'DWTS' Elimination: Fans Get The Last Word On Chaz Bono
Yep, I'll be honest. I'm a tad biased here.
Look, Keanu Reeves could only sit back and go "Whoa" when he watched Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer dodge bullet after bullet six weeks into the pair's "Dancing with the Stars" run.
And Bono's plucky likability carried him a long way, since Schwimmer proved she could dance with a mop and make it look like Fred Astaire.
What started off with Bono deserving applause for doing the show despite the right-wing backlash at the transgender-male author, activist and son of Cher and the late Sen. Sonny Bono being showcased on Disney-owned ABC's primetime lineup. It was a stupid bone to pick then, and it's a stupid bone to pick now.
But week after week passed, more and more dancers that could move circles around Bono kept being voted off, and Bono kept getting off light with critiques for the most part. Still, Week Six came along and Schwimmer couldn't have warned Bono more clearly: “At this stage in the game, I can’t make something super-basic, which is what we’ve been doing,” she very bluntly told Bono. “You’ve been filling it up with your personality and that’s great, but the problem is with the tango, we’re in a hold the entire time.”
Then, of course, there was the "cute, cuddly penguin trying to act like a big, menacing bird of prey" remark from Bruno Tonioli that had both Bono and Cher throwing fits, thinking it was basically a veiled "fat" joke.
And finally, the fans had enough. Bono scraped the bottom of the barrel one last time with a 19 for his and Schwimmer's "Phantom Of The Opera" tango, and there just wasn't another convincing sacrificial couple. Bono's gone.
“I took so much away for this; it really pushed me and showed me that I could do so much more than I ever thought I could,” he said. “I wanted to show America a different kind of man.”
Yep. One that pretty much kept failing upward.
Of course, there was the faint possibility that one other couple could've been thrown on the grenade this week.
Once more, Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy faced some harsh critiques. Solo finally gave the judges the sexy vulnerability and extra rehearsal miles they'd been demanding coming into the pair's rumba to "Seasons Of Love" from "RENT." Then the judges - in particular, cantankerous Len Goodman - started letting her have it over her technique. In fact, he called it their worst dance together yet.
At that point, Maks had heard enough.
"Everybody’s putting in a lot of effort. Everybody on that balcony has been dying and killing themselves only to hear you guys’ little judgmental comments. It’s a little much," Maks told Goodman mid-critique.
It's worth noting that during the results show, he backpedaled a bit and said that it's not "his" show as he later told Brooke Burke, but that he's part of a bigger cast.
But nevertheless, it was abundantly apparent that as the crowd booed Goodman and Maks let the Brit have it with both barrels, that there was no way the fans were voting he and Solo off.
Look, I realize I've harped quite a bit on the Chaz Bono saga this season. But what I ultimately want to see is a show that gives devoted fans a show with more than a little integrity.
There are fans who tune in and want to see the best men/women win. But with this system, it just can't happen. So even if the show doesn't really "matter" that much to me, people who devote time and make it appointment watching deserve better.
It might take some tweeking, but the show deserves a system in the style of the Metacritic website that rates various entertainment products: weigh the score from the judges somehow with the percentage of the fan-vote one to generate some kind of average or aggregate score.
Otherwise, there's one question everyone gets left with that no one has yet answered to my satisfaction: what's even the point of having judges if a pair that consistently rents out space at the bottom of the Leader Board stays week after week while better performers go home?
I have a name for that: that's "BCS-stupid."
Dancing with the Stars