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PureDWTS Season 20, Week 2 – Power Rankings

Pleasantly surprised this  week – not only with the scoring and the judging, but with the fact that, for the 2nd week in a row, there were no “phone-ins”: every last couple came out and gave it their all, even if it didn’t quite pan out the way they planned (sorry, Chris).  Judging seemed pretty consistent and the scores seemed to match the critiques – one would think this should happen EVERY week, but it’s becoming more and more of a rarity these days…so for tonight, I am happy :-) But that could change next week…

Somewhat sad to see Redfoo & Emma go, but I’ll just leave it at this: I think staying in the competition would have potentially been quite stressful on both of them, as I think they may have forgotten to have fun a few times in rehearsal this week.  Ultimately, though, Foo went out on a pretty high note – he was definitely the most improved from last week to this week, and he did show some serious potential…although I think he probably would have struggled just to get the votes week after week, because I just don’t see too many middle-aged, conservative-leaning housewives being huge LMFAO fans 😎

1.) Nastia & Derek – I think Rumer & Val may have gotten a bit of a gut check after watching this dance – they ain’t the only ones who want that trophy :-) This was a great, almost technically-perfect rumba – Nastia’s got the lines and the feet and the arms and the posture and the extension.  Here’s the problem I have: she seems to have a lot of walls up, and the chemistry between she & Derek was almost non-existent.  I guess the best way I could describe her facial expressions is “girl who has never been kissed and doesn’t quite know whether to close her eyes or keep them open” :-) And another observation: I think Nastia may be an unfortunate sufferer of “resting bitch face” – I think her neutral face is just so serious and calm that it may come across as a tad standoffish…and I wish I had some advice for her on that, but some people just aren’t as smiley as others.  Maybe stand in front of a mirror and practice smiling? I dunno 😛 Hoping Derek can work with her on emotional connection, because the technique is there – she just needs to get a tad more vulnerable. Read more..

March 24, 2015 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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!

PureDWTS Season 20, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Hmmmm.  I guess that’s the best way to sum up the feelings I’m left with after watching last night’s show…just “hmmmm”.  Ok, I guess I’ll go with the positives, first: loved the new opening credits.  Definitely an improvement from the trippy kaleidoscopic intros of years past, or the complete lack of opening credits the past few years.  I also thought all the celebs gave it their best shot – there were no D.L. Hughley’s or Master P’s that were out there not even trying.  Even if some of them kinda missed the mark – I applaud everyone for sticking with it and not phoning it in. The costuming was a positive, too – I actually found myself liking quite a bit of it (major props to Kym, Sharna, & Witney, who all looked spot-on last night!)

Aaaaand the negatives – I guess the big one for me was the scoring.  I’m happy to be wrong about the judges whipping out the “9” paddles in a fit of excitement; however, there still seemed to be quite a bit of disparity between the quality of dance I was seeing  and the scores being given for each dance.  Definite high & low-balling (we’ll get into that later).  Then there was the fact that somehow time got away from them, and they were left absolutely scrambling at the end of the show – to the point where I don’t think anyone had any time to do anything  but heap praise on Rumer and begin the “it’s Val’s season” narrative.  I like the season to develop its own narrative, thankyouverymuch…don’t need one to be pre-chosen for me. If they’re really THAT good, it will show – you don’t really need to drive the point home with OTT praise and subtle pimping.

1.) Rumer & Val – Just putting this out there: had Derek (or any other pro, really) performed this exact same routine, he would have gotten ripped a new one by not only the judges, but the viewers.  Yes, the song wasn’t very foxtrot-y, but at the same time, Val is not the only pro that has gotten saddled with a song that wasn’t exactly dance appropriate, and the others took their lumps when called out on non-dance-appropriate choreography.  While Rumer danced what she was given very well, I think they should both thank their lucky stars that there was so little time left in the show by the time they danced that Len didn’t get a chance to throw his usual “what was on the label wasn’t in the tin” lecture. Rumer did very, very well – but I have to wonder whether the narrative that seemed to be set up last night (“Rumer’s the one to beat! Val, this could be your season!”) is going to help her or hurt her in the long run.  With Nastia & Riker being every bit as good as Rumer (and Michael nipping at their heels), I think it’s going to be a good fight this season – just hope the storyboarding doesn’t get in the way. And just judging from some of the tension I saw in their rehearsal package – I’m predicting at least one of them storming out of rehearsal at some point this season.  Rumer seems like the type that isn’t going to take a whole lot of crap from her partner…which I kinda like. :-)

2.) Nastia & Derek – Unfortunately for Nastia, I think TPTB had already determined that Rumer was to be the “golden girl” of last night’s show, and consequently, Nastia was relegated to a lukewarm, middle-of-the-night running order and a pickier critique for a routine that was every bit as good as Rumer’s.  Had they switched the running order to Rumer in the middle and Nastia at the end – I think THIS would be the routine everyone would be gushing about.  Funny how much running order can play a role in how a routine is perceived.  Loved the energy level of this foxtrot, and the fact that it was a bona fide, Broadway-inspired foxtrot.  If I had one critique, it’s that Nastia did look like she adopted the stoic, almost blank-faced gymnast’s expression from time to time – and that’s a complaint I’ve had about every single gymnast they’ve had on the show.  So I guess showmanship is something she should work on, because the technique is there.  Demographics-wise, I think she may have the edge over Rumer – Olympic gymnast seems to trump “daughter of two Hollywood heavyweights” in terms of voter appeal, if we look at the history of the show.  Then again, if there are enough lemmings that buy into the “Val has never won, let him win!” philosophy that the show is already pushing, it could turn the precedent on its head.  Food for thought.

3.) Riker & Allison – After watching these two tonight, I’m predicting that I’m going to have a bit of a hard time with them this season.  Why? Because I actually feel like Riker might be more experienced in ballroom & Latin than Allison.  His jive technique is fantastic – he was kicking and flicking and bouncing at the skill level of an amateur Latin dancer competing at least at the silver syllabus level.  Allison, while not terrible, felt quite a bit heavier on her feet to me – and I feel like that’s really the dividing line between someone with some sort of mastery of jive vs. someone who’s still learning: the former can look incredibly light on their feet; the latter tends to look a bit more…deliberate.  I also thought Allison’s choreography was a tad repetitive – and I think I had similar complaints about her choreography for Jonathan last season.  I just still feel like she’s not on-par with the experience level of the other pros on the show – she needs a few more years of polish before I feel like she’ll even be in the same ballpark.  Riker? No major complaints here, other than the fact that needs need to wash his hair and stop trying to downplay his dance experience.  I still think the major sticking point in this pairing for me, though, is going to be Allison.

4.) Michael & Peta – Ok, Michael was pretty damn good – definitely better than Robert, who scored a full 2 points higher.  But man – why were the judges so damn fixated on his feet??? I get it, they need work – but for f*ck’s sake, it’s week 1.  I’m happy if they can just remember their doggone choreography and manage to at least look like they’re having some degree of fun while dancing it! I have to wonder if, like Redfoo, the judges decided that they needed to keep Michael’s score from getting too high – and so they decided to fixate on one rather minute facet of the routine and just really harp on it.  Saw some good hip action here, and he managed to actually keep up with Peta’s energy level – I think he’s got potential, for sure, and he seems like a REALLY hard worker, which I can appreciate.  I could see him being kind of a cross between Donald & Jacoby – a hard-working nice guy like the former, but with the showmanship and natural groove of the latter.  Michael gained a fan in me tonight. :-)

5.) Noah & Sharna – If I was in awe of Amy two seasons ago and how she was able to manage with two prosthetic legs, then my mind was absolutely blown last night with how Noah handled his cha-cha with a bionic knee and no left arm to lead with.  I also have to credit Sharna with coming up with some clever choreography to distract from the fact that Noah has no arm. I think the part I loved most was the fact that he & Sharna have such SYNERGY – they know how to make the most of their partnership, and how to compliment each other’s teaching/learning styles.  I think this is going to be a very good learning/growth experience for both of them – will definitely be interesting to see how they’re able to handle Noah’s new prosthetic arm.  I just hope that they’re able to get past the fact that Noah is an amputee and are able to appreciate him as a good dancer, period – not just “a good dancer, for being an amputee”.

6.) Willow & Mark – Like a lot of others, I’m left without a whole lot to say about these two – it was an odd, non-event cha-cha for me, unfortunately.  And I’m not even so sure that it was just because they went first – I think this dance probably would have gotten lost in the shuffle anywhere in the show. This just seemed uncharacteristically low-energy for Marc – even his week 1 cha-chas usually come out of the gate strong, but this choreography seemed to lack impact.  I’m not sure if he’s having to reign himself in due to Willow’s age or what, or he’s just trying not to overwhelm her, but I was left feeling pretty “meh” about the whole thing.  Willow isn’t BAD; but she’s definitely no Sadie, and I just think her lack of maturity making it hard for her to really sell the dance.  This, unfortunately, could be an ongoing problem this season – she just doesn’t have the experience necessary to really sell these dances convincingly.  I think Mark has his work cut out for him.

7.) Suzanne & Tony – Despite getting off-time and maybe coming across a bit timid, I think Suzanne actually showed some potential last night – the steps were there; they just need a little more panache behind them.  And like some of the other couples that probably fell victim to props and set-ups, I think the Thighmaster bit at the beginning wasted a little too much time and interrupted the momentum of the routine. I actually really like her and Tony together – and to Tony’s credit, he’s actually become kind of awesome the past few seasons, really embracing the idea of “the journey” on the show for his celeb and not focusing so much on “win, win, win”.  I actually think Suzanne could have some staying power this season, if she can shake of the nerves and not get caught up in any gimmicks that production might try to con her into – please, no more Thighmaster references.  Although Suzanne’s thighs do look FANTASTIC. :-)

8.) Patti & Artem – Given that I had heard that Patti was “really struggling” in rehearsals, I was actually pleasantly surprised that she managed to make it through her dance last night without any major struggles.  Granted, it was some verrrrrry basic choreography – “Walk-walk-walk-POSE! Walk-walk-walk-TURN!” as Mama Spence described it 😛 But she stayed on-time, she didn’t stumble all over her feet, and she sold the dance pretty well (aside from a few bewildered facial expressions).  I think the big struggle Artem is gonna have with Patti this season is just helping her to remember her choreography – as Patti reminded us multiple times last night, she’s 70 years old, and might not be quite as quick to pick up steps.  I don’t think she’ll necessarily be a contender this season, but I also don’t see her being absolutely terrible, either – as long as Artem doesn’t try to throw too much her at once.

9.) Robert & Kym – I’m wondering if there was a bit of a “Yay, Kym’s back!!!” kind of high at the judges table, because while I was thoroughly-entertained and enjoyed this cha-cha, I have to admit – it was overscored, especially with respect to Michael, who I thought had more difficult choreography and better mastery of it. I think the appeal of these two lies more in the fact that they’re so daggone nice and pleasant to watch interacting.  I doubt they’re going to be one of the huge contenders in terms of skill, but they could stick around for awhile as one of the “warm fuzzy” couples.  Can’t recall too much about Robert’s dancing – admittedly, I was more fixated on Kym and her rad costume – but I’m going to venture a guess that, like most of the other male competitors this year, his feet and his hip action probably need some work.  Guess I’ll just pay more attention next week :-)

10.) Chris & Witney – I think the way I described Chris on Twitter last night was “what he lacks in musicality, he more than makes up for in heart” – and it’s true: he may not be a natural dancer, but he works HARD.  And he actually didn’t do too shabby with this jive – sure, his feet could use some work, and the posture wasn’t stellar, but he still managed to stay on top of the beat and look like he was having fun. Thought the choreography was cute, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of the truck as a prop, I don’t think they relied too heavily on it.  Loved the country theme, too – Witney looked adorable.  Ultimately, though, I think he may get lost in the shuffle when the competition really heats up – and I’m having a hard time telling if the viewing demographic is suffering from Bachelor oversaturation or not.  Time will tell.

11.) Redfoo & Emma – Really kind of puzzled as to why this one got raked over the coals like he did – sure, there was quite a bit of “messin’ about” in his routine, but I think he stayed on-time and managed to churn out a pretty entertaining dance.  He was certainly better than Charlotte, so I felt like he was underscored relative to her; I also feel like he kept up better (and was more energetic) than Suzanne, so he should have been scored more on-par with her.  I’m not sure if they were trying to make an example of him as the “don’t be messin’ about too much!” poster child or what, but this score (and Michael’s) were the two biggest head-scratchers of the evening for me.  I think Foo should be ok next week, because Charlotte doesn’t seem to have much of a fanbase at all, but I kinda wonder just how many people are actually voting for Redfoo – seems like a demographic that doesn’t quite align with the main viewing demographic of the show.

12.) Charlotte & Keo – Ok, say what you will about “not liking Charlotte’s attitude” or “not liking how Keo acts around her” (both are legit complaints I’ve seen about them from those who’ve watched the rehearsals), but I have to give Charlotte credit for soldiering through and finishing her routine despite it going completely sideways early on, and then managing to avoid spectacularly self-destructing afterward, a la Lolo.  Sure, it was off-time, limp, and kinda awkward, but she suited up and showed up – and even if she would have actually done well, I think the writing was unfortunately on the wall for these two since day 1: they were bound to be an early out just due to lack of fanbase alone.  Oh well – hopefully Charlotte will get to redeem herself a bit with her dance next week and at least leave on a high note.  I really didn’t have any issues with her – call it “busty gal solidarity” or whatever, but I was kinda rooting for Charlotte on the inside :-)

So those are my thoughts on last night’s show – what are yours?

March 17, 2015 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, The Finale – Power Rankings

ZOMG guise Janel r hurt! Janel didnt getz enuf rehursul tyme! O the humanatee!!! Seriously, felt like the lolcat sympathy hour for awhile there, with everyone reacting with such horror at poor Janel and her rib injury and lack of rehearsal time.  Nevermind the fact that Alfonso has been injured FOR WEEKS, or that all of the contestants this season have outside commitments.  I took Tavis to task almost 2 months ago for complaining about not having enough rehearsal time – you best believe I’m an equal-opportunity chastiser, and I’m gonna take Janel to task for it too.  You don’t get to sign up for DWTS, knowing you have another commitment, and then complain about how little rehearsal time you have.  Bethany & Derek made do with 7 hours for one dance. Suck it up, buttercup.

All that aside – tonight was a pretty strong night for just about every dance.  Probably the strongest freestyle round, across the board, that we’ve seen in awhile, with everyone committing 100% to their dances.  I don’t think anyone struggled with showmanship.  Judges’ choice round could have been a bit better, but overall I think  everyone did ok.  Tomorrow night should be interesting, though – with only 3 points separating the leader (Alfonso) from the third place (Janel), they really are kinda throwing it to the fans to figure out – and while I’m pretty sure I know how things will shake out, the fact that they did a real bottom 2 tonight will probably whip some fans into a voting frenzy.  How convenient.

As for Bethany – she should’ve stayed.  Even though she fumbled a bit on her jive (dumb bed), I thought her freestyle was spot-on and was her strongest dance yet. Sorry to see her go – she seemed to have finally blossomed. But I think she and Derek went out on a high note, and can take pride in what a fantastic job they did this season. :-) Read more..

November 24, 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 10 – Power Rankings

Several things that make me go “hmmmm” this week: the scores very much in a close cluster headed into finale week (74, 75, 76, 78), Sadie back to being low-balled a bit; the sudden repetition of the phrases “momentum”, “going all the way”, and “contender” with reference to Janel; the decision to bring back Maks for a visit; and the fact that Alfonso seems to be in some serious pain.  All are things that make me wonder about the finale, in a variety of ways…you’ll see why.

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy – it was great run, buddy, and you very much went out on a high note (no pun intended…ok, maybe a little bit).  Thought that the Chonger actually gave two very respectable performances tonight, and his rumba in particular was a lovely illustration of just why I appreciated him so damn much this season: he let us see a softer side of Peta.  I don’t think I’ve EVER seen her so emotionally attached to a partner, and it made her a lot more human and relatable for me – plus Tommy was just so daggone charming, and seemed to really embrace the experience of being on DWTS.

1.) Alfonso & Witney – Injury aside, I think we saw something out of Alfonso tonight that we maybe hadn’t noticed as much when he wasn’t injured: heart.  I loved seeing the fighting side of Fonz tonight – his technique may not have been as on-point as we’ve seen from him in the past (though by no means was it shoddy – even injured, the guy is still a revelation), but I think it just made it more obvious how hard he was trying and how much he really wants to be here and do well – so I appreciated both of his performances tonight, as well as Witney’s choreography.  She has been a revelation this season – really loving how she’s able to showcase her partner.  Also worth noting, I think – just how many (and how diverse) a group of celebs showed up in Alfonso’s “flashback” package to wish him well.  Rick Schroeder, Emmitt Smith, most of the cast of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and…Dan Quayle??? I like to think it just illustrates Fonz’s broad-spectrum appeal – and how beloved he is by so many because of both Carlton and Silver Spoons.   My only worry? That his injury may prevent his freestyle from being as truly epic as it could be, if his range of motion is limited – but I’m optimistic that he’s still going to wow us, and  he’s still got time to heal.  He’s still my pick to win 😉 Read more..

November 18, 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 9 – Power Rankings

I know I’ve been absent for awhile – chalk it up to an insane workload at my 9-5, some Comicon hijinx in Ohio, and a bridal shower in Texas this past weekend (check out my instagram for pix of the latter two – @putuincespence).  Literally, the busiest 2 weeks of my life.  😯 But I’m back now and there’s something I’d like to get off my chest with regards to TPTB…

STOP TRYING TO MAKE JANEL HAPPEN. IT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN. And in fact, it very well could backfire – especially after what we saw from them tonight.  The viewers are not stupid – they can tell when you’re trying to wrap a turd in tinfoil and sell it to them as a candy bar. You’ve secured her spot in next week’s show – good for you.  But when you pimp and pimp and pimp a certain contestant with the objective of getting them to the finale, a funny thing often happens when they get there: they typically don’t place better than 3rd or 4th place.  Food for thought.

Moving right along…I see Carrie Ann & Julianne are back to riding high on the bath salts train, as neither one had very much credibility tonight – lots of nonsense being spewed, both positive & negative.  Len was a (sort of) stabilizing influence, who wasn’t afraid to speak up and tell them they were full of it, though even he wasn’t completely immune to the nonsense.  My only hope is that he can get really, really real next week – cause he seemed to be turning a blind eye to quite a bit this week that he would normally quite vocally object to. Read more..

November 11, 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Three cheers for an opening pro dance that I actually enjoyed! Thought it was cute how they worked in a Halloween theme.  At the very least, it wasn’t a bunch of  female bumping & grinding & hair-flipping…or Pitbull. 😯

So Len was back, and as I kind of predicted – he was grumpy, and Julianne kind of reverted back to being the level-headed judge.  Carrie Ann is still the airheaded judge; I can’t even really remember anything Bruno said.  Overall, I don’t feel as though the quality of judging improved much with Len’s return – so I’m fine if he doesn’t want to come back next season.  Hell, I don’t really care if ANY of the judges come back next season 😉

Kinda had an inkling that Antonio was toast the minute the judges started laying into him for a dance that really wasn’t that bad, in my opinion – it was probably Antonio’s best, and though he’s still kind of an awkward mover, he seemed to smooth things out quite a bit better this week.  But I’m guessing that he just wasn’t connecting with viewers – I felt like we never really got to see the real Antonio.  Wish he would have given us more of a peek into his work or family life.

1.) Bethany & Derek – Bethany was given great scores and great choreography this week, but here’s the odd part for me: in both her individual and team dance, there seemed to be moments where she just wasn’t…fully present.  It’s hard to describe, but it’s like she went into autopilot both times – not sure if she’s just really tired or burnt out, but she just didn’t seem as invested as she was in her tango last week.  Thought the concept and setting of her paso was great, and Derek gave her some great choreo in their team dance – but she just didn’t grab the bull by the horns like she normally does.  She wasn’t bad by any means – she was just not as dazzling for me as she usually is.  Maybe it was just this week and having to learn two dances – hopefully she’ll be back to 100% next week.  But she can leave the Maleficient/Queen Amidala hair – wasn’t loving that. Read more..

October 28, 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 6 – Power Rankings

I apologize for this being so ungodly late, but between all of the media and other posts we had going up earlier, a sh*tastic day at work, and some of you just generally driving me to drink, I decided that these rankings could wait a bit.  Side note: if you wanna talk about the team dances next week, go here; if you so desire to vote for the dance styles and songs that the couples are dancing in week 7 (I think), this post has directions.  I’m pretty partial to the idea of Tommy doing a Viennese waltz to “I’d Rather Go Blind”, but to each his own 😉

After two hours of Pitbull the peanut-butter eating, Spanglish-speaking naked mole rat judging, I still have no idea was “DALE!!!” means.  Oh well – I guess when it all came down to it, he was a halfway decent judge; he saw right through the showmance front that Vajanel put up, and actually knew the names of a few salsa steps to compliment  Alfonso on.  Doesn’t mean I ever want to see him as a judge again, though 😉 But hey, Mr. Worldwide needed a plug for his gig hosting the American Music Awards, so I guess that’s why we got him this week…

…the judging seemed kinder this week, so I wonder if there was a huge backlash from some of the out-and-out cruelty we saw last week and the judges were told to ease up a bit.  Still think Alfonso & Sadie (and now Bethany) are getting nitpicked, while Janel, Antonio, & Tommy are getting babied a bit; Lea and Mike are a toss-up each week.  Will be  interesting  to see if the dynamic of the judging panel changes at all with Len back – wonder if we’ll start to see more complaints about “messin’ about”, and Julianne will suddenly become the “nice judge” now that Len the critic is back.

Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan – kinda stinks that he didn’t last longer, but if he had to get eliminated, at least he went out on a high note.  His jazz was probably his (and Allison’s) best dance yet.  Not sure Allison made a strong enough showing to warrant getting asked back as a pro again next season, but we shall see…

1.) Alfonso & Witney – Perhaps not the most “strictly salsa” salsa we’ve ever seen on the show, but I can’t blame Witney for sneaking in some hip-hop to play to Alfonso’s strengths.  Thought he could have used a bit more hip action, but then I have to wonder if Witney tried to keep the steps a bit tight & boxy in order to baby his groin injury.  Still a very enjoyable routine – there was some complex stuff in there, and Alfonso managed to stay on-time and in-step with Witney. He’s still the showman of this season, for sure – and with the way the crowd goes crazy after his dances, I think he’s gonna be around till the end. :-) Read more..

October 21, 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 5 – Power Rankings

And this is the week that the hammer drops and suddenly the judges are “over” some of the dance crushes they have had so far this season – particularly Julianne and her crush on Tommy.  Hate to say it, but you only have yourselves to blame, guys – when you gush over the same people doing the same rudimentary stuff week after week, you can’t expect them to improve…and then it’s kinda lame to suddenly say “I’m bored, I want more.” But in the same token, you also don’t have to be over-the-top mean – and I think they got that way with a few of the couples tonight.  They seemed to lose sight of the fact that these were NOT the regular pairings, which is a tough enough row to hoe, and on top of that, they were all doing these bizarre dance styles that none of them are extensively trained in.  Was this REALLY the best week to drop that hammer, stooges?

So I guess the asshattery from Julianne, Carrie Ann, and Bruno made me thankful for Jessie J, who at least seemed to try and find the positive in everyone’s routines while still giving a useful critique – she is a judge on The Voice UK, after all, so I think she felt obligated to be constructive.  Also quite impressed with her ability to not only sing live (!!!), but also do some dancing at the same time.  As I said on Twitter – it’s so rare to find singers that actually sing live and don’t just lip sync, let along singers that sing live and dance as well.  The only other singer I can think of off the the top of my head that also does both is Usher…so she’s in good company.

So I guess all this talk about the judges tonight brings me to pose this question to everyone: do we really need Len? Next week will be the 4th week out of 6 that Len hasn’t been at the judges’ table – and I’m not really noticing his absence.  I’m almost wondering, what with his sorta-kinda farewell speech on the finale last season, if he originally was not gonna come back at all this season – and TPTB somehow guilted him into doing a few shows just to maintain some consistency.

But anyway – no elim tonight, but there is one next week, based on last week’s votes, this week’s scores and votes, and next week’s scores.  As our longtime readers know, the more total points given out = the smaller the margins = the greater the likelihood of a “shocking” elimination.  It really becomes a battle of the fanbases – who’s getting the votes vs. who isn’t.  I don’t care if you’re at the bottom of the leaderboard – in a massive-points-dump-to-calculate-elimination scenario like this one, the playing field becomes a lot more level.  To give you an idea of what crazy sh*t could happen – Sabrina was voted off the all-star season in a week where she was only 1/2 point away from a perfect score…but the elim was based on multiple weeks of scores and votes.  Vote, vote, vote, kids – even if your favorite is in the lead.

1.) Alfonso & Cheryl (Witney) – Aaaaand we’re back to nitpicking Alfonso to death, I see – can’t let him get too confident now, can we PTB? Once again, he dances FLAWLESSLY – and in a style that’s totally different than anything we’ve seen from him so far. He nails the technique (those heel things he was doing at the beginning are insanely difficult – the bf actually got a hairline fracture attempting it during a showcase routine), he nails the drama (loved the dust – just that added drama every time he clapped his hands), and he nails the partnering…and all Carrie Ann and Bruno wanna talk about is the distance between his neck and his shoulder??? Seriously, you stooges – what’s the complaint gonna be next week? He’s moving his ears in a strange way when he’s dancing? His pupils are too dilated? He’s flaring his nostrils too much? Because this is getting ri-goddamn-diculous. I guess I see what they’re trying to do – trying to level the playing field, make it seem like Alfonso isn’t running away with this season (even though he really is), but there’s gonna reach a point when even the most dim viewers are gonna say “Ok, that’s just being petty.” And sorry, but 8’s for a dance that good are just ASSININE…especially when they specifically say Sadie missed a few steps in the beginning of her routine, and give her 9’s across the board. She earned her 9’s – but so did Alfonso. Oh well – at least he still gets THUNDEROUS applause after every dance he does. 😀 Read more..

October 14, 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 4 – Power Rankings

Color me NOT surprised that the “Raise Your Paddle!” thingie was a total clusterf*ck 😛 I gave up after trying and failing to score both Janel & Jonathan…and  having my internet spin its wheels nonstop.  Ain’t nobody got time fo dat. Funny how almost all of the viewer scores basically echoed what the judges gave – kinda have to wonder if they just deferred to that when the server was so overloaded that hardly anybody was able to vote.  Hmmm.  How did you guys fare with the “Raise Your Paddle” voting? I would love to know if everybody had such as easy time as I had 😉

So the partner switch is next week.  Wondering who got who? Go check out Heidi & I’s prediction post.  Sort-of (but not really) spoiler: nobody’s getting sent home next week, and the person  that gets sent home in week 6 will be calculated based on the scores and votes from weeks 4 & 5; so this ranking is kind of moot, and could totally change based on what happens next week.  But I’m gonna do it anyway 😛

Overall, feeling a bit let down by “most memorable year” week this season – not necessarily by the dances themselves (although there were some real stinkers), but just generally by how cold the judges came off.  Maybe it’s just me, but they seemed a bit more heartless than usual…in tears one minute, then just kinda beating up on the couples the next.  No me gusta.  But god bless Betsey for going out on the high note with such an adorable dedication to her daughter, and being the classy, easygoing gal that she is and thanking everyone for a great run.  You will be missed, you cutie you :-)

1.) Alfonso & Witney – *sighing as I cross yet another item off my DWTS Bucket List* So glad I get to rhapsodize about how fantastic Alfonso is and how nights like tonight are exactly WHY I HAVE WANTED HIM ON THIS SHOW FOR YEARS 😀 Alfonso, if you’re reading this, I hope you realize just how much joy you brought to this frigid, jaded blogger’s heart tonight, as well as to the hearts of millions of Carlton Banks fans across America – and even if it might not have been your favorite or most memorable year, I can’t tell you how much it mean to us to see that dance :-) I had a craptacular day – woke up with a migraine, struggled to do office work from home, fumbled with blog stuff, and just generally felt defeated – but this dance brought TEARS to my eyes, with how happy it made me :-)  As always, the musicality was there – he didn’t waste a single beat, and made me appreciate accents in the music that I hadn’t even noticed before; and then the synchronicity – the way he was just locked in with Witney on some of that side-by-side work with a thing to behold – reminded me of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers doing a big dance number.  And man, just the EASE with which he tackles every movement – he doesn’t just “do” the moves; he LIVES AND BREATHES them.  Just…aggggghh.  I can’t.  To quote Mini Alfonso from last week “Tens across the board.” 😎 Couldn’t have asked for a better dance.

2/3.) TIE: Sadie & Mark and Lea & Artem – The two pleasant surprises of the evening for me :-) First of all, I will reiterate: I am  SO GLAD that Sadie got Mark as her partner this season – I don’t know that any of the other male pros would have thrown caution to the wind and donned the Uncle Si beard and hunting gear with as much gusto as Mark, and his quirky choreography seems to suit Sadie well.  They just WORK together.  Thought their routine was both samba-appropriate and Sadie appropriate, and she handled the technique of the samba well – and it was just FUN to watch, and was a good use of Uncle Si, Willy, & Jase as props 😉 As for Lea – WOW.  That’s literally all I had written in my notes about her contemporary.  I think her performance was a turning point in the evening where everything went from “meh”, to “ok, NOW you have my attention!” Given her background, it makes sense that she would excel at contemporary; but given some rather subpar performances we’ve seen from her the past two weeks, I guess I wasn’t expecting a whole lot.  But she managed to handle the technique flawlessly, as well as connecting to the dance emotionally.  And seeing what I’ve seen of her possible fanbase in the switch-up voting – I now see her as a possible contender :-) Just hoping she can hold onto her momentum from this week and handle her next dance as handily and she did this one…

4.) Bethany & Derek – Could there have been more rumba content in this? Sure.  But do I think that they ever really set out to do a perfect, Len-pleasing rumba? No.  I think they achieved what they aimed for: to tell an inspirational story about overcoming bullying, and in that respect, they hit a bullseye.  I’m thinking going the more contemporary/rumba fusion route was a calculated risk, and while some of you might be moaning & groaning about “lack of content”, I doubt anyone can really argue that she was completely connected to the message & emotion of her routine, and for the first time so far this season, I feel like we really “saw” Bethany.  And ultimately, when it comes down to what we take away from this week and what we forget – I’m willing to bet a lot of viewers remember this routine over some with more content, but less emotion.

5.) Janel & Val – Basically the polar opposite of Bethany’s rumba: lots of content, but little emotional connection for me.  Sure, she did a lot of rumba, and she handled it pretty well (although I almost think there was a tad too much content – could have used a bit more light & shade), but I didn’t feel as emotionally shaken by her routine as some of the others we saw tonight.   Unfortunately not a whole lot else to say – other than  go read Heidi & I’s partnership prediction post, because there’s some interesting revelations in it about who may and may not be getting the votes…and Janel falls in the latter category.  Possible “surprise elim” fodder in the coming weeks?

6.) Tommy & Peta – Oh, Tommy 😛 Even when you’re screwing up, you’re still making me smile.  This was the first week I think we saw a few cracks forming in an otherwise pretty flawless run Tommy’s had so far – jive is unfortunately not a very laid-back dance, and so I guess I’m not totally surprised that Tommy seemed to get a bit off-time and winded.  But even when he was off-time and losing steam – it was still somehow fun to watch and kept me entertained.  Thought the choreography with the handcuffs was pretty clever, and as always, Tommy seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly…and that’s all I can really ask for from him :-)

7.) Antonio & Cheryl – I think  this samba was the most unintentionally hilarious dance of the evening 😛 Mama Spence and I were DYING watching the “look at me, I’m trying to be sexy but it’s really coming across as dorky” bopping down the stairs, the “ooh look at mah sexy body” rubbing on his own chest, and the “teehee, gymnastics r smexy” botched somersault. Oh wow…somebody get me a cold shower…cause I’ve overheated m’self cracking up! He handled the samba very slightly better than Jonathan, but that’s unfortunately not saying much – still a lot of stiffness and not much of a feel for the rhythm.  And worst of all – I still feel like I’m not connecting to him AT ALL.  He’s just not coming across as super-personable or relatable – he’s just kinda…there.  But people seem to be  voting for this guy, so I’m not sure that we’re getting rid of him anytime soon…but hey, if we get more unintentionally hilarious performances like this out of him, I might be able to tolerate him awhile longer 😛

8.) Michael & Emma – He may not be the best dancer, but dammit – I like him…and I think America does, too, because he’s still here.  Actually thought the judges were a tad harsh on what I would consider to be one of his stronger dances – it actually started off quite strong, and aside from a few fumbles in the middle, he kept up with it and didn’t do terribly.  Thought he had one of the more heart-rending stories of the night – you could definitely tell how much he misses Dale, and how his win at Daytona was a bit tarnished by the fact that Dale wasn’t able to share the thrill of victory with him.  And  dammit, Emma must be  doing something right – because he IS improving, even if it’s not by leaps & bounds.  Still think our buddy Mike has a few more weeks left in him…

9.) Jonathan & Allison – Hate to say it, but I think Allison may have screwed her partner on this one a bit, as well – and now that we’re in week 4 and I feel as though I’ve given Allison a fair shake to prove her worth as a ballroom choreographer, I feel as though I can say this: I don’t think this whole “Let’s take a contemporary dancer and let them teach ballroom!” philosophy is really working out on DWTS.  Because not only did I see Jonathan’s weaknesses in the samba tonight – I saw Allison’s, too.  Her technique was reminiscent of Lacey’s ballroom technique – it just kinda made me go “yikes”.  Not only that, but I agree with the judges that the dance was pretty repetitive and one-dimensional – lots of the same steps, repeated over and over, with a bunch of non-samba (hip-hop) peppered in.  No, Jonathan did not master the technique, and he was really, really stiff; but after looking at Allison – I have to wonder: could she even teach him the proper technique? I love Allison as a contemporary dancer; I love her when she’s collaborating with Derek; I love her as a person – but I’m not loving her as a pro on DWTS.  And unfortunately, I’m not sure that Jonathan could really afford to have another weak dance like his week 2 cha-cha.  It’s hard telling how this week’s votes/scores and next week’s are going to cobble together, but I do think there’s potential for a (slightly) shocking elim come week 6…and I think Jonathan might be a primo candidate.

Ok, so what are your thoughts on “most memorable  year” week? And what couples are you hoping to see in the switch next week? :-)

October 7, 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well, I guess the euphoria of having my dream contestant on DWTS would finally wear off – and this was the week that it happened.  What a three-ring circus of nitpicking, wonky scoring, and overall chaos.  From what I saw from the judges – crack is whack, and so is meth, heroin, and bath salts, apparently.  Julianne wins the “twatwaffle of the night” award, for generally just being a bit of a cranky b*tch – so in other words, she was filling in for Len.  Hooray.

Sorry, but the wrong person went home – Randy may not have been the best dancer, but he was not nearly as bad as the score he got last week OR this week…but hey, the judges need their scores & critiques justified, so they had to screw him somehow.  Absolutely no reason that he should have been forced to go first TWO weeks in a row, basically making a mad dash from the opening  number to the quickchange; and to add insult to injury, this week he had to do it after being told he was in jeopardy.  Classy, Wade. I just might have to spoil a bunch of sh*t early to get back at you…

…as for Kevin, I actually think he turned out being a pretty decent judge.  I liked that he didn’t seem like he was out to really critique anyone, and tried to see the positive in everyone’s routines.  Also enjoyed his humor, and thought it was kinda cool how he seemed genuinely moved by Bethany & Derek’s dance.  He can come back anytime and enthusiastically yell out scores 😉

1.) TIE: Bethany & Derek and Janel & Val – So the first two perfect 40’s of the season.  I feel one was deserved; the other? Meh. Felt like an awful lot of emphasis was placed on Janel & Val’s struggles with switching the routine, there was a lot of futzing around at the beginning of the routine, and then the score was almost given as a consolation prize for putting up with the crap.  Sure, Janel handled what she was given decently well – she should, given her background – but a 40? For wiping Val’s abs with a towel? Sorry, not buying it.  But hey, they seem bound & determined to make Vajanel happen, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  As for Bethany – I had been worried, after hearing that her ankle injury was still very much an issue; but thank the lord Derek was able to choreograph something that was true to Singin’ in the Rain while being feasible for her to execute.  God bless umbrella work that doesn’t go awry :-) And Bethany kept up, and for the first time, she really seemed 100% invested in the routine, which is what I’ve been wanting from her since the first week. I don’t see either going anywhere for awhile, but it should be interesting to see who fares better next week… Read more..

September 30, 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!