Dancing with the Stars Season 18, Week 6 – Dancing by the Numbers!

Well, it’s Candace’s time in the hot seat, with Drew leaving us last week. Lucky for her, her road isn’t nearly as rough as Drew’s was.  Who’s going to be eliminated it a bit more up in the air.

Meryl, of course, is still pretty insulated at the top of the leader board – she did a great dance and she shouldn’t have any problems this week. Even though there are risks being pretty consistently at the top too. Four out of six weeks, Meryl has been at the top of the leaderboard – sometimes it has been earned and other times – not so much. Thing is, she’s been up there all by herself most of the time when I feel like others have danced just as well (Charlie), with harder choreography. So, the question is – how much complacency is in her fanbase?? I’m sure Maks’ fans are anything but complacent at this point – but the pros fanbase won’t get you the win. Obviously.

There are five weeks of dancing left – I doubt they will start underscoring Meryl, but the question is, will they start giving Charlie the scores he deserves? If they are going to do that, it’s time for them to start the growth arc. If they are determined for Meryl to win…they won’t start scoring Charlie appropriately. I’m quite curious to see what happens. I called Charlie for the win before the season even started – but my prediction kinda hinges on him getting scored appropriately. He sure hasn’t been until now. If Meryl were dancing with Derek, I’m certain she would probably win. I don’t think it’s a sure thing with Maks. I still think Charlie has a real shot.

Another big question I have – why is NeNe getting so much love from the judges?? For all the whining and complaining I see about Amy and her scores, girlfriend can seriously dance AND Derek is giving her actual dances that resemble (strongly) the style they’re supposed to be. Some people still want her marked down for some reason (I have theories, fear being a large component). But the same cannot be said for NeNe.  NeNe is putting on good performances (most of the time) but her dances have only been in the stated style about half the time – yet no one has said a word, she’s getting 9s and people bitch about Amy. It’s rather mind boggling.  I hate to break it to you folks who are scared of Amy and Derek – when NeNe is getting high scores, it’s MORE likely that your favorite will go home in a shocking elimination. There is not a huge spread between the dancers when EVERYONE is doing pretty well, score wise. Some of you focus on Amy – you should be worried as much or MORE about NeNe.  There is a method to their madness, after all. A reason why she’s getting good scores. You better hope they wise up fast. If she’s hitting some metric of popularity which results in overscoring so she sticks around – she’s the one you should be scared of.  See Leah Remini staying longer than Christina and Liz. Same thing – over scoring of Leah put her in easy striking distance of Liz.  Combine the likely-very-popular Candace at the bottom with the overscored NeNe above her…well, it could get interesting.

I think next week will be the week of the “shocking” elimination though – these team dances have the potential to really screw things up.  We’ll see. But I skip ahead.  Let’s take a look at this weeks scores:

Week 6 Table 1

Once again, four points between Meryl and Charlie – I don’t get it.  If not for the bobble in the middle, Amy would have been tied with Meryl, I’m sure. That was a killer jive – but Charlie’s dance was also excellent. I’ve rewatched it and I don’t get why he’s four points down from Meryl…or even two points down from Amy. It mystifies me. I wonder if Meryl getting more dramatic dances, which Charlie’s have largely been lighter in mood is what has been giving her an edge over him.  If it’s dark and dramatic is must be much harder than the lighter dance that Charlie makes look easy??  I dunno, I just hope this is the week that it starts going in the other direction.

Anyway, Candace is at the bottom and has been the last one called safe twice now – this is not a good sign, as you know if you read my “Jeopardy Theory” post from a few weeks back.  A lot of the time, if you are the last one to be called safe, your days are number. Cody was in jeopardy back in week two and he’s now gone – can Candace be long for the DWTS world?  Let’s take a look at what she needs.

Week 6 Table 2

This will be a real test of her popularity, as she only needs about 3,600 more votes per million votes cast to hang in there over NeNe. That is NOT a lot. Not at all. She’s fortunate that NeNe only got one 9 this past week – Candace has a real shot.

But what else could happen?? Well, if Candace is getting more votes than NeNe, is she also getting more votes than James? We saw what happened with Cody – are James’ fans similarly bad at voting? Candace only needs 10.6k votes per million votes cast to drop James in the bottom two with NeNe. If Candace is called safe early, be worried for James. Be really worried for James, because as you can see, NeNe only needs about 7,100 votes per million votes cast for James to go home while NeNe and Candace are both safe. Yikes.

For James to be safe, he needs for Candace to NOT get the 10,600 votes per million votes cast and he needs NeNe to NOT get the 7,100 votes per million votes cast. It’s really important that one of the above not happen, because James doesn’t have much shelter by those above him. He only needs roughly 3,500 votes to pass either Danica or Charlie – he might be getting the votes to beat Danica, but I doubt very much that he is getting the votes to beat Charlie.

If James is getting the votes to beat Danica, that likely means that she would be in the bottom three with Candace and NeNe  because I doubt that she is getting the votes to beat either Amy (7k) or Meryl (14k). Since it’s very possible that James is beating Danica, putting her in that hypothetical bottom three, that means that it’s likely either Candace or NeNe is going home because they need too many votes (I think) to get past her. Candace would have to get more than 14,000 votes per million votes cast, and NeNe would have to get more than 10k votes per million votes cast.  I think that Danica and Candace have similar fanbases which means Candace wouldn’t be able to make up the difference. This makes NeNe the wild card.

Based on all my hypotheses above, I think it comes down to Candace and NeNe.  Who stays and who goes? It’s a toss up.  I’ve said NeNe the last two weeks, although Drew was my second choice last week.  Because NeNe has never been in jeopardy and Candace has, I’m going to guess that Candace’s time has run out. NeNe would be my second choice with James as a distant third.  I have no real idea how Meryl, Charlie and Amy are doing in terms of votes, but I’m guessing they are safe, this week at least.

Finally….I saw several people questioning whether they would use the eliminated person’s scores in the calculating of who goes home. I think they do, because the points were handed out – so they would use them. But in case you were wondering what impact it would have if those points weren’t used, the ranking is obviously the same, the margins just get a bit wider. See below and compare to table two.  It widens the margin by 500 votes at the lower end, and by a little more than 2,000 votes at the upper end. Not a huge deal, for those at the bottom of the leader board.

Week 6 Table 3