As the title suggests, this post is not about pleasantries. Its about the folks who tend to lack it. The so called arrogant, conceited self consumed people. Its all about the bad boys and girls, the public tends to hate. Its all about the qualities not many admire, but ought to give a second thought to.
The lead female in one of America's most popular sitcoms is not a nice person at all. She is arrogant, conceited, extremely selfish and self centered, constantly trying to get the world to revolve around her. She is convinced she has all the makings of a great star and expects to be treated like one. One would think that she ought to be the vamp or bad one of sorts. However, Rachel Berry of Glee! is undoubtedly one of the leading stars and televisions most popular characters. After all people are not one dimensional, they are multi-faceted - on the other side you have passion, hard work, desire, talent, and actually a really nice person outside the realm of show choir. Thats why not just fans but even her classmates at McKinley high may get annoyed, get upset, get into spats with her, but still love her.
Whats the point of this all?
Well how do we decide who is the best in their line of work? Who ought to be the best chef, singer or dancer in a contest? What factors do we consider? Skills, techniques, talent, knowledge, its usually the fundamentals that matter.
What about humility, sincerity, charm, friendliness?
The truth is a lot of gosh darned people have those qualities, but they don't have much else to write about. These are positive qualities that make good human beings or nice people, but they don't necessarily amount to the best of the best. It would be great if people could be both, but lack of either does not negate the other. Lacking talent does not mean that people are not lovely humans. Likewise being flawed and sometimes not so nice human beings does not mean that one is not talented.
Unfortunately, in terms of reality television it seems that despite being 'talent' shows the technical skill sets tend to be become a backdrop to the soft skills. Much discussion goes into who is humble and who is arrogant? Who was sporting and who was bitter? Who was nice and who was rude? We just kid ourselves into believing that we are trying to figure out who is the most talented, when in reality we are just trying to vote on some out of place Miss or Master Congeniality contest.
Does not always have to be the case though. We can just shove the worldly niceties if we wish to and admire raw uncut talent.
Lets meet Marcel Vigneron.
As you can see Marcel is an a$$hole and a douchebag. He trash talked and bitched at contestants, he argued with judges. He could be a downright arrogant prick at times. I honestly cannot stand Marcel, because he was such a jerk and always wished him to get booted from Top Chef. Contestants and viewers labeled him a$$hole.
But opinions on personalities aside, even I cannot deny that Marcel is one heck of a gutsy, innovative chef who really has a unique panache for new creations, tastes and flavors. That is why he was able to get ahead of far "nicer" people and lost out in All-Stars over technicality. That is why it is he who got a new television show for his culinary style. Contestants never dismissed him, judges never dismissed him, and dozens of viewers admired him. Anyone who dismissed Marcel for being a jerk or thought him less deserving of culinary honors because of his behavior probably has no idea about cuisine.
One does not always have to be so abrasive though. Sometimes people are just misunderstood like Maks from Dancing With The Stars. Maks is one of the most outspoken, most vocal professionals of the show. He speaks his mind no holds barred.
For example he openly claimed to not care about contestant Bristol Palin and blatantly attributed her votes to her mother's political fan base.
He gave a lot more harsher criticism on Palin's dancing in several interviews and expressed a lot more displeasure and dissent in private circles. Unlike Marcel who is a wild child, a longer professional career has perhaps taught Maks to mind his language and avoid trash talk. More importantly the art of avoiding stronger public dissent - lest he be judged professionally for his opinions on others abilities. Yet there is still a sense of refreshing honesty, that he is not going to fake or sugar coat his views just to make nice to people.
But its not contestants. Maks has his harsh opinions on judges, judgment and the channel as well. If he feels judges have been unfair or disagrees with their opinion - no matter how senior they are, no matter what the shows format, no matter what - he expresses his disagreement.
And he's talked back to judges on the show several times. He also gets into several arguments with the celebrities he works with as well. However, its not arrogance, superiority or conceit that drive him. Unfortunately, anytime a person talks back to seniors, accuses people of unfairness people immediately assume that they are arrogant people who should be thought less of. However, people often forget passion, the heightened emotions of being in love with something, that there are somethings people will fight for no matter what.
As Maks explained his attitude and views on judges in his blog
My Arrogance- I am pretty passionate and also pretty blunt. I think my
passion and straight response gets sometimes mistaken for arrogance. I
may be strong in my belief. Maybe that is tough for some people. But I
have learned to live a life in black and white, with little shades of
gray. Like in dancing, there is a right way and a wrong way. There is
no middle ground. I generally am passionate about perfection and doing
things the right way. I give my point of view as I see it. I do not
say I am more right than anyone. But it is what I believe. I don't
mean to be rude or abrasive. But my passion drives me and I believe
being passionate about your work is important. It is unfortunate if
that my passion is mistaken for something negative. My partners,
friends and families know where I come from. I feel strongly and I
express myself that way but arrogance assumes I think I am better than
the rest. I don't. I am no different than anyone else. I just am strong
in my opinion.
My attitude/Carrie Ann/Judges- If my attitude jeopardized Brandy, then I
apologize for that and I feel just terrible for Brandy. The show
shouldn't be about what I think or feel or how I teach or choreograph.
This show should be about the celebrity contestants that put a
tremendous amount of effort into working to learn how to dance and
perform in dancesport. My argument with Carrie Ann was about that.
Don't judge Brandy for my choreography or how I trained her. That is
not Brandy's fault. Ultimately, she should have been judged for her
technique, effort, and her dancing in comparison to the others.
Sometimes the viewers didn't see the other side. The struggle, the
worry, the emotions she did go through just like the other celebrities
on there. That is the magic of video editing and I can't control what
they choose to show you. I've mentioned that before as well.
But I apologize to Brandy, if my passion about putting the focus where
it belonged caused more an issue than my real intent. Ultimately, I am a
choreographer, an instructor, and her partner. I wholeheartedly wanted
to make it to the finals because Brandy, in my opinion, truly deserved
to be there. If this competition were about me, I would still be
competing against dancers of equal skill. But I was not competing.
Brandy was. And she was an amazing partner and dancer and in my
opinion, the best this season.
What can I say but that I am beyond disappointed that her talent, her
skill, her improvement, her technique seemed to be overlooked or
undervalued in comparison to other competitors each week. Maybe some of
you will disagree. Maybe some of you feel good about certain
celebrities over others. That is not what I, as her partner and coach,
am concerned with. I pushed her to bring the best she could each week.
I was hard on her. I trained with her daily about her movement, her
technique, her footwork, her body posture. It was tough, frustrating,
hard, a work out. And I pushed for her to give me perfection. She did,
btw. I just wish this is where the focus should have remained with the
I'm not a Maks fan. In fact Derek Hough is the one I believe to be the most talented, versatile and best choreographer followed by Mark Ballas for his ability to push the envelope. I always want Derek to win with Mark being second choice. I could have taken offense that Maks criticism of Palin was also directed at Mark. I could have taken offense that Maks accusations against the judges and the format meant that one of my favorites Mark was undeserving of the finals. But usually common sense rules that criticism is not always meant to be taken as offense. Common sense would show that Brandi/Maks were better and that Mark/Bristol should have gone long time ago. Its sad when favorites overrule common sense and turn criticism to offense. In fact this season made me admire Maks more and more as a dancer and a professional for his genuine passion for dance and raw honesty. I admire him for being the bad boy he is. He is not faking sincerity or humility so that he can win hearts and votes, his passion is dance, he has his beliefs about dance and he will always speak up for what he is passionate about. Its not arrogance, its passion.
All the bad boys and girls perhaps just need a few more years of professional experience to grow up and express themselves better and let their passions shine. They will never cease being the arrogant ones or the lesser ones, they will never cease being misunderstood, or having talent discredited over personality. However, they will win hearts where it matters. Just as Maks is appreciated not just by fans or his celebrity partners, but is actually loved and supported by his professional peers including peers who are far more senior to him, and more accomplished then him because they know that Maks heart is not for fans or accolades but remaining true to his profession - dance.
So after all that chatter, this thread is dedicated to the bad boys and girls. There is no room for humility, charm and all the nauseous niceties. This thread is for the arrogant, the abrasive, the unabashed, uncensored - I'll speak my heart and guts out bad boys and girls. Screw the nice boys and girls, they can be in their congeniality club. If you love a celebrity or contestant who is a bit self absorbed, selfish or much to vocal with judges and contestants than this is the place for you. Shout out and express your love for the ones others love to hate. Shout out hoping that someday talent trumps all. Shout out someday that they learn to channel their passions better and perhaps winback the hearts of some dissidents. This is one thread where the worst bashing is the best loving hugs and kisses ever.