First, a warning: I kinda phoned it in on these rankings. For those of you not watching the drama of “U-Versegate” unfold on my Twitter, my tv & internet inexplicably crapped out right after Melissa & Maks danced – completely missed Jack & Gladys, & only saw part of Katherine before reader Nathan graciously sent me a link to an internet feed, which I could access at that point because my internet was back up. Long story short – I read the U-Verse customer service rep the riot act, and I have a tech coming out tomorrow morning to figure out the problem, but at this point I’m just kinda ready to be done with tonight. But a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone (jimmbboe, Will, Maria, @Team_MGMC, and of course Heidi!) who tracked down videos of the performances I missed – I don’t know what I would have done without you
Well, overall, tonight kinda sucked ass Wish I had a better way to put it, but there were very few moments that delighted me, and many that made me wish my internet had stayed disconnected. Both ridiculous over & underscoring going on, and some blatant pimping & shady business going on involving a certain couple…oh, and by the way, if you’re a William & Cheryl fan that isn’t mature enough to handle differing opinions, do us both a favor and skip this post. The “hold for moderation” list here at Pure is becoming more competitive than the VIP roster at Tao in Vegas – seems like some folks are just DYING to get on it
1/2.) TIE: Katherine & Mark and William & Cheryl – I think one of these couples deserves to be in the top spot; the other does not. I shouldn’t have to tell you which is which I do think Katherine has been the most consistent of the past two weeks, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well she’s done – I was definitely worried about tonight, thinking that she would be stuck being the reserved English rose that couldn’t let loose in the jive. But she brought her A-game – and she not only looked like she was having fun, but she had the best jive technique of the night. Very energetic, sharp, & clean. And she actually did jive choreo, which is more than I can say for some of the couples doing jive tonight…ahem. I thought she looked gorgeous, too – like a young Twiggy As for the other couple that I have in the lead – the only reason I have them here is because TPTB and the judges seem bound & determined to jam him down our throats as the hottest dancer this season at every turn, and some folks seem to be buying into the hype. I am not one of them – I thought his posture in his quickstep was atrocious (he was hunched over for most of it!), and he did loose his timing & footwork a few times…yet miraculously, no one seemed to point it out. Hmmm. And the guy still looks terrified to me when he’s dancing – like he’s afraid he might poop his pants. Once again, I reiterate – I’m sure William is a really nice guy. But all of this shameless promotion of him I’m seeing from TPTB, the judges, and even his partner (who I’ve lost some respect for) just turns me off completely. After the 3-ring publicity circus of the past 2 weeks, I would not even consider tossing a single vote in their direction this season. But hey, that’s ok, since they seem to be bogarting Maria & Derek’s votes now…and yes, I’m totally calling shenanigans on that one. Anywho…based on scores (and some creative promotion), I think these two ought to be safe from tomorrow’s elimination.
3/4.) TIE: Maria & Derek and Jaleel & Kym – I’m gonna apologize in advance for multiple ties – but the scoring of these past 2 weeks just has me all discombulated and unsure of what to think I’m still in disbelief that the judges honestly thought William & Cheryl’s quickstep was as good as Maria & Derek’s, which I found to be a bright spot in a dismal evening of routines. It was fun, it was clean, and Maria is starting to relax – and when you take into account that Maria actually hurt herself pretty bad, I think it’s even more impressive that she was able to pull off such an entertaining routine. I found her technique to be at least a point or 2 better than slouchy William. As for Jaleel – I feel bad for the guy, because I feel like they got shafted worst of all by their song tonight. That was one sh*tty jive song – can you blame them for looking a bit lackluster and low-energy when they have to dance a silly dance to a song that’s probably better suited to a rumba or waltz? I honestly wouldn’t have known what to do if tasked with doing jive to a song like that. So while I think it wasn’t as impressive as his foxtrot last week, I honestly can’t fault him (or Kym, for that matter) for doing a bit of a lackluster routine. Scoring-wise, I think they *should* be ok – but the spread is really funky this week. I suggest everyone keep their eyes peeled for Heidi’s numbers post tomorrow…it should be…interesting.
5/6.) TIE: Sherri & Val and Roshon & Chelsie – These two couples are a bit of a wild card for me, as one of them seems to get over-the-top praise for so-so choreo, and the other seems to get similar scores & harder critiques for routines that I find to be technically superior. I dunno how the hell Sherri ended up with 1 point more than Jaleel for a jive with little to no, well, JIVE in it, and with a pretty obvious snafu (although I will give her some credit for playing it off well). I mean, I guess it was smart of Val to minimize the amount of real jive steps in this routine, considering that Sherri didn’t seem to handle the little bit of real jive she had very well; but all things considered, I think they should have been docked a point or two for lack of content. But I will say that I was entertained by it, as Sherri seemed to be having a ton of fun…she is coming across as more likeable than I initially thought she would As for Roshon & Chelsie – I have a feeling Roshon could come out of nowhere and really prove to be a contender about midway through the season, but right now – I worry that he’s getting a bit lost in the shuffle, even though I think he’s one of the best technicians this season. I was really impressed with this quickstep – I was admittedly skeptical that he was gonna be a one-trick pony that could only do Latin dances infused with hip-hop, but he really seemed to take to the quickstep well – great posture and timing. A little bouncy at times, but on a night like tonight, I’ll gladly take “a little too bouncy” over “slouchy & scared”. I just worry that Roshon may not be getting the votes…but I think his score ought to keep him safe for now. As for Sherri – she seems pretty popular with both the judges and the viewers, so I doubt she’s heading home this week.
7.) Gladys & Tristan – Poor Gladys – I could tell she was really trying this week, but I daresay this week’s not-so-quickstep may be an unfortunate consequence of her age I think we all got a bit spoiled last week, as Gladys came out swinging with such sassiness and some smooth moves that we tended to overlook any potential slipups. I’m afraid this week was a bit more of a reality check – I love Gladys, I really do, and I think she’s great for her age, but she’s still a 67-year-old woman – she isn’t going to be able to move with the same speed and precision as some of these youngin’s, and it’s eventually going to come down to who can keep up and who can’t. It’s not her fault – blame Father Time, I guess. Like I said, I saw genuine effort on her part, but in the end, she just couldn’t bounce & move her feet fast enough to really nail the quickstep. But if the booing after she got her scores was any indicator, people ain’t gonna let her get sent home without a fight! Definitely the loudest, longest, and most disgruntled booing I heard all night
8.) Donald & Peta – I gotta say – I just love watching Donald dance, because he always looks like a kid on Christmas morning, just so excited to be out there I love, love, love that gigantic goofy smile! And really, the guy ain’t bad – he’s still a bit excitable, but he managed to deliver a pretty nice, clean quickstep tonight. I would say it was a definite improvement, even if it was a bit elementary compared to some others. What I’m more worried about is him just getting overlooked in favor of more notable (for better or worse) routines – he’s not amazingly good or amazingly bad, and he’s scoring about in the middle of the pack. I just hope he’s not being overlooked in favor of supporting a flashier couple (like that one I don’t like) or a couple that really needs help (like Martina & Tony). Cheeseheads, I’m counting on you to keep that goofy grin around for awhile
9.) Jack & Anna – I’m baffled as to why these two aren’t getting more love from the judges. I honestly think Jack is probably a better technician than Gavin, Donald, & William, and a better showman than Gavin or William – yet he’s always just a mere point or two ahead of Gavin. And these crap running order positions don’t seem to be helping! I am so glad someone sent me a link to his jive, because I think it ended up being my favorite of the night, next to Katherine’s – I think Jack is just trying so hard, and having so much fun. Of all the male contestants this season, I think Donald & Jack are the most invested – I always feel like they’re giving it their all. Really, this wasn’t a bad jive at all – he was picking up his knees far more than some of the other contestants, and he didn’t miss any steps. Yeah, he did look a little winded by the end, but I would have given this at least a 23. Now my big concern is whether or not he’s getting the votes – like I said before, these “running order positions of doom” he keeps getting are a little dangerous. If he’s consistently getting shoved in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th position, he could get forgotten. He’s getting all of my votes this week to be safe, since I’m pretty sure my other 2 favorites (Jaleel & Roshon) ought to be ok, based on the points spread. Fingers crossed!
10.) Melissa & Maks – I’m just really confused by these two. I don’t think I’ve forgotten about Maks’ partner since season 9, when he was just kinda ho-hum with Debi Mazar – but I find myself FORGETTING about Melissa altogether She’s not good, she’s not terrible, and she’s just not making a huge impression – granted, I do think she loosened up a bit this week and did improve (and probably deserved at least 1 more point for her quickstep), but neither of her routines have been particularly impactful. I honestly don’t know what to think, but if she had anyone other than Maks as her partner, I would say she’d probably be heading home this week. I actually like Melissa as a person – she seems like she really wants to do well, but sometimes gets overwhelmed by emotion…something I can totally relate to And she seems to “get” Maks…so far she hasn’t cowered in fear when he gets flustered, and is letting him be the boss. I think she’s good for him, and vice-versa. But man, if they wanna stick around – they have GOT to separate themselves from the pack, and pronto, because otherwise they’re gonna get lost in a sea of big personalities.
11.) Gavin & Karina – After watching this week’s package, I think I’m convinced that Gavin just really doesn’t give a sh*t about the competition He seems like he’s more into cracking jokes and being sarcastic than he is actually performing – and it seems to be the exact OPPOSITE of Karina’s work ethic. She looked like she was about ready to choke him a few times during their rehearsals! And while they may have had more rehearsal time than any other couple this week – I’m not sure I saw enough improvement to really confirm that. He seemed to have a bit more fun on the floor, but his posture just made me cringe, and he just seemed to be “that guy” at the club, grooving behind the hot chick working it out on the floor. I just don’t get the feeling he’s giving it his all – which sucks, because I didn’t want Karina to have such a dud this season, after such a high with JR last season. If these two don’t get sent home tomorrow night (and it is a possibility, methinks), I can’t imagine they’ll live through next week without some MAJOR improvement. Will they improve? Who knows. And even if they do…will they be scored properly?
12.) Martina & Tony – Poor Martina – I just don’t think she’s a dancer, no matter how hard she tries. I can’t imagine that it’s her age that’s holding her back, or her physical fitness, as she seems to be quite fit – so I’m guessing it’s just all mental? I really don’t know…part of me thinks she has convinced herself that she’s incapable of being feminine and flirty, which is why she looks so unsure of herself out on the floor. I really do feel bad for her out there – I do think she’s really trying, but she just loses her confidence and ends up moving so tiny out there. I think I may have seen shades of Kate Gosselin tonight – just so insecure that she could barely move I wish I were more optimistic about Martina, but I just don’t know if she has the fanbase to pull her though another week – and I’m not sure Tony has enough of his own fanbase to make up the difference. But bear in mind that I’m not 100% confident of pretty much anything this season, except that TPTB REALLLLLLLY want us to like William.
So how did you guys feel about tonight? Who do you think is going home, and who do you think will get the encore? I promise to be back next week with better rankings, when I’m not so tired and cranky