Did the Right Couples Make It Into the ‘DWTS’ Season 30 Finale? (POLL)

Dancing With the Stars Season 30 Finalists

Dancing With the Stars is no stranger to surprising fans with shocking eliminations, but November 15’s Semi-Finals eliminated two couples many believed would move on to the finale—reigniting a debate over contestant popularity versus dance ability.

After having consistently higher scores than couples Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach and Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke, Melora Hardin and Artem Chigvintsev and Suni Lee and Sasha Farber fell victim to the last elimination before the Season 30 finale, coming in sixth and fifth place, respectively.

The two couples sent through to the finale—alongside Jojo Siwa and her partner Jenna Johnson and Amanda Kloots and her partner Alan Bersten—mark special DWTS occasions, including the first former NBA player to reach both the semi-finals and the finale, as well as Cheryl’s first finale since Season 17. But, was the right decision made in sending Melora and Suni home?

As fans of the show know, eliminations are determined by a combination of judges’ scores and viewers’ votes, so no matter how well a couple scores throughout an episode, they still need fan support to get them to the next week. Olympic figure skater and Season 29 contestant Johnny Weir called out the show for being a “popularity contest” after his semi-finals elimination last season. “It hurts a lot because it definitely feels like a popularity contest more than a dance contest but that’s part of it,” he said in an interview after the episode. “I knew what I was signing up for. I can say wholeheartedly that I would always prefer to be myself than be popular.” Following the skater’s elimination, judge Derek Hough went on to call America “the fourth judge” in the competition.

Looking back at the four couples’ scores throughout the season, Melora and Suni started off much stronger than Iman and Cody. The playing field started to become more even around Episode 7’s Horror Night, especially after Iman and Daniella’s viral perfect score routine. However, the ladies still managed to climb ahead during last week’s Janet Jackson Night, each landing at the top of the leaderboard with perfect scores and bonus points from the dance-off round.

A fan on Twitter posted a chart of this season’s couples’ total point earnings, and while sexism may not be the reasoning behind the eliminations, the point totals speak a lot as to which contestants were succeeding more than others.

Despite averaging lower scores, Iman and Cody continued to improve week after week, impressing the judges with their charismatic charm, strong stage presence, and dedication to dance. Both also have their own large fan bases, which undoubtedly have helped them make it this far in the competition. While fan voting is highly encouraged, perhaps the current voting system outweighs the judges’ scores a bit too much, thus sparking debates over controversial eliminations.

With mixed feelings from fans going into the finale, the episode is sure to be an interesting watch! Check out some other fan reactions from Monday’s elimination and vote in the poll below!

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC