My husband and I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to Tristan on two of the Holland America: DWTS At Sea cruises. The first one was an Alaska cruise last summer - one of the first DWTS At Sea cruises and the first one that Tristan took part in. My husband is also Irish (he emigrated from Ireland to Canada in 1975) and he and Tristan got along like wildfire. They had a great time nattering (as my husband calls chatting!). We spoke to Tristan on a number of occasions throughout that 7-day cruise and he was always willing to stop and talk. He was always gracious and funny and a totally normal person. It was truly a treat to have this opportunity. The second cruise was the championship cruise in January and this one was crazy! I think everyone on the cruise was there specifically for DWTS At Sea and as a result it was much more difficult to have the chance to speak to him. However, we bumped into him on shore in one of the ports and Tristan immediately recognized us and greeted us warmly. I was so impressed. Again we had the chance to stand and chat and he seemed genuinely happy to do so. What a nice guy he is – as it turns out this was only a few days before he got married so you can imagine how much he had going on at the time. My husband tweeted congratulations to him on getting married and it never occurred to us that he would acknowledge the tweet but he did. This is not a person who has let fame go to his head!
At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I am bitterly disappointed that Tristan has been passed over for S18. Here is a pro who has truly paid his dues to the show. He graciously took on older contestants while other pros were given the younger and more fit contestants (call them ringers if you will) and did so with a smile. When he was paired with Valerie Harper he defended with gusto the show’s choice of an older contestant who was in potentially fragile health. He has been an outstanding representative of DWTS in Holland America Line’s DWTS at Sea and as I know from personal experience was an absolute crowd favourite. For him to have been seemingly tossed aside is puzzling. Without naming names I have to say that I don’t understand why some of the pros were chosen for this season. I will not name names as I realize that just because someone is not my favourite doesn’t mean that others aren’t ardent fans. At the end of the day it is just a matter of opinion and I realize that mine is not the only opinion, but I still cannot understand what happened. Tristan’s message seems to imply that he was taken by surprise and if this is the case it angers me. That is not playing by the rules. Having met him I suspect that he doesn’t suffer fools gladly and maybe he has spoken his mind. Tristan has mentioned having a temper. Did he upset TPTB over something? Being married to an Irishman I know what they can be like and if they are passionate about something they speak their minds!
All the speculation in the world won’t change anything at this point. Tristan’s message was so classy that we should all let the negative feelings go. We should all try to be like him and find the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. Power to him for his attitude. What this showed me is that he IS the great person that we all believed he is. We (all the MacManiacs) should feel good about being fans of somebody like this. I will miss him very much on DWTS. I will still continue to watch the show because I love to watch dancing but it won’t be the same. I won’t boycott the show just because MY favourite isn’t on – somebody else’s is on and it isn’t just my opinion that counts. All I can hope is that Tristan comes to Toronto from time to time and if/when he does I will be in the audience. If he does more DWTS at Sea cruises we might just be on board again! But even this might not happen now that he is apparently no longer part of the show. Who knows what the future holds. No matter what, I am quite sure all of us will continue to be his fans. He deserves our admiration and loyalty and he certainly has mine.
Administrators Note: Annie referred to Tristan's message to his fans which was posted here on the site shortly after the Season 18 cast was announced. Read it below;
"Thanks very much for the message and the support. I have seen how vocal everyone has been the last few days over the rumors (I still can never understand where they come from- and the accuracy?!) but I obviously wasn’t in a position to comment as the surprise reveal was this morning. I am very moved by everyone’s kindness and unwavering support. Unfortunately or fortunately that’s just the way it goes sometimes! I was surprised but not shocked. I understand that the show is always evolving, and the only thing constant is change in any field but after hearing for so long that I would be told if I have anything to worry about that I would know in advance, then yes I was a little surprised. It is what it is, and no matter what the show goes on.
The reasons I don’t know and never will but either way it doesn’t change a thing. You are in or you are out and it’s as simple as that. I can’t complain as every season that I have been included somebody else has missed out, so I wish everyone involved all the best of luck in the world. I have enjoyed my time on DWTS but I do think that this is the best thing for me. I sometimes need the kick up the arse to get what I really want to do done and as always that will come when it comes, and you will know about it then. For now it’s a case of just making it happen. I have had three years on DWTS now and I am looking forward to the next chapter. The show didn’t end the way I would have wanted it to for me, but I was very lucky to be a part of the show at all.
Again, thank you all for the concern but honest to God I am grand, everything is great and there will be no looking back for me. The missus is great, the dog is great, I’m great and I’m straight back to teaching now anyway, just not on your tv. It just means that I can savage through St. Paddy’s day without worrying about working that day. Haha."