Why We Can't Stop Watching 'Dancing with the Stars'

Laugh all you want, but in a few days we’ll all be talking about “Dancing with the Stars.”


The ABC dance competition routinely draws a “who’s who” of the B-list community. Think Vanilla Ice, who will strap on his dancing shoes for the show’s 23rd (yes, 23) season, along with former Brady kid Maureen McCormick.

The rapper and ex-teen star won’t be alone. They’ll be joined by Olympian Ryan Lochte, he of the Rio scandal du jour.

Old-school stars. New faces. Scandal-plagued personas. It’s like your Twitter feed come to life. And every step will be shared and debated on social media.

And, if that weren’t enough, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be dancing, too, just as the Trump/Clinton battle hits a fever pitch.

“Dancing with the Stars” knows it has a sure thing in embracing timeless dance moves. Generations old and new are mesmerized by elegant dips and pirouettes. That’s heartening in an age dedicated to anti-heroes and cruel Facebook memes.

The show’s brain trust also realizes that isn’t enough in our media-saturated age. So they goose the lineup with dancers best known for other pursuits.

Remember when Bristol Palin famously cut a rug on the show? The Palin culture wars raged anew until the plucky single mom got eliminated. Talk about a ratings boost.

The dance showcase is now a pop culture machine. You can buy DVD workout videos tied to the show. Another companion product, “Dancing with the Stars: Jive, Samba and Tango Your Way Into the Best Shape of Your Life,” came out earlier in the show’s run.

At its best, “Stars” is more than a reality-show romp. It showcases people trying entirely new skill sets and learning something about themselves in the process. Many stars suffer injuries that threaten to bounce them from the competition.

They may be celebrities, but the show strips them of what they do best. Now, it’s time to show their mettle. That’s catnip for viewers.

Hey, they really are “just like us.”

So expect plenty of drama from the new season with the cast of characters ready to rumba. Lochte alone could power the new season, given the headlines swirling around his antics outside of the pool.

They’ve started already. A simple “eye” broke the Internet, according to a hyperventilating AOL News account.

Season 23 of “Dancing with the Stars” kicks off on Sept. 12. See you there … as if you have a choice.