Woz's samba: The worm turns sour

Steve Wozniak's latest performance on "Dancing with the Stars" seems to cause anger, as well as embarrassment among the judges, as he performs a samba of desperate proportions.

We all die. And none of us wants to breathe our last without experiencing everything.

This is precisely why one can admire Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak's attempts to dance the samba with a bad hamstring on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

However, on Monday night, he walked a delicate line between parody and embarrassment. And I am not sure many police officers would have let him back into the driver's seat after his walk.

Steve Wozniak takes a worm break during the samba. ABC

Actually, for a part of his samba, he rolled a less than delicate line on the floor, attempting a "worm" that resembled nothing more than Mr. Creosote having his first swimming lesson in a yoga studio.

Simply put, his dancing wasn't. His arms flailed, his legs failed, and his rhythm sailed off into a sunset that left only a storm.

The judges looked like the crabby old men in the balcony on the "Muppet Show" shortly after they had witnessed a 90-year-old woman pole-dancing naked at a wake.

They used words like "terrible" and phrases such as "the novelty wears off" and "the worst samba I have ever seen," as they offered Woz a total of 10 points out of 30, the equivalent of a $10 tip on a $4,000 bill. This wasn't merely the worst score by far. This was an expression of resentment.

Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff's final move. ABC

The humor in all this is that Woz is not necessarily eliminated. If enough sympathizers, Twitterers, techies, contrarians, and philosophically or physically sightless people decide to make a point, Woz might even avoid another dance-off.

This is a phenomenon known as the Sargeant Effect. John Sargeant is a roly-poly BBC political correspondent who blundered onto the original English version of the show, called "Strictly Come Dancing".

Smirnoff and Wozniak keep smiling during a judge's not-so-nice remarks. ABC

He danced like a stilt-walker with Tourette's. The judges, two of whom are also judges on "Dancing with the Stars," were desperate to see him return to politics or, at the very least, an ER or a bar. Instead, the viewers kept voting him back.

The situation became so fraught that Mr. Sargeant himself quickstepped away from the competition because he (or, perhaps, a producer or two) was afraid he would win.

Perhaps the greatest part of Woz's performance is the apparent equanimity with which he takes the judges' withering glances at his dances--although he did threaten to perform mischief on one of the judges' computers.

Tuesday night's results show (9 p.m. EDT and PDT and 8 p.m. in the Central Samba-free Zone) will be unquestionably riveting. It is clear, however, just where the judges would like to drill their rivets.

 

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