DWTS Future Jeopardized by "Operation Bristol"
Photo courtesy of Operation Vote Off Bristol.
I'm not the only one who thinks politics has run Dancing With the Stars into the ground. According to Popeater, AOL's online entertainment news site, Dancing With the Stars producers and ABC and other TV insiders believe the show will be permanently ruined if Bristol Palin wins, and they fear she might, due to her mother's fan base and campaigning. Insiders give three reasons:
- It will go from being a dancing competition to a popularity competition where whoever has the most rabid fan base will always win no matter how little talent they have."
- "[A]fter Bristol wins no one in Hollywood will ever want to be on the show again," a well-placed ABC source tells me. "Why would a real star want to compete and lose against someone like [former U.S. Senate candidate] Christine O'Donnell or Levi Johnston. It's humiliating. The producers know they are in big trouble for sure."
- "A friend of one of the judges [says] Bristol has made a fool out of all of them. It's now painfully obvious that the judge's scores and opinions mean nothing."
Here's how the voting is supposed to work: [More...]
What is the show doing wrong, and how can they fix it for the finals?
Lines open at the beginning of each show for viewers to phone and text vote for their favorite couples and stay open for 30 minutes after the end. The whole country can vote.
First off, they can do what American Idol and other shows do: Open voting when the show ends in each time zone. People voting before the dancers have gone on the air are not voting for the dancing, but their favorite person. It's meaningless to say this show is about dancing when everyone can vote before they've seen all of the night's dances to compare them. No one should be allowed to vote before the show is over.
Second, all voting should end 30 minutes after the show airs in the each time zone. Now, online voting stays open until 11 a.m. the next day.
Phone and text lines will stay open for 30 minutes after the end of the show. Online voting will remain open until 11am (Eastern Time) the next day.
It also makes this representation by ABC in the same rule document false:
Viewers can vote via phone, text message or online for their favorites ONLY on the night they perform.
Third, ABC should accept online votes only from confirmed e-mail addresses and limit the number of votes that will be accepted from the same email and/or IP address. Phone votes should also be limited.
Sarah Palin and her followers are using Facebook and Twitter to campaign for Bristol:
Sarah is determined make Bristol the winner of the show. Whatever it takes," an insider tells me. "She's become obsessed with it, as if it were the election all over again, except this time a Palin will be the winner.
...Just a few days ago, Sarah reminded her 295,942 Twitter followers what a great girl Bristol is. "From youth football team, shop class & commercial fishing to Final 5 on Dancing W T Stars, we're proud of Bristol's courage, grace & diversity!"
..."Palin supporter Tammy Bruce tweeted, "Operation Bristol waltzes in tonight! As #DWTS starts vote at abc.go.com Tweeps pls tweet phone info, will RT."
Tammy Bruce's “Operation Bristol” has been picked up and posted by Sarah Palin fan sites like Conservatives4Palin and us4Palin.
[S]he is entirely uncoordinated, she refuses to listen to the judges' advice, she doesn't actually move any part of her body other than her head and feet during her routines and to top it off she even lacks that sympathy factor that has previously kept terrible performers from being sent packing.
From another conservative activist Operation Bristol site:
You can start calling the moment the show starts…and you can call as many times as the phone will let you. After that, use someone else’s phone to call the maximum times on that. Then — and I am not telling you to do this — it would not be a bad thing to randomly knock on neighbors’ doors and use their phones and call, call, call, and then call some more. Then vote like nuts online with all of your email addresses.
If you haven’t heard, the fact we’ve been all doing this for Bristol has been driving the Left NUTS. People magazine, Huffington Post, and other Lefty sites have all been going bonkers over the fact that Palin supporters have been burning up the phones to keep Bristol in the competition through the finale…despite the judges giving her shockingly low scores to try to eliminate her.
...For conservatives, enjoy the fun of finally, at last, getting a taste of what it’s like to be a Democrat. You can vote as much as you want. You can vote using all sorts of names. You can vote all day. You can’t get paid to vote, because you aren’t really a Democrat, silly, but you can get as close as you can possibly get without being in a union or taking part in ACORN.
Via the Washington Post, from the comments thread there:
"Here's a hint: They don't have to be VALID email addresses to register them with ABC.com, there is apparently no validation process," said one commenter. "They just have to be formatted like a valid email address, and you must use a valid zip code and a birthdate that makes you old enough to vote. No, it doesn't have to be a valid email address - I had one of my anonymous ones XXX@yahoo.com that I used, and then just did the sign-up process all over again with XXX1@yahoo.com and it worked."
"Lord have mercy, I voted for 3 hours online! I got 300 in," said another commenter.
More of the cheater comments here.
At least some people are fighting back. Facebook has a group, Operation Vote Off Bristol.
"Operation Bristol"? How about Operation "Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner"?
- Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough
Text (AT&T only) 3411 (text the word vote)
- Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer
Text (AT&T only) 3403 (text the word vote)
The winner of DWTS shouldn't be the contestant who went from log to broom. It should be the best dancer. The show has already been damaged by allowing conservatives to gin the system and get Bristol to the semi-finals. If ABC doesn't put voting checks in place for the finals, it deserves to go down.
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