Ok, first things first: I don’t think this is the final 3 that any of us predicted at the beginning of this season. Jennifer? Maybe, but there were concerns about her health. Most of us had never heard of Kyle and predicted an early exit for him; and we certainly didn’t expect Bristol to last to the midpoint of the season – let alone to the finale. It definitely leaves us with some interesting speculations and concerns – the main one being “What if Bristol wins?” Well, perhaps in an attempt to assuage some of the panic, Heidi and I decided to examine the 3 possible outcomes of the finale: Jennifer winning, Kyle winning, and Bristol winning. Just how exactly will it impact the celebs? The pros? The viewers? Even the show itself? Read on…
What if…Bristol wins?
Courtney: Ok, obviously this seems to be everyone’s biggest worry right now – and I think we all generally agree that this would be a very, very, VERY bad outcome for the show. Literally – this is the Doomsday Scenario for me. If Bristol wins, the show’s credibility is basically shot to hell, as if it wasn’t headed there already with her far-longer-than-neccessary presence this season. People are already claiming the show is “rigged” (doubt it, but some people cannot be persuaded); I think a mirror ball trophy in her hands despite a marginal performance this season would read as confirmation for a lot of people. From those who believe the show is not “rigged”, there would be outrage about how the voting process can screw over great dancers and protect bad ones – some might be proactive and actually try to reach out to the producers and the network for voting reform (how political :-P), others would probably stop watching altogether out of disgust. And ratings would plummet – they might manage to eek out another season just riding on the coattails of controversy from this season, but I don’t know that another season would be the ratings juggernaut that this one was. As for the pros – I could see a few of them quitting, most likely Maks (who, understandably, seems the angriest of all about Bristol, and is being mysterious about his future on the show), maybe Tony & Louis (who seem to get their feathers ruffled more easily about ballroom politics, and already feel they’ve been “wronged” by the show in the past), and perhaps even Mark or Derek – we’ve been saying for awhile that they may already have one foot out the door, and their final season would be sooner rather than later – maybe this would be the last little “shove” they needed to leave the show for good. As for future celebs – I definitely think it would deter some potential candidates from signing on. Who would want to participate in a show that is known to be unfair? And who would want to suffer the humiliation of putting your all into the show, only to get the boot in favor of a pseudo-celebrity that is not nearly as talented as they are? Listen up, people: do you like DWTS? Then don’t let this happen. Get out and vote for either Jennifer or Kyle as if your life depended on it. Now while I don’t see Bristol actually winning (just too much talent from the other two to overcome, as well as some very angry, very proactive fans), it’s important that everyone does their part to ensure that she doesn’t even come close to winning…because this could be one very, very big nail in the coffin of DWTS. Plus I just don’t want to hear about it or the Palins any more than I have to in the media, jeezass…
Heidi:I had a conversation with my mother today that was very illuminating. She is a very casual watcher of the show, at best, but she watches it when she can because I watch it and she’s a mom. She really likes the show, it’s just that she likes The Closer even better, which I think might be on at the same time. But she and my sisters were really loving Kurt Warner. And she has been watching the show this season because of him, as opposed to watching it every other week or so. Well, she ain’t watching it anymore. This is totally anecdotal evidence of course, but she was pretty pissed off. She kept saying she got disgusted when that “one girl” got voted off. I was trying to figure out what “one girl” she was talking about and she was saying how she just can’t watch it, she gets to mad and disgusted that Bristol is still there and “that girl” is gone. I’m like, “what the hell girl are you talking about”?? She says, the one dancing with the big athlete. I’m like, Oh ANNA?? She’s like, “yeah, that’s her.” I’m like okay, Anna is a pro, not the celeb, but that’s the couple she liked by god and she thought that Bristol wasn’t nearly as good as those two. Whatever, ma. :-) But my point is, my mother, the casual watcher – who I have not talked to about DWTS in several weeks – is fed up enough with the show and it being “fixed” that she’s turned the channel. My mother lives a few hundred miles away from me, so she’s not being influenced by me – but she’s pissed off. I’m thinking old Conrad perhaps wasn’t expecting this scenario when he put a politicians daughter on the show. Like it or not, it puts a different connotation on the competition that just isn’t good. Maybe it’s not rational. Maybe it shouldn’t. But there’s a little saying that goes: “Perception is reality”. If a large percentage of the audience thinks it’s political and that they’re giving Bristol a pass – well then that’s all that really matters. How people – viewers – perceive a situation and how they react to it is very important. Who cares if that’s not what you intended – this is how it’s working out. We are far from the only blog that is wondering if they will be able to get good celebs after this, or if we’ll be stuck with the likes of Christine O’Donnell. We’re not the only blog that wonders if great ratings right now translate into basement ratings in the long run because people have had enough. It’s very easy to sit back and say, “Oh people are always saying they won’t watch the show anymore, they never quit.” But what you’re missing in that little scenario is that every audience has a point where they say “Screw it”. How do you know this isn’t the proverbial straw??? As for the pros?? Well, I think they need to worry far more about the men than they do the women. Maks, Tony and Louis?? All three have been VERY vocal in the last year or so about the failings of the show. All three have other stuff going on too. Heck, Louis just testified on Capitol Hill the other day – these guys are stars in their own right. They might not leave right now, because the show still benefits them, but how much more time they have will depend on just how well the producers cast the next season. Derek and Mark?? Well, nothing seems to really ruffle Derek these days other than paparazzi – and even they are getting the occasional smile from him. But Derek’s most recent interview indicates pretty strongly that he’s got something else cooking. We’ll have to wait and see if that takes him away from DWTS. Mark? I put Mark in the same league with Maks, Tony and Louis. I think he’ll stick for a bit because he’s starting at the very bottom for his music career. He needs DWTS probably more than any of them. There is one “Pro” to Bristol still being there, though – this, and everything around it, will certainly come back and bite Sarah at some point in the not to distant future. :-)
What if…Jennifer wins?
Courtney: I’m sure there are those that are going to point fingers at me and scream “BIASED!” (here’s a preemptive “Ummm, DUH, and I don’t really care, because this is a blog”), but I think of the 3 that are left, Jennifer is the one that deserves the trophy the most. I’ve seen her work hard, improve, overcome obstacles, and truly enjoy herself this season. She has technique, she has performance, and she has character – she is the full package for me. I have enjoyed all but one of her performances (the paso doble, but I’m looking forward to seeing her redeem herself on that one). That said – this outcome would not be without backlash, either. There is the camp that always whines “But Derek ALWAYS gets a good partner! NO FAIR!” that will likely try to claim the show is somehow rigged in his favor. Big whoop. There were so many outraged fans commenting here after last season that claimed they would never watch the show again because Nicole’s win was “unfair” – and I have to chuckle when I think of how many of those same fans are still actively watching and commenting this season ;-) And ratings are still fantastic…clearly enough people are not pissed off enough with Derek’s success to boycott the show. My other concern (and Heidi knows more about this and can either dispute this or support it) is that another win, just like Bristol winning, may be enough for Derek to say “You know what? I’m done.” Whether it’s going out on top or getting out before things get REALLY bad, Derek’s days on the show are likely numbered…he’s a successful, in-demand guy, and I can’t blame him for wanting more from life than DWTS. As for Jennifer – it could possibly generate into some more TV & film opportunities, although I’m not sure that’s necessarily what she wants right now. She seems pretty happy with being a wife and mommy, and just taking the occasional small role (anyone else catch her on House?) here and there. But who knows – it could generate into something bigger, and she could jump right on it. She looks fabulous and I’d sure as hell like to see her do more! Overall, I don’t think much would change on the show – I don’t see any big uproar if Jen wins. If anything, I think America, the pros, and TPTB would breathe a sigh of relief that someone other than Bristol won.
Heidi:Yeah, I think everyone other than the Mark and Cheryl fans would be breathing a sigh of relief. :-) Those two groups will not be happy if Derek is the first to reach Mirrorball number three. And well, the Maks fans are always unhappy about Derek. :-) I see it as validation. :-) Who really cares what some fan groups on the net say, anyway? They don’t actually represent the general viewer, but the fringes. Hey, I’m fringy. :-) Really, there isn’t much to say about this scenario – everybody wins (except those fan groups I mentioned). The really funny thing is that out of all the people involved, Derek and Jennifer seem the most relaxed about the outcome. You had Brandy desperately wanting to WIN, you have Bristol and Mark on the defensive (to the point of nervous breakdown in Mark’s case, I think :-) ), you have Kyle having fun and wanting to win…then there’s Jennifer and Derek. I get the feeling from them that they would love to win, but they actually seem to have pretty good perspective about the whole thing. That’s just my feeling from watching all of them. Actually, Kyle and Lacey seem pretty cool too. I wonder if they have bought into Bristol as a foregone conclusion and are just going to relax and have fun. Really, they both could knock it out of the park for that reason.
What if…Kyle wins?
Courtney: The more I think about this one, the more I could possibly see it happening – just based on the fact that there are a lot of Maks fans that seem intent on somehow “avenging” Brandy, and somehow that agenda involves sticking it to both Bristol AND Jennifer…go figure. Plus, Maks & Brandy have publicly thrown their support behind Kyle – I think a more PC move would have been to encourage their fans to VOTE, PERIOD, and to vote for who they think was the MOST DESERVING…a very subtle way of implying that certain couples *cough*Bristol&Mark*cough* don’t deserve to be there. But for those on Team BranDMC that aren’t too pissed off to tune in and vote, it could be good news for Kyle – an extra boost to maybe put him over Jennifer, who maybe didn’t get quite as many votes because people assumed she was safe based on scores. Overall, I think the reaction would be something like “Hmmm…well, didn’t see that coming, but COOL! Someone other than Bristol won! GO KYLE!” There may be a bit of an uproar from those who thought Jen deserved to win, but again – I think at this point everyone (except the Tea Party) is just going to be thrilled as long as Bristol doesn’t win. Lacey might get a little big for her britches (ugh), but I think Kyle would just laugh, say “Yay!” and ask for some pizza ;-) I could definitely see this kid having a bright future…tv shows, movies, talk shows, whatever! After thinking this one through…I almost wonder if this would be the most PC outcome of this season. Seems like it would eliminate the Derek backlash, the Bristol backlash, and wouldn’t disrupt the dynamic of the show too much. Do I think it’s what SHOULD happen? Of course not. But I think it would be hard for anyone to truly be pissed off if this lovable little imp won :-)
Heidi: Hell, even *I* wouldn’t be pissed off if he won. Of course I want Jennifer to win, but I would take Kyle easily – I think you are absolutely correct, that anyone other than Bristol at this point would be a positive outcome. I think many of the Brandy fans are a lot of talk, but like most fan groups they are only a small part of a much larger whole. I doubt there is a lot of power voting coming from that quadrant – I know I wouldn’t if I was them. As for Lacey – yeah, ugh – she is an odd one. She was left out last season and she was nearly left out this season – you would think that that would be a bit of a wakeup call to be a bit more humble. Girl ain’t all that if she starts to go the Jonathan route – only signed on when there ain’t no one else (poor Jonathan – sob). Why she doesn’t grasp this is beyond me – lack of self awareness? Beats me. But Kyle is generally a cute little guy – even if he has been annoying me that last two weeks or so. As for the “Derek backlash” – girl, ain’t nothing stopping that, regardless of the outcome. Boyfriend is threatening. :-) He’s only won twice in 7 season and yet to the fans of other pros he’s the root of all evil – even though he isn’t the only one with two trophies. It’s quite validating, actually – the talent and charisma is surely there if he’s perceived as such a threat by those groups to the point that they revise history such that it is unrecognizable. You can forget that -that isn’t going to change. :-) Hell, I got ten bucks that says, if Mark wins, people STILL complain about Derek’s partner if he’s on next season. Mark could be paired with Kristi Yamaguchi junior after winning three MBTs and Derek with an unknown model and still it would be “They like Derek best!!” whine, whine, whine. Why??? Because people are SILLY. You wanna take that bet?? :-)