Let me count the myriad ways Dancing with the Stars owned Idol this year.
Number one: The Judges
First, if we're going to compare the cranky, older, British judges, Len has it all over Simon. Simon was simply a rehash of all the things we've heard before. Things to him are either karaoke, cabaret, or cruise ship worthy. Sometimes things are ghastly. But that's his repertoire and he stuck to it this year. On the other hand, Len gave us such quote-worthy phrases as someone being a "gnat's scrotum" away from elimination and the time he told Joey that he has "what everyone else has, but yours is bigger." Turns out, he was talking about personality.
Then, when it comes to alcohol-enhanced judging with a penchant for histrionics and passionate-if-addled reviews, sorry Paula, but you've been way too tame this year. Even a last minute broken nose won't help you reclaim the title of outlandishly, absurdly lovable, gushing twit this year. Whether he's telling Billy Ray that his dance was crap or giving the one arm fist-pump as he shouts TEN or is laying himself across the table as he raves about the delicious sexuality of a dance, Bruno Tonioli has been the sparkle of the showroom this year again.
Oh, also? Carrie Ann is prettier than Randy, even if they are about equally as useful.
Number Two: The Band.
Perhaps a bit unfair to compare, as DWTS does have the advantage of having singers that actually sound good. But the music on Dancing ranges from camp to classic to corny-chic. Whereas most of the music on Idol this year was just corny. But beyond that, simply put, Harold Wheeler knows how to conduct a band and arrange music. I'm still not convinced that Ricky Minor does.
Number Three: The Fashion
Okay, Idol had Sanjay's hair and Haley's legs. And there were a couple of atrociously inappropriate choices at a few junctures this season. But nothing can compare to the gaudy, glitzy excess of Dancing. The glitter lotion, the fake eyelashes, the sequined bras! (Of course, I'm talking about Joey Fatone here.) The Mystic Tans on all of 'em. I kid you not, this is an actual screen cap of Cheryl & Ian:
And taking the prize for best dressed Star this year is definitely Laila Ali. I adore her. I can't imagine a cooler, classier, prettier woman. And she rocked flats out on the floor! Whether she was coiffed like Cleopatra or parading in tap pants, she turned it out. I thought it couldn't get any better. Then, last night, this happened:
Oh yeah! She ripped the shirt off her lava hot partner, Maksim. Now that's entertainment! Sure, Maks has a propensity for occasionally being a preening, temperamental jackass. But that's part of his fun! Last night, when Laila knocked him in the noggin, he got pissy and sputtered that she's one "big ass chick." Watching him simmer with frustration when the judges have something unkind to say about his choreography is choice. And when he gets lippy and talks back is even better. But he also showed he's a gentleman when it comes down to the wire, because the judges really laid into a few of his dances and he took it like a man, only to have Laila confess backstage that the criticized moves were her input, which he then brushed aside and told her she was great.
Number Four: The Competition
Last year, we all knew Emmitt was going to win. This year, even though it looked like Joey Fatone was going to sashay off with the mirror ball trophy fairly easily, Apolo Ohno stepped up and started sliding, gliding, and vying for the title. He's good, that Ohno. And even though he took top scores over Joey last night, can you really dispute this?
Here it is, the sentence I never really thought I'd ever say: I LOVE JOEY FATONE! He's goofy, alright. But holy shit is he hot! (He can leave the shirt-shucking to Maks, though.) But still! I have the most ridiculous crush on Joey Fatone! Every single female in my office has a ridiculous crush on Joey Fatone. That's why this column is late going up. Because we spent an hour and a half rewatching his dances on YouTube. You're thinking I'm crazy. Have you WATCHED that clip up there? Watch it. I'll wait.
Well? Isn't he just...HOT?
The finale is tonight, and we'll see who ends up taking home the trophy. But either way, let's calculate the score for this season. Add them up: 1 for the judges plus 2 for the band plus 3 for the fashion plus 4 for the competition equals a (Bruno voice here, with a one-armed fist pump) perfect 10!