Is Dancing with the Stars Judged Fairly?

Warning, controversial post! I don’t normally post controversial things, but I feel pretty strongly about this one.


I have watched Dancing with the Stars on and off since the first season. When they released the cast for this season, I was pretty pumped. Cody Simpson, NeNe Leakes, Olympians Charlie White and Meryl Davis, DJ from Full House, Winnie from the Wonder Years, Drew Carey, I mean come on! I actually know who half the cast is before the season even starts! That means we have some true A List starts. 


I think its fair to say the Olympic gold metal ice dancers came into the show with a major advantage over the other contestants, but they have had gymnasts (Shawn Johnson), Dirty Dancers (Jennifer Grey), and numerous performs with a strong dance background such as Disney star Corbin Bleu and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. Its somewhat understood that the different contestants will come in with different dance backgrounds, and some will have a major advantage. Its part of the game!


One of the stars I knew less about before the show started was Amy Purdy, Paralympic snowboarder with amputated legs below the knee and wears prosthetic legs. I thought, “What an inspiration, good for her!” She really is one of the top dancers on the show and I really believe she has earned her way through every week. However, the judges seem to be scoring her unfairly. Given her circumstances, she is going to struggle more than some of the other contestants. They have had contestants struggling with all kinds of health problems and their scores have reflected their struggles. Amy, on the other hand, seems to be getting scores higher, even when she has obvious mistakes. For example last week, her and partner Derek Hough had a lift in their performance. One of the judges, Carrie Ann claims to be the “lift police” and always calls dancers on illegal lifts, and takes a point off for it. However, Carrie Ann said this last week, “The bad news is, you know I always call lifts and I saw some lifts. But I cannot take off a point from you for doing a lift because of your unique circumstance”. 


COME ON! Derek has been on this show for SEASONS. He can choreograph a dance that doesn’t involve a lift regardless of the circumstances of the dancer. Tonight, she made a clear mistake that someone like me (not a professional ballroom dancer) could pick up on and she still got two 10s. WHAT? Charlie White, someone who has been in dance class since he was a child, danced way better than Amy tonight. However, expectations for him are so much higher than they are for Amy. 


What do you think, should the dancers be judged on the same scale (meaning a 9 for one contestant means they danced the same as a 9 from another contestant) or should the dancers be judged on a personal scale (meaning a 9 for one contestant means the are almost at their full potential but maybe not at the same level as a 9 from some other contestant). Thoughts? 


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