It’s been a number of years since Dancing with the Stars has slipped out of the “must-see-tv” status in our household. I’m not sure if it’s simply a matter of the novelty wearing off or the fact that the term “star” has become increasingly generously applied. Probably both.
However, depending on my schedule and what else is vying for my attention on tv, I’ve watched it on occasion. This season that’s just come to an end featured the usual combination of “stunt-casting” (Chaz Bono, Nancy Grace, some Kardashian sibling). It also featured a young man who I was only vaguely aware of prior to his casting on the show: JR Martinez. I still don’t know all that much about him except that he was severely burned while serving in the military in Iraq. After a huge number of surgeries, he still will never blend into a crowd.
But the fantastic thing about this young man is that his personality and positive, energetic outlook on life has not been hampered by his physical deformity. He has a magnetic personality and it doesn’t take long before the severe burns almost disappear from your awareness. I’m sure that the combination of this personality and his compelling back-story attributed to JR getting to raise the mirror ball trophy as this season’s champion. It didn’t hurt that he was a pretty good dancer.
It’s a bit touchy to draw a caricature of someone who has a physical deformity. What are you “allowed” to exaggerate? How much can you have fun with their look? I guess I kind of took it easy on JR (not that my style is very extreme to begin with). I think I did a pretty good job of capturing his personality. I look forward to seeing more of this young man.