"Dancing With The Stars" Just Another Popularity Contest?
Talk show host Wendy Williams, retired boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and Catherwood made up the bottom three for lowest scores from the judges, but it was ultimately Mike who was voted off. The radio personality publicly speculated that another reason for his elimination, along with his low scores, was that he was the “least well-known person.” Compared to his distinguished fellow contestants, such as actress Kirstie Alley, E! star Kendra Wilkinson and world-renowned supermodel Petra Nemcova, Catherwood is hardly a household name. Since votes from viewers determine who stays and who goes, more famous stars routinely beat the C-list personalities, regardless of dancing ability.
After six years and twelve seasons, celebrities learning how to ballroom dance have become a relatively tired concept. What keeps "DWTS" relevant and interesting is its influx of buzz-worthy public figures. Viewers tune in to watch the stars they love (or love to hate) on live television. Poorly skilled dancers often make it far on the show solely due to their loyal fan-base. Scandalous reality stars Kate Gosselin and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino stayed on much longer than they should have in their respective seasons, diminishing the hard work of their fellow contestants. Competition between fan-bases got even more heated last season when political agenda was introduced into the mix. Votes from Tea Party supporters carried Bristol Palin to 3rd place, despite receiving the lowest scores from the judges each episode.
Mike Catherwood’s comments on celebrity status affirm the truth of reality TV competitions: no matter how you dress it up, it will always come down to a popularity contest.
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