Did You Know I Taught John Travolta to Dance?
Star Dates, Episode 8
Featuring: Deney Terrio
Star Dates’ premise is to combine Blind Date, Elimidate, Disgusting Date, and any other dating show you can think of. The twist here is to set up dates between a B list actor and a normal (read: not famous, but probably trying to be) citizen.
This second season of the show brings us a new host, Reggie Gaskins. As the show goes on, I am liking Reggie more and more. He has a nice dry sense of humor, and he isn’t afraid to point out that the star is being a weenie… as we shall soon see.
Deney Terrio is best known for being the host of Dance Fever from 1979 – 1985. Deney was quite the hoofer in his day, and still brings the same 80’s disco moves to his dates today. Deney is fond of telling people that he is the guy who taught John Travolta to dance for Saturday Night Fever, but really, Deney is mostly fond of himself.
That is pretty much Deney’s career. He did play a small role in the movie The Idolmaker, and he appeared in his last movie role back in 1983, the Christopher Atkins star vehicle A Night in Heaven. I’ll bet you didn’t realize that Christopher Atkins has been in 48 different movies since his debut in The Blue Lagoon, amazing how time flies.
So, aside from an episode of The Love Boat, and I am beginning to think that all Star Dates stars have to have a Love Boat appearance in their portfolio to be considered, Deney has not been on the screen in nearly 20 years.
So what the heck has he been doing with his bad self? Well, we don’t know, but apparently it involves flying to Philadelphia on occasion.
Deney is looking for a reserved woman who is not too aggressive. What will he get?
The “Normal” Folks
Santana Rodriguez is a fitness trainer and competitor, not to mention having her own website, and apparently a desire to wear bathing suits whenever possible. She is originally from Puerto Rico. Iva has an undisclosed occupation, but we learn later that she likes to golf. So therefore she is my favorite date yet on this show.
Date #1 – Santana
On the way over, Deney is reviewing the data sheet on Santana. He immediately fixates on the commentary that notes Santana once had sex in her boyfriend’s office while he was on the phone doing “business”. I assume the boyfriend was involved…
Reggie shows up at Santana’s house, white envelope in hand. Santana is wearing a floral dress that she fills out remarkably well. She likes Deney from his photo, and seems to remember him, so this could be a good sign.
They meet, and no one laughs out loud, we are on track. On the way to the Escalade, Deney confesses that Santana has “big breasts”. Yeah, no kidding Deney?
In the car, on the way to their date, Deney commits the biggest dating faux pox possible in Star Dates, he talks about himself. He brags about the Travolta thing, he brags about his dance career, he brags about Dance Fever, I think if the drive had not been so short, he would have bragged about his health reports. At no point did he even ask Santana a question.
They arrive at their first activity, disco dance lessons. I kid you not. The instructor asks Deney and Santana if they are good dancers, and Deney says that he is isn’t really, he is more of a sideline guy. Here’s a free hint for you Deney. The self-depreciating stuff doesn’t work after you spent a half hour boasting to your date about any number of mundane topics.
They go through a dance lesson, and then of course, Deney and Santana dance like pros. Rather than letting the instructor feel like she has done a great job, Deney drops his name on her. She responses with, “Hi Deney”, not seeming to recognize him at all, and I am guessing he gets a lot of that. Then he tosses out that he taught John Travolta to dance, which leads the instructor to give him the “what the hell are you doing here then?” look.
Back in the Escalade, Deney is now moving on to the topic of his party days as host of Dance Fever. Santana could not be sitting further away from him if she were in a side car. Reggie, sensing impending doom, jumps in and begins asking Santana questions. Deney looks upset that the topic is no longer him.
They arrive at a restaurant, and as they walk in, Deney rushes Santana over to the mirror for a little posing together. I am guessing he does that to suppress the appetites of his dates, thus saving money on the dinner. I am impressed with the tactic.
During confessionals, Santana says that it is clear Deney is not looking to settle down at this point in his life. Deney confirms that in his own confessional, adding, “I am not looking to settle down”. Wow, Santana has looks and brains, why did you do this show again? Oh, that’s right, you have a website… can the bikini hot tub be far behind?
They finish dinner and move to the “VIP area”. This “area” is a bar with a bed. What the heck is up with that? They share dessert and Deney is really pressing now, telling Santana that she has a “full mouth”. Yeah, he said it.
Well, Santana is noticeably distraught at that turn of events, and Deney senses this, saying “I don’t kiss on the first date”. Guess what Deney? That reverse psychology isn’t going to work here, and Santana tells us in private “he is full of crap.”
As they sit on the bed, Deney continues to flirt, wondering why Santana isn’t jumping all over Mr. Dance Fever, Santana says in her most obviously sarcastic voice, “I am trying to control myself right now.”
So this date is obviously a loser, and we all should just go home and walk away glad to still have our appendages intact. But no…
We need a hot tub scene. Why would Santana do this? Oh, that’s right, she has a web site…
Into the hot tub we plunge. Santana is wearing a bathing suit that barely covers her ample assets, and once wet, pretty much doesn’t cover anything. I watched this scene repeatedly because I knew that veteran FORT moderator JR would have many questions. I sacrifice like this for true fans.
Aside from the eye candy, things don’t go much better in the tub. Somehow these two end up getting in an argument about the etiquette of a woman opening the man’s car door on a first date. Reggie sums it up well when he throws his hands up in the air in exasperation.
This date is over for good now.
In the post date recap, Deney lectures all the guys watching the show, saying, “let this be a lesson to you . . . substance is more important than looks”. I am guessing that principle is why no woman has locked up Deney recently.
Date#2 – Iva
We learn more about Iva on the drive over to her rather nice looking house. She can “fix anything” and she is brutally honest.
Iva is dressed for the date, in a workout sweat suit. This is important, for they are going to the beach to run an obstacle course. Iva is impressed with Deney’s picture, and is looking forward to meeting him, and Deney definitely feels the same. These two are attracted to each other.
They work pretty hard on the obstacle course, and Iva does a very credible job. Deney is impressed. Reggie asks them if they enjoyed sweating together, and as always, the slow motion camera shots on this show leave me laughing.
They retire to a bar at Los Angeles International airport. Deney has a flight to catch. It seems his schedule is so packed, he had to squeeze in this date. They are communicating well, and complimenting each other on their eyes.
During a break, Reggie sneaks in to get impressions. Iva says someone you see on TV is never like you expected them to be, but she likes Deney. Meanwhile, Deney is in awe. He is hugging Reggie, thanking him for this date. Wow, what was in those drinks?
Back together, Deney continues his tour de’ compliments, discussing Iva’s face, teeth, eyes, nose, and ears. Thanking ‘Dr God’ for them. Iva is smiling. However, Deney doesn’t have the answer to the question he really wants, that being, did Dr. God create that body? Iva, replies that no, Dr. Millburg did that.
Reggie rolls his eyes right along with those of us at home.
Deney wants to dance, so he asks Reggie to play table drums while he and Iva cut a rug. Then during the big dip they kiss. So much for that not kissing on the first date thing.
Further kissing ensues as they walk together to the ever romantic United Airlines terminal at LAX. Deney jokes that Iva should join him in Philly that night, I suspect she may have gone if she could.
These two seem to be a match. Once again the Star Dates team is successful. The show ends with them walking away in slow motion, I would be surprised if they didn’t get together again in the future.
Mary McDonough, also known as Erin from The Waltons is the next celebrity on Star Dates. Comments are welcome. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org