Former presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry made his television debut on 12 September 2016, appearing as a contestant on the ABC dance-off series “Dancing with the Stars.” Perry, who claimed to have no dancing experience, was paired with Emma Slater and performed the cha-cha to the song “God Blessed Texas” by the group Little Texas.
Local media was not impressed with his appearance. The San Antonio Express-News essentially cautioned Perry not to leave his day job:
Perry clearly had fun cutting the rug with Slater, whom he referred to as having to take “a lump of coal to shine up as a bright diamond.”
Alas, Perry’s cha cha was about as stiff as his ensemble’s bolo tie. Perry and Slater finished with a 20 out of 40 from the show’s four judges, the lowest score of the night. Each judge gave the couple a 5 out of 10.
Some members of the public thought Perry’s reality television turn was in poor taste:
That feeling where you oversaw more than 270 executions as Texas governor, but now you’re a dancer. pic.twitter.com/pYgIVGQZNX
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) September 13, 2016
This season may be a bit more controversial than past ones. U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is also a participant, and two demonstrators were arrested after rushing the stage in protest of his claims of being robbed in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Summer Games. Video of that incident was captured by an audience member and can be seen here:
Why does this remind me of a Trump rally ? pic.twitter.com/YKCwT5dirE
— DCHomos (@DCHomos) September 13, 2016
Perry’s dance performance can be seen here:
The show’s judges assigned him the lowest score of the evening.