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Commentary: “Dancing with the Stars” still missing the mark

BY PATRICK BIGSBY | DECEMBER 03, 2009 7:30 AM

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Last week, another season of “Dancing with the Stars” mercifully came to an end with the predictable victory by someone old, wholesome, and white.

While grandparents everywhere were delighted with this outcome, I was relatively underwhelmed by the news. Consequently, I spent my Thanksgiving being thankful for the end of USA Today’s insanely thorough coverage of what is among the dumbest shows on television and also thinking up a few ideas for possible guest stars who would add some much-needed spice.

Though “Dancing with the Stars” has seen its fair share of professional athletes, I’d like to see some jocks with a little less built-in charisma given a shot at the title. For example, William “The Refrigerator” Perry seems like a natural choice. The Fridge has cashed on in his football fame before, and the show would give him the chance to elevate the Super Bowl Shuffle to new heights in the world of dance.

Joe Namath would provide an interesting challenge for his partner, as he would no doubt attempt to kiss her during every routine. The inclusion of a controversial figure such as Barry Bonds could also generate interest, plus set an important precedent for mandatory drug testing among performers. (I’d hate to think that Donny Osmond’s recent win might be in any way tainted.)

Entertainment personalities on the show have typically been rather bland choices — the producers should think outside the box to keep the show fresh. Instead of Kelly Osbourne’s recent inclusion, Ozzy should have entered the running. That his mental faculties are suspect is irrelevant to his candidacy (at least that was the case with this season’s sleeper, Tom DeLay).

What about Little Richard, who, no doubt, invented dancing? That kind of innovation might give him an edge, but I hope it would encourage other competitors to raise their respective games.

Finally, “Dancing with the Stars” needs to make more of an effort to include genuinely crazy celebrities. I’d like to nominate the Octomom (with her brood forming a supporting kick line, obviously) to participate. Not only would her bizarre reputation attract a new segment of the viewing population, but the show’s producers could use her physical appearance to their advantage and bill her as Angelina Jolie. Then, for the first time ever, the show would have an actual star.

Avoid close-up shots, and America’s grandparents would be none the wiser.


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