Dancing with the Stars Season 17, Week 10 – Dancing by the Numbers

Well. As I said last week, if you score normally, and don’t make the margin between the upper tier of dancers super tiny, then you stop having “shocking” eliminations. It only took them ten weeks to figure it out. Or maybe Leah had just served her purpose of getting more famous people in the audience.  Either way, she was eliminated and it didn’t take much for that to happen. Here are the judges scores for both dances – those in grey are my predictions…well, my second set of predictions. :-) I wasn’t sure which way they were going to go with. Glad they selected option number 2. :-)

Table 1

These scores led to the following vote requirements.

Table 2

Note that in week 9, the margin between Leah and Liz was less than 7k votes. This week, when they aren’t over inflating everyone’s score trying to get rid of Bill, Leah needed well more than 17k votes per million votes cast to get to Jack, Amber or Corbin. Here’s what caused her to be eliminated – all of the following happened:

–        Bill got at least 14.3k more votes per million votes cast than Leah, AND;

–        Leah didn’t get 17.2k more votes per million votes cast than Jack, AND;

–        Leah didn’t get 28.6k more votes per million votes cast than Corbin, AND;

–        Leah didn’t get 40k more votes per million votes cast than Amber.

Pretty simple. Easy enough margin for Bill to beat, big enough margin between her and Jack that Leah didn’t have the juice. It’s as I suspected. I have a feeling if they had scored her up closer to Jack, Jack might have been eliminated. And that would have sucked.

Anyway, looking back is pretty easy. Determining what is going to happen next is not so simple. Here’s how I think it should go:

1)      Corbin or Amber

2)      Corbin or Amber

3)      Jack

4)      Bill

But will it actually end up this way?? I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s not going to work out in an obvious way. Who will be the one making too early an exit?? As I said in the Odds post, I waffle terribly on this question. Every five minutes. :-)

So what am I relatively sure of? I’m sure that I don’t like the Monday night elimination. The freestyle is a big deal and one that has affected the competition (usually costing someone) in big ways. This season, fourth place is determined NOT based on the freestyle, but on viewer votes from the previous week. Now, in a way, this is usual. Only once in 17 seasons have they had a true four person finale, so normally the fourth place couple wouldn’t even get to dance a freestyle. So it’s a win in that way. But what if, say, Corbin didn’t do that well in votes last week but he absolutely slays the freestyle?? Too bad, if the judges scores aren’t enough to save him. Viewers can’t change their minds and vote for him. What if someone got lots of votes last week, like Bill, but his fans get swamped by finale voters that would vote for Corbin or Amber?? Well, he gets to stay based on last week, but Corbin, Amber or Jack get eliminated. I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles – and I guess the freestyle still could work to determine the winner the next night. Conversely, if someone does a crap freestyle, they could still easily make it through Monday night based on votes from the previous week. It will be interesting in any case – and I still believe that a crap freestyle has much more effect on the outcome than a great one. :-)

I think that, this week, Bill will continue to get 8’s – but will get at least two 9’s thrown in. It’s the finale – the judges will be inclined to throw a couple of those his way because they like to be right. They’ll want to justify his place in the finale. But then again, they won’t get too carried away because they won’t want to risk the other three. Not that it will matter – I feel like there is a good chance he will end up in third place. :-) Anyway, I think they’re going to be throwing lots of 9’s and 10’s to the other three couples and mostly 8’s with a couple 9’s to Bill – with three dances on Monday night, this will create a large enough margin (theoretically) that the top 3 should still be safe. We’ll find out. :-)

But, then again, how will they be scoring the samba relay?? Like the marathon-ish thing they did earlier in the season? Ten to first place, 8 to second, 6 to third and 4 points to last place?? That creates a much bigger margin and might be too much – and will have too much influence on who wins. So I’m thinking they might go with 10, 9, 8, and 7.

Okay, let’s break it down.  Here’s what each couple is dancing on Monday night:

Corbin: Quickstep (Week 3 – 26), Samba Relay (Never), Freestyle

Amber: Charleston (Week 3 – 24), Samba Relay (Week 6 – 28), Freestyle

Jack: Jive (Week 7 – 27), Samba Relay (Week 9 – 25), Freestyle

Bill: Viennese Waltz (Week 5 – 24), Samba Relay (Week 4 – 21), Freestyle

In parentheses is the week they previously danced it and the score they received.  How the hell did they pick these dances?? They chose high scoring dances for Jack, Corbin and Bill (for him), yet chose a low scoring dance for Amber?? What the hell? Why? Looking at it another way, they also picked dances for Corbin, Amber and Jack that may not play to their strengths. I don’t get the rationale at all. Jack’s dance was not only high scoring but also a lot more recent than Corbin’s and Amber’s.  They’ll have some ‘splainin’ to do.  To top it off, Jack just did Samba in week 9.  True that Corbin has never done Samba, but that dance will likely be a piece of cake for him – totally in his wheelhouse.

Anyway, based on the previous scores each couple received, I predict that each couple is going to improve in the finale. I also predict that Corbin wins the Samba relay, Amber is second, Jack third and then Bill last. The following are the scores I’m guessing:

Table 3

Now, if the scores turn out similar to this, here’s what everyone needs to make it through Monday night:

Table 4

Based on this, I’m going to say that Bill is the one eliminated. You’ll note that I’ve given Bill a total of four nines across the two regularly scored dances. The Samba Relay widens the margin and with there being three dances where the others are likely to do very well, even with 9s Bill is likely to be a good bit behind Jack, Amber and Corbin.   In order for Bill to be safe, one of the following would have to happen:

–        Bill would have to get just over 30k votes per million votes cast to get past Jack, OR;

–        Bill would have to get 37.8k votes per million votes cast to get past Amber, OR;

–        Bill would have to get 41.6k votes per million votes cast to get past Corbin.

I’m going to guess he doesn’t make it – and I could certainly be wrong. I’m not sure of anything right now. :-) Before some of you start shouting about how Bill had beaten wider margins, you have to remember that it’s not just Bill getting votes, it’s other couples NOT getting votes that helps him beat the margin. In the final four, theoretically, everyone left is doing pretty well vote wise and a larger margin won’t be so easy to beat. Scores do matter.

If Bill does manage to beat someone, what does Jack need to beat either Amber or Corbin?? One of the following:

–        Jack needs 7,600 more votes per million votes cast than Amber, OR;

–        Jack needs 11.4k more votes per million votes cast than Corbin.

This is where things get tricky. I’m not convinced of Corbin’s fanbase, although neither he nor Amber have ever been put in “jeopardy”. I think Amber might be doing better in terms of votes and if Jack is going to beat anyone it might be Corbin. But that’s only important at this point if Bill beats the spread.  And I don’t know if that will happen. IF the judges give Bill a lot more 9’s than I’ve anticipated, then I predict that Bill is sticking around and someone else is going, possibly Jack.

I sense that if Bill makes it through over Jack, Bill is for sure third place. When you add the fourth dance, the margin will just be too great for Bill to beat it, on either Corbin or Amber. If Bill makes it through at either Amber or Corbin’s expense, then the one of those two left will almost certainly win, unless Jack scores a lot higher than I predict. IF either Jack or Bill score much higher than I predict, brace for an upset. That guy is likely going to the final and could take the whole thing. Could happen to Jack, unlikely that Bill gets those kind of scores. But you never know.

If Bill is eliminated on Monday, then it’s a LOT trickier.  Let’s make the assumption that Bill is eliminated and add in the fourth dance (I’m only going with the odds here – there’s no way we can explore every scenario):

Table 5

Table 6

Table 5 has all four dances, table 6 shows the votes needed to win.

As you can see, there is virtually nothing separating Amber and Corbin – certainly enough for the “Derek can’t have another trophy” gang to possibly play spoiler for AMBER. But Jack ain’t out of it. Less than 14k votes for him to beat either Amber or Corbin.

Honestly, if the scores are this close and Bill is eliminated on Monday night, then I’m really not sure who’s going to win. Part of me is starting to think that Corbin might not make it. I think any of the three could win.

Discuss.