DWTS Season 10, Week 8 – Who’s Dancing What?

First things first – sending out thanks and big props to Erin, Maks, Tony and Anna. Their fans apparently asked them to re-tweet Nashville flood information and ways to donate and they did. Thanks, guys, I’m sure the people who were – are – victims appreciate it. Julianne Hough and Chuck Wicks are involved, obviously, so thanks to them too. Hope I didn’t miss anyone – those are just the ones I noticed last night.

On with the show…

Okay, what the hell? Last year didn’t they give everyone the same dance (Paso Doble) but just different eras?? Also, this should be the judges “off the meds” week, going by the pattern of the last 2 or 3 weeks. :-)  So beware. I’ve added videos this week, because this post is shrinking every week. :-)

Nicole/Derek: Foxtrot and 50’s Era Paso Doble – Well, I thought they were challenging Derek last year with futuristic Paso Doble and he choreographed something that is Emmy-worthy. So, I’m not going to sweat the fact that his MOM wasn’t even born in the 50’s, let alone him or Nicole. His blog (and the video below) did scare me though. :-) Foxtrot should be beautiful – maybe Len will finally get real and give her a ten, barring some sort of disaster – such as her dress getting under his “thing” like it did last week. No, I don’t know what she meant when she said that. :-)

Stop scaring me, Derek!! :-)

Chad/Cheryl: Tango and 60’s Jive – Oh boy. Jive should be a disaster, but he’s got hope with the Tango. I don’t see any way that Cheryl can do the dancing in the Jive  for him like she’s had to do recently, without it being VERY obvious. Is he going to get called on the lack of flicks and kicks, etc? No clean content? Tango? Should be okay, I think.

Chad and Cheryl talk about their dances – Chad is gaining confidence.

Erin/Maks: Argentine Tango and 80’s Rumba – Okay, they say Maks is dressed as Don Johnson in Miami Vice and that Erin is doing Flashdance. How is Miami Vice romantic Rumba-worthy? Am I missing something? I’m wracking my brain. Is this going to be another moment that I don’t understand? In any case, it won’t matter – she’s getting SO much press right now (Kimmel, Leno), plus she was in the bottom two last week, so her fans will be voting maniacs – or they should be. Depending on what Maks has in mind, she will either be excellent or just fine – but like I said, it won’t matter.

Erin and Maks – cover a lot of ground:

Evan/Anna: Waltz and Futuristic Cha Cha - The Waltz will likely be stunning, but I doubt very much he gets another 30. The judges aren’t rolling that way – unless he’s not getting the votes I think he is. :-) Futuristic Cha Cha?? Does Anna have it in her? If I see a faux hawk and lights on their costumes, I’m calling foul. :-) Cha cha could be challenging when he doesn’t have a group with him – he still has hip issues, but with his fanbase it ain’t no big thing. I don’t think. :-)

Evan and Anna talk about their dances and training (Sorry John, I’m really loving Anna):

Niecy/Louis: Viennese Waltz and 90’s Paso – Well, I don’t know what to say about this. What does a 90’s Paso look like? And how can the judges tell it’s a 90’s Paso? As much as I love Niecy, I don’t think she’s sharp enough for either of these dances at this stage of the competition. If there is ANY justice, this show now belongs to Evan, Nicole and Erin, with an honorable mention by Chad in whom I have seen improvement. Don’t get me wrong, Niecy has improved too (she might even be better than Kelly was at this stage) – but not enough to compete with Evan, Nicole, Erin and Chad. If we are talking “fair” and we all know this show ain’t fair most of the time.

I couldn’t find a comparable video to the ones above where they talk about their dances, but I LOVE this video of Niecy and Louis. Sometimes she wears on me, but she’s pretty damn funny. :-) And Louis is too!

Random Musings and Predictions

Who do I think is going home this week? The short answer is Niecy – but I think it could be a very interesting week, to say the least. I think either Nicole or Evan could find themselves in the bottom 2, more likely Nicole than Evan. Why? Well, bear with me because it’s a complicated thought and it’s really hard to tell how and why people vote for who they vote for. The following is MY opinion on the voting process – I have no insider knowledge. If I did, I wouldn’t be here. :-)

The average non-internet dwelling people who likely make up at least 80 percent of the viewing audience (if not a LOT more) probably vote for either who they consider the best dancer, or whoever their personal favorite is. I would imagine that their voting breaks down in the order that is spouted by the entertainment shows and Vegas odds makers: Nicole/Evan, Erin, Chad and Niecy. BUT, how many times do those people vote? One phone line and one internet account? One or the other? And how many vote? I would also wager that most of them see maybe one entertainment show, most likely Entertainment Tonight, if that.

That leaves the other 20 percent (or much less) of the voting population. These people (and I include myself and everyone reading this) represent the extremes of the population. They see a lot of internet and traditional media, they develop a serious favorite and vote like crazy – multiple times. They *follow* dancing with the stars. Some of them have a favorite professional dancer who they will vote for every time, like me. Some of them are fans of a given celebrity and vote like crazy for them. Then there are those that are just fans of the show and who develop a favorite couple not being a fan of the celeb or the pro going in. So which of those three groups vote the most? Well, I’m inclined to believe that the person with the biggest fanbase going in wins because those people are PASSIONATE.

In terms of this season, that person has to be Evan, going by all previous barometers of who wins the show. Evan’s fans most likely are the demographic who vote, much like Kristi and Shawn. Nicole also has a big fanbase and she is paired with, arguably, the most popular professional dancer (of the men, at least). While Derek’s fans will vote like crazy, do Nicole’s? Pop Stars don’t WIN, normally because their demographic is younger and not inclined to vote as much – they may not have even watched the show before. The exceptions are Joey and Donny, but they are older and male with fanbases that intersect the DWTS demographic. Is it because female pop stars coincide with ringers? Doubt it – more likely it’s because their fanbases don’t match the typical DWTS demographic. Past history shows that female pop stars don’t fare as well as Olympic Gold Medalists and Football players. Which brings us to Chad. The football players who have done very well have not only been very popular, but they’ve danced better than Chad has, which is why I don’t think Chad will make the finals.

A third thing at work here is visibility. The media. Who’s getting the media? Erin, Chad and Niecy. Now, granted, Kate got the lions share of the media and got the boot, but she was also a horrible dancer. It’s hard to say how the relative lack of visibility will affect Nicole and Evan. Really, just Nicole because Evan’s got that big, DWTS demographic-matching, fanbase. Erin has been EVERYWHERE this week both good (Kimmel, Leno) and bad (The View), plus ALL of the entertainment shows. She is literally everywhere. To a lesser extent, Chad and Niecy are getting media too – Chad because of his showmancing of Cheryl and Niecy because she has a strangle hold on ET and The Insider. She works for the Insider and the same company owns ET. So will all the media help? Hurt? Or have no impact? I’ll tell you a secret – it impacts me because I see all of it. I have a TiVo that picks up all of those shows – it takes me less than half an hour to fast forward through all those shows looking for interesting bits of DWTS news. That is why I won’t be voting for Erin/Maks if they were to outlast Nicole/Derek, I find Chad increasingly charming, love Niecy, and I GET Nicole. And Evan is just a doll. But really, how many people are there out there that do the same? Is performing well on show night enough to remind people you exist? I dunno – Nicole hasn’t been getting the best edits. Neither has Erin, but she has a huge sympathy factor in play here that Nicole doesn’t get. Nicole has Derek who is well liked, Erin has Maks who might have turned some off with his temper tantrums. Who knows?

In conclusion, based on my thoughts outlined above, here’s how I think it goes, prior to seeing the dances:

Evan/Anna – Safe, because of a bad-ass fanbase and no small amount of dancing talent.

Erin/Maks – Safe, because she was in the bottom two last week AND Elizabeth Hasselbeck was an ass to her. Sympathy and highly motivated fans.

Nicole/Derek – Likely safe, but possible bottom 2 due to lack of visibility, non-DWTS fanbase of the PCD. Her fans (and Derek’s) need to STEP IT UP.

Chad/Cheryl – Danger Zone, but likely safe due to charm and the football player fan contingent. Unlike Erin/Maks, he and Cheryl are successfully working the are they/aren’t they showmance angle.

Niecy/Louis – Danger Zone, probably going home.

Now, it’s entirely possible that the scoring will be such that it’s a foregone conclusion who will stay and who will go. That’s why I do the math after the dancing. The above sort of assumes that the scores will be close again – but it also acknowledges that at this point in the game, the scores don’t mean all that much.