Seven weeks into Dancing with the Stars, The leader of the ACT Party has collected more votes to keep him on the show than he did in Epsom last September, The Spinoff has learned.
The hard-twerking member of parliament for Epsom, David Seymour, has comfortably now received more votes for his efforts on Three’s Dancing with the Stars than he did in last year’s election, according to a well-placed source connected with the programme.
Despite being consistently flayed by the show’s judges after dancing like a cyborg trapped in a vat of jelly, Seymour has found himself salvaged by the audience, whose texted ballots are weighted equally with the judges’ scores. Mediaworks refuses to say how many votes it receives, but given that Seymour finished with more than 16,500 votes in his Auckland electorate in September’s general election, he has on average received in excess of 2,300 votes in each of the seven weeks of the televised contest.
Seymour, whose dream run is a godsend to the charity of his choice, Kidsline, attracted an onslaught of criticism after his twerk-heavy performance on Sunday night, with the vitriol amplified by the bottomed one avoiding the bottom two for yet another week, while the nation’s fairy godmother, Suzy Cato, was eliminated.
Producers had refused to tell him how many votes he had received, said Seymour, but the news that he had scored more votes for dancing on television than in last year’s election was no great surprise.
“It’s a different contest. It’s 70 times the population [of Epsom]. And of course there’s multiple voting. So I don’t really think they’re comparable,” he told The Spinoff.
“We’ll see,” said Seymour when asked whether his DWTSNZ endeavours were a boon for the ACT party.
“Fundamentally my job is to represent people and their views in parliament. And in order to represent people you must connect with people. And I can just tell you that far more people come up to me in the street that want to make a connection over Dancing with the Stars than they do over the national debt … If you want to be a servant of the people it’s your job to go out and engage with people, and this is doing that, so I’m very pleased with it.”
The allegation that the ACT Party might be block voting for its leader was rejected as “absurd” by Seymour. “We’ve got far bigger fish to fry than keeping me dancing,” he said.
A wide spectrum of New Zealanders were exercising their television-dance-off franchise, he reckoned. “I’ve been completely mobbed at schools. But I’d also say that blokes in dump trucks are yelling out the window, ‘Good on you, mate.’ And I had a text from someone over the weekend who’d just been to an 80th birthday party saying, ‘I didn’t know people that age could text, let alone they were supporting you, but apparently they are.’”
“We live in a wonderful country, where basically people’s attitude is: if you’re not hurting me and you’re getting out and giving it a go for a good cause, and you have enough humility to not take yourself too seriously and realise you’re not that great, then good on you, mate. It seems like a lot of them, from eight to 80, up and down New Zealand, are voting for me.
“It saddens me that there has always been an underbelly in New Zealand of people who are a bit less sunny in their disposition but I can’t do anything about that so I just dance on.”
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