"Dancing with the Stars": Emotional Chaz Bono put out of his misery

In this Oct. 24, 2011 image released by ABC, Chaz Bono, right, and his partner Lacey Schwimmer perform on the dancing competition series "Dancing with the Stars," in Los Angeles. Bono and Schwimmer were voted off the show on Tuesday. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Taylor) Adam Taylor

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer perform on "Dancing with the Stars," Oct. 24, 2011.
AP/ABC

(CBS) After Chaz Bono's difficult tango to the "Phantom of the Opera" on Monday night, his mom got upset. Very upset. Perhaps she will be relieved that her boy - whose astoundingly equitable personality had been a fine feature of the competition - was finally voted off Tuesday by the grouchy grannies at home.

Monday night, Cher had tweeted in reference to judge Bruno Tonioli's criticisms of her son: "I COULD TEACH HIS LITTLE ARM WAVING ASS SOME MANNERS! Critique CHAZ'S DANCE STYLE, MOVEMENTS ETC,.BUT DON'T MAKE FUN OF MY CHILD ON NAT.TV."

Pictures: "Dancing with the Stars" Season 13

No mom wants to hear her boy referred to with the words: "It was like watching a cute little penguin trying to be a big menacing bird of prey." This had, indeed, been the description Tonioli had offered.

In truth, Bono has clearly been in physical pain, as well as some emotional anguish, as the judges continued to offer him love tougher than any seen in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." But let's return to Bono's final anguish in a moment.

Let's dwell for a little while on Nancy Grace. After managing to fulfill her potential with a mediocre - as opposed to merely awful - performance, she had turned to partner Tristan McManus and declared that he wasn't, after all, Hitler, the entire Third Reich, nor Mussolini.

Nancy, Hitler had a mustache, no one in the Third Reich spoke with an Irish accent and Mussolini was bald. These little facts, therefore, tend to exclude the hairy-headed, clean-shaven, Irish McManus.

Ricki Lake, meanwhile, is having a very hard time being covered with not only her own sweat, but also that of her partner Derek Hough. She finds it "disgusting." But mutual sweat-swapping can be a very liberating experience. And how can she tell whose sweat is whose anyway?

This was all part of a mini-shrink session, as all of the stars bared their souls about how very, very hard it is to be performing these dances and appearing on this show. David Arquette angsts about whether he is good enough, whether he should even be doing this. Hope Solo cannot stop her tears. She has endured "five weeks of hell."

It was as if we needed to call their fellow-sufferers from previous series and ask them to join in with Occupy "Dancing with the Stars."

This show is clearly cruelty for beauty's sake. These poor people are like beagles who are being held captive in order to test mascara or lipstick. Well, except that the beagles don't get paid.

It was left to Martina McBride to offer a little balance by standing quietly on stage and singing a song about how tough it is when you get cancer. Then, we focused on Bono's pain.

"If you're an overweight woman in this competition losing weight they love you," moaned Cher's boy. "But if you're a overweight guy trying to do this competition and getting in shape, they penalize you for it and call you a penguin."

Some might feel he had a point. No one can joke about overweight women, other than the women themselves. The roly-polyness of men seems to be fair game.

Bono wasn't finished. He felt that Tonioli made him feel like "a fat troll who dances with this beautiful woman every week."

The beautiful woman (and she is) that Bono was referring to was partner Lacey Schwimmer.

Bono's hurt feelings weren't even the biggest controversy of the previous night. That had been the contretemps between Maksim Chmerkovskiy and judge Len Goodman. The professional had suggested the judge might wish to retire.

We saw a little private footage of all the judges agreeing that the performance of Chmerkovskiy and his partner Hope Solo had, indeed, been no better than Bono's. So what a shock that Solo was condemned to the status of jeopardized contestant again.

It didn't mean she was in the bottom two. It just meant that the producers are caring, sharing human beings.

When his demise was announced, Bono looked like he just wanted to get out as quickly as he could. However, when corralled by the presenters, he was deeply gracious.

"I wanted to show America a different kind of man," he said. "If there was someone like me on TV when I was growing up, my whole life would have been different."

Instead, all he had in his day were cowboys and cartoon characters. Like penguins.

Bono conducted himself with absolute grace throughout this competition. True, his personality will be missed a little more than his dancing. But there are several contestants remaining who, some might feel, will be missed for neither.

  • Chris Matyszczyk

    Chris has been a multi award-winning executive creative director with some of the most celebrated advertising agencies in the world. His creative work has been recognized at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the New York Festivals, Clio, the One Show, as well as many other festivals around the world. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Financial Times, the European, the Sacramento Bee and The Singapore Press Holdings Group.

    He currently advises major global companies about content creation and marketing, through his company Howard Raucous LLC.

    He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world.

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