Who could have predicted that the year’s biggest voting controversy would come not from politics, but from Dancing With the Stars?
Well, perhaps it’s a little of both. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer continues to survive the Season 28 eliminations, despite appearing at the bottom of the leaderboard and earning scathing reviews from the judges each week. (“Dory from Finding Nemo has a better sense of direction!” Bruno Tonioli remarked on the Nov. 4 episode, after Spicer’s so-so jazz routine.)
One could argue that Spicer’s safety is due in part to President Trump, who has previously encouraged his Twitter followers to vote for Spicer during the live broadcasts. Spicer has also gotten support from several conservative publications, including the far-right website Breitbart News.
But many Dancing fans on social media (and some TVLine readers!) have expressed admiration for Spicer’s positive attitude and willingness to learn, even though he’s not a strong dancer. The show’s judges have shared a similar sentiment all season, setting aside their backhanded compliments to praise Spicer’s diligence in rehearsal and sunny demeanor on the live shows.
Plus, this is not the first time that a weak contestant has gone far in the competition — and I’m not just talking about country radio DJ Bobby Bones, who pulled off a finale upset last year. Former MLB catcher David Ross, The Bachelorette contestant Joe Amabile and TV personality Bristol Palin are among those who stuck around longer than expected, thanks to a combination of strong voter support and praise from the judges for trying their best.
In addition to covering Dancing With the Stars for TVLine, I’m genuinely a fan of the series, and I’ve previously been disappointed to see the show reward popularity over legitimate talent. But I’ve seen many a comments section filled with support for the show’s weaker contestants, whether it’s because of their charming personalities, their commitment to working hard, their humility or all of the above. (Even pity, in some cases!)
So, how do you typically vote during a season of Dancing With the Stars? Do you favor the frontrunners with perfect technique and high scores? Do you have a soft spot for the underdogs? Or does it change, depending on the week?
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