(CBS) For the second week in a row, “Dancing with the Stars” is the most popular show in America. For some, this is testimony to its mass artistic and cultural appeal. For others, it speaks to a massive dearth of artistic and cultural entertainment on a Monday night.
Still, when it came to last night’s results show, even the White House, no doubt, stopped everything to see whether Ralph Macchio’s knee was feeling better and whether he (and it) would survive to act (and dance) another week.
Surely the producers would choose to make most of the show revolve around the knee that has captivated America? Unfortunately not.
First, everyone had to endure the sight of ESPN’s Kenny Mayne charmingly suggesting that Kirstie Alley could be Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s grandmother. In a package that seemed to go on longer than a hotel porn movie, Mayne and former contestant Jerry Rice offered a high level of humor – such as Rice offering that Chelsea Kane was “a naughty girl.” Guffaws, please.
And then there was another former contestant of limited feet, Michael Bolton, singing with Australia’s own (and highly talented) Delta Goodrem. This was followed by more filler, while all America could think about was the Battle of Wounded Knee. This was beyond uncharitable. This was treasonable.
Even Adele, who sang beautifully, looked sick. This, host Tom Bergeron told us, she was. But she was probably sick out of sympathy for Macchio’s knee. Didn’t anyone think of that? This is a ruptured cyst, people.
America wanted a thorough examination of Macchio’s condition. We wanted to see x-rays. We wanted a live interview with his doctor. We wanted to examine the tissue for ourselves to see whether we could offer an opinion or at least an expression of sympathy. We wanted to feel Ralph’s pain. We didn’t want to feel pain at having to watch more of Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice.
Finally, in the 48th minute of the show, we were given some Total Ralph. We saw intimate footage of Macchio asking his partner Karina Smirnoff to carry him through. We heard him mutter about just how much it had all hurt. But still, no comprehensive medical update. No detailed information about the inflammation. No medically reliable prognosis.
Before we had managed to come to terms with this pain (our pain), our hero was placed in jeopardy. He hadn’t danced well Monday night. How could he have? He had a ruptured cyst in his knee. Being placed in jeopardy didn’t mean that he was actually in the bottom two, but it did mean that tears might have flooded certain parts of America.
In just a nanosecond, we were down to our hero and his Smirnoff – and Romeo and his Hightower. Oddly, the producers decided not to make Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas stand there in the last (but not bottom) two. This was an act of cruel and unusual mercy.
So would the old ladies have voted with their hearts firmly planted against Macchio’s knee? Or would they have elected to go with their fantasies of a young stud, adorned with a perfect six-pack?
Oh, of course they booted out their fantasy toyboy lothario. You can get a six-packed lothario in every bar. You can only get a bum-kneed Macchio is very select places, especially a bum-kneed Macchio with such sweet eyes.
Romeo tried to take it gracefully. He was sad that he was eliminated after what he thought was his best dance of the competition. But had explained earlier that “the competition is very competitive.”
He did manage to mention, for perhaps the thousandth time, that he was doing it for the kids. Oh, he mentioned his Twitter page too – for perhaps the thousandth time. You see, Romeo is slightly annoying. That pushiness doesn’t go down well with the old ladies, even if they’re paying.
So now we have Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward, Macchio and Chelsea Kane. How much will the way they dance actually matter?
But, more importantly, how will the Wounded Knee hold up? Apparently, it might be better by Thursday. Did you hear that, America? Thursday.