Here’s what you need to know: Your job hasn’t changed. If you want Couple X to survive on Dancing With the Stars Season 18, you have to vote however you vote (phone, online, etc.). However, The Powers That Be took note of the wonky way votes affected eliminations last season, and they made some changes.

Last fall was the first time DWTS didn’t have a Results Show, so they weren’t quite sure how eliminations would work. They went with combining viewer votes from the previous week with judges’ scores from that night’s dancing to figure out who’d go home. That produced some some "anomalous results,” DWTS showrunner Conrad Green admitted to TV Guide.

This year, he explained, the elimination will be based on both the judges' scores and viewer votes from the current week. So everyone dances Monday night, they’re scored Monday night, and you vote Monday night into Tuesday morning. However, that means it will already be determined right then and there who is going home the next week before they even dance. We won’t know the results, and neither will the couples, but production will have that intel.

"Effectively, we will know who's going home Tuesday morning," Conrad said. "So what will happen is, every couple will compete the following week, but one of those couples will be the one who is carrying the black mark of elimination with them, as it were. And there's really not much they can do."

It doesn’t sound perfect, and Conrad admits it, but this is the world we live in after the Results Show — and it was ABC’s idea to dump Tuesday nights, not the producers’ call. Blame the network! "None of these systems are ideal ... but I do think at least this way the public gets the final say and they get to vote in response to the judges, rather than the judges having effectively the final say,” Conrad said. That part does sound good.

What do you think of this idea? One of our frustrations last season was seeing a couple dance a perfect routine and go home that night anyway because we couldn’t vote for that routine. Of course, it sounds like that could still happen this season if the perfect-dancing couple is carrying “the black mark of elimination” and there’s no way to save them.

Do you think this is a decent compromise, given the lack of a Results Show? Do you need to just wait and see how it plays out before deciding if it’s a good plan?

DWTS Season 18 premieres Monday, March 17 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Source: TV Guide