DWTS Season 27, Week ONE – Dancing by the Numbers Retrospective

Okay, so I’ve been in Italy. And before that I was tied up with World of Dance and a heavy work load. But now I’m ready for DWTS. 🙂

Of course, before I can talk about the numbers, I have to actually watch the show.  Here are a few of my thoughts as I watched Night ONE:

  1. Who are all these people in the opening number? Don’t get me wrong – it was a good opening number, but I didn’t recognize ANYONE mainly because there were TOO MANY people.
  2. Brandon and Tinashe make a very gorgeous couple.
  3. Why do they have both lapel mics and desk mics on the judges?? Is it really necessary that we hear them that well when so much of what they say is utter BS?
  4. Milo is cuuuuute. But dang, Disney?? We have to have Disney every season?  Good dancer though!!
  5. Hold the fucking phone: Mary Lou gets a *7* from Len and Milo gets a 6?? Are we going to start the bullshit so soon??  And don’t get me started on Evanna. Len has always been the designated field leveler, but I don’t recall it being this obvious this soon.  Gotta keep the Disney kid and the Potter kid down and make this thing a competition.  There was NOTHING in Evanna’s dance that said 5. That is just unbelievable.
  6. Robert Roldan….::::SWOOOOONNNN::::  I luf him.
  7. Some of these contestants opening sound more scripted than usual.
  8. Sharna is the first pro to pull in the troupe this season…and possibly the first pro to NEED the troupe. Love the Nashville background though.
  9. Cheryl Burke looks amazing and it’s good to have her back in the ballroom.
  10. Nikki is pretty funny….but so completely unknown.
  11. Alexis dances better than most models….but we won’t find out until week 2 or 3 if she’s more Brooke Burke or Joanna Krupa.
  12. Very good first outing for Brandon.
  13. Demarcus Ware is HOT. And he may well win this season.

As I’ve said many times, the first week of dancing is generally indicative of nothing in terms of who the good dancers are, because they’ve had weeks to work on one dance as opposed to having four days to work on a dance. But I think our contenders are Milo, Demarcus, Tinashe and possibly Evanna.  I almost forgot Juan Pablo – also great.  Now for Night TWO:

  1. It strikes me that Val is actually SMILING instead of smirking or trying to look sultry – it’s a good look on him. Thanks, Jenna.
  2. Tinashe seems very down to earth and cool. Digging Brandon too.
  3. I feel like I recognize most of the mini-pros from SYTYCD….but little tiny JJ is my favorite.
  4. Totally bummed Nikki got eliminated….I think she’s hilarious.
  5. I suspect that next week they will do the full jeopardy thing at one time – the way they’re doing it now is fun, but it’s taking a really long time. I have missed the BTS clips though.
  6. Okay, the kids just killed me with cuteness.
  7. Is it just me or were the pros just kinda pissed when it was announced that another couple would be called safe? Can’t say as I blame them.
  8. The fourth time the mini-pros are pulled on stage…well, we’re just desperate at this point aren’t we?
  9. No one wants to see Len’s bum, do we?
  10. Note to Val – yellow is a good color on almost no one. Just sayin’.
  11. Closer to Wonderful is a horrible song. Sorry.

I’ve been seeing some commentary about people not liking the set up for the voting/elimination – not sure why, unless you’re a total newbie to this show. This is the way it was for a great majority of the seasons – scores and viewer votes are combined and the lowest combined total person is eliminated the next night.  Pissed about the extra dancing and the live voting? Well, so what? You ought to know by now that adding more points only helps the low scorers by decreasing the margins. And honestly, if you make an appearance in the bottom 6 (just like the bottom two before it), your fan base may well rally to make sure you’re safe the following week.  The danger is more for those not dancing on night 2 – less camera time is never a good thing when an audience vote is involved.

Interesting note: At least three of the bottom six got no Erin time on Monday night, John included. Anyway, the only person in the bottom six that surprises me is John, but even then it’s not a huge surprise. All the bottom six have scores in the teens, except Alexis…and she is so completely unknown that it’s not surprising. We’ve been saying for years that internet popularity means nothing on DWTS and this just reinforces that. Only Derek can make an internet personality (Bethany) last for a while. Now, lots of people were shocked that Joe, with 14 points, was safe. Not me. Bachelor Nation has shown it’s power before and Joe is LOVED by Bachelor Nation – he’s just so different from the usual morons that go on that show. As for his “I’m gonna quit” talk – give me a break. He was smiling when he said it and those feelings are not unusual in his situation. He’s not used to this sort of thing.

Anyway, as always, it’s not just that Joe got tons of votes, but that the people below him DIDN’T get votes.  Combine that with a lot of people all grouped together, scores in the teens, AND the lower number of viewers voting and you’re going to get interesting results. That likely explains John, in any case. Mary Lou? I’ve seen a whole lot of commentary on how she handled the sexual assault in the gymnastics world and it’s not a good look on her and it could well have damaged her in terms of the fans who would normally vote for her.  Nancy is another tv icon – but her initial scores were in the teens.  Basically, you had people in 20’s and people in the teens – the people in the teens were the ones in the bottom. Your exceptions were Joe, as discussed, Evanna (hello, Harry Potter) and Alexis who is completely unknown.  I just don’t see many surprises here.

But let’s take a look at how Joe managed to be in 7th place or higher with a score of 14.

Joe needed less than 12k more votes per million votes cast to get past Nikki. Since he’s fresh out of the Bachelor franchise and she’s a complete unknown, this is  a piece of cake.  Nancy, John and Danelle were four points above him on the leader board which equates to  just under 16k votes per million votes cast. These are relatively small numbers, especially considering that Joe was literally on TV two weeks ago declaring his love for whatshername. As iconic as Nancy and John may be from their respective TV shows, Joe is more recent.  You’ll also note that Evanna is not down with the rest of them despite Len’s bashing of her perfectly lovely dance. It will be really interesting to see what Evanna does going forward. If she will hang with the really good dancers, or if she’ll fall by the wayside sooner rather than later.  Potterheads are still being fed a regular diet of that universe so they’ve not lost their zeal, is my guess.

Do I need to go on? Nikki was eliminated, sad to say.  There wasn’t enough time for her to gain traction with the audience and I also think that Gleb is rather a non-starter with the American TV audience. Not sure why that is, but for as good looking as he is, he doesn’t do a thing for me. He doesn’t have the choreographic chops of some of the other men either.  When you add in the second round of scores, Nikki has the lowest combined score. Combine that with her unknown status and she didn’t really stand a chance.  Alexis, the other unknown in the bottom, was way ahead of her in points and the other ladies have more solid fanbases or a truly compelling story (Danelle).  She would have needed more than 5k more votes per million votes cast to get past Danelle, assuming I’m using all the same numbers as they are for the calculation.  She would have needed ten times that to beat Alexis, because Alexis was so far ahead in points.

There is a good bit of canon fodder this season, although no one truly sucks…yet. Week one doesn’t really count when it comes to measuring how well someone dances. I think your dancers are going to be Tinashe, DeMarcus, Juan Pablo and maybe Milo, with some of the underdogs rising….perhaps Evanna and Alexis. And then there’s everyone else. John and Bobby may stick for a while, for different reasons. I think that John has potential, is handsome and is right square in the voting demo for this show. Bobby is just an interesting character – he’ll either catch fire with the audience or they will tire of him very quickly. Hard to say.

So, who are your favorites? I’m loving DeMarcus right now, along with Evanna, Alexis, Tinashe (for the whole “whoo hoo” I’m going to kick myself right off the stairs thing) and Cheryl….I mean Juan Pablo. 😉