A Quick Dancing Note

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on May 20, 2008 @ 7:21 am

Dancing with the Stars finals last night; results tonight. Kristi Yamaguchi for the win is nearly a foregone conclusion, but those have been upset before. We’ll see.

Their newest finals mechanism is a faceoff-style dance, in which one dance and one song are selected and each of the three couples dances one minute of it. It was entertaining and, as the judges remarked, definitely allowed them to see who’s the best, but it seems to build in a hefty amount of unfairness–as was pointed out right on the show, cha-cha-cha is so far away from being Jason’s best dance that you’d never know how he got to the finals if that dance was the only one of his that you saw. Shouldn’t the finals be the moment when the couples choose their strengths for themselves and bring out the very best they have, rather than dancing a preselected style that may set their opponents up to shine at their expense? Even Kristi has an Achilles heel–it was samba, but they’d never choose that dance for the finals because it’s a killer for everybody. So her weakness is off the table out of the gate.

They’ve tried a number of different finals styles, including having the judges pick which dance each couple would do. By far the fairest and leading to the most robust competition is allowing each couple to pick their own.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace