Dancing with the Stars Season 17, Week 9 – Dancing by the Numbers

Well, well, well…sometimes I’m right and I don’t want to be. I said way back when at the beginning of the season that both Christina and Liz were possible early eliminees (along with Brant) but once Christina was gone I had hoped that Elizabeth could make it to the end. Afraid not. She seemed like a nice woman but she just wasn’t getting the votes and her time ran out. She and Christina are the Season 17 equivalent to Kristin and Chynna – only both women lasted longer this season, probably due to better dancing on their part.

Once again we are in a situation of having no real idea of how either Bill or Leah (or any of the rest of them) are doing in terms of votes. It’s a mystery. And it will likely continue to be very interesting because I think Derek had it right when he said that the votes occurring the week before makes it more unpredictable.  Like I said before, last season if you make it through a bad week, you’ve made it through period. But this season, if a bunch of people didn’t like your dance this past week and didn’t vote for you, you have NO chance to redeem yourself – they can’t come out this Monday and do a killer dance such that everyone votes for them and be safe. They can get the great scores, but if people stopped voting for them because their dances just weren’t good last week, then it might not matter. What happened week 8? Well, that’s when Liz changed the choreo at the last minute on Val, against his wishes and it resulted in less than stellar dancing. And clearly, she couldn’t afford that.

Let’s take a look at the scores and the votes needed this past week.

Table 1

Table 2

So, Bill took a step back this week in terms of dancing – will it cost him this coming Monday? What about Amber – everyone knows she’s injured, but what if her time is up? And will they continue to desperately overscore Leah to keep her in the game?? Because, really, when you look at the math it becomes obvious that MAYBE if they had kept it real on Leah, that Liz might still be there.  No one can make a claim, for sure, that their couple is getting a ton of votes because EVERYONE except Corbin beat a margin to get past Liz in terms of votes. Which means she likely wasn’t getting any. Here’s what happened that lead to Liz’s elimination. ALL of the following happened:

–        Bill got 44.5k more votes per million votes cast than Liz (no, this is not a record – at least two people have beat a bigger spread. One was Kurt Warner. I know there have been a couple others but I’m too lazy to look it up. Kurt’s situation was similar: there were 7 dancers, Kurt was the low scorer and Audrina had 10 points on him. EVERYONE in the cast beat her in votes. Kurt went home two weeks later. FYI, in that situation, the 10 points worked out to 45k because the judges smoked less crack back then. No one got higher than a 24 until the 4th week and that was Jennifer Grey. )

–        Amber got 16k more votes per million votes cast than Liz;

–        Jack AND Leah got 6.4k more votes per million votes cast than Liz.

See that last line? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, if Leah had gotten a much more appropriate score for her dances?? If that Margin had been wider, maybe she would have been the one to leave and not Liz. You think these judges will ever figure this out?? Or perhaps they know and they have to keep Leah around. Still wondering if she has a show in development on ABC…

Anywho, that’s what happened with Liz. Everyone was getting way more votes than her. As shown above, it’s not too hard to guess about what everyone is going to get in terms of score. And, in general, you can still predict the relative longevity of a particular contestant. But guessing the actual eliminee in a given week is a good bit harder.

I keep going back to Leah as a major problem in these shocking eliminations – and the general overscoring of nearly everyone.  I don’t think Amber or Corbin have been particularly over scored, but everyone else has been except Bill. They’ve actually been scoring Bill about right, but when they over score everyone else there’s no telling who’s going to go home.  Look at this:

Corbin – 58 Points

Liz – 56 Points

Jack/Leah – 54 Points

Amber – 51 Points

Bill – 42 Points

So, by grouping everyone except Bill in an upper group means that if Bill is getting enough votes to beat the spread on at least one couple, it could, theoretically be anyone in the upper group going home, because the spread between everyone in the upper group is relatively small.  Look at the small numbers between Leah and Liz – not difficult to achieve. If Leah had gotten a 23 or 24 on her second dance (at most), it would have roughly doubled the spread between Leah and Liz and a more appropriate person MIGHT have gone home.

But not necessarily. If Liz just wasn’t getting the votes anymore, and as we discussed last week everyone else is getting similar votes, then she’s going home if BILL beats the spread. Like this:

Corbin – 150k votes

Amber – 150k votes

Jack – 150k votes

Bill – 150k votes

Leah – 150k votes

Liz – 100k votes

As you know from Table 2, Bill needed roughly 44.5k votes per million votes cast more than Liz for her to go home. In the above scenario, everyone is getting the same votes except Liz, who is 50k votes below everyone else. That’s enough for Bill to be safe and for Liz to go home.

Because of the lack of a real bottom two and the stacking of everyone against Bill, you can’t predict well who might be eliminated. You’re blind. So, what is their goal? To keep it a surprise? Nah, I still think they’re trying to get rid of Bill while protecting Leah and Liz…and possibly Jack, although he is actually dancing very well. But why give Amber a 24 on her first dance? No, she wasn’t tremendous, but I would argue that her quickstep was miles ahead of Leah’s Jive and she got a 27. I also don’t think that Leah’s first dance was worthy of a 27. So, is Amber just getting the votes and they know it, or are they planning on sacrificing her on the Leah altar?? I guess we find out this week. I just can’t help thinking that things would have turned out differently if they had scored everyone more realistically.

Here’s what everyone is dancing this week:

Amber – V. Waltz and Jazz

Corbin – Tango and Rumba

Leah – Paso Doble and Argentine Tango

Jack – Jazz and Argentine Tango

Bill – Cha Cha Cha and Argentine Tango

Well, I know Amber is happy and it sounds like she’s doing well. Derek is not sounding depressed either. I’m hoping for big things on these two dances. Corbin? No sweat.

Leah? I can’t believe she has the strength and power for either dance…not that it will matter.

Jack? Man, the guy keeps surprising me. I think he will do well on the AT, but Jazz?? I think his forte is more ballroom oriented (more structured dances) and Jazz may be too loose for him. Also not sure how Cheryl will do with Jazz choreo.

That brings us to Bill. I think he will be fine on Cha cha, but the Argentine Tango? I don’t think he’ll be sharp enough.

The above discussion is based on how well they’ll handle the dances, not the judges scoring. In that area, I think Bill will be scored normally, as will Corbin and maybe Jack. The rest of it could be VERY interesting. If Leah is getting 27’s again and Amber is getting nitpicked they may have decided she is the one they want gone if they can’t get rid of Bill. Does she have the votes? Who knows.  As for Jack – I don’t think they have an agenda with him and will score him rather fairly like they have been.  So, below are my guesses as to the scoring – keeping in mind that the high score for a dance is now a 40 because of Maks.

Table 3

As you can see, I think Corbin is going to be near perfect and Leah is going to once again be given all 9’s – rank over scoring. I think Amber is going to also get all 9’s.  I’m betting that Jack won’t do as well as he has been on Jazz, but will come back with the Argentine Tango. I’ve given Bill all 8’s, but I’m betting he’ll be lucky to get one or two. It depends on how aware the judges are of the spread and the votes. With the scenario show in table 3, the margins are pretty wide, as shown below.

Table 4

In the scenario above, Bill needs ONE of the following to happen:

–        Bill needs 40.1k more votes per million votes cast than Jack, OR;

–        Bill needs 46k more votes per million votes cast than EITHER Leah or Amber, OR;

–        Bill needs 66k more votes per million votes cast than Corbin.

I’m quite doubtful if he can do it. And once again, I have to think it will be him, Leah or Jack going home. If this is the spread, I think it’s more likely to be Bill. But I hope to hell it’s Leah.

Now, I’ve made some assumptions. But what IF they decide that it’s time to get real on all the couples? If they do, I think that they will stop nitpicking Corbin and will give him a perfect 80. I think Amber, provided she does as well as I think she’s going to do will get a couple 10’s. And I think Leah gets some 8s. See below for my “let’s get real” scenario.

Table 5

You’ll note that on the far right side I’ve shown the rank – that is how they should rank, but I’m skeptical if it actually comes to pass. But just in case they surprise me, we’re looking at these numbers. Here’s what the margins look like.

Table 6

Bill still has a long way to go to catch Leah. Beware if they start suddenly giving Bill great scores –that can only mean one of two things: they can finally get rid of him without being horrible OR he’s so far ahead that they say “WTF” and start down the road to justifying his place in the finale.

Unfortunately, I don’t think fortune will smile on us at this late date and eliminate Leah. I’m afraid that in either scenario it might be Bill or Jack – Amber is a very outside chance and I think Corbin is the only one that is safe. They’ll make sure of that, at least.  Here’s what Bill needs to be safe in the “let’s get real” scenario. ONE of the following:

–        Bill needs 34.3k more votes per million votes cast than Leah, OR;

–        Bill needs 40k plus 1 more votes per million votes cast than Jack, OR;

–        Bill needs 57.1k more votes per million votes cast than Amber, OR;

–        Bill needs 68.6k more votes per million votes cast than Corbin.

Let’s say that Bill gets the votes to beat Leah. What does she need to be safe? She needs ONE of the following:

–        Leah needs 5,800 more votes per million votes cast than Jack, OR;

–        Leah needs 23k more votes per million votes cast than Amber, OR;

–        Leah needs 34.3k more votes per million votes cast than Corbin.

If Bill is getting the votes to get past Leah, she only needs 5,800 vote to get past Jack. In this scenario, I’m afraid that Jack may be the one to go and Corbin and Amber are safe.

To sum up. In my first scenario, I think that it’s likely to be Bill that goes home. It gets harder and harder every week to beat that kind of spread because, theoretically, you are left with all people who have fanbases.  In my “let’s get real” scenario, I think Bill has a shot to make it past Leah, which means either Leah or Jack go home.

I’m mean. I want Leah gone mainly to see the smug look wiped off Tony’s face. But somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen. You??