Last night, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson took home the ugly mirrorball trophy for her efforts this season on Dancing With the Stars, but her co-finalists, Melissa Rycroft (of dumped by The Bachelor fame) and Gilles Marini (of taking off all his clothes in Sex and the City fame) were clearly the stronger dancers. Johnson has grown into a moderately better dancer throughout the course of the show, but aside from her fun freestyle on Monday night, she didn't really have the flair that the other two competitors did. There was a lack of elegance and style, and she always had a pained look on her face, or a plastered-on faux smile. Due to her young age (or her sheltered life as a young athlete), she was also missing the flirty sexiness needed during the Latin dances. Though I've been to my share of high school dances and bar mitzvahs and there are plenty of 17-year-old girls who can bring on the sexy when they want to.. or just whenever.
I've come to accept that in-between watching exciting sporting events I'll have to suffer through Mary Carillo's random adventures in China and a slew of sob stories, but last night pushed me over the edge. They devoted way too long to sprinter Sanya Richards and her relationship with soon-to-be husband Aaron Ross. He's an NFL star. She's a track star. He won a Super Bowl ring. She wears a massive engagement ring. It was all staged and came across very scripted, and then there was this ridiculous faux race at the end where there was some trash talk and then she left him in the dust... literally. They had time to put in dust as a special effect for this segment. Annoying? Yes. Pointless? Yes. Especially considering that while she was a favorite to win her 400m race, she ended up coming in third place. Still a medal, but not the color she wanted, or the one that we were led to believe was hers for the taking. I wonder if she could have moved faster if she left the giant ring in her locker.
It's a mixed bag today in the land of TV news -- we've got something disturbing (especially if you're Shawn Johnson), something completely obvious (if you've ever watched American Idol), something hilarious/nauseating (depending on how you feel about Padma Lakshmi dripping Thickburger onto herself), and a whole hell of a lot of Isaiah Washington. Because why not?