Dancing with the Stars Season 18, Week 4 – Dancing by the Numbers!

Okay, after being out of town for a few days, I finally got to watch the whole show. My thoughts…in a bullet list. :-)

  • Geez, all that brouhaha over Julianne’s comments and that was it?? She qualified the crap out of it and said she loves Maks but…. Really, I was expecting harsher, after all the discussion here.
  • Candace was TOTALLY hosed. And I mean totally. That was a very good dance and Tony did a good job with it. WTF is going on here?? Is she being sacrificed on the Meryl alter?
  • Candace’s dance was about a thousand times better than Danica’s, thanks to Maks. Is he EVER going to stop putting all that non-dancing in his choreo? About time he was called on it.
  • LOVED Drew’s dance – Witney got it just right. I’m liking this girl a lot.
  • Cody is still pretty loosey goosey, but he did pretty well. I think his scores were right on target.
  • My favorite thing about Charlie?  “giggle giggle…Let’s Rumba.”  Crack me up. :-) He doesn’t take himself too seriously. I’ve said several times that I think he got hosed – it could definitely have been more rumba-y, but there was more content than Meryl’s foxtrot. The producers definitely have a plan in mind.
  • The whole time I was watching Meryl’s dance all I could think of was that she was KILLING it with Maks’ brother. LOL. Will we ever see her dance that incredibly again? I have my doubts. And Court, did you notice that Maks mentioned their mother after Val’s dance? LOL.
  • Val, don’t try to use big words. Working at showing intelligence backfires when you make up words. Just BE. Insecure people need to use big words to sound smart. Oh…
  • I’ve had my issues with Mark in the past, but THIS is why I wanted Amy with him. He took care of her, listened to her, talked to Derek. He took the challenge and the dance very seriously. The dance seemed a bit small, but I don’t think there’s any way to avoid that. Listening to some of the recent interviews with Amy, it’s clear that she’s making being a double amputee look far easier than it actually is. The balance and the core strength needed for her to dance away from Mark or Derek is just incredible. She’s an incredible woman. And more of an athlete than anyone else on the show. No one has ever danced this well with this sort of challenge. Hell, no one’s danced with a challenge like this, period.
  • Totally bummed that the band screwed NeNe…I’m very curious to see the complete dance. Two big band screw ups in one night? Fire them. Jesus, it’s kind of important that you get the music right. In any case, she handled it like a champ. I could see Derek yelling “Just go! Just go!” And she did. I am just bummed that we didn’t get to see the dance in its original form.
  • James. Yum.  He’s really good and he’s not even a ringer. I think this guy is a contender…I just hope like hell he’s getting the votes and isn’t getting lost in the Meryl/Charlie hype.
  • Macy’s Stars of Dance? Holy god. That was almost too much for me. Katherine is a beast and all that man flesh was amazing.  Derek’s best shot for an Emmy nomination so far this cycle, I’m thinking.

Okay, on with the show. The scoring is seriously annoying me. I think they are underscoring some (Charlie, Candace) in order to protect another (Meryl) – and they are over scoring Meryl as well. Neither is particularly horrific – but the combo puts Meryl WAY out in front of everyone else and I have to ask – what are they afraid of?? Is she not getting the votes? Are you seriously going to try to tell me that Candace was a whole 18 points below Meryl?? *18*??  And how in the hell are Drew and NeNe both doing better than her in the combined score?? Worse yet, are you going to claim that Charlie is, in fact, NINE points below Meryl?? What is going on here? Don’t get me wrong, both of Meryl’s dances were beautiful, especially the AT. But Charlie got hosed for a non-rumba, while Meryl was praised for a non-foxtrot. And honestly, to me, Charlie’s rumba was more rumba than Meryl’s foxtrot was a foxtrot.  This is one big huge storyboard. I fully expect that Charlie will be back in first place either this week or next. But Candace?? Are they sacrificing her or is she killing it in votes so they are trying to engineer a shocking elimination of someone else? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. We are certainly in the right place for a shocking elimination.

But first, a little re-examination of what two weeks worth of points does. Take a look at Week 3’s scores:

Table 1

You’ll see that Drew and NeNe are both below Candace in terms of points. But, very little has to be done for both Drew and NeNe to be safe. See below:

Table 2

In this situation, with only 1 weeks worth of scores, I’m guessing NeNe would have been gone. Drew needed only 3300 more votes per million votes cast in order to pass her, and she would have needed the same amount to pass Candace. I think Drew could do it easily and NeNe couldn’t. I think Candace is more well known and loved than NeNe is, as is Drew – I don’t know that she could muster the votes to stay over either of them. Now, NeNe had a good dance with Derek in week 4, and Drew’s dance was great as well….but so was Candace’s. So how in the hell does this happen (see below)?

Table 3

Candace is now in last place by three whole points? I’m sorry, but at worst she should be tied with NeNe and Drew. Not that they were overscored, but that Candace was underscored by at least that much this week.  What in the hell is the deal here? How did she get all 7s?? I guess when we see who actually goes home, we’ll have a better idea of what they were trying to accomplish. Maybe.

Anyway, what does Candace need to be safe this week? See below.

Table 4

Now, Candace needs nearly 5k votes per million votes cast to stay over either Drew or NeNe. Luckily for her, the large number of points handed out narrowed the margin. If she was three points below Drew and NeNe with only one set of scores she would have needed more like 13k votes per million votes cast. But still. Do I think Candace can do it? I think maybe she can get those votes to get past NeNe. It all depends on Derek fans. They SHOULD have voted for Amy, knowing the switch was only for one week, but some of them can’t help themselves when it comes to voting for Derek.  If they only threw a third of their votes to NeNe, Candace could be history.   I would be worried about Amy because of this, but looking at what NeNe, Candace and Drew need to get for Amy to be eliminated, I’m not too worried.

For that matter, you can see just from the table above that Meryl is VERY safe. I would say the same about James, but I’m just not sure of his fanbase.  And really, I’m not sure of Cody’s either.

But I jump ahead. We’ve talked about what Candace needs, but what do NeNe and Drew need to be safe, besides Candace not getting those 5k votes? They each need to get 5k votes more than Cody or 8.2k more votes than Danica. I don’t see it happening with Cody just yet. He may not be getting the votes we think he is, but I bet he’s doing well enough for neither NeNe nor Drew to knock him out of the competition.

I can’t imagine them getting the votes to get past Cody, but how well is Danica doing? For a big ole ringer, she’s kinda fading into the woodwork and I think Candace wins the nostalgia vote. What do Candace, NeNe and Drew all need for Danica to be eliminated? Candace needs more than 13k votes, but NeNe and Drew both need nearly 9k votes. For Danica to be eliminated, ALL THREE would have to get those kinda votes and while Drew and Candace might be able to do it, I don’t really see NeNe managing it. But I reflect on those Derek fans again. Hmmmm….nah. Surely not.

Sidebar: Look at Table 4 above and Table 5 below and see all the vote margins.

Table 5

Note how they’re all relatively small margins in the grand scheme of things. These kinds of margins lead to shocking eliminations. With the exception of Candace, the majority of margins are below 10k, in some cases WELL below 10k.  That’s not many votes, and if we’re off just a little on the size of  the various fanbases, then we could be in for a surprise come Monday night.  Now, look at the margin between Meryl and EVERYONE else – then look at it compared to all the other margins. So, are the producers worried about something?? Sure looks like it. I mean, she was great and all, but not that much greater than everyone else. I don’t remember a disparity this large in week 5. I went back and looked at Season 14 and the top 2 (Katherine and William) were tied and the next two (Donald and Maria) were tied with each other and were only two points down from the leaders. This season, Meryl is 7 points ahead of the next person and is all alone at the top. In season 16, the top four were all within three points of each other in week 4. Is Meryl REALLY that far ahead of Charlie and James??  Or is this a case of the dances, the switch up?  I guess we’ll find out when she dances Samba and Charlie dances Jazz while James tackles Contemporary.  For that matter, Amy is doing a waltz as Cinderella with Derek as Prince Charming. I sense a potential leaderboard shake up. Depending on how the dances look, we should have a better idea if this is simple storyboarding or if Meryl is being sheltered.

Anyway, I think that Meryl, Charlie and James are safe. Cody and Amy are LIKELY safe.  Cody I’m uncertain about but for this week, I think he’s good.

Danica is an unknown. Because Candace needs more than 13k votes per million votes cast to pass Danica, I figure Danica is PROBABLY safe.  Which leaves Candace, NeNe and Drew in the bottom three. I think Drew is safe. He’s endearing and his dance with Witney was charming as hell. So….

I think it comes down to NeNe and Candace and NeNe goes home. The opposite of that is my second choice.

What say you??