Archive for the ‘Gilles Marini’ Category

True winner of ‘Dancing’ got no trophy

May 20, 2009

For those who truly care about dancing — not personality, popularity, nationality, etc. — our mantra today should be “It just doesn’t matter.” That’s right, the glitzy, silly mirror ball trophy for winning Dancing With the Stars just doesn’t matter. I mean, it’s not like the winner gets a Survivor-ish cool mill, or even a Biggest Loser-ish quarter mill, but rather the trophy and quite often the knowledge, in their heart of hearts, that they made it over the top due to (1) undiscerning voters who are clueless about true dancing artistry and (2) a rigged, fixed, phony process set up by collusion, not honesty, among judges.

That, of course, is the only way to accept last night’s absurd verdict giving pint-sized, teen-aged, ‘way too wet behind the ears, utterly lacking a dancer’s body and totally out of her depth Shawn Johnson the mirror ball trophy over not only the most worthy winner among them all, Gilles Marini, but even third place finisher Melissa Rycroft — not to mention Lil Kim.

The tally, we were told, separated the top two by less than one per cent. And that tally, despite the “suspense” of one more dance Tuesday, was set in stone as of Monday night, given the fact that viewer votes already were in as of Monday, and the fact that the judges generously gave Shawn perfect 10s to match Gilles’ Tuesday, ensuring that nothing changed between nights. The show’s producers were well aware that Shawn wouldn’t win unless the judges inflated her scores, so they did. In a close viewer vote, that doomed Gilles to runnerup status despite AN ENTIRE SEASON OF EXCELLENCE. All it would have taken to reward his artistry would have been another well deserved point or two separating him from Shawn via judges’ scores, but the show, the producers, the judges, and the fix had to have Shawn as the winner, for whatever reason, and Gilles had to lose — make that “lose.”

Was it lack of a fan base? Perhaps. Anti-French sentiment? That would be pathetic; it’s one of the greatest countries in the world, and Gilles was a ceaselessly humble gentleman. Gotta give it go the kid so she won’t cry? Maybe. I dunno. But whatever the basis for the fix, it reeked. Then again — all together with me now — “It just doesn’t matter.”

Of course, DWTS has had plenty of such stumbles, starting with its first season, when Kelly Monaco was declared the winner by still more judging arbitrariness despite strong sentiment and suspicion that her vote, too, was pre-ordained — so much so that she and the runnerup, John O’Hurley, had a “dance off” down the line to satisfy the disgruntled. So this was just one more reeking rig job to join a long list.

The public vote I can’t fault. People often vote their hearts, not their heads, and if they wanted to disregard Gilles’ consistent artistry (and such bearing on the floor — such a presence) in favor of a kid with a win-or-die mindset of entitlement which won’t serve her well in the real world, post-Olympics and rigged dance shows, then so be it. The public’s not required to vote based on any one thing. But the judges should be, and that one thing is called dancing artistry. So it’s the judges’  juggling of scores to fix the final results that distresses me, as it so often has on DWTS. But again, it just doesn’t matter.

That being the case, I’m done for another season — but I’ll be back next fall. Regardless of the winner (and remember, it just doesn’t matter), DWTS is good, frothy entertainment for a Monday night, Tom Bergeron is perhaps the best TV host ever and I enjoy seeing desperate has-beens and never-weres trying to prop up their careers via rumbas and waltzes. The fact that so little really is at stake makes it a low-pressure contest, and for sheer spectacle, it’s good TV, pure and simple, even if the inner-workings taint it at times.

So Shawn,  go ahead — go enjoy your trophy and put it next to your Olympic gold. But believe me, plenty of people who genuinely appreciate dance know who truly earned it.

Melissa Rycroft to face Gilles Marini — count on it

May 12, 2009

In case you had any doubts, Monday’s performance show should have sealed the deal:Former Bachelor star and former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Melissa Rycroft will face French actor/underwear model Gilles Marini in Dancing With the Stars’ final two — after they get past the “finals” nonsense with three contestants early in next week’s show. (“Finals,” by definition, should mean the final two.) Count on it.

I’ve been saying this all season — as maybe you have too — and now we’re about to be proven right.

If you doubt it, let me know. But I doubt that you do. Whoever goes tonight, and then whoever goes early next week, Shawn and Ty are toast — Texas toast, in his case. That’s life among the bouncing disco ball trophies.

Now, as to whom will win, I’d prefer Gilles — the better dancer — but I’m betting Melissa — the sentimental crowd favorite with the built-in fan base from a show which aired on this same network. But you never know in show biz.

Melissa Rycroft, Gilles Marini clearly lead ‘Dancing With the Stars’

March 17, 2009

If you were ready to crown Melissa Rycroft winner of Dancing With the Stars new season after one episode, just because she’s got all that good karma comin’, think again. Monday’s second full-bore performance show showed that it’s now a two-person race, and the leader in the pecking order (based on judges’ scores and how couples are slotted) is now French model — er, actor — Gilles Marini, who again performed sensationally with champion partner Cheryl Burke.

Gilles may not be well known in this country, beyond his buff-baring cameo in the Sex and the City film, but he is this show’s best “star” dancer so far, hands — or pecs — down. Of course, it’s still early, and Melissa still has had precious little time to rehearse. But I’m fully expecting these two to be the final two when the show winds down and the hype heats up in May.

Besides, Melissa can’t remove her top (what there is of it) like Gilles, who will seize any opportunity to bare himself, as he did in Monday’s behind-the-scenes footage. Shameless! But give the guy credit — he can dance. And the green-themed song choice — fantastic — with 3 Doors Down’s edgy Kryptonite and Gilles in Clark Kent nerd glasses and suit, which he ripped open (the guy just can’t help himself) to reveal a “G”-emblazoned superhero costume at the finish. Now that was a quick-step, not yielding to ballroom tradition, but kicking up heels with energy and creativity.

Melissa and Tony’s salsa was also grand in its own way, but the look didn’t do her any favors, and after last week’s sublimely romantic waltz to Moon River, it was an emotional let-down. Still, she’s in this for the long haul — and take that, wishy-washy Bachelor loser Jason. Your spurn spawned a star — the second, of course, to come from The Bachelor to Dancing With the Stars, in a smart bit of network synchronity (after Trista Sutter, who was nowhere near Melissa’s league). (In a further coincidence, both Bachelor alums on Dancing also were pro sports cheerleaders. Must be something in the water.)

At any rate, expect Steve-O to go home tonight after the weirdness of watching his tepid rehearsal footage as a substitute (a Dancing first, based on the “rules’ — yes, the rules they just wrote) when a pre-show injury kept him from performing. At this rate, perhaps Samantha will trip over her own outta control tongue (can you spell “enunciate”?) and go on the injured list, too. Well, we can only hope.

Meanwhile, bring it on, Gilles and Melissa. You’re the cream of this show’s crop, and you’ve gotta lot of dancin’ to do.