TV’s “Dancing With The Stars” pretends to be a ballroom dance competition between various non-dance personalities with professional ballroom dance partners supplied by the show. Ratings have been in decline; it is assumed that the current season will be the last. The ‘judging’ of the couples is an inscrutable mix of audience and judicial panel votes.
While some ‘contestants’ have seemed unlikely dancers, this season’s selections have been uniquely obvious to anyone following American politics, or so it seems to us. The recent winners of the Olympic Ice Dancing title were split apart and assigned to compete against an ex professional dancer who, having lost her legs, walks with prostheses. That is a very unfair ‘competition’ in today’s politically correct version of reality.
With three professional dances competing, two used to skates and one used to her own feet, it might be argued that putting them together on the dance floor to compete, was fair. Right, and putting a star baseball pitcher behind the line of scrimmage as a quarterback is fair too; both revolve around throwing a ball, do they not? .
The reality is very different. The skaters had to transfer their best-in-the-world skills from ice to the dance floor; that is, to walking on the floor as they have been doing since infancy. The now amputee, ex professional dancer had to transfer her skills to walking on cumbersome appliances with which she has had by comparison, little practice. Hardly a fair event in real terms. But this is televised reality, not the reality in which watchers must live.
Charley White, the Olympic male of that pair, was eliminated first. Ice dancers know that winning couples on ice depend upon the strength of the male partner. On TV, things depend upon the charisma of whichever partner and Charley’s assent to taming his teenage surfer haircut was insufficient for the ratings whereas his partner Meryl Davis’ smoldering good looks and evident passion fired all who watched her, obviously including both her judges and her assigned ballroom dance professional partner. It did not hurt that her obvious talent for dance will likely draw the attention of such as the New York City Ballet.
As the weekly shows progressed, it became evident that the ice dancers were alone at the top, in terms of dancing. The Legless Lady however, by virtue of stretching ballroom competition rules entirely out of shape, was kept in competition by such gimmicks as performing on a tabletop instead of a dance floor. Charley White was eliminated in what, if one took dance seriously, was a travesty, leaving the final event between ice dancer Meryl Davis and amputee Amy Purgy, though others appeared as cannon fodder.
This scam could not possibly be a fair competition. If it was about dancing, a talent such as Meryl Davis, who blew away the shows’ entire professional ballroom crew, could have wiped up professional dancer Purgy while the amputee she still retained her own legs. Few could compete with a gift such as Davis displayed. But America these days and television even more, are not about dance or superior ability, never mind the billings.
It is very important in America that everyone be ‘equal’ regardless of any cost. So TV shows feel impelled to demonstrate that lacking legs is not impediment to dancing as well as anybody else. Americans hire or enroll the less qualified if they are black or Hispanic; employers must hire the disabled whether or not they can actually perform competitively in the workplace. And Hillary Clinton has just asked employers to ‘help’ with “Income Inequuality.” So it would not do, it would have been politically incorrect, for both the outstanding Olympic ice dancers to be recognized for their dominance and it would have been politically unacceptable to have eliminated the Legless Lady. To the down-to-the-wire final was between ice dancer Davis and amputee Purgy.
Davis, unarguably, won. Even political correctness could not prevent that, though it apparently tried as the show proceeded during the season. Amy Purgy received more than she earned, but one must admire her more-difficult-than-they-appeared performances . Only ice dancer Charley White was left resembling an old TV commercial featuring a tuna that always ended: “Sorry, Charley!”
So the clear unfairness of putting an overwhelming talent with all her parts working against a normal talent handicapped by artificial legs — a travesty — was overwhelmed by the injection of political correctness to fix the result, a greater travesty, paid for by Charley White and the show’s credibility. .
The baldness of this display of political propaganda probably confirms that this has been “Dancing With The Stars’ last season. What could possible be done as an encore? But that is no tragedy, the market for circuses is eternal and circuses will be provided. The tragedy here, is that this is a fair microcosm of what is happening to America.