With dances to guilty pleasure songs like "Gangnam Style" and "Call Me Maybe," and even a few jokes related to President Obama’s birth certificate and immigration, Dancing with the Stars was a cultural wonderland last night. Contestants Melissa Rycroft’s and Tony Dovoloni’s win was no exception. The dance team took home the mirror ball trophy in true American style – by earning what they deserve.
In past seasons, contestants have won because of their large fan bases. Last season, Donald Driver beat out Katherine Jenkins' perfectionist dances. Donny Osmond won over the lyrical Mya one year. And who can forget Bristol Palin, who edged out stars like Brandy Norwood and Audrina Patridge, both of who had much more musicality and technical ability than she did. But Palin had the organized Tea Party voting her through round after round.
Melissa won in a different way. She stood on top fair and square. She earned the most judges' points in the last three rounds, including two sets of perfect 10's. She was technically sound, and artistic, and proved she understood dance. She did not make any wobbles like Kelly Monaco. She could even move within the confines of the definition given to dance, unlike Shawn Johnson, who relied on lifts and tricks to try to win. And she did not rely on spectacular choreography to win. Tony Dovolani is not noted for pushing his partners to the limit.
Statements from Rycroft like “The music is completely different. It’s much slower so we have to change the way we move in the samba. So counts of music will be a big part of nailing the routine,” and “Cha-Cha is what I’m worried about because it’s the counting dance,” proved she understood basic dance concepts.
This talent won her the hearts of the viewers despite a tabloid background. Melissa originally started on Dancing with the Stars after ABC aired The Bachelor. Bachelor Jason Meznic pubilcally dumped her for runner-up Molly. Her third place finish in season eight of Dancing with the Stars revealed a small fan base. But Mellissa’s dance strength defeated defending champions Shawn Johnson – famous for her Olympic gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all-around – and Kelly Monaco’s popularity on daytime television.
So, in true American style, Melissa Rycroft won Dancing with the Stars because she earned it.
American culture is all about the right to get what you earn. The U.S. was founded on this right when our country adopted capitalism. Capitalism is about the freedom to make profits and allow it to remain in the earners’ hands.
This right is so engrained in American culture that the U.S. started the Cold War over this belief. The Cold War led to proxy wars, including the Vietnam War, and many other skirmishes throughout the developing world in order to defend capitalism and property rights. It even resulted in massive human rights abuses in Latin American to ensure the very freedom that Americans took from these countries.
A current feud even rages in the U.S. over whether people, who have more, should be forced to pay more taxes to provide welfare for those who have less.
In the end, the Dancing with the Stars finale night was an iconic reflection of American culture. It had voting, Democracy, and the spirit of getting what one earns. To top off the show, Melissa and Tony won in true American style. So perhaps, capitalism has its uses.