Dancing with the Stars: still the same weird show

Dancing with the Stars returned last night, and its reality star-heavy cast delivered what we expect from this weird show: odd moments featuring quasi-famous people interspersed with dances set to absolutely mangled pop music. Where else can you see Florence Henderson, aka Carol Brady, mocking The Situation by showing her, um, abs; watch an unrecognizable Jennifer Grey break down over the memory of her Dirty Dancing co-star Patrick Swayze; or hear Bristol Palin referred to as a “teen activist?” (The latter may be explained, as Maria Elena Fernandez observed, because “she is an active teen.”)

Jennifer Grey and Brandy are both headed to the finals, and Bristol Palin, The Situation, and the Hoff are treading water until their fans stop voting and send one of them home, potentially tonight. However, I fear that Margaret Cho may go first. She and Louis van Amstel tried to use her humor in the routine, but she’s funniest when she’s outrageous, not goofy, and the judges were too dense to see that her screw-ups were intentional and an attempt at comedy, and a creative one at that, because it both masks smaller screw-ups and shows that she’s having fun.

While Bristol referenced her mother in her costume and the song, Sarah Palin didn’t show up despite the tabloid reports that insisted security was being strengthened and she’d be there, front and center. I guess truth has never stopped tabloids before.

The Situation complained that he only had five days to train, and the judges basically gave him a pass because of it, because he had to finish filming Jersey Shore‘s third season. Well, he showed up with the rest of the cast in L.A. back in August to talk to TV critics, and that was in the middle of filming, just as the VMAs were, but there was Mike. I think he just had to reach for whatever he could, considering that showing his rather grotesque abs and hooking up with people is not going to get him anywhere on this show.

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