If there's anything reality TV has taught us about our own collective dark side, it's that we love to see famous folk doing things they're not supposed to be doing--and, hopefully, doing those things badly. Whether it's singing (Celebrity Duets, But Can They Sing?), iceskating (Skating With Celebrities), rapping (Celebrity Rap Superstars), dieting (Celebrity Fit Club), dating (Rock Of Love, Flavor Of Love), co-habitating (Celebrity Big Brother, The Surreal Life), auto-racing (Fast Cars & Superstars), or even cattle-roping (Ty Murray's Bull Riding Challenge), we simply love to see supposedly talented celebrities revealed to be normal no-talents like the rest of us. I for one am already gearing up for CMT's new country-singing competition, Gone Country--starring Bobby Brown, Dee Snider, and Sisqo--and that doesn't ever air until January!
Anyhoo, the Dancing With The Stars finale is this week, wrapping up a season fraught with drama and distress, like the death of Jane Seymour's mom and the elimination of supposed frontrunner Sabrina Bryan (which was perhaps the most unexpected and baffling vote-off since Chris Daughtry left American Idol). And then, of course, there was a whole bunch o' trouble for Marie Osmond (more on her in a minute).
But really, Mel B is the one to beat. Of course, Mel's had a somewhat unfair advantage all season, since her "real" career with the Spice Girls requires her to dance and pick up choreography. This same argument has been lobbied against Sabrina Bryan of the Cheetah Girls and season 4 finalist Joey Fatone of *NSYNC, and come to think of it, could be made against Marie Osmond, since she and her brother/duet partner Donny also used to hoof it back in the day. But all nitpicking aside, Mel truly knows how to move it, and has scored a perfect 30 more than once. Girl power!
So who will win? Well, any reality show is ultimately a popularity contest--that's why likable goofballs like Taylor Hicks win over snooty primadonnas like Katharine McPhee. And there's no denying Marie Osmond is one popular lady. She's America's sweetheart, after all. But if the judges dole out a couple more perfect 30s and the public takes note, then Britain's sweetheart, Melanie Brown, will surely zig-a-zig-ah her way to the top spot. We'll just have to wait and see what the voters want, what they really really want.
- Marie Osmond