In an Entertainment Tonight exclusive interview, ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (DWTS) Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live, The Middle) stated that he and other cast members “can’t all move like Simone Biles.” Kattan believes the show is “unfair” for casting skilled dancers against novices. Chris and paired professional dancer, Whitney Carson, were the first to be eliminated from season 24’s line up.
Let’s be honest. Very few of us can move like Simone Biles. She has a gift for sure.
However, it is obvious that Kattan joined the show with unrealistic expectations. Like many of us who refuse to accept a machine when we see one, Kattan offers some solutions to the show’s problem. He believes that either ‘DWTS’ should pick all inexperienced dancers or accommodate for those who join with no skills in the performance arena. After all, is ‘DWTS’ not a showcase of those learning to dance?
Apparently, Kattan has not watched ‘DWTS’ at length because if he had, he would know the system has a slant but not necessarily towards those with the best moves. The premise of ‘DTWS’ is fan participation. Those who arrive with a significantly built-in fan base have the highest chance of surviving each week (or so it seems). Long standing athletes or those like Olympians, fresh off a victory year, tend to draw the most support from viewers. Viewers equal ratings. Ratings equal money (longevity) for the show.
Likewise, there has been a history of successful contestants who were deemed terrible dancers. This elite group could not get voted off even when they begged release from their own embarrassment. Raunchy talk show host Jerry Springer, deemed the worst dancer of his season, made it to week 7 before he was given the hook. With all due respect, season 7’s Oscar winner Cloris Leachman, managed to survive until week 6 without so much as moving an arm or kicking a leg. In her defense, she had personality.
The dancer (for lack of a better word) that gives traction to this theory is, Bristol Palin, the daughter of former Alaskan governor and vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. Fresh off a highly publicized political season, Bristol Palin whisked her way into season 11 of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ with a huge following. Despite having flat affect, no moves to show and publicly admitting she wanted to go home more than once, Bristol advanced week-after-week, all the way until she landed in the finals.
Mr. Kattan is not the only contestant shafted by the show’s set up. Nor is he the only person to cry, “unfair”. After all, some of the professional dancers had controversies surrounding them in regard to speaking up about their frustrations with the show’s structure. Regardless of what seems like a true imbalance of selectees, we doubt show runners will correct what many feel is not broken.
Another day; another dance. May the voting continue.
Written by Nat P.
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Photo 1: earnthenecklace.com
Photo 2: chron.com
Photo 3: usatoday.com
Photo 4: mercurynews.com