Tonight's the night geeks take back the dance floor.
Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd write. But it's (potentially) true. Tonight (March 9th, 2009) is the start of the new season of "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC, and one of the stars is long-time geek and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. He is paired up with Karina Smirnoff. According to Wikipedia, Ms. Smirnoff has been on the show since season three where she and partner Mario López came in second place. Since then she and her partners have left the competition somewhere in the middle. For Woz's sake, let's hope she's ready to come back strong this season!
Wozniak isn't leaving this competition up to his dancing skills, no sirree. His website has instructions on how to vote for him and reminds us we can vote up to 13 times in the first week. In addition to a Facebook group and a Twitter account, Woz says a dedicated "vote for Wozniak" iPhone app should be available soon.
He's up against some stiff competition, though, including "Jackass" star Steve-O, rodeo champion Ty Murray and ex-NY Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, all of whom are widely known for their amazing dancing skills (not really).
Kidding aside, Dancing With the Stars is a popularity contest as much as anything (since winners are picked by viewer voting and not by the judges) and I wish Steve the very best of luck. It's actually kind of inspiring to see him willing to step outside his comfort zone and take on such a different challenge. He says on his site, "Your support has made a huge difference in my outlook and transition from fear to enjoyment, at least so far. So thank you very much for everything. [...] If you think that you cannot possibly dance or that you are the world's worst dancer, I'm going to show that it's not true." How can you not root for the guy?
Unfortunately this geek will be recording Chuck and The Big Bang Theory (arguably the two geekiest shows in the current primetime lineup) rather than Dancing... and I wonder how much of Woz's fanbase will be up against the same scheduling dilemma. Though I suppose you don't have to watch the show in order to vote.
In any event, good luck Steve, and above all else, enjoy yourself!