Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Stars" Finally Got It Right

Well.....last night, Dancing With The Stars finally got it right after the fiasco of last week when Sabrina was voted off by the combined scores of the judges and the audience! After watching this Monday's contestants perform two dances each, it was my opinion that Jane Seymour was the next to go. As lovely as she still is at her age (can you believe that figure at 50+?), she still lacked the skills others have shown. More true to form, she was voted off the show last night.
In my opinion, Sabrina was one of the top dancers in this season's show, if not the top. The format that they use for judging on the show is more than a little lacking. With the 3 judges scores accounting for only half of the scores, the other half of the combined scores are voted by the public. The terrible thing is that the judges get one vote, the audience gets to vote as many times as there are contestants remaining. In other words, if there are 8 contestants still remaining, each audience member gets 8 votes for each e-mail address, text account they have and phone number they have! What impact does this have? I have a cell phone, a house phone and a fax phone that can be used for regular calls and has a different telephone number. My wife has a personal cell phone and a business cell phone, each with different numbers. I have 3 e-mail addresses, my wife has two. That makes 5 phone numbers and 5 e-mails addresses, or a total of 10 times we can vote. If, as in the above example, we have 8 votes per line, we could vote for one person 80 times!! Judges get one vote each, my wife and I get 80! Now you don't have a legit contest, you have a popularity contest.
What has happened in the past seasons really took its toll last week with Sabrina. The judges had her at or near the top, and all of them said she should be in the finals, if not win the whole thing. The audience exercised their 'popular' vote for the others and Sabrina lost out. What a travesty!
Solution? Here's mine: Keep the current panel of judges....they are very good and very knowledgable, even if we do not agree when they do not vote highly enough for our favorite. Form another panel of 8-10 judges drawn for a pool of previous contestants who made it at least half way through the contest. Give each of the panels one vote, and each panel's votes make up 1/3 of the total combined score. Let the audience participate in the other 1/3 of the vote, but instead of giving them multitudes of votes as they do now, give them only one vote per line. Make them make their vote account for something, but not the power they have now!
With 2/3 of the votes coming from judges and panels, and only 1/3 of the scores coming from the audience, this would be less of a popularity contest and more in line with a 'real' contest to find the best overall dancer for the season's series. If this format for judging had been in place last week, we would not have had to endure the shock of seeing Sabrina voted off and we would be in the midst of a good contest. What a concept!!

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