Eat The Press

Tucker-bares-it.jpg

from fishbowldc.com

There is nothing we can add to the Tucker Carlson Kicked Off "Dancing With The Stars" story that Patrick Gavin at FishbowlDC has not already covered: the breathless recap, the call for healing and haiku, the experimentation in photoshop. We do, however, have a highlight reel, taken clumsily off our TV set in the dead of night and thrown together, guerilla-video style, to share with you the top moments of last night's broadcast, including the random audience member who said "If there is any God in heaven, we won't be seeing Tucker [next] week." That wasn't the same person who said "Tucker has no rhythm," but nor was it the person who said "Tucker Carlson is a pimp." Watch it below and see the first — and last — installment of his chair-dancing extravaganza.

We are sad for Team Tucker and sad to no longer have a legitimate work excuse to watch "Dancing With The Stars," and sad to never see Tucker in spandex or a flamenco shirt with puffy arms, and maybe a cape. It is a sad, sad day for us all.

But for no one is this day sadder than Tucker. He had a great, unique, deliciously whimsical opportunity here and he blew it by being too cool to cop to caring. Here's Tucker's original performance; he's having fun, sure, but there is no intensity, no focus. He's very much Tucker Carlson, having a laugh, too cool for this sissy dance thing and letting everyone know he doesn't take it too seriously. Which is such a pity, because if he had commited to the exercise he could have had a certain debonair, rakish charm that would have played really well on the dance floor, and if he'd bothered to go out on a limb and look like something other than that guy in the tech department with a bowtie he coulda cleaned up real nice. Instead, he spent the first half of the dance sitting down (did he think no one would notice?) looking not too far off from a frat boy awaiting a lap dance. Contrast to Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez: Young bucks charging onto the floor, 100% into it, 100% trying (and, from the looks of it, 100% muscle. I love this show). Big jock Emmitt Smith got in there with joy and abandon, wanting to be good. More than being good Tucker seemed to want to be cool, or perhaps to not want to seem like he wanted to be good, lest he wasn't. But anyone who has watched this show knows that the great moments come from the people who jump off the cliff and let themselves care; Rachel Hunter crying after her final performance, Evander Holyfield positively floating in a tux, Drew Lachey wanting it so bad it hurt. It would have been so great to see Tucker let go and give us that. It really really would.

Instead, he was all about the one-liner and the snappy comeback - great for rapid-fire TV punditry but all but useless on the dance floor, where the tongue flops helplessly before the wondrous instrument that is the body. Yeah, that's what I'm sayin'. At that point, baby, you gotta want it. Bad. Tucker just didn't want to look like an idiot, and chose the one route that virtually guaranteed that he would. As frequent Oscar choreographer Debbie Allen said in Fame: "Don't think talent's enough to get you through." No, baby. You gotta want it.

Too bad; when it was over, it looked like maybe he did. Okay Tucker, lecture over. You went out on a limb, you worked hard, and when you finally got out on the floor you actually looked pretty good. Congratulations on trying, and thanks for providing us all with a pretty hilarious punchline these past few weeks. Perhaps someday we'll coax you into that spandex unitard after all.

p.s. This is how you chair dance.
p.p.s. The mention of "lap dance" and "Mario Lopez" in this post is entirely coincidental.

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