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Dancing With The Stars/ABC

If there’s one show I have always rolled my eyes at, it’s Dancing With The Stars. I mean, come on, right? It’s a bunch of third or fourth rate stars doing ballroom dance? I understand why this kind of thing might be popular in Europe, but this is the USA! If someone isn’t being humiliated in a horrifying way, IT ISN’T REAL REALITY TELEVISION. So I don’t know why I watched the first episode of this season (16!) of Dancing With The Stars, but it probably had something to do with my fragile emotional state after I backslide with The Bachelor Season 17. I guess I saw that the blond, over-earnest Bachelor, Sean Lowe, was a contestant and, like any addict, I wanted just ONE MORE HIT of that adorable magic. So, I clicked play on HuluPlus. And now I can’t stop. It is crazy positive; it features men showing real vulnerability, pop music and professional dancing, which is actually really fun to watch so I guess my grandma and my mom were right. And then, there are the celebrities, who it turns out are kinda great. Here’s why:

Zendaya Coleman

Okay, this girl is 16. WHO IS 16?! She’s been a Disney star since 2009, which doesn’t bode well for her future but does explain her ridiculous confidence. And I can’t help but pull for this little life-winner. Stay off the sauce, girl! Say no to drugs! Also, please don’t be boning your pro, Val Chmerkovskiy (you guys have a SUSPICIOUS amount of love for each other). That can kind of entanglement can lead to serious emotional issues, which will lead to everything I just told you to stay away from. As long as Zendaya can be more Miley and less Lindsay, she could win this thing. Just watch. She’s an AMAZING dancer. She’s one of those people who you watch and just think, yeah, that’s her thing.

Jacoby Jones

Watching Jacoby, a Super Bowl football star, drop his cool guy facade is pretty fun. I mean, there’s nothing in this country more emblematic of super successful manhood than being a football player on a team that wins the Superbowl, but when he talks about not having a father and then he does a little solo dance for his adorable little boy, it’s just…THIS IS GOOD FOR AMERICA, guys.

Aly Raisman

Aly was one of the crazy awesome gymnasts who brought a gold back to the USA after the London Olympics. She’s only 18 but she’s totally self-possessed and strong and athletic but she clearly has a heart of gold. Plus, she has some very cute chemistry with her pro dancer, Mark Ballas, which is less creepy somehow than the leachy Zendaya-Val thing mentioned above.

Andy Dick

When I was a freshman in college I saw Andy Dick do stand-up on campus. He was clearly doing it as part of his community service for a drunk driving-related crime. He was angry to be there and also totally insane and dickish. Now Andy is sober. I can’t help it, I LOVE sober people. He gets all emotional every week and last night when he danced for his 15 year-old DAUGHTER, I almost had a meltdown. He subverts masculinity in the best way.

D.L. Hughley

Speaking of subverting masculinity, D.L. Hughley is clearly the worst dancer on the show, but he’s TRYING SO HARD. And when the judges are mean to him (he’s pretty much the only person they are mean to, which I don’t get), he is genuinely hurt. But he always comes back and tries even harder!

So there you have it. Dancing With The Stars has melted my cold, cold heart. Now I am off to practice the foxtrot on the off-chance I ever get famous enough to be on the show.

Author

Lizzy Acker

Lizzy Acker’s work has been published in Nano Fiction, Fanzine, Joyland, Eleven Eleven and elsewhere. She has read with Bang Out, RADAR, Quiet Lightening and others. Her first book, Monster Party, was released in December of 2010 by Small Desk Press.

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