Derek Hough Says DWTS Elimination Rule ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’

Derek Hough DWTS

ABC Derek Hough

The “tie-breaker” elimination rule on ABC’sDancing With the Stars” season 30 has been controversial for some fans, seeing as the rule was not explained initially, and it did not make sense at first.

The rule was described as a “tie-breaker” by host Tyra Banks, but that is not how it was viewed after the first time it was enacted. Basically, since there are four judges, it had to become impossible for the decision on which couple was sent home to end in a tie. That meant appointing Len Goodman as the “head judge” and giving him the power to ultimately decide.

How it pans out is that Goodman basically has two votes instead of one. When his vote would cause a tie, it also automatically breaks that tie. Goodman only votes when the decision from Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli is not unanimous because if their decision is unanimous, his two-vote vote would not beat their three votes.


Hough Says He Did Not Get It At First

In a new interview with Us Weekly, Hough talked about the tie-breaker rule.

“I still don’t understand it, and I’ve said this to producers,” he shared on November 2. “I was like, ‘Guys, we gotta reword this thing because the tie doesn’t make sense'” So basically, this is kind of the way I’m explaining it. Essentially, Len [Goodman] has two votes, that’s it? Len has the weight of two votes. I wish we just said it like that because it makes so much more sense.”

He does think the rule is fair, even if it could be explained better, however.

“He’s the head judge,” Hough told the outlet. “There’s no show that exists where the original judges from season 1 [are still there] in season 30. It’s pretty impressive. It’s pretty remarkable.”


Other Cast Members Weighed In

Some of the professional dancers and celebrities previously spoke with Us Weekly about the rule of Len Goodman’s tiebreaker and whether they thought it was a fair way to decide who went home.

“I’m in favor of this situation,” Olivia Jade told the outlet. “Basically his vote counts, like, it’s a tiebreaker. He has the ultimate say. So that’s how it works for those confused.”

Val Chmerkovskiy added, “Last week, I was really confused. This week, love it. I really understand it now.”

Cheryl Burke explained the situation as Len Goodman’s vote basically counting for two votes, which may be the simplest way to think of the “head judge” situation. If the other three judges agree, then Goodman’s vote would not overrule theirs, but when two of the judges agree and the other doesn’t, then Goodman gets the final say.

Witney Carson told the outlet she has not been sure about Goodman’s decisions.

“It’s such a close call,” she said. “I think anything he does right now is going to have a little bit of backlash.”

“Dancing With the Stars” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.

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Gloria Ebert
Gloria Ebert
6 months ago

A fair way to break a tie would be to have the couple with the lowest points eliminated, then all the judges would have an equal vote. I assume their new voting was implemented so an exceptional couple would not go home as in previous seasons. With 4 judges voting this would prevent this from happening.

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