I came to this thread with one idea and have already agreed with nearly everything on this page. Probably from the beginning, if I went back that far; really good ideas, IMO.
Specifically the suggestion that there be no "judges only" scores -- especially at this stage in the process -- and that they shouldn't sign anyone who makes a living doing what they will be asked to do on the show. There are professional and amateur definitions in athletics as a way of ensuring a level playing field. DWTS should follow the same guidelines if the premise is that clueless celebrities are learning a new skill.
I didn't enjoy watching Nicole because I'm not a dance fan by any stretch; I don't know enough and don't care to, and the pros do nothing for me. So personally, I tuned out all of her dances this season. Just not interested.
But, if they can't get past the idea of signing celebrities who are head & shoulders above the rest, perhaps they should implement a handicapping system of some sort. It's ridiculous to know on Day 1 who is going to win.
And also, in a perfect world, I would love some accountability on the scoring and the voting and how it all shakes out, because I'm not convinced everything is playing out the way they want us to believe. There is absolutely nothing preventing the show from anointing whoever they choose.
Finally, the ranking thing tonight was ridiculous. The judges admitted it was a difficult decision but they were forced to award an extra 2 points to a dance that was only marginally better. That could have been enough to determine the outcome, which is crazy at the end of a long season.