Gay Girls Goggles: “Dancing with the Stars” SnapCap (13.3)



When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”

AfterEllen Bait

When I was setting up my laptop to take notes on the competition show, I looked up while the dancers were entering and actually typed out, in all caps, “WHAT IS HOPE SOLO WEARING?!”

Turns out it was patterned thigh-highs and a dress cut right up to the penalty area. I’m growing fond of Solo because she commits. You want her to wear insane sexy dancewear? Fine. She’s all in.

Hope also zoomed into the AfterEllen Bait stratosphere by suddenly becoming hilarious when she was asked one too many times by her weird Dancing with the Stars cyborg partner to announce how girly, gender-appropriately sexy she felt. Keeping her huge TV smile on her face, she said, “I feel like sex on a stick, and you can just dip it and lick it off.”

1,000 bonus attractiveness points for expertly deployed sarcasm, Ms. Solo. Well played.

Kristin Cavallari wore a slinky red number and tried a little too hard to be sexy during her samba, but she didn’t look at all bad doing it.

And Chynna Phillips looked lovely in what my one semester of costume design qualifies me to tell you was a form-fitting sparkly bathing suit doohickey with a sheer swooshy thingamabob over it. Anyway, it worked for her.

Speaking of the costume department, Chaz Bono’s partner Lacey Schwimmer has made some good friends. If this were the 1950s, I would be forced to describe her gown with the word “Va-va-VOOM!” On the other hand, if this were the 1950s, I’d also be pounding this recap out on a sticky manual typewriter and mailing mimeographed copies out in brown paper wrappers while washing Valium down with straight gin in an attempt to suppress my rage over how much of my life is meant to be focused on cleaning under the refrigerator, so let’s all take a moment to be thankful that this is not the 1950s.

And Mary J. Blige was in the results show! She performed twice! Why?! For heaven’s sake, SWAT team, find Mary J.’s loved ones! Word to the wise: Check the producers’ offices. As a BaitBonus,™ dancer Dasha Chesnakova performed with Val Chmerkovskiy while wearing a spangled S&M feather bikini. It was much better than that sounds.

Estelle also performed with Chubby Checker. She looked smashing and like an extremely good sport.

I’m sure we all had a moment of Shallowness Terror at the final elimination, as the two dancers in jeopardy were our entire “Eye Candy” section from the video highlights. Thank heavens there wasn’t a dual elimination.

Stay strong, Hope. And lets get voting, ladies. This is a million times sillier than the World Cup, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t win it.

Feelings, Feelings, Feelings!

Holy cats, there were feelings spilling out all over the place this week! The contestants were assigned to dance about their most memorable year, which was a not-at-all contrived way to jerk a few tears and heartstrings. That sort of thing drives me so far up the walls I got a speeding ticket on the observation deck of the Sears Tower and I don’t even live in Chicago anymore.

I don’t do well with forced emotion; I am still trying to clean up all the vomit in my apartment after Monday night’s show.

For example, there was a point where Chynna Phillips was so overcome by feelings that she had to take a moment and cry against the wall.

Not leave the room with the camera in it, mind you. Just take some time to bow her head and cry beautifully against the wall. 

Nancy Grace also had a moment after her dance during which she was “overcome by emotion.” It would be wrong, without evidence and a fair hearing, to accuse Nancy Grace of perhaps pushing that a little bit in order to improve her image and/or chances.

On the other hand, that is what Nancy Grace does to people every damn day of her life to people who have been accused of actual crimes and deserve, last time I checked, their Constitutionally guaranteed fair trials.

Screw it: Nancy Grace totally faked crying for points.

The whole thing was also — I don’t know. I hate the way it seems to force a competition of Who Had the Worst Thing Happen? Is a recently dissolved marriage harder to overcome than substance abuse? Let’s find out!

And when two contestants have “I moved to Los Angeles and had to think about my life” and “My team came in second at the World Cup,” while two others had “I changed my gender” and “I was blown up by an actual land mine,” it’s uncomfortable to try to line those things up against each other, as though anyone could or should.

And it’s just plain creepy to ask the contestants to dump all their most personal baggage out for everyone to see if they want to stay on the show, and then to play those things for ratings.

One of the hosts actually said, “Some of our most emotional stories are coming up!” as the show went to commercial. That was the point at which I realized I was going to have to rent a steam cleaner.

In spite of the DWTS producers sending out gangs armed with sledgehammers demanding that everyone in the universe cry, some genuine moments snuck through.

J.R. Martinez talked about being gravely injured in a war at the age of 19 and was frank and moving about his friends who didn’t come home at all.

And the mics on the dancers were finally put to good use. After Martinez got his standing ovation, he and Chaz hugged, and each told the other he was an inspiration. No, I just have something in my eye. Shut up.

I will also admit to being totally sucked in by the first round of safe-or-not announcements.

Consistent top scorers Ricki Lake and Derek Hough and J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff were in the first are-they-or-aren’t they group with Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer, who were in dead last place.

And just as I was typing up an indignant paragraph about how, for crying out loud, we all know poor Chaz is in jeopardy and this ridiculously skewed match-up was beneath us all, they announced that all three couples were safe!

Way to vote, folks. I like it that Chaz is getting some credit for his heart and moxie. I am also very much enjoying the fact that his continued presence is probably really frosting the shorts of the very same people who famously gamed the system to keep Bristol Palin on the show last year. Ha, ha! Karma is one gorgeous, feather-wearing bitch sometimes, isn’t she?

Athletic Spectacle

There were not many leaps or feats of strength in this week’s routines. It seemed like the contestants were playing it safe to let their emotions come through. Or something.

Most of the athleticism came from The Troupe, who gyred and gimbled and even shimmied on the floor very energetically to make up for the fact that Chubby Checker does not so much twist anymore. He just sort of pivots a little. But he’s Chubby Checker, and he’s earned it, so let him be.

There was also some lifting, spinning, and dragging in a completely insane tribute to Gone with the Wind, which I’m guessing was chosen and choreographed before we all found out the name of Rick Perry’s hunting camp and remembered that Confederate nostalgia really isn’t that much fun.

Fighting Monsters

There were only two monsters worth fighting this week. Even Bruno the Pervball Judge didn’t bother me as much this week, in spite of the fact that while giving Kristin Cavallari her “notes,” he talked at length about how he certainly would not turn down the chance to have sex with her while her apparent boyfriend sat in the audience golf clapping. If you have a child in your life that needs to know what a “tight-lipped smile is,” just pause the DVR at that point.

And, other than her burst of fake crying over what seems to have been a genuinely scary time in her life, Nancy Grace didn’t bug me all that much this week. She played the game and got dragged around on stage and danced us off to Snoresville and even risked a dip after last week’s disaster.

Monster she is, but she took a week off from destroying villages.

So who are we fighting? First is the insidious, snaky little monster of gender roles. This is the third week in a row the judges – and her partner – have been insisting that Hope Solo is not sexy because she is athletic, “too strong,” or has arm muscles.

Judges, the entire bar’s worth of women I was with during the Women’s World Cup begs to differ.

I know this is competitive ballroom dancing and all, but are we really pretending that only one kind of femininity is sexy? And that the one kind in question has to be weak and simpering? According to the judges, Hope Solo swiveling her hips and walking on her toes in an unnatural way is sexy; striding confidently onto the soccer field to kick major ass at something she does very well is not. Bullpuckey. Where is my Valiumtini?

But the very worst monster this week was Rob Kardashian.

Due to off-show shenanigans, Rob Kardashian is barred from receiving any further sensible and moving advice from me.

While on a classy radio show called Mojo in the Morning, he said “I know some of the couples on the show, some of the celebrities that are married…and some professionals that are married…that are having an affair with their partner.”

And then Rob remembered that radio works as a fameball booster because people can hear it and claimed on Twitter that he was just kidding. Ha, ha! Such an ebullient sense of humor.

What a pile of ferret gonads Rob Kardashian is.

Regardless of the morality of having affairs, talking about those of other people to get attention on the radio is disgusting in ways too numerous to count.

Did it not occur to Kardashian that every DWTS spouse is now counting up who’s married and trying to figure out his or her odds of being one of the wounded parties? Or that he might be jeopardizing committed monogamous relationships with his stupid, attention-whore accusations?

Or did it just matter that he was on the radio, getting to talk and maybe getting more famous, even as the dirtball host was calling Rob’s own dance partner a slut? (No, I will not link to that.)

I never thought I would do this, but here goes: I hereby lift the ban on voting for Nancy Grace. I will condone voting for her if and only if it is in the context of voting for every single contestant except Rob Kardashian.

Let’s bust that little wad of eel sputum down to obscurity, and fast.

Or is it better to vote for him and let him ride out for a few weeks, thinking that America loves him, so that his inevitable crash will hurt even more?

I never thought this show would present me with so many philosophical dilemmas. It burns.

KICKED OFF THIS WEEK: Kristin Cavalleri

Ooh, an upset!

I guess someone is having a few regrets about whatever made her have to introduce herself a couple of weeks ago by explaining that she isn’t really a horrible person; it just mysteriously happened to look that way on TV.

One heat-seeking Reality TV drone down; one to go. I am looking at YOU, Rob Kardashian.

Don’t let me down here, people. This is about truth and justice.

Now go forth and dance.