Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own articles.
The big problem with “Dancing With The Stars” is the voting process. Simply put, it gives the home audience too much power. The judges – Carrie Ann Inaba, Lem Goodman and Bruno Tonioli – are all involved in dancing, and should therefore have a greater hand in judging who stays and who goes.
However, “Dancing With The Stars” prides itself in being an interactive show, one that directly involves its viewers. Because of this, nearly each season will feature at least one celebrity who goes farther in the elimination rounds than he or she deserves, and at least one celebrity who gets jobbed. “Dancing With The Stars” likes to call itself a dancing contest, but it often devolves into a popularity contest, with the best-known celebrities getting preferential treatment, and lesser-known contestants getting short shrift.
What follows is the five contestants who were most egregiously jobbed by the “Dancing With The Stars” voting process:
5. John O’Hurley. Clearly the best and smoothest dancer of the show’s inaugural season, O’Hurley was the runner-up to soap opera star Kelly Monaco. The skill level of the dancers has evolved quite a bit over the years, so much so that O’Hurley probably would not have won in any of the subsequent seasons. But it didn’t take a ballroom dance expert to see that O’Hurley was the superior dancer in the show’s first season. There was a “dance-off” after the season (which O’Hurley won), but Monaco is generally acknowledged as the show’s first champion. John O’Hurley was robbed.
4. Mario Lopez. The former “Saved By The Bell” actor was the surprise of Season 3. From the first week, he established himself as the best dancer of that season, and it looked like he would win. However, Emmitt Smith ended up with the “mirror ball” trophy. Smith, who’d had no prior dancing experience, was almost certainly the most improved dancer of the Season 3 crop. But he wasn’t the best dancer. Mario Lopez was robbed.
3. Mel B. The former Spice Girl made it to the finals, where she was pitted against race car driver Helio Castroneves. Helio was the more energetic and charismatic of the two, but Mel was the superior dancer. Mel B was robbed.
2. Gilles Marini. Gilles, a relative unknown before he competed in Season 8, quickly showed dancing skills he didn’t even know he had. However, he faced Shawn Johnson in the finals. Johnson, fresh off her gold medal victory in the 2008 Olympics, was one of the nation’s most popular personalities. Gilles never had a chance. He was robbed.
1. Sabrina Bryan. Favored by many to win the Season 5 competition, Sabrina was the first contestant in the history of the show to receive a perfect “30” score from the judges. She was at the top of the leaderboard for three of the first four weeks. However, she was ousted in Week 6, eliciting shock – and even tears – from judges and fellow contestants. She handled it like a true champion, but Sabrina Bryan was robbed.