Bobby Bones Won Dancing With the Stars — Here's Why He Shouldn't Have
If you're a fan of the show, you've likely been bombarded with an array of social media messages announcing that Nashville DJ Bobby Bones won season 27 of Dancing with the Stars. Some tweets may have been celebratory, but I imagine more than a few claimed the dance competition has jumped the shark. On my own Twitter feed, I couldn't even begin to count how many people have threatened to never tune in to the show again, thanks to an outcome that they found unfathomable.
Question for the haters, though: Were the results actually unfathomable, in the truest definition of the word? It seems to me that Bones pretty much proved that he was a wacky force to be reckoned with, thanks to the huge legion of fans making sure he under no circumstances landed in the red light of doom. For eight weeks, Bones never received a score above an eight from the judges, yet he was not once in danger of elimination. In a day and age where streaming music feels like the norm, we forget that there are millions of people who utilize radio air waves and podcast downloads — and Bones has a built-in fanbase.
Plus, we’ve been down this road before. Every season, one rhythmless dancer makes it to the finals over a talented contestant who is able to master the cha-cha-cha. It’s a popularity vote and audiences outrage over “unfair eliminations” will only fall on deaf ears. Been there. Done that.
However, even I can admit that the episodes leading up to this season's finale felt particularly charged. Rather than just complaining, the idea of a new “voting algorithm” has been introduced by extreme fans in hushed circles. The system is clearly broken if a guy like Juan Pablo di Pace secures five perfect scores and then gets kicked off before the semi-finals. Measures need to be taken to make sure that never happens again.
I personally think ABC is particularly paying attention to the stars who cause the most chatter. Take the freestyle dances, for example. Finalist Alexis Ren floated around a huge fake mountain. Evanna Lynch twisted her way through a colorful, yet bizarre dance and Milo Manheim blew everyone out of the water, while dancing in the water.
But Bones used theatrics, flamboyance, and a comedy schtick at the end of his routine that included DeMarcus Ware lifting him into the air (brilliant) and Tom Bergeron flossing with actual floss. It was a well-planned extravaganza that played to Bones’ strengths and proved that the cast roster loves him enough to participate in his shenanigans.
Another example is Grocery Store Joe. Not only was he trotted out mid-finale to dance with fellow Bachelor pals, but it was announced that he will be joining the DWTS tour. You may be asking yourself, “How the f*ck could this even be considered among the decision makers at ABC?" Well, the dude managed to make it as far as di Pace. You do the math.
Surely ABC is savvy enough to see that they are teetering on very thin ice when it comes to tried and true DWTS fans. Do they just ignore them and keep everything exactly how it is now? And if they were going to make a change, what would that be?
I’m glad you asked. I think it’s time to implement a “free pass” that the judges are able to use that allows a talented dancer to advance even if they have been kicked off unexpectedly. I’ll even go as far to say that I think each judge needs a free pass. Heck, let’s give the contestants a vote while we’re at it!
So what is ABC supposed to do? Do they acknowledge the angry fans with some sort of solution? Or do they sit back and count their money, happy that the country seems to be completely engrossed in the inner workings of their dancing competition? Is the negative publicity worth it? Or has it gone too far this year? Something has to give. Otherwise we’re going to be stuck watching a bunch of reality show guys dressed in denim overalls awkwardly hip thrusting to “I’m Too Sexy.” No one needs to see that again.
Until next season.