Tristan MacManus has been a Dancing With the Stars pro for five seasons, and in those five seasons, he has never made it to the finals. Looking at the numbers alone will tell you nothing, however, because something special happened along the way. Tristan pulled at our heartstrings, and he became our hero of sorts. Want to know why? Here’s why.
Season 12 was its own story, and Tristan radiated energy and charm from his very first performance with the Troupe. He pulled us in with "Dance To the Music” and made our jaws drop with “O Mio Babbino Caro” with Peta. His wicked sense of humor started to take hold in the Mike Catherwood “Troupe Audition”, and we’ve been hooked ever since.
Season 13 was a wonder. From Day 1, we loved Tristan and Nancy or “MacGrace” as they were called. The Bickersons were funny and snarky, charming and endearing, and we weren’t surprised when they came just short of the semi-finals. Nancy was 52, had no dance experience, and was controversial. Who cares? We had a blast.
Season 14 was not what we expected. After all, Nancy Grace in Season 13 had no ringer status whatsoever, and we were sure Tristan was going to get the young, fit ringer. We were shocked when Tristan was named as 67 year old Gladys Knight’s partner. Yet, we loved them. The ‘Best Of My Love” Cha Cha told us all we needed to know. We had so much fun with them, and nobody was really surprised when they left us in Week 6 - even though we think she won the dance-off Jive, thanks to Tristan's careful tutelage. Still, they left us. After all, was there really any way a 67 year old untrained dancer could compete in the long run with much younger celebrities?
Season 15 was a tough one because going in we knew it was not going to be easy. We loved the idea of Tristan dancing with Pamela Anderson but not in an all-star season with lots of previous DWTS finalists, and she was the only one besides Sabrina Bryan who hadn’t been in the final. It didn’t start out well when Pamela’s travel schedule severely limited any practice time prior to Week 1, and we were not surprised when she and Tristan got the boot first.
Season 16 started with high hopes when we heard Dorothy Hamill would be Tristan’s partner. Age was a concern because of possible injuries, but she was only 56. Week 1 proved to be everything we had hoped for – a beautiful, well-choreographed, well-executed performance. Unfortunately, a previously undiagnosed injury was already taking its toll and by Week 2’s performance, the writing was on the wall. Dorothy and Tristan were gone.
Prior to Season 17, we were all positive that this was the season for Tristan to finally get the chance to shine. He did, but not in the way we had all previously thought. He became Superman in our eyes when he danced with 74 year old Valerie Harper, defended her decision to do DWTS most vehemently in a scathing response to an Irish Central article that criticized not only Valerie but Tristan as well, and he escorted this lovely lady through several weeks of competition. We knew from the beginning that it would be a short run, but like Tristan, we felt that was okay. They did their best and under the circumstances, it was more than we could have hoped for.
And there you have it. Those are the facts. As has been said in previous blogs on this website and by many people, age is not just a number. Granted, it is not the only factor when placing celebrities with pros on DWTS. It’s better to have a partner who wants to learn and who tries day in and day out than to just be under age 30. Yet the facts speak for themselves. The oldest celebrity to ever win DWTS was age 50 – and Donny Osmond and Jennifer Grey did it. Both had loads of experience to begin with which helped them along the way. I doubt if we will ever see a DWTS winner older than that. I could be wrong but let’s face it. The rigors of multiple dances a week better suit younger celebrities, and those with dance experience go into it with a huge advantage because it takes less time to learn the basics, and the body is better equipped to handle the stress.
We’re not asking for a ringer. We’re asking that Tristan finally get a real chance. After five pro seasons, don’t you think he has earned it? He has the most loyal, vocal fan base out there. We support through thick and thin without question. ABC needs to wake up and see what they have in Tristan, and they need to wake up and see what they would lose without his fans. He is the most fan-friendly pro out there and I could talk all day about why that is true. It has nothing to do with social media because who can communicate effectively in 140 characters or less? He has repeatedly thanked the members of MacManiacs.org for their efforts, and he has sent messages when each milestone was reached. He has at least 18 – count them – eighteen – very comprehensive interviews for this website in just about 18 months. Impressive. Don’t forget all those questions we sent him for the Dublin Down 330 videos. He answered those too. He’s a charmer of the best kind, and all you have to do is meet him in person at one of his off-DWTS performances (the cruises, Life’s A Dance, Ballroom With A Twist, or charity events) and you’ll know it’s true. He’s also the consummate entertainer, the best possible host and emcee, and generous to a fault.
So if you ask why Tristan? Why now? We say “Why not now?” There is no good reason why not, that’s why. Tristan MacManus should be given the opportunity to hoist that mirror ball trophy in May, 2014, and I don’t think anyone can say he has had that opportunity yet because let’s face it - all things are not equal.
As this website gets hundreds of views every day, the forum (in addition to all that) has received to date more than 403,000 views. Not too shabby, is it? The man has the best fans in the world, but then he’s the best possible celebrity to support.