Louie Anderson in "Splash" (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
Weighing in at over 400 pounds, Minnesota native Louie Anderson is a major underdog to win ABC's "Splash," the new reality series in which celebrities compete in diving events. But in Tuesday night's premiere, Anderson gave the most emotional performance, dedicating his leap to the troops and, at the last minute, moving from the 16-foot board to the 23-foot board.
All-star judges Steve Foley and David Boudia complimented Anderson's jump, saying it reminded them of Tarzan movies, although Foley had to add that, at the end, he looked more like "George of the Jungle."
Anderson survived, coming in third among the five celebs that participated. Five more compete next week. "Cosby" darling Keshia Knight Pulliam ended up going home.
Despite the emotional nature of Anderson's performance, one couldn't help but sense that much of it was staged. His move to the 23-foot board at the last minute felt like manufactured drama. And then there was that much talked about footage of training, in which a drained Anderson had to be helped out of the pool.
Heavy stuff -- except, as Det. Jimmy Kimmel pointed out later on his show, there was a ladder just a short distance away from Anderson.
We'll check in with Louie and see what he has to say. Stay tuned.