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I know it’s hard to imagine now, but there was once a time when America wasn’t head over heels (and then heads again(like a diver doing a cool flip)) in love with Splash. Well, that all changed last night. Can you believe it’s only been 24 hours since we saw Splash? It feels like it was 24 years.


So much has changed. Diving has risen to America’s number #1 sport. There’s world-wide drought because everyone wants a pool. Greg Louganis is the world’s most popular religion. It’s changed everything. When historians look back on this show, there is no doubt that it’ll be considered televisions most historically significant moment, and heck, maybe even mankind’s greatest achievement.


In the pantheon of truly memorable television moments, it goes something like The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, The Mash finale, Joey getting his own spin-off, Janet Jackson showing her boob, then like 10 years of horse shit, then Splash.


So I guess for the 5 of you who just got out of a coma and went straight to the earwolf message boards or your TV got stolen last night or whatever, here’s a quick rundown of what you missed.


The show opens up with host Joey Lawrence. The end. That should do it. You should be sold by now. Listen, do you think with all the things on Joey Lawrence’s plate that he’s just gonna pick any old random show to host? No way. This guy has his pick of the litter. He’s the cream of the crop. Let’s put it this way, you don’t see Daniel Day Lewis acting in just any old shitty movie just like you don’t see Joey Lawrence hosting just any old shitty show. That’s because they’re both the best at what they do, and if I’m being honest, Joey is probably a little better.


Alright, but Splash isn’t resting on their laurels. They could just ride that Joey Lawrence train to television history but they’re kicking this show up from a 10 all the way up to an 11, baby. BAM! Greg Louganis. The Greg Louganis. 1984 James E. Sullivan Award winner Greg Louganis. Here’s a smart bet, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, 2016 Men's 10 m platform gold medalist. With Louganis’ training him, it’s all but a done deal.


Let’s face it though, just having a premiere host and coach doesn’t mean diddly if you don’t have a good judges panel. Just look what happened to American Idol once Simon Cowell left, it got cancelled, I think. It's unfortunate that Splash set the bar so high with their host and trainer because there’s no way that they can possibly live up to that. Right? Wrong. Ever heard of a little guy who goes by the name of David Boudia? Huh?! That’s what I thought! Oh, oh, maybe that wasn’t enough for you, your majesty, how about, oh I don’t know, Steve Foley?! He’s Australian. His first line on the show is literally “g’day mate”. I’d be insulting your intelligence if I went into any more detail about them, everybody knows everything about them already. They’re house hold names. They’re the two biggest names in diving today! I guess.


It’d be really hard to do, but they could still screw this show up. Guess what? They didn’t. When it comes to celebrity contestants, they really “knocked it out of the pool”!


Right off the bat they hit us with Keshia Knight Pulliam aka Rudy Huxtable. They just keep raising the bar. The show is officially up from an 11 to an 11.1. Keshia starts off the diving with a bang, which is what we’ve come to expect from Splash. She perfectly executes a half somersault toothpick from the lowest diving board. The degree of difficulty here is at an all time high, at least a 1 or a 1 and a half. She fist pumps as she gets out of the water, knowing she killed it. The crowd, as you can imagine, goes ballistic. It really is a sight to behold. The display of raw athleticism is astonishing. Steve Foley unfairly tells her that she was as “balanced as a one legged man in a butt kicking concert” which is, frankly, rude. In my book, judges aren’t supposed to be mean. Just look what happened to Simon Cowell, he got kicked off, I think.


When the next contestant came out, I could have sworn I was looking at a young Hulk Hogan. He came out in his robe and ripped that sucker off with zero effort, showing off his physique. You could see in his eyes that he was about half a second away from full on flexing in the entrance way before he walked to the diving board, high fiving fans all the way, ever the showman. It wasn’t until now that I figured out who this really was; none other than funny man Louis Anderson. He’s a showman’s showman, absolutely milking the crowd for everything they have. He’s trying to kill 'em. He’s throwing haymakers left and right, he’s cracking wise, he’s telling inspirational stories, he’s dedicating his dive to the troops. And just when you think he’s done it all, he gives us the knockout blow. He goes from the 2nd diving board the 3rd. By this time the crowd is at a full fever pitch. Then he does one of the most courageous acts in human history. He falls forward off a board into a pool. Louie Anderson, American Hero.


Up next is Katherine Webb, who describes herself as the hot girl who Brent Musberger creeped on during the National Championship. Her pre-dive interview with Joey Lawrence consists of her saying that she’s really glad to be there and Joey grilling her with questions like “are you?” Come one, Joe, this is neither the time nor the place for your particular brand of “gotcha” journalism. This clearly rattled Katherine and caused her to over rotate her backflip. If she gets eliminated her blood is on your hands, Joey.


Next up is Rory Bushfield, who is a self-proclaimed “guy who likes the jump off stuff”. That’s literally all there is to know about him. Dude doesn’thave a Wikipedia page. He actually did something that closely resembled a dive and it was off the high board, so he wins. Next.


And last but not least, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, who was described by Louie Anderson as “one of the top 50 players of all time”. Louie was crying because Kareem encouraged him and it was really sweet, but Louie still can’t let go of his NBA Top 50 rankings. Louie’s spent years and years perfectly crafting that list and he’s not breaking it, Kareem be damned. Just because Kareem happens to be on the show, that doesn’t mean that Louie is gonna lie and say that he was a top 40 player of all time. That’d discredit his whole list! People would think it’s a sham! Anyway. Kareem’s pre-dive interview is nothing if not inspiring. He lets us know that he thinks we can be healthy our whole lives and that we don’t have to stop at some imaginary number. You might think that he made a little slip of the tongue and meant “arbitrary number”, but nope, if you watch the deleted scenes on abc.com you’ll see a half hour rant where he rails against the age of consent while a mortified Charissa Thompson looks on. He doesn’t make a great case.


Before the dive you can see he’s visibly winded from his speech and it cost him. Halfway through his backflip all the wind fell out of his sails and smacks the water face first, making for probably the best dive of the night.


Oh, then Keisha loses in a dive off that was never talked about before and is eliminated.


At the risk of getting too serious, we all should thank our lucky stars to be alive in this day and age. Sometimes things happen that shake your faith and make you question your beliefs. Disasters strike and if you aren’t careful you can catch yourself thinking “what kind of a God would let this happen?” Then something like Splash comes along and you know that God exists and he loves us.

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TK, in the immortal words of Wanz on that Macklemore song we all like, "this is fucking awesome"

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