Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 10 – Power Rankings

Several things that make me go “hmmmm” this week: the scores very much in a close cluster headed into finale week (74, 75, 76, 78), Sadie back to being low-balled a bit; the sudden repetition of the phrases “momentum”, “going all the way”, and “contender” with reference to Janel; the decision to bring back Maks for a visit; and the fact that Alfonso seems to be in some serious pain.  All are things that make me wonder about the finale, in a variety of ways…you’ll see why.

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy – it was great run, buddy, and you very much went out on a high note (no pun intended…ok, maybe a little bit).  Thought that the Chonger actually gave two very respectable performances tonight, and his rumba in particular was a lovely illustration of just why I appreciated him so damn much this season: he let us see a softer side of Peta.  I don’t think I’ve EVER seen her so emotionally attached to a partner, and it made her a lot more human and relatable for me – plus Tommy was just so daggone charming, and seemed to really embrace the experience of being on DWTS.

1.) Alfonso & Witney – Injury aside, I think we saw something out of Alfonso tonight that we maybe hadn’t noticed as much when he wasn’t injured: heart.  I loved seeing the fighting side of Fonz tonight – his technique may not have been as on-point as we’ve seen from him in the past (though by no means was it shoddy – even injured, the guy is still a revelation), but I think it just made it more obvious how hard he was trying and how much he really wants to be here and do well – so I appreciated both of his performances tonight, as well as Witney’s choreography.  She has been a revelation this season – really loving how she’s able to showcase her partner.  Also worth noting, I think – just how many (and how diverse) a group of celebs showed up in Alfonso’s “flashback” package to wish him well.  Rick Schroeder, Emmitt Smith, most of the cast of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and…Dan Quayle??? I like to think it just illustrates Fonz’s broad-spectrum appeal – and how beloved he is by so many because of both Carlton and Silver Spoons.   My only worry? That his injury may prevent his freestyle from being as truly epic as it could be, if his range of motion is limited – but I’m optimistic that he’s still going to wow us, and  he’s still got time to heal.  He’s still my pick to win ;-) Read more..

November 18, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 9 – Power Rankings

I know I’ve been absent for awhile – chalk it up to an insane workload at my 9-5, some Comicon hijinx in Ohio, and a bridal shower in Texas this past weekend (check out my instagram for pix of the latter two – @putuincespence).  Literally, the busiest 2 weeks of my life.  8-O But I’m back now and there’s something I’d like to get off my chest with regards to TPTB…

STOP TRYING TO MAKE JANEL HAPPEN. IT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN. And in fact, it very well could backfire – especially after what we saw from them tonight.  The viewers are not stupid – they can tell when you’re trying to wrap a turd in tinfoil and sell it to them as a candy bar. You’ve secured her spot in next week’s show – good for you.  But when you pimp and pimp and pimp a certain contestant with the objective of getting them to the finale, a funny thing often happens when they get there: they typically don’t place better than 3rd or 4th place.  Food for thought.

Moving right along…I see Carrie Ann & Julianne are back to riding high on the bath salts train, as neither one had very much credibility tonight – lots of nonsense being spewed, both positive & negative.  Len was a (sort of) stabilizing influence, who wasn’t afraid to speak up and tell them they were full of it, though even he wasn’t completely immune to the nonsense.  My only hope is that he can get really, really real next week – cause he seemed to be turning a blind eye to quite a bit this week that he would normally quite vocally object to. Read more..

November 11, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Three cheers for an opening pro dance that I actually enjoyed! Thought it was cute how they worked in a Halloween theme.  At the very least, it wasn’t a bunch of  female bumping & grinding & hair-flipping…or Pitbull. 8-O

So Len was back, and as I kind of predicted – he was grumpy, and Julianne kind of reverted back to being the level-headed judge.  Carrie Ann is still the airheaded judge; I can’t even really remember anything Bruno said.  Overall, I don’t feel as though the quality of judging improved much with Len’s return – so I’m fine if he doesn’t want to come back next season.  Hell, I don’t really care if ANY of the judges come back next season ;-)

Kinda had an inkling that Antonio was toast the minute the judges started laying into him for a dance that really wasn’t that bad, in my opinion – it was probably Antonio’s best, and though he’s still kind of an awkward mover, he seemed to smooth things out quite a bit better this week.  But I’m guessing that he just wasn’t connecting with viewers – I felt like we never really got to see the real Antonio.  Wish he would have given us more of a peek into his work or family life.

1.) Bethany & Derek – Bethany was given great scores and great choreography this week, but here’s the odd part for me: in both her individual and team dance, there seemed to be moments where she just wasn’t…fully present.  It’s hard to describe, but it’s like she went into autopilot both times – not sure if she’s just really tired or burnt out, but she just didn’t seem as invested as she was in her tango last week.  Thought the concept and setting of her paso was great, and Derek gave her some great choreo in their team dance – but she just didn’t grab the bull by the horns like she normally does.  She wasn’t bad by any means – she was just not as dazzling for me as she usually is.  Maybe it was just this week and having to learn two dances – hopefully she’ll be back to 100% next week.  But she can leave the Maleficient/Queen Amidala hair – wasn’t loving that. Read more..

October 28, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 6 – Power Rankings

I apologize for this being so ungodly late, but between all of the media and other posts we had going up earlier, a sh*tastic day at work, and some of you just generally driving me to drink, I decided that these rankings could wait a bit.  Side note: if you wanna talk about the team dances next week, go here; if you so desire to vote for the dance styles and songs that the couples are dancing in week 7 (I think), this post has directions.  I’m pretty partial to the idea of Tommy doing a Viennese waltz to “I’d Rather Go Blind”, but to each his own ;-)

After two hours of Pitbull the peanut-butter eating, Spanglish-speaking naked mole rat judging, I still have no idea was “DALE!!!” means.  Oh well – I guess when it all came down to it, he was a halfway decent judge; he saw right through the showmance front that Vajanel put up, and actually knew the names of a few salsa steps to compliment  Alfonso on.  Doesn’t mean I ever want to see him as a judge again, though ;-) But hey, Mr. Worldwide needed a plug for his gig hosting the American Music Awards, so I guess that’s why we got him this week…

…the judging seemed kinder this week, so I wonder if there was a huge backlash from some of the out-and-out cruelty we saw last week and the judges were told to ease up a bit.  Still think Alfonso & Sadie (and now Bethany) are getting nitpicked, while Janel, Antonio, & Tommy are getting babied a bit; Lea and Mike are a toss-up each week.  Will be  interesting  to see if the dynamic of the judging panel changes at all with Len back – wonder if we’ll start to see more complaints about “messin’ about”, and Julianne will suddenly become the “nice judge” now that Len the critic is back.

Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan – kinda stinks that he didn’t last longer, but if he had to get eliminated, at least he went out on a high note.  His jazz was probably his (and Allison’s) best dance yet.  Not sure Allison made a strong enough showing to warrant getting asked back as a pro again next season, but we shall see…

1.) Alfonso & Witney – Perhaps not the most “strictly salsa” salsa we’ve ever seen on the show, but I can’t blame Witney for sneaking in some hip-hop to play to Alfonso’s strengths.  Thought he could have used a bit more hip action, but then I have to wonder if Witney tried to keep the steps a bit tight & boxy in order to baby his groin injury.  Still a very enjoyable routine – there was some complex stuff in there, and Alfonso managed to stay on-time and in-step with Witney. He’s still the showman of this season, for sure – and with the way the crowd goes crazy after his dances, I think he’s gonna be around till the end. :-) Read more..

October 21, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 7 – Team Dances REVEALED!!! *SPOILERS* & POLL

It’s super early, and I’m tired, so I’m just gonna cut right to the chase – the teams for the team dances are…

ETA #1: Updated with songs for both teams.  Methinks this should level the playing field a bit…

ETA #2: Added two polls to see how things stack up…

Team Alfonso (song: “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show):

Alfonso & Witney
Sadie & Mark
Antonio & Cheryl
Tommy & Peta

Team Bethany (song: “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora):

Bethany & Derek
Janel & Val
Lea & Artem
Michael & Emma

It sounds like the team dances are freestyles once again, and they both have Halloween music.  One team has “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora.  This is all I know right now.

My thoughts? The teams are far more evenly-matched then they have been in previous seasons, but Team Bethany probably has the edge by virtue of having 2 trained dancers and Derek; on the flipside, I think they also ended up with the weakest dancer currently left – Mike, so he could be a bit of a liability.  Funny how one team ended up with 3 male celebrities & 1 female celeb, and the other team ended up with 3 female celebs & 1 male celeb.

Discuss.

I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Dancing with the Stars Season 19, Week 6 – Who’s Dancing What….and When? (Song Spoilers)

It’s Pitbull week! Except not really…oh wait, I know! It’s Latin week! Nope, not really that either…hmmm.  Who the hell knows what the theme of this week is supposed to be.  Some couples are dancing to Pitbull songs, but not all of them; and we’ve got a few ballroom dances peppered into a bunch of Latin dances…oh, and one lone jazz.  A little something for everyone, I suppose.

I could see Jonathan making a bit of a comeback this week, since jazz seems like it would be right in he & Allison’s wheelhouse; Mike is likely pretty screwed with the Argentine tango.  Tommy could go either way with the foxtrot – it’s his first “true” ballroom dance, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.  At the top of the leader board? I’m guessing Janel gets rave reviews for her samba, regardless of how good it actually is, because they need her to have a comeback week; I think Sadie will unfortunately be back to getting low balled after finally getting the scores she deserves last week. Ditto for Alfonso – I fully expect him to get nitpicked to death AGAIN, and if he & Witney are going the route I think they are with their salsa, they could be taking a big risk…so I’m bracing myself for the most harsh critique they’ve had yet.  Bethany? One big question mark…this will be her first “intense” dance, which could work for her or against her.

Heidi is currently traveling and has limited computer access, but she wanted to make sure this went up for you guys :-) She should be back later tonight with more intel…

ETA: I’m Baaaackkk! With Lea and Artem’s song – and no, it’s NOT the Iggy Azalea version. I also wanted to add that I’ve been rewatching the show and left something out of my numbers post that I wanted to mention. I REALLY appreciate and love how the dancers in the sky box are wearing little tribute costumes to one of their cohorts from time to time. This past week they were all wearing dreadlocks after Tommy’s dance, and this was after they were all imitating Tony after his audition tape was shown.  The previous week they all had beards and duck calls. They show a lot of camaraderie with each other that is fun to watch.  Which makes the judges and their behavior that much more dreadful.  ~Heidi

ETA2: Lots of complaining by Derek fans about his and Beth’s song. Chillax, people. Of all people, he can handle it. And if it doesn’t work? Well, it happens. Jonathan? Much harder to tell how that’s going to go. :-) Oh, and if you scrooooooll down, you’ll see Derek and Beth had a special visitor in their rehearsal. ~Heidi

ETA3: We think we know who sings Antonio’s song, but we’re not 100%. Be sure to tune into our Live blog tonight for some potential spoilers for next week. :-)

Janel and  Val – Samba
Vote: 1-800-868-3405

Jonathan and Allison – Jazz (Song: “Back in Time” by Pitbull )
Vote: 1-800-868-3406

Bethany and Derek – Tango (Song: “Jealous (I ain’t with it)” by Chromeo )
Vote: 1-800-868-3403

Alfonso and Witney – Salsa (Song: “Booty” by Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull  )
Vote: 1-800-868-3401

Lea and Artem – Salsa (Song:  “Sexy People (The Fiat Song)” by Arianna feat. Pitbull )
Vote: 1-800-868-3407

Michael and Emma – Argentine tango
Vote: 1-800-868-3409

Antonio and Cheryl – Salsa (Song: “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias, we THINK )
Vote: 1-800-868-3402

Tommy and Peta – Foxtrot (Song: “September” by Earth, Wind, & Fire )
Vote: 1-800-868-3413

Sadie and Mark – Rumba (Song: “Diamonds” by Rihanna )
Vote: 1-800-868-3411

Some more not-so-subtle clues from Alfonso & Witney…

Loading

Oooh @therealalfonsoribeiro … dat booty tho #DWTS #TeamWitfonso @witneycarson

View on Instagram

Loading

@bethanynoelm and I Gettin our tango on Down Under !! #motough

View on Instagram

October 16, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 5 – Power Rankings

And this is the week that the hammer drops and suddenly the judges are “over” some of the dance crushes they have had so far this season – particularly Julianne and her crush on Tommy.  Hate to say it, but you only have yourselves to blame, guys – when you gush over the same people doing the same rudimentary stuff week after week, you can’t expect them to improve…and then it’s kinda lame to suddenly say “I’m bored, I want more.” But in the same token, you also don’t have to be over-the-top mean – and I think they got that way with a few of the couples tonight.  They seemed to lose sight of the fact that these were NOT the regular pairings, which is a tough enough row to hoe, and on top of that, they were all doing these bizarre dance styles that none of them are extensively trained in.  Was this REALLY the best week to drop that hammer, stooges?

So I guess the asshattery from Julianne, Carrie Ann, and Bruno made me thankful for Jessie J, who at least seemed to try and find the positive in everyone’s routines while still giving a useful critique – she is a judge on The Voice UK, after all, so I think she felt obligated to be constructive.  Also quite impressed with her ability to not only sing live (!!!), but also do some dancing at the same time.  As I said on Twitter – it’s so rare to find singers that actually sing live and don’t just lip sync, let along singers that sing live and dance as well.  The only other singer I can think of off the the top of my head that also does both is Usher…so she’s in good company.

So I guess all this talk about the judges tonight brings me to pose this question to everyone: do we really need Len? Next week will be the 4th week out of 6 that Len hasn’t been at the judges’ table – and I’m not really noticing his absence.  I’m almost wondering, what with his sorta-kinda farewell speech on the finale last season, if he originally was not gonna come back at all this season – and TPTB somehow guilted him into doing a few shows just to maintain some consistency.

But anyway – no elim tonight, but there is one next week, based on last week’s votes, this week’s scores and votes, and next week’s scores.  As our longtime readers know, the more total points given out = the smaller the margins = the greater the likelihood of a “shocking” elimination.  It really becomes a battle of the fanbases – who’s getting the votes vs. who isn’t.  I don’t care if you’re at the bottom of the leaderboard – in a massive-points-dump-to-calculate-elimination scenario like this one, the playing field becomes a lot more level.  To give you an idea of what crazy sh*t could happen – Sabrina was voted off the all-star season in a week where she was only 1/2 point away from a perfect score…but the elim was based on multiple weeks of scores and votes.  Vote, vote, vote, kids – even if your favorite is in the lead.

1.) Alfonso & Cheryl (Witney) – Aaaaand we’re back to nitpicking Alfonso to death, I see – can’t let him get too confident now, can we PTB? Once again, he dances FLAWLESSLY – and in a style that’s totally different than anything we’ve seen from him so far. He nails the technique (those heel things he was doing at the beginning are insanely difficult – the bf actually got a hairline fracture attempting it during a showcase routine), he nails the drama (loved the dust – just that added drama every time he clapped his hands), and he nails the partnering…and all Carrie Ann and Bruno wanna talk about is the distance between his neck and his shoulder??? Seriously, you stooges – what’s the complaint gonna be next week? He’s moving his ears in a strange way when he’s dancing? His pupils are too dilated? He’s flaring his nostrils too much? Because this is getting ri-goddamn-diculous. I guess I see what they’re trying to do – trying to level the playing field, make it seem like Alfonso isn’t running away with this season (even though he really is), but there’s gonna reach a point when even the most dim viewers are gonna say “Ok, that’s just being petty.” And sorry, but 8’s for a dance that good are just ASSININE…especially when they specifically say Sadie missed a few steps in the beginning of her routine, and give her 9’s across the board. She earned her 9’s – but so did Alfonso. Oh well – at least he still gets THUNDEROUS applause after every dance he does. :-D Read more..

October 14, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19 – Partner Switch Spoiler??? *Court Plays P.I.*

Random fact about Court: I’m actually really, REALLY good at doing internet sleuthing.  Case in point? I found out my father got remarried when one day, out of morbid curiosity, I decided to see if he had a marriage license on file at the Palm Beach County Clerk’s Office.  That revelation sure made for an interesting phone call.  I also once located the divorce decree of an ex I had that claimed he had never been married.  Lesson learned: do not lie to Court, because Court will go digging for the truth. But I digress…

…so I started hearing murmurings last night about Derek being spotted at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport.  Some fans were wondering if he had to travel to meet up with his switch partner.  So I thought to myself, “Why not see if we can figure this out using just the internet?” So armed only with my iPhone, I set about the mission of finding out just who Derek’s partner is for the switch.

Based on Sadie’s instagram post yesterday, I knew she was going to be home in West Monroe, Louisiana for the week.  So my obvious question: was Derek flying to West Monroe to meet up with Sadie? This contradicted the data Heidi & I collected from Topsy, which clearly had Lea in the lead to partner with Derek.  So I decided to see if the evidence was there to support Derek actually being paired with Sadie.  Enter Twitter: at about 8:56 EST last night (7:55 CST, which is the time zone Dallas-Ft. Worth is in), a girl named Betsy tweeted a cute picture of her dad on a plane with Derek:

derekonplane

And according to my GateGuru app (which is amazeballs, you should totally download it if you fly at all – if for no other reason than to find the Cinnabon in any airport), there was a flight from Dallas-Ft. Worth to Monroe Regional airport last night, departing at 7:55 PM:

gateguru1gateguru2

So the timeline fits: Betsy’s dad could have spotted Derek across the aisle after boarding, said “Hey man, my daughter digs ya.  Mind if I get a pic?” before they even started taxiing, sent it to his daughter before putting his phone in airplane mode, and she could have posted it to Twitter by the time the plane was in the air.  Now I know some of you hardcore naysayers will say “I’m sure there were lots of flights departing DFW around 8 pm, Courtney.  How do you know he was headed to Monroe???” Well, without getting to stalker-y, one of the other pics Betsy posted to her Twitter timeline was her in her cheerleading uniform.  Not gonna post it here, but her t-shirt (fairly) clearly says “West Monroe Rebels”:

westmonroe

Now, what are the odds that Derek would be at DFW, on a plane around 7:55 PM, seated across the aisle from a guy from West Monroe, at the same time that a flight was leaving that airport for Monroe, LA, and NOT ACTUALLY BE HEADED TO MONROE, LA? Infinitesimal. If the truth comes out that he wasn’t headed to Monroe last night and Sadie is not his switch partner, I, Courtney, will post a picture of Maksyl in their most schmaltzy, fauxmantic pose as my Twitter profile picture for an entire week.  That’s how confident I am in my research. You can call me Swagnum, P.I. 8-)

So now bears the question: if all of our research pointed to Derek getting Lea, then why is he with Sadie? Here’s a few explanations Heidi & I came up with:

Possibility #1: A lot of the #DWTSLeaDerek tweeting was spam, and whatever method TPTB are using to count the tweets managed to weed it out.

Because we here at Pure are not made of moola, we can’t afford the fancy schmancy tech that can recognize and dismiss spam Tweets – but it’s entirely possible that DWTS can afford it and utilize it.  And believe you me, there was A LOT of spamming going on, across the board on all partnership combinations.  There’s a reason why I only tweeted for the switch once per day, and I tried to switch up the wording each time.

Possibility #2: Those who were using the ABC website to vote for the switch were voting a LOT differently than those manually tweeting out their picks.

I tend to think this one isn’t as plausible, because there would have to be  some REALLY incongruous voting going on in order to negate some of the massive tweet totals we were seeing.

Possibility #3: Val was unable to travel to Monroe to rehearse with Sadie this week.

Similar to the same scuzzlebutt that may have prevented us from seeing Meryl & Derek do the Argentine tango last season, perhaps Val just wasn’t able to rehearse out-of-town this week.  Can’t imagine why, but dammit PTB – if this was the case, it  should have been communicated up front.  Just like last season.

Possibility #4: Somebody put their foot down and said “No way!” to a Val-Sadie partnership.

Probably the most controversial explanation, but it’s one I could see happening.  As we have all seen, Sadie comes from a very conservative family – and Mark has done a fantastic job of not overstepping any boundaries of propriety with Sadie so far this season.  Ditto for Derek and Bethany – the two pros with underage partners know how to toe the line.  Now Val, on  the other hand – we’ve seen the fauxmancing and handsy-ness with Janel, and Sadie has actually said that she’s “intimidated” by Val.  Now remember, this was the family that was totally ready to walk out on a multimillion-dollar contract with A&E when they threatened to pull Phil from the cast of Duck Dynasty – you really think they would have any qualms with pulling Sadie out of a celebrity dancing show if they felt strongly enough about her NOT being paired with someone they didn’t feel was appropriate? And judging from the main demographic of DWTS (middle-aged, conservative-leaning women), do you really think DWTS wants to risk losing viewers if Sadie walks? Plus, Sadie’s actually a decent dancer, and her name & Alfonso’s are the two I see mentioned the most on social media.  So I guess the point I’m getting at is – if Mama & Papa Robertson didn’t want Sadie dancing with Val, then I doubt TPTB would be dumb enough to push the issue…and would probably happily accommodate their desire for her to have a different partner.

Possibility #5: TPTB don’t give a sh*t about the voting and are doing as they please.

Because…yeah.

So what does that mean for the rest of the partnerships? I’m guessing that Bethany is still with Mark, because that was the highest vote-getting combo of all (not that it matters to the PTB, who ignored the truly highest vote-getting combo of last season); that leaves Artem with Janel and Val with Lea.  Keeping it “all in the fam”, y’all.  Lord knows what’s going on with the female pro/male celeb partnerships – doesn’t Antonio rehearse in Memphis? Anyone see Witney, Emma, Peta, or Allison at the Memphis airport? :-P

Well, all will be revealed in 12 hours, anyway – be sure to watch Pure tomorrow morning as Heidi will be live-blogging the announcement of the switch pairings, starting at 8 AM EST.  I’ll be manning the PureDWTS twitter account, and Vogue will be holding down the fort over at PDH and the PDH Twitter account.  Happy happy happy :-D

October 8, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 4 – Power Rankings

Color me NOT surprised that the “Raise Your Paddle!” thingie was a total clusterf*ck :-P I gave up after trying and failing to score both Janel & Jonathan…and  having my internet spin its wheels nonstop.  Ain’t nobody got time fo dat. Funny how almost all of the viewer scores basically echoed what the judges gave – kinda have to wonder if they just deferred to that when the server was so overloaded that hardly anybody was able to vote.  Hmmm.  How did you guys fare with the “Raise Your Paddle” voting? I would love to know if everybody had such as easy time as I had ;-)

So the partner switch is next week.  Wondering who got who? Go check out Heidi & I’s prediction post.  Sort-of (but not really) spoiler: nobody’s getting sent home next week, and the person  that gets sent home in week 6 will be calculated based on the scores and votes from weeks 4 & 5; so this ranking is kind of moot, and could totally change based on what happens next week.  But I’m gonna do it anyway :-P

Overall, feeling a bit let down by “most memorable year” week this season – not necessarily by the dances themselves (although there were some real stinkers), but just generally by how cold the judges came off.  Maybe it’s just me, but they seemed a bit more heartless than usual…in tears one minute, then just kinda beating up on the couples the next.  No me gusta.  But god bless Betsey for going out on the high note with such an adorable dedication to her daughter, and being the classy, easygoing gal that she is and thanking everyone for a great run.  You will be missed, you cutie you :-)

1.) Alfonso & Witney – *sighing as I cross yet another item off my DWTS Bucket List* So glad I get to rhapsodize about how fantastic Alfonso is and how nights like tonight are exactly WHY I HAVE WANTED HIM ON THIS SHOW FOR YEARS :-D Alfonso, if you’re reading this, I hope you realize just how much joy you brought to this frigid, jaded blogger’s heart tonight, as well as to the hearts of millions of Carlton Banks fans across America – and even if it might not have been your favorite or most memorable year, I can’t tell you how much it mean to us to see that dance :-) I had a craptacular day – woke up with a migraine, struggled to do office work from home, fumbled with blog stuff, and just generally felt defeated – but this dance brought TEARS to my eyes, with how happy it made me :-)  As always, the musicality was there – he didn’t waste a single beat, and made me appreciate accents in the music that I hadn’t even noticed before; and then the synchronicity – the way he was just locked in with Witney on some of that side-by-side work with a thing to behold – reminded me of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers doing a big dance number.  And man, just the EASE with which he tackles every movement – he doesn’t just “do” the moves; he LIVES AND BREATHES them.  Just…aggggghh.  I can’t.  To quote Mini Alfonso from last week “Tens across the board.” 8-) Couldn’t have asked for a better dance.

2/3.) TIE: Sadie & Mark and Lea & Artem – The two pleasant surprises of the evening for me :-) First of all, I will reiterate: I am  SO GLAD that Sadie got Mark as her partner this season – I don’t know that any of the other male pros would have thrown caution to the wind and donned the Uncle Si beard and hunting gear with as much gusto as Mark, and his quirky choreography seems to suit Sadie well.  They just WORK together.  Thought their routine was both samba-appropriate and Sadie appropriate, and she handled the technique of the samba well – and it was just FUN to watch, and was a good use of Uncle Si, Willy, & Jase as props ;-) As for Lea – WOW.  That’s literally all I had written in my notes about her contemporary.  I think her performance was a turning point in the evening where everything went from “meh”, to “ok, NOW you have my attention!” Given her background, it makes sense that she would excel at contemporary; but given some rather subpar performances we’ve seen from her the past two weeks, I guess I wasn’t expecting a whole lot.  But she managed to handle the technique flawlessly, as well as connecting to the dance emotionally.  And seeing what I’ve seen of her possible fanbase in the switch-up voting – I now see her as a possible contender :-) Just hoping she can hold onto her momentum from this week and handle her next dance as handily and she did this one…

4.) Bethany & Derek – Could there have been more rumba content in this? Sure.  But do I think that they ever really set out to do a perfect, Len-pleasing rumba? No.  I think they achieved what they aimed for: to tell an inspirational story about overcoming bullying, and in that respect, they hit a bullseye.  I’m thinking going the more contemporary/rumba fusion route was a calculated risk, and while some of you might be moaning & groaning about “lack of content”, I doubt anyone can really argue that she was completely connected to the message & emotion of her routine, and for the first time so far this season, I feel like we really “saw” Bethany.  And ultimately, when it comes down to what we take away from this week and what we forget – I’m willing to bet a lot of viewers remember this routine over some with more content, but less emotion.

5.) Janel & Val – Basically the polar opposite of Bethany’s rumba: lots of content, but little emotional connection for me.  Sure, she did a lot of rumba, and she handled it pretty well (although I almost think there was a tad too much content – could have used a bit more light & shade), but I didn’t feel as emotionally shaken by her routine as some of the others we saw tonight.   Unfortunately not a whole lot else to say – other than  go read Heidi & I’s partnership prediction post, because there’s some interesting revelations in it about who may and may not be getting the votes…and Janel falls in the latter category.  Possible “surprise elim” fodder in the coming weeks?

6.) Tommy & Peta – Oh, Tommy :-P Even when you’re screwing up, you’re still making me smile.  This was the first week I think we saw a few cracks forming in an otherwise pretty flawless run Tommy’s had so far – jive is unfortunately not a very laid-back dance, and so I guess I’m not totally surprised that Tommy seemed to get a bit off-time and winded.  But even when he was off-time and losing steam – it was still somehow fun to watch and kept me entertained.  Thought the choreography with the handcuffs was pretty clever, and as always, Tommy seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly…and that’s all I can really ask for from him :-)

7.) Antonio & Cheryl – I think  this samba was the most unintentionally hilarious dance of the evening :-P Mama Spence and I were DYING watching the “look at me, I’m trying to be sexy but it’s really coming across as dorky” bopping down the stairs, the “ooh look at mah sexy body” rubbing on his own chest, and the “teehee, gymnastics r smexy” botched somersault. Oh wow…somebody get me a cold shower…cause I’ve overheated m’self cracking up! He handled the samba very slightly better than Jonathan, but that’s unfortunately not saying much – still a lot of stiffness and not much of a feel for the rhythm.  And worst of all – I still feel like I’m not connecting to him AT ALL.  He’s just not coming across as super-personable or relatable – he’s just kinda…there.  But people seem to be  voting for this guy, so I’m not sure that we’re getting rid of him anytime soon…but hey, if we get more unintentionally hilarious performances like this out of him, I might be able to tolerate him awhile longer :-P

8.) Michael & Emma – He may not be the best dancer, but dammit – I like him…and I think America does, too, because he’s still here.  Actually thought the judges were a tad harsh on what I would consider to be one of his stronger dances – it actually started off quite strong, and aside from a few fumbles in the middle, he kept up with it and didn’t do terribly.  Thought he had one of the more heart-rending stories of the night – you could definitely tell how much he misses Dale, and how his win at Daytona was a bit tarnished by the fact that Dale wasn’t able to share the thrill of victory with him.  And  dammit, Emma must be  doing something right – because he IS improving, even if it’s not by leaps & bounds.  Still think our buddy Mike has a few more weeks left in him…

9.) Jonathan & Allison – Hate to say it, but I think Allison may have screwed her partner on this one a bit, as well – and now that we’re in week 4 and I feel as though I’ve given Allison a fair shake to prove her worth as a ballroom choreographer, I feel as though I can say this: I don’t think this whole “Let’s take a contemporary dancer and let them teach ballroom!” philosophy is really working out on DWTS.  Because not only did I see Jonathan’s weaknesses in the samba tonight – I saw Allison’s, too.  Her technique was reminiscent of Lacey’s ballroom technique – it just kinda made me go “yikes”.  Not only that, but I agree with the judges that the dance was pretty repetitive and one-dimensional – lots of the same steps, repeated over and over, with a bunch of non-samba (hip-hop) peppered in.  No, Jonathan did not master the technique, and he was really, really stiff; but after looking at Allison – I have to wonder: could she even teach him the proper technique? I love Allison as a contemporary dancer; I love her when she’s collaborating with Derek; I love her as a person – but I’m not loving her as a pro on DWTS.  And unfortunately, I’m not sure that Jonathan could really afford to have another weak dance like his week 2 cha-cha.  It’s hard telling how this week’s votes/scores and next week’s are going to cobble together, but I do think there’s potential for a (slightly) shocking elim come week 6…and I think Jonathan might be a primo candidate.

Ok, so what are your thoughts on “most memorable  year” week? And what couples are you hoping to see in the switch next week? :-)

October 7, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 5 – Partner Switch Predictions!

So there’s a few hours left to tweet your votes for the partner switch in week 5, but we thought we’d go ahead and try to predict who’s gonna end up with who based on the tweet counts from Topsy.  Last season, we tried using Keyhole (a much more comprehensive method of measuring the frequency of tweets), but since TPTB basically gave everyone the middle finger and did whatever they wanted with the results of the partner switch voting, we didn’t really want to spend the money to try and do that again. So Topsy will have to do for now :-) And while it would be great to be able to measure the switch voting being tweeted from the ABC website, there’s no really good way to do it – so for the sake of simplicity, we’re just going to assume that the voting from the ABC website is probably mirroring whatever the people manually tweeting are doing.

A quick explanation as to how the votes are tallied: they start with the highest vote-getting combination of any of the possible combinations, and begin pairing off down the list of vote totals until everyone has a partner (that isn’t their original partner, mind you).   So using this methodology, even if Janel’s highest vote-getting combo is with Mark, she may not actually end up with him if he has a higher vote total with another contestant.  Likewise, even if Betsey doesn’t have the highest vote-total with Artem, she may get him because his other high vote-getting combos have already been taken.  Make sense? We also tried to take into account any nicknames that the pros and/or celebs have, as both might count (i.e. Val and Valentin, Beth and Bethany, etc.).

Some random observations that we made when looking at the totals: like last year, a helluva lot more people seem to care about who the male pros end up with, than the female pros.  It’s a bit sad, actually – almost every single combination that had a male pro’s name in it had totals in the thousands, while only a handful of the combinations with female pros’ names in them even broke into the thousands.  I’m guessing the Ballas/Hough vs. Chmerkovskiy Entourage rivalry is fueling that one, and Rob Wade & Co. are laughing all the way to the bank.  Also interesting: if the partner switch voting has any sort of correlation with the actual voting done to keep couples in the competition, than Lea may have a lot more people voting for her than we originally assumed – likewise, assuming the same correlation, Janel may not have as many people voting for her as we may have originally assumed.  Food for thought. Read more..

October 6, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!