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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 strongly believe that from the beginning, Sarah Palin moblized her Tea Party to vote for Bristol. When Palin is involved, everything becomes political and serves her in her quest for popularity in vue of the next presidential elections. Bristol should've been booted in the second or third session of DWTS.
By the way - iin wich way is she a Star, to begin with?

1. Bristol is not a "Star" why was she even asked to be on DWTS?

2. The judges early in the season gave her pass after pass for her lack of talent. Why were they so lenient?

3. When I tried texting my vote for Brandi and Maks it was returned saying that it was invalid because Cheryl and her partner were no longer competing.....makes you say hmmmmmm .... this was nothing other than about "RATINGS" which = $$$$$$$$$$$ for ABC. They've lost a viewer for this show forever.

This DWTS incident may affect the Presidential elections two years from now more than we realize. It is our American duty and right to vote. Clearly Brandy is much better dancer than Bristol. Bristol had to come the furthest and I credit her for that. Brandy was just absolutely stunning. Yet, the rules are the same for everyone. Half for the judges points and half voting. Brandy fans didn't vote! No one including Bristol is ever going to say Bristol is a better dancer. It just shows all of us DWTS fans the effects of what the lack of voting can do!!

I think it is rather amusing that over and over again, week after week, posters have said that they will no longer watch DWTS because of Bristol Palin's participation on there. Yet week after week, DWTS continues to be the #1 show in America. Me thinks despite all their protests, these gripy old whinebag posters are still watching, or that they are not among the Nielsen ratings family. Go Bristol and Mark! They make a cute couple!!!!

I am totaly SHOCKED!!! By the fact that Palin is still there(DWTS) doing nothing in getting high scores, but good at low scores and bad dnacing. She should not even be there I do not recall her even being a "STAR" I agree she should have been gone long before now. Brandy should not have been sent home.I along with others will not continue watching DWTS.if Palin wins. Poltices and that is a shame.

That was a BS win over Brandy. Tell me somebody wasn't bought off!! Blah blah blah.....in the end...Bristol still sucks big time! If she wins this season over Jennifer, I'm calling it quits. Proof positive that this show is rigged.

For those of you who say that you won't watch dwts next season if Bristol and Mark win, I think its a lot of hot air. The scoring rules are what they are--viewers can vote for their favorites.
Who showed the most improvement? Bristol started with no dancing or acting experience. Mark has choreographed the songs and taught her to dance. That shows perseverance on his part and also that he is a good teacher. He gets a 10+. Bristol just keeps on going, taking the criticism, working to improve her dancing and hopefully rising above the nasty comments about her getting votes because of who her mother is. C'mon....thats just supposition. I vote for Bristol and Mark because she is a much better dancer than when she started out on the show. She has a manner about her that causes her to listen to advice(from the judges)without the prima dona attitude and return the next week and be better than the previous week.

I wasn't into watching dwts until Bristol appeared on it. I wanted to see what a real novice could do if she had the opportunity. There are probably viewers out there who would grab on to the opportunity to be on dwts too and to see how well they could do.

Am I a fan of Sarah Palin? No. Would I vote for Sarah Palin? No. Am I voting because Sarah Palin is Bristol's Mom? No

Bristol more than likely was asked to be on dwts because her mother is a controversial political figure who ran for Veep, consequently exposing Bristol to publicity. Perhaps dwts wanted better ratings and thought that having Palin's daughter as one of the 'stars' would be a drawing card for Conservative Republicans.

I am voting for Bristol because she is Bristol--not because she is her mother's daughter.

Len is delusional. It is not that voters wanted to see Bristol again. It is that the right wingers/Tea party voted because they are fanatics. They would have voted for a totem pole if that pole was somehow a right leaning conservative pole.

DTWS has to change the voting process so that those who can dance are ranked above those who can barely walk.

As far as I'm concerned now the competition is over. Brandy should still be on the program. I'm done watching this season don't care. Also it's not because I'm against Bristol.
Come on voters, what are you thinking???

I can't believe that Brandy is off the show. She is the best and Bristol should have been off weeks ago. What is happening to this world. Is everyone going crazy! The judges should have a bigger role they are ones who know who is a better dancer. I thought this was a good show but now it only makes me mad.

How could this be? Brandy has been the best dancer of all the finalist. This is going into a political issue with Bristol not getting voted off. She should have been gone long before. She still can't dance right. This has ended me watching the show. It is getting very sad and disgusting. Brandy should have been the winner! and I say again...Brandy should have been the winner. This proves that people are very stupid to be voting for the wrong person. I will never ever watch this show again. It is the Republicans who are casting their votes for Bristol who can't even dance right. Sorry! It is pathetic!!!!

I'm done watching it now that my wife agrees with me the show is a farce. The Judges need to do to Bristol what they did to Woz. Give her the 3's and 4's she deserves, separate her from the field enough so the fans voice doesn't matter. Bristol should have been off the show weeks ago. I won't be the least bit surprised to read that she won...and how sad that it won't be deserved. The other contestants are clearly head and shoulders above her. That the Judges would gift Bristol 8's and 9's devalues the other contestant's efforts and is a disservice to the show entirely.

I too will not be watching DWTS anymore. I will not put myself through the emotional torture when a deserving candidate is eliminated. I agree that this show has always been a popularity contest but this year has proven to be the worst. I think the judges should have the final say on who is eliminated. I think the only way DWTS can redeem itself is to let Brandy back into the competition.

Interesting to note, the Tuesday DWTS episode earned a 3.3/9 and 17.2 million. So very good ratings, and that each person is allowed to vote, up to the limits set by the production company. Yes, allowing multiple votes does allow the production company to claim "inflated" numbers, such as over 10 million folks voted, even though it counts the "multiple" votes, and that is not just an DWTS issues, American Idol, America's Got Talent, etc. all play the "game". And as mentioned earlier, land line, cell phone and web voting all allow you to increase your votes, but ANY fan can do it, so it should all be equal. Brandy got the least amount of fan votes and got voted off, if there is any complaint, it would be that Brandi fans failed to vote, plain and simple.

The first question is why Bristol was ever picked to be on the show in the first place as there is nothing that puts her in any "Star"category. (Unless they are counting teen pregnancy!) So now the show needs to change its name to "Dancing with the boring, untalented kids of Politicians" Watching Bristol, week after week, is like going to a school kids performance with no talent in sight. Painful and maddening! I am also a long time fan of DWTS but am really done with the show if this continues. The finals were a time to see the best dancers (and of course Lens little athletes) and now it is a cringe fest. The only reason I am even still around is because Jennifer is so good. (I am not upset about Kyle, either, because he is an entertainer and is fun to watch. Bristol is just a clodish kid with no persomality and I never need to see her again, or any of the rest of her family.
Also, all this crap about being like "us". If I wanted to watch "us" I could just stay home. ABC get your act together or you are going to be the loser.

I would like to see an independent poll posted that would show how many viewers really voted for Bristol vs. Brandy. I’ve read hundreds of posts re last night’s show and it seems to me that the people have spoken! The couple of posts I’ve read in support of Bristol are wrapped in politics PERIOD i.e. liberal that, conservative this lol.. I guess if you appreciate DANCING you’re a liberal! And if you believe a person should win a competition undeservingly due to their political association you’re a conservative! Shame on you ABC! You just lost an Alaskan viewer and I want to see that independent pole..

Clearly DWTS has dropped the ball on this season. Obviously politics has influenced the production of this show. If Bristol comes in higher than 3rd place,(which she should have been gone weeks ago), I will definitely boycott any upcoming seasons. The producers need to rethink about how the judging should take place, IF there are going to be anymore upcoming seasons. There are a lot of people in my little corner of the world that are clearly upset over the outcome of last nights show. I hope the producers of this show are listening and reading all these negative comments, and are willing to fix it,or there won't be a show at all!!!

Clearly DWTS has dropped the ball on this season. Obviously politics has influenced the production of this show. If Bristol comes in higher than 3rd place,(which she should have been gone weeks ago), I will definitely boycott any upcoming seasons. The producers need to rethink about how the judging should take place, IF there are going to be anymore upcoming seasons. There are a lot of people in my little corner of the world that are clearly upset over the outcome of last nights show. I hope the producers of this show are listening and reading all these negative comments, and are willing to fix it,or there won't be a show at all!!!

Ok, my question is why was Bristol even on the show. SHE IS NOT A STAR or BEEN ON ANY SITCOME SHOW or ANYTHING. The thing she did was get pregnant at a very young age, if this would have been any other teenager who became pregnant they would have been ridicule and talked about. BUT the Palin girl gets to be on DWTS. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. As for my opinion Bristol should have been voted off earlier or never been their.

For all to understand, keeping her on the show kept viewers watching, they weed out the ones that viewers may not watch and believe me I think they already know who will win, it is not the public votes. This is all to keep an audience. All these shows run the same way DWTS, American Idol, So You Think You Dance, etc. anyway, Bristol will probably get to compete against Kyle, this will happen because there cannot be a competition against Jennifer, so this leaves Kyle and Bristol and BAM you have your winner.
WE ALL KNOW THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN JENNIFER AND BRANDY (They are stars and dancing with the stars) HELLO.

u tell me how in the world did bristol beat brandy in dancing with the stars.brandy danced ten times better than bristol and brandy had more votes also.I watch the show every yr snd i just don't see how brandy was voted off when it showed of been bristol.are they keeping bristol there cause of her mother and for the votes in the election or what.i think they should have a recount in the votes to see who should of really been voted off of dancing with the stars.i think it should of been bristol and not brandy.

It's becoming very apparent that the fix is in. With Bristol still dancing atrociously and yet still survives elimination is a complete joke! As I've said before and I will say again, her participation is nothing more than a cheap plug for her Momma Grizzly's run for president in 2012. It's just more exposure for that media hungry tart of a mother that the corporate conservative media loves gushing over. I stopped watching after Kurt baby got eliminated, who danced a lot better than the stiff, ungraceful, uncoordinated Bristol. I suggest viewers start watching "Chuck" instead of the finals. Let's send a message to DWTS that this season's competition was nothing but a FRAUD! THE FIX IS IN!!

Oh come on, like Cloris Leachman was the best dancer in season 7. Voters are part of the show, and why Cloris went as far as she did.

DWTS need Three new judges and a outside tally of the call in votes. Perhaps the call in votes are given to the person the call taker wants to win. Much room for improvement is sorely needed. A 75 Yr old fan.

I, and about a million loyal viewers of this show, was shocked and outraged when Brandy got booted out of the semi-finals! For my money, your voting process needs to be seriously looked at!! While Bristol may be a nice kid, she has no consistent dancing skills...and this is supposed to be a dancing competition...not a popularity contest! Brandy CLEARLY needs to be re-instated or I might discontinue watching this show...which would be very sad because I really love it. Helpful hint, judges only should be the only factor in the finals, and maybe even semi-finals.

DWP - Dancing With Pundits. This "show" about "stars" and "dancing" is about as legitimate as a chad in Florida. Not even boxing, wrestling, or the Olympics can compete with the level of fraud and manipulation involved in this bogus "contest." Just like the lottery, it's rigged from the top to bottom. Only the puppets don't know the outcome before the season. The show has already picked its brackets before any votes were cast. I stopped watching even highlights of this show three weeks ago when I saw the BP dancing like a scarecrow with a broomstick for one leg and a mop for the other.Any 5-year old can see this show just wants publicity and ad sales using controversy. Anyone who voted participated unknowingly in this massive multimedia fraud called a contest.

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