terrell owens in a speedo

My esteemed colleague Mandi Bierly and I just sat through two hours of “celebrity” diving and can officially break this staggering news: Stephen “tWitch” Boss wore way too many clothes on So You Think You Can Dance. Nice shot, Fox! Well done. It’s a hit.

Seriously, though — I was hooked on Stars in Danger: The High Dive. I knew it was stupid and I didn’t care. How genius, to make a cheesy celebrity sporting event like this a one-time special. It’s so much easier to lie about what you’re up to for one night than 13. Just imagine the shame of tuning in week to week! (ABC would like you to, though; Celebrity Diving, based on the international format Celebrity Smash, premieres March 19.)

Fox’s Stars in Danger: The High Dive — surely a letdown for viewers who tuned in expecting blood and gore instead of a few hundred thigh bruises — brought us Kim and Kyle Richards from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the aforementioned tWitch, one-armed shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton, Baywatch stars Alexandra Paul and David Chochaki, freakin’ Terrell Owens the football and dancing champ, and America’s ultimate diving champion — wait for it — Antonio Sabato Jr.! I mean, assuming you have nothing better to do (and please, spare me), why wouldn’t you watch this?

Well hello there.

Sorry if it seems like I’m objectifying the men, but I did find there to be a heavy focus on the male rears throughout the special, and, you know, congrats to all four competing men for having such illustrious thighs. I’m just saying they clearly casted for butts. And that’s fine. Everyone looked really good. Very meaty. Congrats to the makeup and spray-tanning teams as well. What am I even talking about right now? There’s no way I would still be typing in this space had this not been primarily a two-hour special about butts.

I couldn’t believe how many events and cutesy packages they crammed into two hours — while still making sure to dedicate plenty of airtime to gratuitous shots of T.O. lowering himself into a fabulously low-budget hot tub alongside his partner Antonio and riveting close-ups of Kyle Richards crying on the springboard. And it was a community affair! Olympic bronze medalist Troy Dumais was a co-host and commentator! So many chums from the U.S. diving gang got involved. They even played the Olympics theme song in and out of commercials.

This was just a fun, mindless, goofy, and often touching quick hit of absurdity. Even the Richards sisters seemed somewhat endearing in such a bizarre setting, even after Kim threatened to ruin the show completely with her lame-o “forward jump” in round one. And it’s hard not to instantly love a program that ends its intro package with a slo-mo shot of J-Woww from Jersey Shore headed into an MRI machine. (She had to bow out due to a “back injury” likely incurred while sitting on a diving board and figuring out the precise rhythm at which to bounce her boobs around. I have to admit I was disappointed at this grave loss. Am I crazy to think Jenni could have been the best diver? Yes.)

No one was THAT great at diving, which might have been painful had this been a weekly series. I liked how even the field seemed to be and particularly enjoyed the grotesque belly flops endured by Antonio, Chokachi, and tWitch. Mandi and I didn’t understand why tWitch and Bethany — two natural athletes — weren’t a little better, but as a pair they had the best chemistry of the night (dance party!) and won the COVETED DOUBLES TROPHY. Sure, why not?

Terrell Owens executed the most wow-worthy dive of the night with a soaring, toe-touching back pike. “That’s higher than I go!” exclaimed Troy Dumais during the replay. Well it better be, because isn’t T.O. like four feet taller than him? Meanwhile, Antonio ‘Why So Serious?” Sabato Jr. was totally the “Gilles Marini on DWTS: All-Stars” of the night — and it worked! His undying commitment to the sport, the ever-present fire in his eyes, and his glistening tramp stamp (a hidden gem) all contributed to Antonio’s first-place finish as a solo diving artist.

Did anyone else make it through the special? How much boxed wine did you have to drink to end up enjoying it?

Episode Recaps

So You Think You Can Dance

Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and the viewers at home crown America’s Favorite Dancer.

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