There comes a time in every person's life when you have to ask yourself: Who would I rather see dance, an idiotic, monstrous, 'roided up ex-baseball player or a one-legged English woman? Now, you may be thinking, “I've never considered such a quandary.” Well, maybe not in that specific sense, but when you break it down, it is a question that cuts to the very core of our existence.
In fact, some ABC executives did have to make that decision. It has been reported that former Major League Baseball MVP Jose Canseco made a big push
to get himself cast on this season's Dancing with the Stars
. The producers turned him down. The one-legged English woman I'm referring to is, of course, Heather Mills
, the former wife of Paul McCartney and victim of a motorcycle accident that cruelly snatched one of her legs.
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Maybe you want to watch a woman with a prosthetic leg trying to ballroom dance. I don't. You can say it's inspiring, or it will prove a point, but it just makes me tense. It's set up for a train wreck. When Heather Mills came out for her dance last Monday, my only thoughts alternated between, “I hope her leg doesn't fall off, I hope her leg doesn't fall off,” to “Dude, how awesome would it be if her leg fell off? It'd be incredible.”
Am I ashamed of thinking that latter thought? A little bit. But I also blame the producers who cast Heather Mills for making me think it, because I guarantee thousands of other viewers were on the same wavelength. It's playing to our sense of voyeurism, our need to slow down and gawk at a massive car crash on the highway. I don't want to look and I don't want to
want to look. But I do. So I look.
Jose Canseco, on the other hand, is someone who would be great on Dancing with the Stars
. He's a natural villain, a beast of a man who also happens to be an incredible athlete. If Dancing with the Stars
wanted drama, wanted the audience to have someone to root against, Canseco is your man. This is something the show has lacked, and I don't understand why. All great reality TV programs have the characters you root against, yet Dancing with the Stars
has chosen to cast nice, likable humans. I don't get it.
The question at the heart of this, then, is simple: Would you rather have the possibility of drama (the villainous Canseco) or the possibility of a train wreck (Mills prosthetic leg falling off)? An optimistic person might venture to say that we, as enlightened beings, would take greater pleasure out of drama. Unfortunately, this is probably not true. ABC wants ratings, and they've chosen the train wreck.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer