by Countable | 9.29.17
This week was the premiere of the 25th season of Dancing With The Stars (DWTS). We here at Countable were disappointed that there are no politicians or political pundits in the cast this season. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) may be able to quickstep his way through political debates on Twitter, but does he have two left feet on the dance floor? Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has recently been learning how to make French desserts. Maybe the Viennese waltz is next?
DWTS, in all its sequined glory, is a platform to expand your profile or revive it, but ballroom dancing is also hard work. Anyone who signs up to be a celebrity on the show gets props for putting themselves out there, but you have to wonder, did they not understand about the hard work part? Or the having rhythm and wearing sequins part?
In 2006, The Fox News host – who worked at MSNBC at the time – was the first political figure to throw his dance shoes, such as they were, into the ring on DWTS. At that point he was still touting his resume as a war correspondent, rather than a Fox News attack dog. Carlson was eliminated after one episode in Season 3.
Perhaps judge Bruno Tonioli's take down left Carlson with the desire to show he could be a strong lead while still sitting in a chair?
Season 3 also saw a surprisingly long run by shock show host and former Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer. He claimed he signed up to learn the waltz for his daughter's wedding. He knows you can just take dance lessons privately, right?
In an interview after his run Springer said he lasted so long (seven episodes!) because people wanted to hurt him. Jerry, if you like signing up for people to hurt you there are professionals who can take care of that for you. There's usually leather involved, though. Maybe you like the sequins?
Fame by association certainly got Bristol Palin on the cast for season 15, and kept her from being eliminated until the finale as far as anyone could tell. She did shake the sequins for all she was worth, though.
And as her mother, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, quoted her saying, "Doesn't matter what I do. I'm going to get criticized anyway. So I might as well dance."
Talk show hosts and political pundits Rivera and Smiley both did short stints on DWTS, in seasons 22 and 19, respectively. But they took the costuming to a whole other level. Rivera did a send up of then-candidate Donald Trump that burns my eyes, but also makes me weirdly fascinated about what a Trump stint on DWTS would look like.
And now you can't get that image out of your head. Sorry.
Smiley only made it through two episodes on DWTS, but he did manage to remind us all both why disco died and the fashion faux-pas of an Afro wig. Witness his Afro-Cha-Cha!
Former Texas governor and current Energy Secretary Rick Perry graced — ahem — the DWTS dance floor in Season 23, which took place last year. This pretty much sums it up:
Perry also claimed he signed up to learn how to dance for his daughter's wedding. If Rick Perry was your dad, would you want this for your father-daughter dance?
Former Republican House Speaker Tom "The Hammer" DeLay attempted to revive his profile in Season 9 following his fall from grace due to a campaign finance scandal. He started a dance campaign website, Dancing With DeLay, and everything.
Sadly (or not, depending on your perspective), he was not able to sashay his way into the winner's circle. His politically themed samba, however, wins for most horrifying use of the GOP elephant ever.
What do you think, CountaDancers? Politicians are masters at raising money, but what political figures do you want to see shake their moneymakers on the DWTS dance floor?
Tell us in the comments what you think, and then share this post to spread the love of sequin and spectacle as far as it can-can go!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Disney/ABC Television / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable