OPINION: Week after week on Dancing with the Stars, the ACT leader has cheated eviction at the hands of the judges thanks to massive support from viewers, to the extent that he's comfortably received more text votes than he did in the election last year.
Anecdotally, much of his support is coming from young people. But why?
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There are three kinds of people who vote for David Seymour, the worst contestant in the history of televised dance competitions.
Firstly there are people who think David is the shit: call them Epsomites. Secondly, there are probably kind souls who feel sorry for him and want to be encouraging. And lastly, there are bastards who think it's funny week after week that the worst contestant gets through and that people who take the show seriously are horribly disappointed. A lot of people my age fit into this category. Including me.
I wouldn't say that everyone at school is obsessed with Dancing with the Stars. The fact that I go to an all-boys school contributes to that. But I would say that my school mates are enjoying the havoc that phone voting is creating. My friend Will has used up all of the credit on his phone voting multiple times week after week for David Seymour. He's unable to vote for his dance icon any more. But it doesn't matter because the rest of the country is.
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David is a very wooden dancer. I feel a little bit sorry for his partner, who has to carry him every week. She said that she never thought he would make it this far in the season, so she gave him technically easier dances in the early weeks. The judges are struggling every week to say anything other than that was crap. He always gets one of the worst scores. But the phone votes make that irrelevant. It doesn't matter that he is terrible. In fact it helps him stay in the contest because every week it gets funnier and funnier.
In my house, my little sister takes it very seriously. She wants either Shav or Jess to win. If I make rude comments while it is on, she gets very offended and tells me to shut up. However, when David comes on, she gets a very grim and withering look on her face, because David and his terrible dancing takes a slot week after week that a good dancer could have. When Suzy Cato got booted off, she blamed David. But it's not his fault. It's the New Zealand public's fault. And in my opinion, teenagers are most especially to blame.
David's worst dance was that one where he was twerking while wearing garish towelling shorts and a headband. The twerking just looked wrong, like a crime against nature. But everyone loved it, because it was so shit. You couldn't say anything good about it. Everyone was talking about it the next day. People were asking if I'd seen it, like it was a historic moment. My mum was raging about it on Twitter. She was trying to understand why anyone would vote for him. She thought it was some political conspiracy. But I knew it wasn't. It was the result of opening something up to the public to affect the outcome, because people are always going to be shits. I said: Mum, it's like New Zealand's Boaty McBoatface.
I think they need to change the way the voting system works for Dancing with the Stars because otherwise David has a serious chance of being in the final, and that would be a crime against nature.
Thomas Semple is a high school student based in Christchurch