This is week 4 of Dance War and by now the few people watching this show must all know two things: 1) the show sucks, and 2) there's nothing else going on Monday nights. Which brings me to a third truth that may be less obvious and that is that this show is not going to get canceled, no matter how badly it insults our intelligence, our eyeballs and eardrums, and prickles our delicately developed sense of post-Sanjaya outrage for anything that we know deep down is an abomination. It's simple economics of supply and demand. ABC demands filler for their glaringly empty primetime slots and there are those who don't mind supplying said filler, quality be damned.
Last week we've seen our first elimination and I couldn't help but be dismayed, not because a favorite of mine got bumped – hell, I can't even remember any of these people week to week – but because it reminded me that we still have some episodes left to suffer through. Damn.
Prelude in F minus
Drew claims that “one team will be remembered forever”, which is doubtful, but, hey, who am I to tell them that absolutely nobody gives a damn about this show and nobody will care about the winner – or is that winners? - either. This could be a nice short show if they would only tell us whose team lost and be done with it. But no! They will let the teams perform twice each to kill time before they finally bump somebody. Let it not be said that ABC doesn't know how to waste our time.
The first number is a joint exercise with both teams performing together to a slew of moldy AM radio hits. The guys are dressed in cute preppy shirts, their hair is sweetly blow dried, gelled and polished, while the girls look like refugees from Grease via Little Red Riding Hood and the junior clothing department at your local thrift store. There's a lot of bouncing and hopping around and a general sense that whoever choreographed this thing is either cackling maniacally backstage or rocking back and forth curled up in the fetal position locked somewhere in a rubber room where there are no pink skirts with white ruffled petticoats to harm him. To say the whole thing is beyond amateurish and smacking heavily of High School Musical would be a gross understatement. Nevertheless, the well-behaved audience either doesn't care or is hypnotized by all this rehearsed onstage gregariousness. They're on their feet cheering and clapping as if they've been hired to do just that. Perhaps they were. I know they'd have to pay me serious moolah to cheer for this anemic number. They'd have to give me even more cold hard cash to take out my earplugs and risk going deaf.
Drew comes on to say that the stakes are high and the teams need to impress “the country” as well as Bruno and Carrie Ann. I don't know who “the country” are but I guess they voted because somebody will be bounced at the end of all this. Drew also mentions that the winning team will receive a recording deal with Hollywood records. A recording deal! So I guess there will be little dancing involved in that. The way the dancing has been going, I'm not surprised.
Bruno and Carrie emerge center stage from a fog of smoke, feigning rivalry. Bruno says his team has “got what it takes” and they will deliver, while Carrie promises some Motown and some “new school” excitement. Can't wait.
Practice makes for great filler
The week was spent practicing for tonight's Motown themed show. Lacy was given the lead to sing an Aretha Franklin song which she termed “extremely difficult”. While rehearsing the dance routine, the team is prompted to do that old trust exercise with somebody falling backwards being caught by the others. Everyone but Lacey lets go. Oooh, drama! Bruno furrows his brow and glares worriedly into space then goes on to have a heart-to-heart with Lacey. While sweet inspirational music plays in the background Lacey confesses to past hurts and disappointments which prevent her from trusting people. Bruno chimes in with his wisdom telling her that trust is very important. I agree. I feel that our trust has already been grossly betrayed by this show. Here's a picture of cute puppies to make us all feel better:
Think twice before turning up the volume
Team Bruno, wearing all blue getups, performs Think by Aretha Franklin. One girl runs up to Bruno to give him a kiss, Lacey yells determinedly if unconvincingly into the mic, everybody hops around the stage, and I'm getting a headache. The boys are merely window dressing here, only the girls get to sing. Bruno declares himself proud of the performance. Carrie liked it but she feels they used the stand mic as a prop even though they were wearing those head mic thingies, you know the kind that JLo wears while she lipsynchs. She also griped about Lacey having a bigger role than the other two girls and wanted more “balance”. Bruno is predictably outraged.
More practice, even less perfection
It's the other team's turn to appear tortured by long hours of rehearsal. Apparently following Chris' sound problem last week during the show, ABC
hiredlet some rabid 16 year old fangirls ambush Chris as he walked backstage. Wait, it gets worse. He signs autographs for his adoring hiredfans then breaks into song right there in the hallway. The girls shriek and jump up and down excitedly and I just want to poke my eyes out with a knitting needle.
Back at the rehearsal studio, Carrie shows up wearing five inch heels and carrying a football. She suggests they all play a little catch before rehearsal to bring the team together. I know there's nothing like five inch heels and a game of catch to make me feel warm and fuzzy towards my fellow man.
Performing to Papa was a Rolling Stone, Team Carrie Ann is ready for action dressed in gray suits and hats over purple sweats. The singing is average but the dancing is a bit more inspired with a segment where they all do some Janet Jackson slash Stomp moves while Qis beatboxes on the side. This number manages to keep me awake, which is something at least. The audience whoops and hollers excitedly. Bruno saw lots of improvement but felt they needed to be “slicker and tighter”. Carrie protests this assessment loudly.
Back to the studio
Lots of talk from Bruno basically boils down to the fact that one of them will be biting the dust this week. The team looks appropriately gloomy upon hearing of their possible fate. One by one, Bruno assesses his team and we find out that they don't want to lose even one member. I suggest they all run away right now and don't come back. That way nobody will be voted off and they can stay together in blessed anonymity and with much less humiliation.
Because we still have 30 minutes to kill Team Bruno performs again. Dressed in white they deliver some truly torturous off-key singing. Sorry, I had to turn the volume down so I didn't catch the name of the song. Bruno thought that it was slick because what else is he going to say? Carrie politely notes that they had pitch problems. I'll say.
Team Carrie Ann is feeling the pressure. Carrie is disappointed in Bradley; Elizabeth cries prettily because she feels her teammates are so much better than she is; rehearsal is intense and I'm feeling an intense urge to flee to another country where this show is not being broadcast. Allysa cries because she's excited. Carrie knows that somebody might be dropped if they don't find favor with the voters.
Their performance is to Upside down. It seems with each new number skirts get shorter on this show. Now we're down to gold and silver sequined hooker micro-minis over hot shorts, which is undoubtedly a versatile look, equally at home on the street corner and apparently on Carrie Ann's team. Incidentally, I do own a similar outfit, only when I bought it at Macy's a couple of months ago it was still called a top. Go figure. Carrie thought they were a bit pitchy and not quite there. Bruno thinks the girls were sub par and they need to focus better. To thank you for your continued patience with this whole insanity, here's a picture of kittens:
Cutting the fat
With a straight face, Drew claims that “millions have voted” and now it's time to finally reveal the losing team. I wonder who those millions were. Inmates in federal penitentiaries with nothing better to do and one phone call per week? Grannies in retirement homes with hearing aids and poor eyesight? Automated bots on the internet secretly run by ABC? Who knows for sure! Suffice it to say that enough people, or robots, have called in that the scales were tipped in favor of one team and somebody will go home. Drew claims it was “really, really close”. I bet. Carrie looks worried, while Bruno looks either resigned or just unfazed. The announcement finally comes and Team Carrie Ann wins the week. Bruno is shocked and appears incredulous. I'm ecstatic that there's an end in sight but then Drew cruelly informs everyone that Bruno will pick 4 people he wants to keep for sure and the bottom two will perform one last time. Groan!
Bruno agonizes mightily because it's expected, but finally picks Lacey, Phillip, Tony and Zack. This leaves Kelsey and Charity in the bottom two. Can't we just get rid of both of them and shave off a week? They break into a pitchy, breathy and pathetic rendition of Don't leave me this way. Bruno pretends to struggle brokenly for a minute, wringing his hands for good measure, but in the end he choses Kelsey. Charity thus receives the biggest gift of her young life by being sent home to deprogram and to realize that she'd be much better off cold calling greedy music execs for her big break than being on this show. She finally weeps without tears, gets a big hug from Drew and exits stage left.
Come back next week, if you can bear it, to see a special guest, another young hopeful's dream of stardom being crushed and to witness more terrible singing and even worse dancing. Lildago will bring you all the relevant details and hopefully keep you from slashing your wrists.
PM me if you want to move to Greenland with me. I hear TV reception is very limited in the fjords.