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PureDWTS Season 22, Week 2 – Power Rankings

Houston, we have a fairly unsettling problem (and no, it’s not Von’s insanely loud farting) – we have at least four pros who seriously did their partners a disservice last night with lackluster choreography. Whether it was misinterpreting the dance, throwing in too much extraneous stuff, or just wasting time, I saw a lot of issues that could have easily been avoided had the pros in question just buckled down and stuck to the basics. And this is a carry-over from last week, when I saw at least two pros giving their partners some kinda shitty choreography.  Part of me wonders if the fact that the show’s best choreographer, Derek, isn’t there anymore to help keep the standard high is partially to blame – since nobody has to go toe-to-toe with Derek anymore, maybe some of the pros don’t feel the need to work as hard, and feel more comfortable just settling for mediocre choreography that busting their asses and cranking out something great.  Just a theory – and probably not one that will make me very popular, but it is what it is.

Last night saw the giddy high of the premiere cooling off quite a bit, and the judges tending more towards the nitpicky where some couples were concerned. Part of me thinks Len being gone last season has done him more harm than good – it’s almost as if he forgot a bit about some of the pros’ penchants for “messing about” and it’s almost like reopening an old wound for him – he’s extra-cranky about it again, and I don’t get the feeling he’s having as much fun as he used to. Time will tell, I suppose.

To almost no one’s surprise, Geraldo & Edyta left us – I feel like the right couple went home, and if nothing else, they left on the high of giving us a ridiculously entertaining (or just plain ridiculous, depending on how you look at it) dance. And to Geraldo’s credit – I think he had a lot of fun on the show, even if he wasn’t a stellar dancer. I saw a few folks complaining that Edyta deserved a “better partner” and shouldn’t have had to leave so early, and it just kinda floors me because EDYTA WAS GONE FOR 6 YEARS AND THE CHANCES WERE SLIM TO NONE THAT SHE WOULD EVEN BE INVITED BACK. Edyta fans, I would just be thankful she was on the show at all – because the split she had with the show back in 2010 was a pretty acrimonious one, from what I hear, and she had basically torpedoed any chance she may have had at coming back.  Seriously, they could’ve given her Verne Troyer as a partner and I think she would have been thankful for the opportunity. More and more, I’m just convinced that there is no pleasing some fans of this show… Read more..

March 29, 2016 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that this season of DWTS will be won by…a dude. 😛 Yeah, that could be one of six individuals (but more realistically, probably 4), but after tonight, I daresay the bulk of this season’s talent rests with the men – don’t get me wrong, there are a few ladies with skills…but I think the men this season are closer to being the full package of skill, charm, and work ethic that it takes to win that MBT.

That being said – while the major narrative that TPTB seemed to want to push tonight was current NFL player vs. current NFL player, I found myself feeling a bit let-down with our two current football players; could have been the huge preseason hype surrounding them, but I was left feeling surprisingly “meh” by what I actually saw. Instead, I found my eye drawn to two other men that far eclipsed our NFL duo in terms of making a good impression.  As for the ladies – there’s some with real charm, and some with skill, and some that TPTB seem to have a vested interest in keeping around (cue side eye…), but when I’m left thinking about who really stood out in my mind tonight – I’m remembering a lot more guys than gals.

Other observations? The intro was cute, but seemed a little bit hodgepodge and not terribly cohesive; maybe I was just spoiled by how catchy & fun last season’s was. I also tip my hat to Erin tonight, as I think she was just what some of the contestants needed after a rough go of it with the judges – she was kind and gentle with those that maybe didn’t come out with such glowing reviews & scores.

Just a refresher, for those of you just joining us this season: the power rankings are a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a contestant is to get eliminated – it takes into account scores, fanbase, personality, memorability,  and whatever other factors I find that seem to influence voting behavior. It is NOT a ranking of “who danced the best”, so if you’re hear to complain that “so-and-so should be higher than such-and-such because they got a much higher score!” – you’re outta your element, Donnie. Now that we’ve got that outta the way… Read more..

March 22, 2016 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22: Ben Higgins Confirms He is NOT Doing DWTS, There is No 13th Couple

*shakes head* Normally I wouldn’t even feel the need to post this, but after the last 24 hours or so and some of the nonsense I’ve had to field on Twitter, I feel like it was necessary…

…despite suspicions from some fans that a surprise “13th couple” was getting added to this season’s already stellar lineup, and that Ben Higgins was going to announce this morning on GMA that he was joining the cast, he confirmed to Variety Magazine that he is definitely NOT doing DWTS this season:

Higgins says he will not compete on ABC’s reality dance competition because he wants to focus on his engagement — but he did allude to an offer.

“My focus is not on what’s next. It’s on Lauren and I. Any decision that was made post show was based on what was best for us, and I believe that what’s best for us is to really concentrate on what’s best for us and to really spend as much time together as possible,” Higgins said.

Asked by Variety if he received an actually offer, “The Bachelor” tried to explain, saying, “Right now, a lot of those requests come down through the ABC pipeline so, I don’t want to call it offers, but just people asking if I’m interesting comes down from a group that is separate that me. Was I asked? I’m sure it was talked about.”

However — the couple will be watching “DWTS.” They agreed, “It’s a great cast!”

For once, a Bachelor contestant seems to recognize that doing DWTS immediately after he & his lady go public is maybe not the best thing for their relationship – just ask Chris & Whitney. Kind of refreshing…even if he come across kinda dodgy & redundant saying it 😛

I guess I have to place just a bit of the blame for the hoopla on this picture that Jenna posted on Instagram, though, as it seemed to whip fans into a frenzy, thinking “she got a promo shot, that means she’s a pro!”

9 more days 🙀 #dwts22

A photo posted by Jenna Johnson (@dance10jenna) on


ETA: Oh looky…promo pic of the whole troupe. Makes it a bit less suspicious that Jenna got her own, eh?

Also seeming to incite speculation about a thirteenth couple: the fact that Emma has deleted this post she made last week explaining that she’s taking a season off from the show.  I’m guessing she took it down due to some of the irrational rage from fans in the comments section, as Emma has always done a stellar job of keeping things low-key and drama-free…but of course, some interpreted it as “she took it down because she got a partner after all!”

Apparently pointing out that a) we’ve never had 13 couples in a spring season, b) there were none of the typical smoking guns (subtle-as-a-sledgehammer clues during the cast announcement, pictures taken at McCadden, leaks from other media sources), and c) none of my sources have seen Emma at McCadden for the past 2 weeks, or have heard anything about a 13th couple, makes me a big ol’, spirit-crushing meanie to some on Twitter.  Gosh, facts are so inconvenient sometimes, aren’t they? 😛 Denial is not just a river in Egypt, folks, and I just don’t see the point in indulging some kinda childish fantasies when I know for a fact that there are no more additions to the cast.

So what do I make of all this? I think TPTB were keeping either Emma or Jenna (or even both) in their back pocket, just in case Ben did sign on – the last time we reported, he was waffling pretty heavily.  Could explain why Jenna got a promo shot, and why Emma was seen rehearsing with the cast a few weeks back.  However, as I told another Emma fan on Twitter – Emma’s a smart girl, and I think she may have recognized that potentially getting trouped was both a demotion and a pay cut, and likely not worth her time. She may have said “Y’know what? No thanks, I’ll sit this one out.” Which left Jenna – and then when Ben ended up passing on the offer, they just kept her in the troupe.  This is all speculation on my part, but I think it makes sense.  I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Emma, and I do think Jenna will eventually become a pro – it’s just not happening this season.  It’s already gonna be a bit of a bloodbath, with so many big names this season – if Ben had signed on, I doubt he would have lasted very long, anyway, up against the likes of Antonio, Ginger, Von, etc.

Soooo…can we all agree that this season has 12 couples now? 🙂

March 15, 2016 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22: Court, Heidi, & Vogue’s First Impressions

So we’re still a week away from showtime, and not yet a week out from the cast announcement – and we’ve seen relatively little of the celebs rehearsing so far.  But like you guys, we Angels also get first impressions of the couples that start to shape our opinions over the season – so like so many of you have shared your early assessments, we thought we’d share ours as well 🙂

Courtney:

Who Stood Out At the Cast Announcement: I’ve said it multiple times already, but Wanya & Lindsay.  They were one of the few couples that seemed completely at ease with one another, and came out confident and ready to have fun.  That goes farther than you might think, coming right out of the gate – especially when so many of the other couples seemed very awkward & sedate at the announcement. As for who stood out in a not-so-good way – I’d have to say Mischa.  Could have just been nerves, but the impression I got from her was “I would rather be anywhere else in the world right now.” Artem came across very excited and pleasant, though, so I’m hoping he might be able to bring some of that out in her. Read more..

March 14, 2016 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22 Preliminary POLL: Who’s Your Favorite Couple? Who Will Win?

As we usually do, here are our preliminary polls for this season – just based on first impressions from the cast announcement.  As always, if you are just here to bitch, moan, and make snotty remarks about how “we haven’t even seen them dance yet!!!”, then go away – this poll clearly isn’t for you.  It’s also not for anyone clinging to the hope that there will be a “surprise 13th couple!” added (FYI: there won’t be). For the rest of us, it’s a fun way to see where the couples stand coming out of the gate – and in previous seasons, it’s often been a decent predictor of who will actually win, or at least who will make the finale.  So please, vote – and tell us in the comments why you voted the way you did 🙂

For me, my favorite couple right now is Wanya & Lindsay – felt they really came out strong & confident at the cast announcement, and seemed like one of the few couples that didn’t feel totally awkward.  And after Lindsay had such an impressive showing with Alek last season, I’m finding myself really pulling for her.

As for who will win – I think it’s going to come down to Jodie & Antonio, with an outside chance of Ginger if the pimpage continues at the pace it seems to be going.  But then again, we’ve never had a season like this before – so someone could totally come from behind and knock the MBT out of any of their hands.  It’s definitely not a cut-and-dry season, by any means…

March 8, 2016 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22: Emma Slater “Taking a Break” From The Show

For those of you holding out for a glimpse of Emma in the troupe (or those of you in the fringe minority, hoping she’s a “surprise add” with Ben Higgins), we have some disappointing news – looks like Emma’s gonna be sitting this season out:

Gotta say – I’m sad about this, but I can’t say I’m surprised.  She almost got trouped last season, and I think it was a bit silly to bring back a 6-years-defunct pro (Edyta) and stabling a current, much-beloved pro to accommodate it. Lots of speculation flying around about what Emma’s got lined up next – a stint on Strictly Come Dancing? Some other commitments? Let us know what you think…

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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22: Somebody from Boyz II Men Is Going to Be Dancing

And this, kids, is where I illustrate to you how much of a crap shoot it can be for us with spoilers 😛 Sometimes, we just have to do the best we can with incomplete scraps of information, and we do the best we can to vet everything before reporting to you – today, I just don’t have that ability, so I’m giving you what I can without reporting anything false.

What I do know: one of the three members of R&B group Boyz II Men is the 12th contestant on this season of DWTS.  And whoever that person is, he’s dancing with Lindsay.

One source told me the other day that Lindsay’s partner “is a singer in his 40s”. Another source reported that he/she overheard a male voice singing Boyz II Men songs a capella in the rehearsal studio with Lindsay, and saw “a black guy” leaving the studio later on, but couldn’t get a good look at his face to determine which Boy-to-Man it was.  Source was fairly certain, though, that it was NOT Shawn Stockman – arguably the most well-known member of the group, due to his recent stint as a judge on The Sing-Off.

So who does that leave? Well, before I hit up Wikipedia, I only knew them as Other-Guy-in-Boyz-II-Men-That-Dated-Brandy-Back-In-The-Day and Other-Other-Guy-In-Boyz-II-Men – but it turns out their names are Wanya Morris & Nathan Morris, respectively.  And no, there’s no relation there.

Other evidence? Lindsay’s mom, Mindy, apparently started following Boyz II Men on Twitter yesterday, but seems to have since unfollowed since so many of you noticed – I don’t suppose any of you slick private investigators grabbed a screen shot, did you?

So what has Boyz II Men been up to lately? They have a residence at The Mirage in Las Vegas (see below), and they most recently appeared in Grease: Live.  And back in 2013, they toured with NKOTB & 98 Degrees as part of the “Package Tour” (hehe), which I had the pleasure of seeing when they came to Indianapolis.  Video here from my long-abandoned tumblr page, taken from the 2nd row.

So who do I think we’ll see? I guess my money’s on Wanya, because then they might be able to get Brandy in the audience? *shrug* I honestly don’t know, but I daresay that anyone from Boyz II Men is another pretty damn good get for the show, in an already stellar casting group 😎

March 5, 2016 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22 Cast Rumors & Watchout: Paige VanZant?

Sorry kids, the news is coming hard and fast this morning, so I’ve stepped in to help Vogue & Heidi a bit – and bear with me, because I’m hearing this 3rd-hand 😛

Apparently UFC Strawweight fighter Paige VanZant just started following @DancingABC on Twitter:

pvz

She also follows Mark (and Mark follows back), but it looks like they’ve been following each other for awhile.  Source said that Paige’s agent apparently dropped some hints about her doing the show on Twitter, but I’ve been unable to locate any tweets from anyone in any sort of “official” capacity (if any of you want to go digging, be my guest – just take screen shots 🙂 ).  Apparently she’s got some dance background – according to Wikipedia, her parents owned a dance studio when she was growing up, and she spent 13 years studying jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. She’s also posted some videos on Instagram of her busting a move:

PVZ IN THE BUILDING 🌟

A video posted by Paige VanZant (@paigevanzantufc) on

Thoughts? She’s super cute, seems like a fun personality, looks like she’s got some skills (and may be able to give Jodie a run for her money), and seems like she’s got a good work ethic. I’m all for it – seems like she’d be a good fit for either Mark or Artem. Only question I’ve got: when does the UFC “season” run? The only precedent we have for UFC fighters on DWTS is Chuck Liddell & Randy Couture, and I think both were already retired when they did the show. Not sure if she’d be able to do both DWTS and UFC, but admittedly, I don’t really follow UFC…so I know very little about how their schedule works 🙂

What do you guys think?

ETA: Thanks to several of you who found the interesting tweet from Paige’s manager.  See below:

pvzmanager

Also, thank you to Justin for pointing out this interview Paige did about a month ago…fast forward to the 16:00 minute mark to where she says something about “big things happening outside of the cage”:

Definitely a few interesting hints that give credence to the idea that she might be doing DWTS this season…

February 19, 2016 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22 Cast Rumors: Trisha Paytas…Possible Hint, or Just a Wannabe?

It’s still pretty damn early for the season 22 rumor mill to be churning out anything really significant, but this post from YouTube personality Trisha Paytas on Instagram yesterday gave me pause:

getting my workout in with @seanvanderwilt #DWTS #2016

A video posted by trishapaytas (@trishapaytas) on

My gut tells me she’s probably either just joking or is subtly trying to express interest in being on the show, but given that DWTS kinda branched out last season by tapping a Vine star like Hayes – is it really too far-fetched to assume that they might try to cast a YouTube personality within the next few seasons? Or that they might have reached out to a few already? Trisha’s been around for awhile, and has a large following – plus she’s put out some music on iTunes (and some accompanying music videos, which is most likely what she was rehearsing for here), has published several books, and has appeared on shows like America’s Got Talent, Dr. Phil, and My Strange Addiction…so she’s got a lot of irons in the fire.

That being said – the one potential caveat I can see with her in particular is that she’s refreshingly (at least in my opinion) open about her sex life, and the fact that she used to work in the sex industry.  Might not really jive well with the more conservative-leaning audience of DWTS.  Thoughts?

January 15, 2016 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 11 – Final Power Rankings!!! Who Will Win?

At the risk of sounding cliched – where has this season gone? Seems like only yesterday, I was catching flak from Keo fans for predicting that Chaka would be an early out, hoping & praying that Victor would last longer than a week, and was actually enjoying Tamar putting Val through the paces 🙂 It’s been a wild season with multiple curveballs thrown into it, and I’ll be honest – I’ll be glad to get my Monday nights back for a little while. But it’s been a fun ride 🙂

Last night…was a bit underwhelming for me, I’m afraid, save for maybe 2 dances. I think I’ve said this before, but I’m kinda over the “judges’ choice redo” dance – even if the couples don’t improve, I feel like they get lavished with praise, and the dance almost never feels 100% fresh, new, and exciting. On top of that, I feel like some couples get dances that there is really not a ton of room for improvement on (Bindi & Carlos), while others get to redo ones that they completely f’d up the first time around (Nick), and others get saddled redoing dances that so well-remembered for other reasons that their redo dance is bound to be a bit of a letdown (Alek, trying to best his rumba with Emma).  I feel like the only one that really benefited significantly from the redo was Nick – the rest either did slightly better or stayed about the same. I would have rather seen the couples either re-dance their favorite dance, or redo their favorite dance with new choreography and a new song.

Something else I’m a bit tired of as well? Hearing about how the freestyle is “the most important dance of the season” or how it is the “make it or break it” dance for the couples.  As I think Heidi has said before – the freestyle is not nearly as special as it once was, and hasn’t been nearly as important in affecting the outcome of the show in recent seasons as it has in the past.  Ever since season 15, when they started making the team dances a freestyle, and starting allowing the couples to use massive sets and lots of extra dancers in their regular dances, the actual freestyle in the finale has felt considerably less special – to the point where it can end up looking pretty similar to something the couple has already done (Nick), or is something that doesn’t even seem to fit a couple well, because they’re trying so hard to be “out-of-the-box” (Carlos). And sorry, but if America isn’t already voting for you BEFORE the freestyle round – I highly doubt they’re going to suddenly throw some votes your way because of it. You’re actually probably better off treating it as “just another dance” than trying to outdo yourself – because in all honesty, it’s likely not going to make much of a difference in whether you win or not, unless you completely f*ck it up.

As for Carlos – I doubt anyone was super shocked that the Toker 4 Jesus left us last night (credit to @sally_braden for that gem!), and I started getting an inkling that he was toast after the judges’ OTT gushing about that bizarre foxtrot of his, which felt stiff and awkward, on top of having a lack of…well, actual foxtrot in it. Lawd Jesus, somebody PLEASE reinstate Witney’s outside choreographer privileges, because these last few dances have just been painful to watch. I found their freestyle to be the weakest of the 4 we saw last night, simply because they seemed to throw in several elements that neither fit together cohesively nor really fit Carlos, just for the sake of doing something that had “never been done before”.  The bit with the lights on the hands at the beginning? Looked like they were directing ground traffic at an airport, and also – already been done before (Shawn & Derek’s bhangra in season 15). Including Paula, Hayes, & Alexa? Ok, it hadn’t been done, but did it really improve the routine? We only saw about 5 seconds of each one moving kinda awkwardly. The lift? He seemed to struggle with it, and it was the same one Alek did in his freestyle – only Alek did it better. The one credit I will give Carlos & Witney, though, is that the hip-hop steps they did seemed more impressive than the ones we saw in Nick’s freestyle. But more on that in a bit… Read more..

November 24, 2015 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence