And the Winners of "Dancing With the Stars" are...


Written on 3:00 PM by Jack B.

KELLY MONACO & ALEC MAZO (complete with a cheesy and cheap trophy!)

I admit I'm not a snob when it comes to reality TV shows. I don't like down on all of them like some do. My favorite current TV show is without hesitation, The Amazing Race, a show with more excitement, plot twists, exotic backdrops, humanity and all-around decent people than practically anything else on television. Other guilty pleasures include American Idol (I haven't missed a season) and the unfortunately cancelled boxing show from Sly Stallone, The Contender.The things these shows have in common are they are dramatic and entertaining without appealing to the lowest common denominator of shows like Fear Factor, The Bachelor and Big Brother. Those kind of shows that rely on people humiliating themselves or showing the worst side of their nature to get ahead. I can't stand stuff like that. How is it that so many people can take pleasure in the vices of others? It can't be simple voyeurism, can it? I hope not.

One of the reasons I liked "Dancing with the Stars" is because it was just so corny and old-fashioned. An hour of ballroom dancing. No villains. No "alliances". No double-crossing. No manipulative editing. Just ballroom dancing - that's it. All we need now is Lawrence Welk and his band and we could be living in the 60s. So I'm happy that Kelly Monaco won (and it really was her - Alec Whathisname was really beside the point as far as ABC and it's hosts were concerned) because it was...well...nice. Were we manipulated? Sure. John and Charlotte were the better technical dances and excelled throughout the competition, but what better story than a soap opera actress who had never danced before and got lambasted by the judges in the beginning, only to come back through hard work and determination to get scores of perfect 10 from the same judges at the end. Regular rag-to-riches Horatio Alger stuff. Americans have loved that kind of story for generations. And of course it didn't hurt that Kelly M. was the only one of the "stars" who is a full-time employee of the ABC/Disney empire and thus could be cross-promoted and exploited by those tuning in who don't watch General Hospital in the morning. But I'd rather not think like that. I don't think the show was fixed, although I do think having a soap opera fanbase couldn't hurt. All things being even between Kelly & Alex and John & Charlotte, people who are daily fans of you in something else could have put her over the top. It was obvious to anyone watching over the last few weeks that John & Charlotte could have scored ten times better scores by the judges and still would have lost because Kelly & Alec were going to win the fan vote. But who am I to begrudge that? After all, it was just a TV show and the only thing on the line wasn't money but a cheesy trophy that looked like a disco ball glued on to a flower vase. So I for one just sat back and enjoyed it.

In the end, "Dancing with the Stars" was harmless and enjoyable entertainment that doesn't do damage to your morals, your stomach or to your brain. How many shows can that be said about today?

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