ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, in which stars in the loosest sense of the word team up with professional dancers, has been on the air since 2005, and is now in its 12th season. America, apparently, craves a communal ballroom. That and/or watching famous people shine and/or embarrass themselves. There have been many standout (or slipup) moments, but probably nothing as memorable as former House majority leader Tom DeLay’s bid for dance champion.
In between indictment and trial, what else was he to do? DeLay, sentenced this past January to three years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering and given 10 years’ probation for a separate money-laundering charge (he’s free on bail pending appeal) went on Dancing with the Stars in 2009. Of his cha-cha set to “Wild Thing,” it’s hard to say what’s most disconcerting. The butt shaking? The winking at the judge? The hip swiveling? We’re gonna go with the moment he looks directly into the camera while lip synching, “Wild thing, I think I love you,” and points at us unfortunate viewers. The former Republican Representative from Texas wasn’t voted off the show, but rather withdrew because of an injury.