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PureDWTS Season 23, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Whenever I fill in on the live blog for Heidi, and also simultaneously tweet and take notes for the power rankings, I always worry that I’m gonna just end up repeating the same stuff over and over, and run out of things to say – but oddly enough, live blogging AND tweeting AND taking notes actually helped me work through week 2 of the Topamax brain fog this week, so I feel a lot more lucid now and I’m finding it a lot easier to form coherent thoughts.  Silver linings 🙂

There seemed to be a rather interesting line drawn between some of the pros tonight – that line separating the pros who tend to do a lot of “messing about” and time-wasting, and pros who are savvy enough to stay true a theme while still managing to waste very little time getting down to business and making sure their celeb is dancing for the bulk of their time on-stage. And that line did not go unnoticed by the judges – particularly Len, who seemed to be trying to get the train back on the tracks after they went a bit off the rails with some funky scoring in his absence. He not-so-subtly shaded more than one pro for “messin’ about” while praising others for getting down to business.  What I found a tad unnerving, though, was the way some of the pros seemed to get mouthy back at him, and dismissed some pretty valid points he was making with the usual “Len, you’re old and tired” cliches that have been done to death, but still get a chuckle out of the audience.  Actually found myself really bothered by the jet lag comment from Val, and the fact that Julianne backed it up – Len definitely wasn’t talking out of his ass, and they just kind of poo-poohed it away.  Not cool, and I would love to see someone call Julianne out for being a drama queen and hyperbolizer and have Len back them up on the air, and see how she likes it.

On the whole, I think those who ended up with “novelty” or “extra” dances (i.e. Charleston, jitterbug) probably were scored relatively a bit easier than those who got stuck with one of the core ballroom or Latin dances this week, as it seemed like it was easier to parlay the novelty dances to fit the eras theme than it was to make the stricter Latin & ballroom ones without sacrificing content.  And I think that’s something that probably needs to be spelled out for the pros as they begin choreographing the dances, and the judges probably need to spell it out at the beginning of shows like this – maybe explain what they’re looking for in terms of attention paid to the theme vs. amount of syllabus steps, explain whether lifts are allowed, etc. – because there did seem to be some confusion, not only among the pros, but the judges themselves.  Or that could just be them making things up as they go along, who knows 😛 Mo going home = seemed like the right time.  Like Amber, I just did not get the impression that it was fun for her anymore, and her relationship with Artem seemed pretty…strained. But next week’s elim will likely hurt, because if it is who I think it is – this person is still having a lot of fun and will not want to leave 🙁 Read more..

October 25, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 6 – Power Rankings

DISCLAIMER: As I write this, I am currently under the influence of some new migraine meds that have the unfortunate side effect of making me very, very foggy – if my struggle to find the word “paint can opener” the other day at Sherwin Williams was any indicator, I’m definitely experiencing some aphasia; additionally, the fact that I put a carton of coconut milk in my purse and put my iPhone in the refrigerator while putting away groceries yesterday probably points to some general absentmindedness.  So forgive me if the words don’t come as easily today as they usually do – I’m told this passes after about the two week mark, so fingers crossed…

…and perhaps it is the effects of the medication, or perhaps not, but I’m left feeling a bit unsure of what to make of last night’s show.  I guess I should have known by about the 20 minute mark that things had already gone completely off the rails – we had Pitbull prematurely scoring (and then being completely late scoring the rest of the night, and having a suspiciously hard time with those paddles), Erin making painfully obvious double entendres about Ryan’s “facials”, and Ryan trying to make black light paint a thing, but having it look more like sunburn art. Then there was that pinata that Erin was curiously insistent that everyone hit, but only appeared to be filled with glitter.  Go fig…but perhaps more peculiar was the scoring, which at times left me wondering what exactly the agenda really was.  Part of me thinks TPTB may be falling out of love with Laurie (or may at least be seeing that she may not actually be a sure thing for the win), they seem suddenly obsessed with Jana (after appearing to be rather lukewarm about her thus far this season), they seemed to very slightly ease up on their “underscore Calvin at all costs” edict of the past several weeks, they seemed to finally drop the hammer on Terra (after heaping sometimes over-the-top praise on her the first few weeks of the season), and they seem to kick their praise of James into overdrive (which even I, as a James fan, can agree was a bit too much).  Are they trying to shape their ideal finale? Or are they even taking it a step further, and shifting gears from gunning for a Laurie win…to gunning for a James win? I think it will be very, very interesting to see how things go once Len is back on the panel next week…when daddy’s away, the other three stooges seem to play; but when he’s back, they seem to get back to business.

Wish I could say I was sad to see Amber leave, but I got the impression that she really wasn’t having much fun anymore, and that she never really got comfortable being on the show – so I don’t think she was all that disappointed to go, either. I think Maks collected his paycheck and is happy to be back to being a stay-at-home-dad-to-be. I didn’t see too many fans outrageously upset, either – Amber’s exit was minimally disruptive. I’ll admit – at one point in the show, I told myself I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed if Jana left instead of Amber, but in the end, I guess I’m partially glad the former stayed, because I think Gleb is more of an asset to Marilu’s team dance than Maks ever would have been.  Speaking of which – if you haven’t yet, check out our team dance spoiler post, if for no other reason than to justify my waking up at 2 AM to reveal the teams 😛 Read more..

October 18, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 7 – The Team Dances REVEALED!!!! **SPOILERS**

Ok kids, since it’s likely well into the late hours of the evening (or the wee hours of the morning, depending on what time zone you’re in), I’ll get right to it – after Monday night’s show, the couples picked teams for the team dances next week.  By virtue of having the two highest cumulative point totals (186 and 184 points, respectively), Laurie and James were appointed the team captains (for those curious, the 3rd place finisher, with a distant 171 points, was Jana). Here’s how the teams shook out after all the picking was done… Read more..

October 17, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 5 – Power Rankings

In a pleasant turn of events from last week’s near-universal Cirque dumpster fire, nearly everyone this week at least did ok-to-great with their dances – I don’t feel like anyone really stepped in it or f*cked up beyond help.  Truth be told, I think I’d rather forego switch week (and judging from the lack of chatter I’ve heard from our sources about the switch, we are probably gonna forego it this season) and let couples have a no-elim week during most memorable year/personal story week.  As I was discussing with some of my Twitter followers, the novelty of the switch has worn off, and it just seems like kind of a drag these days – it’s stressful for all involved, the judges seem inclined to “make an example” and score harshly during switch week, and height differences (a la Kim & Keo last season, and potentially with Calvin & Terra this season) seem like they could potentially screw over some pairings.  Next week is Latin week, and we’ve got confirmation that week 8 is Halloween week (again) – that really only leaves week 7 as a possibility for switch week, and there will only be 8 couples left by then…every time they’ve done the switch, they’ve done it with 9 couples.  Could they do it with only 8 couples? Yes.  Will they? I doubt it.  Can’t say I’m terribly disappointed.

As many of us predicted, there was no elim last night, despite TPTB trying to fake out the couples that there would be.  Seemed like every time I tweeted “I don’t think there will be an elim”, at least one person would tweet back with “But Court, James said they were told there WOULD be an elim!” Guess what: the powers that be LIE. They think they’re slick, the think they’re really pulling a “gotcha!” on both the contestants AND the viewers, and most of the time, those two groups don’t know enough to second guess them.  Thing is, we’ve been watching this show long enough to know that there has never been THREE eliminations based on one set of viewer votes (in this case, last Monday’s viewer votes).  That’s unprecedented, and has the potential to rile up a LOT of viewers – which is why it was kinda easy for me to see that they weren’t going to do it.  But maybe this thought hadn’t even crossed their mind, and they were actually planning on it – until someone actually sat down and thought about it.  Wouldn’t be the first time this show flew by the seat of their pants with plans week to week. If they had actually done it, I would put money on it that we would have seen Jana or Amber fall – and honestly, I wouldn’t have been upset if either left.  But they didn’t, so just keep this in mind: TPTB often fib for the sake of drama, and the other half of the time, they’re just making sh*t up as they go along.

Other random thoughts from last night? Was nice to get a proper pro dance at the top of the show, even if it felt a bit random and out-of-place – but I was glad to get an actual ballroom dance, without hair-flipping, or shirt removal, or low-brow “sexy” choreography.  Did TPTB (or Mandy) actually take a look at social media and see all the complaints about how we’re all just kinda over the “sexy” pro dances? And that we actually want to see the pros DANCING??? Seems like a possibility. I also had to raise my eyebrows at the fact that we currently have a 4-way tie for last place – and that 3 of the 4 in that group are what I would consider to be “on the bubble” and at-risk for being eliminated next week anyway, regardless of score. Keeping the margins awfully close, and throwing it to the fans, it seems… Read more..

October 11, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 4 – Power Rankings

“Cirque du Soleil Week” turned out to be more like “Cirque du NO WAY” week, I’m afraid – with the exception of maybe 3 couples, pretty much everyone got chewed up and spit out by the theme in some way or another.  This is what happens when you try to force a theme to fit a dance – things tend to get messy, and we end up bereft of a lot of good dancing.  You know it’s overkill when a source at the show last night texts you to tell you he/she is tripping over acrobats while trying to move around backstage 🙂

Also kinda sucks that, on top of the overkill of Cirque week, and the great Julianne vs. Amber “Uncomfortable-gate” non-controversy stealing the show, the bomb also got dropped that tonight is a surprise double elimination.  Had a lot of you on Twitter asking me if I thought this was in the same vein as the Sean Avery elimination – where Sean had butted heads with producers, and they rearranged the elimination schedule to allegedly send him home earlier.  Honestly, the only one I thought MIGHT fit into the same category as Sean might have been Amber, but given how they milked the Amber drama and then lavished praise on her dance last night, I’m not really inclined to think they would pull something like this to get her out.  I’m more inclined to think that they’ve rearranged the schedule in some manner, and need to make sure they have X number of contestants in X week and the easiest way to ensure that is to do a double elim this week.  FWIW, if they do a double elim this week (and a single elim each week from now until Halloween), they end up with even numbers for the team dances – not that they’ve ever really seemed to care about that, but just illustrating that I don’t think there’s anything particularly foul driving this decision, and it could be for some very innocuous reason.  We know there has to be a double elim at some point in the fall season – where it falls is up to TPTB, and maybe this was just the most convenient time to do it.

Kinda rolling my eyes that, for the 3rd week in a row, we have to deal with a 2-hour results show, which is basically a one-hour recap show with a few musical guests built into the 2nd half, in between results.  Anybody know what fall show got cancelled and left a gap in the schedule that they needed DWTS to fill? I’d kinda like my Tuesday nights back, thanks… Read more..

October 4, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

Derek Hough Blogs About DWTS Season 23, Week 3 – “I Wasn’t Upset”

Yeah, as we guessed, DWTS was making a mountain out of a molehill – no shocker there. Since Derek is actually a nice man, he doesn’t take any shots at anyone like others would be tempted to do. What sounds really great is the stuff he’s put together for Tuesday…and how many other DWTS pros scored an invite to Hollywood’s Night Under the Stars? 😉  I’ve put a couple excerpts below, but I suggest you read the whole thing at TV Guide – he’s very chatty this week. 🙂

I want to clear the air about something: I know Marilu said in the clip on the results show that she thought I was upset with her, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t upset with her or about the scores. “Upset” is the wrong word. I was just bummed out because I just knew she could perform it better. Our dress rehearsal was better. I’m with her when she does it fantastically. I just want everyone to see that. I’m not disappointed in her. I’m not upset with her. I’m proud of her. I just want people to see how great she is. She loves the show so much and I want her to look her absolute best.

——

I’m also performing a results show number with the troupe and some outside dancers. It’s to a song I wrote with Lindsey Stirling, so we’re going to debut it! I just threw the routine together yesterday and hopefully it turns out good. I’m going to play the drums and I will be tapping and drumming against myself at one point. One of the dancers in it is Marie Poppins, who does a really cool section with Allison Holker with mirrors. I saw her do it on social media and there’s a piece in the music that has a similar vibe for it, so I called her up to ask if she could come do it. There’s also going to be some Argentine tango in there. It’s going to be a really cool performance. I’m very excited about it!

On Saturday, I’m going to be performing at the Motion Picture Fund. George Clooney’s hosting, Barbra Streisand’s performing, and Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway will be there too. I have no idea how I scored an invite! When I found out the other attendees, I was like, “Crap!” No pressure, right? The theme is Old Hollywood, so I’m going to do Singin’ in the Rain, which I’ve done before, and also an Argentine tango. I’m cheating a little bit, but I figured it was easiest to keep it in line with what I’m already doing this week. It should be a really fun night!

September 30, 2016 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 23, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well that was possibly the most breakneck speed episode of DWTS we’ve ever witnessed – trying to watch, tweet, and take notes proved to be pretty difficult when they were moving as quickly as they were, so if these are a tad late, I apologize…I may have had to rewind and rewatch.

As much of a cluster as we predicted the face-off dances to be, on the whole I wasn’t too disappointed – my expectations were set pretty low, and tonight’s show maybe slightly exceeded them.  With the exception of a select few dances, technique seemed to be sacrificed in favor of showmanship across the board, and I really only saw 3 couples who seemed like they were 100% in-the-zone when performing…the rest seemed to eke by with varying degrees of bewilderment. It is what it is – when you’ve gotta cram 12 dances into 1 hour, you’re bound to make sacrifices somewhere.  I will say that I really enjoyed not hearing as much meaningless blathering from the judges 😀

Just to recap how voting/eliminations work this week – those who won their dance-offs are safe from elimination tomorrow; those who lost are at risk of getting eliminated. So the rankings should really only be 6 couples this week – but I do want to at least touch on the ones who won their dance-offs, so I’m gonna do things a bit differently tonight. First set of rankings is for those who are actually eligible to be eliminated – with the #6 position being the one I think  is most likely to get the boot. The second set is just a ranking of how well the winners did.  Also threw in a general ranking of the face-offs and how well/not well I think they worked out. Read more..

September 26, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 2 – Power Rankings

I really do have kind of a love-hate relationship with TV weeks – and really, theme weeks in general.  They’ve brought us some really good dances, and they’ve brought us some pretty craptastic dances.  And a whole lotta awkward sh*t in between – this is what happens, kids, when you try to force a certain song to fit a certain dance, or try to force certain costuming to fit a certain dance, or a certain dance to fit a certain theme, etc. There was definitely some awkwardness last night that I would blame primarily on this week’s theme – I feel like Amber & Maks, Jake & Jenna, and Rob/Vanilla & Witney kinda got played by their assigned themes, while I commend Calvin & Lindsay and Babyface and Allison for making their theme work for them…particularly the latter, which I’ll get into more later. Also a lot of time wasting at the beginning of several of the dances, which seemed to be a pretty across-the-board thing, so I guess I can’t complain too much – although I will say some pros utilized the time wasting more than others.

And while I think the distraction of the protesters last week may have somewhat blurred any potential agenda by the judges, I felt like we really saw that agenda take shape awfully clearly this week: Laurie is the chosen one, and anyone that poses a threat to Laurie needs to be nitpicked, criticized, and underscored to protect her.  I think the only other celeb that escaped the judges unscathed besides Laurie was Terra, which is also somewhat problematic, which I will get into later; but why give a dance straight 8’s and then don’t explain ways in which it can be improved upon? If it’s truly perfect and you aren’t going to give any negative feedback, give it 10’s.  If you’re not giving it 10’s and you’re not offering up suggestions for improvement…something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.

Not sure if I’ll do another round of power rankings later tonight/early tomorrow or not (for next Monday’s elimination), as I’ve got some other things going on that are going to make the next 24 hours very, very busy for me, but for now…I guess take these as my predictions for who is going home tomorrow night, and I might just do an update tomorrow evening after we boot the first celeb. Read more..

September 20, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Well, that was all going so well and I honestly thought last night was going to go off without a hitch until some asshats decided to infiltrate the audience and turn it into their own personal platform for protesting Lochte. I don’t really care if you love Lochte or hate him – last night was not the night, the studio was not the place, the manner in which they protested was not acceptable. After that, it was as if all the air got sucked out of the ballroom, and everyone just wanted to go home.  It took the mickey out of Ryan’s performance, diminished the enthusiasm for Laurie’s (a bit), and if Twitter was any indicator, the viewers were more interested in talking about what happened with the protesters than who did well/who their favorites were.  *sigh* Guess there’s gonna be a bit of a need for more thorough screening of audience members and more beefed-up security, from now on…

Moving on from that, I’m left with some very mixed feelings about tonight’s show – there were some that did much better than I thought (namely Ryan, Rick, Terra, Rob, & Hinch), some that didn’t do quite as well as I would have hoped (Marilu, Amber, & Babyface), and some that just kinda left me scratching my head (namely Jake).  Part of me feels like the energy of the show was brought down a tad not just because of the protesters, but just the fact that the ballroom dances we were given seemed a bit…languid.  Not sure if it was a pacing problem or what, but it seemed like there just weren’t enough high-energy dances to break up the more flowing ones. Or maybe the ones that were supposed to be “high-energy” just…weren’t.  I dunno…just a weird pacing problem tonight.

Just as a reminder for the regulars and an FYI for the newbs, the power rankings are a rank of who I think is least likely to most likely to get voted off next week – those at the top of the list are safest, with decreasing estimates of safety as you go further down the list, with the couple at the bottom being my prediction for who goes home next week. It takes into account not only their score, but also how likeable they were, how memorable they were, how likely (or unlikely) the fans are to throw them votes, how big their voting fanbase is, etc. So if you’re here to say “Well so-and-so got a higher score than such-and-such, you should have them higher!” – you’re outta your element, Donnie. Let’s proceed… Read more..

September 13, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 22 Finale, Night 2 – 24-Hour Fusion Dances Revealed **SPOILERS**

Please forgive the incomplete info – doing the best I can, kids 😛

ETA: George Pennacchio filled in my gaps.  Nyle’s song is a guess on my part, as George only said that their song was called “Summer”.  Now if all of you who like to complain about every tango done to an EDM song “was just a copy of Meryl & Maks'” don’t bitch about Peta & Nyle’s…then YOU, my friends, are hypocrites. 😉

Ginger & Val – Argentine tango/Foxtrot (song: “Just Like Fire” by Pink)

Nyle & Peta – Tango/Cha Cha (song: “Summer” by Calvin Harris(?))

Paige & Mark – Salsa/Jive (song: “Little Bitty Pretty One” by Thurston Harris)

Thoughts? How convenient that Val got Argentine tango again – he can just recycle the last 5 ones he did, which were all just remixes of the previous one he did. Having a hard time remembering Nyle’s tango, but wasn’t that one that he bungled up on? Paige is gonna look so stinkin’ cute doing a salsa/jive. 🙂

Here’s to a fun finale! 😎

 

May 24, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog