Dancing with the Stars Season 18, Week 1 – Dancing by the Numbers!

Heidi’s my name and numbers are my game. :-) Yes, it’s that time of year once again. I’d like to thank the powers that be for one thing: switching around how the eliminated couple is determined makes this much easier to predict. For one thing, I don’t have to backwards guess at what the judges might do next – it doesn’t matter because the viewer votes and the judges scores from the same week (week 1) will send someone home in week two regardless of how well they dance this upcoming week. For another thing, it makes these posts much shorter. Theoretically. :-)  The interesting thing will be is if the judges show a pattern of either extremely over scoring or extremely underscoring the couple going home – either send them out with a bang, or justify their scores ahead of time. Two or three times might be coincidence, but more than that? Hah.

Anyway, for you newbs to this site, this is a series I do every week of every season. Basically, I take the scores for each couple and figure out – using DWTS math – how many votes each couple needs to be safe. Then I guess, based on what I think I know about each couple and their voting needs, who’s going to be safe and who’s hitting the trail.

For those who don’t know…or those who believe the popular myth promoted by TPTB…the judges AND the viewers have an equal role in who stays and who goes. To determine who goes home, the producers take the total number of points handed out by the judges and divide that into each couples score for their percentage of the total.  They then do the same thing for the votes: they divide the total number of votes into the number of votes each couple receives for a percentage. They then add the two together and the couple with the lowest combined “score” is the one who goes home. Fifty percent of the final score is judges and fifty percent of the final score is viewer votes. Easy peasy. ;-)

Take a look at the totals.

Table 1

On the surface, they made this first week pretty easy by giving Billy Dee William a 15 – lower than the next person, Diana, by three points. Is she safe?  I wouldn’t be so sure. I think most people have heard of Diana, particularly if they are the typical DWTS viewer. But Billy Dee Williams? I hazard to say that he has a large, geeky, Star Wars-y fan following – also within the average DWTS age. What does Billy Dee have to do to be safe? Look at the table, below. On the left is Billy Dee versus the various couples, progressing down according to scores. On the right is the number of votes per million votes cast that Billy Dee has to get to stay over those other couples.

Table 2

For example, for Billy Dee to stay, he has to get ONE of the following:

-        Billy needs 11.5k more votes per million votes cast to stay over Diana;

-        Billy needs 19.1k more votes per million votes cast to stay over Sean;

-        Billy needs 22.9k more votes per million votes cast to stay over Drew/James/NeNe;

-        Billy needs 26.7k more votes per million votes cast to stay over Cody

-        Billy needs 34.4k  more votes per million votes cast to stay over Danica/Amy/Meryl;

-        Billy needs 38.1k more votes per million votes cast to stay over Candace;

-        Billy needs 45.8k more votes per million votes cast to stay over Charlie

What you have to remember is that Billy only has to beat one person to be safe. But if he’s safe but called in “jeopardy” he could be beating EVERYONE – we won’t know. We only really know how someone is doing if they say that the last two standing are the “bottom two”.  I’ll have more on that in a special post, hopefully this weekend.

Anyway, I think we can safely say that, based on those totals, Charlie, Candace, Danica, Amy and Meryl are safe. I think that Cody and James are also safe based on rabid fanbases. Hell, either could win if those fanbases actually vote. But what about Drew, NeNe, Sean and Diana??  Well, let’s take a look at what Diana has to do.

Table 3

Based on the above Tables, Diana either needs Billy Dee to fail to get the 11.5k votes more than her OR she needs to get the votes per million votes cast shown above. Note that she only needs to get 7,634 more votes per million votes cast than Sean – that is not very much. And Sean was kinda…well…weird. And Diana was rather charming.  What does Sean have to do to be safe? Well, if both Diana and Billy Dee surpass him by the required number of votes, Sean has to get ONE of the following:

Table 4

Sean only needs 3.8k votes per million votes cast to beat either Drew, James or NeNe. That’s a really small number – but none of those people have small fanbases, I’m sure. I don’t think Sean can do it, but we’ve never had a hockey player so we don’t know how they’ll do for votes.

In any case, I think Billy Dee can beat Diana, but not Sean – so I think Sean is safe. Even though Diana needs less than 8k votes per million votes cast to beat Billy Dee, I don’t think she can do it due to the Star Wars factor.  So…

I predict Billy Dee and Diana in the bottom two with Diana going home. And I will be sad. My second choice would be Billy Dee and Diana in the bottom two with Billy Dee going home. Way on the outside is the shocker elimination of James – I’m only tossing it out there as a possibility because it feels like the other three have fans more in line with the typical DWTS voter. Unlikely, but wacky things happen on this show…like Candace wanting a rumba as her second dance. Yeah, right. :-D