DWTS Season 28, The Semi-Final: DANCING BY THE NUMBERS

I decided that this week would be a good one for a numbers post, mainly due to all the claims of “James was obviously a fan favorite” and other related, somewhat silly commentary. Well, that and I had just a tiny bit of spare time. 😊

Look, I loved James and not just because he’s hot. Well, largely because he’s hot. He’s really grown into his own face. Dude is hot and is a pretty good dancer. Best dancer ever on DWTS? Of course not. But that’s not a requirement to win the competition, believe it or not. The only requirement to win the show is that you have the highest combined score. Period. Now, of course, for a show that really IS a dance competition, having someone like Bobby Bones win is just ridiculous. But it’s not *unfair*. Just ridiculous. Like Bobby himself. Ridiculous. And very off putting to the general audience.

What’s more annoying than his win (and James’ elimination, and every other good dancer eliminated too soon) is the judges’ absolute refusal to ADMIT THEIR ROLE IN HIS WIN. They are culpable and they refuse to own it – in their minds they are infallible, it’s all on the viewers. As I tell readers of this website every season (prior to this one), the viewers don’t have the ultimate say. They just don’t. They have 50% of it.  The winner, or person eliminated, is based on the combined total of the judges scores and viewer votes.  Fifty-fifty.  That means, REGARDLESS, that the viewers are not in total control. Even if the judges give everyone the same score, thereby giving more weight to the audience, the judges still make the decision to give everyone the same freakin’ score. I do wish the pros (looking at you, Cheryl Burke) would stop parroting this nonsense of “you’ve got to vote if you want someone to be safe!!”  Well, DUH. But why put all the blame on the viewers when the judges have 50% of the decision?? ESPECIALLY this season?? This season, they actually OVERRULED the audience when they eliminated someone who had never been in the bottom two before, over someone who had been there three times.  So stop freakin’ saying “you’ve got to vote.” That’s bullshit. And it’s never been more bullshittier than this season.

I’m getting riled up! 😊  Anyway, I loved all the contestants except one this season, hate the judges more than ever and feel basically ambivalent when it comes to the finale. I’ll be good with anyone winning except Gleb. He has done basically nothing to deserve a win, IMO.  When I think about what Derek could have done with Lauren. Ugh. What Derek could have done with Hannah!! Ugh. I think Derek could have calmed Hannah down better and would have been tough but more mature than Alan. And Lauren would deserve a win if partnered with him or Mark, as would Hannah. It’s moments like this when the show really reveals how important Derek and Mark were to this show. Pasha is a great addition, and the ladies typically do very well (even Jenna – but I know I’m rather alone in my Jenna appreciation) but man – the men, particularly Gleb, need some help.  Really Gleb needs to get over himself. He ain’t handsome enough to overcome bland, boring, pointless choreography with a side of arrogance.

But I digress!  The numbers…here’s where the leaderboard stood at the end of last Monday night:

Dancer 1st Dance 2nd Dance Total % of total points awarded
James 24.00 27.00 51.00 18.55%
Hannah 27.00 27.00 54.00 19.64%
Lauren 27.00 27.00 54.00 19.64%
Ally 29.00 30.00 59.00 21.45%
Kel 27.00 30.00 57.00 20.73%
Total Points Awarded 275.00


Now, when you objectively look at the contestants in that table – and I feel like I can be somewhat objective because, while I like Hannah, I’m not invested in any one person winning – there is no way on EARTH there should EVER be 8 points between James and Ally. Even on an off night, Ally is not that far ahead of James. Think about it – you only have to underscore James by two or three points and overscore Ally by two or three points and instead of a 2 to 4 point differential, you have 8. Ridiculous. On top of that, Lauren is not three points ahead of James on his worst day – frankly, I think she was over scored on her first dance.

As a result of their scoring – YES, Cheryl, the SCORING – you have these numbers:

As you can see, this certainly implies that James was NOT the fan favorite that I saw a bunch of people exclaiming in the comments.  If he were the fan favorite, the 11k votes he needed to get by either Hannah or Lauren would not be that big of a deal – particularly Lauren who had been in the bottom two before. Maybe he was the fan favorite, but you can’t say that for sure. At a 30k differential between him and Ally, he may have actually been the low man on the totem pole, lower than Ally. Because that’s not hard to believe when few people are voting.

But here’s the problem with the judges saving Ally over him: the WHOLE POINT of the new scoring system was to prevent the undeserving from being eliminated too soon. And, sorry Harmonizers, that was Ally’s third appearance in the bottom two. Part of being undeserving is when it’s obvious you aren’t getting the votes. That’s half the equation, remember? The audience was clearly not voting for her, but the judges decided that, after over scoring her for two or three weeks, she actually deserved to be saved over James. They bought their own hype which, a couple weeks before, seemed obviously designed to prevent her early elimination against S___. So not only did they over inflate her vote totals, they over ruled the audience for a THIRD time. They really should put a limit on the judges as well. If you fall into the bottom two twice, the third time you have to go.

For those of you who have no ability to appreciate nuance, I’ll add right here that I don’t hate Ally. I don’t even dislike Ally. I’m not even mildly annoyed by Ally. On the contrary, I like her a lot and thing she’s a good dancer. The only thing that bugged me about Ally was her lip liner and that’s not such a big thing. 😊 I’m always more annoyed by other fans and the judges. Like focusing on Hannah’s emotions and completely ignoring that Ally was begging for points and whining about being in the bottom like All the time – to quote Courtney “Len doesn’t like black people!” Kel had a story. Ally? No. Even Hannah had a story. But then, I don’t hold that against Ally – it’s the fans that drive me nuts.

Ack, the judge/fan silliness make me digress again. Anyway, the bigger story than James falling into the bottom two is Ally. As you can see, the following things all had to happen for her to land in the bottom two:

  • Kel had to get approximately 7,300 more votes per million vote cast than Ally, AND;
  • Hannah AND Lauren each had to get 18,200 more vote per million votes cast than Ally.

Hannah and Lauren had to get a decent number of votes to be safe over Ally – in the old days this wasn’t a huge number, but it’s fairly sizeable now. And she didn’t do it. What happened to all those Harmonizers?  James had it a bit tougher than that. For him to avoid the bottom two, he needed the following:

  • James needed to get roughly 11k more votes per million votes cast than EITHER Hannah or Lauren. Not both, just one. OR,
  • James needed to get roughly 21,900 more votes per million votes cast than Kel.

Obviously, he did neither of those things. But still – judges. In this day and age, eight points is massive. The judges should know better but asking them to do math is probably too much.

So, what will happen on Monday? Hose Hannah, Kel and Lauren and over score Ally?? Or will they give everyone the same score and throw it to the audience for real? Or will they just hose Hannah for daring to dash their showmance hopes?? Three of the four pros in the finale have never won before – does that spell doom for Kel?? Who the hell knows?? The judges are on crack half the time.

I tend to think that it will come down to Kel and Hannah. If they throw it to the audience, I’m thinking Hannah will get it. If they low ball her or anyone else, that person is very unlikely to win. HOWEVER, if they overscore Ally, I don’t think she’ll win. I think it goes to either Hannah or Kel, whoever is ahead in points.

Does that make sense?