'Dancing With the Stars' won't change its voting system
Bristol Palin may change the way America dances, but she's not going to change the way we vote for dancers.
Contrary to media reports that "Dancing with the Stars" is going to revamp its voting procedures because Sarah Palin's daughter has managed to waltz her way into the finals, the executive producer said the show will go on as it always has.
"We have no plans at this time to change a process that has served us well for over 200 episodes," said Conrad Green in a statement to The Times. "While no system is perfect, we have tried to balance the views of professional judges and our passionate viewers. We have checks and balances and security assessments in place to ensure the voting is as fair as possible."
Although Palin routinely has received low scores from the judges, America has saved her week after week from elimination.
Unlike “American Idol,” in which the judges do not score the contestants, “Dancing with the Stars” combines judge’s marks with public voting. Results from both are then averaged together and the contestant with the lowest number goes home. There is a maximum of five votes per phone line and e-mail address.
Because of Palin's surprising success, some viewers have cried foul, claiming that the 20-year-old's supporters are exploiting a defect in ABC.com's e-mail voting system. The suspicion has been that because the network does not require users to authenticate e-mail addresses, some have then fabricated additional e-mail addresses, thereby allowing them to cast extra votes. But as The Times reported on Thursday, ABC has security measures in place to block such attempts. When multiple e-mail addresses are detected from a single computer, they are thrown out.
“The biggest concern for me is: Does something affect one person and not the other?” Green said in an interview last week. “Is there a problem with one person’s phone line? Is there a problem with one person’s e-mail system? If the same system applies to all of our couples, you can argue about the merits of that particular system, but all couples have an equal opportunity to encourage people to vote a number of times for them.”
Palin, actress Jennifer Grey, and actor Kyle Massey compete for the last time Monday. The winner of the coveted mirror-ball trophy will be announced Tuesday.
--- Maria Elena Fernandez
Video: Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas perform a waltz in the Nov. 15 episode. Credit: ABC