The Story of Faith Single

I will now tell you the tale of Faith Single. Faith was a young girl with great ambition. Everyone knew her as a strong, independent, athletic child with big dreams. The summer when she was 10 years old she went all the way to the World Hopscotch Cup. But sadly, she lost to a small Japanese girl who had the wind on her side that fateful day and brought the gold medal back to her nation which needed some good news. This was a hard loss for Faith to accept, but being the driven young girl that she was she moved on and continued her training. Then one day she received a call from an after school program saying they wanted her to come be a part of.  She had gone through a pretty horrific hip surgery somewhat recently that threatened her whole hopscotch career. But she was ranked the #1 hopscotcher in the whole world and was not about to give that up. So while still recovering from the injury she wasn’t sure if she should engage in this after school program. Although the World Hopscotch Cup wouldn’t come around again for another 4 years, she had a chance at the Hopscotch Olympics the next summer and didn’t want to risk injury.

In the end she realized by attending this program she may be able to inform and educate more children on hopscotch and get them to become fans of the sport in the U.S. The program was called “Dancing With The 6th Graders”. It was sponsored by a local company, A-B-C (All Biased Company). They were overly accepting to some kids in the program, but very harsh to others, so I suppose it was a fitting name. It was a program that encouraged younger kids who had no extracurricular activities to keep them occupied. It gave them a chance to pick their careers…I mean school grades…back up and on track. Faith knew she didn’t need help with any of that because she was very driven, goal oriented, and at the top of her hopscotch career. But knew it would be a great challenge for her, since a fear of hers was dancing with the older kids.

Faith still had hopscotch duties to fulfill so she knew it would be a hectic schedule, but she was ready. If anyone could do it…Faith could. She began training with the 6th grader they paired her up with; a foreign exchange student named Max Chsmerszdaodsahzmdwoskey. Max and Faith looked perfect together, it was a match made in heaven. But they butted heads quite often. They were both very stubborn and competitive. It was in fact their greatest strength and weakness as a team. Her practice schedule was hectic and she was doing everything she could to keep up with school work, hopscotch training, DWT6G, and also making personal appearances on local sports shows for her hopscotch career.

I won’t go into details on every other couple but they included Vicki Rake, who had experience on the stage in the town’s production of Hairbrush; a musical based in the 1960’s about a young girl who didn’t fit in.  She also had her own local children’s day time talk show speaking with at risk 7 year olds. Then there was Sob Parnashian, a boy who’s actual name was Rob but every nicknamed him Sob because he was always crying about his 3 older sisters getting everything. (Also because he was a son of a bitch) But the girls sure did swoon over him because of a certain physical asset that ran in his family. There was also a flamboyant young fellow named Larson who made all the costumes for everyone, a happy-go-lucky kid named Shaz who was always singing Sonny and Cher songs, and a tall awkward boy who played basketball but everyone knew he was crazy after he changed his name to Betta Universe Olive Branch. Then there was RJ, a very brave boy who was hurt while fighting off bad guys and bullies from the playground and everyone loved and respected him. None of the kids other than Faith had much of anything going on outside of school. So they had plenty of time to rehearse for the program while Faith worked diligently to balance her hectic schedule. At times she was ridiculed for not practicing enough for DWT6G which was false. To an athlete, like Faith, this was hard to hear because she knew how hard she was training.

The teachers who would be running the program were all quite different. One was an elderly British teacher, Ben, who didn’t condone any type of modern dancing and absolutely hated everything and everyone. Then there was an Italian man, Juno (not to be confused with the pregnant Ellen Page character, although the way his moods changed, he may have been pregnant), who was very animated in his critiques and slightly creepy about it. Last was Berry Ann Inababababa, who seemed to despise strong girls with a good head on their shoulders. There was something about a strong beautiful young girl that just made her sick.

Throughout the program it became very apparent that the teachers wanted Faith gone. If the judges didn’t like you, the rest of the kids on the playground would determine if you got to stick around for the next week. Luckily, Faith was extremely popular. Her fans called themselves “Fingles”, a fun play on her name. The Fingles were 200% behind Faith and vowed to help her because they all admired her so very much. But the program was breaking her spirit. Faith was proud and very competitive so when she received such harsh and unprovoked mean criticism that other kids weren’t receiving it was hard for her. Also, A-B-C never gave them much time to shine or highlight their big, fun moments together as a pair. Since they were sponsoring the program it was up to them to help the children network themselves for playground votes. But they made it an uphill battle from day 1 for young Faith. She and her partner Max were both very outspoken so they found themselves in detention quite a bit from voicing their opinions to the teachers. But this made their fans like them even more! It was refreshing for the other kids to see someone standing up for themselves and not just playing the safe, PR friendly, brown nosing game of reality competition sho…I mean…playground politics.

One day Faith’s hip injury starting acting up. She knew she had to power through so barely spoke of it but did need to seek some medical attention. That same day RJ got a boo boo. The teachers were very concerned for RJ’s boo boo. While there was not one mention of Faith’s hip which was literally being held together with staples and anchors from her surgery, they seemed overly concerned with RJ’s boo boo. RJ wanted to continue on, he didn’t want to be coddled or told he could not continue. After all, he was a strong boy who was a hero to many. But the teachers insisted on coddling him like a newborn baby. Later, Faith had two great dances but the teachers were determined to stop her that day. If she made it past that day it meant she was in the final 3. They were irritated by this strong, independent, athletic and beautiful young girl. They weren’t used to dealing with children who stood up for themselves and they wanted her gone. So they gave her some very harsh criticisms and made it very clear to the kids on the playground they shouldn’t be voting for her.

Alas, the teachers got their way. Faith was banished from DWT6G. This made some of the Fingles very upset, but they knew it was for the best. This program was breaking her down and she did not deserve the unwarranted and at times offensive comments from the teachers. She went out there, faced her fears and proved a lot to herself, to her fans and to her critics. Faith inspired many people, giving them hope, lots of hope…tons of hope. And also showed that athletic girls can be beautiful and graceful and rock a ball gown like it’s no one’s business. Her fans were also excited, knowing that her leaving DWT6G meant she would be able to focus all of her time now on the 2012 Hopscotch Olympics. It was time for Faith to go back to doing what she was born to do. She inspired, entertained, and captivated the town during her time on the program and it was a journey she will never forget.

The 2012 Hopscotch Olympics should prove to be an epic event. Faith Single is going there with a mission; a mission to bring the gold medal back to America where it belongs, just like she did in 2008. Faith: Thank you for your courage, strength and ability to be an amazing role model to not just young girls, but people everywhere. You are a beautiful girl with more talent, charisma and poise than most people could ever dream of and you carry yourself with an air of confidence and pride that is admirable.

In short; you’re a beautiful independent individual riding Solo. Thanks for giving us Hope.

Can’t Believe I Am Ranting About DWTS…

Ok, it’s time for a bit of a rant. I am not a fan of reality competition shows normally. Believe it or not, I like those crazy old fashion scripted shows that require actors and writers and all of those silly things. The only reality competition shows I can tolerate are dancing ones usually because I love watching good dancers. And also because I love dancing in my living room acting like I am one of them. But this normally just ends in me being upset by show politics and some pulled muscles and angry neighbors from me thumping around my apartment. I watch So You Think You Can Dance sometimes because they are actually good dancers. I normally stay away from Dancing With The Stars because only half the people there are good dancers. I understand the draw to it though and why so many people watch it. The professional dancers on the show really are amazing to watch. This season I of course had to tune in though to see Hope Solo, being the US Women’s Soccer nut that I am. And since I started watching I was reminded of why I don’t watch.

The judges score and critique everyone just about as consistently as Charlie Sheen makes good decisions. They are so erratic and bias it makes me want to just turn the TV off and have Len deported back to England. The people on this show are not trying to become professional ballroom dancers. They are there to entertain people, learn something new, and make a nice extra paycheck. So in my opinion the judges need to ease up a bit. Sure, give them constructive criticism so they can improve but there is no need to knock them down as much as they do in some cases. They’re not going to go on from this show and audition for Broadway so chill out. I’m not saying they have to hold their hand and give them a puppy to hold while they get their results to make them feel better, but just remember they are not professionals. You can also see how quickly the judges choose favorites. I’ll be honest, if it weren’t for the show politics I would watch a show like this much, much more often. But its unfortunately nothing but politics, spray tans, and hot foreign dancers. I’ll welcome the spray tans and hot foreign dancers with open arms but the politics get frustrating. Hope looks amazing every week and is always very obviously trying her best and looking great while doing it but the judges don’t seem to find it necessary to ever give her any positive notes.

Hope Solo came on the show while in the middle of training for upcoming friendly matches for the US Women’s National Team. That’s right judges…she is a current, working athlete at the height of her career. So when you tell her she is not committing enough time then maybe you should have just cast another TMZ headline who has nothing better to do other than beg E! for a reality show. She’s an athlete who could eat you for breakfast and she lives for competition. Saying she doesn’t work hard enough is like saying Len doesn’t need to get laid. It’s just not true. On top of those comments it was always the same story that she was too strong and not feminine enough. Again, not sure if you were aware of this before she came on the show but she is a professional athlete. Say it with me judges, professional athlete. They tend to have muscles – weird, I know. And if you are going to tell her she is not feminine enough maybe you could have let Carson Kressley know he is not masculine enough. If it’s ok to tell Hope to act more girly and sexy it should be ok to tell Carson to act like a man. I can guarantee you if they had comments like that towards Carson there would have been a riot and an angry mob of people protesting. But it’s perfectly acceptable to say it to Hope. Chaz Bono brought up the excellent point about a double standard towards him being an overweight man on the show and the judges always praising the overweight women for what they are accomplishing, but just taking jabs at him. If they try to cram anymore double standards into 3 hours of weekly programming my TV might explode from it. Give the remarks you need to in order to help them get better, let them know what they are doing right and to keep doing it.  Then do your little shtick you think is funny and then be done, judges.

Hope’s partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy brought up an excellent point this week. He was sick of seeing the judges judge some people purely on entertainment value and giving an “A for effort” while others such as Hope were getting judged like she was auditioning to get into Juilliard. Every little meticulous detail was being brought out against her while other get comments like, “It looked so fun!” or “I loved the energy!” It’s like they are either hard ass ballroom critics judging pros who have been in the business for 20 years or they turn into 5 year old children clapping and giggling at a number with shiny costumes and super cool jazz hands. I was happy to see Maksim stand up for her and for everyone really, who has been getting judged unfairly, although Hope definitely has taken the worst of it. Chaz is the other one who has taken some rough verbal beatings. I love his partner, Lacey Schwimmer. I think she is an amazing dancer and she has really brought him a long way. I was a fan of hers from So You Think You Can Dance and like seeing her continuing a strong career. She seems like kind of a ham which I like too. She can also totally pull off the spray tan. (No oompa loompa for her) But the judges definitely took the same judging approach with Chaz as they have with Hope. Someone needs to give the judges some happy Paula Abdul pills before a show so they can relax, slur through some encouraging comments and then promptly pass out as soon as the show is over.

Ok, now that I have spent 10 minutes ranting about a show I never watch other than this season I think I’ll call it quits. So in closing: I’m sad to see Lacey and Chaz go because Lacey makes me laugh and is an amazing dancer, I’m sad the boy Kardashian is still there, (but makes sense because I’m sure Kris Jenner has an army of illegal aliens working for $3.75 an hour submitting votes every week in some sort of dungeon that Kim designed) I’m happy the hot Irish guy is still there, and I am extremely happy that Hope once again prevailed and will be there for at least another week to hopefully shut the judges up. We’re all behind you Hope, keep doing you and I’ll try to find a way to get someone to slip some of those Paula Abdul drugs to the judges next week.

 

Hope Solo Will Dance Your Face Off

After 13 seasons of reality “stars”, musical has-beens, acting has-beens, retired athletes, current athletes, and Bristol Palin…I, Amy Maestri, for the first time will be watching this season of Dancing With The Stars. I try to avoid most competition based reality shows like Jessica Simpson avoids books. But this season they got one of the very few people I would actually watch for, Hope Solo. After last night I think she’s capable to win the whole thing without a doubt. I mean really, let’s take a look at her “competition”.

Carson Kressley-

He could be a bit of an obstacle for Solo, not going to lie. He is a flamboyantly fabulous gay man with pizzazz that lasts for days. Dancing With The Stars is a show where people prance around in sequins and shiny outfits. It was a match made in heaven. Let’s just hope he forgets he’s the man in the pair and starts dancing the female part and screws it up.

Chaz Bono-

Either the people saying, “ABC is going to burn in hell and the devil will seize your home and your family if you stare at Chaz Bono directly.” Will win and he will go home early. Or the people parading in the streets singing Cher songs in joyous triumph that he is on the show will win and he will stick around.

Chynna Phillips-

Unless she is going to sing some of her parents’ Mama’s and Papa’s jams then I don’t even want to acknowledge her.

David Arquette-

Can someone please convince Courtney Cox to get back together with him and write a Scream 17, or whatever number they’re on? Please, occupy his time elsewhere. Thank you.

Elisabetta Canalis-

Umm, nice job being George Clooney’s ex arm candy?

J.R. Martinez-

I’m still trying to figure out who the hell this guy is.

Kristin Cavallari-

First of all, I found it interesting that Rob Kardashian was introduced as a reality star and she was introduced as a TV star. When do you graduate from reality star to TV star if you still have yet to do scripted TV? I missed the ceremony for her I guess. All I know about her is that her name makes me want calamari.

Nancy Grace-

I had always just assumed Nancy Grace had no legs. I can’t even comment on her dancing or her fans because I am still so weirded out about seeing her out from behind a desk. She also terrifies me, so that’s all I’m going to say here.

Ricki Lake-

I’m going down the list on the ABC site to get all the names right for this list. I’ll be honest, as I saw her name I realized I had already forgotten she was on the show.

Rob Kardashian-

All of his sisters were there, his mom was there, Lamar Odom was there, but he is apparently doing this to step out from his family’s shadow. He said he wanted to get out of his sisters’ shadows. So he made the logical choice to do the same show his sister Kim, did previously. (Snooki, if you are reading this, I recommend you thank Rob Kardashian profusely because he actually just made you look smart with that one.)

Ron Artest / World Metta Peace or whatever he’s calling himself now-

Do I really even need to comment on this one? He looked like a coked up Dennis Rodman wearing an Aladdin vest trying to sexually assault his dance partner last night.

Now onto the main event: Hope Solo. She nailed her steps, got good comments from the judges, looked totally cool and collected, and oh yea…she looked a-ma-zing! She looks like if a runway model and a body builder had a love child. She’s tall, lean, gorgeous eyes, long arms, beautiful smile, and could kick everyone’s ass on that stage including Ron Artest and all 7 of his personalities.

My prediction is she’s got this in the bag. Not only did she get a top score last night, but she also has the best fans in the entire world. Her fans love her as much as I wish I could figure out what Nancy Grace’s hot Irish partner was saying last night. She will do her part and kill it on the dance floor each week and her fans will take care of the rest.

So best of luck Hope and Maks, I know you will do ‘Soccer Fans’ and ‘Hot Russian Guy’ fans proud and win this thing.