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Dancing Woz debuts, receives lowest score

Apple co-founder Wozniak offers Safari tech support on Dancing with the Stars (see video below)

March 10, 2009 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., yesterday took his first spin around the floor on the reality television show Dancing with the Stars, only to receive the lowest score of the night.

The three-judge panel awarded Wozniak and his professional partner Karina Smirnoff only 13 points out of a possible 30, a point lower than the next-poorest score.

"Overall, it was a disaster," said judge Len Goodman.

"I don't know if it was hilarious or delirious," added another judge, Bruno Tonioli. "It was like a Teletubby going mad in a Gay Pride parade."

Wozniak, who predictably kicked off a pre-dance segment riding a Segway to meet his partner, wore a feather boa at the start of the dance and for much of the time hammed it up. "I'm having so much fun that they're testing me for drugs tomorrow," he said after the dance.

The show even featured a bit of Apple technical support. As soon as Wozniak and Smirnoff finished -- but before the judges could offer comments -- host Tom Bergeron asked Wozniak what he should do if Safari locks up. Wozniak hesitated a moment, then blurted out "Reinstall!"

Wozniak, 58, founded Apple Computer, now Apple Inc., in 1976 with Steve Jobs, current CEO of the company who is on medical leave through June. An engineer working at Hewlett-Packard Co. at the time, Wozniak designed the Apple II, the company's first mass-produced personal computer, as well as its forerunner, the hand-built Apple-1. He left the company in 1987, although he claims to still be on the company's payroll.

During the intro video segments, Wozniak -- who often goes by the simpler "Woz" -- sported black socks and shoes as he practiced with Smirnoff, perhaps putting his nerd full forward. "A lot of dancing is analog," he observed at one point to a confused Smirnoff.

"I like to close my eyes when I'm practicing," he said a moment later, "because it helps me see an image of myself in my head ... like dreaming."

Even with the lowest score of the season's debut, Wozniak is not necessarily out of the competition. The 13 couples will dance again next week, at which point those scores will be added to Monday's, then factored in with the by-phone and online viewer votes. The two couples with the lowest scores will then have to compete in a dance-off Tuesday, March 17.

"This is most incredibly fun thing I've ever done," said Wozniak. "Nerds can dance!"

Votes can be cast online at the ABC Web site.

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