Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Last Dance

Dear Dancing with the Stars,

I didn't want it to end. I loved spending my Monday and Tuesday evenings with you. I set my DVR just in case of an emergency and I had to be away, because I never wanted to miss an episode. I was one of your true, loyal fans. I voted every week. I encouraged my friends to do so too. I tweeted and posted on Facebook my anticipation for another season. I blogged about you, my guilty pleasure. I was not a casual admirer. I even went so far as to drive to New Jersey to the Prudential Center and see the show when it went on tour!  I've missed you so, all summer long. But now it's over. Done. I know we can't go on.

It is so very hard to write this. But we're through. You're just not the same show you used to be. You've changed.  I thought you were different than all those other reality shows.  But it turns out I was wrong.

I could see it coming. For a long time I questioned your definition of the word Star. For me  it means someone who has become famous because they earned it. They are an accomplished artist in film or song, a professional athlete, a master of their craft. For you, it has been someone who you hope will garner great free publicity and thus draw good ratings.

First there was Melissa Rycroft. No sooner was she dumped on The Bachelor than you decided she was a star. The next season there was Jake Pavelka and horror of horrors,  Kate Gosselin! OK. So I've been in the TV business. I know you did it for ratings because those translate into money and that is what you are all about. But really, she was so bad it was physically painful to watch. I thought you  would have learned your lesson. But I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Now you have pushed me over the edge.  I kept hearing the rumors but I didn't want to believe they were true. You couldn't possibly be casting Bristol Palin and The Situation as Stars!  But again, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. 

Our definitions of Star are just too different! Bristol Palin, one day the daughter of the woman who did not complete her term as Governor of Alaska, and a teenage unwed mother, the next a Star?  And The Situation. I can't even begin to go there. I didn't even know he had a real name until I saw your list this morning.

Yes Michael Bolton, Margaret Cho, Florence Henderson and all the rest are stars. But Bristol Palin and The Situation? These are not stars!   These are  masqueraders! Perhaps you should consider changing   the name of the show to Dancing with the Masqueraders. After all, you too DWTS,  are not who you professed to be! Alas! Such deception is just too much for me.

And so I have to leave. I have to end our  ten season relationship. I thought you were different, but I was wrong. I thought about trying to continue, to put this aside, hope they are both out in the first few weeks and  pretend this deception was OK.  But I can't. I'm a woman of principle. Your choices perpetuate the message our media obsessed culture continues to put out there. You don't have to work to earn celebrity status.  Just do something, anything that will garner media attention, the more outlandish and controversial the better, and you too will be considered a star. 

I will miss you, DWTS, but I'm sure my absence will go unnoticed. You see I have never  been  asked to participate in a Nielsen survey.  So while my vote for the best dancer might have counted, my viewership does not help you to get that high price you quote for a spot in the live show. Which we know, in the end is what this is all about. It is not about picking true Stars. It is about getting people to tune in so you can charge more money to advertise. Yes, you too are just another corporate sell out.

I'm sure there will be others who feel otherwise, who will ignore this, pretend like it is OK. But not I.
I can't pretend. It will be hard. I won't deny that. I will miss Carrie Anne Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. I will miss Tom Bergeron's entertaining hosting and all my favorite pros, Julianne, Derek, Cheryl, Edyta, Tony, Mak, Kym and Lacey. I will miss getting to see Jennifer Grey dance again. It's been a long time since Dirty Dancing.

But I will find other shows to watch and books to read to fill in your gap. And I will encourage others who are disillusioned to do the same. I've heard about other dancing shows that are good. I was just too loyal a fan to even switch the channel.

While this is painful, I must go now, sign on to Facebook and remove my like button.  Perhaps we will cross each other's  path again. One never knows. Life is like that.  You could change. Or not.

Your once loving and adoring fan

 This blog is being syndicated on BlogHer, Life well said.

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Colette Martin said...

Oh yes -- I do agree with you. I was never a big Dancing with the Stars fan -- but surely Bristol Palin would have caused me to change the channel.

Anonymous said...

The only times I have seen the show were when I was visiting my parents and was forced to watch against my better judgment! (And Kate G. truly was painful, painful viewing!) But if I were a fan, I would feel exactly the same as you! Good for you - I hope you are successful in this endeavor!