I just finished watching my TiVo recording of the Thursday finale of Dancing with the Stars, one of my favorite shows. This should not surprise any of my readers. I enjoy dancing, take lessons from time to time, and wish I had more time to practice. As for the show, it doesn’t involve murders or doctors or lawyers or bug eating, which makes it different than most of television. The contestants aren’t looking for a million dollars, or a job, or a proposal, just a trophy, which is gently old-fashioned. There’s plenty of elegance, band music, costumes with color, and attractive women, which all make it pleasant. Yet that’s not enough. I didn’t pick favorite dances (I like the tango, foxtrot, and rumba, and generally prefer ballroom to Latin) and replay the show just because they’re pretty. I do it because they’re at times Beautiful.
Beauty is more than physical attractiveness. It’s more than the James Blunt model of constant repetition, though I suspect that relentless repetition of that fact would help a lot of people. (What an interesting song that is, about lust, crush, and heartbreak.) Now, it’s Sunday night, I’m watching the finale on TiVo now, and it’s wonderful to listen to the competitors. They’re not screaming at each other. They’re respecting each other. It is “celebrating three finalists”, as the host says. I’ll turn on the pseudo-live blog:
- Jerry danced his best performance in the cha-cha, a good choice, with much improved footwork. Nines are right, given the difference in difficulty between him and Stacy and Drew.
- Stacy danced a marvelous samba, a great choice, and deserved the three tens. I’ve watched professional partnerships do worse.
- Drew danced an excellent jive, but it’s not his best dance and the nines were about right. That does give Drew and Cheryl just enough to finish first with the judges.
- Mary J Blige’s song is slow, which changes the nature of the salsa. It’s patient, flowing, unhurried, and marvelous. The dancers are beautiful, in an exhibition and presentation way. They don’t have the violent intimacy of the Giant Hug, though. Maybe it’s asking for too much.
- I suspect Jerry and Anna finished first in viewer votes, then Drew and Cheryl, then Stacy and Tony. That would be consistent. That means Stacy and Tony would leave now. And that’s what happened. Stacy had a 2nd, and must have a viewer 3rd, for a 2nd would eliminate someone else. Therefore, Jerry must have a viewer 1st, to go with his judge 3rd. That means Drew has a judge 1st and a viewer 2nd, meaning he’ll win.
- Stacy sniffles, and there’s no shame in that. Never has been.
- The other dancers were nice. Mary J Blige can carry a song by herself, unless many singing artists today; I hadn’t heard her live before.
- This show is 30 minutes too long. I skip through a bit without comment. The champions are … Drew and Cheryl, of course. Once in a while I wish I didn’t understand math, because the surprise was gone. But it’s a happy ending.
The result was just. Jerry really was the fourth best dancer, after Stacy, Drew, and Lisa (in that order), but his football fanbase drove him through. Stacy has more talent than Drew, but Drew performed better, and Cheryl’s choreography was better than Tony’s. And a lot of votes have gone Drew’s way, since he’s handsome, and females watch dancing and vote more than men. I do understand not watching, somewhat, though as the Super Bowl commercials showed, there are hot women in revealing costumes. I don’t understand why men don’t like the intimate touch of dancing, and why anyone ever watches fishing, but nobody ever said I was all-knowing. Anyway, good dancing can become an example of Beauty, which is why I appreciate the attempt.