Wednesday

Heartbreak Induced by Dancing With The Stars...


My name is Chatón. I am a lawyer and I watch reality TV...

This season of Dancing With The Stars finale is supposedly over, but I can't get over the result. Helio Castroneves beat my girl Mel B. While I am a bit salty that all of the previous DWTS winners have been men, I am particularly upset about Mel B's loss.

Don't get me wrong, I found Helio's energetic quick step enjoyable. He was a joy to watch. But, Mel B.'s mambo was magnetic.

As the judges stated, it was as if Mel was born to dance. Each week, she brought such passion and enthusiasm to her dancing that you were glued to the screen. Mel embodied the song and the dance as if she had been doing it her entire life.

Doing that was a true accomplishment. Women carry the majority of the burden in ballroom dancing. They are lifted, spun, and forced to split. They must do what the men do, but if they are to "sell it", they must do it better. They must figure out how to epitomize grace in a revealing and often uncomfortable costume. And they must do it with a smile.

Lest you think that I only wanted Mel B. to win because she was Black and female, I must confess, I did not feel the same level of outrage when Laila Ali was eliminated. While I was rooting for Laila, (because whenever a Black competes we all cheer) I was not motivated to vote for her. Indeed, the entire season, I thought that Apollo Ohno was consistently the strongest and most effective dancer. Apollo and Julianne sold the story every time--they were a team, they were skilled, and they had passion for the dance (and perhaps each other).

This season though, Mel B. had everything that Apollo had, and so much more. Watching her made you want to dance, but you doubted that you could ever be that good. Her repeated splits appeared effortless. Her turns seemed natural. Her boogies looked ingrained. And when Maks lifted her it was as if they had been partners for years. Simply put, she rose the occasion and made every single dance her own.

It is incomprehensible that Mel B. did not walk away with the trophy. Compared to Helio, she was the stronger competitor and I am almost certain that she was more well known. Even though the Spice Girls haven't had a hit in years, who the hell was Helio before DWTS? I had never heard of him, and I read celebrity magazines like it is my job. I am not an Indy fan, but how many Indy fans watch DWTS anyway?! (Viewer votes (via phone, text messaging and online) accounted for 50 percent of the couple's score. The judges' total makes up the other 50 percent.)

I just don't get it. While Helio was the best male competitor, he simply was not the best overall. He did a fine job, but he did not "win". He did not perform at Mel's level. Moreover, he did not perform at the same level of Sabrina Bryan (Cheetah Girl kicked out WAY too early). (He didn't even rise to the level of that very sexy, but unknown, Albert Reed who was kicked off early, but rocked the finale.)

Once I get over grieving Mel B.'s loss, I may learn some lessons. Perhaps I shall realize that what Helio's victory illustrates is that DWTS is reality TV at its best. It keeps you watching. It keeps you wondering. And it keeps you wanting more. Still, once the next season starts, I'll be hoping that one woman, any woman, makes America realize that women do it better, because we do it backwards and in high heels.
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