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DWTS 16, The Finale – Power Rankings

Honestly, this may be the weakest finale performance night I think we’ve seen since season 5.  I think almost everyone did worse in the “judges’ choice” round than they did the first time; only one freestyle really wowed me, and the rest ranged from “eh, ok” to “WTF???” Oddly enough, the only dance I found myself really enjoying was the cha cha relay – seemed like everyone just let loose and had fun with it.  I think the judges made their agenda quite clear tonight, and I know I can’t be the only one that’s a little suspicious that the online voting is down on finale night FOR THE SECOND SEASON IN A ROW.  No excuses, Muppets – you should have had it sorted out by now so that this type of thing doesn’t happen.  Curious to me that you haven’t (or chose not to) worked out the kinks yet.  Hmmm…but anyway, let’s start in reverse order, shall we?

4th Place: Jacoby & Karina

Poor Jacoby…he just really seemed to fall apart tonight, and it’s sad because 3 weeks ago I would have said that he had the MBT in the bag.  Now, thanks to the machinations of TPTB, I think the poor guy is just suffering from a major case of burnout and just broke down tonight.  While I agree that his judges’ choice jive was slightly better from a technical standpoint, I still prefer the first iteration – because it was SO DAMN FUN.  Jacoby looked downright miserable doing this one – like he was so focused on getting the technique right that he forgot to enjoy himself…and that was really the appeal of Jacoby’s dancing all season: he just looked like he was having so damn much fun.  Was a 27 rather kind? In the great scheme of things, probably; but since the judges were handing out 30’s like Oprah again tonight, I think 27 was relatively fair.  I actually found myself enjoying he & Karina’s portion of the cha cha relay most – and I don’t think anyone can really disagree that they had the best ending transition ;-) The slide through Aly & Mark was pure genius and totally Jacoby :-) And speaking of “being totally Jacoby” – I actually liked his freestyle, and wasn’t expecting some of the incredulous responses I was getting on Twitter when I *gasp!* said I enjoyed it.  “But Courtney, it was SO MESSY!!!!” Was it messy? Yes.  I saw the exact same routine you guys did, and I’m fully aware when something is messy.  But at the same time, I think there’s more to a good freestyle than clean footwork and execution – there’s also HEART, and staying true to who you are.  And while some of you may have balked at his freestyle as if it were the 2nd coming of the Marie Osmond doll freestyle (it wasn’t THAT bad, guys), I applauded him for sticking to his roots and sending a dance love letter to New Orleans…that routine was NOLA & Jacoby FOR DAYS.  The band, the stepping, the tapping – I think he perfectly captured the dance culture of the Big Easy, while also dancing a routine that felt like something he’d do.  He didn’t try and act like something he’s not (unlike a certain other couple…), he didn’t pick some random theme that he had no connection to – Jacoby did Jacoby, and I dug it.  And he seemed to enjoy himself, which is why I’ve been a fan all season.  But, thanks to the judges, who have given Aly a pretty comfortable cushion, I don’t think Jacoby can really hope for any better than 4th place tomorrow.  He may, by the “grace of god” (as he put it), somehow bump Aly and take 3rd, but I’m not feeling optimistic. But I’m glad he made it to the finale, and got to dance for his hometown :-) Read more..

May 20, 2013 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 Who Wore it Better? Part XV – The Pre-Season 14 Edition!

Yep, we’re back to talk fashion for yet another season’s promo pix :-) And kids, this batch was a bit of a challenge for even me – at least 3 brand-spanking new dresses that weren’t dittoed, some wacky alterations, weird lighting, and the fact that we don’t have pix of Cheryl & Katherine yet made this edition a little less fun and a little more frustrating.  But alas, it’s here now, so enjoy! And a very special thanks to our reader Manny, who graciously helped us out with the screen cap of Niecy, since Hulu only has season 13 available to stream and the DWTS website has taken down all of the photos from old seasons…grrrrr. *shakes fist at sky*

Battle of the gold, silver, super-sparkly jive dress: Kym’s pre-season 14 photo shoot vs. Kym’s jive with David in season 13

Heidi: I know I’m going to disagree with Court on this one – by choosing the photo shoot version. :-) I like the more asymmetrical hem and I like her hair better in that pic. But damn, Kym always looks amazing and she does stick to the similar color pallette much of the time.

Court: Kym has always known what looks good on her (everything) and what doesn’t (not much), but I love how she seems to stick to a lot of nude colors and just lets all the embellishments do the talking.  I remember thinking “Wowwwww…that’s soooo sparrrrrkllllllyyyy!” as she walked down the stairs last season in this number.  But alas, the magic is a bit lost in the whitewash of the photo shoot – so I’m gonna go with jive Kym on this one :-)

The winner: We love Kym in the nude (colors) :-)

Battle of the black lace turtleneck tango dress: Bristol’s Argentine tango with Mark in season 11 vs. Martina’s pre-season 14 photo shoot

Court: I think this may actually be the very first ditto of a Bristol costume we’ve ever seen! Although if you’ve seen one Bristol ditto, I think you’ve pretty much seen them all, as this girl wore A LOT of black lace in season 11 – a fact that made my searching though her costumes all the more confusing :-P But anyway…I gotta say, I’m not really wild about this costume on either woman.  It just seems kinda…dowdy.  But I guess if I had to pick, I’d actually pick Bristol – because I can at least tell it’s a tango costume with the way she’s styled & made up.  Martina…just kinda looks like she’s gesturing for no apparent reason.  But she looks damn good for her age! :-)

Heidi: I can’t pick…too distracted by Marky’s face in that picture. :-) The hell?  Okay, all kidding :::cough::: aside, I have to agree with Courtney. Martina looks fabulous, but Bristol is fully made up for this dress and she wears it pretty well.  I will say, very proud of Martina for going with a dress that is probably more daring on the bottom half than I would have expected.

The winner: Bristol takes this one because we can actually tell what she’s doing. Read more..

March 9, 2012 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!

DWTS13 Week 9 Power Rankings

So I’m guessing the judges either got laid or did shots in between JR’s paso and Rob’s samba, because they rather inexplicably got very generous very quickly with the points 8O Definite overscoring of some parties going on tonight, although I don’t think there was so much underscoring – I thought most of the scores were right-on or kinda cushy. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, tonight’s episode of DWTS was brought to you by the reused song (if I remember correctly, all but the pasos and the cha-cha relay song were repeats) and patterned tights :-P

1.) Ricki & Derek – Ricki was (quite literally, in her samba costume) the judges’ golden girl tonight, and managed to deliver 3 very clean, well-executed dances.  Can’t say that the choreo in any of the 3 was particularly genius, but I think Derek was probably smart to keep the steps much simpler than the usual fare we see from him. Ricki’s been struggling the past few weeks, and I think it was wise to give her simple choreo that she could do well than really try to wow the judges with complex stuff.  Their samba was cute, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much content it had – I think samba is my least favorite dance on DWTS, and even Derek’s choreo doesn’t usually impress me because he seems to do a lot of side-by-side, open work as opposed to real samba steps.  But this actually had plenty of real samba! I liked the mood & execution of their Argentine tango, but felt a little let down by the choreo – again, I guess I’m just used to seeing dynamite A. tangos from Derek, so this felt a little…light.  Their cha-cha, too, was rather simple; but compared to Hope & JR, who both looked rather sloppy to me, Ricki’s clean-and-simple cha-cha really worked tonight.  Thankfully, there is a pretty good-sized points margin tonight, which should keep these two safe at the top of the leaderboard.  And I’m glad – I think they very much deserve a spot in the finale.  However, I don’t think they’re going to be able to go with “clean & simple” next week – with Rob busting major moves and JR likely on the road to recovery, they’re going to need to stand out.

2.) Rob & Cheryl – Gotta agree with some of you that the judges made it pretty clear tonight that they REALLY want Rob in the finale.  Some definite overscoring going on here – his samba, while cute, energetic, and much better than I was expecting out of him, was just  not 27-worthy.  25? Maybe.  But I LOVED that he looked like he was having so much fun out there! I also give him an E for effort, for attempting a barrel roll – it was stiff, but he gave it the ol’ USC try.  I was a bit more torn on his A. tango – it’s a dance that definitely seems to suit him well, and he was a good leading man with clean footwork.  But I don’t think he had as much content as JR, and was maybe not quite as invested as JR, either.  I will say that I think he probably had the best combination of content & execution in his cha-cha – Ricki may have had the better technique, but I think her choreo was bound to look a bit simple & boring next to some of the flashier stuff Cheryl gave Rob.  In the end, though, overscoring or not – I do think Rob belongs in the finale, based on his dancing.  He’s still somewhat lacking in the performance department for me, so he’ll really need to hone in on that if he makes it through to next week – and I think he will, given the margin of points.

3.) JR & Karina – I really felt bad for JR tonight – he seemed like he was in a good deal of pain after each dance, and I do think it negatively affected his performances.  I’m afraid I set my hopes too high for his paso – I was so excited about him having that song, that I felt a bit let down when he really didn’t knock it out of the park.  He wasn’t 100% in the dance like he usually is, and I gotta say – the choreo felt a bit repetitive to me, too.  LOVED his Argentine tango – I do have to credit Karina with not going too easy on him due to his injury.  She gave him a lot of difficult footwork and lifts to do, and I think of the 4 A. tangos tonight, his probably had the highest level of difficulty and the most content.  And he handled it well, for the most part – caught him wincing in pain a few times, but he still managed to give a pretty damn good performance.  It was just sooo fluid – where Rob & Hope seemed to have a few stops and stutters in between steps, JR didn’t.  His cha-cha was just ok – I think by that point, he had soldiered through about as much pain as he could have, and was just tired.  It seemed a little stiff, but again, I’m thinking that had more to do with his ankle than any lack of ability in the cha-cha.  If he can knock the samba out of the park, he can handle the cha-cha, no problem.  When it comes down to it, I definitely think JR belongs in the finale – he’s been consistently good all season long, yet has still managed to improve a bit each week as well.  Knock on wood, I think his fans alone will keep him safe this week, and he may also get a few sympathy votes due to what looked like a pretty painful injury.  His biggest hurdle heading into the finale will simply be healing – right now, his injury seems to be the most inhibiting of the remaining contestants.  Hopefully this is something that he can shake in the next 24-48 hours!

4.) Hope & Maks – Well, tonight was unfortunatley an example of how overscoring a couple earlier in the competition can lead to a rude awakening later on when the judges decide to get serious.  Hope stuck out like a sore thumb for me tonight – all 3 of her dances paled in comparison to those of the other 3 remaining contestants.  Her paso doble seemed to take forever to get started, and once she started moving, she seemed to get wobbly in her turns and ended up on the floor for several counts while Maks danced around her…again.  Did it feel like the team paso all over again to anyone else? Her Argentine tango was a bit better than I expected, but man – those KNEES. They’re always bent, even when she’s mid-lift! At one point, my mom even asked “Are her legs supposed to look like that?” If she had been doing a lindy or a jitterbug, it could have looked cool and flapper-esque; but in her tango, it just looked awkward.  I thought she made a decent effort in her cha-cha, but once again, it looked like she powered through it so hard that it looked awkward – those arms could be lethal weapons, the way she flings them out when she finishes a turn! I think the judges were spot-on in scoring her – I have to think to myself “What score would this have gotten at an earlier stage in the competition?” Part of the problem a year ago with Bristol was that I think she thought by making it to the semifinals & finals, she automatically deserved to be getting 9’s & 10’s…and I’m of the opinion that just because it’s the semifinals, does not mean the judges should just be throwing up the 9 & 10 paddles left & right. If it’s deserved? Absolutely.  But just because it’s a certain phase of the competition? No. Sorry Hope fans, but up against the 3 other couples tonight – Hope looked pretty amateurish to me, and it will only get worse in the finale.  She simply has not improved enough in 9 weeks to deserve a spot in the finale, IMO.  I want a finale that’s going to be as entertaining & competitive as possible – and for me, that’s going to be best achieved with Ricki, JR, & Rob as the finalists.

So we’re one step closer to the finale!!! Who do you guys want to see advancing this week? Who should go home? And is anyone else as excited about the Muppets as I am??? :-D

November 14, 2011 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!