For those who watch Dancing with the Stars (DWTS), you may have been surprised to see that Bristal Palin made it to the finals even though she was consistently placed in the bottom category each week.
NSU’s Jason Gershman is a mathematician who has followed the voting system used on DWTS and American Idol. He has provided expert commentary to local and national TV, print and radio media…
“Does Your Dancing with the Stars Vote Count?”
Jason Gershman, Ph.D. assistant professor of Mathematics and Statistics
Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Gershman is an articulate expert and has presented talks, television and radio interviews and mathematical research on popular television shows such as American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.
Dancing with the Stars (DTWS) utilizes a voting system with some intriguing mathematical twists. Gershman has examined the system’s fairness and technique, and has contrasted the DTWS polling system with other voting systems—such as those used to elect presidents, decide which college football teams compete for the national championship, and determine the next “American Idol.”
“Thus far, the data has supported the results every week with Bristol Palin at or near the top every week of the voting. She receives the highest votes totals, regardless of how she dances, when her mother is either on camera in the live audience or featured in a taped segment on the show. Clearly, the Tea Party sees a Bristol Palin DWTS win as a proxy vote for her mother for political office. Despite what Bristol says on camera, all signs point to the fact that if her last name was not Palin she would have been voted off months ago for her weaker dance ability than her three fellow semifinalists.
At this point, she has the support of the Tea Party as well as contrarians like the Vote for the Worst website. The voting last night among the 4 candidates was too close to call and the finals will likely be as close. Each contestant has strengths and weaknesses with (Jennifer is a great dancer but has rubbed some fans the wrong way with her attitude; Brandy has danced well but her professional partner Maksim has been called out by the judges for being a bit sexist and smug; Kyle has improved a lot and has a great attitude but usually the very young dancers don’t win the whole thing as unlike the Idol demographics, DWTS has an older audience and an older voting crowd that likes more traditional routines.)
It would surprise me if it were an all-female final. I’m going out on a limb to say that one of the two “favorites”, Jennifer or Brandy is going home tonight setting up a wild finale next week.”
For more information, please feel free to contact Jason Gershman at 954-262-7927 (office) or via cell phone at 954-609-0671. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. He would be happy to speak more on this topic.