The USS Quad Damage

Reality television on ice

It was once often joked among literary people, and others who generally aren't very funny, that one day the face of reality television would change, and instead of every day people they'd have professionals -- actors -- do what ordinary people do in reality television today. The idea being that actors acting out some pre-made story are more interesting to watch than Big Brother housemates sitting around doing nothing.

I think the joke was that this "new form of media" would be "drama", which has pre-existed reality television, which implies that reality television was a dead end. In theory, I'm sure it's all very funny if you really think about it. In reality, however, the joke was on them ("them" being the literati). See, reality television did change to have actors, but they were B-grade celebrities in real reality television instead of on the aforementioned pre-existing dramas. A lot of these shows sucked, like pretty much anything with Grant Denyer on it, or hosting it. However, there is an ingredient that you can combine with reality and B-grade actors that sends chills of pleasure down my spine.

That ingredient is grievous injury.

Torvill and Dean's Dancing on ice is magic, because you take people like models and actors who know nothing about ice skating, and make them do things like lifting their partners up / being lifted up, or performing moves that have names ending with "... of death". The amazing thing is, people often do get seriously injured, and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. When they do get a chance to perform, you can sometimes see the terror on their faces, and you're always on the edge of your seat, just in case that they fall on their faces and die, or lose all their teeth, or in Karl Stefanovic's case, get impaled through the balls with their partners' skates... both of them!

If you haven't been watching the show, I've prepared a quick list of the contestants, who they are, why you care, injuries sustained, and what you can expect from them in the show:
Lara Bingle
Lara Bingle is the chick who said "where the bloody hell are ya?" on those ads the poms all got in a knot about. She's 19, and really hot for someone who sounds a bit bogan. She's small and reasonably well co-ordinated, and can (and does) attempt dangerous maneuvers (like the "Face Crusher") with her partner Matt Evers (US figure skater). I believe she's had a concussion thus far.
Jules Lund
He's someone off Getaway, and a bit of a drongo, but a hilarious one. He's one to watch, because he's completely unco-ordinated, and very likely to die. Luckily, the other viewers agree, because despite the low scores from the judges he's stayed in the game thus far. He's also pretty tall and his partner Kristina Cousins is about half his height, which makes the pair exceedingly entertaining. Amazingly, no injuries yet.
Giaan Rooney
Swimmer. She's supposedly very good, but I don't remember seeing her either the first week or this week, so I can't comment further. Her partner Johnathan O'Dougherty is british and has the same name as the girl on charmed. No injuries that I can recall.
Karl Stefanovic
He's the host of the Today show, and he shits me to no end, that smarmy little bastard. Fortunately, he is really small, and his partner Linda Aubrecht is comparatively gigantic. She can lift him up, and he can't convincingly do the same for her. No injury bad enough that he stopped shitting me.
Jackie Kelly
Pavel Aubrecht is Linda Aubrecht's husband, is suitably gigantic, and partners Jackie Kelly, who is a politician who is over 40 years of age. For every episode she is on, sponsors will donate up to $8000 towards the Mamre Project's Sudanese Refugee resettlement program in St Marys. Ironically, for a politician she's also one of the few I don't want getting injured. She dances amazingly well for someone her age, has decent song choice, and I think she shows excellent emotion on stage. She's had stitches in her head and something to do with hips / backside.
Dermott Brereton
Footballer (AFL). He's big and sporty, so his reasonably small partner Pamela O'Connor (complete with Scottish accent) is quite maneuverable in his hands. However, he lacks finesse. No injury yet.
Annalise Braakensiek
Model. The one in Pizza. She's not great, but that's possibly because she's extensively injured herself. This could, in part, be because she's hilariously tall, and her partner Trent Nelson-Bond is... not. She started the first week with cracked ribs, and sat out in the second week due to broken knee-ligaments.
Michael Slater
Cricketer. Anya D'Jamirze is his partner. He's not great, but not bad and he tries. He got his hand cut open with his partner's blade. He performed tonight with a cast over his first two fingers. All his lifts had to be done one handed. I don't wish the guy harm, but still hope someone would yell "Gilly!" during a particularly difficult maneuver.
Trisha Broadbridge
Young Australian of the year 2006. Got kicked out. She may have been the one with the concussion.
Jake Wall
Model who used to be a carpenter. Dating Jennifer Hawkins. He's big and muscular, and partnering Maria Fillipov. He's always had the highest scores by far to date, but the judging is possibly biased towards men in general, and Jake specifically, because there's 3 girls and 2 guys who look sorta fruity. No injuries thus far.
So there you have it, a quick run-down of what to expect from a show which offers a lot, and pretty much delivers on it.