Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From Drink & Drugs to ... Dance

When I first heard that Steve O would be dancing on this season of Dancing With the Stars I grimaced at the idea. I hate slap-stick, I despise shock jocks and being stupid and reckless for the sake of TV is … stupid and reckless.

What I knew about Steve was that he once stapled his scrotum to his leg for a stunt. He was endlessly arrested for brawling and assaulting and, on slow days, for public urination. Quite the catch eh?

When he did his first dance I couldn’t help but like him. He has a raspy voice and a crooked grin and always has this expression of “Oh crap I’m in trouble”. The crowd liked him and his ‘Jackass’ co-stars were there to cheer him on. Note to head ‘Jackass’ guy – wearing sunglasses inside at night on TV just makes you look like a … a jackass.

I did a little research on Steve and learned that he’s been clean and sober for 9 months after several stints in rehab, a few possession arrests, and a trip (at his request) to a mental hospital. Well now I was intrigued. I love broken people, I adore strugglers and I grab on to stories of survival for the life preservers they are.

At one point during the dancing and then injuring himself cycle of the first 3 weeks of the show Steve mentioned that he wondered why he was doing this when he was still in “the infancy of my recovery”. Last night when asked how it felt to not be eliminated from competition he said – with a big smile – “I’m happy to discover I can handle anxiety without the aid of booze or drugs”.

I doubt Steve will go much further in the dancing competition; he’s just not that good a dancer. I do think he will go far in the rest of his life. I’m rooting for him.

After all … he has the ability to go from this …



… to this.



You can read about Steve, in his own words, on his OFFICIAL SITE
Check out his baby pictures. They’re adorable.

40 comments:

kenju said...

While I am a huge fan of the show, he leaves me cold as a dancer. I will applaud him for getting clean and sober, and learning that he can handle stress without drugs and booze - and admitting it!

meno said...

I watched the last part of that show for the first time ever last night. It was kind of fun. Plus it's always good to hear a success story.

Dianne said...

kenju - it's the admitting part that is a huge step! :)

meno - I love the show, it's just plain fun
I like the costumes, and Bruno the over the top judge, and some of the dancing is really really good

Kay said...

Sweet! I always love it when you find happy things to blog about!

Way to go Steve!

Ron said...

Hey Dianne~

OMG...I am SOOOO out of the loop with what's on TV, and if you can believe this...I've never seen one episode of Dancing with the Stars. Everyone at work talks about it and I'm like, "Duh??...what's that?"

However, after reading this post, I'm very intrigued about this guy. I'm like you, I really love stories of survival. As soon as I leave here, I'll get out the link you left for us!

Thanks dearest lady!
X

Linda Reeder said...

I haven't been watching the show this time around, and I had no idea who this guy is. But thank you for informing me. I salute him for turning his life around.

Thom said...

I have watched DWTS from day one. He isn't very good but I admire his determination. I hope he stays clean. Why oh why couldn't he get a better partner than Lacy? Poor thing.

Raven said...

It's always good, I think, when people who have modelled stupidity go public with their own redemption. Bravo to him for sobriety.

the walking man said...

Steve O has always been a strange parody of Hollywood (et al). Getting his fame for doing the stupid shit in public that others of his generation tried to hide from the press.

Now that he is sober, and I wish him every success in the endeavor, I am willing to bet his fame will recede, his generation will no longer view him as "fun."

While I do not watch dancing with the stars I think him not being kicked off was a mercy vote because of that fugugly shirt in the picture. Maybe sobriety hasn't decreased his propensity for madness.

Dianne said...

kay - thanks :)
I need the happy things these days and find comfort in them

ron - it's a fun albeit inane show. I have this new credo these days - not everything has to be anything more than what it is - lol!!

linda - I hope he stays on the right track

thom - Lacy isn't one of my faveorites either - I guess they wanted to put the 2 "rebels" together
they do a lot of odd pairings
I was also really unimpressed with the new guy - Dimitri I think

raven - he seemed, in that moment, so genuinely proud of himself - it was very touching to me

mark - sad to say but you're right - he proabably will have less exposure - but I do think he's talented so perhaps he'll pursue some real acting roles
I tried to find a shot of him in his waltz suit but none of them showed his face very well - the costume people are horrible with the men

Bond said...

He is a product of his generation...the X-gamers, who look for bigger, more dangerous, more high energy things to keep them 'alive'.

Never been a jacka** fan myself...glad to hear he is clean and sober...

He should have gone before the Woz...just saying.

Real Live Lesbian said...

I've caught bits and pieces of DWTS and am clueless about Steve O....but I do love a success story.

Thanks for sharing!

This Eclectic Life said...

Looks like quite a turnaround for Steve...and, indeed, an inspiration. I don't often watch DTWS, so I don't know about his ability. I figure than anyone who is brave enough to dance in front of an audience is a better dancer than I ever will be!

Deborah Godin said...

I certainly wish anyone well who's dealing with what he's got on his plate. Oh, and maybe his dancing would improve if he'd remember to remove the staples...?

Jay said...

I had a big old cynical comment but deleted it and will just say good for him for getting all cleaned up. ;-)

Ivanhoe said...

Just like you - I do not watch any of the Jackass crap ;o), but now I'm rooting for Steve O. as well :o)

Dianne said...

bond - I enjoyed the Woz at first and was rooting for him, I had seen him on Kathy Griffin's show and thought he had an odd but enjoyable sense of humor
As the dancing went on though his attitude got worse - he was commenting on the math of the scoring and making odd faces even for him - I had enough of him

RLL - I'm usually clueless about most of the "stars" they recruit ;)

eclectic - that's the way I feel - especially for those who have never dances before - a cheerleader or a gymnast can convert their skills but someone who has never danced - that takes balls ;)

deborah - LOL!!! I wonder if he thought of that ;)

jay - you can be big ole cynical here anytime you want - you know that
I love your cynical bastard ways

ivanhoe - I always go for the underdog and the ones with a story - gold medal winner - big deal
junkie, been to prison - I'm on your side ;)

Daryl said...

So now should I feel bad that I Toon'd Steve-O's fall and Husband's reaction? It was the one and only time either of us had watched this show .... I just dont understand why some of the people participate

Dianne said...

Daryl - why feel bad? toon'ing is funny and Steve O makes fun of himself
I think for some they enter to get their names back out there - any publicity is better than none
and for others I think they genuinely want to challenge themselves, or learn to dance, or lose some weight

Anndi said...

Mamma, I love that you posted this.

I've been watching Steve-O carefully and I was curious about whether or not he'd take it seriously.

And he grew on me fast. Why?

Last year, I loved watching Cloris... because she was an inspiration and showed us that being older doesn't mean you're a dried up prune.

Steve-O, instead of being the poster child for "stoopid" , he shows us that you CAN get your life back after addiction if you work at it. He doesn't make fun of the experience, it's therapy.

I was extremely concerned when he injured himself... an addict and pain do not go well together. But he's still working on it and I admire that.

Hearing him say: “I’m happy to discover I can handle anxiety without the aid of booze or drugs” was a good thing. I've known people who haven't managed that and aren't even "addicts" in the classic sense of the words (although they are "jackasses").

And you know, I'm gonna give Johnny Knoxville a pass on his sunglasses since he actually was Steve-O's "interventionist"! Besides... it's apparently a very LaLaLand thing to do *wink*

I wish him well. His is a tough road...

Dianne said...

anndi - every time you call me "Mamma" I get a warm feeling, thanks kid
I'll give Knoxville a pass on your say so but he still bugs me ;)
I was concerned when Steve kept injuring himself - it so much a part of the who self-destruction scene, especially when he did that flip that Lacy told him not to but he bounced back and he seems truly reflective and those are all good signs
I have really become very fond of him - his baby pics on his site are very touching
Have you seen Cloris' PETA ad!? She is a goddess!!

San said...

I know the show is a HUGE hit, but I never seem to watch it. You have intrigued me though, at least about this particular dancer.

Anndi said...

Heh every time you call me "kid" I forget I'm on the verge of 40 LOL Thanks!

Richard said...

Only you could make me like this guy. His show and schtick is just too adolescent for my tastes.

That being said; I am a fan of redemption and rebirth.

He may always be a Jackass, but if you like the guy, that's good enough for me.

Good for him.

Micky-T said...

I can't help it, I laughed my ass off the first time I saw this infintile humor. As a guy who was into weird humor as a high school kid I found the Jackass troup beyond funny. Steve-O was not my favorite, a little to much over the top. Johnny Knoxville hits home for me.

Dianne said...

san - it can be very entertaining!

anndi - you're only 4 years older than my son so it's all good
Jeffrey will be 36 in May

rich - what a sweet thing to say, I do tend to do that - I've always noticed small things or moments about people and used them to find a way to relate - sometimes with disastrous results but many times it has helped. A person's true self is often in the little things and the chance unguarded moments. That's what I saw in Steve

micky - my brother and my son love Jackass - they subject me to marathons of DVD viewing when we all get together ;)

Linda said...

I've never been a fan of "Jackass" as, to be honest, stupid people doing stupid things irritate the hell out of me.

That said, kudos to Steve for taking charge of his life and turning it around. Maybe he wasn't the best dancer but at least he tried and that says a lot, especially when he did it without his usual crutches.

fermicat said...

I'll have to take your word for it, because I never watched Jackass or Dancing With The Stars. But turning things around is never easy and you have to respect that.

Lu' said...

I can't stand the jackass show and will not watch it but I do like Steve O. You're right I don't think he is a very good dancer either but he gets many points from me for trying so hard and taking it seriously. Lacey is HOT!

Travis said...

Steve-O is the latest example of a celebrity who has come on this show for a purpose other than what you expect. Many come on because they are trying to reinvigorate flagging careers or to promote some new product or show.

But some come on for entirely human reasons. It's a silly little show, but you do begin to see the people behind the celebrity.

Smalltown RN said...

Well I was never a Jack Ass fan...I found it utterly bizzare but with that said, it has to take a strong person to do some of the stunts however stupid..but an even stronger person to recognize that they need to make change in their life....so I commend him for that....as far as a dancer....well I think maybe it just might not be his forte...

SnoopMurph said...

You know, I never really watched the show until I caught an episode with my mom in New York, who watches. The stars, despite how loftily we set them, are still human. To see them take this challenge-most waaay out of their element and comfort zone and knowing that for some stars, the challenge is much more than a dance competition. I really didn't know the background on Steve, but hats off to him for getting his life back on track.

Matt-Man said...

You speak as though public urination is a bad thing. I find it quite liberating...Often. Cheers Sexy!!

Sparkling Red said...

I'm not a big fan of Jackass, but I grew to like Steve O when I saw him on his show "Dr. Steve O". He takes shy guys and gets them out of their comfort zone by convincing them to do some wild and crazy stunts. This is apparently an instant tonic for their confidence and self-esteem. Hey, it's quicker than a year in talk therapy! ;-)

Nessa said...

I wish him lots of luck with his recovery.

Thorne said...

We're not doing TV these days. The satellite was one of the things we decided to cut for the sake of the overall household finances, but I do love "broken" people, and as a 21 year sober person myself, I especially appreciate hearing about folks getting clean. Good stuff, Di!

Natalie said...

I'll admit - I've watched Jackass several times and laughed more than once. I feel left out though - I don't watch DWTS. In my house, we have to share the TV, and Deano uses his veto power on that one. But I get him to watch Idol, so I'll pick my battles. But good for Steve O, I hope he finds personal gratification in this project and can stay sober. I'm with ya, I love the underdogs!

CG said...

He did WHAT to his scrotum???

Border Explorer said...

Nice to see a "good news" story. Change/conversion can happen.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I'm not watching this show so I don't know who the "dancers" are...And I am unfamiliar with Steve, all-together! But your writing about him makes him sound very intriguing..I'll have to check out that Site!