Dancing with the Stars Season 17, Week 3 – Dancing by the Numbers

This week, I saw lots of questions about Bill Nye’s departure from the show. Some said there was no way that others got more votes than him. To which I responded, “they didn’t have to, Bill could get more votes and still be eliminated if he didn’t cover the spread.” This is the thing that continually gets lost no matter how many times I write these numbers posts. Bill Nye was WAY below the next highest scorer, so HE had to make up lots of votes in order to stick around.

I saw some comments saying it was “fishy”. Was it fishy? Well, it certainly could be, depending on your perspective. I mean, really, Brant got a 27? I don’t think so, in a real world. There is no way he did a better job dancing than so many couples. But he most likely was in danger of leaving and was, thus, overscored to protect him from Bill Nye. You overscore Brant and make sure others who might not be getting the votes have enough of a lead on Bill Nye and it’s perfectly plausible that Bill goes home. How did the night stack up once all was said and done?? See below.

Table 1

Looking at that table, it seems to me that Brant was grossly overscored and Christina was overscored a bit, relative to Amber. Is it a coincidence that two people likely at risk due to Bill Nye but who are good dancers are overscored? I don’t think so. I think Liz is also in potential danger, but she danced very well, so I wouldn’t say she was overscored. Bill’s low score gives her breathing room. The people in danger, IMO, are scored high enough to put them out of reach, those who are getting votes are getting more realistic scores. Just my speculation. So, what did Bill Nye have to do to actually stay on the show and how did others have to do in terms of votes to be safe? See below.

Table 2

Now, Bill and Valerie needed more than 23k votes per million votes cast EACH in order to beat the spread with Jack and to stay safe. Bill did not do that. I think that Jack is getting plenty of votes and was, therefore, scored more realistically than some. Valerie is likely getting plenty of votes, but she only needed one more vote per million votes cast in order to beat Bill. I don’t see that being a problem. So, if Bill can’t beat Valerie and he can’t beat Jack’s spread that brings him to Bill E, Amber and Leah. In order for Bill Nye to stay, he has to get at least 31,373 more votes per million votes cast than one of them. Clearly, he didn’t do that. Totally not surprising that he can’t beat the spread on Amber and Leah, very heartening that he can’t beat the spread on Bill E. That’s a pretty high number of votes that Bill Nye had to get, but not unrealistic. The number of votes needed only goes up from there, with everyone well insulated. Just look at what Bill Nye needed to beat Brant, one of the relative unknowns on the cast – 43,137 votes per million votes cast. Now does Brant’s score make more sense? He’s cute, he doesn’t suck, but he’s not well known and Bill Nye is getting a ton of votes….what do you do? You make sure that Brant’s score is high enough that Bill doesn’t take him out. Especially since Bill Nye couldn’t really dance with his injury and wasn’t going to drop out – how much would it suck to get taken out by a non-dancing Bill Nye after proving to be a decent dancer?? A LOT. :-)

The only thing in question, really, is the scoring of Brant. Bill’s score was fair, all things considered, and he didn’t have the juice to beat any of the well protected celebs.

But now, Bill Nye has been eliminated. That means all bets are off. This week will be interesting in terms of seeing who the judges feel needs to stick around. The thing that I wonder is: what will be their motivation from here on out? Will they go for the easy elimination in Valerie?? Or will they let the chips fall. I’m guessing that they will score Valerie appropriately and possibly overscore some of the more vulnerable celebs to keep them out of harms way. Again. :-)

The problem is – Julianne could be a wild card. I doubt very much they’re going to tell her in a meeting, “Hey, we need you to give Brant and Liz decent scores so Val’s fanbase doesn’t take them out.” I tend to think this happens to the regular judges (or they just figure it out on their own and over drinks in their trailer come up with a plan of sorts), but I don’t see it going that way with Julianne. I think she’s going to give scores she thinks appropriate, so this could be interesting. I think she will want to be harder on Derek and Mark to try to avoid the cries of “bias” – but Amber is hurt and only started practicing on Friday so it may not be too tough. What about the rest of them? What are they dancing and how well do you think they’ll do with it?

Elizabeth – Argentine Tango
Corbin – Paso Doble
Amber – Tango
Brant – Salsa
Bill – Samba
Christina – Foxtrot
Jack – Quickstep
Nicole – Jive
Leah – Cha Cha Cha
Valerie – as usual we have no idea :-)

Who are the winners and losers in the dance assignments? Exactly who you’d expect: Liz, Corbin and Christina. The jury is out on Amber and Tango, particularly with her injury. Brant? Can the boy move his hips? Bill got a pretty hard dance so he might be in trouble. I think Jack will probably be okay with his quickstep and Leah was given a gift with Cha Cha – they’ve already learned basic steps for the group dances, no? Snicole and the Jive….hmmmm. She’s young, little and motivated. I’m hoping that it will be very good. Valerie, I’m afraid, will dance like the 74 year old that she is, but probably has at least one more week in her. Okay, time for my predictions.

Table 3

As you can see, I think:

-        Elizabeth gets a near perfect score on Argentine Tango. She’s a ringer and it’s arguably the flashiest of the dances of the night, along with the Paso.

-        Corbin is right on her tail with the other flashy dance, the Paso.

-        I think Christina will prove to be a better ballroom dancer than Latin and will do a great job on foxtrot.

-        I think Leah has an advantage with Cha Cha and will do well.

-        I think Brant and Bill are going to have hip trouble that has nothing to do with arthritis.

-        Amber’s knee and the lack of rehearsal (and choreography) until Friday is likely going to cost her.

-        I think Jack and Snookie continue their slow creep upward in scores, although Snicole should be moving up quicker, IMO. Question is, can they creep up fast enough to out run Valerie, who could get by based on week 3 voting.

None of this is guaranteed of course, but let’s say I’m close – within a point or so on many of the couples. Valerie will likely be at the bottom and she’ll have to hope that last weeks votes are enough to counteract this weeks scores of her dance and the other dancers.  What kind of votes would she and the others need if this comes to pass? See below.

Table 4

Now, I made the table comparing the dancers to the people above them in scores a lot longer this week because it has the potential to be interesting. For those not clear on what this table represents, a quick explanation: I take the lowest scoring dancer and systematically compare them to each dancer with a higher score. You subtract their percentage of the vote from each of the dancers above them to get the “difference.” That percentage difference times 1 million is how many votes per million votes cast the lower dancer needs to “beat” the higher dancer. Clear as mud?

As shown above, Valerie needs roughly 16,400 and 24,600 more votes per million votes cast to stay over Bill and Amber, respectively. Since she’s relying on last weeks votes (possibly cast prior to Valerie “fatigue”), I think she might not beat Amber, but possibly beats Bill and Brant, and maybe Snookie. Very hard to tell who’s getting the votes right now.  It’s possible that the audience believed the judges regarding Brant and he got enough votes.

Look at that table above, section by section, and remember a dancer only has to do better than ONE other dancer in order to be safe. Here’s what I see:

-        Valerie beats Bill.

-        Bill *possibly* beats Brant, Jack and/or Snicole.

-        Amber beats Brant, Jack, Snicole, maybe Christina, and Valerie and Bill can’t cover the spread.

-        Jack beats Snicole, but Brant doesn’t.

I think those assumptions leave Valerie, Bill and Brant as the bottom three, with either Brant or Bill going home.

I could be wrong, of course. All of my predictions rely on what I think they’ll do score-wise. With Julianne in there as a wild card, and Bruno and CAI always being wild (not to mention blind to the faults of some but not others), it’s even more difficult to predict that normal. Keep in mind that if Bill does much better than I expect, and Brant does as well, Valerie could be going home. If Amber does worse than I expect due to her knee, she and Valerie could go head to head. If any of the uninjured ringers (Corbin, Elizabeth, Christina) have a bad night?? All bets are off.

We find out Monday!! Discuss.