I know most of us are pretty absorbed in speculating about who will get sent home tonight, but I think there’s something else going down tonight that could be a game-changer: the selection of the teams for the team dances. Let’s explore, shall we?
As Tom stated last night, the two cumulative highest scorers (those who have amassed the most total points so far this season) will be appointed as team captains, and will be alternating picking other couples for their teams. In this case, it will be Gilles & Shawn. If history is any indicator, I’m guessing the highest scorer (in this case, Gilles) will get first pick. Semi-interesting side note: prior to this week’s dances, Sabrina was actually in the lead for cumulative points – she had .5 points more than Gilles, who in turn had 1.5 points more than Shawn. Given that Sabrina danced before Gilles last night, in order to stay at least tied for the top 2, he would have had to get at least a 36 on his Bollywood routine. To break the tie & edge Sabrina out of the top 2, he would have had to get at least a 36.5. And to surpass Shawn to secure the top spot (and the first pick in the team dance), he would have had to score at least a 38.5. And even more interesting: had Shawn actually gotten a perfect score, Gilles would have needed at least a 39 to maintain his high scorer status. Draw your own conclusions, but that 39.5 for a sloppy Bollywood routine doesn’t seem so ridiculous if you take into account that they may have wanted to ensure that Gilles would get first pick in the team dance (for whatever reason). Just food for thought.
So we’ve got Gilles & Shawn as team captains, with Gilles (probably) picking first. The interesting thing about the team dances this time around is that they’re freestyles – so we may see some picking going on that would seem unsual in a regular season (with a team dance like the cha-cha, tango, or paso doble), but makes sense this season, given that the captains will (or at least SHOULD) also be taking into consideration which pros are good at freestyle choreography. For that reason, if Bristol is still around, I could actually see her being one of the first ones picked – not necessarily for her dance skills, but for Mark’s freestyle skills. I think Derek may be willing to bite the bullet and have a weaker-dancing celeb on his team (hey, he managed to make Hope look semi-presentable in the season 13 team paso!), if it means getting Mark’s creative energy to work with.
Something else that could come into play when choosing the teams? Ego. Gilles seems to have a large one; Shawn seems to lack one altogether. I have to wonder if Gilles would be willing to set aside any bad blood he has with Mark (and possibly Apolo) and pick one of them for his team…and I think both would be very strategic picks. But my gut tells me he’s going to continue being a bit of a diva, and may snub those two in favor of someone fairly neutral who hasn’t yet called him out on his bullsh*t – possibly Melissa. I also wonder how much the influence of Gilles & Shawn’s pro partners is going to affect their picks – once again, I wonder how much Gilles’ ego is going to come into play, and whether that will nullify any persuading Peta might be trying to do. The only pick Peta might have any hope of securing is Kirstie & Maks, methinks…since Gilles seems to be the one driving the bus in that partnership I think Shawn, on the other hand, is going to listen to Derek and any strategy he might have, and won’t let any interpersonal issues with the other cast members (if she even has any) influence her decision-making. Very similar to Derek’s philosophy
I’m having a hard time shaking the feeling that, given what I’ve mentioned above, we may end up with one team comprised of the Chmerkovskiy Faction (Gilles & Peta, Melissa & Tony, Kelly & Val, Kirstie & Maks…picked in that order) and the other team comprised of the Hough-Ballas Alliance & some “independent contractors” (Shawn & Derek, Bristol & Mark, Apolo & Karina, and Emmitt & Cheryl…feeling fairly certain that Sabrina will be leaving us tonight). If that’s the case (or at least comes close to how things will shake out), then I’m almost convinced that Shawn’s team is just gonna mop the floor with Gilles’ team. Shawn’s team already has an edge – they have Derek, who remains the 7-time undefeated champ in the team dance. Poo-pooh that if you wish, but he has delivered a win every season that he’s been in the team dance…I doubt that’s just a coincidence. If I were any of the other couples (besides Gilles & Peta and Shawn & Derek), I’d be crossing my fingers that I’d get picked for Shawn’s team, because that’s a pretty sure bet. It’s not guaranteed safety from elimination, but it sure doesn’t hurt, either
So how do you guys think the team dance selection will play out tonight? Do you have a “dream team” you’d like to see? Or a “nightmare team”, for that matter? In the meantime, just contemplate the following: in a battle royale of dance skills, which of the below candidates wins?
…or this one?
I rest my case.