I am embarrassed to admit that I watch Dancing With The Stars (DWTS). The guilty pleasure. The drama. The dancing. The backstory. The costumes. The spectacle. I am all about it. I don’t just watch it. I love it. I follow it. As pounds melt off contestants, I cheer. I am inspired to new weight loss heights. When Lynn skewers contestants, I boo. I share Carrie Ann’s excitement.
I admit that I have followed many seasons. I have cried many times. I watched when Marie fainted. I watched when Donnie won. I liked Emmet and Shawn. I did not understand how Bristol got so far. I watched when Brandi was robbed. I feel like admitting my DWS habit is like confessing a great weakness. Like acknowledging my anti-intellectual tendencies, my bandwagon desire, my bread and circus heart. My joy overrides my shame. My interest makes me giddy.
This week, I celebrated with Hines and Kim, especially after he fell on her last week and totally crushed her neck.That was painful to watch. He cried. I cried. I was glad to see him win. He worked hard. He had been denied a Super Bowl ring. He could at least go home with the mirror ball. Their free style dance was fun – complete with a marching band.
Despite my affinity for Hines and Kim, my DWTS heart belongs to Mark Ballas. He is talented. He is edgy. He can dance. He can take a mediocre partner and make them a superstar. His choreography is both narratively strong and technically sound. He is a winner. That is true talent.
I was shocked when I got to see him perform at the Taste of Cincinnati. I ate my way through the crowd, devouring everything from fish tacos, to shrimp etouffee, to vegetable spring rolls, to macaroni and cheese. Low and behold, in the distance, an announcer welcomed Mark Ballas to the Cincinnati stage. The skies parted. I grabbed another beer and went to watch the performance. I could not believe my luck. The Taste of Cincinnati. Pitter Pat. Pitter Pat.
No one has the right to be so attractive and talented. I had no idea he could sing and play the guitar, in addition to dancing. I had no idea he had produced an album of original music. His manager was from Cincinnati, so I guess that is how he wound up here. He told funny stories – like one about a bad haircut he had received earlier in the day. Seeing him made me feel like what it must have been like to see David Cassidy in the 1970′s. Yes, I will admit it. I stood there taking pictures, completely transfixed. (He is much younger, but that did not stop me from smiling and looking around to see who else in the crowd was my age.)
Crushes are fun. Reality show habits can be release from the hardcore world of tornadoes, drone planes, crazy politicians, and hard work. Seeing Mark Ballas made my evening. I am still smiling.