PureDWTS 18, Week 2 Partner Switch Twitter Voting: Is It “Rigged?” Part III *12 Hours Left to Vote*

So for those of you who had the “2.5 weeks” slot in the “How Far Into This Season Can Maks Last Without Saying Something Douchebaggy?” poll, congrats – you win the satisfaction of knowing that some people never change.  :-) He dropped this gem on Saturday, probably not realizing what a slap in the face it was to every other male pro whose name is not Chmerkovskiy – and really, the use of the word “trust”? What do you think they’re gonna do, Maks? Steal her social security number? What he fails to realize is that Meryl trusted Derek before she ever met either of those Chmercocky brothers – and he’d probably be the one pro that you could count on to make sure Meryl made it through to the next week so that she could be reunited with you, Maks.  But go ahead, please – keep throwing more fuel into the karma cloud already forming above you this season.  :-)

Anywho – I apologize for not dropping an update on you guys as I promised on Friday, but I got so wrapped up in closing out Q1 at work and then packing and heading down to Louisville ComiCon that I just ran out of time.  No joke – I was in my PJ’s in my hotel room on Friday night, ready to sit down and write it up, when my lovely roomies came barging in with Manu Bennett (Slade from the tv series Arrow), Scott Wilson (Herschel from The Walking Dead), and Jon Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead) in tow, ready to do some Fireball shots.  Needless to say, I got a bit distracted.  :-P That didn’t last long, though, because Heidi brought a rather disturbing observation to my attention on Saturday: whether TPTB intended it or not, this partner switch voting has been rigged in the Chmerkovskiy brother’s favor the whole time.  Why, you ask? Because they’re counting tweets containing both Val & Valentin, and Maks & Maksim.  While that may not seem like a huge deal, it does when you take into account that you can put both #DWTSMerylVal and #DWTSMerylValentin into a tweet and have it count as two votes, while putting #DWTSMerylDerek into a tweet twice will likely get it marked as spam.  So potentially, every tweet that contains both variations of the Chmerkovskiy brothers’ names counts twice as much as a tweet with Derek’s name.  Wish you all could see the chagrined face I’m making.  I can’t decide whether or not it was done intentionally or whether TPTB are really and truly that stupid…I would say both are equally plausible.  The problem is, we realized this too late, and there’s really no way for us to know just how much the two-name variation is affecting the hashtag tweeting.  Heidi & I have an idea of how to normalize our data a bit, but it ain’t gonna be foolproof.  But we already knew this whole partner switch was a clusterf*ck :-P

With about 12 hours to go in the voting (on the east coast – I think it’s 15 on the west coast), there are some tight races going on and some not-so-tight races going on – I would say that Amy’s partner has pretty much been determined, and Charlie’s as well; Meryl is currently been fought over by fans of two different pros; and the rest of them? Nobody seems to care.  :-P No, really – compared to the volume of tweets I’m seeing for Meryl, it’s as if the fans are going “Meh, whatever…they’ll get who they get!” to the rest of the couplings.  And as I mentioned in the comments of my previous update post – if you’re using the same hashtag multiple times in the same tweet, it’s likely getting marked as spam; therefore, you’re better off doing a whole laundry list of couple switch hashtags in one tweet (i.e. “#DWTSMerylDerek #DWTSAmyMark #DWTSCharlieCheryl #DWTSBillyDeeSharna) than repeating the same one multiple times.  Remember: you’re not only voting FOR your favorite pro to get a certain celeb (or vice-versa); you’ll also want to try and prevent another pro from getting your celeb (and vice-versa) by voting to pair them with someone else.  That’s why I think those doing the multiple different hashtags in 1 tweet method are likely having more of an effect on the voting than those putting all of their eggs in one basket  and only voting for one pairing.

And speaking of putting all their eggs in one basket: I think some fans are running the risk of leaving their pro to get “whatever’s leftover after everyone else has been paired” because they’re throwing all of their energy into one possible pairing which they have a very slim chance of actually getting.  Might not hurt to start tweeting out hashtags for your 2nd & 3rd choices, kids – otherwise, don’t be surprised if a pro that you thought had a lot of clout ends up with NeNe.  :-)

Random interesting fact, courtesy of the awesomeness that is Keyhole: there are fans voting in the partner switch-up from as far away as Slovenia, Madagascar, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Algeria, Nigeria, & Peru.  That’s pretty powerful, guys – when fans that can’t even watch the show live are tweeting to vote in the partner switch, you know it’s kind of a big deal.

Voting ends at 11:59 PM EST (Ithink), kids – so let’s finish strong and push those hashtags hard this afternoon & evening.  I will try to stay up until  midnight and see if I can put out a preliminary “partner-switch predictions” post, but I can’t make any guarantees – needless to say, I’m a bit sleep-deprived after my weekend in Louisville.  For those of you curious about some of my antics – @putuincespence on Instagram.  That’s all I’m gonna say.  :-P