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Wonderfully Awful: Dancing With The Stars

Can you imagine the ratings if this happened?

Can you just imagine the ratings if this happened?

Now that April has rolled around, I’m finding very little interesting television at the moment. Aside from maybe Lost and Rescue Me, and all the basketball and baseball that has been crowding up the TiVos (thanks, boyfriend), there just isn’t much to watch. That’s probably why I’m getting back into my old pal of a guilty pleasure – Dancing with the Stars.

For those who are living Unabomber-style in the woods, Dancing with the Stars is a ballroom dancing competition imported from England and features “celebrities” paired with professional dancers. They are scored both by audience vote and by a panel of judges whose qualifications are a bit unknown to the general viewing audience. We just know that Len is British and stuffy, Carrie Ann is a stickler for technique, and Bruno is saucy and would likely give a 10 to anyone who strips down and shags in front of him. And why do these celebrities subject themselves to this? Is it for a giant cash prize or a donation to their favorite charity? Nope. They dance for a tacky mirror ball trophy. Oh, and the possible resuscitation of an otherwise dying career.

When the show first aired in the U.S. in 2005, nobody knew what to make of it. I think what people found to be surprising was how interesting it was to watch these non-dancers learn such difficult routines, and to see who had the ability to pull it off and who very much didn’t. Plus the costumes in all their glittery, sparkly glory – for both men and women alike – were a sight to behold. And the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction during a cha cha was ever-present.

So the show became a success and all of a sudden, these B, C, and D level celebs started knocking on DWTS’s door trying to get on the show. It has become a haven for any celebrity who has had even the slightest career ding and needs a little image repair. That’s why we’re seeing the likes of rapper and former jailbird Lil’ Kim and Steve-O of Jackass, self-mutilation, and taking-lots-and-lots-of-drugs fame. And the really crazy thing is that the show actually tends to do a good job of making these former ne’er-do-wells seem like genuinely down-to-earth, likeable people. That’s what throwing them in goofy costumes and tossing them out on a dance floor will do, I suppose.

After the jump, in no particular order (much like how they announce the eliminations), here are the top three reasons why I watch DWTS:

1) The costumes.

2) The genuinely real potential for injury. This season alone saw the loss of two contestants before the show even began airing due to foot and leg injuries. I find the “guess who just joined this show for the fun of it and now needs major surgery and will forever have to limp around with hardware in her leg” guessing game to be fun.

3) Co-host Samantha “Mush Mouth” Harris. Seriously, this woman sounds like she has marbles in her mouth when she interviews the contestants. One could create a drinking game based on how many times she trips over her own words. I wouldn’t be surprised if one already has.

So if you haven’t had the chance to go ga-ga over DWTS like I have, I suggest you do so now. And if possible, try to watch it in HD. Because aside from maybe movies and football, nothing looks better in HD than gorgeous couples sweeping across an expansive dance floor in nothing but tiny sheaths of sequins and rhinestones.

. photoshop credit: Photo Giddy