DWTS Season 11, Week 7 – The “Non-Elimination” Mystery

Well, this is very interesting indeed.  First, we read this in People Magazine Online:

• A rep for DWTS announced backstage that next week’s competition will feature two teams, led by former DWTS champions. Contestants’ scores will be added together, and the team with the higher score will be free from elimination. Apolo Ohno will lead Jennifer Grey, Brandy and Kurt Warner. And Kristi Yamaguchi will work with Palin, Rick Fox and Kyle Massey.

But here is the ABC Press Release from Thursday:

By Tuesday evening’s end, one couple will be eliminated, as determined by a combination of the judges’ scores and viewers’ votes on dances performed on Monday’s performance show. Who among the six remaining teams will be next to leave the ballroom floor?

* BRANDY, actress and singer, and partner MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY.
* RICK FOX, former NBA champion and partner CHERYL BURKE.
* JENNIFER GREY, beloved film and television actress, DEREK HOUGH.
* KYLE MASSEY, television teen star, and partner LACEY SCHWIMMER.
* BRISTOL PALIN, teen advocate and Alaska’s first daughter, and partner MARK BALLAS.
* KURT WARNER, former pro-NFL quarterback, and partner ANNA TREBUNSKAYA.

Hosted by Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Brooke Burke (“Dancing with the Stars” Season 7 champion), the celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned Ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday night during and up to 30 minutes after the “Dancing with the Stars” performance shows. Wireless customers with AT&T may also text message their votes by texting the word “VOTE” to the number that corresponds to the team they want to support (message and data rates may apply). Viewers may also vote online at www.abc.com starting from the opening of each episode on the East Coast. Fans may cast the maximum limit of votes for each voting method.

So, who screwed the pooch here? Did People Magazine TOTALLY get it wrong, or did the producers change their mind after seeing a bit of an uproar over the idea?? Because it was not just people on this site who saw that and had the same reaction we did. In any case, it sounds like the team dances will be business as usual. I said this in the comments earlier in the week (comment #99):

Hmmm….I wouldn’t put so much stock in the way People reports it. It doesn’t quite make sense. Like WHAT scores are added together? Are they going to individually score each member of the team and then add those numbers up to get a total? Because that would be new. If they add the individual dance numbers up, why even have a group dance at all?? I think there is a piece missing here.

Really, kind of a crock of shit, but they’re just being more blatant about doing what they’ve always done – they use the group dances and the double scores, etc. as a way of thinning the herd.

Either way, it’s a VERY good example of why you shouldn’t just automatically believe what you read on the web. The bad thing is, if People screwed up then they should print a retraction, because they did some damage, IMO. I will still expect the judges to use the team dances to benefit Jennifer and Brandy, but People put a spotlight on the ability of the producers to mess around that some might not have realized before. Some people might believe that the producers changed their mind after they saw the uproar on the net. Not really a good thing to have out there.

Also interesting, when trying to find the original source of the “non-elimination” thing, I saw a blog from associated content that cracked that it seemed like dancing was no longer the emphasis of Dancing with the Stars. No sh*t, Sherlock. :-) THAT, my friends, is a succinct statement of my problem with DWTS this season.

After all this, who will have time to think about next week’s dance performances? Because after this season’s distracting themes and the shocking ousting of Audrina Patridge, it’s starting to look like the dance is the least important part of “Dancing With the Stars”.