PureDWTS 18, Week 2 Partner Switch Twitter Voting: Is It “Rigged?” Part II *24 Hour Update*

So the partner switch voting has been going on for 24 hours now, and some interesting patterns are starting to emerge from the data we’ve culled together on Keyhole (with some help from our gracious readers!). Before we get into it, though, let me emphasize: the goal here is not to alter the outcome of the partner switch by sharing info. Contrary to what one nutjob on the ABC boards thinks, we are not “conspiring & strategizing” in our private members area to “sabotage” the partner switch…Conrad & Co. are doing a great job sabotaging the show by themselves. They sure don’t need my help :-P But hey, thanks for flattering me by implying that we here at Pure have a TON of power, random ABC board cretin – I think I’ll use my superpowers to go find that missing plane now, then maybe end the conflict in Syria and spoil the ending to Sunday’s Walking Dead season finale for all to see. BRB…

Anywho, the goal is just to see if TPTB are being honest with us about the results of the switch-up voting – that’s it. I really don’t care one way or another who gets paired with whom, because odds are that most of them are going to end up back with their original partners in a week or 2, anyway. So with that in mind, I would kindly ask that any of you doing hashtag analyses along with us NOT share specific results in the comments. I’ll share some broad, general details for how the voting is going, but I’m not gonna mention specific pairings. Gonna try to keep it as fair as I can, kids.

So first things first – anyone else find it awfully funny that they suddenly decided to allow voting for the partner switch on the ABC site last night? After it had been advertised as a “Twitter-voting” contest? And not long after I posted part I of my “Is it Rigged?” post? :-P I can only guess that it was an attempt to both appease the non-Twitter crowd, as well as play spoiler to our efforts to track the hashtags. Too bad that a lot of the folks voting on the ABC site are also using that handy-dandy “share my vote on Twitter” button to tell us how they voted…and good ol’ Keyhole seems to be picking that up as well. Nice try, Muppets/Mean Girls…*maniacal laugh* ::horns::

Speaking of those “look who I voted for!” tweets – you notice how they have spaces in them? Yeah, Heidi & I theorized that it’s because they don’t want it to show up as a hashtag (hashtags don’t have spaces), because then it would essentially count as voting twice – go vote on the website, then click the “share my vote on Twitter” button and it would spit out another hashtag that would essentially count as a second vote. Some of you also noticed that the press release listed all the hashtags with spaces in them – this is WRONG and if you’re copying it, you’re wasting your time. The lovably dorky IT guy in my office explained it to me like this: the # symbol basically tells Twitter “read everything to the right of this with no spaces”. The minute you put a space in, you’re cutting off the hashtag – so instead of voting #DWTSMerylVal, Twitter is only reading it as #DWTSMeryl which doesn’t fit the pattern and won’t count towards anything. Sorry kids :-) Listen to the Berge – not the pion typing up the press release with no idea how hashtags work. ;-)

Other things I’m seeing people doing wrong? Voting for eliminated pros or pros that aren’t even on this season. Sorry, but I don’t see TPTB bringing Karina back to dance with Charlie while a pro that is still in the competition has to sit out during switch week. I realize that she was still available to vote for on the ABC site last night after the east coast airing wrapped, but I’m guessing that was to avoid spoiling the results of the show for the west coasters who may have logged on. She has since been removed as an option on the site, so I doubt she’s fair game as a legitimate choice for the partner switch. Ditto for pros who aren’t even on this season – you may be trying to send a message to TPTB by tweeting #DWTSMerylTristan all day long, but if they’re only monitoring hashtags of legitimate possibilities for the switch up, then they probably won’t see it, anyway. While I would love to see Karina dancing with Charlie (and she was in the lead in tweets pairing her with Charlie, prior to her being eliminated) or see Tristan back on the show in any capacity this season – it just ain’t gonna happen. Tweet however you want – but just don’t get your hopes up.

Also noticed that voting for same-sex pairings has been rendered impossible on the site, so I guess #DWTSJamesDerek is a no-go. Sorry to the 3 people that tweeted that one…yeah, none of the same sex pairings really had much traction to begin with.

Now onto the actual voting – I’m actually a bit surprised that there hasn’t been more traffic. Even the three hashtags with the most traffic haven’t even broken the 5K mark yet – can’t tell if Keyhole just isn’t picking up on everything (doubtful), or if people just aren’t really on board with this Twitter voting thing. Heidi & I both noticed that they seemed to very quickly and vaguely gloss over it on the show last night, and it wasn’t exactly clear when the voting actually started, so people may not have really understood what they had to do and when they had to do it. There’s also the fact that it lasts for AN ENTIRE WEEK, so maybe the sense of urgency to vote just isn’t there…and then there’s the fact that people may have just decided to use the website. Who knows – there’s still 5 days left to vote, so there’s plenty of time for those numbers to grow.

There’s already some clear frontrunners on a few of the pairings, and I’m finding those three to be pretty predictable. There’s also some pairings that are getting little to no traffic, and one or two pros that aren’t getting tweeted about much – my guess is that the voting is not going to perfectly match everyone up (especially since fans of some of the pros are all going after the same two celeb partners – I’m sure you can guess who), so there’s going to be a pro or two that ends up with “whatever’s left” after all of the other couples are matched up based on votes. This could result in some rather interesting pairings. And keep in mind, too, that assuming there’s an elimination on Monday night – the partnerships could get totally messed up if someone that was leading in votes for a certain partner were to suddenly be eliminated. The balance of power could shift in a heartbeat. Sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it? :-)

Also worth noting: the competition for the female celebs is much tighter than it is for the male celebs. While I think the female celeb-male pro partnerships have (to some degree) already been decided, the door seems wide open for the male celeb-female pro partnerships. Should be interesting to see if the tides turn at all on those.

So there’s your “24 hours later” snapshot of what’s going on with the Twitter voting. What do you guys think so far? Do you have any initial predictions to who might get paired up? Still confused by the Twitter voting? You can check out this post and this post. Tell us what you think! :-)