God may have blessed Texas, but that bounty apparently didn’t extend to our former governor’s boot scootin’ capabilities. Rick Perry made his Dancing With the Stars debut Monday night, and the performance was heavy on Texas, but light on, uh, actual dancing. Or at least good dancing.
Perry was given the opportunity to introduce himself in a short pretaped video before he took the stage. “My name is Rick Perry, and I’m the governor of the great state of Texas. I’m—I’m not the governor of the great state of Texas. That’s not right. I’m the former governor.” Perry was also shown doing a “butt roll” in practice, and acutely observed that “people are probably watching this and going, ‘what a dumbass.'”
And with that, we were off to a very Perry performance.
Ultimately, Perry and his pro dance partner, Emma Slater, cha-cha’d their way to the bottom of the heap, receiving straight fives from the judges for the lowest score of the night. But can you really reduce the debut dance of a man who held the most powerful office in the state for fourteen years to the sheer novelty of a score? Of course not. Here’s how it really went down, step by painful step.
As the opening guitar riff of “God Blessed Texas” rang out, the camera panned across the Dancing With the Stars stage to reveal a full state fair theme, complete with a Ferris wheel and “Rick’s Corn Dog” stand. But our former governor knows what happens when you eat corn dogs in public. So as the pretty corn dog peddler tried to tempt him with a fried treat before his cha-cha, he stealthily handed it off.
No corn dogs for Rick. Things were about to get funky. Or something.
Shortly after, Perry started to look like a goat on AstroTurf. Slater tried to twirl her way through her partner’s clunky moves, but there were a few mistakes that even her megawatt smile couldn’t mask.
Somehow we feel like that counting at the end wasn’t for Slater’s benefit.
But it wasn’t all bad! There was this very Texas line-dance tribute:
And this part when the camera pulled out to show the full state of Texas that was projected onto the floor:
Perry, for his part, seemed pretty pleased with his performance. As he and Slater came off the stage, host Tom Bergeron asked how dancing compared with a presidential debate. “Presidential debate ain’t even in the class,” Perry replied. “Oh, man, come on, this is crazy good. This is as good as it gets.” Bless his heart.
But, as the judges’ scores noted, it wasn’t exactly the cleanest performance of the night. Judge Len Goodman refuted Perry’s “crazy good” assessment, saying that the dance was “pedestrian.” The other judges were a little kinder, basically giving him the verbal equivalent of a participation ribbon before slapping him with fives across the board.
But taking into account the extreme amount of Texas pride, the undeniable joy on the governor’s face, and the fact that his designer glasses managed to stay firmly in place, we’ll give it a six. Perry will be back on the stage next week, and phone lines are open for you to vote to keep him on the show. Perry will surely be lookin’ out for your vote.