Just a TV Heads up: you can Dancing With The Stars Cheryl Burke in the new NBC series “I Can Do That”. It premieres on Tuesday, May 26th if interested in watching and following along this season. Below is a preview. To read and see more, see the I Can Do That Official site. Looks fun. I think I will check it out.
One of my twitter followers private messaged me about this topic taking place at the Dancing With The Stars discussion area and it also showed up in one of my searches. I thought this might make a fun topic for us too. Question: Who was the better dancer: Nicole Scherzinger or Meryl Davis? Also (and I had to throw this question in too), which were your favorite dances for each?
I think Nicole was the better dancer hands down. Meryl’s Tango with Val was brilliant in my opinion and her Tango and Freestyle took my breath away with Maks. However, most of her other dances felt weak to me in some way. They didn’t give me that “moment”..and especially the faster dances when she had to move her hips. As for Nicole, it seemed there wasn’t one dance she couldn’t master. Every week, she came out full of intensity for with something to prove for each. My favorite dances for Nicole were Argentine Tango, the Paso Doble, the Jive, and the freestyle.
OMG Yahoo has posted a new article about where the winners of Dancing With The Stars have put their trophies. J.R. Martinez joked that he’d put his trophy in bed or on the hood of his car. However, his partner, Karina Smirnoff, had more traditional plans. Shawn Johnson’s trophy is at her parents’ house. Apparently, they show off her Dancing With The Stars trophy more than they do her Olympic medals. So cute. Here is more in detail….
Season 13 winner J.R. Martinez joked about his plans for his trophy in 2011. He told Us Weekly, “Right now I’m going to tuck mine into my bed and it’s going to roll around with me. And then after that, once we’ve kind of grown apart, I’m going to glue it on the hood of my car and drive around Los Angeles and honk my horn, and I’ll be my own parade!”
But J.R.’s is pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, had more traditional plans: “I’ll put my trophy in my studio in Woodland Hills,” she said. “I have a space with spotlights and I’m going to polish it every morning!”
Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson (her season 8 partner was Mark Ballas) told the Des Moines Register her trophy is home sweet home — at her parents’ place. “It’s at my parents’ house (in West Des Moines), actually,” she said. “It’s not on display, but my parents seem to show it off more than my (Olympic) medals.”
You can more about where the other winners of Dancing With The Stars have put their trophies at OMG Yahoo.
This post is the 4th and final part of a series where I basically tell the producers of DWTS how they should change the show – it’s for their own good. This part is more to the audience, but also for the producers. If you want to read parts 1, 2, and 3 you can find them here:
A reminder for those easily induced into righteous indignation – this is NOT about the various couples but about the JUDGES and the Producers – I’ve provided examples of problems that I remember from season to season. If you get your knickers in a twist about Melissa or Shawn or Mya or Nicole or Maria, I’m not going to waste time arguing with you, I’m going to call you names (maybe to myself, maybe publicly – we’ll see) and then ignore you. Keep it on topic.
I’ve never been one to believe in a high degree of manipulation of the show via the packages. I mean, let’s face it – no one MADE Maks be an ass with half his partners. And I’ve had people who work on the show tell me that what you see is usually what you get. Not to mention that after many seasons on the show, these pros know if you give the producers exciting footage, they are going to USE it. So, don’t be stupid. Take up the song “The Camera’s really on me now” by Derek Hough and Nicole Scherzinger. And suck it up. I get that the job of the producers is to get ratings. You get ratings by getting people talking. Be it a showmance or a knock down drag out fight. If you’re not smart enough to realize that camera really is recording everything you do, then it’s on YOU. Maks and Hope really WERE awful, Karina and Apolo (sadly) really were stressed out and boring, and Drew and Anna were indeed too intense and serious. Read more..
This post is part 3 of a new series where I basically tell the producers of DWTS how they should change the show – it’s for their own good. If you want to read parts 1 and 2, you can find them here:
A reminder for those easily induced into righteous indignation – this is NOT about the various couples but about the JUDGES and the Producers – I’ve provided examples of problems that I remember from season to season. If you get your knickers in a twist about Melissa or Shawn or Mya or Nicole or Maria, I’m not going to waste time arguing with you, I’m going to call you names (maybe to myself, maybe publicly – we’ll see) and then ignore you. Keep it on topic. And by all means – if you remember other instances of fishiness, feel free to share. I can’t guarantee we will agree, but I would be interested to hear.
Dear DWTS Producers (cont.)
We’ve talked all about the stupid scoring methods the judges have, although not really touching on how much you producers influence that scoring. It’s really hard to say what is Len being an ass and what is producer directed underscoring with the goal of drama, making it a horse race or holding on to the contestants who grab viewers attention, albeit not necessarily actual votes. Who’s doing it and their ultimate goal? Don’t know, kinda care, really wish you would CUT IT OUT. I think it’s obvious. One only has to compare how Len scored Shawn, Nicole and Mya to see a pretty distinct pattern. I didn’t look much farther than those three, initially, but after my last posting I had to look at another talented dancer, Jennifer Grey. Jennifer didn’t suffer from the same scoring bullshit as the other three ladies. Why? Well, my guess is that she wasn’t anywhere close to “guaranteed” win (in the producers and judges eyes, mind you) that the other ladies were. She was 50 years old at the time and had some rather serious medical issues – almost didn’t dance in the finale, if you recall. Falsely crapping on her dances would seem…well, heartless. She started the show as the sympathetic character with a very nostalgic feel. The other pseudo ringer that season was Brandy – she learned to dance for a movie, like Jennifer, and went to a performing arts high school – like Jennifer. Keeping in mind that I haven’t seen her dances since her season aired, you will note that she was getting consistently beaten by Jennifer in scoring up until week 5, when she beat Jennifer. She also beat Jennifer in week 6, then tied her in weeks 7 and 8, before being eliminated. I’m tempted to say that she had the Len curse that season….but since I haven’t watched the dances in a while I can’t really make the call. Looks like it though.
Brooke and Kristi were the high scorers nearly every week they were on the show, season 5 was all over the place, and Gilles seemed destined to win season 8, which leads me to believe that this little game didn’t really start happening until after that season. Were they getting tired of sure things, even though Gilles ended up not winning? Decided to make the game more interesting? Totally pissed that Shawn won and Gilles/Melissa didn’t? I wish they would quit it. It’s always nice to have excitement on a show, but not at the expense of reality. Read more..
This post is part 2 of a new series where I basically tell the producers of DWTS how they should change the show. Cuz I’m bossy like that. If you want to read part 1, you can find it here —> How to Fix DWTS Part 1 A reminder for those easily induced into righteous indignation – this is NOT about the various couples but about the JUDGES and the Producers – I’ve provided examples of problems that I remember from season to season. If you get your knickers in a twist about Melissa or Shawn or Mya or Nicole or Maria, I’m not going to waste time arguing with you, I’m going to call you names (maybe to myself, maybe publicly – we’ll see) and then ignore you. Keep it on topic.
Dear DWTS Producers (cont.)
Scoring – to keep the “better” dancers over the “not so much” dancers. “Better” being highly subjective. This is another common problem that many of us have seen on the show in the mid weeks of a season. Say you have a dancer named Hope. She’s not a great dancer, but she’s explosive when paired with the bad boy of the ballroom – good for controversy and smack talk if not much else. Well, you want your show to be talked about and there are much more “disposable” celebrities on at the same time, so what do you do?? Well, of course, you pad Hope’s scores to give her just enough of a boost that she sticks around for a couple weeks, even if there are better dancers (such as Kristin, Chynna and even David – well, maybe not “better” in David’s case, but certainly more charming) that are at risk of leaving. Ya gotta have your ratings, right? Now, when all the disposable celebs are gone and you start scoring Hope for real, what happens?? Well, both Hope AND her fans and the rest of the audience are saying, “Wait a second. Last week I got a much better score for a dance that wasn’t as good as this one.” And the conspiracy theories abound. And with good reason, right? Hope’s not even the best example of this – I’m sure my readers can come up with good-ish dancers who were intentionally over scored just so they would stay longer than the really crappy dancers, only to start getting lower scores in the later weeks – so that the *great* dancers would survive. It’s a vicious cycle. Of course, they don’t always get worse scores in later weeks. I have to wonder just how much protecting of Melissa was done early on for dancing that wasn’t that great. She got a 37 (out of 40) on a Jitterbug in week 4 that had seriously messy lifts (the in and outs mainly) – one of which was almost a fall. It kinda makes me laugh cuz Shawn was picked on for “tricks” yet this dance was ALL tricks and any dancing there was was simplistic. CAI, Len and Paula even called them on it and they still got a 37. She got a 27 the week before on a samba that was just too precious – and a 30 when they re-danced it and she did no better on it. Me thinks they were terribly afraid of Kirstie and Emmitt, early on, when it came to Melissa, and they were pulling a Maria late in the season (see below). Except for the very last one (maybe) her tangos and pasos were routinely over scored – so soft. :::shrug::: Hope and Melissa are far from the only examples. Maria was overscored on her Jive (if Shawn had danced that dance, Len would have decimated her), either to let her be eliminated with a high score (dangerous) or because they were hoping (strangely) that she could get past Donald, who they clearly didn’t care for much. I always thought her salsa was overscored as well. She was definitely a better dancer than many of the others in week three, when the salsa happened, but I imagine there was some doubt as to the strength of her fanbase. The judges/producers seem to have so many goals, it’s hard to keep track of. One of them has to be making sure the better dancers with questionable fanbases make it to the end over the crap dancers who are popular. Read more..
ETA: Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those in Newtown, Connecticut tonight.
How to “Fix” DWTS – An Open Letter to the Producers. This is going to be a rather long series, judging by the length of part 1 by itself. I tried to do it all in one post but my Word version is already five pages long and I’m less than half way done. The below is the first two and a half pages. Oh, and I give a LOT of examples that are just that – examples with names inserted. They may or may not be accurate. The point is likely in bold – this isn’t about individual dancers but about judge’s and producer’s behavior in a more general sense.
Dear DWTS Producers,
You need lots of help, because a lot of people can now see the man behind the curtain. And he’s just a man, he ain’t no wizard. So, I’m going to try to help you. You may not like what I have to say and you certainly don’t have to listen to what I say. But I AM the average viewer (sort of) and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in my growing disgust with parts of how you run your show. Disgust seems like too strong a word, but it was the first one that popped into my head, so we’re going with it. So…read on.
NUMBER ONE THING TO REMEMBER: Your viewers aren’t stupid. Except when they ARE.
Most of the viewers of DWTS have been watching it long enough that they know a good Cha Cha from a stinky Cha Cha or a boring Cha Cha. So, when you give crap to someone like Shawn and Derek for a tractor and a cow, then rave over Kirstie Alley or (worse) Bristol Palin, a good chunk of your audience is rolling their eyes. And you lose a bit of credibility. They aren’t that stupid – trust me. Even the super Maks fans recognize that Kirstie isn’t at the same level as Shawn – just one example of dozens, of course. And for obvious reasons, not the least of which is age. But I skip ahead…
These very same viewers are sometimes easily manipulated by someone with a subtle (or even not so subtle) hand – especially when some of them are pre-disposed to buy into certain manipulations. And most people are, in some respect. “Too much frippery” or “not enough content” or “not enough in hold” or “always breaking the rules” or “no chemistry” – all things that have been true and NOT true (often within the same SHOW) and often used against one dancer but not another – again, within the same show. But you make these claims often enough (true or not) and people start to believe it. Why do you think politicians continually say things that are easily disproven if one were to look them up?? Because they know that the average person is inclined to believe what a person who they feel is in a position of authority says, especially if they hear it a lot. Like LEN, for example. People constantly regurgitate what they hear Len say, as if he’s never wrong. Of course, they think he’s wrong when he’s talking about THEIR favorite…but not everyone else’s. Then he’s spot on. Go figure. Odds are, if you think he’s wrong once he’s actually wrong when you think he’s right too.
But Len and the judges are just part of the problem. I’ve outlined several issues that I see with the show and how I think you could easily fix them.
Scoring – Dancers against each other or against themselves? Here at PureDWTS, we’ve raged over this issue season after season after season. There’s been a bit of arguing about it as well. Say you have two dancers…we’ll call them Bristol and Apolo. Bristol is a young woman with a questionable fanbase (and even more questionable work ethic) but definitely an attention getter, and she’s not a great dancer but not horrendous either. Apolo is very popular athlete, handsome, hard worker and a really good dancer. Now, our esteemed judges, on week 1, give Bristol all 6.5’s while they give Apolo all 7.0’s – for the same dance style. Um…okay. Anyone’s who’s seen them dance likely does not agree AT ALL with only a half point separation per judge, but okay. Let’s say it’s a fluke. Week 2 rolls around and Bristol gets an 18, while Apolo gets a 24.5 – AWESOME. Life is how it should be, to anyone who has watched this show for any length of time. But uh oh – Week 3. Bristol dances Paso to Living on Video (an iconic dance to all viewers) and gets 7.5’s across the board for a 22.5. Apolo does a foxtrot and gets a 25.5. Hum. A 3-point difference between a guy like Apolo and Bristol in week 3. That’s it??It gets worse – it’s only 2.5 points in week 4. Now, this isn’t even the most egregious example of this – I just picked those two because they were on last season. Luckily, Bristol got the boot in week 4. But in the past, better dancers have been eliminated because of the judges’ tendency to say “Oh, you’ve improved so much from your first week!!” to people who really aren’t that good to begin with. And since you started with 7’s (a ridiculous first week score – or it should be – for many or most couples) you’ve got no place to go but up. Of course, since you picked someone like Bristol for the all-star season in the first place is a whole other problem – ya kinda have to give her good scores to justify her presence on the season, eh? Anyway, the judges have a real problem with scoring someone based on how they’ve improved. Now, by itself, this might not seem like a huge problem. But you throw in a great dancer with a great fanbase who doesn’t live up to (likely too) high expectations?? They get scored MUCH harsher and you end up with a tiny spread between a great dancer and a mediocre/bad dancer. How is that the viewers are the only ones who see how ridiculous this is?
The fix?? STOP IT. Stop ragging on the Shawns and Apolos of the cast, while praising the Bristols and perhaps your audience will start to take you seriously once again. Sure, it’s a light, fluffy dance show – but if your audience thinks you have NO credibility?? Yer still screwed. You become as respected as Honey Boo Boo. Can’t help yourself?? Think it’s only fair to give the less fortunate a fighting chance?? Make a judge’s rule. Once you are past Week 4, the gloves come OFF and you judge the dancers against each other. Of course, you’ll have to have real criteria that’s PUBLISHED so the fans can follow along…but we’ll get to that in a later part. It would also help if you started LOWER. Hand out 4s and 5s…and even 3s. Then you have a place to go with the scores for the not great dancers who improve without making it look like you are punishing the good dancers for BETTER dancing.
Bottom Line: When you set the bar extremely high for dancers like Nicole, Mya, Shawn, Apolo, Brandy, Jennifer…the list goes on…just because you expect more from them, it is patently unfair. When the bar is lower for the bad dancers and result is a very small spread between the mediocre/bad and the good/great?? Shocking eliminations abound. AND your audience believes you might be rigging the show.
To be continued in Part 2….
LOL. I posted this on PureDerekHough because they use a picture of him and Nicole, but I figured this was an interesting article about a dance study that was done in England. Found this in the NY Daily News Click the link to read more.
Best foot forward?
Guys who make the right moves on the dance floor just might attract the girl of their dreams. It’s the speed of a man’s right knee, paired with the variety and the shape of his neck and torso movements that can set a woman’s heart aflutter, according to research reported on LiveScience.com.
Psychologists employed computer-generated avatars to figure out what ladies like to see in a guy when he dances.
At Northumbria University in England, they filmed 19 guys ranging in age from 18 to 35. Using a 12-camera system as the guys danced to a German dance track, the researchers mapped the volunteers’ movements onto white, featureless, gender-neutral characters.
They used this picture with the article.
Think about it – it would be cool. So, I got the idea from Derek Hough, who made what I think was an offhand comment in his last blog of this past season –
Next time, I’d love to see some celebrities come on the show who have dance experience — with no apologies. When people say that’s unfair, I say it should be welcome. Then it gives the dancers a chance to do some great things.
So that made me think that wouldn’t it be an interesting season if you had ONLY celebrities with past dance experience of some type – NO trained ballroom people, but people like Nicole, Erin, Evan, Sabrina, Lance, Kristi, Mya, Mel B, Melissa and so on. That would eliminate (to a degree) the bitching and moaning that goes on every season and people would have to learn to understand that past experience doesn’t mean that all the dancers will have the same degree of *talent*. Nicole, Sabrina and Mel B were all in pop groups that dance as part of the routine – were they all equal in talent? Nope.
What would happen if you put Evan, Kristi, Nicole, Erin, Sabrina, Mel B, Lance, Melissa, and Mya all in one season? Well, Kristi would still win because she’s the ringer of all ringers – huge fanbase AND talent. So, get rid of her – the point is to try to level the playing field.
So, sans Kristi, just think of the great dancing we would see! It wouldn’t be so easy to predict who was staying and who was going each week. Like Derek said, each of the pros would (hopefully) rise to new heights of creative choreography – and if they didn’t it would be glaringly obvious. Even Conrad, the head dude, said before the season got started that Derek would be under tremendous pressure. The pressure would be on ALL the pros to deliver great dances for talented people week in and week out. And no outside choreographers allowed. Also, get rid of the stupid lift rule – if your people have some experience, they can handle a lift or two. NO, I’m not talking about something like So You Think You Can Dance – still celebs, but those with the relatively limited (when compared to SYTYCD) training like those I’ve listed.
The end result, I think, would be to make the competition as much about the pros as it is about the celebs – if it isn’t already anyway. Now, instead of being mostly about fanbase and less about talent, it would be about fanbase, choreography, performance – the talent should be a given. Who can bring it the most? The only question is – would the ratings allow it? Some people actually LIKE train wrecks.
No, actually I don’t believe in a conspiracy, but lots of Evan and/or Erin fans do. So, I’m going to attempt to debunk it, although I suspect that no amount of reason and/or logic and/or math will do that for disgruntled fans.
Erin fans, you’re out of luck. Unless you think the show is completely rigged, there is no way that Erin was “robbed” in the finale. She was in second place after three dances and still Evan beat her into the final two. That’s simple votes, AND she was helped tremendously by the judges over scoring of her Samba. I’m pretty much leaving her out of this discussion unless someone wants to argue with me about it.
First off, a list of the common conspiracy theories floating around out there, compiled by my equally evil sidekick (or co-conspirator, if you prefer), Courtney:
“The judges pimped Nicole from the beginning.” What the hell kind of drugs are you folks on?? The Judges picked her apart every time she made the slightest of errors, while some of the other couples got away with glaring mistakes. For example:
Week 1, Len told her she had “no footwork” and “lacked musicallity” which was absurd overcompensation. He gave her a 7.
Week 2, Len told her he was “ambivalent about the whole thing” and gave her an 8 while the other two gave her (well earned) tens.
Week 3 – Len, to put it simply, shredded them. Carrie Ann yelled about a lift (get over it already) and the broken hold. I don’t complain about this week too much because Derek broke the rules and he knew he was breaking the rules, so they earned their criticism. But I have to agree with Carrie Ann and Bruno – other than the two rules, it was a freakin’ amazing, creative, brilliant dance. Len gave them a 6 – which was ridiculously underscored. Break two rules, deduct two points, not FOUR.
Week 4 – their least memorable dance of the season. It was about this time Nicole got VERY defensive about her relationship with Derek. It affected the dance – but the judges did not blindly pimp a less than stellar dance. All three judges were critical of various things and they ended up with a 50 out of 60.
Week 6 – Len says “ugly legs” which is a load of bull. He likes certain moves in his sambas and they didn’t have enough of THOSE moves, despite having other samba moves recognizable to this non-professional. There is a point when the under scoring to make it a race becomes obvious and stupid – this would be that week. Len gave her a 7. Seriously. If Len were really being critical in an even handed manner he would have given everyone else on the show that week 4s.
Now, it was very obvious what Len was doing – over compensating for the fact that she was a great dancer going in. But what we’re talking about here is that some people actually believe that Nicole was pimped the whole way through – that the judges always loved her. Ridiculous. If Len was as hard on everyone, and as critical about certain moves and footwork, then no one else would have gotten above a 5 or a 6 – ever. But for as much as some complain about the show not being fair with Nicole on it, it’s also not fair that lesser dancers get better scores than they should when having much larger errors than Nicole ever had. But that’s the way the show rolls – I have to accept that Erin was absurdly over scored in the finale, and you conspiracy theorists have to accept that the show does bring on people with previous experience. Although, Erin and Evan also had previous experience – two strikes on them.
“Nicole is a professional dancer.” – Assuming this is true (which technically it isn’t) – Big fucking deal. The best dancer doesn’t always win, and if they do – then people must actually like them. Someone on the US Weekly boards put it very well: “If 98% of the people on the ABC boards today were angry that Nicole won, then who were the ones voting for her enough to make her win?” Nicole is not the first, nor will she be the last, person with some dance experience to be on this show. Hello, Mel B (Maks fans – he didn’t win then either), Willa Ford, Sabrina Bryan, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Marie Osmond…even Kristi had dance training if i remember correctly. Remember that Donny actually took ballroom lessons BEFORE the show started for his Vegas act? That’s more than Nicole had. Now, let’s talk about Mya – where were you folks last season when someone who actually TEACHES dance was on the show. What, it’s okay because she didn’t win?? You mad now because a ringer similar to (but far less experienced than) Mya actually WON the show and beat the other ringers out? Mya is the person with the most experience ever on the show. Nicole has no more experience than Mel B, Sabrina, Lance Bass…and really what we’re talking about here is experience learning choreography. NO one on the show has had actual ballroom training, to my knowledge, other than Donny Osmond. So why are people so pissed at Nicole REALLY? Because their favorite ringer and Olympic gold medalist, defied expectations and lost? Because he is an Olympic Gold Medalist, EVERYONE expected Evan to win – he’s the ringer of all ringers like Kristi was, moreso than Nicole. So why the outrage at Nicole? He was the one to beat. BUT I said it before and I’ll say it again – no previous gold medalist had a Nicole to deal with. Likeable AND talented – Gilles was a close as an Olympian had to a Nicole and he made some critical errors late in the season. Heh – I guess this completely blows up the theory that “people” don’t like and won’t vote for people with previous experience. I’ve always said that was bull – people didn’t vote for Mya because they didn’t like her as much as they liked Donny. And we see evidence of that again this season – more people voted for Nicole because they liked her more AND she was a better dancer. Not to mention that the other two in the final three also had experience and, in a different season when Nicole wasn’t on, THEY would have been taking the ringer heat.
“Nicole is a slut/whore/skank/etc. and was banging everyone on the set for votes.” – Hehe, this was actually my personal favorite. If she were in fact doing this, she was banging the wrong individuals – she should have been making housecalls to every voting viewer in the nation, rather than “blowing Bruno good after the first show” (no joke – actual comment made on one comments section), which we know would have been as effective as trying to wash your hair with ranch dressing. Courtney had an extremely pithy comment in here about the intelligence of people making this argument, but we will just leave it as – “this is a really stupid argument”. 😉
“Nicole was the chosen winner before the show had even started.” – Seriously, what would the producers have to gain by a) choosing a winner before the show even started, and b) choosing Nicole as that winner? If the uproar over her win is any indicator, her victory has probably done more harm than good to viewership. There’s just no incentive in it for them…really people, c’mon on now – you’re reaching 😉 Ya need a real motive for the producers to do this – they don’t have one, actually. If you’re going by ratings, then they would have kept Kate Gosselin longer than they did – and they sure didn’t try! They gave her the lowest scores possible and it was VIEWER VOTES that kept her around. And can you build more buzz than by having Nicole eliminated early? I think not – look at Sabrina. Talk about buzz. I think the biggest indicator that the producers didn’t tell the judges who was ahead was Len himself saying that Nicole should win. Courtney made the point in the Cheesecake Awards that Len, like everyone else, was afraid that Evan (not the best dancer) would win, so he was making his feelings known in advance. Having seen Len bitch and moan about the best dancer NOT winning in previous seasons, I think he was prepared for the (late) conventional wisdom to prevail once again – the gold medalist wins. Everyone, including myself, underestimated dedicated Derek and Nicole fans. I think she may be the first pop singer to have a huge fanbase that was actually aware of HOW to vote to win.
I must say, just because someone is a great dancer, it does not mean that they’ve had more training than someone else. It just means they are more talented. Brooke Burke. Gilles Marini. Those are two people (just off the top of my head) who were really good dancers who won (or should have won) who had no training at all. Erin has had some degree of training as recently as college – she had to learn choreography, just like Nicole. Evan took ballet at least once a week and had a ballroom dancer, Mark Ballas, choreograph a routine for him on ice – gee, there must be some translation there, eh? All those gorgeous spins he can do on the floor – just magic?? Of course his skating training applies. Nicole? Like others before her, she could do a variety of dance moves required for pop singer – but she was also not trained in ballroom. She was just a better dancer then Erin and Evan. Period. And to top it off, she had a very popular pro (whose popularity and sheer talent, like it or not, cannot be discounted) and she herself was very likable (to the masses – and no, the ABC Boards do NOT qualify as the masses) – it’s a winning formula. Great dancer, good personality (ie not boring), great choreographer as a partner who is extremely popular in his own right. I hate to say it, but Evan did not have a very popular partner (as much as I’ve come to like her) and his own personality was rather dry at times – none of my friends liked him and none voted for him. And these are NOT Derek fangirls that I’m talking about. I’m talking former Gilles/Donny voters. Don’t get me wrong, I love Evan – it’s some of his fans who annoy me. If only they had a fraction of the class that Evan himself clearly possesses.
But let’s forget about all that stuff, even though it makes sense. Let’s look at the actual numbers. I’ve heard so often that “Evan was robbed” let’s see if that’s even remotely true per the judges scores. Yes, they scored him lower than BOTH Erin and Nicole – but was that unfair? Did it cost him the competition? I predicted before the finale that the judges would go one of two ways: they would either cop out and give everyone the same basic score OR they would rank the dancers according to how they thought the results should be – in their opinion. At first, it appeared they would go with the former; at the end of the first dance, there was only one point between them and at the end of the performance show, Erin and Nicole were tied with 55 points and Evan was ONLY 3 points behind at 52. Like it or not, three points ain’t nothing – it adds up to 1.8% difference between Evan and Erin/Nicole- peanuts, when you’re an Olympic Gold Medalist. We can argue about if Evan was underscored (he was) or Erin was overscored (she was) – but I’m saying it doesn’t really matter in the end. Nicole was the best dancer and she was TIED with the worst dancer of the three going into the Finale, with Evan only 1.8% behind.
So, Evan fans really poured it on since their guy was down, right? Well, not from what I hear. I heard what they said they did in terms of voting and it wasn’t what I would call “power voting”. I read how many times they voted and my thought was “amateurs”. ; -) But internet fans aren’t going to win the show on their own – the average viewer has to vote too. Anyway…
So, the first dance on Finale night is a three way argentine tango. Again, I predicted that this was NOT a smart move on Erin/Maks part because a dance is more than just one lift and her dance didn’t have near the technical difficulty that Nicole’s did plus that lift was NOT clean the second time. Maks should know that they typically reverse dance order from the first night which would mean Erin was going AFTER two better dancers. And I can hear the bitching and moaning now: “but they changed the rules, they changed the scoring, they were ranked instead of all given the same chance at a 30″. Boo Hoo – they change the rules EVERY SEASON – where have you people been? I’ve been complaining about how they change the show every season on this very blog for three seasons now. Frankly, I like this rule change. Another thing I’ve been complaining about for a while is how the judges wuss out and give everyone an automatic 30 (although they’ve been doing better last couple seasons) or 29 — whether they deserve it or not. This rule change actually made them rank the contestants, which is what they SHOULD do – and is there anyone who sincerely believes that they were ranked incorrectly? Basically, there seem to be two choices in this instance – they are ranked or they are given wuss scores. I can see some preferring the automatic 30, but I doubt if the situation was reversed you would be so quick to choose that option. If Evan were actually the better dancer, would you like Nicole getting that automatic 30? Doubtful.
In any case, at this point Evan is 5 points behind Nicole. It’s at this point that Erin exits the competition – even though she is 1 point ahead of Evan. Was it a conspiracy against Evan that Erin had more points? Nah, the judges were trying to make it a horse race and it didn’t work. Erin just didn’t have the votes. Evan clearly did. Although he didn’t have to have many to beat Erin – approximately 4100 votes per 1 million votes cast. Evan versus Nicole? At this point, after three dances, he is only 2.03 percent behind her.
That brings us to the final dance. Can anyone seriously claim that Evan’s quickstep was better than Nicole’s Jive? Oh, I’m sure some will try. Nevermind, we’re talking percentages. After all four dances, Evan is 2.3 percent behind Nicole. Two. Point. Three. Peanuts.
But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Evan also got a 30 on his final dance. That means the percentage changes back to 2.03 percent difference between the two of them. So, essentially, those two points that Evan DIDN’T get means he has to get 0.271 percent more votes than he would have if he had scored a 30. Seriously – can anyone call that a conspiracy??
Let’s take it a step farther and assume that Evan was underscored on his Freestyle. He got a 24, Nicole got a 27. I think that Nicole’s freestyle, even with the bobbled lift, was better and more entertaining than Evan’s. But let’s give him a 26 – we’ll assume that Len was his usual self and stuck with the 8. If Evan keeps the 30 I gave him in the last paragraph and he gets a 26 instead of a 24 on his freestyle (and all other scores remain the same), the percentage difference between him and Nicole is reduced to 0.97 percent. Easier for Evan to win with this percentage difference? Of course. But what this REALLY means is that the judges actual scoring increased the margin between Evan and Nicole by 1.06 percent. Did this make a difference? Highly doubtful. Come on, it’s 1.06 percent. If the 1.06 percent made a difference, that means that Nicole won by an extremely small margin. Listen to Tom’s script on Finale night. Did he say anything about how close it was at the end? Did he ramp up the excitement and suspense? No, not like he did when Shawn beat Gilles by less than 1 percent. I don’t think it was even close, frankly. They didn’t really act like it was close.
Still think there was a conspiracy? Well, there’s no hope for you then. You should stop watching this show.
Think that the conspiracy was that Nicole was even on the show? She was destined to win? I have to ask – where have you been? If you’re going to eliminate anyone with previous experience, the entire top 3 would be cut out, in addition to Lil Kim, Lance Bass, Melissa Rycroft, Sabrina, Mya, Mel B..the list goes on. Where do you draw the line? Joanna danced until she was 11, should she be cut? If you lower the dance experience age that far, I wager there would be no female celebs on the show. And if you’re going to do that, then you have to eliminate anyone with a massive fanbase because of their unfair advantage – which eliminates Evan, Donny, Kristi, and Shawn, to name a few. Suck it up people – it’s a vastly entertaining show, but it’s in no way FAIR. And do you really want it to be if it means never seeing Evan, Kristi, Shawn, Donny, Nicole, Sabrina, Mel B, Lance Bass….any of them DANCE? Not only would it be boring (and give me nothing to bitch about), but the ratings would plummet.