- This is the 28th season for ABC’s reality show.
- Radio personality Bobby Bones was the Season 27 winner.
- Season 28 Episode 7 of ‘DWTS’ will air on October 28, 2019
Dancing With The Stars is such a scam. It should come as no surprise that in the aftermath of the bizarre Episode 5 with all of the mawkish emotional blubbering that came with it that there would be another grease fire in Week 6. Sailor Brinkley-Cook was eliminated and while it’s doubtful that she would have won the way she was eliminated was a complete sham.
I hate to come off as being curmudgeonly about reality TV. To quote Wayne from the great TV series Letterkenny reality TV is ‘not my pigs, not my farm’. For some inexplicable reason, however, the reality TV universe is all of a sudden determined to kill the proverbial ‘golden goose’ by running off whatever audience they have left. I ranted about this at length during Survivor: Edge of Extinction in response to the insipid ‘Extinction Island’ plot device. I got even more esoteric during Big Brother Season 21 when they essentially co-opted arguably the worst gimmick in the history of reality TV and brought ‘Camp Comeback’ into the show. In both cases, the plot device served to undermine the fundamental question that is the common component in all reality TV–‘will Contestant X be eliminated’? In both of the above examples, the pointless gimmick completely subverted this essential conflict for both contestants and viewer. It rendered eliminations meaningless since contestants can be brought back on a whim of the producers.
One of the Big Brother episodes prompted a rant that I entitled ‘The Need for Order in an Imaginary Universe’. I’ll probably cut and paste it anytime a reality TV show messes with the cosmic fabric that provides a veneer of legitimacy throughout the genre:
THE NEED FOR ORDER IN AN IMAGINARY UNIVERSE
It’s what pro wrestling geeks call ‘hot shot booking’–it may seem like a good idea to increase interest in a product in the short term. What happens in the long term, however, is that the sense of contextual ‘order’ is destroyed. In pro wrestling there are still certain ‘unwritten rules’ and constructs that all successful promotions embrace. For example, it’s always been a fundamental assumption of pro wrestling that the various titles have a degree of value and prestige that makes them a priority of anyone involved. In the ‘real world’, the NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Title might not be considered prestigious (even though it was once held by a number of legit legends including Eddie Graham, Johnny Valentine and Jack Brisco). Within the context of the pro wrestling milieu, however, it is something to be sought after.
Another ‘unwritten rule’ of episodic pro wrestling programming: no matter how heinous an act committed by a ‘heel’ might be there are no ‘real world’ legal ramifications. The Original Sheik aka Ed Farhat would burn his opponents with fire, Abdullah the Butcher would carve his foes up with a fork, and countless other heels commit countless other ‘heel like’ offenses. No matter how bloody Abdullah’s fork work would leave Dusty Rhodes or Carlos Colon, they never filed assault charges. Instead, justice was meted out within the context of the storyline. That’s why most ‘angles’ involving (real or worked) law enforcement ‘feel’ so ‘wrong’. Promotions have done them from time to time, but they’re seldom effective.
The ‘Extinction Island’ aka ‘Camp Comeback’ device might be having a similar impact on reality television. It makes ‘suspension of disbelief’ difficult. Even more problematic, it undercuts the significance of anything else that happens on the show. Sure, reality TV producers have always had the power to manipulate or contrive outcomes. Much can be done with editing in terms of developing contestants into likable or unlikable individuals. UN observers never get called into to monitor voting on American Idol. Even so, through out most of reality TV history there’s been a sort of ‘kayfabe’ that helped maintain a show’s veneer of legitimacy. From a practical standpoint, there’s no difference in an eliminated contestant returning to the game via a plot device like ‘Extinction Island’ than there is in a producer manipulating outcomes through a variety of means. From a philosophical standpoint, it’s a huge distinction and one that could significantly undermine the popularity of reality television if it continues to be used.
The revised judging format of Dancing With The Stars is having a similar effect. They might as well throw darts at a board to select the bottom two and the eventual contestant that gets eliminated. When Sailor Brinkley-Cook was eliminated this week she scored a 27 which put her in a three way tie for the best score of the week. Six contestants had lower scores but somehow scoring a 27 put her in the ‘bottom two’. The judges voted to ‘save’ Ally Brooke and send Sailor packing. She left with not only a tie for the highest score of the week but the 4th highest average score for the entire season. Her average was 22.2–the top four scores are separated by a total of 0.8 of a point. Five remaining contestants have a lower average score with two having an average score two or more points lower than Sailor’s.
One of the ‘pro’ dancers–Sasha Farber–emphasized the contrived ‘voting’ process as the reason she was eliminated. Having a voting process with no transparency whatsoever also defeats the purpose but that’s another rant for another time. Basically, the phony ‘fan vote’ allows the producers to eliminate who they want when they want. To be sure, they’ve always had this power but until recently they at least attempted to maintain a veneer that a legitimate competition was taking place. So Karamo Brown is still alive with a 19.8 average score and Sean Spicer continues to bumble along with a 16.3 average score.
Without some type of logical framework to create ‘order’ within this phony universe there’s no reason for anyone–contestants or viewers–to invest time and effort into the program. If the DWTS producers rung me up and invited me to be on the show I’d have no incentive to say yes since no matter how much work I put into learning how to dance it would have no bearing on the outcome. Without some sort of competitive significance to the dancing it’s just a sideshow attraction. They might as well get rid of the scores altogether since they’re just going to arbitrarily boot someone off regardless of their performance.
There’s already been enough of these shenanigans this season and it appears to be hurting the ratings. Week 6 pulled the lowest rating of the year at 0.7 with a 3 share. The viewership dropped by 330,000 from 6.61 million to 6.28 million. DWTS lost right around 5% of their viewership from Week 5 to Week 6 and you’ll likely see a similar drop between Week 6 and Week 7.
Here are the SPORTSINSIDER.COM odds for Week 7 of Dancing With The Stars Season 28:
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 BETTING ODDS
James Van Der Beek +175
Hannah Brown +175
Lauren Alainia +350
Ally Brooke +350
Kel Mitchell +5000
Kate Flannery +5000
Karamo Brown +5000
Sean Spicer +5000
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 BETTING ODDS
TO BE ELIMINATED IN WEEK 7 OF ‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28
Karamo Brown +150
Kate Flannery +225
Sean Spicer +350
Kel Mitchell +350
Ally Brooke +5000
Hannah Brown +5000
Lauren Alaina +5000
James Van Der Beek +5000
No One Eliminated in Week 7 +5000
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 AVERAGE SCORE
Over 26.5 -150
Under 26.5 +130
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 HIGHEST SCORE
Over 27.5 -130
Under 27.5 +110
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 LOWEST SCORE
Over 21.5 +110
Under 21.5 -130
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 NUMBER OF CONTESTANTS WITH TOTAL SCORE OF 20 OR HIGHER
Over 7.5 -150
Under 7.5 +110
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 NUMBER OF CONTESTANTS WITH TOTAL SCORE OF 19 OR LOWER
Over 1.5 +700
Under 1.5 -750
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 WILL ANY JUDGE AWARD A SCORE OF TEN?
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 WILL ANY JUDGE AWARD A SCORE OF SIX OR LOWER?
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 NUMBER OF TEN SCORES AWARDED?
Over 1.5 +180
Under 1.5 -210
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 NUMBER OF SCORES NINE OR HIGHER AWARDED?
Over 12.5 -350
Under 12.5 +300
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 NUMBER OF SCORES EIGHT OR HIGHER AWARDED?
Over 21.5 -180
Under 21.5 +150
For purposes of the previous 10 score props any guest judge(s) will not be considered. Only the scores of Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli will be apply toward the outcome of these wagers.
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 VIEWERSHIP
Over 6.25 Million +210
6.25 Million or Under -250
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 RATING
Over 0.7 +300
0.7 or Under -350
‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ SEASON 28 EPISODE 7 SHARE
4 or Over +300
Under 4 -350
The previous three TV ratings propositions will be graded using data reported at TV By The Numbers.