February 27, 2006 12:08 AM by Joe Blackmon
The biggest unanswered question from the Dancing with the Stars 2 finale is who actually won the public vote. The way the scoring works is that each couple is assigned a ranking point based on their order of finish in the judges’ scoring and a ranking point based on their order of finish in the public voting. The judges’ score and the public vote ranking points are then combined into one total, and the couple with the lowest combined ranking point total is eliminated. In cases of a tie, the public vote is the tiebreaker.
The order of the judges’ scoring was revealed, so viewers know that Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke finished first and received 3 ranking points, Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani finished second and received 2 ranking points, and Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya finished third and received 1 ranking point.
For Stacy and Tony to be eliminated first, it means that they had to have finished in last place in the public vote. Stacy and Tony would have received 1 ranking point for their last place public vote finish so their combined ranking point total would have been 3 points. If Jerry and Anna finished in second place in the public vote, then they tied Stacy and Tony with 3 total ranking points, but Stacy and Tony were eliminated because the public vote is the tiebreaker. If Jerry and Anna finished in first place in the public vote, then they finished with 4 total ranking points, one ahead of Stacy and Tony.
Just because Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke finished in first place and were champions of Dancing with the Stars does not mean that they won the public vote. If Drew and Cheryl finished in second place in the public vote, then they would have received 2 additional ranking points. When these 2 ranking points were combined with their 3 ranking points from the judges’ score, then Drew and Cheryl’s combined ranking point total would have been 5 points. Since Jerry and Anna only had 1 ranking point from the judges’ score, a first place finish in the public vote would have given them 3 additional ranking points but only a total of 4 ranking points. Drew and Cheryl would have won with either a first or second place finish in the public vote.
The irony is that if Jerry Rice did win the public vote then if Stacy Keibler had won the judges’ score, it would have likely created a three way tie, where each couple would have had a combined total of 4 ranking points. Jerry Rice would have won the competition because the public vote is the tiebreaker. If the judges knew who won the public vote then it could have affected the way that they scored the last dance. The judges could have been reluctant to score the last dance in such a way as to move Stacy Keibler into first place, because it would have created a three way tie and handed the competition to Jerry Rice. Of course, Dancing with the Stars did not reveal the public vote totals on the show, so it is not known if the public vote totals are even revealed to the judges.