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Celebrity diving show ‘Splash’ a big (belly) flop

Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 12:01 am

I finally watched the celebrity competition “Splash” the other night. What I saw was a 60-minute show on diving with about 30 seconds of actual diving.

The rest of the hour was filled with lots of trampoline bouncing, commercials and, of course, slow-motion replays. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may have been a great basketball player, but do we need to see 10 replays of him doing a belly-flop?

The “stars” were, to put it mildly, not terribly graceful. Apparently they can't dance, or they'd be on that other show. They are, however, able to jump (or in some cases, roll) into a pool. The night I tuned in, the remaining participants dove from a 23-foot-high platform. Well, most of them dove.

Comic Louie Anderson actually started by sitting on the platform, his back to the water, and literally rolled backward into the pool. I've seen belly-flops, but this is the first time I've seen a butt flop.

Anderson looked ridiculous, but what other 400-pound man would have the guts to do something like that? His reasoning: “So that other people out there can get off the couch.” Hey, at least he put his pride and self-esteem aside and tried.

My favorite moment of the night came as one contestant learned how well she did: “Steve gave you a 6. David gave you a 6. That gives you an average score of 6.” Such math skills! They didn't even need a calculator.

The episode ended with: “Be sure to tune in next week, when we take this competition to a death-defying level — jumping off the 33-foot platform.”

I'm sorry — no one should ever defy death for entertainment's sake, even if co-hosts Joey (“Whoa”) Lawrence and Charissa Thompson were trying to make the competition seem more exciting than the Olympics. (Spoiler alert: It ain't.)

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he’s not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is marinating@tribune.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.