–This is the 25th season for ABC’s reality show.
–NFL running back Rashad Jennings was the Season 24 winner.
–’Dancing With The Stars’ Season Finale will air on November 20, 2017 at 8 PM Eastern. The announcement of the winner will air on November 21 at 9 PM Eastern.
I originally posted the odds for the Season 25 Finale of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ on November 14 but I figured it was prudent to update heading into tonight’s ‘Episode 1’ of the two part denouement.
The four remaining contestants with their average score this season are as follows:
Jordan ‘J-Fish’ Fisher (27.3)
Lindsey Stirling (26.2)
Frankie Muniz (25.2)
Drew Scott (23.2)
The ‘buzz’ has been surprisingly muted heading into the Finale week. In the big picture, that’s not really surprising since reality TV (actually, *all* TV with very few exceptions like ‘Game of Thrones) has become a ‘niche’ interest. The problem here is that I’ve actively been looking for ‘buzz’ and haven’t found much. Of what little there is, there’s two primary storylines:
1) VICTORIA ARLEN GOT SCREWED OUT OF A SPOT IN THE FINALS
That means that Victoria Arlen was eliminated in the semifinals. On one hand, that’s a seriously courageous performance culminated with an impressive–and better than expected–showing. On the other hand, Arlen had the fourth highest average score (24.9). It’s hard to buy the ‘fan voting’ angle either–everyone loves Arlen. The scores make it all the more bizarre. In two dances on the Semifinal show Drew Scott scored a pair of 24’s. Arlen scored a 27 and tied for the second highest score on the show with a 29. USA TODAY called Arlen’s elimination ‘shocking’. TVLine suggested that this was Arlen’s ‘best night’ of the entire competition. Maybe the producers felt that the emotions of Arlen’s elimination at this point would make for ‘better television’ than for her to fall short in the finals.
On the other hand, Arlen had been experiencing ever worsening physical challenges as the competition progressed including spasms during her final week of training. Not exactly a surprise, being as she only learned how to walk again a year or so ago and couldn’t feel her legs the whole time. This could have been her way of ‘tapping out’ of the competition while saving some face.
At any rate, it’s not my job to focus to much on what *has* happened but the dodgy math of ‘DWTS’ eliminations has been a subject I’ve talked about repeatedly this year.
2) JORDAN FISHER IS THE BEST DANCER BUT PROBABLY WON’T WIN
There was also some hand wringing over the specter that Jordan Fisher ‘probably won’t win’ despite him being ‘the best dancer’. duperficially it’s hard to argue with. It wouldn’t be the first time that the most impressive dancer week after week left without the mirrorball trophy. It’s something I’ve addressed over and over in the SBE coverage of ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
There are several problems with this concept. To use a sports metaphor, there’s no guarantee that the ‘best team’ will win the championship. Sports history is littered with teams that excelled during the regular season but didn’t ‘seal the deal’ to win the championship. No matter how impressive a contestant might be throughout a competition the risk that he/she doesn’t ‘bring their A Game’ in the finals is real. That precise situation happened on the recently concluded season of ‘Project Runway’ where Brandon Kee dominated week after week but didn’t emerge the overall winner. The dynamics are a bit different in an event determined by judges (as opposed to an objective result such as a hockey game) but the general concept applies.
The bigger issue, however, is that in a TV reality show there’s no mandate to have some any sort of qualitative veracity in their evaluation process. If ‘DWTS’ billed itself as a season long competition to determine who has the most inherent dancing ability you could make a very compelling case that J-Fish ‘should’ win. That’s not the case–and with any competition partially or entirely determined by fan voting it by definition cannot be the case. Getting salty over ‘the best dancer’ not winning ‘DWTS’ is no different than complaining that the best player doesn’t win fan balloting for sports All Star Games.
There’s plenty of empirical evidence that ‘DWTS’ rewards competitors that improve over the course of the season. This means the bar is set especially high for contestants that enter the season with some dancing background–like J-Fish. Throw in the lack of transparency in the entire scoring and fan voting process and the difficulty in assuming that the ‘best dancer’ should automatically be the winner becomes all the more apparent.
There’s some significant injury concerns for both Jordan Fisher and partner Lindsay Arnold heading into the finale. Arnold suffered a knee injury awhile back that for awhile threatened her future participation in Season 25. This past week, it was ‘J-Fish’ that got the bite of the injury bug when Arnold accidentally stuck her fingernail in his eye resulting in a scratched cornea. It’s tough to speculate on the exact impact of J-Fish’s eye injury but he’s already using it as something of a pre-emptive mea culpa:
“Between Lindsay’s knee and my eye, we’re both not in the place that we would like to be for the finale week, but you know, you do what you can.”
In my view, it is significant enough that I’ve made Lindsey Stirling a slight favorite over Fisher to win Season 25. The rest of the updated odds for the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ finale are below. The Season 25 finals of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ will take place over two nights on Monday, November 20 (8 to 10 PM Eastern) and Tuesday, November 21 (9 to 11 PM Eastern).
DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25 BETTING ODDS UPDATED 11/20/17
TO WIN DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25
Lindsey Stirling: +115
Jordan Fisher: +150
Frankie Muniz: +250
Drew Scott: +900
TO WIN DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25
Jordan Fisher/Lindsey Sterling: -750
Any other contestant: +600
TO FINISH SECOND DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25
Jordan Fisher: +110
Lindsey Stirling: +170
Frankie Muniz: +250
Drew Scott: +750
TO FINISH THIRD DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25
Frankie Muniz: +110
Drew Scott: +200
Jordan Fisher: +350
Lindsey Stirling: +350
TO FINISH FOURTH DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25
Drew Scott: -150
Frankie Muniz: +215
Lindsey Stirling: +500
Jordan Fisher: +500
TV RATINGS PROPOSITION ODDS
MONDAY NIGHT FINALE SHOW (11/20/17) KEY DEMO (18-49) RATINGS
Over 1.55: -130
Under 1.55: +110
TUESDAY NIGHT FINALE SHOW (11/21/17) KEY DEMO (18-49) RATINGS
Over 1.4: -120
Under 1.4: +100
MONDAY NIGHT FINALE SHOW (11/20/17) KEY DEMO (18-49) SHARE
Over 5.5: -170
Under 5.5: +150
TUESDAY NIGHT FINALE SHOW (11/21/17) KEY DEMO (18-49) SHARE
Not 5: +210
MONDAY NIGHT FINALE SHOW (11/20/17) TOTAL VIEWERS
Over 9.75 million: -145
Under 9.75 million: +125
TUESDAY NIGHT FINALE SHOW (11/21/17) TOTAL VIEWERS
Over 9.5 million: -125
Under 9.5 million: +105