Dancing With the Stars Disappoints
by Doyle Ranstrom on Nov 8, 2019
My wife is a passionate viewer of the ABC television show, "Dancing With The Stars" [DTWS]. Partly because she enjoys dance and understands the different types of dance. Partly she enjoys many of the contestants and their stories and partly because she is an excellent dancer in her own right. She rarely if ever misses a show during the season.
So it was with interest that at the end of each of this year's show when the results are announced and a contestant is voted off the show, I heard her yell out, in frustration, "I cannot believe he did not get cut".
Before going farther, it is important to note that though I do watch parts of the show occasionally, I am not a dancer. Years ago at Christmas, a relative watching me dance, told me "you have no rhythm". Harsh, but an accurate assessment of my talent level. A number of years later, prior to my daughter's wedding, I took private dance classes once a week for several months so I could dance with her at the wedding. I was not good but did get better, though it would have been impossible to get worse. For me, even learning the most basic dances steps for various types of dance was very difficult. I also learned it was also a great workout. So, I have empathy and admiration for all the contestants and how they hard to work to perform and be judged on national TV.
The "he" who does not get cut at the end of each show is Sean Spicer. This is in spite of Spicer having the lowest scores from the judges most every week. Each week a more talented dancer with significantly higher scores would be cut and Mr. Spicer moves on to the next week., Kim is not alone in her frustration. So are the judges and many others.
Though the actual algorithm is kept private, essentially each contestant's total score is 50% from the judges and 50% from public voting with, in the event of a tie between the bottom two, the public voting decides who stays. In many seasons, a less talented dancer may hang around an extra episode due to being more popular, but Spicer's run is very rare and there appears to be a reason.
Mr. Spicer has his own website promoting how to vote for him. He also regularly appears on two national networks promoting his website and how to vote for him to stay on the show. Part of his strategy is to inform supporters how each supporter can actually cast a vote for him a total of 20 times, 10 via the ABC website and 10 via a text to ABC. He also informs supporters that for their vote to count, they must vote when the show is live in both Eastern Time and Central Time which means they are casting their votes being watching that week's competition.
In reading commentaries, I was struck by comments of supporters for Mr. Spicer saying they do not even watch the show but wanted him to win as a political statement. That surprised, ok shocked me. I would question the IQ of anyone who thinks DWTS is a political show. Not that the person's IQ is low, rather if the person has an IQ at all.
My wife has known the rules for some time and since we no longer live in the Central Time Zone. She would never vote before watching the dancers perform on a given night. To vote before watching the show for her, and millions of other viewers would not only be unethical but a form of blasphemy. This is a problem with DTWS and its executives. it was one of the reasons DWTS lost audience the previous season and the slide continues this season.
If part of your core group of viewers have stopped watching the show because they believe the best dancers are being cut unfairly and many voters who are affecting the outcome are actually not watching the show, you may want to think about your marketing strategy. I suspect there may be some jobs opening up in the executive staff of DWTS.
Mr. Spicer is simply taking advantage of the rules and should not be blamed. I do find it interesting that he has worked so hard to stay in competition in which he is clearly the lowest scoring performer by the judges and has been so most every week. That is impressive to me. Of course, maybe he thinks his low scores are fake news.
The real losers are first the contestants who were voted off the show. Then second is all the viewers who are knowledgeable and passionate about the different types of dances performed and the nuances of each dance. They are purists and would not vote until watching all the dancers perform on a given night. Because of ABC's requirements, if they are in Mountain and Pacific time zones, their votes do not count. They may disagree on who the actual best dancer is, but they all want the best dancer to win.
In the total scheme of things, DWTS is not very important, but for that matter neither is the Super Bowl. However, just like a football fan would not want the worst team for the NFL to play in the Super Bowl do a silly voting system, neither do DWTS fans want to see the poorest dancer advance each week.
On a separate but related note, I will be sending ABC/DWTS my resume for executive management positions which are sure to open up.