Dancing with the Stars Season 17, Week 4 – Dancing by the Numbers

Okay, so once again about half right/very close on the scoring. But the interesting thing is, I got the low scorer correct and one of the high scorers correct. Where I went wrong was once again underestimating Derek and his partner and assuming they would continue to give Brant more protection. They also didn’t seem to feel the need to protect Christina like I thought they would.  I find these things interesting. It either means that they’ve realized that Brant and Christina aren’t all that OR Valerie just wasn’t getting the votes like we thought. Or both.  It also appears that they’ve separated dancers into three distinct tiers, with Valerie out of the equation. Look at the scores: without Valerie, you have 21s, 24s and 27s. Only three scores, with three points between each one. Veeerry interesting. Coincidence?

Anyway, with a four point difference between Valerie and the next lowest person, how much protection did anyone really need? That’s quite a cushion for most everyone, in reality, possibly such that they could give everyone else a 21 or more and know that that was enough for Val to go home.  Let’s take a look. The table below represents the actual scores versus those I predicted. Under that are the votes that were required as a result of the scores for various people to be safe.

Table 1

Table 2

As you can see, Valerie needed nearly 13k votes per million votes cast in order to be safe to dance again, sending either Bill or Brant home. The middle tier had a cushion of nearly 26k votes per million votes cast and the top three had a cushion of nearly 38k votes per million votes cast. She clearly didn’t get those votes, which in the third week of voting (since last weeks votes are what counted this past Monday) isn’t that surprising, considering the cast we have.  Seems to me that they’ve all established their fans in the third week.

There are two options, IMO, regarding what’s going on with the scoring here:

Option 1 – They knew Valerie was going to be low enough that if everyone got a score of 21 or greater, Valerie was the one going home. That’s easy enough to figure out when you already know the vote totals and how well Valerie dances compared to everyone else.  SO, if that is the case (and we don’t know that it is – maybe the judges don’t know how the votes fall), then they can score how they REALLY feel about all of the couples, as long as the number is greater than 21. That is option number 1.

Option number two is that they’ve figured out the lay of the land in terms of who’s popular, who’s the best dancer and who’s not so popular, etc. Figuring out that you want Amber, Corbin and Elizabeth as your final three and the rest are somewhat disposable means that you can score the non-final 3 as you wish.  Why do they decide on the Final 3 they want? Elizabeth and Corbin are easily the best dancers, but Amber is also a good dancer and very popular. Simple. :-)

Of course there are other possibilities – or combinations of the two above. But let’s not get too bogged down. I just find the table below very interesting.

Table 3

Corbin and Elizabeth show a steady rise in scores such that I wager one or both will get at least one 10 next week. Amber has always gotten either a 24 or a 27 – and there’s always been someone less popular than her so she’s been relatively safe. I imagine she will carry on with scores between 24 and 27 for a  couple weeks. No 10’s, but no 7’s either, barring disaster (still waiting on Len’s bias to show – now that Keyshawn and Val are gone it may happen). Leah is holding steady – she’s not the greatest, but she doesn’t suck and she’s one of the “names” on the season. Brant, Christina, Bill and Snookie are kinda all over the place which indicates that, up till now, there has been no agenda with them. That could change.  Keep in mind that this is just my sense of things, but I think those with scores all over the place will continue to be all over the place and are the new “canon fodder” – meaning they can go at any time.  Or course, with Valerie gone, this coming week will be more telling. I expect there will be a new whipping boy/girl and they may decide to protect Christina again. I predict Brant as whipping boy, mainly because I think Bill and possibly Snookie are turning out to be way more popular than him.

As usual, a lot depends on the dance they’re doing. Here’s what we know so far:

Corbin and Amber – Foxtrot

Brant and Leah – Contemporary

Bill and Jack – V. Waltz (possibly standard Waltz for Jack)

Nicole – Jazz

Elizabeth and Christina – ??  (both have had contemporary, it wouldn’t seem fair to give either Jazz at this point. Both have had exciting styles up to now – I say give them Waltz :-) Unfortunately, an instagram indicates an uptempo dance for Christina).

The only question now, besides what Christina and Elizabeth are dancing, is who’s got the juice to keep going. Because the easy eliminations are now gone. The scores mean a lot more with this group now and this week will reveal the mindset of the judges at least.  But here’s what I *think* will happen:

Table 4

Now, more important (I think) than the actual scores each couple gets is the spread of point. If the points are as close (24 – 29) this becomes a very risky game for a few couples indeed.  If Bill and Brant improve on last weeks lower scores (and they well could, since those scores were down from the week before) to just 24, then we could be into shocking elimination territory. Then again, Brant has been in the last man standing a couple times now – that’s a harbinger of doom. If they over score him and keep Bill at 21, that’s trouble for Bill. If they are closer to what I’ve got above, things could get REALLY interesting. See below.

Table 5

If Christina does as well as 26, and Bill and/or Brant get a 24?? Either or both of them only need 8.7k votes per million votes cast to beat her and cause her elimination, assuming she doesn’t beat someone else. Amber would only need ONE vote, and Snookie/Leah would only need 4.3k votes per million votes cast to beat her.  These are SMALL numbers.  And all three ladies are probably getting them.  I could be wrong.

In the scenario above, Elizabeth is likely still safe, provided that she’s near the top of the leader board. Corbin as well, although I’m still of the mind he’s going to win.  If Elizabeth trades places on the leader board with Christina, then she is the one who might be in trouble.

If the scores range from 24 to 29, with Elizabeth near the top (27 or 28) and Christina in the middle (26), I think it comes down to Brant and Christina, with Snookie and Bill as outside shots.  BUT, if Brant is significantly lower than 24 – like a 21 – I think he’s toast. Possibly the same for Snookie and Bill. I say “possibly” because I think there’s a better than even chance that they are getting a ton more votes than Brant and could overcome a low score to eliminate him.

In the off chance that all three – Brant, Snookie and Bill – score low? I think Brant goes home.

So, in summary, provided no craziness outside the parameters of table 3 I think Brant and Christina are on the bubble, with Snicole and Bill possibly next up. I think Amber, Leah, Corbin and Elizabeth are all safe – the exception being if Liz seriously flubs and takes a tumble. But I don’t see that happening. You?

Of course, the fact that I’ve completely neglected to think about Jack isn’t a good sign, is it? :-) I think he’s got at least another week in him. If he goes home, we’ll know my forgetfulness where he’s concerned was a real sign. :-)