I like Dancing with the Stars because I love watching great dancers.  I particularly like the “results” show because it showcases dances by the professionals.

If you haven’t watched the show, they team “stars” with professional dancers who are required to dance several required dances throughout the season and are judged by three professional dancers.  The public gets to vote and their votes combined with the judges’ scores determines whether a couple is voted off or safe until the next week.

As I said, the professional dancers are world-class.  What I find puzzling about the show is the use of the word “stars” to describe the celebrities that are chosen to be on the show.

I know I’m dating myself when I say that when I think of a “star” I think of Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Gary Cooper (all before my time, by the way, but still “stars” in my book).  Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any actors or actresses around these days who even fit in the same category of these greats.  It would be interesting if any of these “stars” would’ve agreed to participate on DWTS.

There are sports greats like Olympic gold medalists Apolo Ohno and Kristi Yamagushi who competed on DWTS.  They’re actually “stars” as far as I’m concerned because they actually accomplished something special in their lives.  I know very little about basketball and even less about football so I have no idea if the sports figures who compete are truly “stars” or not.  Marlee Matlin, an Academy Award winning actress, was impressive considering the fact that she couldn’t hear the music.

But too often than not, what I see on Dancing with the Stars are not “stars” but “celebrities” and just about anything qualifies someone as a “celebrity” in today’s America.

There was past House Majority leader turned convicted felon, Tom DeLay.  Bristol Palin, an unwed mother, who was famous only because her mother ran for the Vice Presidency.  One-legged Heather Mills, famous only for taking Paul McCartney for over £24 million after a six-year marriage.  Kim Kardashian, who became “famous” simply because her sex tape was published on the internet.  Kendra Wilkinson, a twenty-something year old “glamour model” (God only knows what that means), who was once one of octogenarian Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends.  (I think I just threw up in my mouth.)  And this season, there’s Robert Kardashian, famous only because he’s “the brother of Kim Kardashian, who became ‘famous’ simply because her sex tape was published on the internet.”

This season there was the child of Cher and Sonny Bono, Chaz Bono, who finally got booted off the show.  The only time I think Chaz would’ve qualified as a “star” was when he appeared with his folks on their tv show back in the 70s.  But that was when he was a she named “Chastity.”  Since then, he had his breasts removed and takes male hormones, but won’t discuss whether he had what he calls “bottom surgery” (which in mind simply makes him a bearded lady without boobs).  Chaz was introduced as an author, activist and public speaker but when he did his own little shtick, he said, “I’m the first transgendered contestant; I was born in a female body and have transitioned and I am now a male.”  I guess in his mind, that’s what makes him a “star.”

I like the show.  I record it and watch the parts I like.  I really don’t care who wins or loses and I’ve never voted for any of the so-called “stars.” But I’m a very literal person and think the producers should change the name of the show to “Dancing with the Professionals.”

I don’t get what makes most of these people “stars,” but if you do, God bless you.



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