Gymnast Simone Biles‘s fourth place elimination from “Dancing with the Stars” during this week’s semifinals (watch above) wasn’t the first time this season that there was a shocking exit, and it’s far from the only time it has happened in the show’s history. This is reality TV after all — twist endings come with the territory. But the voting this season has resulted in enough conspicuous early exits that we may be left wondering, “Did the right three contestants make the finals?” Taking a skilled performer like Biles out of the running could lead to an anticlimactic final round, so maybe “DWTS” could remedy this in future seasons by instituting a judges’ veto. Do you agree?
Other reality competition programs provide an option for overriding the results. “Project Runway” has a “Tim Gunn Save.” “American Idol” had a judges’ save. “The Voice” and “So You Think You Can Dance” have also provided opportunities to overturn a questionable elimination. So maybe “DWTS” should be next. That way, after they gasp at America’s choice to oust a high-scoring competitor like Heather Morris, Nancy Kerrigan or Biles, the judging panel quartet of Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli could be empowered to immediately set aside the verdict.
Then again, “DWTS” judges already have the power to influence the results. Their critiques aren’t just meant to guide America. Their scores actually account for half of the results, so perhaps they should examine their own scoring decisions. Highly proficient dancers on the show tend to be judged strictly, while struggling competitors are often given “A for effort” scores that put them close enough to the elite dancers to risk an unwelcome surprise. Last week Goodman complained to bull rider Bonner Bolton that he had advanced too far in the competition, but Goodman himself had given Bolton the same scores as Morris and Kerrigan when Morris and Kerrigan were eliminated.
But a veto option might give the judges a much-needed mulligan if they and fan voters end up axing a deserving competitor. What do you think? Should the “DWTS” judges be able to subvert the will of the people by saving a contestant from elimination?
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