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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Can 'Dancing' geeks save 'The Woz' tonight?

If I had a Team Woz T-shirt – and I don't, I swear – but if I did, I'd have it on tonight.

Who knew that the best thing about this injury-plagued season of ''Dancing with the Stars'' would be the charming train wreck that is Steve Wozniak's weekly attempt at movin' it and groovin' it?

The guy is terrible – terrible -- but in a good way (as opposed to co-host Samantha Harris' bony bird arms this season, which are terrible in just a disturbing way). There's something kinda sweet about this season's token elder underdog, starting with the fact that unlike last season's Cloris Leachman, he's not obnoxious. Or scary.

Or maybe it's that the ''tank with facial hair,'' as one writer described him, looks like about half the people who could be offering you a brat and a beer in the Lambeau Field parking lot on any given Sunday.

"The Woz,'' as the 58-year-old co-founder of Apple computers and former manfriend on Kathy Griffin's "My Life on the D-List'' is known, pulled down the lowest ''Dancing'' score in six years last week when he and partner Karina Smirnoff managed a measly 10 out of 30. Ouch. But the kicker? Even with a score like that, he wasn't in the bottom two, which means his massive computer nerd following came to his rescue with a HUGE number of fan votes.

If there's any group of people who knows how to use technology to mobilize votes, it's this bunch. An article in Advertising Age magazine in early February predicted The Woz has a shot at winning the whole thing:

"Every engineer, software developer, technorati and digerati will be rooting for and, more importantly, voting for the beloved engineer. In fact … they've been blogging about how to make it happen, starting with 'How can we geeks unite to sway the vote?' posted by Al Lucklow on''

"The judges seem to hate me, and the fans seem to love me,'' The Woz said last night before attempting the Argentine tango with kind of a weird constipated look on his face and a rose in his teeth. ''The judges have forsaken me, but the geeks shall inherit the Earth.''

And therein lies The Woz's charm – that big teddy bear can-do attitude. That, and the fact that when he received his score of 12 (Bruno actually used the word ''stench'' to describe his performance), without missing a beat, he cheerfully said, "We improved 20 percent.'' Nerd alert!

But tonight things get critical for The Woz. The three couples in the bottom will be revealed, and they're almost certain to be: The Woz, Steve-O and Holly Madison -- the consistent cellar dwellers.

Two couples will go home in a double elimination. Madison is a given, since only Denise Richards managed to look more blonde, more stiff and more ill at ease on the floor. That leaves the battle of the Steves for the right to stay and embarrass themselves another day. The smart money is on The Woz to win that one.

If that's the case, does a person go for the ''Team Woz'' black long-sleeved Jersey tee or the V-neck T-shirt?

-- Kendra Meinert,



As much as I hate to admit it, I continually find myself tuning in to "Stars" to see, if nothing else, what celebrity train wreck will glide across the stage. And I don't know about previous seasons, but man, this year seems to be all about the train wrecks.

I agree with you Kendra, there's something much more genuine and honest about The Woz's continual suckfest. He knows he can't dance, he doesn't care that he can't dance and really, it's all about the fans. Denise Richards on the other hand was like watching a mentally challenged chimp try to ice skate for the first time. It was physically painful -- and with her gone, Holly Madison has taken that role with ease. (Her performance after falling off the stool last night was almost too awful to watch ... Heff would've been embarrassed.)

And really, let's be honest. The show's audience is probably made up of half the people who want to see celebs make buffoons of themselves and half people who actually care who's good. Since I belong to the former half, here's hoping The Woz makes it through.

-- Sara

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At March 31, 2009 at 3:15 PM  

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