Donald Trump practically ushered in the era of reality competition programming with “The Apprentice,” but will he also usher it out over a particularly terrible cha-cha?
Monday night on the reality dance program, “Dancing With the Stars,” former White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, came perilously close to being elimated from the competition, which pairs pop culture icons with professional ballroom dancers in a multi-week race to the finish.
Spicer ended up not having to pack his dancing shoes. Instead, “Queer Eye’s” Karamo Brown got the boot, and Sean Spicer lives to dance yet another week, much to the chagrin of left-leaning fans of the show.
The voting system for “Dancing With the Stars” has long been controversial, according to PopCulture.com, because it asks some viewers to vote for their favorite celebrity, and that celebrity’s professional partner, before they appear on the show to dance.
Voting is open only while the show is airing live, so viewers on the east coast and in the Central Time Zone can decide the fate of dancers after viewing their performances. Viewers in Mountain Time and on the west coast have to register their votes before the show airs in their time zones. That means that EST and CST viewers have an outsized impact on the show’s outcome.
And, apparently, viewers in EST and CST are fans of President Donald Trump, because Sean Spicer has stayed on the show despite weeks of terrible — sometimes almost comical — performances, and its starting to get under peoples’ skin.
‘Again I say if Sean Spicer had any integrity he would’ve taken himself off of dancing with the stars tonight,” one viewer Tweeted. “He can’t dance; its horrible and the only reason he’s there is that the Trumpsters keep voting him in. It is not what the show is about.”
“Is the entire Republican Party voting for sean spicer to stay on dancing with the stars!?? WHATS THE CONSPIRACY HERE WHY ARE ALL THE GOOD DANCERS GOING HOME,” complained another.
A few suggested that Russia might have hacked the show’s voting system, in reference to Trump’s own troubles, and some, including writer Leslie Streeter, called for viewer votes to be discarded completely if viewers elected to keep Spicer on the show: “Thanks for ruining the joy of a celebrity dance competition to piss off people whose political opinions you disagree with. I used to love this show as an escape. Now it’s an extension of the divisive ugliness outside. Gross. Put less weight in viewer votes or cancel it.”
Spicer seems to be enjoying the attention. He reportedly bragged to the New York Post that President Donald Trump watches him and cheers him on, adding that Trump recently praised Spicer’s weight loss, a result of the difficult workout the show demands.
Trump is, indeed, involved. Back on October 14, still weeks ago, Trump put in a good word for Spicer using Twitter. USA Today reports that while earning the President’s public endorsement isn’t exactly a violation of the rules, it had never happened before on the show lovingly referred to as “DWTS.” The next night, the show’s hosts cancelled a planned elimination vote, possibly because Trump had tipped the scales.
Spicer may, in fact, stay on the show for a while. A quick read of tweets from those viewers who cast affirmative ballots for the former press secretary seems to indicate that Trump supporters are taking particular glee not just in watching Spicer dance, but watching those who object to his continued presence on the show squirm.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) October 29, 2019
Sean Spicer will dance again next Monday.