Cairo Shuffle: Morsi, Mubarak to Compete on Dancing with the Stars

Season 17 of the competition show Dancing with the Stars will feature ailing former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and his successor, the recently deposed Mohamed Morsi. The two recently retired autocrats will be joining a cavalcade of stars that includes a country music legend, a figure skating champion, a boxing dynamo and an Olympic Gold medalist.

With the season 16 finale of DWTS having garnered the lowest ratings in the show’s history, Dancing with the Stars producers have come under intense pressure in recent weeks to reignite the viewing public’s enthusiasm.

DWTS executive producer Ajay Harshit Bhatt responded to accusations that the television program was being politicized by saying that, “Hosni exudes a certain untamed manliness that jumps through your T.V., grabs you by the scruff of the neck, tickles it lightly and leaves you begging for more. And those sunglasses! That rascal’s singlehandedly turned being wheeled in and out of court on a stretcher into an A-list event, with all the buzz and glitz of a Hollywood premiere!”

As for Egypt’s first freely elected president, Bhatt proclaimed that, “Mohamed has really taken to jazz. He kicks, leaps and shuffles like no one I’ve ever seen. Egypt may have gained a democracy, but it’s also lost a fabulous dancer, one who combines Gene Kelly-like strength with Josephine Baker’s exotic charm. Politics was just his day job. Mohamed’s secret passion was always to defy the laws of gravity, not the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court.”

While spokespeople for both former despots have confirmed the appearance on Dancing with the Stars, a number of loose ends still need to be ironed out, with travel restrictions on Mubarak and Morsi being the most pressing issue.

Following his overthrow by the Egyptian military, Islamist President Morsi was put under house arrest in Cairo. As for Mubarak, an Egyptian court recently ended his detention in one corruption case, but the ousted president remains in custody on other charges.

Fortunately for Mubarak and Morsi, new Egyptian strongman General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is a rabid fan of Dancing with the Stars. During a recent break in the bloody street battles that have broken out between members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the army, Al-Sisi confided to CNN reporter Ben Wedeman: “For an Egyptian to take home the mirror ball trophy from Dancing with the Stars would go a long way in restoring my people’s pride in their country and hope for its future.”

When Wedeman raised his eyebrows, smirked and chortled in response to Al-Sisi’s statement, a member of the Egyptian military abruptly seized the CNN crew’s camera. After several frantic seconds, the broadcast was cut short.

Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars is scheduled to premier on Monday, September 24th on ABC.

About the Author
Gidon Ben-Zvi, former Jerusalem Correspondent for the Algemeiner newspaper, is an accomplished writer who left behind Hollywood starlight for Jerusalem stone in 2009. After serving in an Israel Defense Forces infantry unit from 1994-1997, Ben-Zvi returned to the United States before settling in Israel, where he and his wife are raising their four children to speak fluent English – with an Israeli accent. Ben-Zvi's work has appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, the Algemeiner, American Thinker, the Jewish Journal, Israel Hayom, and United with Israel. Ben-Zvi blogs at Jerusalem State of Mind (