Monday night, I discovered the true value of “Dancing with the Stars.”
It isn’t a show designed to find the best dancer on Hollywood’s “work wanted” list.
It’s diversion – diversion from the horrible news of the day, diversion from perceived slights, diversion from work. And it handles that job quite well.
On Monday’s edition, no one went home but everyone got a chance to remind us life goes on, even when we think it can’t. No matter who wins this season, they’ll all have accomplished an important goal. For a few brief minutes each week, we didn’t have to deal with an “oh, no” situation.
Thus far, two have already joined us on the couches of America. Debbie Gibson (the pop singer from another era) and Barbara Corcoran (the “Shark Tank” investor) have been voted off. Nick Lachey looked like he was in trouble, too, but that’s not going to happen – at least for a while. His wife, Vanessa, is also in the contest and that husband/wife spirit of competition seems too good to ignore.
What we learned, instead, is Mark Ballas gives good “face” (he makes broad gestures while he dances), Drew Scott wants to be like him and Sasha Pieterse and her partner Gleb Savchenko are mugging so frequently they’re practically mimes.
During the “no elimination” competition Monday, Maks Chmerkovskiy was off due to “personal” issues – which, the tabloids report, stem from some difficult times with partner Vanessa Lachey. She got Gibson’s former partner, Alan Bersten, and carried on as if nothing was wrong. Because there’s that Lachey vs. Lachey battle, this probably won’t fall apart just on the basis of rumors.
More likely? We’re going to see the athletes start to fumble. Terrell Owens and Derek Fisher both seem marked. They’ll go home before any “good” dancer is eliminated (which always happens, by the way).
Vulnerable: Owens, Fisher and Scott.
Iffy: Lachey, Lachey, Pieterse,
Questionable: Frankie Muniz, Nikki Bella,
Golden: Jordan Fisher, Lindsey Stirling
Untouchable: Victoria Arlen. Because Arlen has no feeling in her legs, she’s a dancing miracle, able to pull off moves with partner Val Chmerkovskiy that other contestants wouldn’t even attempt to try. That doesn’t necessarily put her in the final three, but it does gain her key popularity votes. Others have faced obstacles (Nyle DiMarco, Amy Purdy, Noah Galloway) and done quite well, finishing in the top three. Arlen could, too, even though she didn’t have a big fan base coming into the show.
If the alleged discord between Maks and Vanessa amounts to something, it could be her exit visa, easing the way for her husband to vamoose, too.
It’s a tricky situation. But its little drama is something we can handle. Stuff on a larger scale is much more difficult to manage.