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Dancing With the Stars Doesn’t Need to End — But Its Popularity Contest Does


In this opinion article from TV Line, Rebecca Iannucci expresses disappointment in Bobby Bones’ victory in the recent season of Dancing With the Stars, believing that “the show rewards popularity over dance skill.” Iannucci notes a frequent pattern where contestants who have less-than-stellar dancing skills, but also have “large, passionate, eager-to-vote fanbases,” tend to rank hire than other contestants who often outperform them in the competition. Consequently, this makes the show frustrating to watch since the contestants who have notable dancing skills or who have shown improvement over the course of the season would often be overlooked and eliminated due to their lack of popularity. Ultimately, Iannucci believes that altering the voting system such as giving viewer votes less weight than judge votes would help prevent this problem in future seasons.


In relation to the CS 2850, this issue with the show’s voting system demonstrates an example of strategic agenda-setting in a voting system. The show uses a variation of the majority rules voting system where viewers can vote on any competing contestants of their choice. After votes are collected, the amounts for each contestant are compared among each other, and the ones with the lowest amount of votes are eliminated. Because of the show’s nature featuring celebrities competing, fans of said celebrities would plan to vote for them no matter the quality of skill they actually demonstrate. This in turn results in an agenda where the popularity of a contestant brings them into victory.


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November 2018