`Yes! Five, I love you! You’re awesome!’ On Rick Perry’s higher math

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Good morning Austin:

Yes. Texas. Rick Perry and his dance partner, Emma Slater, scored straight 5’s on the season premier of Dancing with the Stars last night. Four fives for a grand total of 20 points, the lowest of any of the couples. Perry and Slater were among the last to dance – a sign of respect for his audience draw, I suspect – so he knew where they stood.

But Perry reacted with the same exuberance as if they had scored straight 10’s.

Yes! Five! I love you! You’re awesome!

Perry’s seemingly irrational exuberance  – directed at a middling numeral – startled and delighted host Tom Bergeron.

“Spoken like a real politician,” said a laughing Bergeron.

But it made sense.

This is a man who was famously, indelibly, done in by the diabolical number 3 when he ran for president the first time, so 5, a whole string of 5’s, had to look really fat and made Perry really happy.

And, truth to tell, it is Perry’s contagious enthusiasm, his lust for life, that has made him an attractive political figure even in some of his darkest moments.

How else to explain a man who, indicted on corruption charges that could have landed him in jail for a century, took the best looking booking photo ever and then went to Sandy’s for ice cream – and tweeted it.

 

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I had never watched Dancing with the Stars before and, being in Austin, where Rick Perry had reigned supreme as the longest-serving governor in Texas history, I wanted to go out and watch it in a public place with other people. But last night was Monday Night Football, and, after calling a few bars inquiring about the possibility that one of their TVs might tune into DWTS, I realized I would have to show up in person and make the request and, if I did, I might end up like Pee Wee Herman dancing on the bar to Tequila.

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Luckily, I was pointed in the direction of a Facebook page of some folks raising money for an ailing dog who were going to watch the show at the Star Bar.

And, lo and behold, when I got there, I discovered that these were not just dog lovers, but Democrats, including Glenn Smith, a liberal columnist for the Austin American-Statesman and director of the Progress Texas PAC, who I described when Perry was under indictment, as  the ” field marshal for Texas Democrats,” making the case that Perry was guilty as charged.

 

(The view from the Star Bar)

(The view from the Star Bar)

 

 

In other words, I said to Smith, after Perry’s performance, this was a crowd that would have preferred to see Perry doing time than keeping time.

“He seems to have avoided doing both,” Smith replied.

 

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(Prisoners of Love, from The Producers)

Indeed, Bruno Tonioli, one of the DWTS judges, said Perry seemed in his dancing to be on Midwest or East Coast time, but definitely not Pacific time.

“Timing is very important,” Tonioli told Perry.

Duh.

But the judges also noted that Perry was starting from scratch, having only, as he says here, previously danced in public four times – once at each of his inaugural balls.

But, truth be told, Perry is leaving out his most famous experience dancing in public, and his most famous dance partner – state Rep. Elliott Naishtat – the Austin Democrat, who was at the Star Bar Perry watch last night.

As one might imagine, Perry’s Dancing with Jews proved very popular, and, Naishtat recalled, led Don Imus to ask on his radio show, “Who’s the guy in the blue yamaha?”

Which led me to suggest that The Guy in the Blue Yamaha would be the perfect title for Naishtat’s memoirs of his years as  New York Jew in the thick of Texas politics.

But, back to Perry, the overnight reviews were tough.

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From Joey Guerra at The Chronicle. Headline: Perry dances horribly; security scare targets Lochte on ‘DWTS’:

Rick Perry’s “Dancing with the Stars” debut went about as well as his two presidential bids. But the evening took a dramatic turn when a security scare targeting Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte interrupted the show’s live telecast.

The former Texas governor took his inaugural spin around the floor Monday night during the show’s Season 23 premiere. He was partnered with Emma Slater for a cha cha set against a carnival backdrop to the tune “God Blessed Texas.”

Perry earned a total of 20 out of 40 points for his flailing arms and lumbering footwork. It was the lowest out of the show’s 13 couples.

Judge Len Goodman called the dance “a little bit pedestrian.” Bruno Tonioli dubbed it “not exactly subtle.”

I don’t know if you were on Western or Eastern time. You were not on this time,” Tonioli joked.

Julianne Hough commended Perry for going “full out” crazy instead of holding back.

Perry was unfazed by the reception.

“This is crazy good. This is as good as it gets,” he yelped at the end of his performance.

About that, from the New York Times:

The Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, making his debut on Monday night on the season premiere of the ABC competition “Dancing With the Stars,” was rushed by at least one protester, causing a significant disturbance that sent the program to an abrupt commercial break.

The Los Angeles Police Department said two men were detained by security guards for trespassing during the live broadcast and were handed over to the police. The men’s names had not been released late Monday night.

“No one on set was touched at the time the incident occurred,” said Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman.

An ABC spokeswoman confirmed that the disruption had taken place, saying, “An individual stormed the dance floor tonight and was immediately subdued and escorted out of the building.”

Pictures from the scene showed two men seated with their hands behind their backs wearing shirts that displayed Mr. Lochte’s name overlaid with the universal red “no” symbol. News reports citing witnesses at the show said several other protesters were wearing similar shirts in the audience.

It was not immediately clear what had happened during the broadcast. One of the show’s judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, was delivering her assessment of the performance of Mr. Lochte and his partner, the dancer Cheryl Burke, when she suddenly cut her statement short, apparently in response to what was happening onstage.

“Hey, back off!” Ms. Inaba shouted, as security guards appeared to rush past her.

The chaos onstage was not shown on television, but in the aftermath, the camera cut to the show’s host, Tom Bergeron, who sent the show to commercial as an apparently flustered Mr. Lochte wiped sweat from his brow.

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From Dawn Burkes in the Dallas Morning News. Perry dances to the bottom and Lochte gets rushed on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

He was stiff, but he seemed in his element. He even said that it was much better than any presidential debate. He’s starting from the bottom here, though.

The former Texas governor says he’s just there to learn how to dance — and to raise awareness for veterans. And he was all smiles all the time, even doing the running man behind another couple as they were in the kiss and cry area. He’s gonna have some fun with this, even with his lowest score of 20.

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Former Gov. Rick Perry brought some Texas flair to the Season 23 premiere of “Dancing With The Stars,” but his footwork brought few plaudits from the judges.

The show partnered Perry, who performed in a floral embroidered Western jacket, with professional dancer Emma Slater and the two cha cha’ed to “God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas. All four of the show’s judges — Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli — gave the former governor a five out of 10 points, making Perry the lowest scoring contestant of the night. 

Top scoring teams included race car driver James Hinchcliffe and partner Sharna Burgess, and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Both ended with a final score of 31 out of 40. And although Perry’s low rankings may foreshadow his bowing out sooner rather than later, there are no couple eliminations for the show’s first week, which means Perry still has a shot at winning. 

He came. He cha cha’d. But he hardly conquered.

Former Gov. Rick Perry made a good-natured debut Monday night on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” but tripped the light far from fantastically on the live season premiere.

Because subtlety has no place in a competition of celebrity amateurs and professional dancers, Perry rocked a floral embroidered black Western jacket to compliment his now signature glasses as he spun and sauntered about his pro dance partner Emma Slater to the country hit “God Blessed Texas” by Little Texas.

 Perry clearly had fun cutting the rug with Slater, whom he referred to as having to take “a lump of coal to shine up as a bright diamond.”

Alas, Perry’s cha cha was about as stiff as his ensemble’s bolo tie. Perry and Slater finished with a 20 out of 40 from the show’s four judges, the lowest score of the night. Each judge gave the couple a 5 out of 10.

Head judge Len Goodman called Perry’s dance “a little bit pedestrian at times,” but still gave a “good on you” to Perry for giving it a go with no dance experience. Perry hopes to get that in time for his daughter’s upcoming wedding.

Fellow judge Julianne Hough called it fun to watch but definitely crazy at times. And the ever-effusive judge Bruno Tonioli deemed it “bold, brash, not exactly subtle” and urged Perry to work on his timing.

Perry took the judges’ low poll numbers, er, paddle numbers in stride, calling his final 5 score “awesome!”

OK. Enough. Forget those nattering nabobs of negativism.

Perry may not have the judges. He may not have the press. But as any reality TV star this side of Donald Trump knows, he has (maybe) the ones who really matter – THE PEOPLE.

Or at least I think that’s how it works, because, as I mentioned, this is unexplored territory for me and the DWTS voting rules are more complicated than a Voter ID law in a Southern state.

 

The voting system is based on the international format for Dancing with the Stars, in which 50% of the judges’ vote and 50% of the public’s vote give the final result. If a celebrity is still in the show after the judges have issued them a low score, it means they have received a large amount of votes from the public.

Voting – frequently asked questions | DANCING WITH THE STARS …

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Television New Zealand

From the voting FAQ from ABC.

2. So how do I vote?
We have three convenient ways for you to keep your favorite stars dancing. You can vote by phone or do it online, either at ABC.com or on the Facebook Canvas Page. You have to be 18 years old and in the U.S. or Puerto Rico to vote on ABC.com and the Facebook Canvas Page…sorry, tweens and international fans!

3. When exactly can I vote?
Phone voting begins during the show, and is open until 60 minutes after the conclusion of that show per time zone.

Online voting at both ABC.com and Facebook opens each Monday when the show begins on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and stays open until 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) the next day the first week of the season, and open until 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) the following morning for all other weeks, including the finale.

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5. What if I want to vote online? Anything in particular I need to do first?
To vote at ABC.com, OneID account is a must. We’ve hopefully made the process pretty easy for you. In fact, if you already have a Facebook account, you can sign in with that, connect it to a OneID account and you’re ready to go. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can simply sign up for a OneID account at ABC.com. 

To vote via Facebook Canvas Page, you will need to have pop-up blockers turned off for Facebook and authorize the Dancing with the Stars voting app. 

6. Multiple members of my household would like to vote. Can they?
Sure — the more the merrier! Just make sure to log out after you finish voting, then have your other household members log in with their Facebook or OneID accounts. It’s perfectly fine to vote on the same computer.

That would be Jeff Miller, who ran Perry’s second, indictment-compromised presidential run, and who talked Perry into doing DWTS, with the ice cream cone to Perry’s left, in  their visit to Sandy’s to celebrate after his indictment was thrown out.

The point is, Perry may not have fleetest feet on the dance floor, and he may not have been elected president, but he is a proven vote-getter in the nation’s second biggest state and with a national following.

He can do this.

From ABC News in 2010:

Bristol Palin pasa-dobled her way to her highest scores of the season on “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night, and now she is in the final three, but her journey, like most things Palin, has not been without controversy.

The daughter of political powerhouse Sarah Palin, has consistently landed at the bottom of the leader board, yet still managed to earn a coveted spot in the finals. There’s a debate brewing over whether Bristol Palin is being kept alive on “DWTS” by her pluck and charm, or by way of her famous mom’s political pull with Republicans and the Tea Party.

Is the Tea Party stuffing the ballot box?

“There are people on the political blogs who are saying vote for Bristol as part of your allegiance to the Palin brand,” said Matt Roush, senior television critic at TV Guide Magazine.

In an interview with Barbara Walters over the weekend, Sarah Palin addressed the controversy.

“What do we do? Call every Tea Party person? I haven’t got the time,” Sarah Palin told Walters. “Bristol has the greatest work ethic of any person I know. I knew that she would do well. And when ‘Dancing With the Stars’ called her and wanted her to be on the show, I said, ‘Bristol, you know you’re going to open yourself up to criticism just because of your last name. And Bristol said, ‘Mom, you know it doesn’t matter what I do. They’re going to criticize me, so I might as well dance.'”

Who survives on “DWTS” each week is based on the combined total of judges’ scores and public votes. According to PR guru Howard Bragman, who appeared on “Good Morning America” Tuesday, “Dancing With the Stars'” viewership sways Republican — possibly giving Bristol Palin an advantage among the voting public.

“DWTS is a very big show among Republicans and not quite as big among the Democrats. It is very family oriented. Of course that’s helping her,” Bragman said.

 

 

 

Rick Perry reaching for a corn dog at the start of his dance routine.

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