The 15th season of Dancing with the Stars was wrought with rumours of vote fixing, voting blocs, and reality television slip-ups. A number of fans commented that the extremely coincidental elimination of certain couples opened up the field for Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani to win the entire season. It was like a finely tuned universe, always shifting to and fro with the intention of dodging the audience bullet. If, and when coincidence happens, it only happens once or twice, if you’re lucky. But on DWTS 15th season, coincidence seemed to take center court around every corner – lightning struck DWTS for 12 weeks in a row. Now, according to a new report in Star via Jezebel, the show does indeed seem to have been fixed in order for Melissa and Tony to win.
An innocent, but influential blurb brought out the shadow of corruption and vote fixing. The blurb read, “If you’ve ever wondered if Dancing With The Stars is fixed, the answer is yes: The show’s senior producer happens to be the manager for Tony Dovolani and Melissa Rycroft.” And so, the finely tuned universe experienced a false vacuum, and all life in said universe ended abruptly and without warning. The impact of this allegation is akin to sport match fixing scandals (read Hansie Cronje) and tyrannical voting fraud (read Zimbabwe). If the senior producer were to acknowledge his role as entertainment manager of Melissa and Tony, the entire basis and core of DWTS will become infected, and no feverish response will be able to stop the raging infection. This Occam’s razor should have been noticed, but no one tends to think that a pragmatic manager would stoop to such levels.
It is ridiculous in its simplicity – the manager ensures that his clients are noticed by the entire world through setting up a faux-reality television show in order for them to win. The red herring – the audience at home – drew the attention away from this spy novel plot when the manager did his best David Copperfield reenactment. It’s seen in almost every magician’s arsenal – keep the attention away from the sleight of hand and soon you’ll have a white dove in your hat. The only problem was that this white dove did not fly away; instead, it flapped its wings and caused a hurricane.
In the world of reality television, this is akin to an impact level event – the asteroid being the allegations, and the invested audience at home being the planet. The resultant repercussions will leave a desolate and barren landscape in its wake. Once a scandal like this is cut open to the core, audiences will immigrate away from ground zero and will cause the entire structure to collapse in on itself. DWTS’ 15th season already experienced a massive loss in viewership figures, as one is only to able to fool an audience for a certain amount of time. The 16th season, coming next year, will most probably be the DWTS swan song. These allegations of vote fixing have been lingering like a serial killer for the past five seasons, but recently intensified when Melissa and Tony walked away with the title. We highly doubt that the audience will stick around to be fooled for the umpteenth time. The Latin phrase – Cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare (directly translated to Any man can make a mistake; only a fool keeps making the same one) – is totally apt for this situation.
The paradoxical voting structure on DWTS is one that is both simplistic and absolutely genius in its theory. Unfortunately, the pragmatist took this one slightly too far and made said theory a practice. We can only hope that audiences will see the exposed wound for what it is – the dissonant swan song of a show we once loved for its popularity and relevance.