Yes, I know. As much as I say I won't get into new reality shows and generally have no trouble doing it, this one was rather unavoidable. I love swimming and I used to be a fairly good diver (forward dives only, however), so this is something quite enjoyable. And I could not have stayed away when I found out who was in it.
I find Kareem Abdul Jabbar to be such a sweet man - as so many tall men are, he is a pussycat. He does have one issue that he can't seem to get past - he dives off of boards that are far too short for his height. Think about it - the standard diving board is geared for people ranging from short to around 6'. Kareem is over 7' tall - a poor fit for the two shortest boards.
Louie Anderson... now in his early 60s and well over his correct weight (not that he was ever small but yikes!) and still as funny as ever, graced this show with his presence. It was painful to watch him try to do anything, but he certainly gets many points for bravery and trying to do this and anything else.
The others are a mix of semi-known and completely (to me) unknown celebrities, but I have come to like most if not all of them and I can see how hard this is for all of them. Some are really picking up a lot, some not so much, and some have gotten some pretty gruesome injuries but they are all putting their all into it.
This is the sixth episode and what a difference this particular dynamic has made. The previous episodes mostly had them diving on their own. One was a partner dive, which was a really great episode (although one woman bailed out and left the show). The rest were good, fun, interesting to see where people excelled and where they failed (overextension almost nearly does them all in), and of course the most fascinating person was Louie Anderson. Unfortunately while the show was very, very good for him and resulted in his losing many inches from his very overweight physique. But he could not dive - and it is understandable on the one hand, but it is crazy on the other. How could a man who had to sit down to make his "dive" off a board get a score higher than another contestant who did not dive well but still could, to the letter of the description of this word, actually dive?
This episode differed in that this time, the celebrities were partnered with children of whom the oldest of them was 12 years old. Twelve! And they all dove as though they were Olympic level competition-level divers! The moves they could do! But they really brought some amazing quality to the show that I had never seen and never would have believed if someone had told me about this. Every diver showed a marked improvement diving with those young kids and showed a mettle I'd never credit. I was flabbergasted; so was Luis. We both found the improvement to be incredible.
Kareem was the lowest scored diver when all was said and done and was not able to win the dive-off challenge, which was a pity, but he seemed to take it well. I hope he continues to dive, though and finds a board that is just the right height.