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PureDWTS – Dmitry Choreographs for Jenna & Kiki; Val Choreographs for Paul & Sydney on SYTYCD

So the live shows this season on So You Think You Can Dance started last night, and there was of course cross-over to DWTS – Jenna is back as an All-Star again, as is sometimes-DWTS-pro-dance-lurker/former MOVE cast member Paul Karmiryan; Dmitry is also choreographing again.  Additionally, Jenna has picked former DWTS troupe member Kiki Nyemchek as her partner this season, and Val has signed on to choreograph.

I was kinda shocked to see Kiki again – I didn’t realize he’s as young as he is (25 – I honestly thought he was already in his late 20’s five years ago), which means he was only 18 when he started in the DWTS troupe wayyyy back when; pretty sure he was a Fam hire. Judging from the comments on YouTube for their cha-cha, he still appears to be the pretty bland guy I remember from the troupe – the general sentiment seems to be that people preferred Jenna’s other partner and are disappointed that she picked Kiki over him:

Oof.  I see that Dmitry’s choreography hasn’t improved much – the song is awful, and the whole dance just felt like a non-event.  Couldn’t even tell you what Kiki did, as Jenna outdanced him the whole time. Paul & Sydney seemed to fare slightly (very slightly) better with Val’s choreography…

Oh look – the high kick is apparently a permanent thing now 😛 And there seemed to be a lot of stop-and-go, so no question – this is Val’s choreography, and this felt like a slight remix of Normani’s cha-cha…but less energetic. I will say I preferred it slightly to Dmitry’s cha-cha; but is it just me, or is Sydney…not all that great? She looks more like a contemporary or hip-hop dancer trying to do ballroom to me, than an actual ballroom dancer. She reminds me of that salsa dancer from several seasons ago (Cristina something, maybe?) that they tried to pass off as a ballroom dancer – just seems to lack polish & confidence in her movements.

Prediction: neither couple is likely to last long on SYTYCD, as is usually the trend – SYTYCD is just not particularly ballroom-friendly or ballroom-appreciative. Did any of you watch? What are your thoughts?

Be sure to check out Amanda’s review of last night’s show over at Pure SYTYCD.

August 8, 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, 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..

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 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, 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

PureDWTS Season 24 Court Rants: The Real Problem With The Girl Group Team Dance

And no, it’s not solely just “sexism” from the judges/audience/viewers – stay with me.

Over the past 48 hours, I have rolled my eyes so hard over some of the complaints about the group dances that it’s a wonder they haven’t gotten stuck.  The majority of the ridiculous comments seem to be coming from the disgruntled #TeamGirlGroup crowd, who seem eager to complain about “sexism” on the show. Yes, sexism is a problem on DWTS – a big one, and one that Heidi & I will attempt to tackle in a future post. But why the Team Girl Group fans are complaining, I’m not sure, because the girls got one point more than the guys did – last I checked, the “winner” of the team dance was determined by who got more points. So congrats – you won. Why are you so upset?

My guess is that they’re mad about Team Boy Band generally getting more positive feedback from both the judges and the viewers – to which I say “well, tough luck” because people disagreeing with you is kind of a fact of life. You’re never going to agree with everyone, all the time. But in the interest of turning this into a teaching moment, I’m going to indulge some of you and explain just what many of us found wrong with the girl’s dance, and what the boys team did right. Whether you choose to actually consider it is up to you – but I can tell you now that empty accusations of “sexism!!!” undermine the real instances of sexism we encounter on a daily basis; and within the context of DWTS, believe me – women in general (particularly the female pros) tend to get screwed on a regular basis.

First, let me lead with this: I do not blame the female celebs for any of the failures of their team dance, so if you’re trying to twist this into “You’re being mean to Normani!” or “You’re being really unfair to Heather!”, you’re putting up straw men, you’re gonna get called out, and you’re gonna look dumb. The onus is on the pros to create and choreograph a suitable routine to make their partners look good – and I feel like the male pros failed their partners. EPICALLY. I also don’t blame the judges, because for once, I think they were pretty on-the-money with their critiques and scores (I’ve written off the extra point as a sympathy point, given as a bit of an “oh boy, your pros really screwed you – here, have an extra point!” consolation prize) – I don’t think they were completely off-base in what they were saying. And actually, I don’t blame the powers that be, either – I actually think the girls got a much better set of songs to work with (including one sung by one of the girls on the team – ahem) that gave them a lot more creative potential than the songs that were given to the boys’ team. Really and truly, the stars were aligned for the girls to really slay the team dance – and then the male pros kinda shat all over the opportunity. Read more..

April 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 Season 24, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Anyone else missing Derek & Mark (and their choreography) something fierce right about now??? Because my god – if last night wasn’t an exercise in choreographic futility for some of our pros, then I don’t know what the hell it was. On top of that, the judges seemed eerily kind to just about everyone (except Nick, which we’ll get into later), which left me with this unpleasant sense of foreboding for most of the show – like I was waiting for something bad to happen, but I wasn’t sure what.  Basically, the same feeling I had while watching the first 20 minutes of last season’s Game of Thrones finale – but thankfully, when it all played out, I felt less like Margaery & more like Cersei, because something that Heidi & I had be predicting would happen eventually, happened: Heather got outsted in a “shocking” (but not really, if you actually think about it) elimination. We had been saying she was the most likely candidate for the token “shock” elim this season, but I don’t think we were anticipating it happening this early on – I myself had her making it to at least week 7, I think. But when you take into account the turd of a routine her pro foist upon her last week, and the fact that most of the general viewing audience couldn’t really get past her basically being a professional dancer herself, she followed the basic formula for getting “Sabrina’d”: the minute a skilled dancer dips below a certain score threshold, they get sent home because they Just. Aren’t. Getting. The. Votes. If you want to see a breakdown of just how few votes Heather was getting (or rather, just how much better than Heather everyone else was doing), go reread Heidi’s Dancing By the Numbers. I wish I could say I was disappointed by a good dancer getting sent home before some less-skilled ones, but I made no secret of it that I never really found myself enjoying Heather’s performances – and it was a combination of lack of connection to the audience on her part, and just plain subpar choreography from Maks on the other. Add in the fact that Maks managed to find TWO ways to proverbially spit in Alan’s face last night, and I’m left saying “Toodles, Heather & Maks – don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!” Not gonna lie, though: part of me would love to see Alan as a pro next season, and have Maks left out in the cold – karma could be such a perfect bitch 😎

Which brings me to a few notes on demographics.  I think I warned everyone a month ago that Chris, Erika, Heather, & Normani were the four most likely to struggle with fanbase issues this season – three of them are now gone. You Harmonizers still feeling so confident about Normani’s voting fanbase? I saw quite a few folks wringing hands after it was announced that everyone on the girls’ team was in jeopardy, and many of them seemed convinced that Nancy was the one headed home.  You guys do realize that she aligns almost perfectly with the main viewing demographic of the show, right? A middle-aged Olympian with an inspiring backstory? Please help me understand why you thought a C-list-at-best, 30-something professional dancer from a 2-years-defunct teen tv show that was being given highly mediocre choreo by her partner was somehow going to outlast that Olympian, who so far has thrived and been given solid routines by her partner? It’s important to remember that sometimes, this show is about everything EXCEPT the dancing – in this case, the fact that Heather was already a great dancer didn’t matter to a lot of folks. If anything, it seemed to turn them off. They seemed to prefer Nancy’s journey to Heather’s already-professional polish. I also think Nancy has come off far more relatable and down-to-earth than Heather ever did on the show – and trust me when I say that can make a bigger difference than a few points, sometimes.

As for the rest of the show – Nick was an ok guest judge; seemed excited to be there and tried to give insightful critiques, but I think he came across a tad disingenuous at times. He also seemed like a bit of a yes-man, and had been fed a list of instructions on what to say and to whom (“Make sure you mention that Normani could win this whole thing! And don’t go easy on Nick V.!”) But I was pleased to see he gave Rashad a “10” when the other judges were whipping out 9’s – seemed to make up for Carrie Ann’s uncalled-for “7” last week. Opener seemed bland, like it was an afterthought – “Crap, what are we gonna do for the opener this week??? IDK, just…line everyone up or something…” Can’t say I missed Julianne too much – guess the Move Beyond tour didn’t leave any time for the “Ballroom is soooo different than what Heather does!” apology tour this week…and now Heather’s gone. Wuh wuh wuhhhhh. Read more..

April 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

Derek and Julianne Hough Hit the Road with MOVE Beyond Live on Tour

We have full coverage on www.purederekhough.com of the tour which started in Akron on Wednesday and let me tell ya, the Hough’s have gone bigger than ever. It looks amazing!! I thought I would bring a little taste over here.

Get it @derekhough!! This was one of my favorite dances of the night. You boys looked gooooood!

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April 21, 2017 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 6 – The Team Dances: What We Know So Far & POLL

Let’s get right to it, shall we? 🙂

Team Boy Band:

Rashad & Emma
David & Lindsay
Nick & Peta
Bonner & Sharna

Team Girl Group:

Normani & Val
Simone & Sasha
Heather & Maks
Nancy & Artem

The dances: Freestyles again.

The songs: Medleys again – Team Boy Band has a medley of the Jackson 5, New Kids on the Block (“The Right Stuff”), and One Direction; Team Girl Group has “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels, “No Scrubs” by TLC, and something by Fifth Harmony (of course).

The captains: No captains this time.

Source says: The female pros weren’t all that jazzed about the music at first, but it started to grow on them as they started to choreograph; the male celebs, however, were psyched and getting really into coming up with boy band moves to try out.  To quote Deep Throat, “I’ve never seen a group of celebs so enthusiastic about the team dance!” Team Girl Group seemed a bit more subdued, and seemed to be letting the pros choreograph.  To my knowledge, no – Heather was not helping choreograph.

Court’s thoughts: I think the men will probably take this one just based on enthusiasm alone – I tend to find if the group really LIKES their dance, they’re going to perform it better; just look at the differences from the team dances last season. I think team Girl Group’s choreo will likely be more difficult, but I don’t know that that’s necessarily a good thing if they aren’t all that jazzed about the dances they’re doing.

UPDATE: Added pictures…so far, @DancingABC has only posted pix of Team Boy Band. But I’ll be damned if this doesn’t look like a fun group…Peta looks the most excited we’ve seen her all season 🙂

UPDATE2: Vogue here and below are a few more photos and some of Team Girl Band too.

Ladies unite! This is one epic Girl Group. #DWTS

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April 18, 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 5 – Power Rankings

Well, thank god that’s over – yes, kids, I actually hate Disney week. Sue me. The first time they did it (in season 18), it was cool; but each successive season got progressively less…magical, and more…of a chore to watch. I find that, out of all the theme weeks, it’s the one most likely to force the songs to fit the wrong dances, and to get so caught up in production value that the dance becomes a bit of an afterthought, and the costumes/sets/animations/etc. dominate. Much like my general opinion of Disney these days – just overwrought with commercialization. And I kinda felt that commercial aspect last night more than previous Disney nights – some of the dances felt more like advertisements for upcoming Disney movies, or promotion for lesser-known musicians. I guess when Disney owns ABC, this is to be expected – if it don’t make dollas, it don’t make sense, kids. But I did like the intro, because it was something different – and say what you will about Alfonso, but he has ALWAYS been there for the show when they need him, whether it’s filling in for Tom when his dad died, actually giving insightful critiques as a guest judge, or just being supportive and being in the audience week after week.  I feel like he really gets a bum rap sometimes, as well as the unfair label of being the biggest male ringer the show has ever had – but that’s a discussion for another place…

And now we move onto the “stay woke” segment of the rankings – because there was some serious manipulation going on last night, and you didn’t exactly have to be a rocket scientist to see it. There was gross underscoring, gross overscoring, vague criticism not really rooted in anything substantial, vague praise not really rooted in anything substantial, and strategic placement of people in jeopardy and in safety. The funny thing is, you can really tell that there’s new EP’s at the helm – Conrad & Rob were both a lot stealthier with this kinda stuff; with Joe & Ashley, it’s amateur hour. They’re the B-squad puppeteers that were thrust into lead roles as Muppets, but we can totally see their hands up the asses of some of the contestants.  If you haven’t yet read Heidi’s post about manipulation, you totally should – it’s eye-opening. So what do I make of all of it? I think David, Rashad, & Simone are probably running away with the bulk of the votes, Heather & Normani may not be getting as many as TPTB had anticipated they would, I don’t think they’ve decided what to do about Nancy yet, and Bonner & Nick are pretty disposable to them at this point. Will their machinations work? Not to the degree they’re hoping, I don’t think. Time will tell, and I get the impression that the viewers may be wisening up to the funny business – I know a lot of the readers here have.

So Erika left us…and I’m left without a ton to say other than “oh well…it is what it is.” Her elimination has been the LEAST disappointing one to me so far this season, mostly because I tended to forget her week after week – that kind of thing tends to happen when you basically do the same dance each week, with just a few tweaks. I enjoyed her Viennese waltz last night, and was glad we FINALLY got to see a different side of her (and she even showed vulnerability!) – but it was unfortunately too little, too late. Really hoping we don’t get another “look at how rich & sexy I am!” dance at the finale. Interesting to note: her exit left us with perfectly even numbers of men & women left for the girl groups vs. boy bands team dance next week.  Coincidental or intentional? You decide. 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