Photo credit: ABC/Eric McCandless.
Week 2 on Dancing With the Stars kicked off with a whisper and concluded with a roar. With the new judging and voting system fully implemented, viewers got a firsthand look at how the season could unfold.
Not only is there live voting for Eastern and Central time zones, the judges officially have a say in who goes home each week. The drama is all spelled out in real-time for viewers who can watch it unfold. However, there's nothing at stake for TV viewers who watch the show three hours later.
Mountain and Pacific time zone fans feel left out in the cold. While they are still able to vote during the East Coast airing, they have no idea what they are voting on. Popularity? Looks? Cute costume? Dance potential from last week's routine?
That puzzling question hasn't been answered by the show yet and it leaves a whole section of the country alienated by DWTS. One of the core parts of the series over the years has been the interactivity between fans, contestants and pros. It leaves many pondering how they are going to view DWTS season when there is nothing to invest in because the live voting is over.
The new voting system overshadows the good work that is being done on the show this season — DWTS has an interesting cast in place and the pros are being challenged with fresh choreographic ideas. The back-to-basics theme is also keeping dances simple at this stage of the game versus the bloated overproduction seen in prior seasons.
Even the judges explaining simple elements of the key dances in video packages make DWTS feel like a ballroom show again. It's also smart to keep the scores lower at this point in the season. Do you want growth? You have to earn that respect from the judges by working hard in rehearsals and nailing the routine and the technique in the ballroom.
However, the core focus is on the voting that left us with Mary Wilson and Ray Lewis in the bottom two. Would more viewers participating in the voting process have changed the outcome? Maybe.
Some older DWTS fans have complained that they don't have text capabilities on their phone. A portion of the country is voting blindly during their evening commute home from work. Other West Coast viewers are trying to see the dances via social media, but ABC can't get them out fast enough to see every dance before voting ends.
There are too many variables to make this a completely fair competition. It's going to result in some shocking eliminations and, in the end, it could alienate many longtime DWTS fans for good.
Don’t miss Dance Network’s ‘To The Pointe’ Interview with the winner of Season 16 on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, Bailey Muñoz: