Much like Strictly Come Dancing, its US counterpart Dancing With The Stars invitations celebrities from all walks of life to mortify themselves making an attempt the samba in entrance of the nation.
Sportspeople. Reality TV stars. Soap actors. Singers. And this 12 months, a person who repeatedly lied to the United States on behalf of the President.
Yep, Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary and White House communications director, has made his debut on Dancing With The Stars, performing a salsa with skilled dancer Lindsay Arnold.
Spicer, who dealt with press conferences for President Donald Trump for the primary six months of his presidency, wore a lime inexperienced ruffled shirt, performed the bongos and shimmied alongside to Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls. He earned 12 out of 30 for his efforts, gaining yet another level than Lamar Odom. One decide stated that he seemed like is was ‘being attacked by a swarm of wasps’.
Now, some could argue this type of spectacle is precisely what Dancing With The Stars is about – seeing a public determine making a present of themselves in a ridiculous outfit. And I agree, that’s a lot of the explanation that the early weeks of Strictly are so nice.
But there’s a large distinction between seeing somebody like James Van Der Beek presumably fall over doing the cha cha, and a person who repeatedly lied to a nation and have become the premise for the phrase ‘alternative facts’ having a lol with Bruno Tonioli.
We can all chuckle at Melissa McCarthy’s phenomenal impression of Spicer on Saturday Night Live, however the supply materials is extra scary than amusing. The very first time he spoke as press secretary, Spicer claimed that Trump’s inauguration had ‘the biggest viewers to ever witness an inauguration, interval, each in person and across the globe’ – regardless of photographic proof pointing to the opposite.
He caught by his claims, alleging that grass flooring coverings had been to blame for a visible impact that made the viewers look smaller, when stated grass coverings had been additionally used at Obama’s second inauguration.
Spicer then went on to declare in one other press convention that ‘even Hitler didn’t sink to utilizing chemical weapons’ and that he didn’t use ‘the gas on his own people the same way that [Syria’s Bashar al-] Assad is doing’.
The former press sec is much from the primary controversial contestant to seem on Dancing With The Stars. White House Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and right-wing political commentator Tucker Carlson have beforehand danced on the present – and lest we neglect, the UK’s Strictly shouldn’t be immune to questionable signings both.
Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe supplied some extraordinarily memorable moments on Strictly in 2010 when she was partnered with Anton Du Beke – notably when she was swung round on the ground by her leg whereas wearing yellow feathers.
How all of us laughed, conveniently forgetting that this can be a girl who has persistently opposed LGBTQ+ rights. Two years on from her look on Strictly, she spoke out in help of conversion remedy, and two years on from that, opposed same-sex marriage.
Widdecombe is now a Brexit Party MEP who has in contrast the UK’s departure from the EU to the emancipation of slaves… but she was nonetheless invited again to honour Du Beke on Strictly’s professionals particular on Saturday.
I’m not saying all politicians ought to be banned from actuality TV. Former Labour MP Ed Balls’ Gangnam Style routine on the 2016 collection of Strictly is completely etched into my mind, and I’m very pleased about that. In 2014, Tory MP Penny Mordaunt competed on Splash! and donated her price to charity.
But there’s an enormous distinction between these politicians, and people who have very just lately lied repeatedly to the general public, or opposed equal rights for LGBTQ+ folks, becoming a member of a light-weight leisure programme.
By permitting Sean Spicer to do the salsa on nationwide TV for a rumoured $125,000 (£100,000) price, we’re not solely normalising him, however letting him considerably redeem himself in entrance of the nation. Sure, he lied time and again on behalf of POTUS, however take a look at what a great sport he is when he mucks up the rumba!
Letting somebody who simply two years in the past made claims within the White House that had been laughably unfaithful turn into a happy-go-lucky dad dancer on an enormous franchise makes out that the political occasions we live in are completely regular – and that, to me, may be very harmful.
Spicer is counting on viewers to neglect all in regards to the numerous lies he spouted within the White House and have that reminiscence changed by one in every of him being a great sport in a ruffled shirt.
We can all acknowledge in hindsight that Jimmy Fallon rustling Trump’s hair within the run-up to the election was a mistake. Even Jimmy does, saying: ‘I’m sorry. I don’t need to make anybody indignant — I by no means do and I by no means will. It’s all within the enjoyable of the present. I made a mistake. I’m sorry if I made anybody mad. And, trying again, I might do it otherwise.’
So what makes Spicer’s normalisation any completely different?
Shows like Dancing With The Stars and Strictly are gentle leisure, and shouldn’t be taken too critically. But neither ought to they airbrush over historical past.
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