DWTS Season 29, Week 9 – Dancing by the Numbers

I don’t usually do these posts these days because it’s kinda moot with the same day voting/elimination thing. Since they dance, get judges scores, get votes and get eliminated all in one episode, there’s no good way to predict for the coming week. UNTIL you get weeks where the high scorer finds himself in the bottom two and the lowest person on the leader board has yet to see the bottom two…that deserves a bit of discussion. 🙂

In the olden days of DWTS when it was being watched by 20 million people every week and lots of people were voting…it was a much different story than today, when fewer people are watching and voting. There’s not a whole lot of room for error if only thousands of people are voting, compared to millions in the past. And if few people are voting, the outcome is much more likely to be swayed by a sudden surge of panicked voting when someone lands in the bottom. Which explains Skai and Johnny. The other problem is the ability to give ten votes for multiple people – STOP IT. If Johnny or Skai or anyone else is your absolute favorite, than that’s who you have to vote for. Let’s use me as an example. This past Monday I voted for BOTH Nelly and Johnny. By doing that I contributed to Johnny’s total votes, sure…but I also contributed to Nelly being able to over come the margins of the people ahead of him and be safe. Likely at Johnny’s expense. that’s how it works. Nelly needed about 5k more votes per million votes cast than AJ to be safe. Well, if I were giving ten votes to Nelly and ten votes to AJ, I may as well have not voted at all, see? The ten votes for AJ cancel out the ten votes for Nelly. Voting for two people cancels out the votes for the lower scored person – you’re not helping…unless you’re two favorites are both the high scorers AND high vote getters. And you have no way of knowing the latter, only for former. It’s dangerous. I get that it’s hard to wrap the brain around this for some. You’ll have to trust me when I say – only vote for your absolute favorite, or that person could easily go home.

Anyway, here’s all the numbers in one easy table. Hopefully.

Dancer Comparisons % Difference Votes needed
Nelly vs. AJ 0.52% 5,181
Nelly vs. Justina 1.04% 10,363
Nelly vs. Skai/Nev 2.59% 25,907
Nelly vs. Johnny/Kaitlyn 3.11% 31,088
AJ vs. Justina 0.52% 5,181
AJ vs. Skai/Nev 2.07% 20,725
Aj vs. Johnny/Kaitlyn 2.59% 25,907
Justina vs. Skai/Nev 1.55% 15,544
Justina vs. Johnny/Kaitlyn 2.07% 20,725
Skai/Nev vs. Johnny/Kaitlyn 0.52% 5,181

Now, from the above table, it’s very easy to see how Nelly beat AJ. That’s a fairly small number of votes that Nelly needed to beat him. But Johnny?? That’s a lot of votes. And Johnny was safe last week. I think the easiest explanation is that voters are very casual these days and are not doing a lot of same day viewing. As a result, the results can be kinda wild. Easy for that to happen when not many are voting. But I do think that Nelly is getting a good number of votes in addition to Johnny struggling…he’s been low man on the totem pole the past couple weeks and he’s always safe.

I personally think the judges should just score the dances without trying to keep Nelly in the bottom. They also need to stop low balling the first dancer. It’s inexplicable and it’s stupid. Do they realize that the first dancer being the low scorer is extremely consistent? What’s the point of it? How does Justina get a 24, only a point ahead of AJ and tied with Nelly – two far lesser dancers? Crazy. And it’s going to cost them a very good dancer if they keep doing it. Possibly two good dancers, this week.

I also saw a lot of people whining about the judges saving Johnny again. Well, not only is Johnny the better dancer, but what makes you people so sure that AJ wasn’t the lowest combined score? You think the judges don’t know? I bet they do. Yes, Nelly had to get 31k votes to get past Johnny, but AJ had to get 26k. I wouldn’t be so sure of that.

When you look at the above chart, the following is what I see:

  • Kaitlyn only needed one more vote per million votes cast to be safe over Johnny, and;
  • Skai and Nev only needed 5,190 more votes per million votes cast to be safe over Johnny.

That’s nearly half the cast that could easily be safe over Johnny with few votes. Now, I don’t think Nev or Kaitlyn are going anywhere, but Skai should be scared.  Five thousand votes is like a rounding error. 🙂  What else?

  • Justina needed 21k more votes per million votes cast than Johnny, and;
  • AJ needed 26k more votes per million votes cast than Johnny, and;
  • Nelly needed 31k more votes per million votes cast than Johnny.

Clearly Justina and Nelly are doing quite a bit better in the vote department than Johnny is because they weren’t in the bottom two.  So I would say they are relatively safe next week as long as they don’t totally crash relative to everyone else.  It’s possible that Nelly could, but if I were Johnny and Skai, I would be sweating it big time. For that matter, we can’t be positive about the rest of them, only fairly sure.

But based on the above, I’m guessing that Johnny and Skai go home in the double.  Nelly could finally run out of time and one of the two of Johnny and Skai could be safe. We’ll have to wait and see. It’s wild and wacky when half the audience could be watching the next day on their TiVo.