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Dancing with the Stars: The Jeopardy Theory

Every season, readers get very confused by the concepts of “bottom two” versus “jeopardy”. If you don’t listen carefully to what Tom and Brooke (now Erin) say, it’s easy to get confused. If a couple is in the bottom two, it means that they, along with the eliminated couple, had the lowest combined score. The combined score is determined by viewer votes and judges scores. The formula is relatively simple: they take a couple’s score and divide it by the total points handed out on a given night to get their share of the judges scores. They do the same with the viewer votes; they divide a couple’s number of votes by the total number of votes cast and come up with their share of the votes. They then add the two numbers together; the couple with the lowest combined total is then sent home.  You can see many examples of this in my series of posts called “Dancing by the Numbers”.

When the show is airing, there are two ways of getting to an elimination, by putting three couples in jeopardy (oh, the drama) and then saving one, and then one of the remaining two goes home. And then there is the straight up identification of the “bottom two” couples. Tom will say “the bottom two” if this is the case. If neither Tom nor Brooke (now Erin) says “these are the bottom two” then we don’t actually know if the two people standing at the end are really the low combined score getters. There are multiple reasons why they like do this. The main reason, of course, is DRAMA. How they love their drama. They like to make the show exciting and if the low scorer was immediately sent home every week, what fun would that be? This past week, you’ll note that Tom and Erin made it clear that Cody and Witney were “not necessarily” the bottom two.

The question that is asked every season is: does “jeopardy” (aka, being the last couple called safe) have any real meaning for the couples put there??  The answer is yes, of course. The problem is determining what that meaning is at the time. That is very difficult to do, although we’ve gotten pretty good at figuring it out every season.  You always have to remember a few key things:

  • The producers want to keep the show exciting, and jeopardy is a part of that;
  • The producers often have a reason why they want to keep a particular couple around longer and motivating fan bases to vote harder can be accomplished by “jeopardy” if they think the votes are too low;
  • Drama, drama, drama!! How exciting is it when the high scorer of the night is standing next to the low scorer of the night and you don’t know who’s going to survive – and the producers fool you into thinking that the low person is for sure going home…and then they don’t?

Yeah, I don’t think it’s really that exciting at this point in the show’s history, but I’ve long said that the producers have lost touch with their audience. :-)

Now, since I’m the biggest nerd of a blogger on this site, I wondered if there was any kind of pattern to the “jeopardy” and the subsequent eliminations. So I made tables of seasons 11 through 17 to try and figure it out. Hindsight is 20/20 – but it can inform how you watch the show going forward.  The answer, as you may have guessed, is that yes there is something of a pattern. Sometimes. And it’s an easy one to see when you’re looking back – but still impossible to be sure of when you’re watching the show in real time. :-) That is unlikely to change. Read more..

March 26, 2014 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

PureDWTS Guest Blog: “Amy Purdy’s Story Is Truly One To Be Awed By”

A freelance blogger named Elizabeth Eckhart sent us a guest blog on Amy Purdy!! Amy’s personal story is compelling to say the least as many of us have commented and as Elizabeth told us privately when she reached out to us, “I think she’s a pretty impressive role model for anyone”. That she is! More below in this touching piece…

Amy Purdy, one of the most promising new contestants on Dancing with the Stars and the shows first double amputee, lost her legs when she was 19 after a near deadly bout of bacterial meningitis. To say she hasn’t let that stop her is an understatement. In fact, Amy’s challenges may have been what fueled her, giving her the motivation to compete not only as a pro-snowboarder, but also to participate in The Amazing Race, purse acting and modeling, create a non-profit, and now, of course compete on Dancing with the Stars!

Amy’s story is truly one to be awed by. As a young girl, she first started boarding at 14, and immediately became obsessed with the sport. Amy told Nightline, “I tried snowboarding at 14 and I absolutely fell in love with it. “I snowboarded every day off I had, every weekend I had off of school, every holiday we had off from school, and it became a huge part of my life, not just what I love to do, but really just kind of who I was.”

One can only imagine then, the horror that followed at age 19, when out of the blue Amy contracted meningitis. She recalls waking up only feeling weak, but within 24 hours found herself in the hospital on full life support. Meningitis attacks the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord through the bloodstream, so even before Amy’s legs were amputated, doctors had to first fix her lungs, both of which had collapsed. “If somebody would’ve told me that I was going to lose my legs at the age of 19, I would’ve thought there’s absolutely no way I’d be able to handle that,” said Amy. “But then it happened and I realized that there’s so much more to live for, that my life isn’t about my legs.”

After the amputations she wanted to get immediately back into boarding, but discovered that as of yet there were no prosthetics that worked with a snowboard. Her doctor and her decided to put their heads together in order to create an entirely new foot that would work on the board. A year after her amputation, she was back on the competitive circuit. Today, Purdy is a world champion with three World Cup gold medals in adaptive snowboarding and just won a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi.

AmyPurdyParalympics
Pic Courtesy of Zimbio Pictures

By 2005, though, Purdy was ready to do more than just get herself back on the board, and decided to co-found the non-profit company Adaptive Action Sports with boyfriend Daniel Gale. Her goal was to offer fellow physically-challenged people an opportunity to learn or relearn how to snowboard the same way she had. Amy’s purpose wasn’t only to garner attention for the sport of adaptive snowboarding, but also to aid in the recovery process for those who lost limbs. Regarding the non-profit, Amy says “They see that we’re not just able-bodied saying ‘it’s going to be okay’… they see that it’s going to be okay.”

Amy not only created a non-profit, she also spreads her motivational word by publicly speaking for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and her highly-acclaimed TED talk focuses on the idea that the only factor stopping individuals from accomplishing something is their own mental block.

Many have pointed out that in regards to DWTS, Amy has little to no disadvantage. She’s a pro on her prosthetics, and is an athlete in tip-top shape to boot! As she showed viewers last week, she’s not one to be overlooked after she landed a score of 24 out of 30, and brought the studio audience to their feet. According to Twitterverse data crunched by the social media analysis tool Viral Heat, there is a high chance Purdy’s fans will take her to the end, even.  An impressive 82% of tweets about Amy include positive support for her in the contest, and even Time.com is pulling for the snowboarder:

I, for one, would love to see such a positive role model make it to the end!

AmyPurdyDerekHough

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Dancing With The Stars Witney Carson And Jenna Johnson Dancing At Age 9

Aviva sent us this little gem last night and it’s just so cute!! It’s no wonder Witney Carson And Jenna Johnson became the dancers that they are now. And is that Lindsey Arnold with the camera?

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Arsenio Hall On Billy Dee Williams: “I Love Me Some Billy Dee”, DWTS Homage

Last night, Arsenio Hall did a Dancing With The Stars skit tribute to Billy Dee Williams on his show. Check this out. Too fun!!

ETA: Jimmy Fallon did a spot on Billy Dee too…

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Afterbuzz With Elena Grinenko Review DWTS Season 18 Week 2

Below is Afterbuzz with a new review for Dancing With The Stars Season 8 Week 2. Elena Grinenko joins them this time. It’s interesting getting her perspective on Charlie and Meryl especially being she’s helped them with choreography with their ice skating in the past. I loved how they were speechless at first when they started talking on Amy and Derek. Their conversation about Tony being critical with Carrie Ann was interesting too. Same with their thoughts about Sean being eliminated. They were disappointed like many of us. Anna said watching Sean’s progress with Karina could have been like watching a raw stone turning into a diamond. So true. Great show this week and I love Kristyn’s dress. :D Let us know what you think and if you agree with them…

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.