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PureDWTS Season 21, Week 8 – What’s Left to Dance?

I probably should have done this a couple weeks ago, during the midpoint of the season (when I usually do it), but admittedly, time kinda got away from me 🙂 But I’m actually kinda glad I waited, because I think the remaining dances are going to be of much greater importance at this phase of the competition than they were two weeks ago – because with so many strong dancers still remaining, I think it’s all gonna come down to who gets dances that suit their abilities and who doesn’t. Some have several dances left that they have the potential to ace – others are kinda screwed, with their only remaining dances being ones that their aren’t likely to do well with.

Before I throw up my table, a few points of clarification: I’ve included the core 10 dances (cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, jive, waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, Viennese waltz), as well as what I consider to be the “extra” dances (salsa, Argentine tango, jazz, contemporary, and any other weird one-off dances – in this case, Charleston).  You’ll notice I’ve italicized waltz, salsa, & Charleston – the reason being that I don’t think everyone is going to do these dances, and they were only used previously this season in order to fit specific songs/themes. So if [insert celeb here] doesn’t get to do salsa – I highly doubt it’s going to be of much significance, since only two other contestants got to  do it and it was in a theme week. I’m not counting last week’s dance-off dances, since they were not full-length, regular dances. Also of significance: I have not included any of the coming week’s dances in the table, as we don’t know all of them – so please do not go immediately post in the comments “Bindi has Charleston! You forgot to update it!!!” I reserve the right to call you out if you do, as you clearly have not read the post…which is kinda rude. Read more..

November 4, 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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 8 – Power Rankings

I know I can’t be the only one that was over themes a couple weeks ago – and I have to wonder if others share the other sentiment I have: that a lot of the theme weeks this season have started to feel a bit…redundant. “Hometown Glory” week, “Most Memorable Year” week, and now “Personal Icons” week – anyone else feel like these themes have churned out kinda the same dances over and over? I feel like I’ve seen so many crying dances this season – more than I care to. How ’bout we just ditch the themes from here on out and just…y’know, DANCE.

As predicted, the immunity and dance-off was about as farcical as it could possibly be – clear agendas, and some eyebrow-raising rulings by the judges. Felt more like whoever got the louder reaction from the crowd got the points, rather than whoever was dancing more competently or actually even trying to portray the dance style they were given. In the end, I doubt 2 points is going to help anyone a TON if they aren’t already getting the votes, and really the only one who got a serious boost was Nick, who has a nifty little 4-point cushion over the next highest-scorer and and now is within one cumulative point of Bindi – I’m just waiting for that to somehow come into play in these next few weeks, when Nick suddenly inches ahead of Bindi and suddenly by virtue of his cumulative point total, he gets an edge – maybe first pick in some cockamamie dance they’ve cooked up, maybe first pick of songs, who knows. It all just feels verrry convenient.

Sad to see Andy go, but I can’t help but think that Allison’s chaotic choreography is partially to blame for their departure – for the second time this season, she kinda got subtly called out by the judges again for having too much going on in Andy’s Viennese waltz…which, by the wait, just kinda felt to me like a retooling of Hayes’ switch week Viennese waltz which was met with equal criticism by the judges. His paso last week was pretty chaotic as well – and poor Andy just couldn’t keep up in either one, I’m afraid, and it made the critique from the judges feel like they were calling out his sloppy technique…but the subtext was “your technique was sloppy because the dance had way too much going on.” Part of me hopes that during her maternity leave next season, Allison gets a bit more introspective and maybe figures out a way to still honor her own style while focusing more on being true to the ballroom style that this show focuses on… Read more..

November 3, 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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Well…if the crew set out to hotbox the  studio, they succeeded 😛 Seriously,  though – what a colossal production FUBAR. I could barely see some of the dances through all that smoke, and trying to even see the judges and Tom afterwards was a struggle. I have to wonder if it negatively affected some of the couples as well – especially the ones that stuck to the main floor and didn’t hop up on any platforms. Talk about props getting in the way – and this, kids, is why themes can really screw up an otherwise decent evening. BEWARE THE SMOKE MONSTER.

And the smoke wasn’t the only monster in the ballroom last night.  Unfortunately, I felt like at least 2/3 members of the judges panel devolved into gossipy teenage girls when giving critiques, and came across as vindictive and childish. I’m also completely OVER the whole “Derek’s never lost!” plotline they pose in every team dance, so now that he’s actually lost – can we please come up with something more compelling to talk about? It was clear Derek didn’t give a rat’s ass, and perhaps the only ones that did were a certain other pro and his fans. It’s time to find some new material, guys.

On the upside? I actually found Leah a lot more natural and enjoyable last night, and she seemed much more at ease. Much more like the Leah I loved hosting back in season 19.  As for Hayes getting eliminated – he did far better than I thought he would this season, so I give him BIG props there.  But though I hate to say it, I think he’s partially responsible for his own elimination – as I mentioned last week, he seemed to place too much emphasis on #VoteForTeamSlayes trending on Twitter and not nearly enough on actual voting…and when your fanbase is a bunch of impressionable teenage girls that will blindly follow your every whim, I think you need to be VERY CLEAR on what it is you need from them. Remember, kids: as much emphasis as this show sometimes puts on social media, Twitter hashtags will not keep you in this competition – only votes will.  So you may as well forget about Twitter and just focus on the votes…something to keep in mind next week… Read more..

October 26, 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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 6 – Top 5 Complaints About “The Lift” And Why They’re Kinda Dumb

As I mentioned earlier on Twitter – I find it funny how all of the armchair dance critics just seemed to come out of the woodwork and point out everything that was wrong with “the lift” in the past 48 hours or so 😛 Every one of them was quick to point out Derek’s “shaking arms”, Bindi’s “bad posture”, or offered up examples of others who did “a much better job”. Just one question for, critics: you have attempted this lift yourself, haven’t you? I mean, for you guys to be so critical of it yourself, I assume you’ve researched it extensively and have honed the technique enough in order to offer up intelligent arguments about everything Derek & Bindi did that was just “sooooo wrong”? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Fortunately, I’m actually uniquely qualified to talk about it, as I HAVE done this lift, and my senior kinesiology thesis in college was a 25-page analysis on how to do the lift from Dirty Dancing.  After one very long semester of hours logged in the lab with a crashmat and my partner (and a few injuries), we got it down to a science, and wrote a very arcane paper full of physics & kinesiology jargon that explained how to do it – and we got an A 🙂 Now, as it has been quite a few years since I graduated, and the computer I had from college has since crashed, I was unable to dig up a copy of my original paper (I even went so far as to email my professor to see if she had a copy – turns out, she’s on sabbatical this semester). However, I still remember a lot of what I said in the paper, and I doubt many of you care about things such as concentric/eccentric muscle contractions – so I tried to condense it as much as possible here, and make it relevant to DWTS. So I decided to tackle the top 5 complaints I’ve been hearing about the lift, and explain why I think Bindi & Derek actually did a damn good job, given the circumstances. Read more..

October 21, 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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 6 – Power Rankings

*slow clap* Great job on a completely un-fishy, totally coherent evening of scores and critiques, judges. No really, you really did well. *eye roll* This had to be one of the most ridiculous, incongruent, completely-out-of-left-field nights the judges have had in a LONG time.  I can think of two routines that were grossly overscored, and two or three that were underscored; I also feel like some couples got picked apart with a fine-toothed comb while others just got glossed over with praise and any mistakes completely disregarded. Only explanation I’ve got? Certain “chosen ones” are not getting the votes they need to stick around, and they need a boost; while some of the have-nots that shouldn’t be so popular (in their eyes) are just raking in the votes. Resist the urge to meddle, PTB – karma is a heinous bitch, and as we’ve seen…your actions can often have unintended consequences.

I kinda felt like something was amiss when they made a point of having Carrie Ann  spell out what the judges were looking for at the beginning of the show – it was almost as if they had been lurking in the comments here at Pure and saw what issues we had been discussing with regard to “Iconic Dance” week…y’know, the whole “where are they going to draw the line between staying faithful to a dance and actually doing the assigned dance style” issue. *waves* Keep lurkin’, guys – I’ve got so much more to say 😉 Also odd? Leah felt really clunky and awkward tonight – nothing like the smooth, at-ease Leah who cohosted a year ago when Erin had to cover the World Series. She was hilarious then – she was painful tonight. Bring back the Leah that was bopping Derek in the face with a microphone, PLEASE 😀

On a more positive note, I loved the opening number – hard to beat Karina channeling Flashdance, Derek channeling Singin’ in the Rain, and Keo doing his best MC Hammer – dare I say it’s a rather fitting role? Kind of a minor sensation, probably outlived his 15 minutes of fame, ridiculous outfits… Read more..

October 20, 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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 6 – “Iconic Dance Week” Predictions

So I think we had some pretty good discussion, both here and on Twitter, about what dances from music videos, movies, and stage that we each think are “iconic” – so why not do a prediction post? 🙂

I’ve included what we know so far (check out Heidi’s “Who’s Dancing What” for more details); songs that have gotten used in the past that might crop up again (because we all know they love reusing songs); songs that could crop up again, but probably won’t because they were used so recently; and songs that I, Court, would love to see used 🙂 Read more..

October 14, 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

DWTS Season 21, Week 5 – Switch-Up Postmortem & POLL: How Did the Pros Handle the Switch?

So I came up with this idea while writing this week’s power rankings – since the rankings were basically an assessment of who is the least likely to the most likely to go home (and this week, it combined the scores from two weeks) , I felt like I still needed somewhere to discuss how well the couples actually handled the switch…without so much emphasis placed on points or eliminations. Especially because the scoring was kinda off on Monday night – I felt like there wasn’t necessarily a direct correlation between who scored the highest and who I would really call “successful” in the switch up.

This post is going to focus mainly on the pros and how well they handled things, but I will say a few words on the celebs first: with the exception of Tamar and Nick, I felt like all the celebs really embraced the switch with open arms, and were game for just about anything – which is good 🙂 I think flexibility and just “rolling with it” was the key to a successful switch partnership this time around.  As for Tamar & Nick – I feel like Tamar just tends to have walls up with just about everyone except close family, so she was maybe a tad resistant to the switch, as it meant having to connect with yet another person (after she admitted to only recently connecting with Val); Nick wasn’t necessarily resistant to the switch, but I think he may have written his switch partner off as not really invested and decided that he was going to drive the bus instead. Seemed like a bit of a power-struggle between he & Witney. 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 5 – Power Rankings

Well I gotta give TPTB some props – at least they managed to last through 4 weeks before kicking the manipulation machine into high gear. But man, did they overcompensate this week – aside from Paula still at the bottom and Bindi still at the top, the scoreboard got all shuffled up this week.  Alexa shot up from being 2nd from the bottom last week, to getting the high score this week and 4th place in combined scores; Carlos jumped from 5th place last week (and in jeopardy) to getting the 2nd highest score of the night and 2nd place with combined scores. Tamar went from being part of the 3-way tie for 2nd place, to being in 7th place after this week; and poor Alek, with two weeks worth of emotional trauma (and low-balled scores) under his belt, is now second to last. Andy managed to jump from 7th place last week to 5th this week, while going from straight 7’s and 8’s to straight 9’s.  I will credit SOME of this drastic shuffling to some people getting switch partners that were much better at harnessing their talents than their original pro, while some ended up with pros that were worse than their original partner. And for the love of Jeebus, judges – be a little more understanding that it’s switch week.  I get that you have an agenda, but it BLOWS MY MIND how you can talk about how the switch is so tough in one breath, and then dole out nitpicky critiques and lowballed scores in another. Thankfully, the double elim that we were hearing about for next week was a false alarm, and only one couple is going home next Monday – but last night’s scores do make me seriously wonder what the narrative is going to look like in the coming weeks.

I found myself agreeing with Maks far more than I thought I would – and I was particularly pleased that he finally called Allison out on her busy, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink choreography. Will be interesting to see if that comment is received the same way that Alfonso’s comment to Alexa was a few weeks back – although judging from Twitch’s twitter timeline, I’m guessing it’s not going to be received well. Also felt like Maks might have taken an interesting, subtle jab at the switch-up itself, when he told Tamar “You just got together this week, so you didn’t get to connect”. He wasn’t immune to the wonky-ness, though, and he gave a couple scores that made me raise an eyebrow. I do commend  him on giving more coherent critiques this time – overall, I’d give him an 8 out of 10.

Other observations? I am very aware that Nick is a Backstreet Boy – therefore, I do not need to to see Nick doing the “Backstreet’s Back” move every week to remind me. This is the 3rd time it’s gotten thrown into a routine, and twice was enough for me – find something else for this guy to do.  Was it just me, or did the first half of the show seem to be devoted to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it boner joke? Caught at least 3 innuendo-y moments. Also wish they would have kept Tamar in the outfit she wore for the intro dance – she looked STUNNING, and then they put her in  that weird, feathery swan dress for her actual dance.  No me gusta.

Since this is a ranking of who I think is most likely to stay or go (based on this week’s scores and last week’s), I’m half-tempted to do a “switch-up postmortem” tomorrow where I actually rank how well I thought the pros handled the switch, and maybe throw in a poll to see how you guys felt about it, too…would that be something you’re interested in? Read more..

October 13, 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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 4 – Power Rankings

*looks around* Wow, Alfonso hosted DWTS and the world didn’t end. Right on! Seriously, though, I though the guy did a pretty damn good job – his pacing was good, he didn’t talk too much, and he kept things moving. I’m sure there are some that would disagree, but as for me? I’m just thankful that he stepped in for Tom and seemed to minimize any potential disruption that Tom’s absence caused. But the joke about joining the band? Played out, dude. Pun intended 😛

One rather strange observation about last night’s show? The running order – it struck me as kinda odd, and I wasn’t the only one. Seemed like they actually front-loaded the show with good dances, and relegated some head-scratchers to the end of the show. Seemed…backwards. I would have moved Andy, Paula, and Carlos to the first hour; and probably moved Hayes, Tamar, and Alek to the back. Not much else to add, just that it all seemed kinda out-of-order to me, given the quality of the dances.

Other noteworthy moments? Allison announcing her pregnancy – my god, that child is going to be gorgeous and talented. And it leaves the door open for Lindsay to remain a pro next season, which makes me happy 😀 And who doesn’t love Sasha channeling Bruno circa 1983, in one of his “I’m Still Standing” getups? Guess I’m just thankful that it wasn’t the bizarre black man-leotard thingie… 😎

Did @DancingABC accidentally tip their hand with regards to the switch-up? They tweeted out this eyebrow-raiser right before Alek performed – and it has since been deleted. Someone told me that the phone votes were saying “Thanks for voting for Alek & Sharna!” as well, but it didn’t do it for me. Just a senior moment, or someone inadvertently tweeting about next week’s pairings? You be the judge.

weirdtweet Read more..

October 6, 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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Last night, for the first time ever, I got to say the following sentence and mean it literally: “There are Muppets in the control room.” 😛 Not sure they had a terribly strong presence on last night’s show, but it was still a cute touch here and there to see Kermit & Miss Piggy bopping around.  Another nice touch? A guest judge that actually gave intelligent critiques.  I’ve seen about 50/50 when it comes to everyone’s thoughts on Alfonso – half seemed to like him as a judge, half seemed to hate him.  I fall in the former camp – call me crazy (or “biased” – just make sure you own your own biases, too 😉 ) but since Len left, it has felt like a 3-ring circus on that judging panel, and the last thing I wanted was a another pointless guest judge mucking it up even further – I felt like Alfonso did his best to give relevant, helpful critiques, and was nicer about it than both Carrie Ann and Julianne. And dammit, he was able to get away with saying what we all (likely including the other judges) have been thinking: the husband & wife act between Alexa & Carlos is TIRED.  They need to start looking out for themselves, or they’ll both lose.

As for the other judges – Carrie Ann still seemed cranky with just about everyone except Tamar, Julianne seemed to vacillate between semi-coherence and obvious scripting, and once again – Bruno seemed to be on the most even keel, although that’s even debatable.  God I miss Len something fierce. And something else I miss: rehearsal packages that aren’t completely scripted, tacky, and forced. The three that come to mind as the most cringeworthy are Tamar & Val’s, Alexa & Mark’s, and Alek & Lindsay’s…particularly the latter, as I’m now getting inundated with tweets asking if Alek is dating Brittany/Jenna/Karina/etc. You do all realize that was scripted nonsense, right? Right down to Hayes humorously c*ckblocking Alek’s attempt to “get Brittany’s number” with his Ninja Turtle costume? I thought we taught you guys better than that – to see through the bullsh*t.  The only nugget of truth from that whole nonsensical segment was Emma saying “I would love to get you in the switch, Alek!” She confirmed that on Twitter last week – so by all means, feel free to tweet #DWTSAlekEmma till your heart’s content 🙂 Just don’t hold out for pap pix of Jenna & Alek getting coffee, or Brittany & Alek getting into an Uber together, etc.

Sucks that Kim had to withdraw, but I can’t say none of us saw it coming – a stroke is a bit more serious than a sprained ankle or an aching back, and it’s good that she’s taking time out to take care of herself.  Can’t say I agree with the campaign I’m seeing to bring her back later in the competition, though – basically giving her a free pass straight to a later week without having to survive her way through the elims like other contestants? I don’t think so, kids. Let her come back and dance at the finale, but that’s it.  As for who ended up “in jeopardy” – I’m not entirely sure that those two couples were the actual bottom two, and since TPTB knew from the get-go that they weren’t actually going to eliminate anyone…I think they very well could have just picked two random couples to be in jeopardy. That being said – I do find it curious that they picked who they did, especially since we’ve only seen Gary in jeopardy with the eliminated couples the past two elims.  I think Andy & Allison are in real danger of fading into the woodwork, and Paula might be losing steam.  Guess we’ll see come next Monday… Read more..

September 29, 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