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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Aaron Carter leaves Dancing with the Stars -- why doesn't anyone care?

11

November

Aaroncarter  For a show consistently ranked at the top of TV ratings lists, ABC's Dancing with the Stars isn't making a lot of noise this season.

Former teen idol Aaron Carter left the show Tuesday, clipped out of the competition just before the semi-finals more for his intensely self-absorbed attitude than any lack of dance skill (his crying after ejection was another unfortunate turn for a guy who seemed way too intense from the start).

If dancing were the only hurdle here, moppet celebrity offspring Kelly Osbourne would have taken the long walk. But her transformation into a constantly surprising competitor -- the ultimate chubby duckling-turned-leggy dancing machine -- has won over the show's audience.

And that's where we are now -- Dancing is playing to its base like never before, with a predictable list of four semi-finalists split between the best dancers (singer Mya and model Joanna Krupa) and the audience's sentimental favorites (Osbourne, Donny Osmond).

But unlike the heady early days of this season, when newspapers across the country were debating the merits of letting an indicted former political leader sashay next to a once-indicted football player, the buzz around Dancing is at its lowest ebb, leached away just as the competition has reached its height.

Blame the geniuses who packed the show's biggest cast with its most mediocre lineup of competitors, ensuring the show would be at its most boring just when the biggest audience was paying attention. Those whose corneas survived watching Tom DeLay limp through dances like your drunk uncle also had to endure non-entities such as skateboarder Louis Vito, ultimate fighter Chuck Liddell, celebrity offspring Ashley Hamilton, super-stiff model Kathy Ireland and out-of-it R&B star Macy Gray in an endless parade of awkward movement.

Now that the contest has gotten down to DWTS' central conflict -- ace dancers vs better liked celebs with slightly less ability -- many viewers have moved on. Can a showdown between an Osmond, an Osbourne a Playboy model and a singer really recapture the show's past magic?

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:03pm]

    

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