Is it gone? Will it return? Will he return? No hints on the NBC website except for this ominous sign-off:
“The circus has ended, but the performances live on.”
And who “won”? Well, not Janet Evans, the only contestant who impressed me during the one episode (#2) that I slogged through.
“Congratulations to Antonio Sabato, Jr.! The big winner of celebrity circus!” -- so reads NBC's declaration.
So they gave it to the HUNK. Maybe they liked his family's circus background. Or maybe the HUNK kept the people they were able to scam onto their midway coming back for more. For more. For more.
"Antonio is the most hottest man on television," reads one comment on NBC. "Too bad I am married!!!!"
Antonio told another source, “This means the world.”
And what to the world means Celebrity Circus? Were its lame allusions to a Cirque du Soleil style so ineffectual as to turn more people off than on?
Or might those earnest pretensions to high cirque art drive the public gratefully back to a more realistic big top not a third as fey and ten times more earthy and dangerous?
Surfing the net for clues, I find hissing bloggers ...
From MightyElroy: “Oh, where do I begin. First off, they start out with this warped techno-circus theme music, where everyone is trying to show how much energy and enthusiasm they have, but it looks forced. Then, we have the celebrity ringleader, former boy-band star Joey Fataine. Then there are the celebrities themselves...wait, don't you have to be famous to be a celebrity?" He graded it 3.0. The comments he drew averaged about a 5.0 score.
Last Wednesday, NBC shows came in far behind Fox and CBS. So You Think You Can Dance drew nearly 9 million viewers, Circus, 4.42 (down 16% from the previous week). Still, not so bad for a so bad a show?
(Putting TV ratings in perspective, for the week ending July 9, according to Nielsen, the top rated show, America's Got Talent, drew 12 million viewers; Number 20, Rules of Engagement, was seen by nearly 7 million.)
Reality TV represents a cultural leap from the old Circus of the Stars show that helped launch one of our modern day sawdust icons, David Nelson. “Realty” is now just that — real people (okay, some of them with pro backgrounds) competing to launch real careers before our eyes. Compared to which, Celebrity Circus must seem anti-climactic and a stale exercise to many viewers. Only seven "celebrities" competed. American Idol draws from hundreds of amateur talents hungering for the spotlights.
I would be surprised to see it return. However, four and a half million voyeurs (excuse me, viewers) ... Maybe they are already on a nation-wide search for next season's HUNK. Or simply an encore for Antonio?