Last night saw the premiere of weight-loss dance contest Dance Your Ass Off, hosted by Hairspray's Marissa Jaret Winokur. The contestants were varied: men, women, black, white, Latino, mothers, fathers, a virgin and a woman who "can't get boyfriends."

At the start of the show, contestants entered a house where filming took place and found two cabinets: One called "EAT" — filled with nuts, fruits and vegetables — and one called "CHEAT," filled with cookies and doughnuts. Most went right for the cookies, immediately.

While there will be a doctor, nutritionist and trainer on hand while the contestants are participating, the producers made sure to air plenty of footage of the contestants snacking, and even included home video of them eating.


But even weirder was the actual dancing. With strange cover versions of popular songs playing, the contestants were made to wear unflattering, skin exposing ensembles — not that they should wear muumuus! — but every dancer's outfit had cut-outs through the body; and one man's shirt was sheer. They were hideous. And a few of the routines were cringe-inducing in their cheesiness.

Though some of the contestants were energetic and enthusiastic (see: Trice, above), the overall experience of watching them have "forced fun" — being trussed up and made to dance in a spotlight in front of an audience and judges — left this viewer with a bad taste in her mouth. (And don't miss the part where a judge subtly tells this woman she'd make a good pole dancer.)

Dance Your Ass Off [Oxygen]

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