Gif via ABC.

The beautiful thing about the infectiously cheesy Dancing With the Stars is that all the contestants have often fraught, disappointing histories. Many of the “celebrities” haven’t had real acting roles in decades; one Olympic swimmer recently peed on a gas station and fled a South American country. One of them has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history. Lives lived, you know!


ABC hit us with a two-night second week of the 23rd season—four hours of beautiful competition between mostly retired adults. Monday evening’s show was Television Night, during which competitors had to do a themed dance to an assigned television show (if you were on one, that’s the one you were assigned). So, Marilu Henner and Derek Hough danced to the Taxi, Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev did Brady Bunch with a guest appearance from Florence Henderson, Jake T. Austin (voice of Diego) and Jenna Johnson did an unsettlingly sexy interpretation of children’s cartoon Go Diego Go!

Former governor and failed presidential candidate Rick Perry, whose 234 executions equal more than the next two highest execution states combined, and partner Emma Slater did a quickstep to the Green Acres theme song. It was goofy, down-homey, and made us forget for a little over a minute that he also vetoed a bill that would’ve excluded mentally disabled from the death penalty and fought vigorously to be able to execute minors!

Ultimately, Diego-voice Jake T. Austin, who said it was “ironic” that he and his dance partner were both born in 1994, was sent home, probably because his fanbase isn’t allowed to use a telephone without parental supervision.


Perry, who is by far the worst dancer on the show, snuck through to the third week—likely with his large contingent of Texas voters who think it’s admirable that Perry only met one person on death row during his entire tenure as governor who he thought deserved to live! Even among those who forensic experts said were maybe innocent!

Bobby Finger, Jezebel staff writer and Texan, suggested a title for this article: “We Now Know How Rick Perry Sleeps at Night: By Exhausting Himself With Dance.”

Laurie Hernandez watch:

Number one: Fuck the ABC/Disney executive who made her dance to Duck Tails on TV Night!! How dare they take advantage of her talent?? She is 16 and better than all of these has-beens!!! She should be getting only prestige assignments: how about The Wire, The Sopranos, Seinfeld? Ever heard of them? Bullshit!


Aly Raisman (Olympic hero and former DWTS contestant) was in the audience on Monday evening, where she correctly implied that Hernandez was not only the best dancer on the show, but the best dancer of the Olympic gymnasts. I love sisters supporting sisters! Now watch this Duck Tails jive abomination that Hernandez still manages to make look great.

Senior Editor, Jezebel

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