Pop Culture

Is 'Dancing With the Stars' rehabbing Andy Dick's image?

Craig Sjodin / ABC / Today
Andy Dick has turned detractors into fans on "Dancing With the Stars."

America loves a comeback, but many fans of "Dancing With the Stars" bristled when ABC announced that troubled comedian Andy Dick was joining the cast for season 16.

Is he really a "star"? After all, instead of his career in Hollywood, the 47-year-old performer is most famous for his past struggles with alcohol and drugs, a disturbing rap sheet and making anti-Semitic remarks.

Would anyone vote for him?

The surprising answer is yes. America really does love a comeback.

In fact, despite his low scores, Dick has garnered enough votes to make it to week five in the competition.  

He's even won over the judges. Carrie Ann Inaba was moved to tears by his poignant performance on "Best Year of My Life" night -- a Viennese waltz set to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," which he dedicated to his daughter.

"Your movement vocabulary is small, but what you said with those few words is so beautiful," Inaba said.

What Dick lacks in his dancing skill -- no one believes he's a serious contender for this season's mirror-ball trophy -- he more than compensates for with his enthusiastic effort and his attempt to better himself.

"You're not a great dancer, and you know that," said judge Len Goodman after Dick's comical "Prom Week" cha-cha with pro Sharna Burgess,  "but what you do is you make me feel good. I feel better after watching you than I did before you danced." 

Obviously, the fans feel the same way, and not just about Dick's dancing. Both on and off the ballroom floor, the audience has grown to appreciate his vulnerability, honesty and genuine emotion. Take, for example, their comments on our Facebook page about his cha-cha:

"Andy Dick impressed me the most. He clearly working hard and trying to improve himself," wrote Pamela Kay. "So glad that I had the opportunity to be in the audience last Monday and to talk with him personally at a nearby restaurant afterwards. He is taking this gig very seriously and it shows!"

"How sweet after all the upheaval in his life his daughter seems to adore him and he her," wrote Christine Alexander Moore.

"Dancing With the Stars" has become a celebration of Dick's sobriety -- for both himself and the viewers who find inspiration in his story.

Do you believe Andy Dick has found redemption on "Dancing"? Tell us on our Facebook page!

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