More about the revenge of the “Dancing Pig”

Strictly for Strictly Come Dancing fans…

If you want to succeed at Strictly Come Dancing, you need the full package: the clothes, the moves, the smile. The ability to add up would not go amiss, either.

Last week’s voting fiasco on Strictly saw the show’s organisers effectively giving up on the whole point of the format, cancelling the dreaded “dance-off” and declaring that all three couples would proceed to the final.

The apparent problem was that two couples tied for first place in the judges’ affections, giving them three points each and leaving Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup languishing in third place with a single point.

Only the leading couple could avoid the dance-off, so while the viewers were being invited to phone in and save Tom, it was ever so slowly dawning on the show’s producers that even if every single viewer voted for him, he couldn’t magically leap into first place.

The BBC’s head of entertainment, Jon Beazley, said the bungle had been “unforgivable” but blamed the “exceptional circumstances” of a tie at the top of the leader-board. But were the circumstances really so exceptional?

More or Less, BBC Radio 4′s programme about the numbers in the news, does not think so. Inspired by an email from a listener, we looked at how often we should expect a tie…

A matter of national interest, I’m sure you can agree. You can read the rest of the article on the More or Less website

Tim Harford’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.