Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dancing With the Stars, now tainted

English: Bristol Palin at the 2008 Republican ...
Bristol Palin at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The results of this week's Dancing With the Stars results made me so angry it took me three days to write about it.

I was about as angry as the dude who shot up his television set, but my anger is more of the seething variety. I'm not the shooter type. Fairness has always been fundamental in my behavioral arsenal. There is no denying fairness was violated when Bristol Palin was chosen to go on to the dance finals over R & B singer Brandy Norwood, an excellent dancer who garnered perfect scores.

I have been watching ballroom dancing for years—dating back to the days when Juliet Prowse hosted the championship dancing on PBS. I had no idea that Dancing With the Stars would be a fixed popularity contest. But it appears that is just what this has become.

I was a little leery when the show invited Tom DeLay last season, but then to invite Bristol Palin this season should have shown the handwriting on the wall. This is a political venue rather than a dance competition. It is tainted. Bristol should have been voted off that first week because she clearly lacks the talent. Yes, she has improved over the course of the show, but her dancing is clearly not of the same caliber as any of the others who were voted off in her stead.

I was sickened at the judges' positive comments about Palin too. They clearly did not hold her to the same standards as other dancers. Were they issued a directive? Just what are the politics in play at the upper echelon of ABC television? Len Goodman is a tough dance critic, but clearly he let Palin slide. Carrie Ann Inaba was also overly kind, as was Bruno Tonioli.

The results show was in such stark contrast to the previous night when Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough performed the most elegant waltz I've ever seen. It was enchanting to watch the two of them dance so beautifully, as they captured tremendous emotional intensity. They moved effortlessly. Watching a beautiful dance can be as engaging as listening to  a symphony or gazing upon the colors of a sunset.

Yet just hours later, it was all tainted, lost in the scandal that so often takes over all that is good and innocent, perpetrated by cheaters.

This example of entertainment television does a disservice to all: absolutely short-changing the viewers of real dance competitiveness; ultimately the show which has lost all credibility; certainly to Brandy Norwood who was far more deserving of a chance to move to the finals; and even to Bristol herself, because she has been made to look like a fool, not to mention a spoiled brat child who has been coddled for a lifetime by her over-bearing mother. Sadly, Bristol might even believe she deserved to win this competition. What an injustice. One day, she will have to stand on her own merit in a real scenario, without her mother's influence over her self-made reality.

What kind of a mother is it that encourages her daughter to compete way over her head? What kind of a mother fails to teach her daughter humility? What kind of a mother throws her own child under the bus to gain popularity for herself?

It is pretty clear that the Sarah Palin factor influenced the initial choosing of Bristol Palin for Dancing With the Stars. Bristol is not a star. She is an unwed mother whose life is controlled by her over-bearing mother. Is there no limit to what Sarah Palin will do? But worse than that, she seems to have the same kind of following as the Rev. Jim Jones and other 'leaders' who prey upon those around them. 

I'm so sick of lying, cheating, and stealing. Yet that is just what happened when voters admittedly gamed the system, giving Bristol her way, most likely at her mothers' urging.

The rapid decline of Dancing With the Stars which began as a fun entertainment venue is is no longer fun. This is serious—symptomatic of where our humanity is going. And that scares the hell out of me.
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