A Week of Finales

Summer officially ends on Thursday, and so must the remaining summer reality TV shows. In addition to the Rock Star: INXS finale, Tuesday brings us the rematch episode of the surprise hit, Dancing With the Stars. Wednesday boasts the final competition and reunion show for Bravo’s Battle of the Network Reality Stars.

Having been a long time fan of competitive ballroom dancing on PBS, I thoroughly enjoyed Dancing With the Stars. Admittedly, the “stars” they lined up for the program made it look like it would be a real dog. But, thanks to good show structure, a funny host in Tom Bergeron, and participants with at least some potential as dancers (well, except for Evander Holyfield), the program was legitimately fun to watch. And John O’Hurley deserves a lot of credit for being able to be charming and funny while totally out of breath.

As for the questions surrounding the voting when the show originally ended, Kelly Monaco had a built-in, rabid soap opera fan base that John could never compete with. I can’t explain why the show’s judges picked her, too, but I always expected Kelly would win. I’m just glad there was a controversy so I could see some more ballroom on TV.

As a side note, Dancing With the Stars produced the most disturbing moment of my summer. I spoke to my mother after one of the episodes, and she actually said, “That Kelly Monaco is so sexy.” I’d never heard my mom use the word ‘sexy’ before, and I’d prefer that I never hear her use it again.

Battle of the Network Reality Stars has proven similarly silly and amusing. Kind of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge for an older demographic, BoNRS (hee hee) cast many of the regulars from the MTV show. I’ve always liked Coral and Theo, so it was nice to see them with new teammates, especially folks like Matt “Joe Schmo” Gould and Chip & Kim of Amazing Race 5.

But I was happiest to see Brian Worth, hero of the second edition of Average Joe. He represents all that is Boston; he’s a guy who wouldn’t hesitate to bail on a date with a model for a chance to meet his favorite member of the Red Sox, Tim Wakefield. Brian’s famous line on Average Joe, “Ironman, I am not,” is frequently repeated in the Broken-Ox household.

No matter which team wins on Wednesday, we can always reminisce about the time Charla jousted with The Swan:

Charla Vs. Swan