Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Did Chaz Really Do Better Than Rob and Metta?

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | September 22, 2011 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Chaz Bono, Dancing With The Stars, DWTS, Metta World Peace, Rob Artest, Rob Kardashian

Chaz001.jpgThere's a bit of a kerfuffle in the celebrity world. Some people are outraged that Metta World Peace got voted off Dancing With The Stars and that Rob Kardashian got fewer points than Chaz Bono. Online, the Kardashian sister threw down on twitter, accusing the show of being rigged, saying that bro Rob "did so good," and others accused her of murdering the English language by wrongfully using "good" as an adverb.

It's not often that I venture into the world of pop culture. But I was fascinated by the question of whether Chaz was actually better than Metta and Rob. It may not be well known, but it has been said that Dr. Weiss was quite a dancer in her younger days.And so, on a slow news day, I was mesmerized by watching the performances again on YouTube this morning.

I have a few thoughts about Chaz as a dancer

First of all, I have to admit that I didn't watch the show on Monday night. I had said that I would, but I forgot that my class schedule this year includes a class on Monday night that goes until 9:15pm. So I followed the twitter feed after class, and I saw the video. When I first viewed the video, I thought it was all Lacey and no Chaz. But then, this morning, I saw that Metta World Peace was voted off, and read about Kim Kardashian's comments on Rob's low standing, and I watched their videos too. After that, I had a far different opinion of Chaz's dancing.

Peace was stiff and didn't do much. The music chosen was a bit lame, and seemed designed to allow him maximum flexibility to avoid the need to stick to a tight rhythm. Here's his video. Watch to see how little he actually does any moves.

Kardashian clearly does better. He moves around the floor with some grace, but I couldn't help feeling I was watching a teenage boy awkwardly trying to connect with his partner. Sometimes his moves were a split second behind his partner's, giving the impression that he wasn't sure of the next move. Here's his video.

But when you watch Chaz, you see a man who is clearly comfortable with the dance. He took the stage with authority in the beginning, and his moves were all in rhythm with the music. He had flair. He knows how to give those small flourishes that make a dance snap to the music's rhythm. Here's his video. He had a wonderfully beaming smile on his face to start with. Right from the beginning, his moves were in sync with Lacey's as they walked towards each other. He connected with Lacey with aplomb, pointing his free hand into the air with a graceful gesture while twirling his partner. As they walked down the stairs of the dance stage, he wasn't the most graceful person in the world, but he was in time with his partner. Then, as they took the main part of the stage, they both moved their feet from side to side, requiring one to actually get both feet off the floor in order to execute the move, which requires some athletic ability. Chaz did so with elan, and the effect was one of grace and joy. As he took Lacey's hand, and they danced a cha-cha move, their feet touched the floor at the exact same time in the same rhythm.

After the dance concluded, I felt that I was watching two people who clearly enjoyed what they were doing and doing it well. The main feeling I was left with was joy, as opposed to the feeling I had after Metta's dance (lumbering bear) and Rob's dance (awkward prom dance).

Here's the video. What do you think?

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Are you seriously having a discussion on this? :(

It's wrong for people to like things?

I *did* watch it live, and yes, Chaz was infinitely better than 'Metta', who mostly just stood in one place. And yes about Rob. To me, Chaz was by far not in the bottom three, even. Really, too, why aren't we talking about Carson, if we are talking popularity versus performance? Sure, he was over-the-top and entertaining, but he is really there for comic relief, not to dance.

I kinda came up with a theory on the way to work yesterday morning: I think they pretty much pick someone who isn't really going to make an effort to have a person to kick off after one dance. I imagine the producers even running it by that person when they recruit them, "Ok, so are you ok with being the sacrificial celeb?" The weird thing to me is that someone as arrogant and self-centered as Ron Artest would agree to it (I like his Dennis Rodman impression, though).

I am always glad when the first couple of weeks are over and the ppl who dont really care about dancing are gone. Then we can focus on ppl like JR, and Hope, and yes, even Chaz, who to me showed a lot of grace and character in his performance and on the show.

Sorry, Gina, some of us are dopey enough to really care about the show. :)

Bear in mind, also, that it's never really about who is the best dancer. It's a popularity contest as well with numerous other factors and input from producers. Bristol made it through because she had the Tea Party base AND she wasn't a natural-born dancer, compared to the other two contestants who had serious dance background. People will feel cheated if a competition for non-dancers got hijacked by celebs who are known for dancing anyway (Jennifer Grey, Maya, Donny Osmond, etc.)

Yes, I know, I have been watching the show from the beginning. Plus, you know, they constantly remind everyone that votes count as much as judges scores, so obviously an existing fan base is a huge factor.

Kate Gosling was one the other worst cases too. She stayed way past her talent, too, most likely b/c the producers knew she got a lot of press for the show. She (and Bristol) were like the anti-Chaz, they were both sullen, self-centered, and whiny. One that stayed way past others with much more talent was Marie Osmond. In her case, though, she was charming and gracious, and a real trouper through physical setbacks, so it wasnt as bad.

...Chaz was infinitely better than 'Metta'

Hey! What's with putting Metta's name in quotation marks, huh? Didn't he have it legally changed? Still, he'll always be "Ron Artest, trouble-maker" to me. Or at least for a long time to come.

I like his Dennis Rodman impression, though.

That was exactly my response, too. What a hoot!

Seriously? He had it legally changed? I missed that somehow. I didn't even notice until the results show, when they had 'Metta and Peta' up in lights (it was in all caps, so I thought someone was making some kind of statement for PETA, lol...I guess I was *really* out of it). I thought it was something he was doing as part of the show. (blushes) When did he change it?

And yeah, even though I knew 'Ron Artest' (Metta) was going to be on the show, when I saw him come out, I really did think it was Dennis Rodman, with the red hair and the goatee. I think Rodman would have put on a much, much better show though! :)

Peace's dance was stiff and slow, like they were running through molasses or jello. This might be due to Peace's dance being his first and his enormous size. His footwork is a bit slow. However, he seems somewhat comfortable, but he lacks the exaggerations of the moves to make them pronounced and give off the impression that he's comfortable and ready to move. Again, the judges hate separations because they know they exist to diminish the difficulty of paired footwork and synchronicity in actual ballroom dance. I think if he brought more energy and exaggeration to his moves (the difference between hitting your mark and smashing it), he would have done much, much better.

Rob Kardashian was so stiff in his dance and a half second too late. It's clear that he knows his moves, but he's not comfortable with the routine enough to make it look good. This is someone who is trying not to eff it up, like that awkward dance that a newly married couple who took dancing lessons for their first dance of the night looks like. I will say this, though: They barely separated, which tells me that he's capable of a more advanced state. He just needs to feel it. But the stiffness is so apparent that it renders the kudos of staying with his partner dulled by how unimpressive it looks.

Chaz, while not amazing, has the benefit of feeling very comfortable with what he's doing. It comes across, so even if his footwork isn't amazing (but it was still good), and they separate, and he has a period of just standing there, the overall impression of the performance itself is solid and that he is a "good dancer."

I was delighted by Chaz's performance. Most of all, I was inspired by his confidence and big smile in the face of adversity. I'm sure that countless trans youth, locked away in dark closets of despair, were inspired by him as well. Keep dancing, Chaz and Lacey!

I watched the live show, and Chaz was by far better than Metta. Rob Kardashian - eh. He had issues and he actually agreed with those issues, regardless of his sisters tweets. Metta was stiff and barely moved, where Chaz was dancing his heart out and loving every moment of it. Carson gave a great and entertaining performance, but he's got to step up and dance to keep going.

I will say that Metta gave a gracious and effective good-bye speech.

Rachel Bellum | September 22, 2011 9:17 PM

I was unable to attend any viewing parties though I thought the idea was a great show of support and community building.

I watched the three videos here.

In all fairness, I thought Chaz clearly had the best performance of the three. Much better than I expected. I would assume they will only improve.

Paige Listerud | September 22, 2011 9:54 PM

Psst! Everybody . . . tomorrow is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Chaz's partner is bisexual. What are you going to do to celebrate with them?

Go over and have a threesome?

If Chaz had done poorly it would have made front page news! It was a very good first dance! I'm Hopping that us LBGT's will actually call in and vote for Chaz to show how much power we have as compared to the Small Tea party! We can dominate this vote! How about it?