Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yay, Helio!

I didn't mean to get sucked into Dancing with the Stars. Really. How cheesy can you get? Still, I found myself skimming through the beginning of the season (TIVO is a wonderful thing) and, of all the weird things, I started to care about those celeb dancers.

The dancing part was fun to watch, but the personalities are what grabbed me. And I have to tell you, Helio Castroneves stole the show right from the beginning. Charming, sincere, funny - he was just fun to watch. He may not have been the best technical dancer in the competition, but he projected such joy and energy that he was by far my favorite. And Julianne Hough? She's amazing.

Up until the last night, I had liked Marie Osmond as well. Her personality and style in each performance made me smile. But the doll dance was so variety-show that it really didn't belong in the finals. And it felt like she was grasping her last opportunity to promote herself on finals night, which was very off-putting. "I'm one of the world's top doll designers." "I have thousands of doll fans." "Come on! I'm a doll designer!" Loved Tom Bergeron's response, "Yeah, I think we got that."

Mel B. and Maks were honestly the best technical couple of the top three, but again, it was the personalities that grabbed me. Mel was at times... scary. I did like her, though. And Maks. Definitely Maks.

But Helio! Ah, the smiles, the struggle to overcome his fear of sequins and to master the style. The little boy joy he showed at the end of every performance when he knew they had nailed it. Could he have been any more charming?

Congratulations, Helio and Julianne, and thanks for an entertaining and endearing season.