Even the judges are confused! Dancing With the Stars‘ voting rule isn’t an easy one to understand. In fact, it’s so complicated that Derek Hough said something to the team behind the scenes.
“I still don’t understand it, and I’ve said this to producers. I was like, ‘Guys, we gotta reword this thing because the tie doesn’t make sense,'” Hough, 36, told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, November 2, while promoting his partnership with The Incredible Egg. “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 that makes so much more sense.”
The professional dancer noted that while it’s confusing to explain, he believes the rule is “fair” overall.
“He’s the head judge,” Hough added. “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.”
On the ABC reality series, the judges are able to save one of the two pairs who are at risk of elimination. While Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Hough’s votes count for one, Goodman’s vote counts as two, making him the ultimate tie-breaker — a rule that was never fully explained to audiences.
During the October 12 episode, Matt James and Lindsay Arnold landed in the bottom alongside Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong. Although both Tonioli, 65, and Inaba, 53, chose to save the former Bachelor, 29, Hough picked the RHOA alum, 50. Goodman, 77, then had to make his pick and chose to save Moore.
The results left many confused since the head judge is not asked to weigh in unless there is a tie — and there didn’t appear to be one after James received two votes.
“I actually don’t mind it. Do I think that it’s confusing this season? Maybe a little bit because there are four judges, but I didn’t realize until recently that Len’s vote is considered as two votes,” longtime pro Cheryl Burke explained to Us Weekly following the October 19 episode. “I don’t know if that was explained or not.”
Dancer Artem Chigvintsev, however, had an idea about how to improve the system.
“I think [the] formula we have now definitely works. Is there another formula that I think would maybe work better and people will feel better about it? Yes. I do think there is an option of, let’s say, there’s a bottom two. If the judges can’t decide who to send home, then it should be going into the voting system. Who got the most votes?” the Russian native, 35, told Us. “Let’s break it down to who got the most votes because then it’s fair [and] square. Then it gets to the point, you can’t be mad at this, because it is decided then. The audience becomes a fifth judge in a sense.”
It’s safe to say the rule keeps things exciting in the ballroom. Hough is also keeping things fresh outside of the show by taking on multiple projects, including a partnership with the Incredible Egg.
The Utah native is working with egg farmers, chefs and bakers from across the country to showcase traditional recipes reimagined with fresh ingredients, just in time for the holidays.
“Cooking has been kind of a fun, new adventure for me personally, but it also makes me think about the holidays [that] are coming up, all the different family recipes and then the nostalgia and the comfort that comes along with that,” the Emmy winner told Us. “Working with America’s egg farmers, it’s perfect because eggs are a key ingredient. … [We’re] encouraging people to basically reimagine their family recipes and you can tag me in them when we’re sharing them together!”
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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