Dancing with the Majority: Talent vs Popularity on Dancing with the Stars

The hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars has always pulled from a diverse selection of celebrities. Some can sing, some can act, and some are even sports stars. The show’s stated purpose is to determine which of these stars has what it takes to add dancing to their list of personal accomplishments. Although some may have prior training, it takes the best of the best to persevere through the challenge of the difficult competition. Judges score without bias and focus primarily on technique. The only downside to this program is that similar to other popular reality shows, the contestants can be booted off weekly based on what the public has voted for. For the most part, the public has little to no understanding of proper dance technique, but they do know which contestant had the hottest movie, best hit single or is a pleasant blast from the past. Have our entertainment values completely turned away from talent and become popularity contests?

The current season of Dancing with the Stars pitches an ill actress against a young former Disney star and an older man who built his career around science. The playing field for these stars isn’t even remotely even. While some may get a popularity or pity vote, the true gem may be completely overlooked.

Do all the chosen celebrities deserve to be cast in such a challenging show, yes. Are they being voted on solely for their progressive talent, absolutely not. Past seasons have even showcased seemingly experienced dancers being voted off early on due to a pure lack of popularity. Although some celebrities preform on this television show to gain wealth and fame, others do it to challenge themselves. In this program hard work will not always pay off.

Although not the fairest show on television, Dancing with the Stars continues to have a successful following. Fans tune in weekly to watch their predetermined favorites dance across the screen and ABC continues to benefit monetarily from this pattern. The true strategical goal is not to incorporate enthusiastic celebrities but popular stars that will remain in the competition long enough to keep the ratings flowing until the finale. The challenge is not in the dancer’s footwork, but in their preexisting numerical following.

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