I'm not sure if I understand the controversy over Zendaya's age when, IIRC, ABC positions DWTS as a "Family" show. (On another site, people were even calling for Len's head on a pike because he got so verbally upset on a "family" show--even though it was at the end of the show when the youngest children would be most likely in bed.) So to me, a family show is one where the material is supposed to be PG or PG-13 at the most. And under those conditions, why wouldn't you plunder the talent pool of your affliates who deal in "family" programming? The tween and teen market is super valuable and Disney Channel is marketed specifically towards them. I am actually surprised that ABC hasn't started calling on the stars of their ABC Family shows to represent on DWTS.
But besides the weekly references to Zendaya's age and her slightly more modest costumes, I see nothing that would scream "underage minor" in her performances. I could see people being upset if Val was having to water down the difficulty level of his choreography or if the DWTS producers were giving her an advantage because of her age. (A situation where she was being scored as well as the other front runners for doing less because of her age.) But I don't think any of that is happening. In fact, I think that Val's choreography may be harder than what the "adult" contestants are getting. And with her age restrictions, she is having to do more in less time than the adults.
In addition, rarely do you see Zendaya acting like a teenager. She has been remarkably mature and level-headed throughout the whole process. She looks the youngest when she is waiting for criticism or scores or the weekly decision of whether she stays or goes--but then don't most of the celebrity contestants? And while there have been times when her ... frustration with the judges' scores has shown on her face at least she hasn't gone running to the tabloids like other contestants.
And maybe that is the actual problem--she's not a source of drama. She's doesn't have a juicy back story or something that she's trying to overcome through DWTS. She doesn't throw temper tantrums during rehearsals or get upset with her pro. She's apparently not the sort who would blow off rehearsing nor does she seem like the sort who would want to throw in the towel and quit. She's a pro and that's kind of boring.
It is sad really because I am enjoying watching the show this season (after dropping it from my DVR the season after Kelly Osbourne's). And I am kind of interested to see how DWTS will proceed when it comes to other under 18 Disney Channel stars. I kind of expect to see Ross Lynch or China Anne McClain in future seasons--or maybe they'll just play it safe and tap into the Boy Meets World/Girl Meets World zeitgeist by inviting Danielle Fishel or Ben Savage.
Edited by SadPugEyes, May 8, 2013 @ 2:19 PM.