You know, this series is WAY easier when there are only three couples left. :-) Well, easier to write, not necessarily easier to predict.
Surprisingly, the judges didn’t really make it easier at all. With Hines and Chelsea tied, and Kirstie only 5 points back, it’s a horse race between Chelsea and Kirstie for second place. In my opinion. :-) You guys will be arguing for weeks over whether Kirstie was overscored, or underscored – same for Chelsea and Hines – but I actually didn’t have too much trouble with the scoring. I think Chelsea’s freestyle was over scored by 3 points or so – that just wasn’t good. Sorry, Kanenballers. Kirstie? I loved her freestyle just for what it was at this point in HER life. The woman is nearly FORTY years older than Chelsea. I would bet that 40 years is more than most of us here have in actual age. :-) Just amazing. And that’s one of the odd things about this show. You pit a 60 year old actress against a 23 year old actress and a 30-something athlete and you expect comparable dancing or fair?? Come on, now. It’s just not going to work. Surprisingly, the most “fair” finale I can remember is when it was Evan, Nicole and Erin – all about the same age and fitness level, and all three had experiences that benefited them going into the show.
Anyway, as I’ve said ad nauseum, I don’t have a problem with the judges ranking them – they’re entitled to do that, when they’re not on crack. They’ve ranked for the last two seasons now. Hell, they SHOULD rank the contestants – that’s like, their JOB. There is no way that all of them dance equally well. But that begs the question….how do you rank when the contestants are so vastly different?? Sure, Chelsea is (usually) technically better (don’t think that was true at all last night), but HINES is a true performer AND a decent dancer. He gets done dancing and I CLAP. I am entertained. Who’s to say that’s less important than technique? Besides Kanenballers. :-) I think at the end of the day, I probably would have done what they did, although perhaps I would have given Kirstie a couple tens – she’s 60 and she’s competing, after all. So, barring some over scoring of Chelsea and a bit of underscoring of Kirstie, I got no problems. Of course, I recognize also that with this group the over and under scoring probably won’t make a difference. I could be wrong. :-)
At the close of Monday night’s show, this is where we ended up:
The Judges Scores and Percentages
As you can see, a 5 point judges score spread translates to a 2.91 percent spread. That in turn means what? Well, for Kirstie to take second over Chelsea, she needs 29,070 more votes per million votes cast – after these two dances, anyway. It’s difficult to say, but I think that’s doable. Right at this moment, in order to WIN, Kirstie needs that many more votes that BOTH Hines and Chelsea. Not impossible, I don’t think, but difficult to beat Hines. Hines, of course, only needs ONE more vote than Chelsea to win and he needs Kirstie not to get that 29k more than him. That’s how he wins. Right now. :-)
But that’s not the end of the story. The one remaining question that seems to be rolling around out there is this: does the 3rd and final dance happen before or AFTER someone is eliminated?? No idea. If they ALL do their favorite dance and score them about the same as they did last night, it has virtually no impact. If they give Hines and Chelsea each a 30, and then give Kirstie a 27, they only increase the number of votes she needs to almost 31k – less than 2 thousand per one million votes. Chump change, actually. I’m thinking 2k votes for Kirstie isn’t that hard, but what about the initial 29k?? That is less clear. I think she can do it – she seems to have a tremendous amount of support. In order to win the show at that point, Kirstie would have to get that number of votes more that BOTH Hines and Chelsea.
What about Hines? Well, right now (and if he scores the same as Chelsea tonight), he only needs ONE more vote per million votes cast to beat Chelsea and take first place, provided that Kirstie doesn’t blow both of them out of the water.
What happens if the judges rank them like they have in the past? Well, let’s say they give Chelsea the 30, Hines a 28 and Kirstie a 26. That would mean that Kirstie needs the following to WIN:
– She would need about 35,200 more votes per million votes cast to beat Chelsea, AND;
– She would need about 27,400 more votes per million votes cast to beat Hines.
In the above scoring scenario, what does Hines need to WIN the show?? He needs BOTH of the following to happen:
– He would need about 7,900 more votes per million votes cast than Chelsea, AND;
– He needs for Kirstie to NOT get 27,400 more votes per million votes cast than him.
As you can see, we’re dealing in pretty big numbers here EXCEPT for what it takes for Hines to beat Chelsea or Chelsea to beat Hines. Could be ONE vote, could be 8k. If all three of them dance their favorite dance, and it shakes out similar to how it did last night, I see Hines winning. As for who will take 2nd and 3rd – I have NO idea. I am very tempted to say that Kirstie will beat Chelsea, but that is a good number of votes. By having fewer dances this season, they actually inflate the spread a bit – that nearly 30k is going to be tough. I will be really interested in the outcome, for sure.
Scenario number TWO is the one where they eliminate one of the couples (3rd place) and THEN have the remaining two dance their favorite dance. For the sake of argument, first we’ll hypothesize that Kirstie takes 3rd and doesn’t dance again. Let’s also say that they give Chelsea a 30 and Hines a 28. For Hines to WIN in this scenario he needs 8,700 more votes per million votes cast than Chelsea. See, eliminating Kirsties 26 points means a lower overall total which translates to a slightly bigger spread and more votes for Hines. But not a huge number by any stretch. I would be shocked if he doesn’t win in this scenario.
Frankly, I’ll be very shocked if Chelsea wins in any of these scenarios, but it’s always possible that we over estimate Hines’ fanbase and the Steeler Nation. I sure hope someone told them how to vote. But I would also wager that he has the overall “independent” vote – which I think is far and away the larger voting block. I think if Hines somehow ends up in third place, that is Chelsea’s best chance at winning because Kirstie would still have to make up anywhere from 29k to 35k.
More interesting is what happens if, in Scenario Two, Kirstie beats Chelsea and Chelsea lands in 3rd place. That would mean that Kirstie got 35,200 more votes per million cast than Chelsea did – a very large number. If she can get that many more than Chelsea, can she beat Hines?? And that should be the question on everyone’s mind if Scenario Number 2 goes down. I’m going to wager that this is Hines’ game to lose.
Only a few more hours till we find out! :-)