I used to volunteer with Miami City Ballet for the same reason. Just watching the dancers made me feel graceful. Which I'm not. Or maybe I thought I'd become graceful. Which I never did.

So we tune in on Monday night to watch celebrities who aren't trained dancers suddenly glide around the floor and we believe with a little time and effort -- and the help of a really sexy professional dancer -- we, too, would be able to dance. The show is selling the fantasy, just the way romance novels do. But what really makes it work is seeing a guy like Warren Sapp -- or Emmitt Smith or Jerry Rice or Helio (whose last name I can't remember or pronounce) -- leave their comfort zone on the football field or racetrack and get down with the music. And when they do, it makes it doubly disappointing when someone with a musical background such as Susan Lucci, Toni Braxton or Lance Bass performs in a self-conscious way.

To be honest, at this point I have no idea who's likely to win this season and so far, I don't really care. I do know, though, that it's likely to be someone who's having fun on the dance floor, someone who feeds my fantasy that I can do it, too.
So, come on, contestants, get with it. Get out there and dance. Stir up the competition. Have some fun. Make us care.

Otherwise, the party might very well be over for this series.

Do you have a favorite couple on Dancing With the Stars this season? Do you think maybe the judges have been so tough on the celebrities in the past that it's getting harder for the producers to lure them onto the show? Do you even care about any of this? Click on comments below and chime in.

Sherryl Woods

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