My Shriekin’ Rican


by James Killough

This is sort of a follow-up piece to Tuttle’s last Wednesday because I also happened to watch Dancing With the Stars a few nights ago.  It wasn’t a voluntary thing.  It’s because I’m in Miami staying with my Puerto Rican ex, Willy, and he likes his TV loud, surround-sound home-theater-system loud, preferably either musical or pugnacious-and-histrionic loud, in the form of telenovelas or the Latin equivalent of Judge Judy, a colorful character in improbably tasteful makeup named Doctora Polo, who even sings her own rather catchy intro jingle to a show called Caso Cerrado in a voice reminiscent of a tranny after a three-day crack binge.

DWTS is a Latino show, make no mistake about it, or part of one.  It’s ballroom dancing, after all, which is Latino-esque in style: swaying hips, twirling arms, glittering costumes, feathers-feathers-feathers, and the swooning performativity of romance.  What makes it more Anglo is the scathing remarks from the judges and the brutal elimination process, which lacks warmth and compassion, corazon, and therefore it can never be truly Latino.

All That Chaz!


by James Tuttle

Gentle Reader,

This season’s Dancing With the Stars debuted this week with its first new ballroom soundstage in thirteen seasons.  The set is bigger, taller and, as if that wasn’t enough, they have the largest damn disco ball in North America in there.  It’s nice that the folks at ABC are giving them a little extra room but, with the rows of multi-colored LED lights lining every balcony, it looks like a tribute to Show Boat on a tacky Carnival Cruise ship with lighting design by someone who normally does white stretch limos.

Former contestant Gilles Marini. He can dance, too! Photo: F. Goudon from

Scott and I first tuned into this show a few years ago when our wonderful friend Gilles Marini was competing.  He danced brilliantly and breathtakingly and was robbed of that coveted mirror ball trophy by some trick who’d won an Olympic medal or some shit.  He was pretty unknown at the time unless you had watched the first Sex and the City movie, in which his butt should have had it’s own credit, but shaking his groove thing on DWTS got him onto Brothers and Sisters and now his career is looking pretty healthy.