As the Sidekick explained yesterday, last week we were all about getting over our Wrestlemania jetlag and cooing over the triumphant return of Tough Enough. But there’s one more thing we need to address before we start a whole new week of…. entertainment; Chris Jericho’s ever so sad tribute to his mum on Dancing with the Stars. God, I love when Canadians say mum instead of mom. It feels familiar and homely yet still foreign. Know what I mean? The Brits will understand.
This week, as well as having to learn an elaborate dance routine, contestants also had to dance to a song which meant something important to them “emotionally speaking”. My first reaction to this was to roll my eyes and scoff. Oh America. Must you try so hard to make everything a soppy, tear-drenched drama? We don’t do this exercise at all on Strictly Come Dancing. Stiff upper lip and all that, old-boy. To ask the celebrities do it in their third week of dancing also seems ludicrous. They’ve barely begun to think of themselves as dancers, now you’re going to make them even more nervous because there’s a personal connection to the dance? Oh America. On the plus side, this will at least teach them that they need to feel connected to every dance they do, much like X-Factor contestants are implored to connect with the lyrics of every tune they bark out.
The implication is that they’ve been given the freedom to choose any dance they like. Not so. My cynical guess is that they’ve been given the dance but they get to choose the music. The schedule of who dances what in which week is far too complicated to allow them to choose whatever dance they feel. Alright, let’s get on with this thing before I start getting into the muddy waters of televisual trickery.
Wendy Williams decides to dance to a song about how she got started in the media. i.e. radio. She cries a lot during her training video but considering some of the other heartbreaking stories coming up, she doesn’t raise even a tiny tickle in the corner of my eye. Her foxtrot is clumsy and far too loose. Chelsea Disney annoyed me further in her training clip by complaining again that the judges didn’t like her jive the previous week. SHUTUP! IT JUST WASN’T A JIVE! She decides to dance a Cha-Cha-Cha to a song written for her and about her by her ex-boyfriend. I wanted to hate it, but I couldn’t. It was brilliant. She was brilliant. The judges loved it, as did I, the fourth and most important judge. You see what happens when you play by the rules, kids?
Chris Jericho tiiiiiiime! Up until this point the show had been full of merriment and frivolity. That’s enough of that. Put your serious faces on right now! I had quite a fragile week, last week. It’s nothing I want to discuss, but let’s just say that it wouldn’t have taken much prodding to make my eyes leak. This was bad news when Chris Jericho chose to dance a rumba to Let it Be in tribute to his now passed away mother.
If you’ve read Chris Jericho’s first book you’ll already know the story of how his mum got into an accident and became wheelchair-bound. If you haven’t read it, shame on you. Thankfully, Chris retold the story for everyone unaware of his personal tragedy. It breaks my heart to see grown men cry at the best of times, but especially one I’m very fond of. It triggers an intense maternal instinct to nurture. This isn’t going to end well for my tear-ducts.
As if by magic, a stool and a park bench have appeared in the middle of the training room for ‘Story Time.’
Chris, choking back the lump in his throat, tells the story of the accident, how much his mum enjoyed dancing and how much she loved the song he’d chosen. I’m slightly concerned that he’s dancing a rumba. The rumba is the most intimate of all the dances. It’s a dance of love. It’s not the floaty, romantic love of the waltz or the foxtrot, but an I-NEED-TO-HAVE-YOU-RIGHT-NOW love. But it can’t be slutty. I absolutely loathe this word. It makes me gag. But it has to be sensual. If you’re not watching it and fanning yourself with your hand by the end, they’re doing it wrong. It’s also the most difficult dance for the male celebs. They spend a lot time out of hold and they find the vulnerability and intimacy of it uncomfortable. Cheryl decides that they’re going to make it soulful rather than sensual. Good call. I mean, who wants to be sensual for their mum, right? *gag*
I think I can watch this without weeping….until he mentions the fact that this week he’ll be announced as Chris Irvine instead of Chris Jericho. He’s being his real self FOR HIS MUM! Oh dear. I’m already sunk. Time to dance. And by the way, kudos to the set designers here for their part in making everyone sad.
He places the stylus on the record, presses a finger-kiss on his mum’s photo and hot-foots it down to the dancefloor. All of a sudden I miss the crackle of vinyl. Let’s rumba…….
Speaking as a Chris
Jericho Irvine fan, he moved me to tears. He also made Carrie Anne smudge her eyeliner. Every second was heartfelt and at a certain point he spun Cheryl with such conviction I involuntarily held my hands to my heart and tilted my head in a way only usually executed by Disney princesses.
Speaking as the fourth judge, I agree with the other judges that his upper body was a little too rigid and it interfered with some of the fluidity of the dance. Overall it was a good try for a bulky guy and the great news, wrestling fans, is that he’s got the trickiest dance out of the way without too much bother. I was initially outraged that he ended up in the bottom two on the Results Show, but I’m reliably informed that, unlike the British version, the bottom two aren’t necessarily the two couples with the lowest number of votes.
Shall we race through the other dances? Alright then. If you insist. (YAY!) Kendra’s rumba crossed the line between sexual and sensual *gag* a little too much for me, but I think I have to accept that she doesn’t really know where that line is. Romeo lost his cool in training and claimed it’s because the song is too emotional for him. I knew this would happen when people started dancing for their deceased relatives. He also felt too emotional during the dance and made lots of mistakes. Oh America. See what you’ve done to these poor boys? Luckily, Hines Ward cheered everyone up by dancing a spectacular samba to an Earth, Wind and Fire track. I defy you not to listen to EW&F without wanting to shake something. Petra Nemcova decided to dance a waltz suitable for a real Disney princess to You Raise Me Up, for all the charity work she’s done in tsunami stricken Thailand. It was very pretty.
Sugar Ray Leonard did a Paso Doble, the first we’ve seen so far. I hated it. They gimmicked that thing to the hills and didn’t explain the dance at all. In the Paso, the man in a bullfighter and the woman acts as his cape. The choreography is built around that premise. What you’d remember about it though is that Michael Buffer got a pay-day and Sugar Ray came out with his boxing gloves on. Bleurgh. The actual judges thought it was great. We can’t agree all the time.
My loathing of Kirstie Alley’s self-obsession was tested this week when she danced to Over the Rainbow to commemorate the memory of her mother. She recalled how she got her big Hollywood break within the same few weeks that her mum died and her father was seriously ill. I’m a sucker for Over the Rainbow anyway, but when Maks pulled his quad, dropped Kirstie and struggled to carry on, my heart went out to them.
The Karate Kid did what I thought was a pretty boring rumba and the judges were so divided on how well they thought he’d done, they ended up squabbling.
Wendy Williams was eliminated. She made some kind of excuse about having a child and a marriage and a career to hold together. Meh. Haven’t they all? You weren’t a good dancer and that’s OK. I have no idea which dance Chris Jericho is doing this week. He never replies to the tweets where I ask him. My mission to get him to reply to my tweets is ongoing. If I can get him to do it before the end of this series though, my life will be complete.