Bill Nye the Beethoven nut survives natural selection

The Science Guy improved in Week 2 of "Dancing With The Stars." Pretending to be Beethoven dancing the paso doble, he lives to dance another day.

Other-worldly. Boom Fiyah XIII/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It was more a drunken evening in Paso Robles than a paso doble.

But Bill Nye somehow conjured an image that will long stay in many minds. For, on Monday's "Dancing With The Stars," he channeled Beethoven.

That would be Beethoven dancing the paso doble.

This may not have been something that has ever been tried in the cosmos before. It should never be attempted again.

He began at the piano, disconcertoed. He ended with a freakish forte: on his knees, his bewigged head sunken into the lissom lap of partner Tyne Stecklein.

In between, what he lacked in physical control, he gained in physical momentum. What he lacked in swerve, he gained in verve.

His arms were weak, but his legs were maniacally willing, managing to jerk simultaneously in two directions at the same time. Neither, sadly, was the right direction.

Supported by a group of white-coated members of Mensa, Nye worked the crowd like a man possessed. A man possessed by a desperate need to prove that he could be at one with the Latin beat while pretending to be German.

Judge Bruno Tonioli was impressed with his "genius and insanity." "You nearly blew a gasket," he said.

In a positive sign for Nye, Tonioli noticed that during the mania "there was actually some paso doble there."

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was concerned that, though she appreciated Nye being extroverted, his feet were inverted.

Head judge Len Goodman admitted that last week he had knocked Nye's performance with too great a cudgel. He had described it as "like being waxed. Painful while it happened and lovely when it was over."

Now he saw a touch of hope.

Nye's score soared from last week's 14 out of 30 to an almost stellar 17. To the surprise of some, he survives in the dancing galaxy, as former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson was shorn from the cast.

In the weeks to come, it may well be that a certain online following will prop him up and propel him further than perhaps his pure skills deserve.

There is one positive in this: we might yet see him, say, dancing the Argentine tango while playing a Martian.

 

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