DWTS Season 15, Week 6 – A Dancing by the Numbers Retrospective on Sabrina Bryan

So, what happened to Sabrina is pretty easy to explain. Everyone covered the spread.  Period. She was at the top of the leaderboard and didn’t need to get MORE votes than anyone else, she just needed to get enough votes to prevent them from catching up to her.

The table below shows Sabrina versus each of the other dancers, the percentage between them and then the number of votes per million votes cast that that individual needs to bypass Sabrina and stay safe.

Ultimately, every single dancer got at least one more than that number of votes per million votes cast than Sabrina and Sabrina was, therefore, eliminated.  Looking at the numbers, above, you can see that it wouldn’t be really hard for anyone other than Kelly to get the votes.  Those are small damn numbers. And if Sabrina isn’t getting many votes, just how hard is it for Kelly? Spare me the “Power of the soap fan” spiel. That’s nuts – if ya’ll were that powerful Soap’s audiences wouldn’t be shrinking and they wouldn’t be getting cancelled left and right. And Kelly wasn’t the only person who beat Sabrina – EVERYONE did. Which means she just wasn’t getting the votes.  This says nothing, really, about Kelly and everything about Sabrina.

Why did this happen? Well, I’ve seen all the conspiracy theories out there and most of them are just bull.  Sandy had nothing to do with it. People not being able to vote because of Sandy would have affected all couples equally. There are TWO theories that MIGHT (emphasis on “might”) have contributed to her being eliminated this week (instead of say, NEXT week). One: people who were splitting votes between the girlfriends (Shawn, Melissa, Sabrina), could have gotten really pissed at Len for his treatment of Shawn and threw all their votes to her. The important point is not that they gave votes to Shawn, but that they DIDN’T give them to Sabrina.  Two: the couples doing their individual dance on Tuesday instead of Monday might have suffered a negative impact because the Tuesday night show is watched by millions fewer voters. As someone who has a twitter account named “PureDerekHough” and who gets called Derek at least 15 times per week, I can honestly say that people are stupid – or they just don’t think. Switching voting night could have a minor impact. Note the word MINOR. That would have affected four of the couples but Sabrina already was low on voters. Again, just because I think this might have had some degree of impact it IN NO WAY means that I think those are the sole reasons she went home.

It’s very unlikely that one of those things by itself was to blame for Sabrina’s exit – they were nothing more than contributing factors. They just speeded up what was going to happen anyway, eventually. Sabrina was NEVER going to make the finale. We’ve discussed this for weeks now. Courtney and I both said so before the season even started.  She didn’t get the votes in her original season to get past week 6, why on earth does anyone think her odds were better on an ALL STAR season?? That she actually made it to week 6 was a testament to the judges scores and the passion of the people who feel she got robbed last time. Unfortunately for her, there just aren’t enough of those people relative to the people voting for the other couples.

Now, you want someone to blame, you blame the producers for MAYBE making her leave one week early. MAYBE.  Yes, I see all you wackados out there blaming Derek, the judges and god knows who else for Sabrina’s exit – yes, yes, we know everything’s Derek’s fault. And people say *I* think he’s god?? LOL –nooo.  How can it be the judges fault?? They had her at the top of the leaderboard two weeks in a row! They did what they could. You want Len to stop pissing off Derek/Shawn fans? Bet that’s not how ya felt when it was going down, was it? :-)

Anyway, the producers, by lumping weeks 5 and 6 together with a total of three dance decreased the margins between dancers rather substantially. This, in turn, means that Kelly and Kirstie and the rest needed fewer votes in order to overtake Sabrina.  Look at the two tables below. The first one are the percentages and number of votes needed for each competitor after ONE dance.  The second one shows the percentages and number of votes needed for TWO dances – essentially having an elimination in Week 5 like normal.

Solo Dance, Week 5

Week 5, Total

As you can see, adding ONE dance to week 5 decreased the number of votes Kelly needed to stay over Sabrina by just under 5,000 votes. That’s more than some of the couples needed in total to pass Sabrina by the time all the dancing was done!!

Not only that, but it decreased Kirstie’s margin by 2,500 votes.  These are significant differences. Sure, they didn’t have an elimination in week 5, but compare the numbers in the two tables above to the table all the way at the top of the post. Kelly’s margin went from more than 20k to less than 15k by including all three dances. If they had had an elimination in week 5, perhaps it would have been Kelly or Kirstie.  They then would have used only one dance plus the bonus two points in week 6 to determine who went home.  Based on the table below – which includes only Week 6 points – it still would have been Sabrina, I think.

Week 6 Only

The Margin is even smaller between Kelly, Kirsti and Sabrina when only counting week 6 because they scored everyone pretty high, with only 3.5 points (1.54 percent) between first and last place. HOWEVER, there is a slim possibility that Sabrina could have stayed over Emmitt, who was the low scorer of the night and thus had a MUCH larger margin to beat than he did when all scores were combined.  Using week 6 numbers only, he needed more than 15k to stay over Sabrina – in all other scenarios he only needed less than 9k.  Who knows?  Another difference is Gilles – he went from a margin of less than 7k to one of nearly 11k.  He beat the 7k, but would he be able to beat the 11k??

I’m of the opinion that nothing would have changed if they had had an elimination in week 5 and 6 instead of doing what they did. It’s interesting to look at how the adding of points affects all the margins, but in this particular instance Sabrina had already been “shockingly” eliminated in her original season. For that reason, I don’t think anything would have prevented that from happening this time.

Ya follow me? Or did I just confuse you even more? :-)