Since Silicon Valley has so few real celebrities, why not go crazy for the ones we have: Dancing With the Stars premieres in one week with Apple co-founder (and Kathy Griffin ex) Steve "Woz" Wozniak.
It's a phenomenon the geeks are already calling "Dancing with the Woz" and is potentially the greatest terpsichorean trainwreck in television history. Woz has entered the ABC dance competition to prove that anyone can learn some new steps, and his fans are already gearing up to stack the vote by any means necessary. Wozniak has asked tech-savvy viewers not to hack ABC's voting systems. If that happens, it will be just part of the circus that will make this a must-see.
When did computer-company founders become reality-TV contestants? When they stopped having anything resembling a real job. If hard-driving Apple CEO Steve Jobs is on technology's A list, then Woz, who dropped out of Apple to teach at a public school, and then returned to a life of studied Silicon Valley dilettantery, is surely on its D list.
Indeed, he's so on the D list that he dated My Life on the D List's Kathy Griffin for a while, before a surprise marriage (his fourth) to an Apple colleague last August.
Wags are already calling his pairing with dancer Karina Smirnoff "Beauty and the Beast." But Woz makes up for his schlumpy, bearded appearance with a lot of what American Idol's judges call "likeability." Unlike Jobs, who is obsessive about his privacy to the point of being a snarling jerk, Woz overshares to a degree that the Twitter generation finds charming. He's a bit of a prankster — which means we might have some on-air pratfalls to look forward to. He may not make for a conventional TV star, but he's perfect for the low expectations of today's reality lineup.
Obsessive fanboy Brian Tong of CNET infiltrated Woz's dance studio and interviewed him for the clip above. "If you ever want to focus on one thing and see how far you can go, this is the way to do it," Woz says. Here's the full segment from CNET's "The Apple Byte":