Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Oh, Albert, we hardly knew 'ya

An entry from a few months ago about my favorite show, Dancing with the Stars. (to get you all in the Dancing with the Stars mood)

I don't really like reality TV, but there is one show which is TECHNICALLY a reality TV show that I just cannot get enough of.

Dancing with the Stars.

I really really love Dancing with the Stars.

I didn't really become a fan until last year, when I joined midseason and caught Joey Lawrence walking in a pumpkin patch with his wife and baby. Anything which featured Joey Lawrence pushing a baby carriage around a pumpkin patch is quality television! (Joey won me over once again on one of the last episodes, when he wore a 1940's sailor suit with his grandfather's name on the pocket and dedicated his swing dance to his grandparents. That Joey Lawrence is a class act.)

It wasn't until the next season, however, when I became completely entranced by the show...and there was one factor which helped this newfound obsession...

Three words...

Apolo Anton Ohno.

He was my favorite from the first episode...he'd wear amusing costumes, make funny faces at the camera, and his partner, Julianne Hough, was only 18 and the two of them together were just the cutest thing on earth. They clearly loved working and dancing with each other. When Apolo and Julianne took home the trophy, they held it in the air and Julianne cheered, "Happy Birthday!" (It was Apolo's 25th birthday. We are the same age!)

(There was a contest on NBC's Extra to win a date with the bachelor of your choice. Apolo was on the list...however, I'd never do something as silly as entering that contest...not me...nope nope nope.)

One of my other all-time favorite Dancing with the Stars moments was the finale of last seasons, when Jerry Springer was dancing with Emmet Smith's little daughter when they were all celebrating Emmet's victory. (Who knew Jerry Springer had such a lovely grandfatherly side! He's still not my favorite old man named Jerry, though...that title is reserved for Jerry Stiller, with the late great Jerry Orbach being a close second!)

One day, all my lifelong ambitions came to a halt when I realized what my one true goal in life was:

To do something that would get me just remotely famous enough so I could quality to be a star on Dancing with the Stars.

I accept that when this DOES happen, I will definitely not go in with the fame that Joey Fatone or Drew Lachey or Apolo Anton Ohno or Joe McIntyre did. I accept that I will be the token, random "Who the heck IS that girl and why is she on this show???" contestant. (Others who have worn this title: Willa Ford from the Emmet Smith year...although I DID clearly remember her "I Wanna Be Bad" song from years ago...and the Former Miss USA or Former Miss Teen USA or whoever she was from this past season's...I was quite sad to see her go though, because her partner was supercute and looked like a young Frank Sinatra.)

These token contestants usually get voted off very very early, since, sadly, no matter how talented they are, they aren't going in with much of a fan base.

I will be that token girl! See, the beauty of Dancing with the Stars is that even if you get voted off the first or second week, they keep your smiling face in the opening credits for the rest of the season AND you could even go on the tour if you want to. I can reap ALL the benefits of being on Dancing with the Stars, without the hardwork and criticism.

I've brainstormed various ways that I can become JUST famous enough to be on Dancing with the Stars . Get Famous Quick schemes. I don't want to be rich. I just want to be on Dancing with the Stars.

Some ideas...

-I can start dating Prince William. I think if I ever even just became FRIENDS with Prince William and we were photographed arm-in-arm at a party, people would start whispering about me and how intriguing it was that William was spotted with a Diana..
.who IS this American girl Diana?! What is her story!?

-From this blog. Not very likely...but people have gotten famous from their blogs before. (Example...Jen Lancaster!) I think I'm amusing! I'm unusual! If I was a contestant on The Bachelor, I think lots of everyday girls would be rooting for me and my oldfashioned quirkiness!

-I watched Joey Fatone's new gameshow The Singing Bee the other night. That show would be a lot of fun to be on. Even if you mess up, if you dance around and sing your little heart out, people will still clap for you and remember you. I can be a contestant on The Singing Bee and do something very very memorable. (Not sure what that is yet.) And then when Dancing with the Stars lists me as one of their celebrities, everybody will know me as "that kooky girl from The Singing Bee! Gosh, I just LOVED her!"

I am open to more suggestions.

Diana Rissetto

Once again, I find myself hooked on this show...and once again, I am rooting for people for reasons other than the fact that they can, you know, DANCE.

After the season premiere last week, I had already grown to love Albert Reed.

Before this show, I had no idea who Albert Reed WAS, and neither did a lot of people, making him that token "who the heck IS this (albeit cute) boy?" contestant that I spoke of earlier.

Albert Reed is apparently a male supermodel. (I really didn't KNOW there actually WERE male supermodels.)

Now, Albert Reed is on the drop-dead gorgeous side.

(He also doesn't seem to like to wear shirts much. Here is one of the rare occasions in which he was photographed fully covered...including one of him in a long knit-scarf playing with a dog. I love it when guys wear long knit-scarves! Every guy in my life has a long knit-scarf from me. However, I don't wear long knit-scarves myself. When I was in the second grade, my teacher...Sister Rita Marie...told me about Isadora Duncan and how a long knit-scarf was the cause of her death. I haven't worn one since, but I do make them for all my male relatives and friends. I guess I really don't care if they end up getting killed by them.)

Now, you can write Albert Reed off as a pretty boy who just stands there and is photographed as he broods or plays with dogs (while either shirtless or wearing a long knit-scarf).

However, even though I only had a few hours to get to know Albert Reed over the past two weeks, I learned that he is the best KIND of pretty boy...

An absolute goofball in the form of an Adonis. Tall, beautiful, David-like, but also incredibly dorky.

(In fact, perhaps I was drawn to Albert after the first week because he reminded somewhat me of my favorite tall, handsome wonderful friend and actor, Cheyenne Jackson...who is 6'3, crazy handsome and just plain crazy.) )

In the first episode, Anna, Albert's dancing partner talked about how at first glance, he's handsome and sexy (blah blah blah) but then he opens his mouth and he's just a big, goofy kid.

This past Monday night, we learned that Albert's grandfather was a ballroom dancer and had recently passed away. His grandmother called to tell Albert how proud she was of him.

Now, Albert Reed officially won me over with that (he might as well said that he spends his free time reading to old people in nursing homes or raising seeing eye dogs)and become my Apolo Anton Ohno and Joey Lawrence of this season, the one "star" that I grew to love as a person and wanted to see take home that trophy! (or at least make it to the last couple of episodes so I could see him every week!)

However, unlike Apolo Anthon Ohno (who won the entire competition last season) and Joey Lawrence (who came in third two seasons ago) Albert Reed was a goner after the second week.

Why, I wonder?

Because Albert Reed was pretty much a nobody. He really can't compete with the other stars...the ones who have legions of soap opera fans (Cameron Mathison)/young women who grew up watching 90210(Jennie Garth)/60-year-old women (Wayne Newton) voting for them. Also, Albert's partner wasn't one of the more "known" dancers. I bet had he been dancing with Edyta or Julianne or Cheryl, he would have stuck around for a bit longer.

(I would also like to be completely honest and admit that I did not vote last week or this week...not for Albert or anybody else. I figured he was safe. I mean, look at that face! Look at that footwork! LOOK AT THAT GRANDMA!!!!!!!!)

Maybe if I did, Albert still would have been in the competition.

We could have gotten to know him a little better every week.

Perhaps his beloved grandma would have come to a taping to watch him dance.

It could have been wonderful.

And it's all my fault...I should have dialed. I should have dialed six times each from my cellphone and the houseline and those around me's cellphones. (Yeah, I did that for Apolo. And Apolo won. That should have taught me something.)

I am not sure who will be my new favorite to root for every week...(perhaps Dr. Quinn)...but I do know that I will do my best to see the Dancing with the Stars tour next year.

And what will I be doing when I see it?

Cheering on Albert Reed!

(Perhaps he'll get a job in the NYC theatre community and he'll walk into my office one day. It seems like Chicago likes to cast Billy Flynn with former Dancing with the Stars contestants...maybe Albert Reed can play Billy Flynn! Can he sing or act? Not sure...but, heck, let's give the boy a chance!)

This boy is too wonderful to be confined in one-dimensional Abercrombie Finch ads! He has personality! He has spunk! And he can DANCE!

Good luck to you, Albert Reed. I will be rooting for you.

And I'll even make you a long-knit scarf if you want one.

Diana Rissetto