Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

Dancing with the Stars PRO WATCH – August 26, 2010

ETA: TOLD YOU guys if I left something would happen!! Even something simple like Derek tweeting about the new season and then “high five” – which I’m forced to take as an “I’m in” since I’m unlikely to get anything else. :-) Anna retweeted him with a wink, Tony is packing his children in suitcases…well, that’s about enough right? I’m going to update the status a bit, below.

Well, these darn pros are being unusually mysterious and close-mouthed – except for Lacey who blares it to the world as soon as she finds out she’s back on the show. Ever occur to her, you think, that the reason she was being marginalized might just be her MOUTH?? ANYway, there have been a few hints (Kym, Tony and Mark) and not much else that I can see. I’ve updated the status based on smilies and apparent upbeat behavior. That makes me irritated. :-)

Chelsie Hightower – probably in
Cheryl Burke – Unknown – I assume yes
Edyta Slwinska – Unknown
Lacey Schwimmer – IN
Anna Trebunskaya – Probably In
Anna Demidova – OUT
Karina Smirnoff – Possibly In
Kym Johnson – Unknown, but tweeted she’s very excited and happy.
Ashly Costa – Probably out – tweeted “me too” to Jonathan.
Julianne Hough – OUT (Footloose)

Alec Mazo – Unknown
Derek Hough – Excited about new season and high fiving – saying IN.
Louis Van Amstel – Unknown
Mark Ballas – I bet In, tweeted he got good news today
Maks Chmerkovskiyi – Unknown, I bet In
Damian Whitewood – OUT
Dmitry Chaplin – OUT
Jonathan Roberts – OUT
Tony Dovolani – I bet in, he’s been tweeting very happily.

Baring bizarre-ness, I think the men are set at: Derek, Mark, Louis, Maks, Tony and Alec. I, like others, am having a bit of a hard time figuring Alec’s inclusion at Damian or Dmitry’s expense. I can’t figure it, actually. Makes me wonder if we have someone new who managed to keep it on the DL. OR, are we having five men and SEVEN women??

The women are a mystery – I have no clue what’s going on here besides the likely inclusions of Cheryl, Karina and Chelsie along with Lacey. Probably Kym is in based on her recent tweet. But, it’s really hard to tell. I think these women are actually much better at keeping secrets than the men. Well, except for Derek – he’s the freakin’ master of silence these days. Brat. :-) I find his silence just as annoying as Lacey’s mouth, if I’m being completely honest. :-)

I’m afraid to leave. You know someone will tweet that they’re in as soon as I go do something else. Just to spite me. ;-)

August 26, 2010 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. :-)

DWTS Season 11 PRO WATCH – August 25, 2010

As of this writing, Lacey is back in and Damian is out. Boo, Damian didn’t have a chance. And I do like cute blonds. :-) I think I’m going to call Karina as in, but she keeps tinkering with her website so I don’t know what to make of her changes. She made it sound like she was on, then she changed it again. I hope she didn’t get cut for Lacey. Sorry Lacey fans, I like Karina better. Personal preference.

Chelsie Hightower – probably in
Cheryl Burke – Unknown
Edyta Slwinska – Unknown
Lacey Schwimmer – IN
Anna Trebunskaya – Unknown
Anna Demidova – OUT
Karina Smirnoff – Possibly In
Kym Johnson – Unknown
Ashly Costa – Probably out – tweeted “me too” to Jonathan.
Julianne Hough – OUT (Footloose)

Alec Mazo – I bet out
Derek Hough – Probably In
Louis Van Amstel – Unknown
Mark Ballas – Unknown
Maks Chmerkovskiyi – Unknown
Damian Whitewood – OUT
Dmitry Chaplin – OUT
Jonathan Roberts – OUT
Tony Dovolani – Unknown

Now I’m wondering if Alec is indeed IN, because if you do the math and there really are 12 couples they have to have Alec or add a new male pro. The women are much more in flux – harder to say what’s going on there.

August 25, 2010 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. :-)

DWTS Season 11 Pro Watch – Lacey’s Back ON!

Something happened behind the scenes and now Lacey’s back on the show! Someone in the comments made a wish and it apparently came true. :-)

That’s all for now – more later if there are any new developments. I have a really juicy rumor about a possible female star – trying to determine if it’s a hoax or not. ;-) And no, I’m not talking about Kirsty Alley.

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. :-)

DWTS Season 11 PRO WATCH – August 24, 2010

And as most of you know, Anna Demidova is out. I’m afraid I saw that one coming a mile away. I guess she just didn’t make enough of an impact on the show and, at the point she joined up, making an impact was relatively important. Some of these pros are stars in their own right – like it or not, you purists. :-) Where do we stand on the rest of them? Well…

Chelsie Hightower – probably in
Cheryl Burke – Unknown
Edyta Slwinska – Unknown
Lacey Schwimmer – OUT
Anna Trebunskaya – Unknown
Anna Demidova – OUT
Karina Smirnoff – Possibly In
Kym Johnson – Unknown
Ashly Costa – Probably out – tweeted “me too” to Jonathan.
Julianne Hough – OUT (Footloose)

Alec Mazo – I bet out
Derek Hough – Probably In
Louis Van Amstel – As of today, doesn’t know yet.
Mark Ballas – Unknown
Maks Chmerkovskiyi – Unknown
Damian Whitewood – Unknown
Dmitry Chaplin – OUT
Jonathan Roberts – OUT
Tony Dovolani – Unknown

Apparently, DWTS says there are 12 contestants this season, so it looks like the men are set, unless there is a new pro we aren’t aware of. And it’s always possible they could exchange Louis with Alec if some of the women are too tall. If the 12 is true, it looks like all the women are set too, assuming that Ashly was saying she’s not on this season and Jackie Josephs isn’t on.

August 24, 2010 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. :-)

DWTS Stat Class: What’s Running Order Got to Do with It?

With 10 seasons of DWTS behind us now, we’re at an interesting place – we’ve got enough data and scores at our disposal to do some interesting statistical analyses of the show.  Ever wonder if there’s any interesting patterns in scoring, running order, dance selection, or even pro pairings? Well, wonder no more – because we’re about to run those numbers, and bring some surprising patterns to light…I like to call it “DWTS Stat Class”. :-D 

Here’s an interesting fact: out of the 83 regular, weekly eliminations (not counting elims that determined placements in the finals or withdrawals from the competition – the math just gets too tricky with those) in the 10 seasons of DWTS, only 39 of them were couples that were that week’s lowest scorer – roughly 47%.  So what does that mean? Well, that the other 53% of the time, some factor other than a low score resulted in a couple getting sent home.  While the obvious answer to some might be “Well those couples just weren’t as popular!”, there’s no scientific, finite way to measure popularity on the show, and we unfortunately aren’t privy to the vote counts for each couple.  However, there are other factors we can take an objective measurement of – running order, dance choice, even the pro you’re paired with…and that’s where some interesting stats pop up. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional statistician, nor am I a Vegas sports bookie – I am well aware that these calculations are not perfect, nor are they particularly sophisticated.  There are simply too many variables to account for in order make these stats “airtight”, and quite frankly, I don’t have the time or the desire to try.  These are just general observations, to be taken with a grain of salt – so if anyone starts complaining in the comments about this not being “scientific” enough, go run the numbers yourself…I’ll even publish your findings on this site.  But you don’t get to bitch & moan if you can’t do better yourself.  Mmmmmkay? ;-)

 Today’s topic? Running order.  The question: is it possible that the order in which the couples dance on performance night can affect their odds of elimination that week? The answer, based upon my findings: sure seems like it.

 Some of you have heard me talk about the “money spot” (dancing last) or the “crap spot” (dancing first) in my power rankings – my general observation is that those who dance last are less likely to get sent home, as their performances are fresh in the viewers’ minds when they’re voting after the show; those who dance first are more at risk of getting sent home, as an entire show’s length has elapsed since their performance and they’re often forgotten by the voters. 

 Well, after taking a closer look at the running order of eliminated couples, it seems as though the numbers are consistent with my first hypothesis – only 3 out of the 83 eliminations were couples that had danced last on performance night (or one of 2 performance nights, if there was no elimination previous week, so the couples would have danced twice before a particular elimination); it may also be worth noting that two of the couples, Joey McIntyre & Ashly Costa and Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower, were also the low scorers that week (and both were eliminated in the semifinals, when scores are of greater importance) – so their departure may have had more to do with a low score than the order in which they danced.  Based on that, it seems to me that, unless a couple does exceptionally poorly any given week, if they dance last – the chances of them getting eliminated that week are slim to none, unless it’s one of the final weeks of the competition. Guess if you’re a couple having an off-week, you should hope and pray that you get to go last!

 As for my “crap” spot hypothesis about going first – I was wrong.  Only 11 out of 83 eliminations were from couples that had danced first on performance night (or, again, on at least one of 2 performance nights, if there was no elimination the previous week and the couples danced twice before an elimination).  That’s only about 13.25%.  However, there was an overwhelming percentage of eliminations for couples who danced 2nd in the running order during the week they were eliminated – about 30%, by far the greatest of all the running order positions. And this was regardless of how many couples total danced that week!  Of those, only 9 were actually the lowest scorer during the week they were eliminated – so maybe the other 16 were part of the “curse of #2”.  I guess it makes sense to me – if you go first, you’re still at least the first one viewers have seen, so they’ll likely remember you because of it; but if you go second (or anywhere in the middle of the pack), you’re more likely to get lost in the shuffle. A good example of the new “crap spot” in action – Shannen Doherty.  Poor girl got a pretty lousy draw in the running order lottery – she danced 2nd in week one, and 1st in week two…overall, a pretty hard combo to overcome, which may have had something to do with her getting sent home despite not being the week’s lowest scorer. 

 So what about the “middle of the pack” positions, you ask? Well things get a bit tricky there, since there hasn’t been the same number of competitors each season, so I’m not going to go into the details of positions 3, 4, 5…etc.  However, two interesting points: one, no one who has danced in a position greater than 10th in the running order in a given week has gotten sent home; two, over 70% of the eliminations have been couples who danced in the first half of the show the night they performed.  What can we extrapolate from that? Well, it seems like the closer your performance is to the end of the show, the better – if you can’t go last, at least you can hope that you perform in the second half of the show, because it seems a helluva lot safer than dancing in the first half!

 Here’s another interesting tidbit, which I already sort of touched on above: the closer you get to the end of the season, the less running order seems to matter.  At about the halfway point in each season, the patterns I’ve mentioned above seem to show up less frequently – and couples tend to be sent home based more on low score than anything else.  Why? Probably because it’s easier to get lost in the middle of a big group of couples (such as the first half of the season) than it is to get forgotten in a much smaller group (second half of the season).  The fact that people have already established their favorites and know who the strong couples are by the middle of the season may also play a role – the second half of the season really seems to separate the men from the boys (and the women from the girls!), so to speak, and actually giving good performances with high scores tends to matter more.

 So what can we conclude about running order, class? ;-)

Well, we can’t really conclude anything – lord knows this show can be completely unpredictable at times, and no pattern we find is guaranteed to hold true.  HOWEVER, we can say it seems as though you’re safe if you dance last, pretty safe if you dance in the second half of the show, slightly at a disadvantage if you dance in the first half, and you’re almost totally screwed if you dance 2nd.  I guess 2nd place really is first place loser ;-) But if it’s later in the season – well, then you just better dance like there’s no tomorrow!

August 13, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Dancing with the Stars – Who Wore it Better, Part IV

Wow…can’t say that I really expected these costume posts to become as popular as they have! I was pleased as punch earlier today when I did a search for “Who Wore It Better?” and found many sites (even ones not related to DWTS!) linking to our posts.  Glad to see everyone’s having as much fun playing fashion critic as we are ;-) 

Now I only have one concern: how long is it going to be before other not-to-be-named DWTS fan sites (that are notorious for posting content very similar to ours, ahem) start “borrowing” our pictures and commenting on them the same way we have? Hmmm…well just remember, kids: you saw it here FIRST ;-)

 

Battle of the two-piece black vinyl paso dress: Anna in the pro dance to Def Leppard in season 6 vs. Lacey in the pro dance to Kevin Rudolf in season 8

Courtney: Eh…I’m having a hard time with this one.  I think it physically looks better on Anna, but she doesn’t have the personality to carry off the whole rocker persona; I think Lacey has the right attitude, but it just doesn’t look as flattering on her.  I have the hardest time when the girls go barefoot to do Latin – the movement just doesn’t seem as dramatic & crisp, and I feel like it makes their legs look short.  So I guess I’m going with Anna on this one.

Heidi: Well, I’m with Anna too, but it’s purely a personal preference for her as a dancer. I also don’t like the barefoot ballroom deal – I think of ballroom almost always elegant (even the raunchy latin) than the contemporary stuff that the bare feet bring to mind. Personal preference, although I give Lacey props for this particular dance.

The winner: Anna, by a high heel.  ;-)

 Battle of the white, heavily-stone ballgown with matching choker: Melissa’s Viennese waltz with Tony in season 8 vs. Anna’s waltz with Jonathan to Norah Jones in season 9

Heidi: Best couple dancing on the show, bar none, goes to Anna and Jonathan when waltzing. Makes me all schmoopy – and that’s so not me. ;-)  Don’t like the sleeve things on Melissa – the simpler look from Anna is cleaner and prettier. Not to mention the look on her face.

Courtney: You know I love Anna to bloody bits, so this one is no-contest for me ;-) I think wardrobe was wise to eighty-six those weird sleeves from when Melissa wore the dress, and replace it with one simple drape across the front.  And Melissa, please, don’t slouch – everything looks better when you stand up straight! Wow…I just love that picture of Jonathan & Anna.  *sigh* They are just a dream to watch.  BEAUTIFUL.

Heidi: It’s so funny that you said that about Melissa. I really like Melissa now that her fans aren’t being nasty all over the DWTS message boards, but my first thought on seeing that picture was “straighten up, girly!”

The winner: Anna, by a husband.

 Battle of the black & tan, two-tone fringe Latin dress: Shawn’s cha-cha with Mark in season 8 vs. Anna in the ladies’ pro dance opener in season 9

Courtney: I’m probably going to incite a firestorm of debate with this one, but…I actually like the dress better on Anna than Shawn. *hides face in fear* Shawn is adorable, don’t get me wrong – but I feel like the overall fit of the dress is better on statuesque Anna, while it seems to really shorten Shawn’s torso and hits her hips at an odd angle.  And as I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of the over-styled, severely bump-itized hairdos…I much prefer a more loose, carefree hairstyle, so I’m sorry, but I have to give this one to Anna.

Heidi: Oh you’re fine. And you won’t get any argument from me. ;-) What the problem is, I think, is that the black/tan border hits Shawn in the wrong spot – she is so short that the dress almost works against her, shortens her frame more, whereas Anna has such a long torso that it just seems to wear better on her.

Courtney: Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head with that one.  It just seems like everyone thinks Shawn is just so adorable in everything she wears…and while Shawn is cute, I don’t think this dress was particularly flattering on her. 

The winner: Anna by a long torso.

 

Battle of the yellow-fringed, cut-out Latin dress: Jennie’s samba with Derek in season 5 vs. Kym in the pro dance to Robin Thicke in season 8 vs. Ashly & Cheryl in the pro dance to the Beach Boys in season 10

Heidi: Ashly has this weird drape of fabric right across her waist – what is up with that?? It looks horrible like that!! Jennie looks ghostly in it, so I think it comes down to Cheryl and Kym.  I like it on both of them, but I think Cheryl has the edge due to the darker hair and the darker skin.

Courtney: Talk about a dress that’s been around the block a few times-er, seasons! Yellow seems to make Jenny look a little jaundice, so she’s out; the cut of the dress seems a bit odd on Kym, so she’s out too – honestly, I think it’s nary impossible for blondes to wear yellow without looking pale, so poor Jennie & Kym were already at a bit of a disadvantage.  That leaves Ashly & Cheryl, who got a bonus drape of fabric added to distract us from the fact that we’ve already seen this dress twice before, hehe.  Now while I think both carry off the color quite well, yellow just doesn’t seem to strike me as a color that Ashly has a lot of in her wardrobe…so I’m going to go with Cheryl.  Cheryl has the personality to carry off yellow ;-)

The winner: Cheryl!! We found a dress for her! :-D

 

Battle of the white & blue, two-piece fringe Latin dress: Brooke’s jive with Derek in season 7 vs. Denise’s preseason photo shoot in season 8

Courtney: Blech…two ladies whose personalities I don’t particularly care for, in a dress that I don’t particularly care for.  Do I really have to pick one? Ugh, fine…Brooke, I guess.  The color at least looks good with her hair and skin.  Denise looks washed out.  But at least they got rid of those suspender-like drapes for Denise and replaced it with a single, well-placed drape.  Ok, that’s it…nothing else better to say.

Heidi: I have to go with Brooke even though they had those two vertical drapes which were just plain weird.  You’re right, it looks better with her hair and skin than it does on Denise.

The winner: Brooke, in spite of the suspenders

 

Battle of the red-fringed ballgown with draping sleeve: Julianne’s quickstep with Cody in season 7 vs. Nancy’s would-be preseason photo shoot with Tony in season 8 vs. Ashly’s preseason photo shoot with Buzz in season 10

Heidi: Hmmmm….I don’t think I can see enough of the dress on Nancy, and poor Ashly seems to have a baby bump in her picture, so I go with the Hough of the bunch, despite being bitter about Footloose to this day. ;-)

Courtney: Ironically enough, I think Nancy actually wore this one the best – even though she never actually danced on the show! Haha.  Love her hair and how the pose she’s in really lets the fabric & fringe drape beautifully.  It’s ok on Julianne – red just doesn’t seem to be the best color on her.  As for Ashly, the color is nice – but the cut of the dress, coupled with the pose, just really isn’t flattering on her.  It kinda stinks, but I feel like wardrobe has really “mommy-ized” her since her return to the show – poor girl has a great body and is only in her 20s, yet this season they seemed to put her in dresses better suited to a much older woman.  Bring back the old Ashly costumes, PLEASE!

The winner: Tie between Jules & Nancy – because they don’t look pregnant

 

Battle of the red-bodice, black-lace overlay tango dress: Kelly, Joanna, & Kym in the group tango in season 9 vs. Kathy’s tango with Tony in the season 9 finale

Courtney: It was a little surprising to me that they dittoed a dress in the same season it was originally worn, but I guess maybe they just didn’t have time to make Kathy a new costume just for the finale.  And maybe that’s why she seems a bit awkward in it, too.  Kelly & Joanna look nice in this dress, but I think Kym’s hair and makeup and overall expression really work this dress the best.

Heidi: Yeah, I’m with you – Kym has the right expression for the dance AND the dress, I think. Joanna suffers from having the weird rumba hair left over from earlier in the evening and Kelly looks fish-facey.  Kathy looks amazing too though…but I’m going with Kym.

The winner: Kym, by a fierce face

  Want more? Be sure to check out parts I, II, & III to relive the magic of our first three installments, and we’ll be back again next week with a fresh batch of dittoed costumes ;-)

 

July 28, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS 10 Niecy & Louis (and Others) Dance Comparisons

Another week, another celebrity eliminated. This time it was Niecy Nash and her professional partner Louis van Amstel that was given the ax. After going through all of their songs, it came to my attention that they only have one recycled song! La Bamba by Ritchie Valens Ritchie Valens - The Best of Ritchie Valens - La Bamba

Here is that Samba as done on Week 5 by Niecy Nash and Louis van Amstel:

This song was previously done as a Mambo by Paulina Porizkova & Alec Mazo of Season 4 on Week 2. (Start at 1:57)

Read more..

May 14, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

DWTS 10 Kate & Tony Dance Comparison

After watching “Movie Night” on Dancing with the Stars, I realized that there were several songs used this season that were recycled from previous seasons.

Since this past week Kate Gosselin was eliminated, I decided to post up her “recycled” dances first. Not only Kate & Tony’s dances, but the previous celeb and pro to have danced them…

Below are two dances done to the song She’s Always a Woman Billy Joel - The Essential Billy Joel - She's Always a Woman by Billy Joel… both done as a Viennese Waltz

Season 6: Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez

Season 10: Kate Gosselin & Tony Dovolani Read more..

April 22, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

DWTS10 Week 3 Power Rankings

Before I commence with the rankings, a few overall thoughts…

 The 7 paddle is overrated.

 Story week was a GREAT idea.

 The judges are sanctimonious bigots. 

 Alright, I’ve said my piece.  Now on with it!

1.)    Evan & Anna – Another adorable & entertaining number, and I am really enjoying seeing Evan come out of his shell with each dance.  But I still feel like he gets a bit too much into his own headspace out there (especially towards the middle of the dance), and as a result the performance value goes down a bit…however, he does open up a bit more each week.  And he and Anna are, quite possible, the most harmonious & drama-free couple out there – they just seem so zen & agreeable during their practice sessions, likely as a result of Evan’s strength under pressure.  They did dance in the crap spot (first), but the sympathy votes from Evan’s broken toes will likely counteract any votes they may have lost from it (as if Evan wasn’t getting the bulk of the votes, anyway).  I only give them the edge over Nicole & Derek this week due to the latter’s drama with the judges, but I still think that Nicole is both the stronger technician and entertainer.

 2.)    Nicole & Derek – Never have I ever had the desire to put my foot through my flat screen more than I did when these two got their critique.  Carrie-Ann’s argument about breaking hold? Not a very intelligent one, since almost everyone broke hold at least once in their routines tonight.  The “lift”? Do the rules say anything about the guy getting lifted? ;-) Len saying there was “no real quickstep”? I don’t know what dance you were watching, geezer, but I saw PLENTY of quarter turns, forward locks, chasse reverse turns, and runs.  Echoing Heidi’s sentiments last week – I am astounded at how in sync these two are.  And with so much energy! Just…WOW.  By far the most entertaining and energetic of the night, and they had the boon of dancing in the money spot (last). Judges’ comments & low scores aside, I think fans will rally behind these two as a sort of rebellion…and I can’t help but wonder if the judges are just trying to make the playing field seem a bit more level (do they really need to? Evan is keeping up quite nicely…) but they will stay, and I sure hope the judges’ feet taste good in their mouths. Barbeque sauce, anyone?

 3.)    Erin & Maks – Ok, something is DEFINITELY going on between these two, whether they want to admit it or not.  The sexual tension in the beginning of their waltz was palpable (I love that word).  And despite the fact that I didn’t really understand the “story” behind this one (“I love you, but I like to wear blindfolds”? Maybe?), it was nonetheless very artistic & well-executed.  Smooth, crisp, and clean.  However, I’m going to agree with Len just a teensy bit – it did seem to take an agonizingly long time to get the blindfold on, and I kind of wished they had thought of a quicker or more creative way to put it on.  Definitely going to stick around another week, not only due to sympathy for Erin’s “courageous” decision to dance despite death threats (If I recall, this isn’t the first time this has happened on the show, and security at that place is tighter than the rush hour subway in Brooklyn) but also a possible burgeoning showmance…hmmmm…

 4.)    Pam & Damian – Did anyone else think Pam looked absolutely stunning this week? I loved her dress, I loved her makeup, and I loved her hair – even though I’m getting a bit tired of it flopping in her face and detracting from her performance. She actually managed to hold her on in the paso, despite looking a bit unsure of herself at times (I’m actually gonna blame the hair in the face for that one), and even managed to throw in just a smattering of that sex kitten she’s becoming known for.  Throwing in the “I’m against animal cruelty” card was probably a wise move as well.  But I’m still a little concerned – her frame is still wonky, the sexpot act is beginning to lose its luster (I would love to see a bit more vulnerability from her), and I feel like we still know little to nothing about Damian – he almost seems like he’s playing an extra to some of the other pro’s leading roles.  These two ought to be ok this week due to Pam fans rallying from last week’s scare, but I’m not so sure they’re going to last a whole lot longer…

 5.)    Jake & Chelsie – While Jake is a better dancer than I thought he’d be (ugh, it hurt to say that), he still seems whiney to me – and I don’t do whiney.  After last week’s tear-and-tantrum fest, I’m kind of over the couples fighting…so this just annoyed me.  The theme was cute, yes, and Chelsie did manage to creatively incorporate some Egyptian moves – but they seemed to have a lot of cheesy props, and Jake still seems squatty to me.  I could see Team Vienna keeping these two around for another week or two, but right now they’re just in the middle of the pack for me…

 6.)    Niecy & Louis – I really wanted to like this waltz, because I adore these two.  But I feel like they got so bogged down by the emotion of the story that it distracted their dancing.  I give them props for not relying on props (pun intended, hehe), but they did seem to stumble a bit and it all seemed a bit too slow & easy.  I’m a little worried about Louis’ comment regarding gay marriage as well – now before anyone gets up in arms, I am not criticizing his opinion in any way; he is entitled to it and I respect that totally.  But politics are a slippery slope, and just the fact that he brought it up may alienate some of the more conservative viewing audience (the same ones that might be shunning Pam).  I’m gonna put some faith in humanity and say that these two will be safe this week, because I think they’re going to have a lot to offer in the coming weeks…

 7.)    Chad & Cheryl – Ok Chad, you stepped your game up this week, I’ll give you that.  You emoted a lot better than last week, and seemed to put just the teensiest bit more “oomph” into your steps.  But those steps were still rather deliberate & clumsy, and this routine wasn’t all that difficult – it was an awful lot of open work – and I’m still bothered by what seems to be a pretty big (and awkward) height difference between them. The story seemed to suit this partnership well, though – Chad seems hellbent on getting cozy with Cheryl, and she doesn’t seem too keen about the whole idea (although, if my lovable-but-crazy-mother is right, there may be at least one pic floating around the net of these two smooching at a Miami nightclub recently).  You will likely live to dance another week (thanks Bengals fans), but unless you continue to improve each week, you may have to settle for trying to get cozy with Cheryl off-set…

 8.)    Buzz & Ashly – I’ve given up on critiquing Buzz’s dancing – it almost feels criminal to bash the dancing of an 80-year-old former serviceman.  But I will commend these two for choosing a very age-appropriate theme (it would have been a bit hard to watch these two playing lovebirds) and keeping their choreography simple & somewhat easy for Buzz to attempt to follow.  I won’t lie – I got a little misty during this number, but I blame the song and my “daddy issues” for that one.  If Kate goes this week & Aiden goes next week like I think they will, Buzz should be able to stick around for 2 more weeks…but with a smaller cast a lot of decently strong dancers this season, it won’t be long before he’ll be weeded out in favor of stronger technicians.

 9.)    Aiden & Edyta – Ok, did anyone else notice the truly HEINOUS voice-cracking of the vocalist that was butchering “Hey Soul Sister”? I had to rewind it at least 4 times, not only because I couldn’t concentrate on these two dancing but because it had me tearing up, I was laughing so hard.  Aiden has improved in the last two weeks, no doubt – but this was just rather unmemorable for me, on the hole.  I thought some of the other couples had more dramatic storylines, and Aiden is still a rather awkward mover.  Unfortunately, more people will probably remember this one for the terrible singing (way to go, Harold Wheeler & company) than for outstanding dancing.  The soap junkies will likely be able to save him for one more week before he runs out of steam.

 10.)  Kate & Tony – I have absolutely NOTHING good to say about this dance, so if you’re a Kate fan – don’t read any further.  I thought the idea of using “Paparazzi” was indulgent (I think Kate is an A-list celebrity in her own mind), there was absolutely no emotion, she is still being whiney & difficult in rehearsal, and there was no degree of difficulty here.  If I didn’t know any better, I would almost say that Tony is trying to get them voted off so he doesn’t have to deal with her another week.  Vote for the Worst, I swear – if you keep her around another week, I’m making a voodoo doll for your entire site. 

  

Well…now that I’ve let off quite a bit of steam, I feel a lot better :-) Official prediction: Kate & Tony and Aiden & Edyta in the bottom; Kate gets the boot (good riddance).  But what about you guys? It’s your turn to let off steam!

 

April 5, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS10 Weeks 1 & 2 Power Rankings

Alright, everyone – I owe you all an apology.  I did not do a power ranking for last week…shame on me L Unfortunately I was in the midst of end-of-quarter at work, and consequently worked some long hours…long hours that resulted in me watching last week’s show on a 12” old TV with aluminum foil on the antenna in the breakroom.  Yikes!

But alas, I am back with a vengeance this week, and I will be taking into account both this week & last week’s performances in my rankings.  Ok, did I miss the announcement that the theme of this week’s show was “See how much you can upset your partner”? Because I saw more tears & dramatic storm-off this week than I see in an entire week of soap operas…but those who managed to avoid the drama seemed to fare better than those who buckled under the pressure….

1.)    Nicole & Derek – Top of the scoreboard both last week & this week, the first 2 tens of the season (correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a record? Earliest 10 ever given in the competition?), and two solid performances.  Their waltz was just lovely – Nicole has got great lines, and actually has a very nice emotional connection to both the dance and to Derek.  Their jive was one of the cleanest I’ve ever seen – razor sharp flicks, and Nicole stayed on beat despite some crazy energetic moves and what seemed to be a rather fast tempo – however, I didn’t quite see the connection to the dance like I did last week (poor Nicole seemed to get a bit winded by the middle – but I give her points for effort!) and would have liked a bit more sass from Nicole.  Now Heidi is currently freaking out (she thinks the two 10’s are a harbinger of doom, silly girl!), so everyone humor her and pick up the phone to vote for Team Houghzinger so we can prove her wrong – I personally think they’re safe and will be for quite some time ;-)

2.)    Evan & Anna – The one thing that gives Nicole a big edge over Evan: she actually has chemistry with her partner.  Their waltz, while technically beautiful (perhaps even technically stronger than Nicole & Derek), left me feeling rather cold – poor Evan seemed so nervous that he just seemed to be going through the motions of the dance.  This week was a vast improvement in entertainment value – Evan looked like he was having a ton of fun, it made me smile J – but it seemed to come at the cost of a bit of technique (Len was right – Evan was doing something wonky with his feet, I saw it too).  I think they’re also pretty safe this week (and likely the next few weeks, as we weed out some of the weaker, less memorable dancers), but I fear that they might be becoming too “normal” – they don’t fight, Evan catches on quickly, and they do cute, social things like visiting Evan’s hometown.  Now I’m not suggesting that they start picking fights with one another just to boost ratings – just maybe turn up the emotion a bit, both in their lead-in package and in their dancing ;-)

3.)    Pam & Damian – If you ask me, the big “upset” elimination that could have happened last week that Tom was referring to at the beginning of the show could very well have been Pam & Damian.  Their cha-cha last week, while entertaining, was a lot of fluff & hair flipping and not a lot of “meat & potatoes” dance steps – but I will hand it to Pam, she knows how to “sex up” a dance! Which is exactly what she did with the foxtrot this week – it was cute, and not the worst of the night, but my god, her frame was ATROCIOUS.  I like Pam, I really do – but I’m afraid the whole “sex kitten” act will only work for so long before it becomes a bit hackneyed and boring to voters…plus I don’t see her having an easy time sexing up the quickstep or lindy hop, haha. But she is likely safe this week, based solely on her scores…

4.)    Niecy & Louis – This may be the most underrated couple of the season.  I absolutely LOVE watching them, but the judges don’t seem to give them much credit.  True, Louis’ choreography isn’t the most difficult; but Niecy dances it cleanly and adds her own attitude to it to make it fun.  I thought their cha-cha was underscored – Niecy was one of the few people that looked like she was actually having fun out there last week – but their foxtrot this week seemed to get more recognition and a better response from the judges & audience.  These two have a great energy and are quickly becoming my favorite…I’m hoping voters agree! But these two ought to be safe this week, based on their antics both on and off-stage – and a little shameless self-promotion by Niecy on The Insider.

5.)    Jake & Chelsie – Now if Niecy & Louis were the underscored couple last week, then these two were the overscored onces.  I found Jake’s waltz to be shuffle-y and messy, and he’s doing some weird flail-y thing every time he extends his arms.  And you can practically hear the boy counting to himself in his head! Granted, their jive this week was an improvement – Jake managed to keep up, but on the whole it felt low-energy and a little generic (a pattern I’m starting to notice with Chelsie’s jive routines – check out Ty’s & Louie’s and see if you agree). Jake also came across as rather whiney to me in the package, which is especially off-putting when it’s coming from a grown man. I doubt they’re headed home this week, but unless Jake makes vast improvements (and soon), I’m not sure they’re going to have a whole lot of longevity in this competition…

6.)    Erin & Maks – I agonized over putting Jake & Chelsie above these two, but in the end I decided that Erin & Maks are running the risk of becoming rather boring – which is often a bigger threat than being whiney, hehe.  I thought her cha-cha was actually quite good (aside from some crazy chicken arms) and she seemed like she was at ease & having fun. I wasn’t as wowed by the foxtrot this week…the choreography seemed a bit boring (no real “moments”) and Erin fell victim to that glassy-eyed “I don’t quite know what to do with my face during the ballroom dances” expression, which resulted in very little connection to Maks or the audience.  The solo work and the beginning and some of her stretches showed off her jazz dance background, so we know she’s got some natural talent.  But here’s the thing that’s kinda puzzling me about her: based on what was shown in the package (and granted, I know that they tend to edit that stuff to make things look worse than they really are), it almost seems like she’s a bigger drama queen than Maks…if this is the case, I think she may need to learn to tame her tantrum reflex, lest she become a bit “witchy” in the eyes of voters…

7.)    Shannen & Mark – Props to Shannen for her hard work both last week & this week – you can tell she is making a genuine effort to do well in this competition.  However, I think Mark’s choreography, while done in an effort to “challenge” her, is beginning to overwhelm her completely – she almost disappears amidst a sea of wild steps and just seems to be trying to keep her head above water.  If Mark could just pare down some of his crazy steps into simpler, more cleanly-executeable ones, we could see some amazing growth from Shannen.  I liked the waltz better than the jive (it was slightly less frenzied), and love Shannen’s devotion to her father.  But they’ve gotten stuck with crappy running-order numbers both weeks (they performed 2nd last week, and 1st), which often makes them harder to remember in viewers’ minds.  I don’t think they’re going home, but I pray that Mark just calms down his choreo a bit to really give Shannen a chance to shine and connect to the audience…he should have Louis give him some pointers.  I <3 Louis…

8.)    Buzz & Ashly – There is nothing I can really say about Buzz’s dancing – he stinks, and in the back of our heads we all knew he would really struggle in this competition.  But could we have had a more charming senior citizen on the show this season? He’s got Tom DeLay’s charm (without the checkered past) and Cloris’ humor (without being overly offensive), and just seems to be having so much fun and is so happy to be there.  He gets standing o’s with every performance, despite having the lowest scores of the week; people truly love & respect him, which is why he won’t go home this week.  He may be in the bottom 3 (based on his low scores), but I think the baby boomer voters will likely rally around their legend to keep him in for another week or two…

9.)    Aiden & Edyta – I knew from the minute I heard the first few notes of “Hungry Like the Wolf” last week that this couple was probably going to be a disaster.  Aiden is a very, very awkward mover – but at least he’s an awkward mover with a sexy accent.  The cha-cha was bad – almost bad to the point of it being a caricature of a cha-cha.  The foxtrot this week was a vast improvement, but you can tell that he is just not used to moving this way at all.  Add to that an Edyta meltdown (I’ve never seen her cry on the show before!) and an elbow to the eye (what is it with Edyta and assaulting her partner’s corneas?), and these two could be in danger this week.  Aiden’s fans from All My Children could pull through and keep them safe this week, but they are one of the weaker couples, and likely won’t survive long.

10.)   Chad & Cheryl – I was really expecting Chad to have an explosive personality out on the floor, based on his antics on the football field – unfortunately, he and Cheryl have been really boring thus far, to the point of me forgetting they are part of this year’s cast (“9, 10…crap, who’s the 11th couple? Darnit…hmmm…oh wait, it’s Chad & Cheryl…) and even having a hard time paying attention to their performances! Everything is just so…ordinary.  And Chad is anything but, which is what makes it even worse.  Their cha-cha wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great or particularly exciting either; the foxtrot this week was actually a downgrade, as Chad looked extremely uncomfortably & slouchy (is it just me, or is there a significant height difference between him & Cheryl?) He’s even blending into the background during the lead-in…I couldn’t honestly tell you one thing he said tonight.  Chad seems like a true competitor and someone who could really succeed this season…but unless he finds a way to stand out from the crowd, it may be curtains for him sooner rather than later.

11.)   Kate & Tony – Kate, Kate, Kate.  I honestly was going to give you a chance.  But then you went and proved me right – not only are you a terrible dancer, but you have the personality of a wet mop and a crap attitude.  Could Kate have possibly been more insecure or negative during the lead-ins? Poor Tony was doomed from the start – it’s hard to motivate someone who is constantly in need of reassurance, both on and off the floor.  Their waltz was stiff and awkward, to the point of it being painful to watch; I honestly had to avert my eyes during portions of their jive (did Kate even do half of the choreo Tony gave her?).  And the shout-outs to the kids, while sweet, are beginning to feel a bit desperate to me – a rather “I have 8 kids and a good-for-nothing ex-husband, please don’t send me home even though my attitude & dancing stink” gesture.  If Kate set out to prove that she is indeed the bitter, unsavory woman the tabloids have made her out to be – I’m afraid she succeeded.  I would be very, very surprised if she did not go home tomorrow.  If only you had at least faked like you were having a good time, Kate…

Alright, so two performances in, this is how I see them stacking up…I’m predicting Kate, Chad, & Aiden in the bottom 3, with Kate on the chopping block.  What do you guys think? Could Kate be snatched from the jaws of death? Will there indeed be an “upset” elimination? Will Brooke’s co-hosting skills become less awkward? Will Len stop inventing words? ;-)

March 29, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!