Tristan Deprivation isn’t pretty. Without a regular appearance of suspenders, Samba hips, and bedhead, this posse of MacManiacs gets restless. Things happen that throw the balance of the universe off, and surges in chemical imbalances become a regular occurrence. You think that’s an exaggeration? Oh no, our little chickadees. It’s real. What we don’t get and will try to explain in our logical and scientific way, is how and why this deprivation occurs and what is to be done to fix it immediately. Note: This post was written before Season 17 ended but too many Tristan-related news events (and repeated viewings of the Lady Antebellum dance featuring Tristan and a bunch of other people that we can't remember) have kept us from getting this in final form. Oh well. Too bad.
Let’s begin with the mess that is Season 17. And we thought Season 16 was bad and Season 15 was equally bad. Nope. Season 17 was the biggest mess of all messes and that’s because too much time was spent on filler, gimmicks, and showcasing celebrities and pros that people have little or no interest in seeing showcased. Makes sense? Oh, it will.
The problem is simple. There hasn’t been enough Tristan for many seasons due to crazy casting decisions and crazy production decisions, and if you think we’re kidding, we have the proof. We’ll start with this season’s Trio Dances. Where was Tristan? Exactly. Tristan Deprivation #1. It’s serious. Let’s use an analogy. We have a big group of famous and well-respected singers, past and present, who are lined up to get picked for the team dance. Or a dodgeball team. Or a pick-up basketball game. Whatever it is, you have Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, George Michael, Usher and the either/or from Milli Vanilli. And Vanilla Ice, just to make it reasonable excessive, dramatic, and get you to understand our way of thinking. The decision of singing dodgeball placers (team dancers) should be easy. So who gets picked first? Milli Vanilli and Vanilla Ice. Yeah, you see where this is going. The stud wasn’t chosen. The one with the magic wasn’t chosen. Folks, that is incomprehensible and even more importantly, it was the one big factor that put us over the edge with this Tristan Deprivationitis.
Then there are the commercial bumpers which were a great idea in Season 16. A brilliant idea in Season 16. Unfortunately, in Season 17, it evolved, due to the shortened format, into a frantic, “let’s see how we can give the troupe something to do” mess which served not to showcase the troupe or anybody else. Instead it gave us a few seconds of The Magician dancing and a bunch of seconds of everybody else dancing when if you combine all those seconds into a couple of minutes, you could have seen a red-hot Samba, Salsa, or Rumba with Tristan and Sharna. Yeah, more Tristan Deprivation. On a scale of 1 to 10, this season’s bumpers couldn't hit a 5. This doesn’t even take into account the fact that the few bumpers featuring Tristan also didn’t even amount to a good cardiac workout. You get all worked up for 2.2 seconds only to have the workout stop abruptly without a proper cool down. So Tristan deprivation isn’t healthy.
The format is too short and we didn't get a chance to see Tristan in all of his bedhead splendor do any real pro dances with anyone. We had to pass out the drool bibs and buckets every week in Season 13 and 14, and this season, we have a surplus in the dungeon because, let’s face it, there just wasn’t enough of all that splendor. Or the black wifebeater top. Or the close-ups of “the look.” We strained our eyes hoping for a pro dance and seeking out Tristan among the corners of the stage, glitter pit, and other studio locations, but nada.
The most renowned DanceCenter on record was Season 13, or “I’m sick of dis place.” Design a Dance in Season 14 gave us Samba brilliance in classic Samba format – something the fans wanted, chose, and approved. The deletion of those two fan favorites meant Tristan deprivation. We miss Jerry and Kenny in Dance Center, and we miss Design A Dance because the fans (us) chose the winner. Doesn’t it just figure that would give way to stupid stunts like a glitter pit that looks a poorly decorated bordello and Twitter voting contests that have an outcome that a toad could predict. Tristan is a comic genius and would make DanceCenter iconic; he is also the pro the fans adore – whether that fan is 6 or 96. By depriving us these two big events, things got ugly. Fast.
When Tristan dances we don’t have to worry about Speedos, see-through silk shirts, and completely inappropriate behavior. When we were forced to see excessively oiled chests, excessively gelled hair, and excessively feathered garments, we realized how truly deprived we were of a first-class studly type who didn't need oil, gel, or feathers to make a statement.
We just need to hear the man speak. That accent is way too addictive to be taken away from us cold turkey. So ABC and everybody else needs to eliminate our Tristan-deprived status by doing any or all of the following: 1) Have him do pre-show backstage interviews (rehearsals are okay too, since Tristan is going to be busy getting to the freestyle competition in Season 18) 2) Have him tell dirty jokes. 3) Have him tell clean jokes. 4) Have him do the ExtraTV press line. His question to Jack about crying on national tv still makes us giggle and giggling MacManiacs (even if some of us are a little older than the giggle-appropriate age) are happy MacManiacs, and Happy MacManiacs are not going to cause trouble. Just sayin… 4) Have him sing during commercial bumpers. Granted, accents don’t really show up in song, but we can greatly reduce our deprived status by hearing him belt out something by Journey or Elvis.
The bottom line is that there must be an immediate end to this deprivation crap. More Tristan, please.