Pro dancer Tristan MacManus is speaking out against the backlash that was given after the official announcement that “Rhoda” star Valerie Harper is on tap to dance on season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Ever since her cancer diagnosis, the terminally ill actress has been in the news. MacManus spoke to Fox News on Sept. 10 as he lashed out at the critics that have been quite harsh.
The worst one came from Irish Central that called the actress a ‘cancer dancer’ and claimed that ABC was low in having her participate on the dance floor. They said that the network is just interested in boosting their ratings. They also said that Harper’s partner should put a stop to it all and drop out of the reality show. The article called it all a charade and also said that the pro dancer is destined to become a part of a circus animal show.
As an Irishman himself, MacManus most likely took that comment personally. What was his response to those harsh words?
“You are dead right by the way, it is pathetic – I can’t believe Valerie was asked to participate in this season of 'DWTS' – there is no place for her," he said sarcastically. "She should do what most other cancer victims do, just give up and go home."
The 74-year-old star said that the doctors told her that her brain scan showed that there is less evidence of cancer. Harper also said that she feels good enough to shake her booty on the ballroom floor with her handsome dance partner.
It turns out that this funny gal had been asked to dance on the show a few times before she had her cancer diagnosis, but she never chose to participate. She had her reasons. It was her husband that ultimately convinced his wife to go for it.
“She didn't even want to do the show at first but she was convinced by her husband, a great man, who reminded her that people need this – not so much to see someone ill on 'DWTS' but someone who has the profile to be relevant and show that you don't go to the funeral until you’re dead,” the 31-year-old said.
He is ready to join that circus and even become the ringmaster, if need be. MacManus said that being Irish is standing up for the small guy and never giving up, which is what his celebrity partner’s message is all about.
“Valerie has a message and it’s not just for sick people, it’s for everybody. You only get one life, so live it. If you don't like it, change it and if you do like it always strive to make it better,” he said. “If I want to be a winner I will not refuse a 'person' and 'human being' from telling their story.”
Be sure to watch Tristan MacManus and Valerie Harper take to the dance floor on “Dancing with the Stars” which premieres on Sept. 16 on ABC.
Are you inspired by Harper’s journey into dancing with her cancer diagnosis?