Thursday, August 30

Dancing with the Lakers


Duluth's NBC affiliate, KBJR, announced today it would run a local spoof of FOX's hit, "Dancing with the Stars." The twist is that there won't be any so-called stars. In their place, popular ship captains will dance with local unknowns. The name "lakers" comes from the fact that all of the most popular ship captains in Duluth come from the 1000-foot ore-hauling boats commonly referred to by the same name.

In KBJR's announcement it was proclaimed that Ms. Kelly Pope, age 25, will be dancing in the 5-week competition with Captain Paul Jungbauer of Cornucopia, Wisconsin. Pope, a relative unknown even on local dance circuits, is considered a potential underdog. She appeared last year in the Duluth Playhouse's unpopular take on Thomas Hardy's "Jude the Obscure." To those who know her, she's something of a phenom. In her statement, however, she is simply "excited beyond belief to be dancing with Captain Jungbauer!" Since the announcement, Pope has also been seen exclaiming that "Captain Jungbauer is so competent! The way he pilots those lakers through the canal, I just can't help but know he will be graceful on the dance floor!"

Captain Hugo Mayorga will be spending the season with Ms. Barbara Reyelts. Reyelts' career actually began at KBJR, making this something of a homecoming for her. Mayorga, hailing from the landlocked city of Queretaro, Mexico, has actually never danced before. "Back home, I was asked to come work in the family business - food transportation. But we used donkeys. Somehow, I was eventually traded to a ship building company, and then to work on this boat. I was only voted captain by the crew two weeks ago after the original captain was thrown overboard by a large stowaway." Though Mayorga may seem like a strange choice for the competition, it is well known that his zany antics will draw viewers. Reyelts, for her part, is a two time dance champion at the Head of the Lakes Fair.

Dancing with the Lakers will air at 5 and 8 PM on KBJR, local channel 6, starting on September 8. KBJR is reportedly in talks with TV stations from St. Paul to air the show throughout the state.