Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DWTS: Live Or Staged?

Tonight is the finale of Dancing With The Stars.  This used to be appointment television for me. But as you know DWTS and I parted ways at the beginning of the season over a difference in the definition of what being a star means.

Of course even without having once turned on the show all Fall,  I would have to be living under a rock not to know that somehow Bristol Palin has managed to get herself into the final three.  Bristol Palin's weekly scores  are apparently more significant and warrant more media attention than the Start Treaty.

As a seasoned viewer I can tell you that she is  hardly  the first not so great dancer that should have been voted off weeks earlier but managed to survive longer than she should.  She has one of those fan bases that is more dedicated to the interactive voter aspect than your average viewer. But usually by this, the season finale what you are left with are truly the best dancers.

Not so this time. Two really good dancers and Bristol. Or so I am told by the press and  the few people I know who still watch the show.

The Palins and their fan posse will tell you it is all fair and honest and there is no truth to the questionable methods being tauted by the coalition of conservatives rallying to see her win. That people can relate to "poor Bristol" because she is like them, that this is harder for her than it is for the other contestants because she has never been on a stage before, that she is an unwed teenage mother just trying to put food on the table for her child.

To which my answer is  that is  why you are supposed to be a real "star" to participate, so  being the center of attention is not foreign or uncomfortable for you.

I for one do not relate to Bristol or her family. I was too terrified at her age to have unprotected sex for fear of getting pregnant and the repercussion from my father, not to mention moose hunting is not, has never been or is likely to make it to my bucket list. And my mom never reneged on a commitment to a job halfway through. Overall I find their "authenticity" feigned and staged in much the way a dance is choreographed.

As for the economics, has anyone seen the money her mother is raking in since quitting her job as Governor of Alaska?

But I digress.

The bigger question, is it possible that she might win tonight?

I think it is.

And if it happens what message are we sending out there? Are we telling teenagers that it is OK if you get pregnant because you too might turn your life around and get a contract for a reality show? Have we completely denigrated the word "star"?  Or has what was once a fun reality show filled with entertainment become yet another political platform for Bristol's "stage" mother?

What do you think?
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