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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, 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 21, Week 5 – Checking in with the Switch Couples & POLL

I figured since the old switch post was getting a tad lengthy and redundant, I’d start a new one :-) Plus, we now have some adorable pix and banter of switch couples interacting to oogle 😉

I don’t know about you guys, but I am beyond thrilled that Emma got Alek 😀 And they both posted this pic of them catching a flight to Roseburg together last night – both seem pretty stoked to be paired together, and Alek even hashtagged his post with “#sexy” 😉 *raises eyebrows suggestively*

Read more..

October 8, 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 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, 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 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, 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 21, Week 2, Tuesday – Power Rankings

And judging by the overall demeanor of the couples and judges last night, kids – DOING TWO DANCES IN WEEK 2 IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. Just felt like everyone was stressed-out and feeling the strain – I dug hearing about everybody’s hometown, but I don’t know that it was worth it to see everyone so on-edge. Glad we’re back to just ONE dance per week next week.

Something else I’m glad about next week? Alfonso at the judges table to hopefully give some positive, relevant critiques – because tonight, the judges table on the whole just seemed like a bunch of petty, bickering toddlers in need of a nap. Carrie Ann was the worst offender – wayyyy too hard on the couples last night, and prone to honing in on stupid sh*t (i.e. the ignominious “lift policing” – give it up, CA; it’s not relevant or cute). At times, I felt like grabbing all three judges, shaking them hard, and saying “You DO realize they had to do TWO dances this week, right? And it’s ONLY WEEK 2???”

Sad to see Victor go :-( But if I’m being honest, I’m not exactly surprised.  As an athlete from a more obscure sport with a less mainstream following, I knew Victor was likely going to struggle with votes. And while a lot of the Karina fans seemed eager to argue with me on Twitter that this season “was different” and that she “wouldn’t go out early like she did with Sean & Randy” – hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. If a more mainstream name like Randy couldn’t get the votes – Victor unfortunately didn’t stand a chance. Karina fans, you’re good power voters – but I don’t think you’ve reached the point where you can compensate for a celeb that has little to no voting fanbase.  It is what it is – and fingers crossed that we get an epic dance from Victor & Karina at the finale :-)

Monday’s power rankings are here if anyone needs to catch up. Read more..

September 23, 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 21, Week 2, Monday – Power Rankings

I apologize for not getting this up last night – asthma kicked in and I just needed to lie down. God bless allergy season! I think this may be the first time since season 15’s two-night performance debacle during the Presidential debates that I’ve had to do (2) rankings in one week 😛 I wouldn’t mind so much, except that there’s still a LOT of couples left…and when I want to weight in on each one, that’s a lot of writing!

Aside from the Colts playing like sh*t and my live stream freezing up at key moments, I also had the added irritation of the bulk of the dances having way too much “messing about” at the beginning.  With the dances already being so  shortened, it just seems like that much more of an excuse to d*ck around in order to conceal weaknesses. Dislike. Also seemed like a night where nobody 100% knocked their dances out of the park – maybe it was the strain of having to learn two dances this week, but while there was quite a bit of improvement from (most) everyone, I don’t feel like anyone completely mastered their dances.  A few came close…but still room for improvement all around.

I’m pretty shocked that it was Chaka that got sent packing tonight – I actually think she did noticeably better than last week, and thought that an R&B legend would have more folks voting for her than a reality TV wife. Also an eye-opener? The fact that Keo somehow looks better (and seems to teach better) when it’s a ballroom dance instead of a Latin one…go fig. Isn’t Latin his specialty? I just don’t know what to make of Keo anymore…but 3rd season in a row where he hasn’t been able to make it past week 3? Yikes – that’s a pretty dismal track record, and something has gotta change…and it ain’t the type of partner he’s getting. Read more..

September 22, 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 21, Week 1 – Power Rankings

At the risk of making a pun at Victor’s expense, after tonight – I believe we have a horse race on our hands, kids :-) Literally, seems like 5 (possibly 6) couples gunning hard for the top spot…and I don’t think it’s going to be an easy win for anyone.  Kinda nice to not have a firmly predetermined feel for who’s gonna win after the first night.

Other odd & assorted thoughts and observations from this evening: Bruno appears to be the “new Len”, as he’s now the nitpicking stickler and not nearly as wild and flamboyant as he once was.  Bit of a buzzkill, and not sure it feels natural :-( Giving quickstep as a week 1 dance is kind of a crock – so Tamar and Paula, you both have my sympathy. Between Paula, Gary, and Hayes’ annoying brother Nash – I think Tom and the Muppets in the editing booth are going to be kept on their toes all season. And ho-lee-crap, Peanut Rademacher, aka the coolest celeb offspring ever to grace the DWTS ballroom, was back tonight after a 2.5 year hiatus…sitting in row 2, stage right, snacking on something while sitting next to Ingo…nonplussed as ever about the show he was watching. 😎 Read more..

September 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, 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: Questions We’re Tired of Answering, Volume II: The Emmy Edition

I wasn’t planning on writing another edition of “Questions We’re Tired of Answering” so soon after the first edition, but after the sh*tstorm I witnessed on Twitter in the past 36 hours since Derek & Julianne won an Emmy for their “Elastic Heart” routine with Tessandra Chavez, I felt it necessary to field some of the questions I’m seeing over and over again about the Emmy’s.

Before I get into it, though, let me just say this: I think a lot of these questions are stemming from the increase in “entitlement mentality” I’m seeing from a lot of the pros – and some of the fans are starting to buy into it.  Contrary to what some seem to believe, not every pro deserves a MBT, an Emmy nomination, an Emmy win, movie roles, Broadway gigs, book deals, endorsements, etc., simply by showing up and being a pro on DWTS.  That, in itself, is a privilege; things like MBT’s, Emmy’s, etc. are rewards for merit and hard work – not entitlements.  If a pro wants these things, to quote Britney Spears, “you better work, b*tch!”. Let’s try to keep that in mind…

Why does SYTYCD get so many more nominations than DWTS?

To understand this, you have to understand that there’s two components for success in the “Outstanding Choreography” category at the Emmys: the strength of the choreographic content, and the strength of how it was performed.  Therefore, you’re much more likely to get nominated if a) your choreography is strong, creative, and innovative, and b) you’ve got a skilled dancer performing it. Thus, it’s kind of easy to tell why it’s easier for SYTYCD routines to get nominated: all of them are performed by professional dancers, and because the choreographers (usually) aren’t limited to tailoring their choreography to the skills of their dancers, they can take more risks and do more off-the-wall stuff.  Choreography for DWTS, on the other hand, tends to be limited by the skill set of the celebrity – which affects what exactly the pros can include in the routine, and how well it gets performed on show night.  On top of those two factors, the Academy voters tend to be more from the contemporary style than from ballroom – and thus have a bit of a bias towards contemporary routines (of which there is usually quite a few on SYTYCD) and a bit of a bias against ballroom (which is the bulk of what we see on DWTS).  Most years, the best that DWTS can hope for is (1) nomination, against usually 4-5 from SYTYCD.  So for me to see some people complaining about [insert pro here] and [insert another pro here] not getting nominated as well, I feel like puking – cause the fact that DWTS was actually able to get TWO nominations this year is HUGE…whining about them not getting more is a tad greedy, I’m afraid.

Why wasn’t Sharna nominated for an Emmy for her choreography for Noah? It was awesome!!!

The explanation above kinda explains this one, too – Sharna likely didn’t get nominated because the routines she created for Noah were rather limited in their choreographic scope, and were not performed by a skilled dancer.  Let me repeat for good measure: it is incredibly hard to get nominated for a routine that isn’t performed by a dancer with a high level of skill.  It’s not impossible – Derek did get nominated last year for some of his choreography for Amy, who wasn’t quite as physically limited as Noah – but it’s certainly not probable. While the choreography Sharna did for Noah was great for someone as physically limited as him, I’m not sure it would stand up as great choreography for someone that was completely able-bodied.  Would you still be as wowed by choreography if, say, Alfonso danced the same routine? I doubt it.  Remember, when DWTS is up against dynamic routines danced by professional dancers on SYTYCD, they’ve gotta bring their A-game – solid routines danced by skilled dancers.  This explanation in particular seems to be one that Sharna & Noah fans just can’t seem to wrap their brain around – I’ve gone blue in the face explaining this one, only to have the people asking say “Well, I still think she should have been nominated. That choreography was incredible!” That’s great – their routines were awesome and Sharna did an incredible job showing what Noah could do.  No one can take that away from her. But just understand that it was incredible choreography FOR NOAH – not necessarily incredible choreography, period.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Why wasn’t Mark nominated for his choreography with Sadie and/or Willow?

IMO, because he focused a bit too much on production value…at the expense of choreographic content.  These past two seasons, Mark has choreographed a LOT of routines that were very set and costume-heavy…and it seemed to dominate those performances, to the detriment of the actual dancing being done.  His Halloween paso doble with Sadie kinda sticks out in my mind as a good example – I enjoyed it, but even I can admit that the OTT costuming and set kinda distracted from the actual dancing.  The set and costumes OVERWHELMED the dancing, rather than working with it.  Derek’s “Walking on Air” routine with Jamie Goodwin is a good example of the set working WITH the dance – the set itself was almost like a 3rd dancer, with all of the moves choreographed with it in mind.  Ditto for “Elastic Heart” – the set itself was actually choreographed into the dance.  I think if Mark would focus more on the choreography itself instead of the set & costumes, we might see more nominations for him in the future – especially if SYTYCD kicks the bucket after this season, which is looking evermore likely from their dismal ratings.

Why was Witney nominated??? IT WASN’T EVEN HER CHOREOGRAPHY!!!

This is me emphatically rolling my eyes.  To those of you still repeating this tripe started by a few disgruntled pros (and one rather scheisty-seeming outside choreographer) on Twitter/Instagram, please stop – we’ve already talked about it at-length here, but here it is again, once more, with feeling: if you don’t have a formally-written contract with an outside choreographer to help with a certain routine, the Academy will not give them co-choreographer credit in the event of a potential nomination.  Academy rules, fools. And judging from what SYTYCD choreographer Spencer Liff said in the link I posted above, ghost choreographers are well aware of this rule – so for this Alan dude (and most of “The Fam”) to suddenly be crying foul is kinda…d*ck.  If you’re of the camp that is trying to claim that she shouldn’t have been nominated because the choreography “just wasn’t that good”, hehe…ok.  Whatever you say.  Nevermind that it was choreographed for possibly the most skilled male celebrity that we’ve ever had on DWTS, and he KILLED IT – and the Academy agrees that the choreography was outstanding.  And then it gets even weirder – I’ve had more than a couple people try to write off the Carlton jazz routine because “it was derived from a dance that Witney didn’t choreograph”.  The fact that people are (probably pretending to be) genuinely upset that about 15 seconds of a nonsensical dance with TWO STEPS was used in the routine makes me not want to live on this planet anymore.  So, were you guys expecting her to give Alfonso credit for “the Carlton dance” or something? It ain’t even really his dance, either – he cites Courteney Cox & Eddie Murphy as his inspiration for it.  Should they have been given credit? Do you people now see how ridiculous you sound?  At this point, you may as well just admit that you just don’t like Witney…cause this is really reaching, kids.

Why wasn’t Allison nominated???

I have to kinda eye roll at this one, too, because it seems like some are drinking the “Allison was awesome on SYTYCD; therefore, by default, she is also awesome on DWTS” Kool-Aid.  For as stellar as Allison is as a contemporary dancer/choreographer, she is still a mediocre-at-best ballroom choreographer.  And again – the bulk of the routines on DWTS are still hardcore ballroom.  On top of that, her first season with Jonathan didn’t really have any standout routines, and some of her strongest routines with Ryker were a bit derivative (i.e. their paso – it was good, but how many Pirates of the Caribbean routines do you think the Academy has seen in the last 10 years?).  Maybe we’ll see some nominations for her once she steps up her ballroom game, but right now? Just not cutting the mustard as a ballroom choreographer yet, though she is improving.  She’s probably more likely to get nominated for any pro-dance collaborations she does – particularly if she does them with Derek.

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!

Kym Johnson to Host DWTS All Access

…for tomorrow night, at least. Hopefully all season!! Good for Kym!!

September 13, 2015 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 21 – Questions We’re Tired of Answering, Volume I

Let me lead off with this: I love our readers. You make everything we do worthwhile, and inspire us to continue writing. We appreciate you…don’t forget that :-)

That being said – sometimes some of you inadvertently (or intentionally) try to test the limits of our patience…and one way in which some individuals seem to do that is to repeatedly ask questions that we’ve already answered – repeatedly – without bothering to check if we’ve already answered it elsewhere first. I get it – we’ve got over 7 years of content here at Pure, and while we do our best to tag the posts so that it’s easier to find things later, sometimes the search bar doesn’t always pick up on some offhand comment that contained a piece of intel, or an explanation of why something happened in the comments section of a post. That being said – if you tune into a post where everyone is talking about “what happened with Henry” and you don’t know what they’re talking about…perhaps it’s a good idea to read a few comments upstream (or even reread the post itself) before you start asking someone to drop everything and fill you in 😉 Don’t be that guy that shows up to a party, butts into a conversation, and demands that everyone fill him in on what has been discussed so far so that he can feel important. Don’t be a needy, lazy reader, k?

All that said – I figured it would probably quiet a lot of inquiries if we started a series where we answered a lot of these popular questions all in one, easily-accessible area, so that we don’t tell the same stories over and over again. I’m sure this will end up being a multi-part series as the season wears on, so if you have any of those burning questions – send ’em our way through the “contact us” button at the top of the page, and we’ll try to answer them in a future installment. So without further ado, here’s the first batch of questions were are just sick to death of answering…this is the last time we’re answering them, so bookmark this page if you think you might forget!

1.) Why isn’t Henry on the show anymore????/What happened with Henry last season???

I’ve probably gotten at least 8 people asking this just in the last few days, and none of them seem willing to do me the courtesy of reading through the comments sections of multiple posts where I’ve explained what happened at-length. So for the FINAL TIME, here is the full story, from the beginning: Henry was tapped to assist Derek with Nastia last season, since Nastia would fly to L.A. from NY on Saturday (and Derek wouldn’t fly out until Sunday night, due to his Spring Spectacular gig) and would need someone to run through her routine with a few times, and then to do camera blocking with on Sunday. In short – Henry was basically just a stand-in for Derek for a few hours a week: not a choreographer, not a creative collaborator, just a stand-in to run through the week’s routine with Nastia. However, somewhere around week 3, when Nastia was doing the samba, Henry started to overstep his bounds a bit – he was trying to change Derek’s choreography as he was doing run-throughs with Nastia, he was confusing her by telling her things that contradicted what she had been taught by Derek, and probably worst of all: he was publicly trying to take a lot more credit for Nastia’s success than he was due. This was perhaps most evident on the week 3 episode of Afterbuzz last season, when Anna *eye roll* made a point of mentioning “how great” Henry had been doing with Nastia…as if he, not Derek, was Nastia’s real partner (and this, kids, is also a reason why I don’t particularly care for Anna anymore – she has had a tendency to take cheap shots at other pros for a few years now). Henry even made a point of referring to Nastia as “his little samba queen” in the same episode. So began the myth that Henry was the one doing all the work in Derek & Nastia’s partnership, and Derek was the big ol’ meanie taking all the credit from poor widdle Henry – and it was a myth that Derek’s detractors just LOVED to repeat, and it didn’t help that the rehearsal package Nastia & Derek got for their samba seemed to paint Derek as the cold taskmaster that was too busy to rehearse with his partner, and Henry as the caring co-collaborator that helped Nastia realize her full potential. In reality, Derek had spent 20+ hours rehearsing with Nastia that week, had choreographed the whole routine, and had Skyped with Nastia & Henry between shows on Saturday night to critique their rehearsals (all of this confirmed by our source). Henry spent about 3.5 hours just running through the routine with Nastia…but was willing to take all of the credit. Now Derek, who tends not to get his feathers too ruffled, was understandably a bit bothered by this, and asked the producers to just be “more honest” with the rehearsal packages, as the samba package was a very inaccurate representation of what went down that week (again, confirmed by our source).  In turn, the producers informed Henry that they would no longer be filming he & Nastia rehearsing together, since it was such a small amount of time compared to what she spent with Derek – and apparently Henry flipped out. Suddenly, he claimed that he didn’t want to help out with Nastia anymore, and was “too busy” with other projects anyway. And before you accuse us of fabricating this story – watch episode 7 of Afterbuzz last season, where Shirley Ballas corroborates it.  God I love Shirley :-) Anywho, god bless our favorite little left crab Sasha, who graciously stepped in and went on to be the best damn stand-in/temporary performance partner Nastia & Derek could have asked for the remainder of the season…and they all lived happily ever after, at least until the propaganda train completely plowed over Nastia in week 9, in a quest to get Rumer Val her his MBT. For Henry, the result was a not-so-happy ending – like most bosses with insubordinate employees, Rob & Co. likely disciplined him for his diva fit by sitting him out for a week or two after the blow-up, and he remained pretty scarce for the rest of season 20, only cropping up in a handful of routines (most notably, on the far right in Nastia’s Charleston…which she danced with Sasha :-) )  And then, when it came time to hire dancers for this season’s troupe, I’m guessing the diva fit was a bit of a black mark on Henry’s resume for the casting staff, and it suddenly became evident that they would rather hire employees that will actually do what they’re told, instead of throwing a tantrum when they’re asked to do something they don’t want to.  Like pretty much every other job on the planet :-) But don’t shed too many tears for poor Henry – he appears to be running a pretty successful escort service out of his Instagram account.  Sorry, did I hit anybody in the head with that shade I just threw? :-)

2.) Why isn’t Artem a pro this season???

The short answer? We, like you, have no idea – Artem was confirmed as a pro in mid-August, and then when it came time for the full cast announcement last week…he was gone. We’re working on hitting up some sources to see if they have heard anything, and all Artem has said is this.  But our theory is that Artem may have originally been paired with Tamar, and for whatever reason, the partner they had allocated for Val either didn’t end up signing or backed out at the last minute (Shay, perhaps, realizing that she really didn’t have time to do DWTS this season after all?) and they opted to give their returning champ Artem’s partner and Artem…was left out in the cold. Could explain why it took so long for Val to meet his partner (even though, from what I can tell, there was no prior commitment Tamar had that prevented him from meeting Tamar earlier), and why he was being melodramatic about not having a partner less than a week ago…perhaps he really didn’t think he had one. Anyone else have any (good) theories?

3.) Who is replacing Len???

No idea at this point.  We’ve heard murmurings about DWTS France somehow being involved, and we’ve got SCD South Africa head judge Michael Wentink acting awfully coy about his possible participation…and then yet other sources are claiming that there will not be a new permanent 4th judge, but a series of guest judges.  Court’s theory? Perhaps they’re tapping a judge from some of the international versions of DWTS each week to be guest judges.  But who knows…

4.) Who was Allison originally paired with?

This seems to be a point of contention – I was told by a source that, as of 8/24, all of the pros except Emma (who didn’t even know if she was going to be on the show or not until that day) either had already met their partners, or at least knew who they were. According the Kristyn, Allison was always guaranteed a partner (as I’m sure Val was as well – perks of being a finalist the previous season, I suppose), but hadn’t been specifically assigned one yet as they were still waiting for some celeb to sign on…so when it came out that Peta wasn’t going to be able to participate this season, Allison was still waiting on a partner and was available. What makes me wonder, though, was that the word on the street was that Lindsay was the one that was planned as Peta’s replacement as late as Monday afternoon – so how did Allison suddenly end up with Andy? And who was this mysterious partner they were waiting on for her? We may never know, as it seems like this season was a comedy of casting errors with multiple celebs that didn’t work out, partner switches, and last minute signings. My one thought is that Lindsay was supposed to be with Andy, but they signed Alek at the last minute and thought she was better suited to him than the “24-7 balls to the walls” attitude of Allison – which, after witnessing how absolutely bewildered poor Alek was at the announcement the other day, I guess I agree with…I think one hour with Allison would have left an Alek-shaped hole in the door of the rehearsal studio.  He’s probably better off with the much-calmer Lindsay, who has hopefully matured a bit since her first outing as a pro 2.5 years ago. But anyway – no idea if Allison was originally paired with someone or not, let alone who it was.  Sorry.

5.) Why was Brittany cut from the troupe?

She appears to actually be back now (I guess both Brittany and Lindsay should thank their lucky stars that Peta had to sit this season out – otherwise, Lindsay would not have been promoted and Brittany would still be without a job) Deep Throat speculates that it’s likely due to a perceived lack of maturity – since the troupe is basically the training ground for potential new pros, if they don’t think you’ll one day (soon) hack it as a pro…you’re out. Deep Throat noted that Brittany just didn’t quite seem mature enough to effectively handle teaching a celeb – so they likely thought it better to cut her loose instead of keeping her on for several seasons and never giving her a pro partner. Plus it made room for a potentially more effective troupe member – though judging from some of the murmurings I’m hearing about how Hayley is struggling with the Latin dances, I’m not sure she’s necessarily an “effective” replacement.

Got more burning questions? Submit them here and we might answer in a future installment.

September 8, 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!