Dancing With the Stars Season 16 has added a new twist to the semifinals (May 13): each of the five stars will dance an unusual style chosen for them by fans on Twitter. This has led to a controversial decision — Zendaya gets to dance Hip Hop, even though she has a background in the style.
There has always been some grumbling about stars with strong dance backgrounds, like Zendaya and Season 10 winner Nicole Scherzinger, competing on the show. But the justification is always that although these pop stars and Disney kids do have more general dance training than some of their competitors, none of them have a ballroom background, so it's still fair.
We get that logic. After all, dance training is helpful on the show, but so is having inherent performance ability (actors, comedians, etc), and generally being in shape and having athletic discipline and drive (athletes). Arguably, it evens out.
However, this week Zendaya is being allowed to dance in a style she actually has trained in; she's literally famous for a show about hip hop dancers. Is this decision a good thing?
On one hand, it pretty much guarantees an awesome dance. Zendaya is already great, and seeing her in her element will be a ton of fun. On the other hand, the rest of the stars (and pros!) are stuck trying to wrap their minds around styles like Afro Jazz and Flamenco, while Zendaya has been gifted an easy home run. It's not fair to them, and it also sets the bar incredibly high for her.
What do you think: Are you excited to see Zendaya rock the Hip Hop, or do you think it's unfair that she gets to dance a style she already knows?
Catch the next episode of Dancing With the Stars on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.