"The only line that he actually knows is 'You're beautiful,' and then after that it's just terrible English, just made-up words," backup keeper Jay Nolly told me. "Today he was saying his wife is beautiful, she is happy," to the Blunt melody.
"He has a beautiful voice," Rod Dyachenko said. "We love him for that."
This got me to wondering, which D.C. United player would be best suited for an appearance on "American Idol?" The responses were pretty tepid, actually. Bobby Boswell said Kasali Yinka Casal has the best voice. Josh Gros said the team should submit Emilio for an audition, arguing that "he'd definitely make that first show. For being terrible." Troy Perkins said Emilio "thinks he's good, which is the worst part. Simon would have a day with him, wouldn't he?"
Anyhow, I didn't know it at the time, but I was heading down the wrong reality path. Yes, tonight is the "Idol" finale. Yes, athletes from the Wizards, Nats and United have all told me they watch "Idol." But D.C. United actually has some legitimate primetime-ready reality talent, and it's not a singer. It's Stephen deRoux. He dances. That verb scarcely does credit to his skills. Seriously, he would make Apolo Anton Ohno cry.
"He's got grease in his hips," Gros said.
"If we had an 'American Idol' for dancing, deRoux would win it on the first day," Dyachenko said. "We wouldn't have qualifying stages."
"When I watch him dance I'm like, 'Wow, I can't do that,' Boswell said. "It's like watching Christian Gomez play soccer."
"Crazy," is how Troy Perkins described it.
I had to see thus. Luckily, deRoux and his dancing cohort, fellow Jamaican Nicholas Addlery, agreed to give us a dancing demonstration. Bobby Boswell agreed to DJ with his iPod, although it was his backup iPod, and the song choices were immediately criticized.
We all assembled in the team weight room. As it turns out, Addlery considers himself the dance instigator, although he says DeRoux is the more talented dancer.
"We do this every day, it's not a big deal," Addlery told me, pre-dance. "You should have seen us in the van coming from the airport. We had Fred dancing, and Fred's Brazilian. He doesn't even know what's going on. He's dancing, though....I was doing James Brown in the airport. A little soul, a little razzle dazzle, you know what I'm talking about?"
I'm not sure that I did. Regardless, after lots of iPod bickering, they finally agreed to "Gimme the Light" by Sean Paul. It wasn't what I was expecting. Addlery would call out a step, and the duo would perform it in unison, calmly, in control, very fluid, very polished, with no false steps. It was impressive. I was kind of floored, especially considering the circumstances.
"It's definitely an awkward thing, to stand there and dance in front of a bunch of dudes," observed Comcast SportsyNet's Adam Littlefield. "I wouldn't want to do it."
Me neither. They took a break, and we made small talk, and I assumed the dancing was done and tried to think of something clever that Len Goodman would say, but then Boswell found "Chicken Noodle Soup" by Young B and DJ Webstar on his iPod, and we were off again. Boswell even joined in a bit for this one. There were animated Gatorade bottle-tosses, which fit right into the routine, and everything. They stopped again.
"Everyday thing," Addlery repeated, as they left the weight room.
I fumbled for words, but Bossy Boswell wasn't at all taken aback.
"That's how we do it every day in the locker room," he said.
"That's nothing," said Perkins, who had watched and cheered the performance.
"That's nothing," Boswell agreed. "Let's be honest, if women were in the area, his hips would move ways you've never seen hips move. It's amazing. I'm serious. That was nothing."
Luckily, you, too, can watch deRoux and Addlery dance, tomorrow night on Washington Post Live, airing on Comcast SportsyNet from 5-6:30. And if that plug doesn't get me some love in the CSN offices I don't know what will. Eventually, the video will make its way here, via the YouTubes.