Viewers regularly complain that reality shows are fixed or fake — a list that supposedly predetermined "American Idol's" four finalists was leaked earlier this week. But rarely is the complainer a current participant on the show.
Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak apologized Tuesday night for an earlier Facebook post in which he questioned the truthfulness of the voting results announced on "Dancing With the Stars," the ABC program on which he is currently competing.
That Facebook post has been deleted, but a post on the CNET Weblog "Technically Incorrect" quotes Wozniak as writing "I’m sure they want me in this dance-off to get higher Tuesday ratings, and they have preplanned it so that I win." CNET says the post went up Tuesday morning.
There was indeed a dance-off held on the show Tuesday night, between Wozniak and Go-Gos singer Belinda Carlisle, and Wozniak was announced as the winner. Carlisle was sent home, and it was announced that the combination of judges' scores for her two previous dances, the dance-off performance, and viewer votes was lower than that for Wozniak.
But just before the show, a new message from Wozniak was posted to Facebook by a friend, Joe Patane (himself a reality show veteran who appeared on "Real World Miami" in 1996).
In the new note, Wozniak apologized for calling the "Dancing" producers liars, said that they had explained the voting system to his satisfaction and that "you can tell when things are extremely on the level."
He also wrote that he now understood why the show could not release exact vote totals, saying "that would make it harder to detect fraud." He wrote that the producers had explained to him how they "can catch onto various forms of manipulation of the system by exactly the methods I had thought out in my head that would work."
"I hurt a lot of honest people," Wozniak wrote. "I felt so horrible inside when Conrad (Green, a "Dancing" producer) ... told me how horribly what I had said injured the show and himself."
"Now I feel like a heel who stuck his shoe in his mouth," he wrote.