Dancing with the Stars Season 17, Week 5 – Dancing by the Numbers

Sorry for the delay this week, kids. Extremely busy at work to the point where it will be lucky if I move this weekend. Lots to talk about, so let’s get on with it…

The week of the not-so-shocking elimination. As I’ve said a few times, Courtney and I have been calling this elimination since nearly the start of the show. At first we said it would be either Elizabeth or Christina and then in the last week or three we’ve been thinking Christina, for a variety of reasons. My thinking was that they were both good dancers that weren’t connecting as much with the audience. In addition, they’re of a similar type: good body, good to really good dancer, pretty, not too old but not incredibly young, average to smallish fanbase.  The show can only support ONE of this type and I think we’ve seen that in the past.

  • Kristin and Chynna in Season 13, eliminated 3rd and 4th
  • Audrina and Brandy in Season 11, eliminated 6th and 9th
  • Sabrina and Mel B in Season 5, eliminated 6th and 11th

Of course there are other early eliminations where there isn’t a corresponding person who goes a bit farther, but we’re in another season where there are two women who fall into a similar category. If you look at everyone else on the show, they all fall into their own niche…although it could be argued that Brant and Corbin are in a group together, but this doesn’t seem to occur with men and all the shocking eliminations that most people remember are female.

Now the question is – is Elizabeth another Chynna, or another Brandy or Mel B?? It all depends on how freaked the judges are by losing Christina and they’ve already massively overscored people.  I mean, look at the scores this week in the table below – they’ve gone mad. It was week 5 most people had a 26 or higher? Are they insane?? Or are they trying to send Leah home and failed to protect Christina well enough??

table 1

That is craziness. Especially when you consider that two of the better dancers, Elizabeth and Amber, were tied for THIRD with 26 points in Week 5. Madness. There were only TWO people out of 8 below them on the leader board. Madness. If that’s not a bunch of overscoring, I don’t know what is. Although, I think Elizabeth was overscored too.  Only Bill, Leah, Amber and Corbin were NOT overscored – I’m on the fence about Snooki and Brant (and I love me some Snooki). Anyway, let’s look at what caused Christina to go home.

The table below compares the dancers to each other and shows what one dancer has to get to “beat” the dancer directly above him/her. I start with the low scorer and compare him/her to each person above him/her. Then I compare the second to the lowest with those above him/her and so on.

table 2

You see that when the judges hand out so many points to so many people, it narrows the margins (and the votes needed) significantly. It actually makes it easier for Leah to get past Christina. If they’d been willing to take a chance and score people realistically, they would have actually made it harder.

The way they did it, Leah only needed 25.6k votes per million votes cast to get past Christina. Now, I have no idea if she’s getting past anyone else – I tend to believe the last three standing might have been a real bottom three – but she did get past Christina.  If they had scored everyone more realistically, they could have given Christina more breathing room – when you lower the total number of points handed out you widen the margins. For example, last week there was one more dancer (Valerie) and they handed out a total of 237 points – only TWO points more than what they handed out this week. Then, for Valerie to beat the high scorer, she would have needed nearly 38k votes per million votes cast. Leah only needed 26k. That’s a pretty huge difference.

Anyway, Leah wasn’t the only one that was beating Christina seriously in votes. Since Christina was at the top of the leaderboard, EVERYONE had to get more votes in order for her to go home. Corbin only needed one more vote per million. But this is how it stacked up for the rest:

–        Bill got at least 17k more votes per million votes cast than Christina, and:

–        Amber and Elizabeth each got at least 8.5k more votes per million votes cast than Christina, and;

–        Snookie, Jack and Brant each got at least 4.3k more votes per million votes cast than Christina.

These are all pretty small numbers and I harp again on the judges – you’re not really helping by handing out a ton of points. If there is someone that just isn’t getting the votes, combined with several who are killing it in votes and one of the ones doing very well is the low scorer? You’re making it easier.

What about the other woman that we’re not sure about, who also might be a shocking elimination (conversely, she could go all the way) – how did she do? Was she really bottom three?? Elizabeth’s score stacks up like this in terms of voting requirements:

–        Leah needed 17k votes per million votes cast to beat Elizabeth;

–        Bill needed 8.5k votes per million votes cast to beat Elizabeth;

–        Amber needed ONE vote per million votes cast to beat Elizabeth;

–        Elizabeth needed 4.3k votes per million votes cast to beat either Snookie, Brant, or Jack;

–        Elizabeth needed 8.5k votes per million votes cast to beat Corbin or Christina.

Clearly, Liz beat Christina, but we have no idea how she’s doing relative to the other celebs – but the judges are doing her no favors handing out all those high scores. Those are small margins. She (Liz) is more likely to survive if they get real. Of course, while Bill and Amber are probably beating her in the above scenario, she could very well be beating Brant and Snookie…and maybe Jack…due to their small margins. :::shrug::: It’s hard to say.  Point: If they scored realistically instead of over scoring, they could have widened the margin such that Leah couldn’t over come it to beat Christina. Maybe.

Anyway, this is where it gets hard. The only clue we have to go on is that Brant and Elizabeth have been in jeopardy the most, followed by Nicole and Leah. But everything hinges on the scores and what the judges feel they have to do. And I will be PISSED if Tom says “a woman is the low vote getter” again this week – that puts the freak on the judges (if they didn’t already have advance knowledge, which I think Len, at least, does) and they do all sorts of crazy things.  Anyway, we’ve seen instances in the past where repeated trips to “jeopardy” is a sign that you aren’t long for the competition. Hard to say. So, who’s dancing what this week?

Amber – Samba

Brant/Bill –Tango

Elizabeth – Cha Cha

Corbin – V. Waltz

Jack – Paso Doble

Nicole – Foxtrot

Leah – Quickstep

Frankly, I think Elizabeth is the winner of the week, along with Corbin (since he can dance anything), in terms of dance style. Can you get an easier dance than Cha Cha? I don’t think so.  I think Bill could be in trouble, along with Leah. Brant and Jack will likely be fine in their styles, maybe even good. Amber…I think the Samba suits her personality, but let’s hope the music doesn’t lead Derek down the Anti-Len path. That said…Len has a bias for certain types and Amber is squarely in that type. It might not matter what Derek does – Len will find fault where he didn’t find it for other couples (A COW) and give her a low ball score.  I will be expecting it every week from here on out.

I think that Nicole, Jack and Brant will be overscored, Elizabeth and Corbin will be about right – jury is out on Amber – and Leah and Bill will either be under scored compared to the other couples, or will be just about right which will still leave them well below everyone except maybe Amber. I see the judges goal this week as getting rid of either Leah or Bill. While so many people LOVE Bill, he’s got to be the cannon fodder (to the judges) along with Leah. The only question is will they succeed or will we get another shocker?

Here are my predictions, followed by the math showing what votes would be needed if I happen to be close:

table 3

The numbers are a bit more reasonable this week, or I think they will be, assuming they go low with Leah, moderate with Bill, and higher on everyone else. The elimination of one high scorer brings the margins down a bit.

Anyway, if it turns out like…or even similar…to what I have, above, then I think Elizabeth is safe – that’s a lot of votes that Leah would have to get. Now, that’s not to say she won’t be in jeopardy – that could still happen because:

–        Bill would need 28.5k per million votes

–        Jack would need 19k per million votes

–        Snooki, Amber and Brant would all need 14.3k per million votes

Those people could very well be getting that, although I suspect that Snook and Brant are not. I could be wrong.

So, I think Elizabeth will end up being safe, jeopardy or not, as will Corbin and Amber. Calling that right now. I could be in for a surprise if Liz is doing far worse than I suspect in votes and/or if she gets a really crap score – I see her getting a 30 on the Cha Cha, whether she deserves it or not.  That brings us to Leah, Bill, Jack, Brant and Snooki.

Looking at the bottom of Table 3, I think the only ones that Leah MIGHT get past in this scenario are Jack, Brant and Snooki. I think IF she gets past Bill, Bill gets past Jack and Brant and is safe.  So, I think Bill ends up being safe, but possibly in jeopardy.

If the scores shake out similar to above, I think Leah might just go home. I just don’t know if she’s got the juice to make up the votes she would need to stay. Leah would need:

–        14,218  to get past Bill

–        23,697 to get past Jack

–        28,436 to get past either Snooki, Brant or Amber

And so on. I have a hard time believing that happens. I think Leah goes in this scenario.

Now, if Leah does better and any of those people do worse than I’ve guessed, then the odds of Leah sticking around increase dramatically. Let’s say, for example, that Leah kills her quickstep and gets a 24.  Let’s also say that Snooki gets a 25 and Brant gets 26 points. Everyone else stays the same. The same total number of points are handed out, but the bottom score is now a 24 and the top score is still a 30 – the scores are just more evenly distributed. Well, this would be a disaster if you want Leah to go home and not your favorite. In this scenario, Leah needs:

–        ONE more vote per million votes cast to beat Bill,

–        4.7k more votes per million votes cast to beat Snooki

–        9.5k more votes per million votes cast to beat Jack or Brant

–        14.3 more votes per million votes cast to beat either Amber

–        28.5k more votes per million votes cast to beat Elizabeth

Note how much smaller the margins got. Before Leah needed well more than 40k to beat Elizabeth. In this scenario she needs less than 30k. Instead of a 14k differential between Leah and Bill there is none at all.

So, that’s what to watch for. I think Leah’s performance and the resulting score will dictate what happens.  I think if she’s quite low, she goes home. If she’s up there with Bill, all bets are off. My guess is Leah goes home. If not her, then Snooki (NO!) or Brant.  It all depends on the scoring, because I can’t  imagine that she’s doing lots better than anyone in votes. We’ll see!!

Discuss. :-)