If one looks at the celebrities that partake in a show such as Dancing with the Stars or Splash, at first, one is mesmerized by the diversity of the cast. There’s whites, blacks, old people, young people, everything to entrance an audience. But that’s exactly the point: these casts are not made up to create the fairest competition – or anything remotely close to a fair competition, for that matter. But T.V. executives know that damn well. They don’t put together cast lists to create an even competition; they put cast lists together to get ratings. How do I know this? The purpose of T.V. shows is to draw in viewers and make money. And the more outrageous and varied the personalities of the stars on the television show, the bigger the ratings, and thus the greater amount of money that gets placed in the pockets of the T.V. executives.
Take the latest season of Dancing with the Stars, for example. There is a competitor this season named D.L. Hugley. Judging by his overall scores this season, I would argue he is a bad dancer (and hey, the judges have been judging for a long time – I’m pretty sure they’re safe figures of authority). His dance moves can’t compare in the slightest to some of the other competitors on the show. So why did the producers pick him? He’s a comedian, black, and has a great personality. These three traits are what the T.V. executives behind Dancing With the Stars are hoping will bring in more ratings. Specifically, they are hoping for the “comedian-watcher” and the black audiences. (Although, since many of us are familiar with argument post hoc, we all know that this thought process is somewhat flawed).
As my second example, take Louie Anderson, a competitor on the recent T.V. show “Splash” – essentially, celebrity diving. He weighs around 400 lbs. And that’s about all you need to know to realize that this show, like Dancing With the Stars, is not a fair competition. He draws in ratings; many of the tweets shown during the show emphasize that general belief on the viewing audience that Louie is an inspiring figure – or at least, the public envies him for challenging his struggles while the public sits on its butt, watching T.V., likely not solving any of its issues.
Long story short, the cast lists of celebrity competition shows are not selected based on even talent or for the purpose of creating a fair competition; rather, they are intentionally imbalanced and varied in order to produce higher ratings.