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PureDWTS Season 22, Week 8 – Power Rankings

*shaking head* Still trying to reconcile the fact that Ginger is getting heaped with praise and given perfect scores, when her dances are about as exciting to me as watching paint dry/water boil/grass grow/British Parliamentary proceedings/etc. Yes, I know she’s a company gal; but I still don’t really understand what the benefit would be to DWTS to push her as hard as they have been. Are they changing narratives in the 11th hour, and gunning for a 2nd MBT for Val after all? Are they trying to keep the GMA casting pool fruitful for future seasons? Is this image rehab for Val the social media sociopath? Or was last night just part of the ruse – that maybe Ginger isn’t finale bound after all, and they were just giving her a nice send-off? My head spins trying to make sense of it. The grim reality is, though, that tonight’s tongue bath of Ginger may have dashed our hopes of a Nyle/Wanya/Paige finale – and we may see one of those three heading home in next week’s double elim instead of advancing to the finale, despite the fact that those 3 have been the most consistent and entertaining this season.  Buckle in, kids – next week is probably going to hurt.

I love how they touted the Judge’s Challenge (or whatever the hell they were calling it) as a “brand new dance” – bitch please, that was just a combo of the dance duels from season 18, the judge’s challenge from season 20, and the “America scores” fiasco from season 21. Three shitshows rolled into one, for your viewing pleasure.  The scores ended up being a complete cop-out, though, with each dance receiving the same score – and while I saw a lot of folks up in arms about it, I have to say I was a tad relieved; I don’t think any of the 3 dances really passed muster, and each had their own set of faults to contend with.  But giving them all the same score does two things: it makes the margins much closer, so it’s easier for someone at the bottom of the leaderboard (read: WANYA) to claw their way outta the bottom two; and it basically just throws it back to the fans…he or she with the most votes, advances, with slightly less power given to potentially skewed judges’ scores.  The judges’ dance didn’t really help anyone (except maybe Wanya, in a roundabout kinda way), but it also didn’t really hurt anyone, either. It’s pretty much all on the fans, at this point – the second dance just leveled the playing field a bit.

As for Jodie – she had a good run, and she went out on a high note; Keo probably grew more in this season than he has in all 3 of his previous seasons combined.  I’d call that a win for both, and for what it’s worth, Jodie actually seemed a tad relieved to be heading home.  I think she had wanted to do the show for quite some time, and unfortunately she got cast on a season where the competition was unusually fierce.  On a more “normal” season, I think she would have EASILY made the finale; but I think the pressure really got to her this season, both in terms of trying to do well and trying to emotionally support her partner.  And hey, it dovetailed nicely into her starting filming for season 2 of Fuller House today 🙂 And also for what it’s worth – I think Keo ended up being the right kind of partner for her.  I think she was too emotionally fragile to deal with a critic like Val or an Artem week after week, she was too tall for Sasha, and I can’t imagine anyone else partnering Paige than Mark.  It worked out, and hopefully Keo can come back next season as a more seasoned pro. Read more..

May 10, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 6 – Power Rankings

I feel as though now is a good time to remind everyone of a very important thing to heed when watching the rehearsal packages: BEWARE THE EDIT. Last night, we saw two packages that very clearly illustrated how the tone of a package can get skewed with the right editing – they made Nyle, the well-loved, down-to-earth frontrunner seem like a self-absorbed egomaniac; and they took Antonio, the lazy narcissist who has only put in an average of 10 hours of rehearsal time for the first 5 weeks of the season, appear to be a hard-working, misunderstood victim of his pro’s apathy.  That latter in particular made me wanna toss my cookies, because as we reported (and as it’s been parroted all over Twitter) – Antonio has done nothing but make excuses for his lateness/lack of rehearsal time, and then apparently spent 45 minutes ranting to the confessional camera about how Sharna has checked out of their partnership and he’s “putting her on notice”.  He failed to assume any responsibility whatsoever for their partnership failing to “boom”, cast all the blame onto her, and came across as chillingly aggressive – and yet, because of the edit he was given (and the subsequent falling into line that the judges did), he appeared to be the uber-dedicated “comeback kid” this week, and managed to skate by with nary a negative word uttered about a routine that would probably gotten torn to pieces if it had been performed by Nyle, Wanya, Paige, or even Von. On the other side of the coin, I’m fairly certain poor Nyle got baited into one of the many loaded questions production loves to ask the celebs in order to illicit some of the juicier sound bytes we hear in packages – I’m guessing it was something like “Who is your biggest competition this season? Do you think you’re sexier than anyone in the cast? Who do you see yourself beating in a wet t-shirt contest?” Given that I’ve heard nothing but praise for how Nyle was on ANTM (“the nicest guy EVER” is a phrase that gets tossed out a lot), I find it hard to believe that he’d suddenly decide to start seriously throwing shade and bragging about himself.  He was JOKING, guys – but because of the edit he was given, it was made to appear serious.  I’m guessing Tamar was also somewhat joking last season when she got baited into saying “I’m the best”, and I’m sure Nastia didn’t set out to come across as the icy bitch they painted her as during the infamous bad edit of season 20. Just something to keep in mind when things start feeling…off.

God bless Doug – I do think he really gave it his all this season, and for what it’s worth, I actually found myself really enjoying his Bollywood routine tonight.  Karina was smart to keep it simple, and Doug kept up surprisingly well.  But I do feel like he had reached a point where he wasn’t really having fun anymore, and the stress was maybe wearing on him – so I didn’t get the impression that he was all that broken up about leaving tonight. He was thankful for the experience – but he seemed ready for the ride to stop. But with Doug gone, that leaves us in an very sticky situation: there are really no more “bad” dancers left – everyone remaining ranges from decent (when he’s trying) to great.  Which means the eliminations are gonna get painful from here on out, particularly this double one we’ve got coming up next week.  Given who we saw in jeopardy last night, it’s entirely possible we could lose one of the stronger dancers – and that those just skating by may end up outlasting the better dancers, if people don’t start voting.  Hope you did! Otherwise things could get pretty heartbreaking, pretty fast…

Can someone please explain to me the strange fixation Val has with being half-naked for no real reason at least once in every show? More often than not, multiple times? Twice last night, we saw him shirtless (once when he was also in his underwear) – and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why and how that fit choreographically with the dances he was doing at the time.  I’m all ears if someone has an intelligent explanation… Read more..

April 26, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

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, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

DWTS 15 End-of-Season Awards: Which Dance Was the Worst?

And the fun continues…

 worst15

Write-ins:

Gilles & Peta’s Bollywood – 3

Bristol & Mark’s cha-cha – 2

Shawn & Derek’s non-samba samba – 2

Kirstie & Maks’ paso doble trio – 1

Shawn & Derek’s bhangra – 1

Gilles & Peta’s cha-cha – 1

Melissa & Tony’s freestyle – 1

Sabrina & Louis’ paso doble – 1

Shawn & Derek’s rumba – 1

Kelly & Val’s contemporary – 1

Courtney: This is all I’ll say about the write-ins: it’s obvious when someone is writing in a certain dance simply out of spite, or just to try to get a reaction out of people.  How very puerile of them 🙂 Was Pam & Tristan’s cha-cha a bizarre, fumbly train wreck? Yeah, but I almost think it’s unfair to even count first week dances…because they’re the ones with the highest potential to look like crap.  I usually find myself more turned off by bad dances that occur later on in the season – because by that point, you can’t cite “first week jitters” as a reason to f*ck up.  For that reason, I actually think I chose Gangnam Style – I hated that dance because it was a cop-out.  They basically got a free pass to do ANYTHING they wanted – they could have put a completely unique spin on it, thrown in some cool tricks & lifts, and incorporated some ballroom steps to please Len.  Instead, it was as if they said “Y’know what? Let’s just copy the video, add some additional raunch, and call it a day.” Was it fun? Sure.  But I can think a dance is fun and also think it’s terrible. Case in point? Carson & Anna’s pirate Viennese waltz in season 13.  Amusing in a trainwreck fashion, but I definitely wouldn’t say it was my favorite of that season…or even that week, and it was still a complete mess. I think my second choice was Bristol & Mark’s quickstep, because it just ended up being a complete mess, both in terms of choreography & execution.  Not sure what to make of the surfer flamenco – I guess I would categorize that one as a “cop-out” as well, since it seemed like they said “Welp, we don’t know any flamenco, so let’s do paso in skimpy swimsuits and hope nobody notices!”

Heidi: Courtney!! How dare you say that people write in comments just out of spite!! That NEVER happens here!! Well, okay, only every other day. 😉 Totally agree with you that I wouldn’t look at first week dances and cry out “worst dance ever!!” So many of them DO look like crap in the first week. Anyway, when I looked at this category two dances immediately came to mind – Team Gangnam Style and Gilles’ Bollywood nightmare.  Team Gangnam style just disgusted me because they didn’t even TRY. Any actual dancing that was included was sloppy and disjointed – I seem to recall thinking that Emmett was the only standout from that mess.  Pretty sure that’s the one I voted for…although I could have written in Gilles. 🙂

Vogue: When I saw this poll, I almost voted for the Team Gangnam dance as the Worst dance. I remember thinking it was just awful comparted to Team Call Me Maybe’s dance which was so well executed, choreographed and full of creative content. In the end though, I voted for Val and Kelly’s Surfer Flamenco (what an awful combination) as that dance beat them all as worst dance ever in all of the seasons of Dancing With The Stars PUT TOGETHER! 😯

February 21, 2013 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

DWTS 15: Why I Hated the All-Star Season

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…much to the chagrin of my detractors 😉

Yes, I am back, after a rather prolonged post-season 15 hiatus. Part of it was due to a hectic year-end at work, part of it was due to other stuff, and part of it had to do with what I’m about to elaborate on in this post. Thanks to everyone who checked in on me on Twitter, and I can assure you I’m back full-time now 🙂

Many of you have noticed that I tend to take a bit of a break from Pure after the end of each season – mainly due to the level of burnout we all seem to reach after being in full-on DWTS mode for 3 months straight while we’re covering each season. Generally, I just need a break – some time to appreciate other things in my life besides DWTS – and I’m back after a week or two. This time, though, I had a harder time getting back into the swing of being excited and inspired to write about DWTS – and for awhile, I couldn’t figure out why. Then I had a revelation…

…I HATED THE ALL-STAR SEASON.

There, I said it. I hated the all-star season, and I think it has now surpassed season 9 as my least favorite season of DWTS EVER. Reflecting on this past season, aside from a few standout performances (and all the great interactions I had with Pure readers :-)), I was hard-pressed to really feel nostalgic and pleased about it. In fact, what I tended to remember the most was all the frustration, chaos, and general feelings of “WTF is going on???” that I had while watching and blogging from week to week – and when I really got to thinking about it, I found that there were 5 key problems that left me feeling totally turned-off the all-star season. Without further ado, I give you those reasons… Read more..

February 13, 2013 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

DWTS 15, Week 4 – Power Rankings

Well, this blasted non-ballroom (save for the mambo, and sorta-kinda the bolero) night played out just about like I thought it would: the hapless judges (aided and abbetted by the perpetually out-to-lunch Paula) kind of copped out on giving any seriously harsh scores, likely for the simple reason that they just didn’t know enough about the dances themselves to actually score properly.  The end result was some pretty general overscoring, and perhaps a tiny bit of relative underscoring.  But what worries me is that even though the spread may seem pretty big this week, more total points = smaller margins between points…meaning that it’s going to require fewer votes for those at the bottom to catch up with the rest of the pack.  And it makes me nervous for another “shock” elimination…but this time, I think it has the potential to be truly shocking.  😯 Let’s get on with it, shall we?

1.) Shawn & Derek – Best routine of the night, without a doubt – great, PROPER mambo choreography, and flawless execution.  I think these two may have had the toughest dance to contend with, for the simple reason that mambo has been done on the show before as a regular dance – and it has been done far more than any of the other dances on the list.  Add to that the constant pressure of the all-star season? If they had a bit of an off-week, I wouldn’t have blamed them.  But luckily, they absolutely KILLED this mambo – great tricks, a good amount of meat & potatoes choreography, and best of all – Shawn pulled off the “sassy” and sexy without a hitch, and looked great doing it.  🙂 Very impressed with how she’s matured since her original season.  If I REALLY had to nitpick, I would say that it seemed like Shawn was sliding a little bit when coming out of her turns – very slight bobble, but it made me wonder if the floors tonight were a little slick – and could also be the cause of other snafus tonight.  Anyway, I think if they gave that hot mess of a Bollywood number that Gilles crapped out a 39.5, then this should have been a 42.  But Len, ever the fuddy-duddy, withheld that last half a point that would have put them at the top of the leaderboard.  Oh well – luckily it matters even less this week 😛

2.) Kelly & Val – Like almost all of their other dances this season, this came out far better than I would have anticipated – even if these two were kinda giving me the creeps with all of their brooding in the background all night.  😛 Was it truly “contemporary”? Meh…it had elements of contemporary, and it came far closer to contemporary than Emmitt did to bolero or Bristol did to rock ‘n’ roll.  But it was a pretty dance, and I do feel like they injected some emotion into it – which is really how contemporary came to be in the first place: ballet with emotion.  Kelly had some nice extensions and seemed to really connect to the dance…and really, Val did too, as much as he may have hated the style they got.  And he did get a few brownie points from me for calling Cheryl the b-word on national television, for all to hear 😛 I think they may have gotten a little out-of-synch on the side-by-side sections, and I must confess that I didn’t really understand the purpose of the platform they climbed onto.  But overall, a very nice effort for a dance that neither party was particularly jazzed to have…and I’m sure we’ll be hearing buzz about this one for the rest of the week.  😉 Read more..

October 15, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

DWTS 15, Week 4: Anna Trebunskaya & Chelsie Hightower Explain This Week’s Dances

Nice to see that Anna & Chelsie haven’t completely moved onto other projects since being eliminated on Tuesday 🙂 They did a bit for DWTSRadio in which they briefly describe what we can expect to see this week in terms of dances – you can listen to it HERE.  I think they’re option #4, so you can toggle through – but don’t do like I did & get impatient and click too many times, because it will only let you “skip” so many times before it forces you to listen to the segments in order.  Grrrrr.

 

October 12, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence