'Dancing with the Stars' Week 6 Elimination: Is the Dance Duel Worth It?
'Dancing with the Stars' Week 6 Elimination: Is the Dance Duel Worth It?
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
There's something that feels a little bit cold about the elimination of Gladys Knight -- a Motown legend -- during Motown Week on Dancing with the Stars. Sure, the singer had the lowest scores of the night and was beginning to trail the competition. But she certainly had the nostalgia and the sympathy votes.

Unfortunately, Gladys Knight also had to participate in a Dance Duel. There, she had no chance.

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The Reasons for Gladys' Elimination

There is little argument that, based on dancing alone, it was time for Gladys Knight's elimination from Dancing with the Stars season 14. After Melissa Gilbert pulled ahead with her week 6 Viennese waltz, Gladys had the lowest cumulative scores (129 total points) and the lowest score of the night.

No matter how many audience votes she could get, Gladys Knight was always likely to be in the bottom two.

But Would She Have Been Eliminated?

One of the biggest problems about the Dance Duel is that we never know who would have been eliminated without it. We can infer that Gladys Knight has, over the course of Dancing with the Stars season 14, gotten a whole lot more votes than Roshon Fegan. It's not a stretch to think that she may have gotten more votes than the Disney star in week 6.

Did Gladys have enough votes to beat Roshon if the Dance Duel hadn't happened? Maybe...

Does the Dance Duel Even Make Sense?

On a basic, theoretical level, I get the point of the Dance Duel. How many really good dancers in DWTS' past have been eliminated early in favor of a more popular dancer? With the Dance Duel, the judges can save the good dancer and eliminate the popular one.

There are, however, a couple of problems with this:

1. Is it fair?
The judges have to watch two couples simultaneously as they perform one short dance. Can the judges really make an accurate decision in such a short amount of time?

2. What's wrong with popularity?
The whole point of a show like Dancing with the Stars rests upon the idea that the viewing audience has a say in things. Good dancers always win, but popularity is a huge factor as well. That popularity is based on a lot of things that the judges don't always like -- personality, past success and public statements all influence the public vote.

This isn't always a bad thing. For the viewers, Dancing with the Stars is about entertainment. If a poor dancer is a lot of fun, he or she ought to stay. A technically brilliant dancer with zero personality isn't worth our time.

After all, the future of ballroom dancing hardly rests upon the outcome of Dancing with the Stars. And, as Gladys Knight found out this week, it's not much fun when the show pretends that perfect dancing beats personality.

How do you feel about the Dance Duel? Do you think it has affected the Dancing with the Stars season 14 results? Would Gladys Knight have been eliminated without the Dance Duel? Vote in our poll and leave your comments below!

(Image courtesy of ABC)




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