'Dancing With the Stars': The Cowboy Way

Today's cuppa: chai tea latte

TyandChelsie Fashions come and go, but one thing endures, America loves a cowboy. So, while I was initially as surprised as anyone that rapper and talented dancer Lil' Kim got the boot over rodeo star Ty Murray last night on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," upon reflection, it makes perfect sense.

A lot of American men would love to be Ty Murray; a lot of American women would love to be Jewel.

Murray's a fearless competitor (he rides bulls, fer Pete's sake), a lovable doofus (albeit one who's purty darned ripped, I must say), a decent guy by all accounts, and a doting husband.

Shoot, sign me up for that one.

As much as The Dream That Was Woz captured the hearts of every geek ever left at the sidelines of the high-school dance, Murray represents that guy who thinks dancing is kind of girly but will try it anyway to please the love of his life.

Every weekend, they can be seen at weddings, black-tie events, line-dancing competitions and father-daughter balls across America, sucking it up and hitting the floor for their ladies.

To top it all off, Murray's an honest-to-goodness COWBOY, hat, boots and all.

And at the end of his last dance on Monday -- not his best -- he swooped across the floor and grabbed up hisTyandJewel wife, singer Jewel (unable to compete in the show because of a bad injury early on), into his arms.

I grinned so wide I nearly did myself an injury. Look at the picture. I'm not alone in this.

Here's where "Dancing" truly diverges from "American Idol." It's not really about talent; it's about touching the hearts of the audience. You can do that with dancing dazzle -- no one doubts that talent (and good looks) helped Brooke Burke win last year -- but terpichorean skills alone are only paramount to the judges.

The folks at home like a good show. They also want to smile. They want to feel happy for someone else.

""Dancing With the Stars" is also not about launching a professional career (but Lil' Kim has certainly broadened her appeal with the effort).

It's about trying something that scares you to death and may leave you looking like an idiot -- but trying it anyway.

Ride 'em, Cowboy Ty.

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