Thursday, September 25, 2008

The First Eliminations of Season 7

With two eliminations in the first week, the scoring system managed to get it half right. No one should be at all surprised to see Jeff Ross get bounced. Why is that you ask? Well, there are two reasons for his dismissal. One, he wasn’t good, and two, no one knows who he is. Actually, that’s not really a fair statement. I’m sure he has his following, but no one who follows him watches this show…apparently.

The second elimination forced us to bid farewell to Ted McGinley, and I have to say that I disagree with this one. He’s not all that well known by the people who would watch this show it would seem. But the fact of the matter is that he was pretty good. No, he was not going to catch up with Brooke Burke, who turned in the season’s highest score with a 9 on her second dance. But he was miles ahead of Cloris or Kim.

Speaking of Cloris and Kim, wow…they both sucked it up. Not only did Cloris suck it up, but she doesn’t know when or how to be quiet. Even her partner seems to be getting irritated with her yappiness. And Kim? For crying out loud she pretty much just stood there. I can’t believe wasn’t ousted.

I still support Rocco, and his second dance was much stronger than his first. But he’s going to have to come strong to ensure his survival. He’s fighting some professional obscurity from people who don’t know about or watch cooking shows. Of course, I’m hoping that the people who like reality cooking shows also enjoy this one. So do work son. By the way, when he first met his partner, he presented her with a plate of hand-made fettuccini with black truffles, which she seemed a little bit confused by and maybe a little irritated about eating. Think she knew that was probably a $60 plate of food that he started the day before?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Season Premiere

The newest season of Dancing With the Stars is now upon us. Last night we welcomed the 2-hour premiere and were introduced for the first time to this season’s stars.

Here are the quick highlights and lowlights…

Lance and Lacey: They danced well, and he could be particularly dangerous in this competition. Too bad his partner is going to push the limits of the rules and they’re going to get dinged for it week in and week out until she reels it in a little.

Brooke and Derek: She looked great all the way around. Good costume, good dancing, good everything it takes to be on the show for quite a while.

Toni and Alec: She was better than I thought. She was elegant and moved very well. But I’m curious to know how that’s going to translate in the Latin rounds.

Rocco and Karina: Well, he didn’t fall down or use and ethnic slur, so true to my last installment, I gave him some votes. But I could not, in good conscience, give him all of my votes. He’ll be back in the kitchen soon, I’m sure.

Maurice and Cheryl: He was all right, but he won’t be around long. True to history, Cheryl shook her head and threw her hair a lot while her partner stood there watching. She also looked like she put on some weight.

Kim and Mark: In the training video, she was totally uncoordinated and clumsy. I figured she’d trip and fall into the crowd at some point. But she held it together, and she looked pretty good. I think her scandalous side will come out though. And Len won’t like it.

Cloris and Corky: Yes, this is the worst named team on the show, and the oldest with a combined age of 124 give or take a year…no kidding. She managed to hoist her leg on to the judge’s table. Not bad for an 82 year-old, but still not appropriate. She did some begging and pleading, then showed that she had a mouth like a sailor. Thanks for playing. Enjoy your AARP benefits and 4 pm dinners.

Cody and Julianne: He still irritates me for some reason, but he did a nice job. And all in all, she’s my favorite girl on the show. I just wish she were paired with someone else. They’ll be around a while, but not enough teenie boppers who know who he is are going to watch and vote to keep him until the end.

Susan and Tony: Poor thing needs a sandwich. As far as the judge’s scores go, I don’t think she can hang. But she’s got a fan base that is huge and I’m betting a lot of people that like their “stories” like this show.

Misty and Maks: She was good, but I still don’t know why everyone thinks she’s so hot? Hell, he’s prettier than she is. Again, she’ll be strong with the judges, but I don’t think her fan base will watch the show to vote and keep her on.

Ted and Inna: He has the potential to do very well in the ballroom rounds, but I think he’s going to struggle with the Latin dances.

Jeffrey and Edyta: Dude, stick to jokes. This is the reincarnation of Adam Carolla.

Warren and Kym: Everyone that I’ve talked to seems surprised that he was so good? Personally, I’m not surprised in the least. He could always move for a big man, and he’s going to do some real damage in this competition. Also, he has some history on his side. Historically, football players have been very strong on this show.

Second dances are tonight at 9. Tomorrow, 2 couples will be eliminated.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Every generation has a defining moment. There is an instance, a point in history where everyone will remember for the rest of their lives where they were and what they were doing. Now, I’m not referring to living through the Vietnam War, or Operation: Iraqi Freedom. Those are more of an on-going series of events. Important none the less, but not the caliber of a single event that sets a nation on it’s ear. Most everyone born in the 20’s knows where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked. If they were born in the 40’s, they remember where they were when Kennedy was shot.

My generation’s defining moment took place exactly 7 years ago today with the attack on the World Trade Center, 9/11/01.

Through both grade school and high school, I remember doing a number of assignments in history and social studies that required us to interview someone who was alive during a certain event and of a certain age. The goal was to see what they remembered in their view and what they thought about what happened in contrast to the global interpretation of the situation. By the time my kids get to that age, there may have been another global event, but my younger sisters and cousins will be called upon to investigate these events with people who were about my age at the time.

So here’s what I remember…

I was 21 years old. It was a Tuesday morning when I woke up because my mom was calling me. I was in college, but classes weren’t slated to start for another week or two, so to wake a sleeping student before 9 am was a grievous sin. I sleepily answered the phone, a little irritated all in all. When mom asked me if I was up, with irritation in my voice, I let her know that she had woken me. It was then that she told me to turn on the TV. I said “okay…what channel.” Her response was “It doesn’t matter.” Mom is not a TV watcher really, and not often up before 9 herself. Not to mention we had a satellite dish at my house, and got something ridiculous like 300 channels. For her to say that it didn’t matter what channel had to mean something very significant.

I turned on the TV, and sure enough, for 300 channels all I saw was a smoking city skyline from two-dozen different angles. I had to flip around a few times and wake up a little more to realize that it was, in-fact, New York, and that there had been a major accident which I would recognize as a terrorist attack 5 minutes later.

Most of the rest of the afternoon was kind of a daze. Channels broadcast video and images non-stop the rest of the day and for weeks there after. MTV actually played music videos all day long, something they haven’t done in years, and launched their “5 Things You Need To Know” campaign to help their demographic understand a little more about people, places, and events associated with the attack. People lined up for blocks making a mess out of traffic patterns to get into gas stations and fill up in fear that prices would skyrocket overnight. They didn’t. I got an email from a friend who worked at Wright Patterson Air Force Base that afternoon who said the base, in Ohio mind you, was working like nothing she’d ever seen in all her time there. Everyone had to go everywhere in teams of 2, and fighter jets were immediately scrambled, taking off 2 at a time every 3 minutes all day long. And for weeks after the initial attack, recording artists from Alan Jackson to Creed had mixes of their songs recorded and released in patriotic fashion adding sound bytes of speeches and public reaction to their music.

There it is. That is my Reader’s Digest account of the events surrounding 9/11. The more I think about it, the more I remember. The more I remember, the more I could write. But I’m prone to longwinded essays when I just mean to drop a quick line. So here’s where I stop. At least for now.