The question on my mind: Why do we vote the way we do? Apparently it isn’t just Americans who throw the judges’ numbers out when deciding how to vote. Last week an English acquaintance brought me up to speed on this season’s Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC, the show that, on our shores, became Dancing with the Stars.” (We share two judges, Len and Bruno, who fly back and forth during the simultaneous parts of the seasons). One contestant, Ann Widdecombe, a former Member of Parliament, has become quite the limey lightning rod. A Rubenesque 60-something lady with a sweet smile, “Widdy” clearly has no talent, rhythm, or ability. (See her photo here and tell me The Situation and Kate Gosselin aren’t looking better to you?) She has been urged by some to quit the show. The purists say she is de-valuing dance, but still the viewers keep voting her in. Judges and dance aficionados are horrified. Why? People are voting for the person they like, the person they want to win. That’s it. Really, neither Strictly Come Dancing nor DWTS is a dance show. That’s why there are soap stars, retired football players, and “teen activists,” on them. If they wanted a serious dance competition, all the competitors would be professional dancers. What if the American television audience chose the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics? You know what would happen: viewers would vote for the person they liked – the best looking or the one who had a couple of cute kids. We viewers don’t know anything more about ballroom dancing than we know about physics.
|Behold, the grace of Widdy.|