Per­fec­tion can’t save Simone Biles in ‘Danc­ing With the Stars’ elim­i­na­tion

The Hamilton Spectator - - A & E - LIBBY HILL Los An­ge­les Times

”Smil­ing doesn’t win you gold medals.”

That’s what Simone Biles taught the world on last week’s episode of “Danc­ing With the Stars.” This week, the Olympic gold medal­list learned that per­fec­tion doesn’t win you mir­ror-ball tro­phies.

Biles was elim­i­nated from Monday night’s episode of “DWTS,” fail­ing to make it to the sea­son fi­nale, de­spite earn­ing perfect judges’ scores on both of her dances. How could this hap­pen? Pretty eas­ily, it turns out. While the judges’ points mat­ter, they don’t mat­ter as much as you might think. And don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the au­di­ence’s votes. Here’s how it works:

Each of the four re­main­ing con­tes­tants — Biles, for­mer base­ball player David Ross, Fifth Har­mony mem­ber Nor­mani Kordei and NFL run­ning back Rashad Jen­nings — were judged on their two dances and given numeric scores. Biles Jive: 40/40 Rumba: 40/40 To­tal: 80 Jen­nings Rumba: 38 Quick­step: 39 To­tal: 77 Kordei Waltz: 36 Jazz: 40 To­tal: 76 Ross Fox­trot: 34 Tango: 36 To­tal: 70 The to­tals were then used to cal­cu­late the over­all per­cent­age of the judges’ points each cou­ple earned. (Con­fused yet?) Since the judges awarded 303 points to­tal Monday night, the break­down looked like this: Biles: 80/303 = 26.4 per cent Jen­nings: 77/303 = 25.4 per cent Kordei: 76/303 = 25.1 per cent Ross: 70/303 = 23.1 per cent Those per­cent­ages are then added to the per­cent­age of over­all North Amer­i­can votes each con­tes­tant re­ceives. If those votes had bro­ken evenly, then it would be Biles, Jen­nings and Kordei mov­ing to next week’s fi­nals.

Since Biles dropped from first to last with the ad­di­tion of au­di­ence votes, that means that Ross earned more than 3 per cent more of the viewer votes than the Olympian.

So what caused “DWTS” fans to turn on Biles?

It’s pos­si­ble that last week’s “smile” ex­change — dur­ing which host Tom Berg­eron in­ter­jected dur­ing Biles’ judg­ing, “I was wait­ing for you to smile at some of the com­pli­ments, you didn’t” fol­lowed by Biles’ tart re­tort — left a bad taste in view­ers’ mouths.

Telling a woman to smile is treach­er­ous ter­ri­tory, but per­haps some in the “DWTS” au­di­ence were put off by Biles’ re­fusal to em­brace Berg­eron’s cri­tique.

Or maybe view­ers just love to see a for­mer base­ball player dance.

The fi­nal “Danc­ing With the Stars” per­for­mances of the sea­son air on ABC next Monday, with the win­ner be­ing an­nounced the fol­low­ing night, May 23.


Sasha Far­ber and Simone Biles in an episode of ABC’s "Danc­ing with the Stars." Biles was elim­i­nated from Monday night’s episode.

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