What makes for the best elimination format?

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What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by Walker7 on Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:03 am

So far, DWTS's elimination procedure has produced many inferior results and even inferior boot orders.  However, the elimination is still an integral part of the show, or else it isn't a competition.  I can't imagine an entire season with no elimination, but something has got to be done.

The current system poses a problem when the public vote has a large spread and the judges' scores have a small spread.  In this case, the less popular stars are more likely to get booted regardless of dance ability.  It has been in use for 20 seasons (10 years), which is way too many.  I might want to ask, what's the best way to eliminate couples?

I think the best way to do it is to give more weight to the judges' scores in the early weeks, then as the season goes on, let it converge toward the usual 50/50 split.  Also, sometimes the judges should choose who is eliminated from the bottom 2 or 3.  Eliminating the couple with the lowest combined total is more reliable under these conditions:

  1. At least 2 couples have been eliminated.
  2. It isn't the last elimination before the finale.
  3. The couple who went first didn't end up in the bottom 2 (or 3), based on that's week's performance order.
  4. The bottom 2 couples' combined totals aren't really close.

If all the above conditions are met, the couple with lowest combined total goes home as usual.  Otherwise, the judges should choose who goes home.  This could apply for any season that airs in 2008 or later.

For Season 1, or any season that airs in the year 2007 (Seasons 4 and 5), the judges should always choose who is eliminated each week.  It was circa 2007 when these voting biases began to get obvious.

I think the best way to combine the scores when using the percentage format might be:

  • Until 2 couples are eliminated:  75% judges' scores, 25% viewer votes.
  • Then, until Week 6*:  70% judges' scores, 30% viewer votes.
  • Before the finale:  60% judges' scores, 40% viewer votes.
  • On the finale:  50% judges' scores, 50% viewer votes.

*If the one-night format is used, the 70/30 split continues until Week 7.
Note that these numbers are just an estimate, since we never see the combined totals.


The above is all my opinion.  What do you think makes for a good DWTS elimination system?

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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by Sudoplatov on Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:43 pm

The purpose isn't to find the best dancers; the purpose is to sell the largest amount of advertising. A mixed random (public) vs expert (judges) opinions gives even poor but popular dancers a chance of going deep.

I've mentioned several times that several winners were those I would have eliminated in the semifinals or even quarterfinals. The show isn't designed to match my ideas as much as to just get me to watch (which it generally does.)

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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by Psychee22 on Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:07 pm

Walker, I can see that you put a whole lot of thought into your idea, but I am afraid that I have to agree with Sudoplatov. 



I think the elimination format is fine as it is in terms of the power of the audience vote versus the judges. 



You seem to want to give the judges more influence over the outcome, but if you look at any message board about the show, you will see that most people complain that the judges have too much influence as it now stands -- the judges aren't exactly objective.  The three of them seem to use entirely different criteria for their scoring, and you can see that each one of them have a preferred style that they like to see.  Moreover, what the audience sees in terms of performance is very different from what the judges see -- we only see what the cameras show us, and the judges' eyes see everything at a different angle. 



We actually see the entertainment factor better, I think.  We see close ups of facial expressions that they never see, for example.  And ultimately, the audience votes for the folks who entertain them the most.


The better the show is at keeping the audience favorites on the show, the more of an audience there will be.  That means better ratings and more profit for the show.  And the better the profit, the longer we can look forward to having the show.



Mind you, I am not always pleased at the elimination order.  Every year, I think there are one or two stars that should have stayed longer.  But no one can doubt that the ones who stayed instead had people in the audience wanting to see them continue;  if they put in the energy to vote, they deserve to have their wishes granted, I think;  I can't have everything my own way.

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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by DeadManDancing on Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:01 pm

The one night format, with couples going home based on scores and votes from the previous week no matter how much they may have improved, remains the weirdest thing about the elimination procedure.

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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by kincaid53 on Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:19 pm

ROFL ROFL ROFL

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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by Walker7 on Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:29 pm

Psychee22 wrote:You seem to want to give the judges more influence over the outcome, but if you look at any message board about the show, you will see that most people complain that the judges have too much influence as it now stands -- the judges aren't exactly objective.  The three of them seem to use entirely different criteria for their scoring, and you can see that each one of them have a preferred style that they like to see.  Moreover, what the audience sees in terms of performance is very different from what the judges see -- we only see what the cameras show us, and the judges' eyes see everything at a different angle. 

We actually see the entertainment factor better, I think.  We see close ups of facial expressions that they never see, for example.  And ultimately, the audience votes for the folks who entertain them the most.

The better the show is at keeping the audience favorites on the show, the more of an audience there will be.  That means better ratings and more profit for the show.  And the better the profit, the longer we can look forward to having the show.


Mind you, I am not always pleased at the elimination order.  Every year, I think there are one or two stars that should have stayed longer.


I agree with what you are saying.  After all, we vote to who we want to see.  That's probably why the elimination rules have remained the same for so long.

But, there have been times when someone who not only should have stayed longer, but got eliminated early in the season (like first or second).  There have also been times when the contestant who was eliminated the week before the finale shouldn't have been.  And, of course, there are those real big shockers (e.g. Willow) that should have never happened.  When someone gets eliminated too soon, it robs us of getting to see more performances from them.  That's what I hope will be fixed.

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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by Psychee22 on Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:14 pm

Walker7 wrote:
Psychee22 wrote:

...
Mind you, I am not always pleased at the elimination order.  Every year, I think there are one or two stars that should have stayed longer.


I agree with what you are saying.  After all, we vote to who we want to see.  That's probably why the elimination rules have remained the same for so long.

But, there have been times when someone who not only should have stayed longer, but got eliminated early in the season (like first or second).  There have also been times when the contestant who was eliminated the week before the finale shouldn't have been.  And, of course, there are those real big shockers (e.g. Willow) that should have never happened.  When someone gets eliminated too soon, it robs us of getting to see more performances from them.  That's what I hope will be fixed.

I can't recall a time when someone who should have stayed longer was eliminated in the first or second week.  But every season there is a bit of a surprise in the elimination order. 

I don't believe that it can be fixed through the judges, though, in any way other than for them to use all of their paddles to increase the spread between the good dancers and the more challenged ones.  Otherwise, judge favoritism comes into play and that will lose viewers.

The key to a better result will always be for the viewers to take time to vote for every star that they want to keep around.  And sometimes that is difficult when there are so many good stars to choose from.  I think Willow went home early because there were too many other favorites on the show during her season.  And I don't think the judges could have helped that.   The only thing that might have helped her might have been more publicity -- more appearances on talk shows, for example. 


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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by Walker7 on Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:26 pm

I can't recall a time when someone who should have stayed longer was eliminated in the first or second week.  But every season there is a bit of a surprise in the elimination order. 

I don't believe that it can be fixed through the judges, though, in any way other than for them to use all of their paddles to increase the spread between the good dancers and the more challenged ones.  Otherwise, judge favoritism comes into play and that will lose viewers.

The key to a better result will always be for the viewers to take time to vote for every star that they want to keep around.  And sometimes that is difficult when there are so many good stars to choose from.  I think Willow went home early because there were too many other favorites on the show during her season.  And I don't think the judges could have helped that.   The only thing that might have helped her might have been more publicity -- more appearances on talk shows, for example.

As for an example of someone who was eliminated early that should have stayed longer, one of them is Shannen, from Season 10.  Notice that over the years, a number of models have been eliminated quickly as well, the most recent case being Charlotte from Season 20.

In Willow's case, there was immunity that week.  Therefore judges did have a little control, but Willow ended up one point short of that immunity.  Nastia got the immunity as a result.

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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by Psychee22 on Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:49 am

I didn't watch the show the season that Shannen was on.  But I know she is a bit of a lightning rod for public contempt secondary to her not playing nice with other women;  she's known as a drama queen.  Did she get  a bad package that got fans angry at her?  Charlotte, I remember.  She deserved to go.  She did not come to the show prepared to work hard and couldn't put her phone down. 



When Willow was eliminated, there were only two dancers left who were bad dancers.  One was Robert, and he was so in love with Kim that anyone with a romantic streak wanted to keep him in as long as possible, and the other was Chris Soules, whom I could not stand, but there's a big part of the audience that supports the winners of the Bachelor.  The last four were totally untouchable until the final. 

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Re: What makes for the best elimination format?

Post by Walker7 on Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:13 pm

Another thing to consider would be how to eliminate someone in the semifinals (one week before the finals).  This is usually the cut from 4 to 3 couples.  But there have been several times when the couple eliminated in the semifinals should have been in the finals.

Here are some alternatives for the semifinals:

  1. The couple with the highest judges' scores throughout the whole season automatically moves on to the finals.  Out of the other couples, lowest combined total is eliminated.
  2. The judges choose the eliminated couple from the bottom 2. (This was already commented on previously in the thread.)
  3. After they announce whoever has the lowest combined total, the judges can choose to save or eliminate that couple.


In any of those cases above, the best couple remaining will pretty much always go to the finals.  Again, I don't think the judges should have too much power, but it is heartbreaking when a couple who deserves to be in the finals is eliminated in the semifinals.  Something needs to be done about those who were robbed there.

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