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PureDWTS: More of Sharna Burgess, Terra Jole, & Amy Purdy Attending the Indy 500

It was basically a DWTS reunion this past weekend here in Indy – Sharna & Terra both attended to support Hinch, and Amy was a special guest of Firestone/Bridgestone. Sharna got to ride in the 500 Festival Parade on Saturday (she & Pierson were right behind Hinch & Becky), and all three ladies walked the red carpet at the actual race on Sunday. Admittedly, it gave my cold, cold heart some serious warm fuzzies seeing Team Stop & Go reunited again, and I love that Terra has also remained close with Hinch after their season 🙂 Check out odd & assorted pix and video below – sorry for the poor quality of the video of parade telecast, all I had was my TV & my phone 😛 Read more..

May 30, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24: Why Normani Didn’t Win

So, to say that the four days following the announcement of the winner of season 24 of DWTS have been “interesting”, would be an understatement 😛 I’ve seen mainly rejoicing, but also some general rage from the Harmonizers, who simply can’t fathom how Normani came in 3rd place and insist that the show must be rigged/racist/sexist/capitalist/whatever-ist because she didn’t win. While this is unfortunately the type of behavior many of us have come to expect from that particular group of fans, there have been a few fans that have sincerely expressed a desire to know why I think Normani didn’t win.  So here is my sincere response – if you are genuinely puzzled as to how it happened, this is my personal opinion, backed up with some numbers and some general observations about voting behavior. Very little of this actually has anything to do with Normani herself – most of these are factors that were out of her control, out of her fans’ control, and weren’t really things that anyone (other than maybe the executive producers) could have done anything to fix. I think Normani herself was just kind of a victim of circumstance this season – just not destined to win, for whatever reason. So the cries of “You’re just being mean to Normani!!!”? Keep ’em to yourself or GTFO.

So if you are genuinely interested, read on – and if you can remain civil and level-headed, feel free to comment or ask questions. But if you’re just here to complain about us or just generally be obnoxious, I will delete comments and permanently blacklist posters without a second thought – I’ve never witnessed the same level of vitriol from some fanbases as I saw this season.  I have no time for it. Read more..

May 27, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Power Rankings – The Dirty Dancing Edition!

You guys asked, and I delivered – you better like it, though, cause I set aside my usual Wednesday night viewing of The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo to watch this turd, and it’s three hours of my life that I won’t get back. I knew up front it likely wouldn’t be that great (and definitely wouldn’t touch the original), but man – I would even go so far as to call this one a FESTERING turd, it was so bad. If you haven’t yet watched it, here’s my recommendation: don’t. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, delete it from your DVR and forget it ever existed.  Trust me when I say that there’s next to nothing redeeming about it (except for a few musical performances, which you can listen to on Spotify or iTunes – I’ve also reviewed the soundtrack below), and if you’re a fan of the original (or, y’know, just a fan of logic/cohesive plotlines/decent storytelling), it will likely just piss you off. You’ve been warned. Also, there are spoilers ahead – although if you heed my advice about this movie being likely to just piss you off, anyway, you may be thankful for said spoilers.  Proceed if you want.

UPDATE: I posted these on Twitter, but for those not on Twitter, I had to share – some of the tweets in response to the movie are HILARIOUS 😛 Both People and Buzzfeed compiled lists of their favorites. My personal favorite? “@ABC You could have remade Gone with the Wind with the cast of The Big Bang Theory and it would have been better than #DirtyDancing!” #dead Read more..

May 25, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 10 – Power Rankings

Dare I say I’m actually walking away from last night’s show cautiously optimistic about the outcome of this season, despite being thoroughly disgusted by the manipulations we endured all season long? 🙂 I think the narrative shift we saw beginning last week came to full fruition this week – the judges were decidedly less “gushy” about one couple that they had gushed about all season, while becoming unusually gushy about a couple they had given a pretty hard time all season – and the third couple? Well, they just critiqued that one kindly, somewhat coming to accept that they were there, despite not being as good as the other two, and just made sure to score them low enough that they weren’t too much of a threat to the other two. I do have to wonder if the rumors about Rashad doing the tour this summer are true, and that it was a bit of a last-minute decision, hence the judges’ sudden fondness for him in the past two weeks – Rashad has been good all season, but the judges just now starting to notice it? It gives me pause. As for Normani &  Val – I also wonder if they either promised Val he’d make it to the finals, or it was written into Normani’s contract as a condition for her doing the show; but then again, part of me wonders if TPTB were at first trying to angle for a back-to-back win for Val, but gave up after seeing that Normani didn’t have the voting clout to make it happen…or that Val wasn’t doing the tour after all. But the sudden about-face they did with regards to both Rashad & Normani? Just makes me go…hmmm…

…as predicted, though, they kinda kept David at arm’s length, and took the tack of “Well he’s here, we may as well try and justify his presence to the viewers who are pissed about Simone, even though David had nothing to do with her elimination!” Less predictable was the narrative they took with Normani, though, which read something like “You’ve just been sooooo perfect all season, that when you do make a mistake now, it is just blatantly obvious to us!” As for Rashad, they seemed to have retrograde amnesia, and completely forget about Shad’s bad feet from a few weeks back or Shad “not connecting to the dance” or whatever.  But I’m totally okay with this, as Shad & Emma have been on the receiving end of so much unfounded nitpicking as the season has unfolded that it’s about damn time they got some love. Also totally okay with Shad getting Erin interviews after both dances, while Normani didn’t talk to Erin at all last night, after being granted beaucoup screen time all season long – we don’t need to hear Val’s self-important soapboxing, or hear from Normani’s grandma, or from Fifth Harmony, etc. I’m guessing those two were feeling the pain of suddenly not being the favored couple, as there were a few instances where the cameras panned to the couples and Normani & Val were noticeably subdued while Rashad, Emma, Lindsay, & David were smiling/clapping/actually looking happy to be there. I feel a tiny bit sorry for them (but only a tiny bit!) because this is the exact type of hammer dropping after being gushed over all season that tends to leave couples feeling pretty salty – but in Val’s case, he could use some serious humbling, so this is a good exercise in humility for him. My only worry is about the barrage of vitriol the winner is likely to get from DWM cronies/Harmonizers should the winner tonight not be Normani & Val…

Not a whole lot else to add – I imagine tonight’s show will just draaaaaaag on, with all the filler and faux suspense and whatnot.  Some of you have expressed interest in me doing a power ranking of the Dirty Dancing movie on Wednesday on ABC, like I did for Hairspray Live! – would you guys actually read it if I did it? If there’s enough interest, I SUPPOSE I could forego my Wednesday night Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo viewing to suffer through the most awkward romantic lead in recent history…for you guys, of course 😛 Read more..

May 23, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24 – ABC Announces Dancing with the Stars Spinoff for Kids **POLL**

Sooooo…this is interesting.  According to TV Line, ABC announced a DWTS spin-off at the upfronts presentation today – it’ll be called Dancing with the Stars Junior, and will feature kids:

DWTS Junior will take both celebrity kids and kids of celebrities and pair them up with junior pro dancers to perform choreographed ballroom routines for a panel of expert judges. No word yet on whether any judges from the DWTS mothership will also judge on Junior.

Personally, at the rate the original is deteriorating, I don’t think now is a great time to try and get a spinoff off the ground – then again, maybe this spinoff won’t have the same manipulative spin that we’ve seen with the adult version? I think it’s gonna be hard to justify jerking young kids around for the sake of ratings. My gut’s telling me that Maks’ name is written all over the head judge position…this seems right up his self-important alley, these days.

EDIT: Confirmed with source: DWTSJ is replacing the spring season of regular DWTS – crew was told that the next two seasons of regular DWTS will air in fall 2017 & fall 2018.  Thoughts?

Is it too soon to nominate A.J. Ribeiro and Peanut Rademacher as contestants? 😛 What do you guys think of this new development?

 

 

May 16, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 9 – Power Rankings

In season 12, it was Ralph.  In season 18, it was Charlie. In season 20, it was Nastia. In season 22, it was Wanya…and in season 24, it was Simone. Following the precedent they set back in 2011, the show has managed to screw a worthy contestant out of a spot in the spring finale for four consecutive seasons now – and more often than not, it seems to happen in order to lend a hand to one of the Chmerkovskiy brothers.  It’s getting BEYOND predictable, to the point of the spring season almost following a template: let things happen organically for the first few weeks, then determine who needs to make the finale (must take mandatory Chmerkovskiy quota into account) and be sure to start neutralizing any threats (read: other good dancers that might prevent a Chmerkovskiy from making it into the finale) by having the judges underscore, nitpick, and generally demean said threats until the generally gullible cross-section of the voting audience (the “sheeple”) actually start to believe that contestant really isn’t any good after all and ceases voting for them. And because of this template, I have ZERO sympathy for the judges – practice your shocked faces all you want, but what happened last night was a direct result of all the meddling you’ve done.  The blood is on your hands, and I better not hear implications of “The audience has to vote! You guys sent Simone home!” next week – you don’t get to pull the puppet strings all season long and manipulate the viewers, and then blame Simone’s elim on them.

But I’m guessing that’s inevitably going to be part of the narrative next week, as they seem to be gunning for a 3rd MBT for Prince Joffrey Val – the “we’ve sent two of the best dancers home – don’t let it happen again!” strategy seems to imply that viewers should vote for the best dancer left, which if you believe the judges’ scores and critiques, is Normani (I don’t agree). If the audience is more woke than I give them credit for, it may more broadly imply “vote for one of the good dancers”, which would mean Normani & Rashad, and imply that voters should not be voting for David.  I’ve gotten several questions about how things are going to shake out next week, and I’m not 100% sure (like just about everything else this season), but I feel fairly confident in stating that they will likely lowball the sh*t out of David – as Heidi has stated multiple times before, the judges like to be RIGHT, and a season of gushing about pro dancer Normani only to have halfway-decent dancer David take the MBT makes them look…dumb. I think David is going to get the Noah/Alek treatment relative to the other two – scores several points lower on his two night 1 dances, to the point where votes won’t be enough to bridge the gap between him and Rashad/Normani.  As for the other two – who knows. The fact that they seemed a bit more lukewarm on Normani last night makes me think they’ve already accomplished what they really wanted – ensure Val makes the finale, to continue the narrative of Val being the “star of the show” and hopefully gain some younger viewers from Normani’s fanbase – and they won’t care quite so much about what happens from here on out.  The other part of me thinks they’re saying “Go big or go home!!!” and will continue the OTT gushing in an attempt to secure MBT #3 for Val. There’s just so much funny business going on that I just cannot state with certainty what exactly TPTB are trying to accomplish.  However, if you’re trying to be strategic with your vote (and some of you have expressed a desire to do just that), I would recommend tossing them to Rashad – and I’m not just saying that as a Shad fan 🙂 As I mentioned above, I think they’re going to score David such that it’s going to be a huge uphill battle to catch up to Shad & Normani, and I think there’s at least a decent chance that Normani is going to continue to get pimped right up until the MBT is handed out – so if you’re looking to really stick it to TPTB, I think Shad’s your best bet.

As for poor Simone – I think the thing that made me the saddest about the whole thing is that she almost seemed relieved to be heading home.  That speaks volumes – the fact that she had a meltdown in practice about doing the best she can and it not being good enough for the judges tells me that this show had long since stopped being fun for her.  This show BROKE her, to the point where not continuing seemed like a better bet than continuing on in the competition. So I guess if that’s what she really wanted at the end of the day – I’m happy for her, and glad she could go out on a high note. Other random thoughts? SO. MUCH. FILLER. LAST. NIGHT. If we cut out the two guest performances and cut back on mic time for random people (i.e. Normani’s grandma), I’m willing to bet we could have shaved a half hour or more off the running time. And I feel like every pro, current or former, that isn’t tied up with the DWTS tour is now trying to pull a Derek & Julianne and start their own tour…and each kinda feels like a less fully-realized version of MOVE. Yeah, it was kinda cool seeing Cheryl doing something really different for her – but it felt more like contemporary by numbers, than a truly creative, connected performance. Read more..

I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 8 – Power Rankings

Wow…I’m honestly not even sure where to begin. I feel like last night’s show was just 2 hours of the judges/PTB spanking the viewers for not voting how they (the judges/PTB) feel they SHOULD be voting. And the judges reached new lows – between Len telling Bonner “you should have gone home already!” and Carrie Ann deciding that David’s critique was a great time to shade Rashad (disrespectful to both men, really), to every judge giving vague, rambling, directionless critiques based on absolutely nothing, my head was spinning by the end. And my blood was boiling, because I think last night things legitimately got a bit sexist, too – between the judges giving Simone a hard time about smiling too much/not enough, Val & Alan doffing their shirts and shifting focus away from Normani, Sharna & Britt begrudgingly selling their souls in that trio, and watching female pros bite their tongues and try not to show they were upset by the critiques they were getting (while a certain male pro basically acts like a mouthy teenager every week and talks back to Len), I honestly felt sickened. Heidi & I are still gonna write that sexism post I promised you guys – but at this point, I think I need a cooling off period before I’m able to discuss it without absolutely losing my sh*t.

So Bonner went home, to the surprise of basically no one – but I will say that, for awhile there, I was seriously wondering if he was safe, with as cruel as they were being to him. Two unflattering packages, a sleazy trio dance to a terrible song, getting mocked by Val & Alan, two bad scores, and Len basically calling him out to his face on live national television – it seemed to point more to “he’s sticking around, but we want to make sure that he ain’t gonna survive next week’s elim!” But thankfully, he did end up going home – especially since they decided to share a sleazy clip of him during the trio rehearsal.  Yes, he might have gotten a bad edit – but they can’t actually edit you in such a way that you say “maybe I could spank you both on the butt!” if you didn’t actually say it. Or gesture it. Anywho – bye-bye, Bonner. You hopefully freed up Sharna’s schedule so she can fly to Indy and watch Hinch in the Indy Grand Prix this weekend 🙂

And then there were four – and next week’s elim is probably gonna hurt. I think everyone left deserves to be in the finale for different reasons, and would be fine if they ended up deciding to take all four to the finale; but my initial guess that they’re aiming for a Rashad-Simone-Normani finale doesn’t feel so concrete anymore – part of me wonders if they’ve grown accustomed to the new viewers and votes that David has brought to the show, and don’t want that gravy train to end…so I still think there’s at least a slight chance he could edge out one of the three above and make it to the finals. I’m also not entirely positive who he might displace – my gut says Normani, because her voting fanbase is still untested and she seems to be the one that gets the most help in term of gushing critiques and inflated scores; but they seemed to nitpick the life out of Simone & Rashad last night – will America buy it? If some of the comments I’ve been seeing are any indicator, the answer is no – people seem especially pissed about how Simone was treated. So I guess I’m still leaning towards a Simone-Rashad-Normani finale, with David potentially playing spoiler to Normani. Read more..

May 9, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24: ABC Apparently In Talks to Buy “American Idol” – So What Does That Mean For Dancing with the Stars???

This has been on my radar for a few days now, and many of you have tweeted me asking what I thought – well now that I’m not quite as bogged down with my 9-5 and we’re headed into the lull of the weekend, I’m ready to weigh in…

…for those just tuning in, according to TMZ (and a bunch of other reputable sources), ABC is currently in talks to buy the rights to American Idol:

American Idol” has only been off the air a year, but seems it’s still the hottest property out there, because we’ve learned ABC has now made an offer to buy the show.

Sources at ABC and Fremantle — the company that produces the show — tell TMZ the network contacted Fremantle last week and made the bid. We’re told the network wanted to reboot the show for a March 2018 premiere.

Given that they would be aiming for a March 2018 premiere, I think the obvious question is “So…what happens to DWTS, then?” because that would fit the same schedule as a spring season of DWTS.  I don’t think ABC has the carrying capacity for two big-name reality TV competition shows airing concurrently, so I think the most likely scenario is that Idol would take the place of a spring season of DWTS, thereby reducing DWTS to a one-season-per-year show in the fall only, much like Strictly Come Dancing in the UK.

I think Heidi & I have ruminated on the pros and cons of DWTS potentially getting reduced to one season per year for several seasons now, and have determined that the pros would far outweigh the cons – you’d avoid some of the oversaturation viewers seems to be experiencing in recent years, it would allow for more selective casting (fewer spots to fill = more leeway to hold out for better stars), and hopefully the overall quality of the show would go up (fewer seasons = less need to come up with gimmicks to keep things “fresh” all the time). And if the show’s gonna go to one season, they’d be better off eighty-sixing the spring one, which always scores lower in ratings than the fall season – so if reducing DWTS from one season to two is what ABC is aiming to do, I’d say this is their best bet, and is probably a bit overdue, anyway, given the level of f*ckery we’ve seen the last few seasons.

So it’s pretty much a done deal, then, right? We’re in our last spring season of DWTS, and the show’s gonna smoothly transition into a fall-only endeavor?

Not so fast.  There are a few obstacles in place that might prevent all of this from going off without a hitch – the first being that ABC ain’t the only one trying to get their hands on Idol:

TMZ broke the story … NBC and FOX were in a bidding war a few months ago to get the show, but Fremantle stopped negotiating because of squabbling with CORE, co-owner of ‘A.I.’

Our sources say Fremantle is going back to CORE to see if they can agree to negotiate with ABC, and go back to NBC and FOX.

Apparently NBC was also looking to snap Idol up, and in a move that doesn’t quite make sense to me, FOX was trying to nab them, too (so…why did they let them go in the first place, then?).  And understandably, Freemantle is  probably trying to hold out for the best offer. There’s also the minor issue of Ryan Seacrest’s return as host being nary impossible at this point:

We’re also told ABC inquired about making Ryan Seacrest the host, but even last week the network knew it was on the verge of signing Ryan as co-host of ‘Live’ with Kelly Ripa. As a result, we’re told ABC asked if the show could be shot in New York, which is now Ryan’s home base. Our sources say Fremantle made it clear … NYC was a no-go. The show will be shot in L.A.

We’re told Ryan hasn’t been approached by ABC about hosting the show and our ABC sources say it’s virtually out of the question, given his commitment to ‘Live.’

While Idol certainly COULD go on without Seacrest, part of me wonders if part of the appeal for ABC in picking up Idol is to have a show that already comes with a ratings-guaranteed fanbase – a fanbase that sorta hinges upon certain constants on the show, such as Seacrest hosting, having certain judges, etc. Since the show would likely be up against The Voice in its time slot, I’m thinking ABC wants a guaranteed ratings-grabber – and while the format of Idol may be a successful one, I’m not sure how much rebooting can be done before you run the risk of running some of the longtime Idol fans off. ABC may run into similar problems trying to cast judges – if they’re trying to pick up some of the old standbys, they could run into issues trying to book J.Lo and Harry Connick Jr., who are both contractually obligated to NBC these days (J.Lo for Shades of Blue and World of Dance, Harry for his daytime talk show, Harry). I don’t know how realistically affordable Simon Cowell would be, anyway, but he’s also kinda committed to NBC via his involvement on America’s Got Talent.  Paula’s a judge on So You Think You Can Dance on FOX. It doesn’t look like Randy Jackson or Keith Urban are committed to any other major networks, but are they enough to hold together a judges’ panel with 1-2 other new judges? And perhaps a new host?

My doubts about those last few items makes me think that, unless ABC can win the bidding war for Idol AND manage to book some of the old favorites from the series, we’re going to continue seeing a spring season of DWTS until ABC can find another suitable replacement – because even though DWTS’ ratings might be declining, they’re still a ratings juggernaut for ABC, and have been consistently beating The Voice in total viewers for a few seasons now. I don’t see them dumping that kind of success unless they can find something that’s going to be a guaranteed hit, right out of the gate – and I’m not sure there’s a whole lotta shows out there that are gonna fit the bill. But the very fact that they appear to be looking? Tells me that DWTS could be in a bit of trouble…not “cancel it completely” trouble – yet – but certainly “Do we really need two seasons a year instead of just one?” trouble…

…what are your thoughts, though?

May 5, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 8 – Rashad & Emma On Access Hollywood, Talk Rashad’s Dad, Plans for the Future, & the Race to the Mirrorball

Shad & Emma did Access Hollywood today, and chatted about everything from Rashad’s future plans (he seems confident that he’ll get picked up by another team soon, but would “respectfully love to try acting” after his NFL career is over), to Rashad’s note-taking habits (Emma says he’s “a perfectionist”), their “Most Memorable Year” dance for Shad’s dad, and their chances of winning the MBT (interesting to note that he’s been Liz Hernandez’s pick to win since week one 😉 ). They also played a fun round of dance trivia, and Emma filled them in on her wedding planning progress…check it out below:

I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Y’know, if I felt so inclined, I’m thinking I could probably set up some phony-baloney psychic hotline and bilk people out of hundreds of dollars an hour, because predicting this season and its manipulation has gotten SO EASY that I could probably convince some of the less-bright viewers that I’m the second coming of Miss Cleo.  Who da fathah of de bebe? 😛

But in all seriousness – my god, was last night a shitshow. The powers that be didn’t even seem to be trying to hide their hand – from the moment they started mentioning the immunity and perfect scores, you just knew they were setting it up to serve Normani on a silver platter. Poor Simone & Shad, who both had fantastic nights and were every bit (if not more) as deserving as Normani, never even stood a chance of coming near that immunity. But the fact that TPTB went out of their way to keep Normani safe does give me hope – because it seems to point to her not being able to stay safe on her own. Think about it: for the past three weeks, she’s either gotten perfect or near-perfect scores, regardless of the actual quality (or content) of her dances – and this started happening after all of our low-hanging fruit (Chris, Charo, & Mr. T) was gone.  The judges turned on the gushing, and Normani has had a decent points cushion ever since. She has never really been in a position of imminent danger of getting sent home, by virtue of her scores (and the relative underscoring of others). But now that we’re getting down to the wire, and all that’s left are people who can hang in terms of votes – it’s going to take more and more drastic measures in order to keep Normani safe.  And during a precarious week with a *gasp!* double elim, what better way to ensure her safety than granting her immunity to this week’s elim? Just food for thought – it’s entirely possible that Normani could have been one of the two headed home when you added up last week’s scores and votes. But if they handed her immunity, the next person up on the roster would have gotten sent home in her place – and I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that the most likely person she would have bumped is Nancy, who probably has more support in the main viewing demographic than Normani does. So for those of you trying to make sense of this week’s elim – I honestly think that’s a valid theory of what may have happened.  Nancy could have been the sacrificial lamb because someone else had to stay. Or hell – Normani could have actually had the lowest combined total of scores and votes, but got saved by the immunity. Don’t think it’s possible that such an awesome and “popular” contestant could have gotten sent home? How quickly some are likely to forget Heather. Just a warning: don’t assume Normani is raking in votes because she’s been sticking around. She has yet to really have her fanbase tested on this show…

…as for our two eliminees, I think Nick & Nancy both did an extremely respectable job this season, and will be missed. As I’ve said before, I found myself liking Nick & his self-deprecating sense of humor way more than I thought I would, and he was actually a pretty decent dancer, too – but I think he was understandably beginning to tire of being berated week after week for dances that weren’t really all that bad, and I think Peta is just tired, period, and needs a nap. I could not have asked for more from Nancy & Artem – she was really finding her footing and starting to take shape as a contender, and I just LOVED seeing how grateful she was for the experience; and Artem absolutely blossomed this season as a pro – it was nice to see him so supportive and connected with his partner (after a chain of iffy partnerships), and his choreo took a turn for the better. As I said before, I think they may simply have been the victim of the machinations to keep Normani around, and I do believe Nancy actually had more support within the main viewing demo of the show than Normani did; I think Nancy & Artem may just have been at a bit of a disadvantage by quietly improving week after week, rather than swinging wildly from high-highs to low-lows like some other couples did.  Their journey may not have been dramatic, but it certainly was memorable and fun to watch 🙂

And now we move on to the elephant in the room: Bonner. Saw a lot of questions of “Who the hell is voting for Bonner????” floating around, and I’ll admit, it baffled me initially, too.  But once I got to thinking about it, it started to make more sense – I’m not sure that people are so much voting for Bonner as they are Sharna.  And this, kids, could be a bit of an unforeseen side of effect of multiple seasons of screwing Sharna out of a win – more and more fans seem to be adopting the “it’s [insert pro here]’s turn to win!!!!” philosophy, and I still see quite a bit of talk from fans who thought last season should have been Hinch & Sharna’s (hell, I’m one of them). It’s possible Sharna’s still experiencing a ground swell from last season, that’s carrying she & Bonner further than expected; they also had a comparatively decent week last week, with a pretty kind score and a rumba that wasn’t altogether terrible (along with being part of a really, really fun team dance). And to reiterate a point Heidi brought up to me earlier – when you’ve got the same 2-3 people getting the lion’s share of the votes each week (likely Rashad, Simone, & David), the situation at the bottom of the leader board can vacillate from week to week. If the same 3 couples are getting the most votes week after week, and the rest of the couples are each getting roughly the same fraction of votes as one another each week, then actual rankings can vary quite a bit based on their dances.  Bonner happened to have a relatively “up” week last week, while Nick got dragged and Nancy slipped a bit. Those little fluctuations, no matter how small, have the potential to shake things up quite a bit if those further down the leaderboard are all fighting for the same fraction of votes.

Other than the obvious stuff? Mandy was an ok judge, but seemed to be just another “yes” woman and was following instructions from the control booth on how to score; I did kinda like how she seemed to frequently give a point more than the other judges, though, especially for those dances were the judges were being particularly nitpicky/stingy. I thought the opener was kinda lazy, though – was Mandy too busy getting debriefed on the responses she was to be giving each of the couples as a judge to choreograph something more interesting? Seemed like everyone got caught up a bit in some time-wasting in their dances, just by virtue of the theme, so I guess I’m giving everyone a bit of a free pass this week. The dance-offs were kind of a non-event, and seemed to be very much predetermined, down to who would win each one. Is it too much to ask to let things unfold at least a little bit organically on this show??? Read more..

May 2, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog