How does voting work on Strictly Come Dancing? Here’s what you need to know

Strictly Come Dancing’s contestants are scored by both the judges and the public. Here’s what you need to know about how Strictly voting works.

On Strictly Come Dancing, after the dancing comes the scoring. First of all the Strictly judges have their say and then, at the appointed time, the public gets the chance to vote.

The judges’ and public votes are combined to rank the dancers – with the bottom two dancers facing the dreaded dance-off and the threat of elimination. But just how exactly does it all work?

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Here’s what you need to know.

How does the Strictly scoring system work?*

After a couple dances, they stand before the judging panel and each judge gives them a score between one and 10 – as well as some constructive criticism of course.

The judges’ scores for each couple are added together to give them a total out of 40.

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After all the couples have danced, they are ranked according to their total judges’ score – the couple with the highest score out of 40 at the top of the leaderboard and the couple with the lowest score at the bottom.

Then points are awarded to each couple based on their ranking. The number of points depends on the number of couples left in the competition. So, if there are nine couples left in the competition, then the couple at the top of the leaderboard receives nine points, the second couple receives eight points etc.

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How does the Strictly public vote work?

There’s usually no public vote in the first week as no couple is eliminated.

After that, once the points have been awarded on the basis of the judges’ votes, voting is opened to the public – this is announced by the hosts.

The public can vote for their favourite by telephone or online – details are provided during the live Strictly show.

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Public voting closes at a specified time. After this point, the public votes are counted and the count independently verified.

The couples are ranked according to their popularity with the public vote. Then, each couple is awarded points based on their ranking – just like the judges’ vote. The number of points depends on the number of couples left in the competition. So, if there are nine couples left in the competition, then the couple at the top of the leaderboard receives nine points, the second couple receives eight points etc.

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The points received by each couple from the judges’ vote are then combined with the points received from the public vote. So, if there are nine couples left in the competition and they come top in the judges’ vote and third in the public vote they would receive nine points plus seven points, making a total of 16 points overall.

The couples are then ranked according to their combined score. If there is a tie at this stage, it is the viewer votes which are the casting vote.

The two couples at the bottom of the leaderboard must face the dance-off and one couple will be eliminated.

How can I vote on Strictly Come Dancing?

In 2016 the public could vote both online and on the phone.

Check the official Strictly website for more information about voting procedures for the new series.  

*Information correct as of Strictly 2016. 

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