Last night, the Dancing with the Stars NZ Facebook page dropped the first bizarre, post-apocalyptic and surprisingly dance-free promo for the new season. Sam Brooks watched it very closely.
00:01 – White paper blows across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Is it a metaphor for broadcast TV? The state of affairs when the first people you announce for your show are the leader of a minor political party and a woman whose net worth is probably more than that of the channel this show is airing on? Is this the Children of Men of celebrity reality TV? Who can say.
00:03 – Heels click-clack across the concrete. I note that the sound is probably dubbed over, because whoever is walking in those heels is walking across the floor so lightly that it could not make a sound. Whoever is in these heels is also 100% not Gilda Kirkpatrick because I can almost guarantee you she was only on set for her close-ups, like any good celebrity.
00:05 – A man confidently strides across the concrete. This is also almost 100% not David Seymour because, come on guys.
00:07 – Several dozen people clamour to watch these people walk towards each other. Who are these people? What are their inner lives? Spoiler alert: We will not find out, but given the post-apocalyptic setting of this ad, they are probably dead on the inside.
00:13 – Quick cuts: man and woman walking towards each other, people craning to see. A deep-voiced man with an accent that I would charitably call ‘Eurotrash’ says: “Challenge you to a dance-off.” Because in this post-apocalyptic world, we do not settle things with conversation or warfare, but by dancing in underground parking garages. The world ends not with a bang but with the click-clack of heels.
00:15 – The woman is revealed to be Gilda Kirkpatrick, even though we already know it’s her because she’s the only female contestant to be announced for the show so far. She is dressed like Darth Sidious, and I believe this will be the last thing Julia Sloane sees before she dies.
00:16 – A Clockwork Orange-esque shot of David Seymour. This is one of many images that will be burned into my brain before this ad ends, and by the end of today I will long for the calm of being able to see the backs of my eyelids when I close my eyes and not David Seymour’s attempt to smoulder.
00:17 – Darth Gilda opens her robe-trenchcoat hybrid to reveal a gold dancing costume on underneath. She is not here to play, she is here… to dance.
00:18 – David Seymour opens his trenchcoat to reveal a shirt that is split down to his ribcage. Words, which have always been my lifeline, my sword and my shield, fail me. I am laid as bare and defenseless as David Seymour’s clavicle.
00:21 – The people who have been clamouring to see these two dance (are these the two last people on the planet? In this world are these our leaders and the only people left who are capable of dance? What horror fan fiction is this?) are revealed to be the soldiers of Darth Gilda and David Seymour respectively.
00:22 – The soldiers throw glitter at each other, a substance which is merely annoying in our modern times but in this world apparently has been weaponised. God knows what glitter is capable of in this world.
00:23 – The voice-over man is revealed to be David Seymour. I have heard David Seymour speak in person, read his book, and have even taken a photo with him. This man’s voice is, charitably, several octaves deeper than Seymour’s.
00:24 – Seymour riverdances, an artform which it seems has survived the end of civilization, and will likely survive after the heat-death of the known universe. (In response to The Spinoff’s serious journalistic inquiry, Seymour says that although they had a dance-double at the ready, they did not actually require his services for this scene. “They were almost as surprised as me at the way my feet took to it,” quoth Seymour. Words, once more, fail me.)
00:28 – Some more riverdancing, and we are given a name: David Seymour. This is for those viewers who didn’t recognise him, which is legit, seeing as most of us tend to think of him wearing a shirt that buttons all the way up to his neck, or in a t-shirt that compares women to cows.
00:30 – Darth Gilda looks on impassively, which… fair enough.
00:32 – Darth Gilda makes hand motions and looks almost as though she is casting a spell, which I believe she is capable of. To step out of the rich fictional world of this Dancing with the Stars NZ promo and into the real world for a moment, it is a little concerning that one of the two contestants they’re promoting here does little to no actual dancing.
00:36 – Darth Gilda is lifted and carried by her soldiers, like she’s Mariah Carey at any of her concerts post-2006. Again, maybe some cause for concern that she is not dancing, but who am I to judge? Or care, frankly.
00:38 – Another hand motion, another spell cast, another concern about dancing ability had.
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00:40 – The words that signal the end times: “Dancing with the Stars. Coming Soon. tHR=E.”
You can watch Dancing with the Stars NZ, which will presumably have more than two contestants, sometime in April.
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