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Brandy vs. Bristol: How does elimination work on 'Dancing With the Stars'?

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas on DWTS How did singer Brandy get booted from "Dancing With the Stars" after pulling a perfect score for one of her dances with Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Monday night? And how did Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas survive another week despite coming in last with the judges more often than not?

Allow the Ministry to show you the math.

According to the "DWTS" website, couples are ranked by a combination of two scores -- the percentage of total judges' points they are awarded plus the percentage of viewer votes they get. The pair with the lowest combined total goes home.

(OK, this really is math. Hang in there.)

On Monday, Brandy and Maks earned a total of 57 points for their two dances, with 53 for Bristol and Mark, 58 for Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer, and a perfect 60 for Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough. That's a total of 228 points handed out by the judges, leaving the couples ranked as follows, before viewer voting was done: Jennifer/Derek, 26.3%; Kyle/Lacey, 25.4%; Brandy/Maks, 25%; and Bristol/Mark, 23.2%.

Brandy on Dancing With the Stars So while in raw numbers Brandy and Maks were a full four points higher than Bristol and Mark in the judging, and separated by 3.6 points -- 51.8% to 48.2% -- when compared head to head, there was a difference of only 1.8 points between the two couple in the context of the entire field. And that was only half the battle.

If the audience votes had broken evenly, with each couple getting 25% of the vote, that order would have held, with each team having 25 points added to their total. But Bristol and Mark really didn't have that much to make up -- obviously getting at least 1.9% more of the popular vote than the eliminated twosome. And viewers, who theoretically vote for their favorites via phone, text message and online, must be motivated to give their support, not lulled into complacency or put off.

Seriously, who's more likely to spark an energetic fan reaction -- Brandy or Bristol?

"We consistently have had Bristol at the bottom or the bottom two and the viewers bring her back, and it's because they want to see her dance again," judge Len Goodman said after Monday night's show.

"In this case, you cross the finish line first and somebody barely finishes, and you get a tie because they showed heart," Chmerkovskiy said on "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "It's kind of difficult for me to deal with."

Moral of the story? If you get out the vote, there's no reason to shoot your TV.


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-- Christie D'Zurilla


Top photo: Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas face the "Dancing With the Stars" judges on Monday. Credit: Adam Larkey / ABC/Reuters

Bottom photo: Brandy reheases for "DWTS" on Sept. 15. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press


Comments () | Archives (149)

What a flawed system. This is a DANCING contest and the judges scores should count more than the fan votes, which is a popularity contest. These stars work their butts off and the best dancers deserve to move on. Bristol Palin has certainly represented herself well and can be proud of what she has achieved but she should have been gone about 3 weeks ago based on her dancing.

I think dwts are about to lose a lot of their ratings.It was a travesty that Maks and Brandi got booted off.When politics enter something like dwts,then I think it's time for the producers to sit back and evaluate what is happening.If Bristol Palin win this season,I and a lot of other people will stop watching dwts.It's a wonderful program but politics is ruining it just as it does everything else.The ratings keeps dwts going and if they drop,so will the program.

I won't be watching this show anymore... Too much of this is based on a popularity contest and not on talent.

bristol sucks with dancing

I'm sure we all know why Bristol is still on this show, it is because of her mother. Other than that she has NO dancin skills. But yet, she still remains on the show. There have been others that have danced with PERFTECT SCORES, SO WHY IS SHE STILL ON IT. hmmmmmmm need I say more.

this is a joke. Don't be surprise if Bristol wins!! Too much politics involved and it is going to ruin DWTS!!!!

DWTS deserves being dropped permanently. Politics has no place involving competition based on ability. Is this nation now doomed to becoming one that relies on unadulterated cheap sleazy criteria for rating competitive activities?

I won't be watching either. Bristol sucks as a dancer and should have been eliminated weeks ago but considering who her mother is and who Sarah Palin paid off, most likely Bristol will win. The show is supposed to be about talent, having fun and watching all our favorite dancers etc. When politics and payoffs get involved you lose interest in the viewers.

If she goes up against Jennifer Grey in the finals and wins I will NEVER again watch DWTS. Can you say BRIBE!

Bristol may suck at dancing but she has heart and is not a cry baby like Brandy was a lot of the time. That says a lot. Plus from start to finish I would have to say Bristol improved more than Brandy did. Just saying. And if your daughter or son was on dancing with the stars wouldn't you round up every friend you have on facebook and convince them to vote...most likely!

Brandy turned a lot of people off with her attitude talking about the car accident victim, and how she, Brandy, lost record sales over it. I mean, come on, really, a woman is lying dead in her grave, her babies are motherless, and Brandy the multi-millionaire is going on about selling records? That's why folks weren't voting for Brandy.

Brandy lost because many tea partiers are connected to white supremacist groups-hate and racism is their message. Sad to permeate a fun show with their poison.

I will never watch this show again...it's all about politics in this case and not talent.

Dancing With The Stars was always a favourite show of mine, but I can't believe that Bristol got in over Brandy. The judges scores should have a lot more power than they do. Its a lot like when Billy Ray kept staying week after week when he wasn't getting any better. Its come to the point where I can't even really watch anymore because its a popularity contest. While Bristol is a much better dancer than Billy Ray ever was and she has improved, her dancing is no where near Brandy's. If Bristol wins, this will be the last season I watch.

Politics my foot...I vote for Bristol cuz she is me....2 left feet working as hard as she can every week..And keeps on every week getting better...taking the feedback from the judges and learning.....I also vote for Kyle cuz he makes me smile the other 2 just dont...Brandy is so plastic and Jennifer is a whiny has been....I would love to see Bristol and Kyle in the dance off I would have to split my votes..

How is it possible that anyone could think that Sarah is a better dancer than Brandy. There is a real need for a new type of system that will prevent this from happening AGAIN.

without the voters there would be no show. so hanks for not watching anymore haters

Clearly the judging is not fair, and even a little shady. I cant believe Bristol lasted more than 2-3 weeks, and Brandy is a real PRO.

Where's Kanye West when you need him? Too bad he wasn't in the audience!

I have never posted a comment to any issue on the web before; however, this travesty cannot go unattended. While Bristol Palin has improved dramatically over the course of the season, she by no means is deserving of being in the top three contenders on the basis of dancing ability. This is clearly a case of coat tailing pure and simple. The producers should consider a rule change, placing more emphasis on the judging results, and less on the viewing audience. As mentioned by others, if Ms. Palin wins this DANCING competition, I will no longer watch this program.

Does being a pregnant teenager make you a "celebrity" in the US? That's the only reason I can think of that anyone knows the name Paline besides her mother who is a few bricks short of a full load anyway.

After the fiasco with Leachman on DWTS , who made an embarrassing fool out of herself , now this..time to check into NetFlix.

This was the worst viewer selection of all the seasons I have watched. DWTS is going to lose a lot of viewers if they don't adjust the scoring somehow to keep this type of thing from happening again. I have nothing against Bristol but let's face it... she can't hold a candle to Brandy as far as the dancing went.

what happened to being advanced for TALENT, something Palin does not have. Talk about a balant misuse of votes. I have always said the Tea Party sucks, now it's been proven. This shows the public should not be allowed to vote. They have no clue as to who has talent and who doesn't, Brandy should never have been voted off, it should have gone down to the wire between her and Jennifer.

I for one will never watch this program again if Palin isn't voted off next week.

Dancing with the Stars has ended up this season to be a fiasco. How outrageous to have someone with absolutely no talent, personality, etc. win over talented performers. As far as the judges were concerned it was a disgrace for their partiality also. When politics enter TV competitions as they have w/dwts it's time to read a good book. I will no longer be a part of Dancing with the Stars.

I was not able to vote online during the prescribed time because your website would not accept my votes. I am disgusted that Palin was chosen and not Brandi. I will no longer watch Dancing with the Stars unless Brandi is back in the competition. It breaks my heart to write this because I have enjoyed this program for so many seasons.

How dare the judges state Brandy did not win because we did not vote.

Judging from Brandy's lack of air time, as compared to the others, and the co-hosts lack of interest in asking Brandy questions during the past few shows; it was obvious to me that your selection process is biased. It was also obvious that she was being set up to be voted off. SHAME ON YOU ABC!!!!

Not only did you lose Brandy, you are losing me and all of my friends as viewers. Dancing with the Stars is now a big joke.

Palin has no technique, charisma, talent or skill. Her dances were so watered down, she was boring. How much fabric did they use to hide her flawed movements? It was obvious that her partner was doing all of the work. Her dancing skills may have improved as an individual, but compared to your Judges comments to previous contestants about scoring, (especially after they sustained injuries) they obviously judged Palin on some type of curve. (Did they add a handicap to her score?)

I am a dancer and I don't care how hard she thinks she practices Palin still has no technique, skill, talent or charisma. Again, her partner works extremely hard to make her simple and less than mundane movements appear somewhat decent. Did her mother use what little clout she has to keep Palin on the show as some type of PRIME TIME THERAPY? That is the only conclusion I could reach because I could not figure out why you allowed us to suffer through her boring movements every week. If anything all your show did was create a monster, who now thinks her little bit of effort (compared to someone honestly learning to dance) makes better than Brandy.

You should have told Brandy towards the middle of the season that no matter how hard she practiced she was going to be a sacrificial lamb. I have a feeling that Maks figured that out prior to the last three to five episodes.

And to say she represents a certain population of America?! Well, I will give it to her mothers PR people, they are very creative.

Palin has no business in the finals. DANCING WITH THE STARS IS NOW A BIG JOKE.

Palin earned more votes then Brandi? PLEASE!!!!! Come to think of it, IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE SINCE I COULD NOT GET THROUGH ON LINE and HAD PROBLEMS WITH THE PHONE CALLS I MADE. Things that make you go MuMMMm

!!!!!! SHAME ON YOU ABC !!!!!!

Veda Brown-Chambers

I was shocked when Bristol and Mark booted Brandy and Maks off the show. I think the whole state of Alaska is voting for Bristol because I don't see any other reason why she should still be on the show, much less in the finals!

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