January 20, 2006


And tonight we see a stellar example of the flaws in ABC's elimination rules for Dancing with the stars. It's fine to have viewer input figuring into the tally, shaking things up a bit, but by making the scores only count by rank, being second-worst with a lead of 6 is no better than being second-worst with a lead of 1, and there is no way for the judges to signal that one dancer is just so bad that he shouldn't continue; and when you get celebrities whose fan base is large and will call in lots of votes for them, they simply can't be gotten rid of. I would happily cast votes against this jackass if they'd let me, and I think a lot of other people would too.

This P idiot has repeatedly shown disdain for the judges, for the sport, and for the show, and has no interest in actually doing a dance that looks good, rejecting everything that ballroom dancing is about, and preferring to just do his own thing. Fine, but get off the damn show then. He has now been promoted past at least two dancers better than him, one significantly so, and he doesn't even appreciate it. As a result, we will next week be subjected to yet another dance that is ugly and painful to watch, instead of getting to watch a dancer who wants to dance well, dancing sharply and prettily.

Let me be clear: I have no problem with watching beginners. I teach dance twice a week, and I go to competitions, and I have fun watching people who are still learning to dance. They muck up the steps a bit, and they have bad form, but they're still fun to watch. And at least seven of this batch are (were) even better than that: in an amazing burst of effort, they have learned in a few weeks how to dance quite well, and as I said, Giselle's tango yesterday was great, something that would have been in the running even in a real ballroom comp. And yet, the rapper gets the callback instead, because his fans, who wouldn't know a foxtrot from a paso doble, call in all their votes for him just so he can win, nevermind that it's a competition of which he has rejected the premise, the evaluation, and the spectators.

Hey judges, you read blogs? Here's what you need to do: award everybody except P a 9 next week. That will tie them all for first, and he will be sixth, and the viewer voting will have to rank him #1 for him not to be eliminated. At this point, gaming the system is about all you can do.

Other viewers: I'd bet anything that lots of people did just what Greg and Carrie did last week, and that's exactly why Jerry got called back instead of Giselle. Seriously, if you're going to commit vote fraud (and why not, it seems to be encouraged), you should at least spread your votes over the bottom three or so, to avoid this problem. Anybody whose viewer ranking is as much lower than the judges', as P's is higher, will get knocked out before he does.

(In other news, what the hell is DwtS's deal with thinking that music from Rocky counts as a paso doble? Last season, Joey danced to "Eye of the Tiger", and tonight the professionals danced—under protest, I assume—to "Theme from Rocky". Yechhh.)

"Miss Manners recommends dropping whatever else you are doing to go hunt for salad knives. It will not be easy, but the small knife, also sometimes called a tea knife or a youth knife, is the only correct one to use. You need them, because you are at an impasse. You are right that meat knives should never be used on salad, but your partner is right that one has to defend oneself against inconsiderate and lazy salad-makers." --Miss Manners

Posted by blahedo at 9:36pm on 20 Jan 2006
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