Tangent - I checked, and there isn’t. Per usual, I picked this up mostly by osmosis, as I have family, and they’re into dance, and they need something to watch over dinner now that sitcoms worth a rip aren’t really a thing anymore. I actually looked for discussions elsewhere because I’m a bit curious as to what the buzz is right now. No success, but I did find a few news articles, and…it’s not too encouraging. Here was the really bad elimination that served as a red flag for the final, and here’s a fairly scathing piece covering the conclusion.
I’m mostly surprised that Bobby Bones could win. One thing we could always depend on was that a fanbase, no matter how powerful, had its limits. Master P, who was riding a colossal tsunami of sympathy votes (which probably surprised him more than anybody) after filling in for his son, finished 6th. Bristol Palin, who had possibly the most insanely fierce, fanatical, rabid, monomaniacal, obsessive backing in the entire goddam history of reality TV, finished a distant third. Old women, who are automatically forbidden from any criticism and always get treated with kid gloves by the judges, even the ones who explicitly demand no preferential treatment, make it 1-3 rounds further than they should and are quietly dismissed. Furthermore, while the judges may have pulled their punches in the early going to prevent a gigantic fan backlash, the gloves were off for the final. The votes are in, there’s no tomorrow, your mob can’t save you anymore, our marks are going to decide a winner and we are going to be merciless. Bottom line was that while an undeserving fan favorite could go too far, sometimes way too far, the Mirror Ball Trophy was an ironclad stumbling block. This was the ultimate safeguard, the final line of defense of this show’s credibility, the one thing that every fan could, at the end of the day, rely on.
This season, that final line was shattered. Furthermore, consider that 1. Bones isn’t that huge a star, and 2. He only got a 24 in his first chance. Okay, the judges gave him a freebie 30 in the second because they’re complete spineless wimps (a side issue I’m not going to deal with), but it shouldn’t have mattered. Giving up 6 points in crunch time used to mean death. Now it’s just a minor hurdle. The last illusion that this is anything other than a trumped-up popularity contest is gone. The dancing now officially means nothing.
Is this show doomed? Eh, I dunno. Maybe. The most likely scenario is a slow decline as the producers resolutely refuse to fix anything (or throw in some meaningless token gestures like the “judges’ save”). Several years down the line interest bottoms out, we don’t hear anything about a new season for several months, and that’s that.
Or else they bring in Mary Murphy, everything goes completely to hell, and ABC drops the ax after three episodes. Hey, if you’re gotta go, may as well go with a bang, right?