Bristol Palin’s continued success on Dancing With The Stars has many people fuming because Palin has succeeded far beyond the point of several more talented contestants. To me it is ironic that there is outrage over an outcome that is based on a fair vote when in 2008 Adam Lambert was defeated by the worst voting scandal in reality show history and no one said a word.
The voting on Dancing With the Stars is based on a system that combines a percentage value based on audience votes that is combined with a percentage value based on the judge’s score to determine the order of the contestants and eventually the winner. The explanation at the DWTS site states:
“Each week every couple receives points from the judges and votes from the public. For every couple we work out the share they got of the points given by the judges on the night, and the share they got of the public’s votes on the night and we add these two shares together. The couple with the lowest combined total is eliminated from the show.”
While both the audience and judge’s percentages each count 50/50, the audience vote can be more important. There is a maximum score of 30 that the judges can give any one dance and to keep the credibility of the Judge’s, they can not low ball or high ball any one contestant in hopes of effecting the results because it would be too obvious to the viewers. Any regular Dancing With The Stars viewer can just about call what the judges scores are going to be. While it is expected that the scores from the judges are fair, there is no limit on the number of viewers who can vote for the contestants. The crucial difference between the American Idol rules and the Dancing With the Stars‘ rules is that American Idol allows for each individual to vote an unlimited number of times while Dancing With the Stars limits the number of times a viewer can vote based on the number of remaining contestants. On Dancing With The Stars audience votes can overcome low judges scores but it is much harder because of the restrictions on the number of times a phone or e-mail address can vote. On American Idol judges can manipulate all they want because they are not required to give a numeric score and it is only the unlimited audience votes that determine the winner.
Why has the media suddenly become so obsessed with the voting on Dancing With The Stars? The show seems to try to keep the voting fair and in all reality, the contestants are not the guy/girl next door but are already famous in some way and hand picked because of media appeal and paid a good sum of money to dance each week. Why is the media so obsessed with this voting scandal? It is not going to make or break any contestant if they don’t win the mirror ball trophy. It is not like Brandy’s career is over and will never get another acting job or release another album because she lost. Truth be told I can not see any real reward for the winner other then bragging rights and a tacky trophy. Every winner just seems to go back to the life they had before the show.
Is the outrage really about Brandy being kicked off, or is it about that Bristol Palin still being on? If the media was really concerned with reality show voting and how fair it is why did the media not cover the real reality show vote fraud when the outcome of the vote had a real impact on contestants that got cash prizes and jobs based on how they placed on a show? The media is outraged that the Tea Party might be stacking the vote on Dancing With The Stars but they ignored it when politicians spent taxpayer’s money to promote an American Idol contestant.
The big media news story seems to be that a website, Hillbuzz.org, had posters sharing voting strategies to enhance Bristol Palin’s chances of winning just like the fan sites for Kris Allen and Adam Lambert did during Season 8 of American Idol. A person at Hillbuzz.org claimed to have voted three hundred times in three hours for Palin by registering with numerous e-mail addresses. It is mind boggling that three hundred votes would set anyone in the media into a tizzy when during Season 8 it was reported two cousins voted 250,000 times for Kris Allen and no one batted an eye.
The Arkansas Democratic Gazette ran a story about the voting, Cousins Jackalyn Barton, 12, of Guy and Madison Shaw, 13, of Conway, brought a sign that said, “Blister on my thumbs Voted 250,000 times.” Lynda Harmon, Barton’s grandmother and Shaw’s aunt, said the two lost an hour of voting time learning from another cousin how to super mega power text, but then they ended up being able to send 450 votes at a time from one phone and 100 at a time from another phone from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The media only seems to be upset that someone at Hillbuz.org voted 300 times. I wonder what fact checking was done by the media to brand Hillbuzz.org a “Tea Party” website? I guess that is just what they like to brand anyone that dose not agree with them. Unlike the media I do fact check. As far as I can read Hillbuzz.com is run by a gay man that is for individual rights and freedoms and against government oppression and likes to have sleepovers and vote on a dancing reality show. Most of the posts on the website are about the TSA feeling up people’s private parts. Regardless of the politics, the media is in a fire storm and people are ready to boycott a show over 300 votes. Dancing With the Stars denies that ramped abuse can take place. Dancing With the Stars tracks the ISP addresses of the computers that log in to vote and will block an ISP that seems to be abusing the voting system. American Idol is very iffy about how votes are counted and if any are discarded or why but they do like to brag every time a record number of votes are cast. Dancing With the Stars will disclose percentage points between contestants but never the actual volume of votes.
When Adam Lambert lost to Kris Allen 38 million votes came from Arkansas mostly from vote parties sponsored by AT&T rogue executive Matt Jordan and state and local government officials, who gave out free phones and taught power texting to about 3,000 people who voted about 10,000 times each .How did American Idol allow Kris Allen to have a 30 person marketing team, sell thousands of shirts for his family’s traveling expenses, line up corporate sponsors, give away prizes for votes, and have AT&T on hand to give away promotional phones, lend out phones, even at local stores and teach power texting? Why did AT&T encourage the improper use of Go Phones for three additional hours of voting? Why did the local Fox station turn into a Kris Allen fan site? There was such an unfair advantage created in Arkansas no one but Allen could win. Never in the history of American Idol or any reality show had the process been so corrupted.
Bristol is winning fairly and Adam Lambert lost because Allen’s fans were working with government officials to bring in a win for Arkansas. To say Dancing With The Stars is “fixed” is incorrect. The vote may be a testament to the power of Sarah Palin to attract a large number of people to vote for her daughter but Dancing With the Stars limits how many times a person can vote so that a small number of people can not fix the outcome. Dancing With the Stars dose the best they can do by combining the judge’s scores with the will of the viewers to pick a winner. The focus of the show is really about the dancing and the contestants get more air time to perform then on American Idol. Dancing With the Stars also has no stake in what happens with contestants after they win. They do not get signed to dancing contracts. Dancing With the Stars is about the integrity of the show and while not ever vote is about the best dancer they do their best to make it a fair vote where viewers have a voice. The key profit is ratings. Put on a good and fair show and people will watch. American Idol is all about product placement, marketing and making money for the sponsors. Drink Coke, get as many AT&T phones as you can with unlimited text plans so you can vote all you want then vacation at Disney. P.S. don’t forget to buy Idol concert tickets and albums, but only care about that till the next season comes along.
With Dancing With the Stars there are many factors involved as to why Bristol Palin is doing well. Bristol Palin is relateable as a teen mother with no past experience as an entertainer. Many people root for an underdog and this season’s talent is not overwhelming. No star has set them self so far ahead of the rest of the pack that anyone should be the clear winner. In fact Brandy was in the bottom two of judge’s scores when she was kicked off. If Palin’s mom can influence a fair vote and it’s outcome is that the person in third place got kicked off not the person in forth, then people should take in stride. I personally do not think that Kyle Massey is any better of a dancer than Bristol Palin and think Brandy was better but no one is complaining that Massy remained in the contest when Brandy was sent home. I think it is Disney fans that have kept Kyle Massy in the running rather than his talent. People should not forget that Brandy has a past, which could have been the reason she did not make it to the final. My personal favorite this season was Audrina Patridge. I thought that Partridge was a natural inexperienced dancer and should have made it further but she did not have a fan base to draw votes from. The only time I have ever voted on this show was for Monica Seles and that is only because I was a huge tennis fan and she was literally stabbed in the back. For me Dancing With the Stars is just a fun show. It will not make or break any of the contestants because they are all already famous for some reason. This fact might also be why Bristol Palin is so appealing to voters. She did not try out for MTV’s Teen Mom, her life was thrust into the media spotlight because of who her mother is. Yes I am sure it did get her on the show, but think about what life was like for her before the show? Politics should be about a debate about ideas not digging up dirt on kids or making them the target of so called jokes in a mean spirited attempt to attack a parent, The fact that Bristol Palin was able to pull off her success is credit to her endurance. People are so ready to attack Bristol Palin for political reasons but she stayed strong and improved her dancing. Do I think Bristol Palin should win? No. Jennifer and Derek are far above what is left and truth be told I am not all that impressed with Jennifer but Derek is hands above the most talented pro left. Do I care who wins? No, but I will still watch the show on Monday because I enjoy the dancing.
In Adam Lambert’s case he was by far the superior and more popular talent and power text voting was rampant in Arkansas. Where were the outcries from the left and the media when this young gay man was denied his win by nefarious means? It was not just a title but hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay and promotions went to the other guy. How do you think it made me feel as a lesbian when I was told by the media that Adam lost because he was gay? Was I expected to just sit back and buy the lies and fall into a false reality that if I am gay then society will restrict what I can achieve in life? Adam Lambert has proven that he can be both open about his life and still have a very successful career. It gets better when you have real hope in your life. I stand by all the data that Adam was more popular in 49 states and the results were created by a political power in Arkansas. If the media is really concerned about votes of reality shows then the real concern should be about the vote in shows where real people are trying to win real prizes. All the nut cases in Arkansas may take prided in the fact that Kris Allen won, but the rest of the country just shakes their heads and wonders why that happened. I am always personally attacked but sorry but I am happy to be an open and out gay woman and if you don’t get my real issues with people that like to bash with no real reason then you do not get me. I live my life to be happy and I could care less what other people think of me.
I would not be surprised if Bristol Palin becomes the winner of this year’s Dancing With the Stars. Bristol is trending higher than any other contestant on Google Trends just like Adam Lambert was when his win was stolen. Adam Lambert was trending higher in 49 states according to Google. If anyone wants to complain about a reality show outcome forget about Palin, she may not be the best dancer but the rules are fair and no one is cheating. Complain about the biggest scandal in history. Adam Lambert would have won a fair contest and no one seems to care.
References: American Idol Vote Scam