Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer keeps advancing on "Dancing with the Stars" due to his popularity with audience voters, frustrating dance critics, viewers, and members of the mainstream media.
After last night's episode, the eighth of this season, Spicer was among six contestants to advance to next week despite being judged to have an inferior dancing performance to his rival.
Despite the fact that "DWTS" is obviously a celebrity-driven popularity contest as evidenced by the very inclusion of an audience voting system, Spicer's success has frustrated some observers, like New York Times dance critic Gia Kourlas, who wrote that Spicer's victory was "outrageous" and that his dancing has remained "consistent in its awfulness":
Watching Mr. Spicer try to wipe away some of his disgrace through dancing hurts. Yet here he is, week after week, using dance as a way to redeem his character. Giving the public the chance to laugh with him — dressed as a buffoon in that scary green ruffled shirt, dancing to "Spice Up Your Life" — and not at him comes off as a calculation, on his (and probably the show's) part.
The fact that President Donald Trump tweeted for his followers to vote for Spicer further irritated some viewers:
The audience votes that he has amassed tell us a thing or two about who's watching the show and helping to decide the outcome. (President Trump got in the act, too. In a tweet on Oct. 14, he encouraged people to vote for Mr. Spicer: "He has always been there for us!")
Kourlas referred to Spicer remaining on the show over "black grandmother" Mary Wilson, a former member of The Supremes, as "sexist and ageist."
Audience voting takes place during the show, and people can text in a maximum of 10 votes per phone number, and 10 more votes on the website. This system has been taken advantage of by some, including Spicer himself, who mobilize their followers to use all 20 votes on Spicer every week — regardless of whether they watch the show or not.
Some pointed out the irony of liberals decrying the result of a popular vote.