PureDWTS Season 18, Week 7 – POLL: Who’s Got the Edge in the Team Dances?

My first team dance post was getting a bit lengthy…so I decided to carry on the discussion here :-) I thought I’d take a look at several factors that may affect the outcome of the team dances – things that may affect scores and overall success on each of the teams.  Join me, won’t you? :-) And be sure to vote in the poll at the bottom!

Just as a reminder, the teams are:

Team Loca: Meryl & Maks, Danica & Val, Amy & Derek, Candace & Mark

Team Vida: Charlie & Sharna, James & Peta, NeNe & Tony

 

Pro Team Dance Experience:

Derek: 10 wins, 0 ties, 0 losses; average team dance score: 27.65
Mark: 2 wins, 2 losses, 1 tie; average team dance score: 24.6
Peta: 2 wins, 2 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 27
Maks: 2 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie; average team dance score: 25.5
Sharna: 1 win, 0 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 25
Tony: 1 win, 3 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 25.38
Val: 0 wins, 3 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 25.33

The writing is kinda on the wall with this one – Derek wins team dances, so he’s a real asset if he’s on your team.  Peta may not have as many wins, but the teams she’s been on have pulled in high enough scores that her average team dance score is pretty high.  Mark’s average team dance score may be a bit artificially low – it was hard to account for the 4th judges’ score in season 12, so I just removed it – that ended up throwing things off a bit.

Who’s got the edge: Team Loca

Number of couples:

Team Loca: 4 couples
Team Vida: 3 couples

We only have two precedents for this one – season 9 and season 14, and there are pros and cons for both.  In season 9, Team Paso had 4 couples and Team Tango had 3; Team Tango beat Team Paso by 4 points, with Louis citing that having fewer couples was easier because there were “fewer egos” and it’s easier to get a smaller number of couples in synch.  In season 14, Team Tango had 4 couples while Team Paso had 3 – Team Tango beat Team Paso by 1 point, and Derek said that having more couples allowed them to “create more cool patterns on the floor”.  From what I’ve heard from Deep Throat so far, both teams are looking great – but it seems like Team Vida might be having an easier time with the synchronized group sections.

Who’s got the edge: Team Vida

Dance Style:

This gets a bit tricky, as the team dances are freestyles once more and obviously, none of the current celebs have any experience with the freestyle yet.  So which pros have experience with the freestyle?

Derek: 7 individual freestyles; 2 team freestyles
Mark: 5 individual freestyles; 0 team freestyles
Maks: 4 individual freestyles; 1 team freestyle
Tony: 3 individual freestyles; 2 team freestyles
Val: 2 individual freestyles; 2 team freestyles
Peta: 1 individual freestyle; 2 team freestyles
Sharna: 0 individual freestyles; 0 team freestyles

Even if they haven’t necessarily WON with every single freestyle they’ve done, I think it’s good for every pro to at least have some experience with the freestyle – and Team Loca has Team Vida beat in that respect.

Who’s got the edge: Team Loca

Music:

Team Loca: “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin
Team Vida: “The Cup of Life (La Copa de la Vida)” by Ricky Martin

This one is rather subjective, as it’s just a matter of opinion who got the “better” song.  “Livin’ La Vida Loca” has been used once before, as Kendra & Louis’ samba in season 12; “The Cup of Life” has been used twice before – once as Melissa & Tony’s salsa in season 8, once as Maria & Derek’s salsa in season 14.  Both songs are conducive to both a samba and a salsa beat; there are also certain sections of each that might work with paso doble & cha-cha.  Personally, I think all of Ricky Martin’s stuff kinda starts to sound the same after awhile – so I don’t really think either one is better than the other.

Who’s got the edge: TIE

Average individual score:

Team Loca: 25.63
Team Vida: 25.11

This is kinda reaching, but since everyone on the same team gets the same score, it might be worthwhile to look at what their average individual score is as a team.  Not a vast difference between them – I would not be surprised if whoever won this team dance won it by only 1 point.

Who’s got the edge: Slight edge to Team Loca…but not by much

COURT’S OVERALL THOUGHTS: On paper, everything seems to be stacked in Team Loca’s favor: they’ve got great choreographers, great dancers, and are getting along well.  Apparently Val is even refreshed at how good it feels to work as a team :-) But I just can’t shake the feeling that Team Loca is being set up to lose – seems like a lot of emphasis is being placed on the fact that Derek has NEVER lost, and according to our sources, Team Vida is looking really good.  We’re also at the point in the season where any potential dark horses (namely James, and to a lesser degree, Charlie) could have a bit of a growth arc and surge into the lead.  Gotta love storyboarding.  If they aren’t deliberately setting Team Loca up to lose, I would imagine the teams are going to be very, very close in score.

So what are your thoughts? Who do you think has the edge…and who do you think will actually end up winning?