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S19: Tavis Smiley: PRI Media Mogul

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Tavis Smiley is currently the host of the late-night television talk show “Tavis Smiley” on PBS, as well as “The Tavis Smiley Show” from Public Radio International (PRI). He has authored or co-authored 16 books, including What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America and The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto, both of which were New York Times Bestsellers. His latest book, Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year, will be published in September. It examines the widespread assaults on Dr. King’s character, ideology and political tactics in the year leading up to his assassination. Smiley is the founder of the nonprofit Tavis Smiley Foundation, which recently announced a $3 million, four-year campaign called “ENDING POVERTY: America’s Silent Spaces” to alleviate endemic poverty in America. In 2009, TIME magazine named Smiley to its list of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” This past April, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Dancing with Sharna Burgess.

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I like to watch dancing but I've been too busy lately, and I knew I couldn't set aside hours a week for this show right now. But I heard Taavis Smiley was a contestant and I find him to be a very interesting person, so I've been trying to at least watch some of the dances online.


I take it he didn't do well.


It's disappointing, but i read an interview with him before the show aired, where he was laughing about how he was strictly forbidden to dance as a kid (religious family) and that his friends think it's beyond hilarious that he's on the show at all. So, good for him for trying, I guess?


It's always hard for me when people I don't like turn out to be good dancers, and people I want to root for bomb. It makes watching this show kind of odd, because there's definitely no correlation between good dancers and other areas of likability, wisdom, or skill.

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I just feel an odd need to put an ending on this thread.


1. http://www.people.com/article/dancing-with-the-stars-results-tavis-smiley :  "Producers shouldn't sign up people who can't commit the time when they are told up front that the person is going to be on a book tour," Smiley told PEOPLE immediately after the show. "We gave them the entire book-tour schedule in advance! This is not about sour grapes. It's about saying I think the fans deserve to have stars on this show who have the time to commit to learning the dances so [partner Sharna Burgess] and other professionals don't waste their time trying to do something that's just humanly impossible."


Tavis, no one forced you to sign the contract. Take responsibility for your own time mis-management.


2.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/11/tavis-smiley-dancing-with_n_5806538.html : "But I'm about to turn 50 and just really decided I was going to do one last foolish, stupid, crazy, insane thing before I turned 50, and so this is clearly it."


a. As Betsey & Tommy (who are 20+ years older than you), are demonstrating, trying something new doesn't end at 50.

b. I sure hope you're not describing Sharna's and the other pros' choice of career as "foolish", etc.


For a man who's own choice of career involves the expression of thoughts and ideas, you sure have a way with words.

Edited by Uke
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"Producers shouldn't sign up people who can't commit the time when they are told up front that the person is going to be on a book tour," Smiley told PEOPLE immediately after the show. "We gave them the entire book-tour schedule in advance!

People shouldn't sign up to be on this show if they know that their schedules will not allow them enough time to rehearse each week. Why is it the responsibility of the producers to tell a contestant if they have enough time to commit to the show? DWTS tells you when rehearsals are so it is up to you as an adult with a job to decide if your book tour schedule is or is not conducive to participating on this show. Take some responsibility for your own choices and your own actions. There have been other people who were still working on their own shows or other projects who flew back and forth all season to do DWTS. What a whining baby.

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Tavis is not the brightest penny in the drawer, but he's hardly the dullest either.  Good for him for thinking of saying something that will keep him being talked about at the water coolers for a while after he leaves the show (not necessarily the bottom 2).  He certainly won't be remembered for his in-the-pocket dancing -- if he's lucky, the dancing will be entirely forgotten in the post-mortem conversations about his departure.

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