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'Dancing With the Stars': No, Samantha, no!

April 23, 2007 |  8:50 pm

Samantha We Americans are willing to take a lot of garbage when it comes to our television hosts.  Just look at Billy Bush.  That guy is famous and yet still universally reviled, it seems.  That is to say nothing of that woman who hosted “The Swan” or that woman from "Top Chef."  “Where do they get these people?” we think. “How do you come to specialize in being pleasantly bland? Oh well, they’re hosting this show so they must know something.”

The country might be ready to revolt, however, on the topic of Samantha Harris.

Samantha plays the “special correspondent” on "Dancing With the Stars."  While Tom Bergeron plays genial MC, Samantha is always on the scene! To breathlessly interview contestants backstage! 

To her credit, Samantha is beautiful and has wonderful hair.  Her gowns are actually attractive and not in a cheeseball adult prom kind of way.  She has that husky voice that seems to indicate that she’s no cream puff.  She even has a hint of a seed of a wit, sometimes (which means she’s a sharp cookie, in reality TV world). 

Despite her obvious skills however, Samantha seems more inept handling the role of co-host than anyone else we’ve seen. And we’ve seen a lot

Samantha always has troubles with her lines—delivering them, not remembering them. Unfortunately, Samantha accidentally stumbles her lines when she’s delivering so breathlessly. We sometimes feel bad for her, sometimes not. 

However, in Monday’s episode Samantha sank to a new low -- she’s dragging the contestants down with her.  About halfway through the show, she accidentally revealed Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s scores before they were meant to.  She explained to the audience, very professionally, that she had heard the scores in her earphone and just got so excited that she said it out loud. We could see how that happened. But you made Laila and Maks’ look dumb when they didn’t know if it was time to look happy or not yet.

Then, in the second half of the show, Samantha felt an anecdote being told by Ian Ziering wasn’t clear enough to the audience, so interrupted it strangely to clarify it, absolutely throwing off the backstage banter rhythm and throwing Ziering off his banter game.  Samantha! If somebody is telling a confusing story, just laugh at the end of the story and say nothing. Don’t confuse it further!

Sometimes we get angry.

But then we feel bad for Samantha in that we bet before each show she tells herself, “I am NOT going to screw up this time! I am NOT going to screw up this time!” It’s a matter of time before she introduces herself at the top of the show as “Screw up, my Harris is not Samantha name.” And then slaps herself in the forehead.

-- Claire Zulkey

(Photo courtesy ABC)