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.



Gentle reader,

Crowds surge.  Cameras flash.  We rush to seats.  So many mill about.  See friends.  Wave.  Wait.  Waiting.  Clear the aisles!  Quiet!  Five.  Four.  Three.  Two.  Ryan Seacrest.

“This is.”

“American Idol.”

Audience roars!

I thought I was about to disappoint you once again by writing about live performances rather than the television shows that, together, we have come to love but I then happily realized that I’m not!  Even though I may have been watching the live performance from an excellent seat at Nokia Theater/L.A. Live, you were watching it at the same time on the nation’s most beloved reality competition.  Yes, it’s the American Idol finale!

Gaga ran into the Chinese beaded curtain on the way in and kept it.

Okay, I know, Chip McKinney, gay polo leader.  You are going to say, “I was there, too!  And I was actually sitting two rows in front of you, which technically makes my seat better.”  But, for the sake of argument, let’s say the rest of you were watching the show from the comfort of your living room or kitchen or dungeon or whatever you’re into.  And thanks for your (imagined) two cents, Chip.