Warning…may contain snark.
So who will go home tonight? Who gets the indignity of the first elimination from this rarest of beasts, a classy reality TV show? At this stage it has very little to do with dance ability and everything to do with likability. That’s right, this is when it’s a popularity contest. Well there are lots of factors in play for the first round and I think it means there’ll be a surprise loser this evening. Here’s what people are really voting for (or against) at this stage in the Ballroom Blitz.
Fame of the “Star”. I always think it’s gloriously naive when DwtS forum posters say things like “the public should choose the celebrities for next season”, as though the cast of Heroes or Milk are queuing out of the door for the chance to dance the cha cha in front of 20 million people. Believe me I’ve been behind the scenes of trying to get a celebrity judging panel together and it ain’t easy. The producers will take whoever can commit to 13 weeks of filming. Now I don’t mind what these people are famous for and being British I have less idea than most. All I know is that a properly famous person does not get knocked out in the first week. This leaves Shawn Johnson and (probably) Belinda Carlisle safe for another week.
The Popularity of the Pro. The fans are really tuning in to see their favourite pros dance, more often than not the pros are more famous than the people they’re paired with. Having a popular pro partner might save Denise Richards, even though she has the personality of a demanding dishcloth. There’s another angle on this particular aspect this season because the incredibly popular Julianne Hough is dancing with her real life boyfriend. Unless Chuck pulls his socks up they’ll be going early, as part of her fanbase will be with the hetro males and they don’t want to see her dancing with the guy she’s sleeping with.
Respect. Respect the show dude. This is difficult for some of the “stars”. They’re under the impression that the show is about them and this is wrong, wrong, wrong. David Alan Grier could find himself in trouble for his mocking of Bruno’s accent last night. Don’t mess with the judges. Which brings me to Ms Schwimmer or “oh Lacey” as we call her in our house. I love it when her routines work, the Kissed a Girl tango she did with Lance last season blew me away, no matter what the judges had to say. But must she always be schwimming upstream? (sorry couldn’t resist that). It’s week two and her partner’s injured, maybe she should have choreographed a Salsa like she was asked to do?
Injury. Unless you’re really bad a sympathy vote for an injury can keep you in longer than expected. Of course there are so many injuries this season, who knows how that will pan out.
Attitude. Most DwtS fans would give their left arm for a chance to dance with those pros and a whole host of other people would give their right arm to be on a primetime network show twice a week. The “stars” have to look like they’re enjoying it. Anyone who looks like they’re having fun is fun to watch and will therefore be staying. Having a cry in the first week like Denise Richards did is a bit poor. Equally Ty’s leap in positive attitude over the last week could well save him from first round elimination.
Cult Following. If this was Britain I would say that Steve Wozniak would be first out tonight. No-one likes a billionaire in Britain especially not one who dances like a geeky walrus with flappy hands. But The Woz is a cult legend in America and techies and geeks love the chance to own a popularity contest now they’re past the high school ones. Despite his terrible scores and mentally scarring moves, he won’t be the first to leave.
And Finally…Dance Skill. Gilles, Melissa, Shawn and Li’l Kim can all dance, they’re great to watch and we want to see more of them. They won’t be going anywhere for a while yet.
Based on all of these factors I think the bottom two couples tonight will be Holly & Dmitri and Steve-O & Lacey. Holly & Dmitri will lose the dance off and be going home first.
…my other prediction is that Steve-O will pull out and no-one will be going home tonight.
Of course I could be wrong, I was somewhat distracted from the dancing last night by seeing if I could catch a glimpse of Nathan Fillion in the front row seat he’s contractually obliged to fill because of his new show Castle. He’s so dreamy. Now if he wanted to do DwtS he’d win hands down for charm alone. Hang on “charm” wasn’t one of my categories. Well it’s not an exact science.