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Idol versus Dancing

Okay, it's the biggest TV week of the year with the final episodes of both American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. Which is better, though?

Neither. It's all personal opinion. But I'll point out why I watch Dancing and don't watch Idol. It's about the fact that Idol is more about a performing talent and Dancing is more about learning to perform. Idol is a bit more pure in that each contestant has to learn their thing completely on their own and then just bring it to the competition. Dancing is less pure since the contestants are more or less just chosen by producers and then paired somehow with a professional dancer to instruct them. But to me Dancing is a more interesting competition because each competitor must then go learn and perform something they've never really done.

You could say "oh, but there are going to be contestants who are going to come in with more talent and have a much better shot at it." There has been no better example of that than this past season when Kristi Yamaguchi won. And while that did cause this season to be a bit anti-climactic, in general the competition is not dominated and has been won by folks not necessarily considered predisposed to being good at dancing. Helio Castroneves was a good example of a winner who was somewhat unlikely.

This past season also showed you never know about how well people are going to dance simply based on their past. One might have assumed that a female tennis star would likely be better than an NFL defensive player, but that was far from the case.

Anyway, I'm not giving Idol a hard time. I've never really given it a shot, and probably won't. But watching Dancing has become important to me, and it's about way more than the beautiful dancers. Okay, so they help. But watching an NFL defensive player go from an awkward and scared mediocre dancer to a really good dancer was fun. Watching Helio do the same was fun. And hopefully next year's cast is as good as previous years.
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