It was a big week for "Dancing With the Stars." The show premiered with the female celebrities dancing on Monday, pirouetted into male dancers on Tuesday and eventually landed on the elimination episode on Wednesday.
The three shows gave us a lot of dancing (four hours, give or take some time for judging and host Tom Bergeron's one-liners), but not a whole lot in the way of stars.
I mean, Mark Cuban? Albert Reed? I'm not saying these people aren't impressive in their own ways. But this is "Dancing With the Stars," not "Dancing With the People Who've Been Successful in Their Chosen Field."
What the show didn't offer in star power, however, it did deliver in drama. Hip replacement surgery, Indy car crashes, childhoods spent encased in leg braces — this season's candidates have experienced so many physical maladies that Tyra Banks must be stewing in her stilettos over the fact that "Dancing" has managed to pack more dramatic tragedies into one cast than "Top Model" has in all its years put together.
Both the judges and I seemed to agree that the greatest revelation of the season is Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan. I still may not be entirely clear on what, exactly, a Cheetah Girl is, but the girl incorporated hip-hop moves into a cha cha so smoothly that even indefatigably stern ballroom judge Len Goodman had to admit she was "very, very good."
I was nearly as impressed with worldwide boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, and not just because he pulled off his dance after having an unintentionally amusing hissy fit during which he referred to himself in the third person.
For reasons not remotely clear to me, however, the judges seemed primarily underwhelmed by the guy. Likewise, arguably the prettiest girl to ever grace the "Dancing" stage, supermodel Josie Maran, was the recipient of some of the most unforgiving criticism I've ever heard on this show.
None of this would be that maddening if it weren't for the fact that the judging triumvirate went entirely soft on others — Marie Osmond was "classy yet sassy," "a true professional" and "so incredibly adorable," while "All My Children" stud Cameron Mathison "did a really good job" and had "very good arm lines."
Look — I, too, would be uneasy insulting a legend like Osmond, and the fact that Mathison was able to overcome his childhood degenerative bone disease is impressive, but good dancers these people were not.
To me, Maran was better, and the only theory I can come up with for the judges' overly harsh treatment of her is that they were subconsciously rendered intensely critical and judgmental because of her exquisite looks.
Thanks in part to the verbal lashing she received, Maran was the one voted out on Wednesday night, while the seemingly club-footed Mark Cuban remained.
Does this make sense or seem fair? Not really. But if we learned anything from this week's "Dancing with the Stars" extravaganza, it's that the definition of the word "star" is getting more creative all the time — and viewers really like to see billionaires sweat.
Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl," is in stores now.