Dancing with the Stars’ judges are not happy that Sean Spicer has not been eliminated despite consistently getting lower scores from them than other competitors.
The reason is clearly the audience voting has been overwhelmingly in his favor to make up for it, as total scores are a combination of audience and judge voting.
Some are crediting President Trump’s social media power for keeping Sean Spicer in the game.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2019
An Esquire magazine article frets that Spicer’s support could simply be a “troll campaign” by conservatives looking to make a political statement.
Judges are not the only ones upset Spicer hasn’t been eliminated, liberals are taking to social media to voice their displeasure.
— Alexa Sumner (@alexasumner1) November 5, 2019
Per Esquire When Sean Spicer first appeared on Dancing with the Stars in a giant neon green blouse, no one particularly expected his tenure to in the competition to last very long. A celebrity for the most 2019 of reasons, Spicer’s botched inaugural Salsa spelled immediate elimination.
Yet, eight weeks later, he remains. His lingering presence on DWTS is baffling when considering the quality of his dancing and his abysmal judge scores. Now with only six dancer’s remaining, Spicer’s terrible average seems to be an afterthought. Equipped with a seemingly impenetrable wall of voters, he’s primed to make it all the way to the finale.
Judges are also frustrated. In a post-show interview with Entertainment Tonight after the top six was revealed, the typically impartial Carie Ann Inaba said, “These people who are voting just to spite us or whatever reasons they’re having in their heart—listen, I respect you, but how about having a little respect for the people who are working their butts off dancing?”
Throughout this season, Spicer has maintained an average weekly score of 17.8 points out of 30 from the judges. He is handily the weakest technical dancer left in the mix, landing below two other eliminated teams’ averages. An average that low typically guarantees a week one or two exit in past seasons, but that’s not the case this round. For reference, other dancers are regularly scoring in the 24-27 range from judges, Spicer remains in the 19-21 point area.
But judges’ scores only accounts for a part of the criteria for keeping a dancer in the competition.
Live voting makes up for those scores though, and as the competition narrows, Spicer lives on. While Dancing with the Stars keeps its voting algorithm fairly private, the notion is that a combination of viewers votes and judges’ scores keep a competitor in the competition. Similar personalities and scorers would have been voted out by now based on how much the judges’ scores drag down their overall average (see: Tucker Carlson, Rick Perry). Even with high popularity, low scorers typically don’t last past week two, maybe three. Spicer’s average—a full six points lower than the next lowest competitor—will carry him to week nine. And he hasn’t just escaped elimination—he’s never been declared to be in jeopardy of going home.
The most obvious explanation is to look at the audience votes that compensate for the abysmal scores. One potential explanation for the votes is the now-weekly appearances Spicer makes on Breitbart News Sunday to discuss DWTS. “There’s something about everything going on here and everybody out here in Breitbart Nation voting,” he said on the show, begging for votes.
While every contestant has some version of an online campaign, Spicer’s is different—an online campaign to save him isn’t particularly being run by people who watch the show. Instead, it’s a wall of people—viewers and non-viewers—rallying to stack votes in his favor to make a political statement. (A shoutout from Trump and a prompt response from his base certainly doesn’t hurt either.)
Even those rallying in the campaign admit that his dancing is terrible, but that’s not the point. The campaign to keep Spicer dancing is a troll-campaign attempting to carve out a place for Trump’s ideologies in the entertainment industry.
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com