“So You Think You Can Dance” season 15 seems fairly wide open. Our users are divided eight ways when trying to predict the winner, with Cole Mills getting the slight edge going into the second live show. But our users are fairly confident about who will be eliminated. Poor Chelsea Hough is widely expected to be sent home. She gets 4/7 odds based on the combined forecasts of our users, which translates to a whopping 64.46% chance of going home. But is that fair?
In last week’s first live show the five male contestants and five female contestants were paired off. They all performed two routines, one in their own dance style and one in their partners’. Jazz dancer Hough was teamed up with Evan DeBenedetto, the only tap dancer in the top 10. That meant Hough had to learn a tap routine. But here’s the thing: no contestant has ever been asked to dance tap who wasn’t already a tap dancer.
The judges mostly damned Hough with faint praise, crediting her for her bravery in the unprecedented routine and basically giving her an A for effort while dancing around the fact that she struggled with the choreography. But Nigel Lythgoe added insult to injury by telling DeBenedetto how much he’d rather see him dance with “SYTYCD” all-star and fellow tapper Gaby Diaz. Low blow, Nigel.
Perhaps if the show wanted to encourage more dancers to learn tap, the producers could have included it during the Academy round. I suspect Hough’s routine would have looked pretty solid if it could be compared to a couple dozen other tap novices trying to learn it for the first time. Instead, it feels as though Hough was unfairly singled out as a guinea pig for this experiment — or as it may turn out, a sacrificial lamb.
But even if we’re right that Hough will be eliminated, she won’t be alone. There will be two dancers sent home tonight: one man and one woman. And based on our odds, Hough’s partner DeBenedetto is the likeliest male dancer to be ousted, ranked second overall with 11/2 odds. Magda Fialek might also be vulnerable; she’s ranked third with 17/2 odds of elimination. And Jay Jay Dixonbey is fourth with 16/1 odds. Do you agree with our forecasts? And does Hough really deserve to go? Check out the graph below illustrating this week’s elimination predictions. Click on it for more detailed prediction stats.
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