Judges inflate Melissa Rycroft’s score, but she wasn’t alone

I’ve often felt that the judging panel on Dancing With the Stars was about as fair, unbiased and accurate as the Soviet officials who allowed the USSR to steal a gold medal for basketball from the U.S. at the 1972 Olympic Games. Monday night was one of those nights.

Granted, Ty is tailor-made for a buh-bye on tonight’s results show, and anything else after that doesn’t really matter. Melissa, Gilles, Lil’ Kim and Shawn are destined for next week’s semi-finals, no matter how they got there or in what order. Then, it’s anyone’s game — or disco ball trophy.

But the judges’ generous scores for Melissa Monday hint that some sort of fix is in, perhaps with a nudge from ABC, which has a two-time reality show star on its hands — a star who’s getting lots of magazine ink each week. And after her jilting on The Bachelor, don’t we all want Melissa to be cut some slack, especially since she’s being such a trouper and dancing in pain with her cracked rib?

But really, fans, if you think Melissa was worthy of a combined 57 out of 60 score Monday night, and that she’s the cream of Dancing’s crop, try going back to check out such sensational femme dancers of seasons past as Stacy Keibler, or even low-finisher Lisa Rinna or tainted season one winner Kelley Monaco. And Lil’ Kim, as much as I distrust her, clearly gives Melissa a run for her money. The former jailbird (and proud of it) has been brilliant in recent weeks and even could inch her way into the final two. Shawn? Despite her own ridiculously inflated scores from the judges, fuhgetaboutit.

If anything, I’m even expecting a Lil’ Kim-Melissa Rycroft finale, though this show would work better with a male-female face-off, that being Gilles and either of these ladies (er, women–I forgot about Lil’ Kim momentarily). And judges aside, the public has half the vote, so whomever wins, wins. No amount of judges’ fixing can fix the public’s say, in a year when even Simon Cowell seems to be having little impact on Idol.

Melissa, I’ve loved many of your dances, I’m a fellow Texan, and I’m for you. But you still have to earn it, judging aside. Of course, the same goes for everyone.

That said, this season’s best non-pro dancer, Gilles, disappointed this week, in large part due to the pre-set choreography, not his effort. Of course, now he has room to peak in the final weeks.

And at least the field is being whittled down properly, unlike past years, when overrated dancers like Jerry Rice lasted far longer than they deserved. Whatever happens, it should be an entertaining finish, fix or no fix.


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