Mixed in with The Ticket's sports and entertainment segments targeted for that all-important men 25-54 demographic is a bit with engineer Tony Smith, a guy with uncanny-almost-savant knowledge of ABC's Dancing With the Stars.
Without the benefit of Google, Smith can answer even the most obscure DWTS questions. Like: Was there ever an all-male finale? In the blink of an eye, he'll tell you, yes, it happened in season 3 with Emmitt Smith, Mario Lopez and Joey Lawrence.
It's probably no different than any other Ticket personality belching out an obscure NFL or NBA bullet point.
But listeners of KTCK-AM (1310) and KTCK-FM (96.7) can check in on the show via Tony Smith's DWTS updates. By his count, he's seen 370-something episodes and has been in the audience three times, more if he could score tickets without having to go through the random email selection process. Ticket hosts give him guff, but they seem more amazed at his depth of knowledge.
"Sure, I catch some grief from The Ticket guys, but most have been fairly supportive, including The Hardline," Smith said. "That does not include Bob Sturm and George Dunham, who I think are actually disgusted by it."
But Smith has been able to use his DWTS noggin and co-host two nighttime DWTS shows with producer Mike Sorois. He has a weekly call-in report on KPLX-FM (99.5) at 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays each DWTS season.
So, who better to ask about Monday's season 22 double-elimination semifinalists. Here's Smith's analysis:
"No. 1: Nyle DiMarco. From his first dance on the first show of the season, he has been my pick to win it. He has it all: ability, work ethic, looks. And a great partner in Peta. Not one of the greatest dancers to ever be on the show (has recurring posture issues), but good enough to win this season. And to top it off, he's totally deaf!
"No. 2 and No. 3: Wanya Morris/Paige Van Zandt: I put them together because they are close in talent and we still have potentially two more weeks to decide between them. Paige has been the most consistent female performer all season. Her partner Mark has filled her routines with hard content and she has responded with energetic performances and a great attitude along with great technique. Wanya is probably the most natural performer of all this year. He seems to feel the music and his entertainment factor is the best. He reminds me of several past contestants: Joey Fatone, season 4; Warren Sapp, season 7; Kyle Massey, season 11; Amber Riley, season 17. All high energy, full of confidence folks who did great in their respective seasons.
"No. 4: Ginger Zee. The wild card of the semifinalists. A good dancer and she has shown improvement over the season. A bit better with the traditional ballroom dances than the Latin ones. However, it often appears she is going through the motions as she performs the correct steps. She looks good doing it, but her routines lack "meat" or substance compared to Paige. That may be more a knock on her partner Val than of her.
"No. 5: Antonio Brown. The only one of the five who I don't think can make an argument to be in the final. Weakest dancer left. He was saddled with big expectations going into the season with many people picking him as the preseason favorite. Football players have done well on the show. They are usually young, in good shape, and take coaching well. Unfortunately, he had a bit of an attitude early in the season and did not work hard. He has come around, but still has recurring frame and timing issues.
"Final: I think Nyle is in and Antonio is out, so that leaves Wanya, Paige, and Ginger going for the other two spots. The judges scores are fairly close, so the fan vote becomes large. The typical voter of this show is a 50-year-old-plus, white, conservative, Christian woman. I think Ginger has a huge fan base because of her Good Morning America job, while I'm guessing the majority of the voters had never heard of Paige before the season. That can make a big difference. The entire season I have wanted a Nyle/Paige/Wanya final. They have been the most consistent and entertaining all season. But, I think Ginger makes the final eliminating Paige or Wanya. I understand if Ginger gets in, but if both Ginger and Antonio make the final there will be cries of foul!"