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PureDWTS Season 19, Week 2 – Power Rankings

Well, the buzz from week 1 has worn off – and just as Deep Throat had predicted, seems like the overall performance level tonight was not as good as what we saw last week. Just about everyone seemed to struggle, and while last week seemed to garner a lot of praise for the boys, this week seemed to earn them some tough love from the judges, while the girls seemed to get praised, on the whole.  Not sure if that was deliberate or not, but I feel as though the judges are already getting a bit cockamamie – particularly Carrie Ann, who seemed to get progressively less coherent as the night wore on, and was only just barely able to conceal her disdain for young, attractive female contestants.

So next week sounds interesting – Movie Night, and you can check out Heidi’s live discussion post as well as PureDerekHough for a few early spoilers 😉

1.) Bethany & Derek – Seems like Bethany is quickly becoming one of the most buzzed-about contestants on social media – hell, even Taylor Swift is tweeting about her! I also think that, despite her injury, they handled this foxtrot pretty well – they made it traditional enough that Len enjoyed it, but still “funky” enough to be crowd-pleasing. I still think she’s holding back a little (maybe it’s the injury, maybe it’s nerves) and we have yet to see her 100% in the dance, but I do think she’s got a lot more to show us, and ended up looking the best of any of the celebs this week.

2.) Alfonso & Witney – Ok, yes, I’m totally biased because I love Alfonso – but this guy didn’t exactly have an easy row to hoe this week: there was the pressure to deliver after his fantastic first week showing, a crummy song for a samba that was also wayyyyy too fast, and a young, new pro that is not yet used to the expectations that come with getting a very talented partner. I still say this was technically the strongest performance of the night, even though it wasn’t the highest-scoring; and I’m still astounded by Alfonso’s musicality and the way he doesn’t “waste” the music – he pays attention to every little beat and accent, and knows just how to move in order to express it. Thought the judges were a tad harsh – still think this was better than both Janel & Lea. But whatevs – they needed to level the playing field a bit after last week, and I guess saddling Alfonso with a tough song & dance was the way to do it.

3.) Sadie & Mark – A cute, very age (and Sadie)-appropriate jazz routine with a unique twist – I kinda dig that Mark was able to step out of his comfort zone and choreograph to a country song. Thought Sadie handled it well enough – maybe a bit unsure of herself at times, but overall her confidence really pleasantly surprised me. Love that she could roll her hips without fear. Seems pretty obvious to me that Carrie Ann is not a fan, but you know what? I know a lot of people that don’t particularly care for Carrie Ann, so that’s ok :-) Kinda felt bad for Sadie after she got her critiques – she seemed a bit disappointed. But I think she & Bethany are generating the most buzz amongst the female contestants, so I doubt she’s going anywhere anytime soon.

4.) Lea & Artem – Lea handled the jive much better than I thought she would, for sure – but c’mon. A 35??? The high score of the night, and only one point behind Alfonso’s showstopping jive last week? Even though Lea attacked it with zeal, I still saw some pretty major posture issues, some very limp kicks & flicks, and some definite loss of connection. I may have given it a 32, tops. Yeah, she’s got moves – but I don’t think she was as fantastic tonight as the judges made her out to be.

5.) Janel & Val – Second week in a row where I feel like these two got saddled with a song & dance that didn’t really give them the opportunity to show what they’re capable of. Mama Spence asked about 15 seconds in, “Is this a tango? It feels like a tango.” And sure enough, they were doing a foxtrot that was so staccato that it really did look much more like a tango. Janel handled it well enough, I guess, but there were a few minor bobbles where she lost a bit of balance. Again, I’m left with an overall feeling of “Ok, that was decent…but what else can you do?” Besides perpetuate fauxmances, of course. 😉

6.) Randy & Karina – If Alfonso got a bit hosed this week, so did Randy – no way in HELL his cha-cha deserved the same score as trainwreck Tavis’! Sure, he wasn’t quite as fluid or at ease as he was last week, but hell, at least the guy remembered his choreography, and there was actual cha-cha in his cha-cha…he was a tad stiff, but so was Tavis, and Tavis managed to get off much more easily.  And then twatwaffle Carrie Ann starts whining about wanting Randy to be sexier, and then I lament that, by going first, Randy has gotten a bit low-balled in his score, and overall I’m left feeling a bit indignant on behalf of these two.  Randy’s still super charming and is (calmly) doing the best he can – he’s not having Tavis meltdowns, or whining like Antonio, or  beating himself up like Alfonso.  Give the guy a break, judges!

7.) Tommy & Peta –  Y’know, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Tommy might be my favorite partner of Peta’s – and that’s saying something, considering I loved Donald Driver! But on the real, I kinda dig that he’s bringing out a more fun, light-hearted side of Peta – she doesn’t have to be the sex kitten when she’s around him, and she doesn’t have to push, push, push him to do great because he might be a contender (I doubt anyone thinks he’s gonna win the whole damn thing at this point :-) ) She seems to be genuinely enjoying this season, and she & Tommy just have a great rapport. And really, the Chonger does have rhythm – seems to have some musicality, and isn’t afraid to shake what he’s got (manboobs, apparently). Love that they’re still giving us dances that are fairly technically sound, while still hilarious to watch. Definitely hope they stick around for awhile.

8.) Mike & Emma – There’s really not much point in critiquing Mike’s dancing – he’s bad. Like, REALLY bad – and his samba this week was no exception. Very little content, and he barely handled the little that he had with any sort of proficiency. But as I said last week, his appeal doesn’t lie in his dancing – it lies in his ability to say “f*ck it” and give it his best shot, and still maintain a sense of humor about things. THAT’S his not-so-secret weapon in this competition: charm. And y’know what? I’m ok with that – we have Alfonso, Janel, Lea, Bethany, & Sadie to give us the great dancing this season. There’s room for celebs like Mike & Tommy, who provide the comic relief :-) And that’s why I think he’s still got a few weeks left in him…

9.) Antonio & Cheryl – Antonio does SLIGHTLY better this week than he did last week, but something about him still just BUGS. I don’t know if it was the whining at Cheryl during the rehearsal, or the generally pained expression he gets when he’s dancing sometimes, but I just get the feeling that he’s not really having fun with the overall experience of DWTS, unlike Mike & Tommy. I guess it was a decent rumba – seemed like Cheryl was doing most of the work, though, and the chemistry between them seemed almost non-existent. Loved the song – that was about the only thing about this routine that I could stand up and shout about. Otherwise – just meh. Definitely fading into the woodwork for me.

10.) Jonathan & Allison – And Allison makes a rookie mistake: veering too far off the beaten path in choreography of very basic dances. Sorry, but this routine was all about Allison – and poor Jonathan was just there every now and then to offer her something to lean on, whilst literally fading into the background while wearing a black costume on a very dimly lit stage. Was it cool to see Allison dancing full-out? Sure. She’s a great dancer – but we already know that. I want to see her turn a non-dancer into a good dancer…and she really didn’t accomplish that in this case. Hopefully people continue to vote for them, so they have a second chance to impress…because if not, I think the former Mr. Aaron Samuels could be in some trouble in the coming weeks.

11.) Betsey & Tony – Awwww, could Betsey be any more stinkin’ adorable? Loved how excited she was about her hair, her makeup, and her costume. And thankfully, they opted not to do anything with props this week, and their foxtrot went off without a hitch. Sure, Betsey didn’t really knock it out of the park (and the choreography wasn’t very hard), but she kept up with it respectably, and seemed to be enjoying herself…which is more than I can say for some of the other couples this week. 😯 Don’t think she’s out of the danger zone, though, yet, and I would not be surprised to see her in the bottom 2 tomorrow night. But at least this week’s routine was an improvement on last week’s, and I think some people might throw her a few sympathy votes.

12.) Tavis & Sharna –  Deep Throat had mentioned that Tavis had little to no rehearsal time, and that it showed – and boy, did it. He was mechanically stomping around, clearly looking at Sharna in order to remember the choreography, and it didn’t look like he was having fun at all – plus he didn’t exactly get a flattering edit in his package, where he was throwing a bit of a tantrum about “complicated steps” and “having a meltdown” instead of just listening to his partner. Like Lolo last week, I think Tavis’ mouth may be the thing that ultimately does him in – he just does not know when to SHUT UP. He just keeps prattling on, harping on the same thing over and over again, and it ultimately screws him. I think the judges were very, very kind with his score, but I don’t know that it’s enough to keep him around another week. Seemed to get a bit lost in the shuffle, and didn’t exactly come across as Mr. Charming this week. If not him, then Betsey – but my gut is saying Tavis is leaving us tomorrow night.

So what are your thoughts on tonight’s show? Favorite? Least favorite? Who’s going home? And what are your predictions for next week? :-)

September 22, 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 1 – Power Rankings

Rob Wade, I tip my hat to you, sir…I haven’t enjoyed a first episode of the season this much in a LOOOOONGGGG time 😀  I may have been on the struggle bus in the moments leading up to the premiere, as I had to hunt for a live feed for the first time ever (of course the Colts would play their first Monday Night Football game since 2010 on DWTS premiere night, the year ABC took over MNF from NBC); but the bulk of tonight’s dances more than made up for it.  I quite literally agonized over most of my rankings – with the exception of maybe 2.5 dances that I would consider “not good”, I felt like everyone else really brought their A-game and delivered some solid routines.  This was HARD, guys!

Other random things I enjoyed? The fact that they’re putting a lot more emphasis on the pros’ professional experience, and rattling off various titles they’ve won over the years – I think we sometimes lose sight of the fact that the bulk of our pros are CHAMPIONS in what they do.  Also enjoyable? The fact that they cut the judges off if time was running tight 😎 Honestly, the bulk of what they say is just mindless prattling to me, so I’m more than thrilled that they opted to cut that out in favor of spending more time with the couples.

On with the rankings!

1.) Alfonso & Witney – First of all, a bit of a dorky confession: I may have teared up just a TINY bit watching Alfonso’s jive 😛 Alfonso has been my dream contestant for several years now, and watching him out there just KILLING it and the crowd going nuts felt to me like Heidi probably did watching Derek win his Emmy: I was just so daggone happy for the guy.  It was kind of a dream come true, and he looked like he was having so much fun – so if you’re reading this, Alfonso – thanks for letting me live vicariously through you :-) But anyway! As I said on Twitter – still any naysayers out there that think Alfonso isn’t the one to beat this season? 😎 He is just a consummate performer – he was 100% invested in the dance, his technique was as close to perfect as any of the jives tonight, and he really sold the performance.  I won’t dwell too much, but I’m EXTREMELY excited to see what we’re gonna get from these two in the coming weeks…and I’m glad Alfonso seemed to let go & enjoy himself.  Best night I’ve had since finding out he was going to be on the show 😀

2.) Bethany & Derek – One of many pleasant surprises of the evening – and prior to tonight, I had only maybe seen one or two clips of Bethany, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect; was impressed by how grounded and mature she acts for being only 18.  Was also impressed by how well she handled the jive technique – I agree with Julianne that jive really is kind of cruel in week 1, but Bethany seemed to get the hang of the bounce and did a great job of extending her legs.  I will agree with Carrie Ann, though, too, and say that there were a few points where she seemed to lose a bit of steam – chalk it up to exhaustion or first night jitters, but overall, I think she did a great job and has both room for improvement and some nice momentum for the season.  Plus, she shares a name with my lil sister, so that’s got to be some kind of good karma 😉 Read more..

September 15, 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 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 13

T minus two days till showtime! Who are you guys most looking forward to seeing?

Gonna keep today’s spoiler brief – gotta go put in some OT at my 9-5 and then I’m gonna try to rest a bit before Monday’s premiere.  Be sure to keep checking Heidi’s post for more song spoilers. Have a great weekend, y’all! 😀 Read more..

September 13, 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 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 12

TGIF, kids! Only 3 days till showtime 😉

Song & dance spoilers (and eventually running order spoilers) here.  Rest of the mini-spoilers here. Read more..

September 12, 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 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 10

Happy Hump Day, kids! Only 3 more work days till the premiere…and we’ve saved some of the best mini spoilers for this home stretch before the big night 😉

You know the drill: rest of the mini-spoilers here; today’s after the jump… Read more..

September 10, 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 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 9

Less than a week to go before the show! Hope you’re as pumped as we are 😉 Here’s a funny story to make this Tuesday go by more quickly: apparently I’ve been secretly working for the DWTS casting department all along, guys – some people on Twitter “have been suspicious about it for awhile”, and the fact that Alfonso & Antonio have been cast this season is “proof that I have a profound influence on casting”.  I mean, I guess I’ll take credit…but where’s my check, ABC payroll department? Mama needs some more Oribe deep conditioner 😎

Catch up on all of our mini-spoilers here.  Today’s spoiler after the jump… Read more..

September 9, 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 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 8

Happy Monday, kids! Only 7 more days until the premiere :-) Thanks to everyone who took the time to leave such kind, sweet words on yesterday’s mini spoiler post – you guys are the lifeblood of this site, and the reason I do what I do 😀

Catch up on all of our previous mini-spoilers here.  Today’s mini spoiler after the jump… Read more..

September 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 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 5

TGIF, y’all – thanks for helping us to yet another strong cast announcement day yesterday…in my opinion, one of our best ever, just based on all the content that Vogue, Heidi, & I managed to crank out  😎

You know the drill, spoiler after the jump…have a great weekend, everybody! 😀 Read more..

September 5, 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!

Interesting Information about the Emmy Choreographer Nominations, Derek Hough and Mandy Moore

I thought this was a VERY interesting read, considering all the discussion about DWTS and the Emmy’s, who should have been nominated and if they were even submitted. There was some speculation in some quarters that Maks wasn’t submitted, or Sharna wasn’t submitted, and so on.  I think it’s safe to say, based on this, that ALL the DWTS choreographers had something submitted – Mandy Moore certainly did, and not just from SYTYCD.  This is from Variety – click the link to read the whole thing (emphasis mine).

As they prepared to celebrate, this year’s Emmy nominated choreographers remarked at the growth in interest to see dance on television, noting that over 70 submissions from reality and scripted series went in to bid for five nominations.

“It’s still weird,” said Mandy Moore of her own nominations. Moore has previously been nominated for her work on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and this year submitted for “Dancing With the Stars” as well. On stage for the reception Moore took the opportunity to thank those who give choreographers a creative space, while director and Academy governor Gail Mancuso hailed the choreographers as “lifesavers. You complete us,” she said.

“Dance is one of those things where people do it because they love it and they’re passionate about it,” said Hough. “For all the blood, sweat and tears that you put into it, the reward can be quite low compared to the amount of work that you put in — it’s such a passion driven art form and you can really see that and it’s incredible.”

August 11, 2014 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. :-)

Derek Hough Interviewed about New Book on GMA

And it was  a great interview!!  If you want to see more about Derek’s appearances today to promote Taking the Lead, hit up PureDerekHough!

August 5, 2014 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. :-)