Viewers expecting to be dazzled by Los Angeles Lakers Ron Artest’s debut last night on Dancing With The Stars Season 13 witnessed a terrestrial thud.
Artest’s performance in the show’s opening number was, at best, underwhelming for DWTS’s highly-expectant audience who’d grown accustomed to sports figures igniting the crowds.
But it was the Lakers’ sketchy stage presence and raunchy, shirtless act that ultimately captured center stage and nearly turned off all the lights. Artest and his dancing partner Peta Murgatroyd placed dead last with only 15 total points after the first round of competition.
Totally lacking charisma, Artest’s performance and feigned panache paled in comparison to former dancing jocks Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Warren Sapp, Clyde Drexler, Apollo Ono, Louie Vito, Rick Fox, Chad Ochocinco and Hines Ward who previously excelled on the DWTS stage.
Artest’s boorish attempt at entertainment failed miserably. For a guy reaching for the dancing stars, what on earth was he trying to say when he got censored in his pre-dance video? What on earth was he hoping to accomplish doing a cheesy cha cha in a carnival barker’s outfit? And, why on earth would he allow his eyes to so obviously ogle host Brooke Burke in front of 20 million viewers as she attempted to interview him post-dance?
From my vantage point, this blond haired, modern day NBA Bad Boy, now known as Metta World Peace, was not making any new friends on Dancing With the Stars.
Artest will probably not last past week two of DWTS Season 13, as his dancing dis-ability combines with a zero rating on what I call the Dancing With the Stars Likeability Factor. It’s the DWTS Likeability Factor which allows even dabbling dancers to stay afloat as their fumbling feet learn to catch up with their sparkling and entertaining personalities.
If Artest hopes to hang around with the stars of the DWTS dance floor beyond week 2, perhaps he should take a few cues from fellow athlete and former NBA Bad Boy Dennis Rodman:
Be annoying, but in an endearing kind of way.
Be outrageous, but only as long as you can carry your eccentric self with an unwavering sense of confidence.
Be flamboyant if you want to wear another ridiculous outfit like the carnival barker suit you sported on opening night.
Rodman could have wowed DWTS judges Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman and 20 million ABC viewers at home with an outlandish assortment of dancing moves while gracing the floor in one of his signature wedding dresses.
Likeability is akin to an art form. Properly worked, it can take you to the sky. Miss the mark and it can land you with a thud. Rodman found his likeability in a quirky, offbeat way. Unfortunately, Artest doesn’t appear close to finding his.
If Artest plans to continue dancing with the stars, he better work fast on those dance moves and quickly find an entertaining angle.
Otherwise, the only hardwood floor dancing and sports fans will be watching the Laker on will be the one housed at center court at the Staples Center.
Straight talk. No static.
MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!