'Dancing with the Stars' Week 5 Results: Did the Dance Duel Make a Difference?
'Dancing with the Stars' Week 5 Results: Did the Dance Duel Make a Difference?
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
You can't say that the Dancing with the Stars week 5 results were much of a surprise. After all, Gavin DeGraw had the lowest scores of the night (by a decent margin). It was his third time in the bottom two. And there really wasn't anybody Gavin could out-dance.

So the real question isn't why Gavin DeGraw was eliminated. Rather, the question we should ask is: Would Gavin have been eliminated without the Dance Duel?

Popularity vs. Dance
On every season of Dancing with the Stars, at least one competitor becomes a bit of a controversy by either staying too long or leaving too soon.

This always raises complaints. But should we complain?

The first Dance Duel of Dancing with the Stars season 14 drove home an interesting truth: The dancers we want to see are often not the best. The DWTS popularity contest isn't always wrong.

No one could realistically dispute the elimination of Gavin DeGraw in Dancing with the Stars week 5, not on the basis of dancing skills anyway. But the singer's popularity and all-around pleasant demeanor make his departure kind of sad. Gavin was easy to like, and votes helped to keep him safe.

This isn't the case for all of the celebrities on Dancing with the Stars season 14. Jaleel White, for example, found himself in the bottom two, even though he scored higher than both Melissa Gilbert and Gladys Knight. Back in week 4, Roshon Fegan -- despite tying for second place with his performance -- also found himself in the bottom.

Obviously, audiences don't care as much about these celebrities. But now, possibly thanks to the Dance Duel, both stars are staying -- no matter what we think.

If you're a DWTS purist who loves only the skill and beauty of high-end ballroom dancing, this is a good thing. With the judges making the final decision on any elimination, high-quality dancers have the edge over their more popular but less-talented rivals.

What Did the Dance Duel Change?
Without the Dance Duel, would Gavin DeGraw or Jaleel White have gone home?

We'll never know the truth -- Dancing with the Stars never reveals actual voting numbers -- but the question is still worth consideration. Considering the 5 point difference in their scores, Gavin DeGraw almost definitely had more audience votes than Jaleel White. There is a (small) chance that Gavin's combination of scores and votes actually beat Jaleel's.

Were that the case, Jaleel White -- undisputedly the better dancer -- would have been eliminated without the Dance Duel. Such a situation is very familiar to DWTS fans, thanks to the premature eliminations of past seasons.

But now we have the Dance Duel. Unfortunately for the Gavin DeGraws of Dancing with the Stars, things have changed.

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How do you feel about the Dance Duel? Do you think Gavin would have been saved without it? Which stars will benefit from the Duel and which will suffer? Leave your comments below!

(Image courtesy of ABC)