Home Culture DWTS Season 17: Week 3 stats, storylines, and rankings

DWTS Season 17: Week 3 stats, storylines, and rankings

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Last week’s stats and storylines were all about how everyone is a better dancer than Keyshawn Johnson, including Barack Obama, Axl Rose, my grandmother, Al Pacino, Ewoks, every single player in the NFL, and most certainly, all the other Stars appearing on this season of DWTS. This week, the stats are all about how everyone on this season is maybe as good a dancer as has appeared on DWTS ever . . . period, end thought. Virtually everyone on the show is legitimately in the hunt through Week 3.

The Rankings

dwts wk 3

Stat of the Week

There are eight dancers averaging 23 points or better through three weeks. Why is this the stat of the week? Because through the early weeks of competition, the average score of all previous seasons’ winners 1 is also 23. Admittedly, this isn’t truly statistically valid, as I only averaged previous winners through two weeks instead of three (Week 3 of some previous seasons included two dances and Week 3 of other seasons did not).

You might note Kelly Monaco’s scores are clear outliers here and indeed they drag the average down by a little less than a point, making the average closer to 24 than 23 without Monaco included. With this noted, it’s still significant that five dancers are averaging 24 and above.

In any case, this stat helps to illustrate a ballpark point about how good the dance talent is on Season 17. Short story? It’s real good.

avg score of winners

The Storylines of the Week

Valerie Harper is no Ginger Rogers. As inspiring as she has been thus far on the show, Harper performed poorly enough this week that if anyone else besides her is eliminated next week, it will be unfair. She forgot much of her cha cha and what she remembered just didn’t measure up. She’s a full eight points behind the next lowest scorer. Our friends at PureDWTS do an excellent analysis of elimination votes, but I assume a ton of analysis isn’t required to predict a quick exit for Harper. She might eek out another week but only one more. And that will be one week too many.

Bill Nye, the Injured Guy. Nye tore his quadriceps tendon during his crazy Beethoven-themed paso doble last week. The quote they showed from the doctor who examined him was to the effect of “Dance on it? Well . . . Will it hurt? Yes. Will you injure it more? Yes. Should you be in a wheelchair? Yes. Could you hit your leg with a hammer and achieve the same effect as dancing on it? Yes. Are you crazy?” To which Bill Nye replied, “Did you SEE my Beethoven-themed paso last week? Because if you had, you would know the answer to that question.” Bill decided to dance on an immobilized knee, which meant that he drew Daft Punk, jazz dance, and faked it DanceBot 2000 style. His dance is worth a look if only to show how little dancing one can do while one’s partner dances circles around him.

Lucky for Nye (and truthfully, for all of us), he was eliminated this week and won’t dance again this season. The Science Guy is dead. Long live the Science Guy!


  1. Excluding All Star Season 15
  • Valerie

    I just thought I’d comment to say that I found your DWTS blogs today and love them – I’ve watched the show since the first season and so I’m a stats NERD, haha – anything that involves Excel and Dancing with the Stars is just excellent to me :D

    I also thought the predicting the stars blogs were really good and insightful too, I usually try and do it too but I thought the look into all the different professions/typecasting was awesome! So yeah, I’m definitely gonna put this site on my favorites, now :)

    • Kat G

      Thanks Valerie! Sorry I took so long to reply – I’ve been traveling. And thanks so much for your nice comment! I’m watching the show right now with my heart, my mind and my spreadsheets are all open. :)