DWTS Episode 1 Recap

I hate to admit it, but after re-watching NeNe Leakes’ performance, she wasn’t half bad. Too many gyrating lady parts and puckering of lips for my taste. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you’re supposed to shake your bon-bon when you cha-cha, but it should be proper Latin hip action not spastic pulsating and reckless flinging about. Cynical, you say? Well for your information I am a serious student of ballroom dance so my DWTS recaps won’t be the typical layperson fluffy pop culture editorials you’re used to. They’ll be entertaining alright, but they will include substantive dance critiques. So there.

Anyway, it’s no secret I want NeNe to go. I’m not a fan, never have been and don’t plan to become one. And let’s not forget she stole my spot in the celebrity line-up this season:

"Just Say No No to NeNe"published March 7, 2014 ©2014 Just Another Ordinary Day by Antoinette Datoc

“Just Say No No to NeNe”
published March 7, 2014
©2014 Just Another Ordinary Day by Antoinette Datoc

But… I sheepishly admit, NeNe’s genuine display of humility impressed me. Understand she is by no means going to win me over, but yes, I said her humility impressed me.

NeNe received sevens across the board along with lots of praise from the judges including Len’s depicting her performance as an “all-you-can-eat-buffet of fun.” When asked to comment on the judges feedback she replied, “I think it’s great! Thank you so much! I’m honored! Thank you!”

Another thing I find surprising is she actually practiced her routine. Diligently. And frequently. I cite as evidence both her performance last night and the predawn 4.4-magnitude earthquake that rolled across Los Angeles yesterday morning. It doesn’t take a seismologist to figure out it’s no coincidence that a quake hits L.A. precisely when a large, voluptuous woman (Carri Ann’s characterization, not mine) starts stomping around a nearby dance floor. All that flagellating is bound to result in a fair amount of tectonic plate disruption. Sure, Californians have been fearing the “Big One” for the last few centuries, but I’m afraid the threat level will be at an all time high as long as NeNe stays on the show.

So in the spirit of keeping the Golden State from splitting off the continent, here’s my advice:  DO NOT VOTE for NeNe. And to the folks on the left coast: create an earthquake emergency plan fast because, should she make it through to next week, NeNe is dancing the Jive.

In an interesting twist of fate, James Maslow and pro partner, Peta revealed they’d had a dinner date back on February 4 of this year, after which he never called. Awwwwkwwwward. Mostly for Peta, who clearly thought they’d hit it off. But James never called. And he didn’t even pretend to be contrite. Just made excuses about some world tour with his band and blah, blah, blah and… what, you can’t even send a text? Helluvha guy. Yeah. Anyway his foxtrot was forgettable at best, but somehow scored straight sevens. It’s unlikely he’ll capture the spurned female vote… or any female vote for that matter. I’ve never been fond of Peta, but this guy is a cad and I hope he goes home.

Danica McKellar’s foxtrot was praised by the judges, including Len, which surprised me given her incorporation of latin hip action into roughly the first 25 percent of her routine. Wiggling and such nonsense is not characteristic of foxtrot, which is a smooth dance. Perhaps she was attempting to dispel her reputation as a nerdy math geek. I’m not sure if it worked, but she earned three eights along the way.

Sean Avery proved hockey skills do not transcend contemporary dance. His performance made me even more uncomfortable than the James-Peta dating thing. Awkward got him 20 points.

Sadly, the force was not with 77 year-old Hollywood legend, Billy Dee Williams. His Star Wars themed cha cha garnered a paltry fifteen (yes, as in total points scored) and if you ask me, that was a gift. Even cranky Len tried to be nice, “Well you didn’t forget your routine.” Heck, I agree with Len. While the smile never left his face, Billy appeared so confused at one point, I’m not sure he knew where he was or why he was there. Let’s hope he still has enough of a fan base to keep him in the competition for another week because his dancing sure won’t. I sort of hope he goes.

Meryl Davis’ cha cha was good, but nothing to write home about. Maybe because she’s an Olympic gold medalist I expected her performance to be tantamount to Kristi Yamaguchi’s and Shawn Johnson’s breakout performances. It wasn’t. It was, however, clearly superior to Danica’s foxtrot which leaves me confused. Either Meryl got robbed or Danica’s scores were inflated because they are indeed tied at 24 points.

Cadace Cameron Buron was a pleasant surprise. Her contemporary dance routine was lauded by the judges, receiving the season’s first nine from Carrie Ann and a pair of eights from Len and Bruno, the second highest combined score at night’s end. She is very likable and I love when the camera pans her family in the audience. Her kids are exceedingly proud of her, something I feel certain will fuel her performances in the weeks to come.

Cody Simpson debuted with a routine that earned 22 points. The kid can move so he was able to fake his way through this week’s cha cha, but bad posture and poor dance fundamentals are going to catch up with him in the weeks to come. His cocky aire won’t endear him to anybody outside the Land Down Under either. He may even lose a few of those twitter followers for which he is so famous. He’s annoying and I hope he goes home.

Drew Carey, decked out in top hat and tails, gave me what I’d been waiting for all night: a classic foxtrot with the sort of cool style and glamour that characterizes the dance. My gut instinct tells me he’s going to be the fellow who quietly improves from week to week. He has a great attitude and brings joy to the dance floor. Three sevens from the judges seems fair to me. I think he’s only scratched the surface of what he’s capable of doing.

What Amy Purdy lacks in limbs, she makes up for in heart. Her story is one of remarkable triumph and her performance was unbelievable. Except for the fact that she is unable to wear shoes because of her prosthetic legs, you’d never guess she is a double amputee. She’ll be around for a long time because she is a beacon of true hope and one heck of a dancer. She earned three eights from the judges which puts her even with Meryl in overall standings and for highest cha cha score.

Diana Nyad was something of a fish out of water last night. Her foxtrot garnered three sixes to which she responded, “You know, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” I like this determined, witty lady and I predict the grace and poise she demonstrated in her post performance interview with Erin Anderson will soon find it’s way to the dance floor. Let’s hope she gets enough votes to stick around another week to prove I’m right

Charlie White’s contemporary dance performance lends credibility to the old adage you save the best for last. Three nines knocked Cameron Bure from her perch atop the leader board. At least for now, this is the guy to beat.

So whose my pick to be eliminated? I hope it’s James Maslow (cad), Cody Simpson (annoying) or NeNe (obviously because she stole my spot on the show), but thanks to Sean Avery, Billy Dee Williams and Diana Nyad, I doubt any one of these three is in serious jeopardy of going home this week. Billy Dee William’s performance was downright awful and Diana Nyad lacks the fan base needed to counteract her low score of 18. My prediction: it’s a toss up between Billy and Diana, but I hope I’m wrong. I really do.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment or reach out to me via the Get In Touch page.

© 2014 Just Another Ordinary Day by Antoinette Datoc

Just Say No No to NeNe

Set your DVR for 8 PM on Mondays and Tuesdays because Dancing with the Stars kicks off season 18 next week. In case you’re wondering, they bypassed me…AGAIN, but I’m not bitter or anything. Anyway, here’s my take on this year’s line-up of celebrity dancers.

Meryl Davis

Meryl Davis

Let’s start with the obvious. Artistic sport athletes have a history of success on DWTS (gymnast, Shawn Johnson and figure skaters, Evan Lysecek and Kristi Yamaguchi to name a few) which, incidentally, is why I deserve a chance to be on the show, but more importantly it’s why my money’s on Meryl Davis and Charlie White to coast straight through to the finals.

Charlie White

Charlie White

The Sochi Olympic Ice Dancing champs have been skating together for nearly two decades. Since they won’t be partners on the show, I’ll need a few weeks to gauge which half of this dynamic duo has the competitive edge before I’m willing to predict the winner.

Joining Meryl and Charlie in the top three will be either U.S. Paralympic Team member, Amy Purdy or NHL star, Sean Avery. A double amputee and a raucous hockey player may seem unlikely candidates to win a dance contest. However, as you may recall from Season 4 when speed skater, Apolo Ohno added the mirror ball trophy to his stash of Olympic medals, figure skaters aren’t the only ones who can dance. Even so, I think Amy has the advantage over Sean.

Sean Avery

Sean Avery

Amy Purdy

Amy Purdy

First, anybody who’s lost both legs to meningitis and has the guts to hop on a snowboard is guaranteed to kick @ss on the dance floor. Plus, who doesn’t LOVE triumph over adversity? She’ll have the viewers pulling for her even if she’s a lousy dancer. (Did I mention I’m overcoming a nagging hip injury?)

When you see Candace Cameron Bure (Full House), Drew Carey (stand-up comedian), Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) and Billy Dee Williams (Lady Sings the BluesMahoganyStar Wars Trilogy) hit the dance floor, I guarantee the first thing that’ll pop into your head is Oh yeah, I remember them. It’s doubtful any one of them has the dance skills necessary to hang around for the long haul, but I am confident the combination of name recognition and loyal fan base is enough to keep them afloat through week five. It’ll be interesting to see who goes when, but my bet is funny man of the bunch, Drew Carey, will be the last man standing or, in this case, dancing. (Not to brag, but I have a few fans of my own – you know, people who recognize me in the grocery store and say Oh yeah, I remember you, you’re that lady who writes the funny blog.)

Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure

Drew Carey

Drew Carey

Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar

Billy Dee Williams

Billy Dee William

Cody Simpson

Cody Simpson

What do Diana NyadCody Simpson and James Maslow have in common? If your answer is you don’t know because you’ve never heard of them… DINGDINGDING… you’re correct! Cody Simpson is a 17 year old Australian pop star whose claim to fame is amassing 12-million Twitter and Facebook followers. That’s roughly 11,999,448 more than me, but does that render one DWTS-worthy? Okay so he has really nice hair.

James Maslow

James Maslow photo credit Jean Claude

James Maslow is a member of Big Time Rush, the American boy band introduced in a Nickelodeon television series of the same name back in 2009. Big Time Rush is very popular in Europe, Asia and Latin America, but doesn’t get much airtime in the United States, which makes sense since I didn’t recognize a single one of their songs I sampled on iTunes. But he has really nice hair.

Diana Nyad

Diana Nyad

Diana Nyad etched herself a place in history in September of 2013, when she became the first person to complete a 110-mile swim from Cuba to Key West. It took her five different attempts, but she did it and that’s pretty amazing. Even though her hair took a beating from prolonged exposure to salt water, she’s my dark horse. While I don’t completely understand the value in swimming non-stop from Cuba to Key West (unless, of course, you’re defecting), I have to admit anybody with that level of tenacity and determination has a shot at going the distance – even if the other guys do have really nice hair.

Finally, it’s become a Dancing with the Stars tradition for the celebrity line-up to include a wannabe or if you invoke the politically correct term: reality television personality. Most of the time it’s unpleasant to watch these folks dance and they generally possess no talent WHATSOEVER. This agitates me to no end since 1) I really, really, REALLY want to be on Dancing with the Stars, 2) I actually can dance and I really, really, REALLY want to be on Dancing with the Stars and 3) I am a mildly famous, above-average-talent mommy-blogging humorist and advice dispenser with a combined Facebook, Twitter and WordPress following of 552 (and I really, really, REALLY want to be on Dancing with the Stars).

NeNe Leakes

NeNe Leakes

Season 18 is bound to be the worst one EVER because representing the reality television genre is none other than the most abrasive person in the entire galaxy, NeNe REAL HOUSEWIFE OF ATLANTA Leakes. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

First off, contrary to what BRAVO would have us believe, NeNe is not a real housewife. She has neither cleaned the requisite number of toilets nor cooked enough meals to earn that rank and title. On top of that, she doesn’t even live in Atlanta. She lives in Alpharetta or Johns Creek or Duluth or somewhere up there, but CERTAINLY nowhere close enough to the city of Atlanta to lay claim to it. Sheesh. I’m not bitter or anything, but WILL THE REAL HOUSEWIFE OF ATLANTA PLEASE STAND UP? This was clearly my year. They should have picked me. NeNe is an imposter, a cheap imitiation of the real thing and she stole my gig.

I suppose you have to give credit where credit is due. Cat fighting and conjugating the F-word aside, NeNe’s managed to parlay a complete lack of discernible talent into quite a lucrative career. I just hope somebody told her there’s no pole dancing in ballroom and you have to keep your clothes on.

I really, really REALLY hope she’s the first to go so do me a favor, will you? Just say no no to NeNe.

**All photos courtesy of Yahoo News unless otherwise noted.**

© 2014 Just Another Ordinary Day by Antoinette Datoc

I Coulda Been A Contender

If you’re new to Just Another Ordinary Day, it may come as a surprise to learn the reason I launched this blog was not to bemoan the pitfalls of PPACA and POTUS. My intent was far from political. In fact, my agenda in launching a blog in the first place was to become famous. Don’t get all weird on me… I’m not talking papparazzi-in-your-face famous…just famous enough to get me on Dancing with the Stars. I know. It sounds crazy, but honestly it’s how it all started. And I wrote about it in the very first post I published:

I am addicted to Dancing with the Stars. And for reasons I can’t explain, I really want to be a contestant on this show. I know what you’re thinking, “this woman hasn’t got a chance…she’s not a star, she’s just an ordinary person.”  It’s true. I am quite precisely just an ordinary person. I have an ordinary life, which I live each day in an extremely ordinary way. I’ve never walked on the moon, won Olympic gold, or starred in a blockbuster movie. I’ve never headlined the cast of a Broadway play, hosted a talk show, and I am not the daughter, mother, wife (or even ex-wife) of somebody famous. I’m not an aging entertainer, a has been, nor a wannabe. In fact, I simply am an ordinary person.  So I will write about my ordinary experiences.  I will share my ordinary thoughts, and make ordinary observations. Maybe, just maybe, some ABC executive will happen upon my blog, find it interesting, and think to himself, “Hmmm. Having an ordinary person on the show might be good for ratings.”  In which case, this ordinary woman just might be given the very extraordinary chance to dance among the stars.

Fast forward two years and seven months (not that I’m counting) to find, in spite of consistently being recognized at the deli counter by complete strangers (I buy a lot of deli and apparently so do the people who follow my blogs), I still am not famous enough for the producers of DWTS. Then, just when I started thinking there would never be a spray tan or sequined dress in my future, Just Another Ordinary Day was named a Top Mommy Blog and BAM! it happened… just like I hoped it would. Some random casting director discovered me while trolling the internet, liked my particular brand of humor and promptly invited me to join the cast of a reality television show. I promise this really did happen and it was just like I predicted back in 2010, except for one small detail. It wasn’t Dancing with the Stars that came calling. It was Pioneer Families.

PioneerFamilyV3

When I declined the invitation to join the cast, I promised the casting director I’d dedicate a blog post to the Pioneer Families and include the Official Casting Flyer.

You’re probably thinking I’ve never heard of Pioneer Families. I know that’s what I was thinking, which is why I was skeptical at first, but then I checked out the casting director and the production company and guess what. It is completely legit. Pioneer Families is a new show that documents the survival of families plopped in the middle of some undisclosed prairie location far, far away from civilization, electricity, plumbing and any other non-essential conveniences like the stuff that makes personal hygiene easy. If you know me, you know I’m not the poop-in-the-woods type, but believe it or not, I actually considered doing the show because 1) they said I could dance on camera, and 2) I figured this could be my ticket to DWTS. After all, who ever heard the names Kate Gosselin, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino or Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi before Jon and Kate Plus Eight and Jersey Shore? I’ll tell you who. NOBODY!

I shared the news with my husband, Pat and our youngest son, Jared and they thought it was a swell idea for about a nanosecond, which was the point in the conversation at which I sprang the part on them where they would need to come along… to the prairie… with no electricity…or plumbing… or Polo and Ax products. They looked at me like I had three heads. As if the idea of THEM moving to the wilderness for a month was ridiculous. Sure, it’s okay for me, but not them. “I can’t go alone,” I argued, “remember the show is called Pioneer FAMILIES not Pioneer MOM BLOGGERS WHOSE FAMILIES REFUSE TO MAKE TINY LITTLE SACRIFICES SO MOM CAN GET FAMOUS ENOUGH TO BE ON DANCING WITH THE STARS.”  Yeah. That’s how it went down.

So that’s my story. Fame came knocking and I turned it away on account of my family. I was pretty upset about it too.  You don’t understand. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am… okay, okay maybe that’s a tad dramatic, but seriously. A gig as a pioneer mom could have propelled me from blogosphere to dance floor. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m over it. I’m not resentful and I’m not going to mention that I worked to support my husband through med school or all the times I’ve scrubbed dirty baseball uniforms, filled water jugs, or chauffeured sweaty boys to and from baseball fields up and down the eastern seaboard. And I certainly won’t dwell on the sacrifices I’ve made so the men in my life could chase THEIR dreams. Nope, I’m too long-suffering to mention any of that, but I will say this. I’m not giving up.

Pat and I are now taking ballroom dance lessons. You might think I forced him into it. You might even accuse me of taking advantage of a man who’s feeling a teensy bit guilty for not supporting his wife’s dream, but that’s not the case at all. The truth is Pat’s having as much fun as I am and he knows I’d take him over Derek Hough any day of the week. There’s a spray tan and sequined dress in my future yet. You can bet on it and when Dancing with the Stars comes knocking, I won’t just be ready. I’ll be a contender. You’ll see.

11-11-11…It’s Just Another Ordinary Day

It’s 11-11-11. People are making a fuss over it and I don’t get it. 11-11-11. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just another ordinary day. I mentioned this to a friend today while in line at Dunkin Donuts. A man, a complete stranger, inserted himself into our conversation by exclaiming, “Well! It is a big deal. There will never be another 11-11-11.”

I said nothing…just stood there… incredulous…staring at him. Did he really say there would never be another 11-11-11?  He paid for his coffee and smugly sauntered out the door with a self-satisfied grin on his face. Ha! He must have been thinking I told her!

The thing is, there will never be another 11-10-11 either, nor another 11-12-11, nor, for that matter, another 3-10-62 (that’s my birthday…in case you’re wondering), but you don’t see people making a big deal about those days. Days (and dates) come and go and 11-11-11 is no different. It’s just another ordinary day.

I’ll give you this much. 11-11-11 would make a cool birthday and an even cooler wedding day. Talk about leaving your husband with no excuse to forget anniversaries! Speaking of anniversaries, I forgot mine this year. It’s not what you think. I missed the one-year anniversary of the launching of Just Another Ordinary Day, a personal blog that was supposed to catapult me into the cast of Dancing with the Stars.

September 22, 2010

I am addicted to Dancing with the Stars. And for reasons I can’t explain, I really want to be a contestant on this show. I know what you’re thinking, “this woman hasn’t got a chance…she’s not a star, she’s just an ordinary person.”  It’s true. I am quite precisely just an ordinary person. I have an ordinary life, which I live each day in an extremely ordinary way. I’ve never walked on the moon, won Olympic gold, or starred in a blockbuster movie. I’ve never headlined the cast of a Broadway play, hosted a talk show, and I am not the daughter, mother, wife (or even ex-wife) of somebody famous. I’m not an aging entertainer, a has-been, nor a wannabe. In fact, I simply am an ordinary person.  So I will write about my ordinary experiences.  I will share my ordinary thoughts, and make ordinary observations. Maybe, just maybe, some ABC executive will happen upon my blog, find it interesting, and think to himself, “Hmmm. Having an ordinary person on the show might be good for ratings.”  In which case, this ordinary woman just might be given the very extraordinary chance to dance among the stars. 

A lot of stuff has happened since I launched Just Another Ordinary Day. I meant to celebrate it all too, but…well…I forgot. I didn’t even realize it till it was too late. 10-22-11 came and went and there will never be another one.

What the heck. From this day forward I claim today, 11-11-11, as the day to commemorate the launching of Just Another Ordinary Day.  Happy Anniversary to me…

Antoinette Datoc launched Just Another Ordinary Day on September 22, 2010. To date she has posted 144 humorous columns, accumulating nearly 200 subscribers. To subscribe please visit Just Another Ordinary Day and click on email subscription just under the archives on the right side of the home page.

Antoinette is still waiting for an invitation to join the cast of Dancing with the Stars.    

Almost Famous

I’d like to think I was almost famous.  I came (imagine me, squinting and pinching my index finger and thumb together so they are almost touching) THIS CLOSE to dancing with the stars.  Unfortunately, being THIS CLOSE only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and so I suppose I still am just another ordinary person.  I am afraid (sigh) I must admit there is no place for sequins and spray tans in this ordinary life of mine.  In other words, I am not one single step closer to fulfilling my Dancing with the Stars fantasy.

Last Thursday, March 24,  I received the following email from a friend.

Check out Dove online…they may be having “regular gals” tryout for DWTS.  I saw it advertised briefly the other night during a commercial.  I could have been sleeping, but if I’m right and they pick you, I want a seat in the audience to cheer you on!!

If you are a faithful Just Another Ordinary Day follower, you will not be surprised that the first thing which popped into my brain upon reading this email was, “HA! I knew I couldn’t be the only one who thinks that adding an ordinary person to the cast of Dancing with the Stars is a stroke of genius!” I quickly flipped open my laptop and navigated to the official Dove website.  HOLY COW!  The makers of Dove really are sponsoring a contest, The Dove Close-Up Challenge… AND THE WINNER GETS TO DANCE ON DANCING WITH THE STARS!

“Dove is whisking 1 woman to LA for an intensive week of training with an ABC’s Dancing with the Stars performer.  She’ll start by getting close-up ready with NEW Dove VisibleCare Body Wash before getting primped and pampered post-practice by a team of professionals. Finally, she’ll meet actress and former contestant, Jennie Garth, who will be her on-camera confidence coach and help her get spotlight-beautiful for her big debut: a chance to dance in a Dove-sponsored TV spot that will air during the season finale of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.”

OH MY GOSH!  I need to be THAT woman!  I quickly scanned the eligibility requirements and contest rules. To enter, contestants were to submit a 60 second video of themselves explaining why they should be “picked.” The deadline to enter was Saturday, March 26.  That didn’t give me much time so I furiously wrote and rewrote my script, rehearsed in front of the bathroom mirror making sure to strike the poses that made me appear 1) ready for my close-up, 2) like I know my way around a dance floor, and 3) thin.  For two days this fantasy of mine took on a life of it’s own!  I smiled incessantly.  I am the perfect blend of loyal Dove soap user (really I am) and Dancing with the Stars fanatic.  Surely I would be a front runner!  By the time I finished filming and editing my video, and sat myself down to upload it, the contest was over.  No kidding.  It was 6:00pm on Saturday, March 26 and the contest was over.  The UPLOAD VIDEO HERE button on Dove’s official contest web page was gone and in it’s place was the following message.

“Entries for the Dove Close-Up Challenge are no longer being accepted.  But check back soon to see behind the scenes footage of how NEW Dove VisibleCare Body Wash helped the winner get close-up ready for her journey to the stage and much more!”

NOOOOOOOOO!  I can’t believe it.  I missed the deadline, but how?  I know the deadline was March 26.  I am certain of it.  I must have missed the time.  What an idiot.  I’d let the opportunity of a lifetime slip through my fingers.  I would have won and, except for my own brainlessness, I’d come THIS CLOSE (imagine me, squinting and pinching my index finger and thumb together so they are almost touching).  Even though being THIS CLOSE only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, I know I came THIS CLOSE to dancing with the stars and even if for just a little while, I was… almost famous.

TIll tomorrow… Good night.  Sleep tight.

© 2011 By Antoinette D. Datoc