Why So Many ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Fans Think This Season Has Been a Flop

Did Dancing With the Stars fans want the long-running ABC franchise to “stir the pot” and get political for Season 28? Judging by the show’s falling ratings and the reaction of viewers in every setting, the answer is a clear “no.”

In fact, after six weeks of bad press, quality dancers being sent home, and Sean Spicer claiming judges gave him bad scores because he’s religious, DWTS seems like a parody of a lighthearted celebrity dance contest. And it looks like the network will regret this season’s casting.

But you can’t blame this season’s lackluster ratings entirely on contestants such as Spicer, Ray Lewis, and Lamar Odom. A new voting system has helped enable bad dancers to stay as crowd favorites continue to depart. Overall, there’s been plenty for DWTS fans to dislike.

Fans say the ugliness of US politics has no place on ‘DWTS’

It’s Movie Night as 11 celebrity and pro-dancer couples compete on the third week of the 2019 season of “Dancing with the Stars.” | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

After publishing an article about Spicer’s campaign for conservative votes, Showbiz Cheat Sheet heard from fans of DWTS who said they did not want to read about politics in relation to the show. That makes sense on several levels. (It’s a dance show, after all.)

Unfortunately for fans (and writers alike), ABC put everyone in this situation by casting Spicer. As we’ve noted on multiple occasions, Spicer’s “fame” comes from working for a president that a majority of the country disapproves of.

But whatever your politics, most fans of the show don’t want to see it play out on Monday nights on DWTS.


Before the season began, host Tom Bergeron expressed his desire to producers that the show “be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate.” But they didn’t listen to him, and Spicer had a message for DWTS judges after they gave him low scores for his opening-night salsa.

“Clearly, the judges aren’t going to be with me,” Spicer tweeted in a post he later deleted. “Let’s send a message to Hollywood that those of us who stand for Christ won’t be discounted.”

So not only did ABC add a divisive figure to this season’s cast; they also picked one who whines about getting bad scores for bad dancing. That’s not a great combination, and fans have wondered how he’s stayed on the show so long.

The new voting system allows partisans to reward bad dancing

DANCING WITH THE STARS — Sean Spicer got the lowest score in Weeks 5 and 6, yet he continues on the show. | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

After the first two weeks of competition, Lamar Odom had the lowest score. But he and Spicer (who had the second-lowest score) continued on the show while Mary Wilson went home. Once Odom got eliminated in Week Four, that left Spicer, who’s been the worst dancer since.

Then Spicer, who scored a total of 40 in Weeks Five and Six, stayed on the show while Sailor Brinkley-Cook (who scored 51) went home. Outraged fans have wondered how such a thing is possible, and it’s because of the voting system.

For starters, West Coast votes no longer count, as there is no overnight voting. And audience votes can outweigh low scores contestants got from their dances. In a GoldDerby poll about the new voting system, 77% of DWTS fans said judges’ scores should count more.

That’s how you’ve had bad dancers continuing while superior dancers departed. Combined with a cast that scores very low on star-power, you can see why fans have grumbled about Season 28 — and why many say they’ve changed the channel when DWTS airs.

Also seeFormer ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Champ Says ‘DWTS’ Set the Bar Low With ‘Liar’ Sean Spicer