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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)

I have been an ardent fan of DWTS for the last few years, but the results of last night's show has brought into question the entire show's credibility. A great deal of the craziness that infected the recent national elections seems to be reflected in the voting for DWTS. There has to be an element of embarassment for Bristol Palin when someone who has exhibited the extraordinary dancing skill that Brandy possesses is eliminated from the show. The ultimate embarrassment will come to her if she should win it all. My knee jerk reaction is to declare that I will never watch the show again. I have calmed myself and declared last night's results a disgusting aberration and hope that the producers of DWTS would create an algorithm that would not allow a repeat of last night's results. I will watch the program one more time. If Bristol goes on to win, and I suspect she might, then I will join that group of former DWTS fans. It was a travesty that Giles Marini lost, but that was not the insult to my psyche that last night inflicted.

If people voted for Bristol because she is a teenage mom, then please change this show to "dancing with teenage moms". If people voted for Bristol because of her mom, then please invite her mother over instead of Bristol. This show is about dancing, not because of the 'famous' mom. And one more thing I do not understand is why Bristol is called star? Has she achieved anyting, so we can call her a STAR? I do not hate her personally. But I just want to make sure people who voted clearly understand what this show is about!!

I must admit the sadness my heart felt when Brandy and Maks was voted off. I have wrote a letter to ABC expressing my mind. I personally think that this season is about ratings and politics. Bristol is not a famous person while Brandy on the other hand is famous and achieve her fame on her own. The truth of the matter is that Bristol is riding on her mother's fame. But I must also admit that I am hoping that she win because this show will be no more. So you tea baggers and Republican keep up the good work.

If the judges, who are professionals, had a 60% weight in the voting, this travesty would not have happened. I watch to see the beauty of the dancing, the choreographer's work and the execution of the work. Maks and Brandy
were worthy of being there to the very last week.

So much for being objective, dancing wasn't voted on. It was something entirely different.

I am so proud of Bristol Palin, as well as her mother, Sarah. In case any of the liberals posting weren't watching, a couple weeks ago us conservatives took over 60 seats in the U.S. House, as well as around 600 new seats in state governments around the country. We sent a message then, and we're sending a message now, that we're tired of liberal politics, and we're tired of liberal based shows, and we want to see people like Bristol when we turn on our TV. Yes, she made an unwise choice before she got married, but she owned up to it and is bringing up her child without government assistance! DWTS is about the only show left these days that isn't centered on who's having sex with whom. All the conservatives I know plan to keep watching - we'll keep the ratings up, there's LOTS of us!

In the past, DWTS contestants were on the show because of thier achivements and NOT THEIR MOTHER, or someone else.

There is not doubt that the votes Bristol received were generated by her
mother, Sara Palin's popularity. Is that fair? NO

If Bristor wins, DWTS will become DWPP, Dancing with Popular People.
Bristol is NOT a STAR.

The time for a bathroom break is when Bristol Palin is dancing.

The show is called "Dancing With The Stars". Bristol Palin had no business being on the show in the first place! She is a nobody! She is only on there because ABC has an agenda. Bad dancing and bad attitude! Votes are obviously padded. Tom Delay should have never been either! Politics have no place on this show! Im not watching any more!

1 She is not a star
2 If she danced every day for eons, she would never reach Brandy's talent.
3 This explanation is hog wash. The show use to be about stars and dancing. Not that anyone might care, I did not watch last night because I knew what was going to happen. Wrap it up and ship it out.

Get the vote out..what is this an election????
I thought it was about dancing. Well duh. Silly me.

what do u expect when people vote against things that benefit their own family. How do u expect for "THEM" tea party to vote for the right dance couple. How is this fair? And what can the tea party do for this country but damage. Not what's right, what we should examine is what damage can they do if they vote this manner. And what message are they sending to single ladies who have babies without husbands. I guess we all should be millionaire. Boycott the program is the best message the right people in this country should do. I am sorry, but what kind of star is she and why did they select her in the first place. What did she do to be a star besides having a baby. Oh most women can do this star action. please.

This was my first season watching DWTS. I will NOT waste my time watching another episode. I am appalled at the fact that Brandy was booted and Bristol is still there! You have got to be kidding me!! Brandy has beautiful lines, elegance, showmanship. Bristol has ........


I have watched DWTS for years and this is the first time I have ever voted...and it is always for Bristol!! What a treat to watch a teenager take on all of the Divas and continue advancing!! Maks said it best when he and Brandy were voted off the show...He moved to America so people could vote!! That is what is making it fun...the people's choice is clearly Bristol....I do not know a single viewer that I knew who liked BrandY!! Also I have seen on past shows that the "people's" choice has won and certainly not the best dancer!! It is all fun and games people...lighten up.....ck

People get a grip. If this were just a dancing contest you would be watching a PBS channel. I agree that Brandy was good. But this is not the first time the best dancers have not gone to the finals. The big deal is that Bristol is Sarah Palins daughter(a Tea Party Conservative). I think Nancy Pelosi should represent the Dem. next session.

I am adding my name to the long list of people who won't watch this show any longer. I have been a passionate fan of this show from the beginning and have disagreed with some of the voters in the past but not like what happened this season. Bristol should have been voted off before Florence Henderson! She lacks passion, technique, expression, etc. How becoming pregnant as a teenager makes one a "star", I'll never know. This is how to fall out of the number one spot in a drastic way!

Brandy was soooooo boring.

After last night I was very dissaointed with the "vote " situation
Have you considered leaving 25% public votes and 75% judges votes?
This way the results would more fair because the judges are the one who should have more ibfluence in electing the best dancer.
This is a " dance competition " not a " popular competition "

Boycott, boycott, boycott - "you betch wink-wink" Wake up country. Because we are in a downward place - people are mad as hell. Be there is a new day and soon, very soon eyes will open. Hopefully the damage this party is doing can be repaired. Yes they are sending a message but what kind. To keep a person in place who can not dance is crazy. How do you make people millionare by just be selecting to run for an office a person who sees money who quit her job for it. I guess we can all do the same thing by just being selected? Wake up. What do u expect when people vote against things that benefit their own family. How do u expect for "THEM" tea party to vote for the right dance couple. How is this fair? Ladies just have babies without husbands and you too can have plenty of money

Never again will I watch the show. Is is ruined for me. I was a faithful fan until the Palin syndrome... Brandy deserved to be in the finals.....

I will no longer support Dancing with the Stars, Brandi should be in the finals not the 2 left feet Bristol Palin,
she would have problems dancing out a wet paper sack. She is such a boring dancer I am just in shock that she "beat out"Brandi......
Where's Kanye West when you need him? Too bad he wasn't in the audience!

I agree that this is a country where the voting system prevails, but not in a "dance competition " where the judges should determine who is the best dancer.
It should be Judges 75% and People 25%
Incredible that Bristol won over Brandy, no way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

The show is called "Dancing with the Stars". Clearly, Bristol is NOT a star!!! Her so-called stardom is merely by her mother's affliation. I fault the network because they knew Bristol Palin would spark controversy and earn high ratings with tea party supporters. It is really sad when "no talent" is rewarded. I guess this speaks to our democracy. I wish Kyle & Jennifer the best of luck in the finals as this was the last straw that broke the camel's back for me.

And to the individual that spoke about Brandy's crying during her departure, Bristol has cryed each week while she was last on the leader board. This season is truly a joke.

Brandy lost it herself. Unfortunatley her competative edge came across very negatively and Max's tiff with the judge was a real turn off. She is a great talent but personalty will often carry talent.

I was a faithful fan of Dancing with the Stars until last night. Brandy is a much better dancer than Bristol Palin. They should apologize to Brandy and bring her back. The show will lose alot of fans if they don't

Maybe DWTS shouldn't have reminded viewers Monday night that Brandy killed a young mother of 2. Combined with Maks sucky attitude this season (seriously, is this guy going through male menopause early in life or what, his attitude has never been as bad as this year), Brandy's cockyness to win the Mirror Ball, gave viewers a lot of reasons not to vote for her, even if she is good dancer. After Monday nights dance competition, I was on my computer and glanced to see what was trending on yahoo. Bristol Palin was #3 and Jennifer, Kyle and Brandy's names were no where in sight. And I thought to myself, this is a sign she's gonna go to the finals. Sure enough, it happened.

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