Why did DWTS pick so many reality TV personalities this season? Do these "celebrities" really need another show?
—Heather S., via Facebook
Well, it's not like Audrina Patridge has a chance at an Oscar. If she wants to remain famous, she has two choices: Get probably pregnant and drag out the announcement for as long as possible, or get another reality show.
And that's because they make you look. They certainly garner more curiosity than fellow contestants Florence "Brady Bunch" Henderson, Margaret Cho, or Jennifer Grey, who hasn't enjoyed bona fide stardom since she learned how to leap around in a pair of frayed denim shorts with the aid of the late Patrick Swayze.
ABC knows all this, of course.
The network learned the trick after casting Kate Gosselin last season. She couldn't dance, but she could deliver viewers almost as well as she could deliver loads of kids; in fact, her on-camera histrionics are credited for helping DWTS beat American Idol in the ratings for the first time, for any regular series, in five years.
"Every season you move things forward," executive producer Conrad Green told The Hollywood Reporter. "When we first started, there weren't many reality shows, now there are a billion of them. Everyone interesting to watch has either had a reality show or been approached for one. Those are the people buzzed about, and they are the same people that will make our show compelling to watch."
Green isn't lying; other reality producers say Green's casting choices are very smart.
"It should come as no surprise that reality stars are beginning to pop up on the show with a little more frequency," says reality producer Lewis Fenton, whose latest show, Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch, airs its finale this Sunday on VH1.
"The reason has less to do with some lowering of the bar and more to do with the increased popularity of the reality shows and the rising star power of reality personalities themselves.
"Like him or hate him, The Situation is an incredibly recognizable celebrity who stars on a show that routinely thrashes scripted fare from a ratings standpoint."
Which leaves only one question: Do fist pumps count as a ballroom dance move?