Last week, the stats showed that most of this Season 17 cast was, on average, as strong as all of the winners of the previous 15 seasons. An extremely strong cast. This week, no one moved up or down from their Week 3 Rankings, which means this cast remains extremely strong. Eight of the remaining nine dancers are averaging a score of 23 or higher (impressive) and those eight are within three points of each other (between 23-26). The buzzwords for this season’s cast are strength and parity.
The Stat of the Week
Is it possible that we’ll see the best dancer ever to appear on DWTS come out of this season? Statististically, no. Not even close.
Through four weeks of dancing, Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi (who averaged an insane 29 over the course of her championship season) far outscores all three of the elite dancers from this season. More surprisingly, Drew Lachey also outpaces these three and out of nowhere, Helio Castroneves is in the mix as well. I’ve shown where a couple of other previous champions fell on the spectrum as well for perspective. As you can see, the class of Season 17 is still super classy. As a group, they might be the strongest top three in a single cast, but that’s an analysis for further down the road.
The Storylines of the Week
Bye, bye Valerie Harper. I must admit, I was a cynical about Harper appearing on DWTS. There’s something just a little bit too pat for her to appear out of nowhere with a People Magazine cover story about having three months to live, then have her cancer go away so she can compete in a dance competition on TV. Hmmmm, I said. But Harper has been nothing but delightful. She seems so happy to have had this experience and to have come at it from a place of great joy. It’s been a pleasure to have gotten to know her again.
Where do we go from here? With all this parity this season, (literally none of the top three have received less than all eights so far this season), it’s hard to imagine what storylines can emerge over the course of the next six weeks. Here are some possibilities:
- There will be a surprise elimination spurred by the voting from home
- One of the top three will have a bad mistake or a Chynna Phillips meltdown that sends them home early
- With the level of dancing so high, the choreography will become so difficult or risky that it can’t be executed well and the choreography itself will be the cause of an elimination
- One of the “In the Hunters” will catch fire and move up with the top three (both Milian and Daugherty have shown they’re capable of getting nines; indeed, Daugherty got three of them last week). I hope it’s this one. I love underdogs!