Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s fall: not as dramatic as everyone’s making it seem

I’ve stopped watching Dancing with the Stars because I have better ways to waste three hours a week, but last night’s episode featured one of the moments that inspire some people to keep watching: a mid-dance injury and fall. As Kirstie Alley with Maksim Chmerkovskiy started their dance, Maksim’s leg gave out and he went down, and since he was holding on to Kirstie, she fell down, too. They quickly got back up and finished the dance, although he was clearly in pain, wincing. Later, Brooke Burke handled this with her usual grace by showing a slow-motion video to him and babbling until Maksim finally just ran off-camera to get medical attention.

By the media and Twitter coverage of this, you’d think it was insanely dramatic. TMZ screamed, “Maksim DROPS Kirstie Alley on ‘Dancing’.” The Huffington Post said “Kirstie Alley Falls,” which is not fully accurate. Entertainment Weekly suggested you “Watch! (Because you are a bad person).”

I think you’re only a bad person if you make this into something more sensational than it actually was–or use it as an occasion to make the predictable fat jokes, including on Fox News’ comically stupid morning show (which, in fairness, seems to celebrate their own stupidity on a regular basis), as if Kirstie Alley was so huge that Maksim just couldn’t hold her up. Please.

The actual fall–while obviously painful for Maksim–wasn’t dramatic or sensational at all. And this seems like a desperate attempt to make a boring season interesting.

Watch here and judge for yourself:

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.