Which Judge Is the Most Generous Scorer on 'Dancing with the Stars'?
Which Judge Is the Most Generous Scorer on 'Dancing with the Stars'?
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The three judges on Dancing with the Stars all have their supporters and detractors. The scores from Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli carry a lot of weight on the show, but which of them is the nicest and most generous when it comes to their paddles?

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For season 25, there have been four weeks and five nights of competition, offering a total of 60 routines and 60 scores from each of the three judges. So I decided to look at the individual breakdown for each judges' scores to see if there are any patterns or trends to indicate which judges give out the best and worst scores.

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Here is the data and my analysis of the scores handed out by each judge on Dancing with the Stars season 25 so far.

The Total Scores

These are the total combined scores and average scores the three judges have handed out after the first 60 routines of season 25.

438 points (7.3 average): Carrie Ann Inaba
429 points (7.15 average): Bruno Tonioli
417 points (6.95 average): Len Goodman


Clearly Carrie Ann is more generous than her fellow judges, with 9 more points than Bruno and 21 points more than Len. After five routines from all of the stars, the fact that Len's average score is less than a 7 is a rather embarrassing sign.

Low Paddle Breakdown

Here's a look at how many total 4, 5 and 6 scores each judge has handed out so far.

4 Paddles
1: Len
0: Bruno
0: Carrie Ann

5 Paddles
4: Len
3: Bruno
2: Carrie Ann

6 Paddles
16: Len
13: Bruno
9: Carrie Ann

This is where the point discrepancy is most visible. Obviously Len is the harshest judge, the only one to use the 4 paddle (for Barbara Corcoran and Keo Motsepe's first dance), and he's also given out more 5s and 6s than either of the other judges. Len is also the only judge to hand out a 5 in the second week (again, for Barbara and Keo), while Bruno and Carrie Ann's 5s were all from the first night.

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Carrie Ann's generosity is also apparent in the fact that, after week 2, she never gave out another 6 (both Len and Bruno gave Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko 6s in week 3 for their Guilty Pleasure Jazz routine).

Middle Paddle Breakdown

Here's a look at how many total 7 and 8 scores each judge has handed out so far.

7 Paddles
24: Carrie Ann
23: Bruno
18: Len

8 Paddles
20: Carrie Ann
18: Len
15: Bruno

This is Carrie Ann's sweet spot as she's given out 7s and 8s for more than 73 percent of all the dances. Perhaps the most interesting part is that Len has actually handed out more 8s than Bruno, and the 7 and 8 paddles are tied for Len in terms of his most common scores.

High Paddle Breakdown

Here's a look at how many total 9 and 10 scores each judge has handed out so far.

9 Paddles
5: Bruno
4: Carrie Ann
3: Len

10 Paddles
1: Bruno
1: Carrie Ann
0: Len

In this highest tier we see that Bruno is actually the easiest judge to get a 9 or 10 from. Both he and Carrie Ann have handed out multiple 9s and 10s to both Jordan Fisher and Lindsey Stirling, with Victoria Arlen and Frankie Muniz as the other beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, grumpy Len is very stingy when it comes to the high scores, refusing to hand out a 10 so far and only giving three 9s (one each to Jordan, Lindsey and Victoria). The "10 from Len" is very elusive, but even getting a 9 from him is impressive in the first four weeks.


Overall, the lesson is that, in these early weeks, Carrie Ann Inaba is the most generous judge, but Bruno Tonioli is the easiest to get a high score from. Meanwhile, the numbers prove that Len really is as grumpy and hard-to-please as people think, giving out more low scores and very few high scores.

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. For more DWTS updates, follow BuddyTV's Dancing with the Stars Facebook page.



(Image courtesy of ABC)