I have been a fan of Dancing with the Stars since the beginning and as far as I am concerned it just gets better each season. More stars, more extremes, less training time and more injuries, all make the show more and more compelling to watch!
The elimination of two of the show’s stars before the curtain even went up was certain to make for an eventful season premiere. This season the stars only had four weeks of rehearsal time, which seems little enough time already, but then when disaster struck for two of the contestants and producers announced that they would recast those two couples, it seemed sure that the replacements would be among the first to go.
When the show began and the thick plotened, it was announced that Nancy O’Dell had dropped out of the competition on Friday, giving her replacement only 48 hours to prepare for the premiere episode on Monday night.
Poet and singer Jewel, it was announced, had fractured tibias in both legs and was unable to continue in the competition. Producers replaced her with former “Girl Next Door” Holly Madison (not to be confused with Dolly Madison, something the “star” is clearly not particularly familiar with). Holly’s bio on the DWTS web page states her profession to be “Reality Star”. (Hmmm… Reality… star… By definition that doesn’t seem possible, but I digress.)
My hopes were not high for this former Hugh Hefner honey, but I was pleasantly surprised to see her do a passable job on the dance floor. After scoring a mere 18 points, things look less than certain for this insane brave young woman, but given that she’d had only one week to learn the dance there’s a chance that she’ll improve in the ranks and make a decent showing.
The real surprise came when it was announced that Nancy O’Dell had a torn Meniscus, a piece of cartilage in the knee intended to evenly distribute your body weight in your knee, which left unrepaired could result in arthritis in the knee. O’Dell dropped out of the competition on Friday and was immediately replaced by recently jilted Bachelor “star”, Melissa Rycroft, who is beginning to come across as a little bit of a media whore. With only two days to learn and “perfect” her routine it seemed unlikely that Rycroft could possibly make a good showing so it was quite a surprise when she tied for second place with Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson (who, by the way, slipped just walking down the stairs in the shows opening).
Actually, Melissa Rycroft’s performance was quite impressive and she absolutely deserved the 23 points she got. Head Judge Len Goodman, however, outed Rycroft as being a trained dancer, pointing out that she clearly had some dance training and he believed it to be ballet. (Correct you are, sir! Plus when not plastering her face all over your reality TV shows, she works as a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader.)
Can you say “Ringer!”? It has got me thinking…
Now, I should probably be wearing a tinfoil hat, as I’m turning into a bit of a conspiracy theorist, but here’s what I think is going on here. Ms. Rycroft wants to be famous (and really, who can blame her.) This is why she studied ballet to begin with. This is why she became a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader. This is why she auditioned to go on The Bachelor. And things were looking really good for a while there. I never have, and never will, watch an episode of the Bachelor so I can’t speak to how things went for Rycroft while she was there, but I know that she made it to the end and received the marriage proposal. I also know that in the “after the final rose” special that immediately followed The Bachelor Season Finale, this past Monday, she was unceremoniously, and from what I’ve read (thanks bloggers) rather cruelly dumped. What a bitter end to an otherwise decent run. What to do? What to do!?
And then it became abundantly clear! Dancing with the Stars was just about to start and she had a background in dance! She may not win the entire competition but at least she can make a nice showing for herself. But, damn! The show has already been cast. No problem! Tonya Harding has nothing going on and she needs to eat… A lot! (Seriously, have you sent his?)
So she hired Tonya Harding who conspired to attack Nancy O’Dell and injure her knee, put her out of the competition and then Melissa can step in at the 11th hour and save the day. A brilliant plan!
On the other hand, I suppose it’s possible that Nancy suffered her injury legitimately and Melissa was the first person they could get to take on the challenge with such short notice and she only did it because she already has some dance experience and won’t look a total fool. I suppose it could be that. Maybe.