DWTS All Stars, The Finale – Dancing by the Numbers

I’m going to repeat what I said in the comments in another post early yesterday:

Congratulations to all three ladies for making it to the finale – you all won. Seriously, you did.

Kelly wins because she blew everyone’s expectations out of the water. I don’t think she should win, but she should be extremely proud of what she’s accomplished. I don’t think this was really a win for Val, but those of you who are regulars already know what I think on this subject. :-)

Melissa and Tony – huge winners. Melissa showed a lot of growth and she’s just so NICE and likeable. I really love the girl and I won’t be devastated if she wins. Tony? Fan-freakin’-tastic season for him. He’s often been considered, by myself and others, as too reliant on the syllabus and often unimaginative in terms of chore – he blew that away this season. Fantastic job. Yes, huge risk with the freestyle because the slow, quiet ones don’t often win, but you get credit for balls. Although I’m a Shawn/Derek fan, I may cry if Tony wins because I’m a real sucker for that story (and that’s the reason why I think they may just win). (Side Note: Intel says you WILL cry if they air Derek’s confessional with Shawn. Apparently he’s very emotional and the implication from what I heard  is because it is indeed his last season. I could go on, but I won’t. He’s also apparently surprised by his own reaction.)

Shawn and Derek – hands down the best dancers of the season and not only that, Derek out did even himself in terms of choreography and creativity. He really is the King of Choreography, to quote numerous media outlets and Adam Shankman.  Naysayers that claim she’s all tricks and lifts? I will quote Bill Clinton – it’s simple ARITHMETIC.  Yes, I did just quote Bill Clinton because it’s appropriate. :-) Take Melissa’s Lindy, Caveman Hustle, AT and Freestyle and COUNT. Then count all the lifts/tricks in Shawn’s entire season. Get back to me with the results. Heh. :-) Anyway, regardless of the actual WIN (which they may not get) they are the biggest winners of all. Derek has set a standard that few can measure up to, as has Shawn.  In a years’ time, when people look back on this season, Derek and Shawn’s will be the dances that most easily spring to mind – although I have no doubt that some will go to their grave denying that fact. :-) That’s a win, no matter how you slice it.

Anyway, I think it comes down to Melissa and Shawn and, as of right now, Shawn’s fans had serious work to do in order to make up the deficit. Everything hinges on the instant dance. If the margin stays the same or gets wider between Shawn and Melissa, I have to give it to Melissa – too many people are buying into the pity party and Derek’s fantastic record may come back to haunt him. Derek – please leave this show. You are so destined for bigger and better things. You are not fully appreciated and you won’t be until you’re gone.

Anyway, what are our numbers after the first two dances?

I’m a firm believer in two things:

-          The judges have an overwhelming desire to be RIGHT. Meaning that they will sway their scoring tonight so that it reflects what they’ve been told about the voting. The only question is how stupid they are about it – do they really understand the math? Doubtful.

-          The overwhelming need for the producers to have DRAMA. The need to make it a horse race at all times. JR was not in the lead going into the final night, neither was Donald. I’m sure there are others.  I don’t think they have a stake in who wins, as long as it’s exciting. Do I know what this means? Not until it’s over. :-)

These two things – which are mainly observations that I will post on in more detail in a week or so – lead me to not really know what’s going to happen. Did they overscore Kelly and over hype Melissa because that’s how the voting is going??  Or did they over penalize Shawn because she’s running away with it and want a come from behind win?? What story are they trying to sell??  Because rest assured, this show is all about the story.  Normally I would say – Occam’s Razor, which states (roughly): The simplest explanation is the most likely to be accurate. Of course, that also assumes that you don’t have 15 seasons worth of data to study on which to base your theories. :-)

Of course, that doesn’t take into account actual VOTING. And at the end of the show last night, my feeling was similar to Courtney’s but I’ll be more blunt about it – the pity vote/good story vote for Melissa and Tony is a lot stronger than simply amazing dancing.  And that is nearly always true on this show. Yes, Melissa is a good dancer too, but in terms of WOW factor? No contest.  But, I think that Melissa will likely win because of that prevailing “Oh, we must pick them because they’ve never won before.” In my mind, DWTS has become pee wee baseball. Everyone must have a trophy.  Sad. Simple minded.  It will lead to less exciting dancing and mediocrity.  Anyway…

As you can see, Derek and Shawn have a ways to go if all things remain the same. In order for Shawn to WIN, she needs both of the following things:

-          Shawn needs to get 11,400 more votes per million votes cast than Kelly, AND;

-          Shawn needs to get 17,100 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa.

Not a huge amount, normally, but this is the finale. Who knows? I honestly don’t know. Besides, everything hinges on the instant dance. I can’t imagine that anyone will get a 30 on it, but let’s say they all get 27. That would then mean that Shawn needs both of the following:

-          Shawn needs to get 7,800 more votes per million votes cast than Kelly, AND;

-          Shawn needs to get 11,700 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa.

That’s a pretty sizeable difference. It also puts Kelly in easy striking difference of Melissa. Prior to tonight’s dancing, Kelly needs the following to win:

-          Kelly needs for Shawn to NOT get 11,400 more votes per million votes cast, AND;

-          Kelly needs to get 5,700 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa.

That doesn’t look too hard does it? Well, it’s the finale. But look how an even distribution of instant dance points tonight helps her. Helps Shawn too. The only person it doesn’t help is Melissa, because it closes the gap a good bit.  If all three ladies get 27, Kelly would then need all of the following to win:

-          Kelly would need for Shawn to NOT get 7,800 more votes per million votes cast, AND;

-          Kelly would need to get 3,900 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa.

Heh. Yes, Kelly is in striking distance of Melissa…but Shawn is also a LOT closer to Kelly. In this scenario, I could see Shawn winning and Kelly taking second. Will it go that way? No idea.  I tend to doubt it.

The ONLY beneficial way for this to go for Melissa is if she wins the instant dance round. If she takes it, I think it solidifies a win for her. If she gets second or third, it’s anybody’s game.   Let’s take a look at what happens if they rank them and Melissa gets second place, Kelly taking third; that is, Shawn gets a 30, Melissa 28 and Kelly a 26 – I don’t know they’re going to do this, only that they have done it in the past. If that’s how it plays out, Shawn would still be in second place with 87 points, but only by a point. Kelly would be in third with 85 points.  For Kelly to win in this situation, she would need BOTH of the following to happen:

-          Kelly would need 7,700 more votes per million votes cast than Shawn, AND;

-          Kelly would need 11,600 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa.

For Shawn to Win, she would need for Kelly to not get those votes to pass her and she would ONLY need 3,900 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa.

There are a hundred different scenarios that I could expound on at length, but since I don’t have a good feel for what it is they’re going for or if they are at the point they’re going to throw it to the viewers – I’m not going to bother. Heck, they could even go back to giving out a 10, a 9, and an 8 which gives the edge back to Melissa.

At the end of the day, my feeling is the voters will go the sympathy route of “Tony and Melissa have never won before” – which is stupid. This is the all star season – it’s supposed to be the best of the best. How can you be the best of the best if you’ve NEVER won before? The simple answer is – you can’t.

My pick (but not my favorite):

Winner: Melissa

Runner up: Shawn