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And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: WE Gets Dirty Through Dance



Nobody puts Baby in a corner! I have lived my life by that phrase, longing to get the courage to climb out of the shadows and into the spotlight. I have had many “I carried a watermelon” moments as well. Dirty Dancing was my first glance at naked man ass. Surely, many girls like me rewound and replayed the split second when Patrick Swayze climbs out of bed and pale white skin catches on the very left side of the screen. Some are still convinced that it’s his hip or his thigh. I’d like to think it’s naked man ass.

When the ten year reunion of Dirty Dancing happened and Jennifer Gray came out of hiding looking nothing like the bumbling Peace Corps hopeful of yesteryear, I was all atwitter. Many an undergrad snowed-in night was spent watching—no, participating in Dirty Dancing on VHS, reciting lines and repeating dance steps. While my friends still swooned over Patrick Swayze’s hips, I sighed over Jerry Orbach in my unexplainable obsession with way older men.

Dirty Dancing is simply a part of life.

Exploiting that fact is the WE channel. Now girls can really become a part of the movie they love so much. Actually, it’s not a movie. It’s a dance competition that shatters dreams of being with the timeless Patrick Swayze, sneaking away from perfect parents and siblings on family vacations. Here there’s no Johnny. There’s three luscious men with hips that shimmy and shake. There’s three women to each man, longing to be Baby.

There’s also Chris Judd. Ring a bell? You’re trying to place his name, aren’t you. Try Jennifer Lopez. Try backup dancer. Try three-minute husband. You’ve got it now. Just because you can do something well doesn’t mean you’re qualified to host a show about that something. Producers have yet to catch on to that fact, and so we have Chris Judd as deer in the headlights host extraordinaire. He asks pithy scripted questions at inopportune times and it’s all very awkward and hard to watch. I still do, though, because that’s what reality tv is all about.

So here’s the set up. Three professional male dancers choose three ladies each. They all dance a dance that is very very dirty. Then the guy dismisses one of the women he feels cannot dance as dirtily as the other two. Then the remaining women dance some more in smaller and smaller outfits and try to win the affections of the male through activities like pottery and lunch. They do small getting to know you things like fencing (and the fencing instructor? Incredibly inappropriate, old, skeevy, and right up my alley when wanting to watch people squirm). Then they dance more and show the choreographers that they really can dance dammit. They try to sizzle on the dance floor. All the while, Chris Judd mumbles and stutters.

Then comes the big night. Kinda like at the end of camp when they do a pageant. Actually, it’s more similar to that than not because the guy and his two women put on a dance performance in what I swear is a barn. Very rustic. And by rustic, I mean cheap. The first gal sluts it up in a very tiny dance outfit, slinks onto the stage, and they dance a dirty dance. Then Chris Judd comes out and asks, no joke, “How do you think you danced?” What the hell? As if anyone’s going to say in front of the crowd they just performed for, “I thought that sucked.” Then he asks a similarly inane question to the male dancer. People clap. The dancers leave.

The guy then finds girl number two, also slutted up by this time. They dance a very dirty dance as well, just like the first one. The audience cheers. Chris Judd makes everyone, including me, uncomfortable, and then they leave the stage.

Then all three dancers come out, slutted up, and Chris Judd asks the audience to vote. They do by electronic device, although I think that voting Late Night At The Apollo style would be a hell of a lot more entertaining. Then Chris Judd reveals which girl is moving on to the finals with her partner, and which girl will be forever thrust into the corner, never to achieve the title of Baby.

Eventually, all three men will whittle their choices down to one woman. Then the final competition will ensue. One woman will be Baby. One man will be Johnny. And Chris Judd will decide to turn the whole competition into a summer getaway for families (you know, because at the end of the movie, the resort owner decides to make the resort a dance club—okay, it was a stretch but you can’t blame a gal for trying).

[b] And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: It allows us to become part of what we always wanted to be. In a very cheap, sad, voyeuristic way with people we would never want to meet, but still. These gals now have a chance to actually BE Baby. And that’s kinda cool.

Dance with me via email: Christina@realityshack.com . Dance with me via the forums. Or see why I’m an [url=http://www.newsday.com/impulse]Impulse All-Star![/url]


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