Dances With Helio

Posted by Iannucci | 9/25/2007 | 8 comments »
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Well, it’s time. TONIGHT our beloved Helio Castroneves boldly takes his act to primetime with his debut performance on Dancing With The Stars. For purposes of journalistic endeavors, your humble correspondent will be attempting to watch Helio’s pursuit of, well, I don’t know what the winner actually gets. But whether or not he gets it the TV will be on, the notepad will be out, and after my first attempt at watching last night I think the liquor cabinet will be stocked.

Seriously, using Monday night as a warm up I tried watching DWTS for the first time. Sorry to say to fans of the show, but this was painful to watch. It was girls night, and while the older celebs like Marie Osmond and Jane Seymour were doing these slow-motion, don’t-break-my-hip moves, the Spice Girl and the Cheetah Girl were hopping around like they were auditioning for the return of Solid Gold. Very bizarre.

(By the way – shouldn’t being someone who dances in your career preclude a person from being on this show? Wouldn’t that make said person a ringer? Seriously, I don’t get this show.)

For those like me who had never seen Dances With Helio before, here are some observations:

  • I had no idea this show was hosted by the guy from America’s Funniest Home Videos (no, not Bob Saget – the new guy). Was Regis not available?

  • Considering the sponsors, I am apparently the only man (well, straight man) in America watching the show. Feeling fresh is not a big selling point among men.

  • The music and background singing exceptionally high in cheese. Do we need to hear a ballroom cover of “Don’cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me...?” Good gracious!

  • The judges on the show not only give verbal critiques, but the also hold up these little signs from their laps with a score. I think it’s a rating of 1 to 10 of the performance, which in the end means NOTHING since advancing on the show is determined by viewer votes.

  • Speaking of the judges, Simon Cowell is NOT on this show. Bummer.
Incidentally, the IndyStar is reporting that Helio is early favorite in to win the, umm, whatever they win. Yes, they have a betting line on this, proving once again (you really can bet on anything in Vegas.

It won't hurt that Castroneves is paired with Julianne Hough, who led Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno to last season's title. Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has predicted Castroneves and Hough will win. Multiple Las Vegas casinos have them as a co-favorite along with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his partner, "Dancing" veteran Karina Smirnoff.

"He's darling, and that spark that Emmitt has, that charisma, is what I see in Helio," (senior talent producer Deena) Katz said. "As a sports figure, men will watch him; women will vote for him.

"I'm telling you, the women will love him."
Feel the love, and stay up to date with the updates and photos at in case I can’t make it through the entire program. Believe it or not, you can already start voting for Castroneves. So if you have nothing better to do...

Call: 1-800-868-3409
Text: Vote 3409 (AT & T Customers only)

Good luck, Helio! And for the love of Roger Penske please don’t lose to Wayne Newton.


  1. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // September 25, 2007 11:54 AM  

    Actually, the judges� scores do count for half of each pair's total scores. And the judges� scoring has had an influence on the public vote in the past.

    The live vocals do get kind of cheesy. However, it also allows them to cut the songs into a set amount of time for each dance and work around some copyright issues.

  2. Anonymous // September 25, 2007 12:14 PM  

    The woman judge, Carrie Ann Inaba is Smokin' Hot !

    So for the straight guys (not there's anything wrong with that)
    there's something.

    She played Fook Yu in
    "Austin Powers Gold Menber" so that helps

  3. mmack // September 25, 2007 1:04 PM  

    If Wayne Newton wins, will Roger offer him Sam I Am's seat at Penske Racing?

  4. Bash // September 25, 2007 3:54 PM  

    LOL! Wayne would have to lose a few pants sizes to fit in Sammy's ride. Maybe by the end of it, he'll be a little thinner, but I'm not betting on him fitting into a Dallara anytime soon. (*light bulb goes on* - let's keep Uncle Sam in OUR league, and send Wayne to the N-word series...don't they race in Vegas? If he can get through the window, he's golden!)

    It's my first time watching the show. It was kinda cool to see the celebs hoofing it for a change, but if it weren't for Helio's participation, I'd be doing something else with my time. I'm just hoping it wins him a lot of fans and they all come watch the racin'...

  5. Jordan // September 25, 2007 5:45 PM  

    You know what? Helio was REALLY great!!!!

  6. Nancy // September 25, 2007 7:12 PM  

    Ok Jeffie, I did my part to support the IRL...I watched and I voted. But for the love of GOD, how much more do I have to give, Tony George???....How much?????

  7. Bash // September 25, 2007 9:13 PM  

    Wow - they were terrific! Nice going, Helio!

  8. Anonymous // September 26, 2007 3:08 AM  

    Great Job Helio !!
    and his partnet is really cute too