The elimination process on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” has left some fans confused and heartbroken following an elimination on the Villains Night portion of Disney Week, which aired on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
The episode was the first of season 30 to feature a double elimination at the end of the show. The way the double elimination worked was that the couple with the lowest score when judge’s scores were combined with votes was automatically sent home.
That meant that Brian Austin Green and Sharna Burgess were eliminated first.
Then, the bottom two couples were put up in front of the judges for saving. This time, those couples were Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong and Matt James and Lindsay Arnold.
Len Goodman Basically Has a ‘Super Vote’
Host Tyra Banks explained that the judges would each choose one couple they wanted to save, and if there “was a split decision,” then Len Goodman would make the final decision.
For many fans, that sounded like Goodman would only have the final say in case of a tie, but that’s not exactly how the rule plays out.
Because there are four judges instead of three this time around, there is the chance of a tie, but when Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli do not unanimously pick one couple to save, Goodman steps in and casts the final vote. Basically, that means Goodman’s vote counts for two votes instead of one since his vote would be a tie otherwise.
So when both Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli chose to save Matt James and Lindsay Arnold and Derek Hough chose to save Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong, Goodman’s vote for Moore and Armstrong meant that James and Arnold were sent home.
Viewers Were Confused About the Process
Some viewers were confused about the way the process worked after Moore and Armstrong were saved.
“The judges were not ‘undecided’ until len voted for kenya. It was 2-1 for Matt. When Len voted for Kenya, making it 2-2, they should’ve just sent home the person who had the lowest amount. That would have been the FAIR way. len should not have gotten the final save,” one person tweeted.
Another wrote, “Confused about the judges save. If Matt got 2 votes and Kenya got 1, how did Len’s vote save Kenya?? (Not that i think Matt deserved to stay over her just very confused).”
“Trying to figure out your math. 2-1 vote does not need a tie breaker. Bring @mattjames919 back #DWTS,” yet another user tweeted.
The fact that the actual couple with the lowest score, when combined with votes, was sent home immediately made some viewers think James wasn’t even in the bottom two going into the elimination, which some believe is unfair.
“Was Matt even in the bottom 2? Tonight’s decision smacks of unfairness,” one person tweeted.
Others wondered if their votes even mattered in the end.
“What’s the point of having us vote if Len has the final say anyways??? That was not a tie breaker! Len had no respect for Matt since the beginning and tonight it showed,” one person tweeted.
After two straight seasons of people from “Bachelor” nation winning “Dancing With the Stars,” with Hannah Brown taking home the Mirrorball for season 28 and Kaitlyn Bristowe taking it home in season 29, it’s no wonder some were surprised to see James, who was a recent “Bachelor,” voted out so early.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.