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Dancing With The Stars Voting Is Unfair

Posted by on September 3, 2010 at 5:48 PM EST

dancing with the starsHow the contestants on Dancing With The Stars are voted off each week might not be as fair as we thought.

The voting formula for Dancing With The Stars is a simple one that is intended to balance the power of who stays and who goes between the judges and the fans. The judges vote for the dancers based on several criteria and the fans get to call in and cast their votes for their favorites. The dancers with the lowest cumulative score are eliminated. ABC says that the scoring is divided equally between the judges and the fans so that both have a voice. This might be the problem with the show.

Anyone who pays any attention to the show will know that some of the stars are clearly much bigger than others. It is safe to say that a lot more people know who David Hasselhoff is than Kyle Massey or even Audrina Patridge. Sure, both were on shows that got some ratings, but they were nothing like Baywatch or America’s Got Talent. This reality is where the judging on Dancing With The Stars gets skewed.

It is not a phenomenon or just dumb luck that most sports stars do well on Dancing With The Stars. Some (Emmit Smith) have won the show (and may have actually deserved to do so) while others who were not good dancers advanced well beyond the level even they expected. How could this be? The answer is: The fans. Many sports stars have millions of fans all over the nation who know who they are and root for them to do well in the show. They will vote for this sports star no matter how good or bad they do. Lawrence Taylor admitted he was terrible and wasn’t even really trying. He wanted off the show, but he has so many rabid fans out there that they kept voting him back. While other bad dancers would go home, guys like Taylor stick around because of the fans.

This means that someone like David Hasselhoff is going into the show with a marked advantage over the other contestants. He already has a built in fan base that will vote for him no matter how he performs. The same could be said for Kurt Warner who was the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals on their run to the Super Bowl a few years ago. You might even argue that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino has an advantage. His show, Jersey Shore, is not only doing very well in the ratings right now, but the cast is making news for many different reasons (good and bad) so he is fresh in the voter’s mind. Then there is the curious case of Bristol Palin. Odds makers have her in last place with the odds of 35:1 that she will win the show. But she could have an ace in the hole. Her family is well known between Christian and conservative groups nationwide. These same groups make up a large demographic of Dancing With The Stars’ audience since this show is considered to be a family friendly show. Could the “religious right” turn out in droves to vote for her? They very well might.

The old saying that it is all about ‘who you know’ in life really rings true. When it comes to Dancing With The Stars, it may be all about who knows you. There is a reason Rick Fox is the favorite to win it all with 4:1 odds. It isn’t because the odds makers know he is a good dancer. It is because he won three NBA championship rings with the LA Lakers and is married to Vanessa Williams.



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