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PureDWTS Season 20, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Before I start in on everything else, I have to get this off my chest: poor Willow :-( Say what you will about “this is what happens when you put a 14-year-old on an adult show!” or “she should have prepared herself!”, but I think back to what a naive, insecure girl I was at 14, and I just cannot help but feel for her – she had done so well and seemed so excited to be there, only to be told “Sorry, not enough people like you enough to vote for you.  Bye-bye!” We knew a shocking elim was probably going to come at some point, what with the overlapping fanbases of some of the couples this season…I guess I had just hoped that it wouldn’t be HER. So please, if you have an ounce of compassion in you – please go tweet (or Instagram) some encouraging words to Willow – it’s tough enough to be a teenage girl in this world, let alone one who just got the rug pulled out from under her on national television.

As for the rest of the night – maybe I just got spoiled in previous seasons, with fun decade-themed dances like Nicole’s 50’s paso and Erin’s 80’s rumba (I still giggle at Maks in the Don Johnson costume!), but tonight felt like an “Eras Night” only in name: so many of the songs (and sets, and costumes) didn’t really seem to reflect the era they were meant to, so I guess I kinda said “Why even bother?” to some of it.  Oh well – probably yet another hastily-thrown-together theme to cover their asses when plans changed.  As for the judges – they’re still doing some fishy sh*t.  They’re just taking turns on who gets to play good cop, bad cop each week. Read more..

April 28, 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 pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 20, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well, the warm fuzzies and pleasant surprises I had from the judging last week have left the building – and now we’ve moved on to the “completely inappropriate and actually rather offensive” stage of the competition, where every other thing out of the judges’ mouths seems to be insulting, irrelevant, or just plain mean.  Even after last week’s spiel about bullying, Charlotte got told she was stupid, and it was implied that Riker danced like a girl and Allison danced like a dude.  Oh, and Mike got nitpicked to death for the third week in a row.  “Do as I say, not as I do”, huh judges?

Bittersweet seeing Charlotte go.  I was glad she got to stick around for another week, and aside from the fact that her rumba didn’t have a whole lot of rumba, I still enjoyed it and thought it was her best dance yet; but I think Charlotte may have mentally checked out a bit after the nasty critiques she got in week 1, so it was probably time for her to go, anyway.  If nothing else, she looked FANTASTIC tonight – loved that color on her, and love big, tousled Brigette Bardot-inspired hair :-)

1.) Riker & Allison – Well, I already thought Riker was a contender after week 1 – but I think this week his real debut, because that salsa screamed “Yep, I’m here, and I’m hungry – take heed, Nastia & Rumer!” And despite Len hemming and hawing and trying to claim that Riker “isn’t the best dancer this season”, I daresay he’s certainly the best male contestant, and bested at least Nastia in terms of technique this week – so he’s quickly inching his way up to the top.  He never missed a beat in this salsa, which was actually the first piece of choreography I’ve seen from Allison on this  show that made me sit up and go “Ok, that was cool.”  And good lord, that girl can spin fast!  He sold it well, he made it his, and he kept time – if I had one complaint, it might be that he seemed a bit stiff in his hips and didn’t “flow” through the movements as fluidly as he could have, but I also partially blame Allison for that, simply because her choreography was a bit more staccato.  Overall, he nailed it, though. Read more..

March 31, 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 pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 20, Week 2 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

March 24, 2015 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 20, Week 1 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 17, 2015 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 3 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

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

September 30, 2014 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 2 – Power Rankings

Well, the buzz from week 1 has worn off – and just as Deep Throat had predicted, seems like the overall performance level tonight was not as good as what we saw last week. Just about everyone seemed to struggle, and while last week seemed to garner a lot of praise for the boys, this week seemed to earn them some tough love from the judges, while the girls seemed to get praised, on the whole.  Not sure if that was deliberate or not, but I feel as though the judges are already getting a bit cockamamie – particularly Carrie Ann, who seemed to get progressively less coherent as the night wore on, and was only just barely able to conceal her disdain for young, attractive female contestants.

So next week sounds interesting – Movie Night, and you can check out Heidi’s live discussion post as well as PureDerekHough for a few early spoilers 😉

1.) Bethany & Derek – Seems like Bethany is quickly becoming one of the most buzzed-about contestants on social media – hell, even Taylor Swift is tweeting about her! I also think that, despite her injury, they handled this foxtrot pretty well – they made it traditional enough that Len enjoyed it, but still “funky” enough to be crowd-pleasing. I still think she’s holding back a little (maybe it’s the injury, maybe it’s nerves) and we have yet to see her 100% in the dance, but I do think she’s got a lot more to show us, and ended up looking the best of any of the celebs this week.

2.) Alfonso & Witney – Ok, yes, I’m totally biased because I love Alfonso – but this guy didn’t exactly have an easy row to hoe this week: there was the pressure to deliver after his fantastic first week showing, a crummy song for a samba that was also wayyyyy too fast, and a young, new pro that is not yet used to the expectations that come with getting a very talented partner. I still say this was technically the strongest performance of the night, even though it wasn’t the highest-scoring; and I’m still astounded by Alfonso’s musicality and the way he doesn’t “waste” the music – he pays attention to every little beat and accent, and knows just how to move in order to express it. Thought the judges were a tad harsh – still think this was better than both Janel & Lea. But whatevs – they needed to level the playing field a bit after last week, and I guess saddling Alfonso with a tough song & dance was the way to do it.

3.) Sadie & Mark – A cute, very age (and Sadie)-appropriate jazz routine with a unique twist – I kinda dig that Mark was able to step out of his comfort zone and choreograph to a country song. Thought Sadie handled it well enough – maybe a bit unsure of herself at times, but overall her confidence really pleasantly surprised me. Love that she could roll her hips without fear. Seems pretty obvious to me that Carrie Ann is not a fan, but you know what? I know a lot of people that don’t particularly care for Carrie Ann, so that’s ok :-) Kinda felt bad for Sadie after she got her critiques – she seemed a bit disappointed. But I think she & Bethany are generating the most buzz amongst the female contestants, so I doubt she’s going anywhere anytime soon.

4.) Lea & Artem – Lea handled the jive much better than I thought she would, for sure – but c’mon. A 35??? The high score of the night, and only one point behind Alfonso’s showstopping jive last week? Even though Lea attacked it with zeal, I still saw some pretty major posture issues, some very limp kicks & flicks, and some definite loss of connection. I may have given it a 32, tops. Yeah, she’s got moves – but I don’t think she was as fantastic tonight as the judges made her out to be.

5.) Janel & Val – Second week in a row where I feel like these two got saddled with a song & dance that didn’t really give them the opportunity to show what they’re capable of. Mama Spence asked about 15 seconds in, “Is this a tango? It feels like a tango.” And sure enough, they were doing a foxtrot that was so staccato that it really did look much more like a tango. Janel handled it well enough, I guess, but there were a few minor bobbles where she lost a bit of balance. Again, I’m left with an overall feeling of “Ok, that was decent…but what else can you do?” Besides perpetuate fauxmances, of course. 😉

6.) Randy & Karina – If Alfonso got a bit hosed this week, so did Randy – no way in HELL his cha-cha deserved the same score as trainwreck Tavis’! Sure, he wasn’t quite as fluid or at ease as he was last week, but hell, at least the guy remembered his choreography, and there was actual cha-cha in his cha-cha…he was a tad stiff, but so was Tavis, and Tavis managed to get off much more easily.  And then twatwaffle Carrie Ann starts whining about wanting Randy to be sexier, and then I lament that, by going first, Randy has gotten a bit low-balled in his score, and overall I’m left feeling a bit indignant on behalf of these two.  Randy’s still super charming and is (calmly) doing the best he can – he’s not having Tavis meltdowns, or whining like Antonio, or  beating himself up like Alfonso.  Give the guy a break, judges!

7.) Tommy & Peta –  Y’know, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Tommy might be my favorite partner of Peta’s – and that’s saying something, considering I loved Donald Driver! But on the real, I kinda dig that he’s bringing out a more fun, light-hearted side of Peta – she doesn’t have to be the sex kitten when she’s around him, and she doesn’t have to push, push, push him to do great because he might be a contender (I doubt anyone thinks he’s gonna win the whole damn thing at this point :-) ) She seems to be genuinely enjoying this season, and she & Tommy just have a great rapport. And really, the Chonger does have rhythm – seems to have some musicality, and isn’t afraid to shake what he’s got (manboobs, apparently). Love that they’re still giving us dances that are fairly technically sound, while still hilarious to watch. Definitely hope they stick around for awhile.

8.) Mike & Emma – There’s really not much point in critiquing Mike’s dancing – he’s bad. Like, REALLY bad – and his samba this week was no exception. Very little content, and he barely handled the little that he had with any sort of proficiency. But as I said last week, his appeal doesn’t lie in his dancing – it lies in his ability to say “f*ck it” and give it his best shot, and still maintain a sense of humor about things. THAT’S his not-so-secret weapon in this competition: charm. And y’know what? I’m ok with that – we have Alfonso, Janel, Lea, Bethany, & Sadie to give us the great dancing this season. There’s room for celebs like Mike & Tommy, who provide the comic relief :-) And that’s why I think he’s still got a few weeks left in him…

9.) Antonio & Cheryl – Antonio does SLIGHTLY better this week than he did last week, but something about him still just BUGS. I don’t know if it was the whining at Cheryl during the rehearsal, or the generally pained expression he gets when he’s dancing sometimes, but I just get the feeling that he’s not really having fun with the overall experience of DWTS, unlike Mike & Tommy. I guess it was a decent rumba – seemed like Cheryl was doing most of the work, though, and the chemistry between them seemed almost non-existent. Loved the song – that was about the only thing about this routine that I could stand up and shout about. Otherwise – just meh. Definitely fading into the woodwork for me.

10.) Jonathan & Allison – And Allison makes a rookie mistake: veering too far off the beaten path in choreography of very basic dances. Sorry, but this routine was all about Allison – and poor Jonathan was just there every now and then to offer her something to lean on, whilst literally fading into the background while wearing a black costume on a very dimly lit stage. Was it cool to see Allison dancing full-out? Sure. She’s a great dancer – but we already know that. I want to see her turn a non-dancer into a good dancer…and she really didn’t accomplish that in this case. Hopefully people continue to vote for them, so they have a second chance to impress…because if not, I think the former Mr. Aaron Samuels could be in some trouble in the coming weeks.

11.) Betsey & Tony – Awwww, could Betsey be any more stinkin’ adorable? Loved how excited she was about her hair, her makeup, and her costume. And thankfully, they opted not to do anything with props this week, and their foxtrot went off without a hitch. Sure, Betsey didn’t really knock it out of the park (and the choreography wasn’t very hard), but she kept up with it respectably, and seemed to be enjoying herself…which is more than I can say for some of the other couples this week. 😯 Don’t think she’s out of the danger zone, though, yet, and I would not be surprised to see her in the bottom 2 tomorrow night. But at least this week’s routine was an improvement on last week’s, and I think some people might throw her a few sympathy votes.

12.) Tavis & Sharna –  Deep Throat had mentioned that Tavis had little to no rehearsal time, and that it showed – and boy, did it. He was mechanically stomping around, clearly looking at Sharna in order to remember the choreography, and it didn’t look like he was having fun at all – plus he didn’t exactly get a flattering edit in his package, where he was throwing a bit of a tantrum about “complicated steps” and “having a meltdown” instead of just listening to his partner. Like Lolo last week, I think Tavis’ mouth may be the thing that ultimately does him in – he just does not know when to SHUT UP. He just keeps prattling on, harping on the same thing over and over again, and it ultimately screws him. I think the judges were very, very kind with his score, but I don’t know that it’s enough to keep him around another week. Seemed to get a bit lost in the shuffle, and didn’t exactly come across as Mr. Charming this week. If not him, then Betsey – but my gut is saying Tavis is leaving us tomorrow night.

So what are your thoughts on tonight’s show? Favorite? Least favorite? Who’s going home? And what are your predictions for next week? :-)

September 22, 2014 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Rob Wade, I tip my hat to you, sir…I haven’t enjoyed a first episode of the season this much in a LOOOOONGGGG time 😀  I may have been on the struggle bus in the moments leading up to the premiere, as I had to hunt for a live feed for the first time ever (of course the Colts would play their first Monday Night Football game since 2010 on DWTS premiere night, the year ABC took over MNF from NBC); but the bulk of tonight’s dances more than made up for it.  I quite literally agonized over most of my rankings – with the exception of maybe 2.5 dances that I would consider “not good”, I felt like everyone else really brought their A-game and delivered some solid routines.  This was HARD, guys!

Other random things I enjoyed? The fact that they’re putting a lot more emphasis on the pros’ professional experience, and rattling off various titles they’ve won over the years – I think we sometimes lose sight of the fact that the bulk of our pros are CHAMPIONS in what they do.  Also enjoyable? The fact that they cut the judges off if time was running tight 😎 Honestly, the bulk of what they say is just mindless prattling to me, so I’m more than thrilled that they opted to cut that out in favor of spending more time with the couples.

On with the rankings!

1.) Alfonso & Witney – First of all, a bit of a dorky confession: I may have teared up just a TINY bit watching Alfonso’s jive 😛 Alfonso has been my dream contestant for several years now, and watching him out there just KILLING it and the crowd going nuts felt to me like Heidi probably did watching Derek win his Emmy: I was just so daggone happy for the guy.  It was kind of a dream come true, and he looked like he was having so much fun – so if you’re reading this, Alfonso – thanks for letting me live vicariously through you :-) But anyway! As I said on Twitter – still any naysayers out there that think Alfonso isn’t the one to beat this season? 😎 He is just a consummate performer – he was 100% invested in the dance, his technique was as close to perfect as any of the jives tonight, and he really sold the performance.  I won’t dwell too much, but I’m EXTREMELY excited to see what we’re gonna get from these two in the coming weeks…and I’m glad Alfonso seemed to let go & enjoy himself.  Best night I’ve had since finding out he was going to be on the show 😀

2.) Bethany & Derek – One of many pleasant surprises of the evening – and prior to tonight, I had only maybe seen one or two clips of Bethany, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect; was impressed by how grounded and mature she acts for being only 18.  Was also impressed by how well she handled the jive technique – I agree with Julianne that jive really is kind of cruel in week 1, but Bethany seemed to get the hang of the bounce and did a great job of extending her legs.  I will agree with Carrie Ann, though, too, and say that there were a few points where she seemed to lose a bit of steam – chalk it up to exhaustion or first night jitters, but overall, I think she did a great job and has both room for improvement and some nice momentum for the season.  Plus, she shares a name with my lil sister, so that’s got to be some kind of good karma 😉 Read more..

September 15, 2014 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 19 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 13

T minus two days till showtime! Who are you guys most looking forward to seeing?

Gonna keep today’s spoiler brief – gotta go put in some OT at my 9-5 and then I’m gonna try to rest a bit before Monday’s premiere.  Be sure to keep checking Heidi’s post for more song spoilers. Have a great weekend, y’all! 😀 Read more..

September 13, 2014 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 19 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 11

4 days till the premiere! And we’ve still got spoilers for ya 😉

If you’re looking for song and dance spoilers for Monday night’s show, check out Heidi’s “Who’s Dancing What?” post – we’ll continue to update it throughout the weekend.  My mini-spoilers are primarily going to be intel on coming weeks and how the couples are doing in rehearsals…as well as any other random tidbits that fall into my lap 😉 Read more..

September 11, 2014 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 19 Music Wish List

Normally this list would be a lot longer, but John, Heidi, & Lori all had brain farts on music – leaving Vogue & I to pick up the slack 😉 Here’s some of the songs we’d love to hear on DWTS this season…and we want to hear yours! Let us know in the comments what songs you’re hoping get used on the show!

Courtney:

“Chandelier” by Sia – This has been on repeat on my iPod all summer.  Just a great song for a contemporary routine.

“It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones – I’ve wished for it before, and now that we finally got Alfonso on the show, I need to see a quickstep to it…or maybe even a quickstep/samba fusion 😉

“Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart – My perennial song wish – you guys know this :-) Well I wished for Alfonso & got him – maybe Rob Wade will give me my much-anticipated paso doble to this one! 😎

“You & I (Nobody in the World)” by John Legend – While everyone was going crazy over “All of Me” last season, my favorite song off of John’s latest album is this one – it’s kind of the R&B answer to Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight”: a guy telling his lady she’s beautiful no matter what, as he watches her get ready to go out at night.  And if you haven’t seen the video yet, go watch it right MEOW – it’s just perfect.  If I only see one rumba all season – I want it to be to this song.

“Stay” by Shakespears Sister – Thought about this song last season upon finding out that Candace & Charlie were dancing to Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me”.  It’s a pretty old song, but it would make a stellar song for a contemporary routine – hell, I think it would make a fantastic contemporary TRIO song, based on the narrative of the music video.  Give it to Derek and watch him work wonders :-)

“Conjunction Junction” from Schoolhouse RockHad an epiphany the other night while watching a documentary about Schoolhouse Rock – how fun would it be if they did a Schoolhouse Rock theme week? This song would make such a fun foxtrot, and would allow the pros to show off a bit more of a playful side.

“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor – This song is so ridiculously catchy, and my sister and I have a running inside joke about this song and a gif of a dancing honey badger.  Just don’t ask 😛 Would be a fun cha-cha.

“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic – A currently-popular song that’s actually appropriate for paso doble.  So please, producers – no more duds like “Sail”.

Vogue:

“Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson – I’d love to see Alfonso bring this song to life as his older self being this is the song he did with Michael in the Pepsi commercial. That could possibly give us a big “Michael Jackson” moment and I love how this show features something by Michael almost every season.

“A Place With No Name” by Michael Jackson – This is my favorite song currently. I’d freak if the pros performed this in a group number. They could bring on Sharna’s boyfriend Paul Kirkland to dance as well and help with choreography being he performs in the new Michael Jackson Vegas show.

“Come Get It Bae” by Pharrell – This is another one of my current favorite songs. I don’t care who performs it or how….just so they do it. I know Sharna likes this song a lot too.

“Hunter” by Pharrell – Being this song has “Duck Dynasty” mentions, I’d love to see Mark and Sadie dance to this song. Not sure if it’s age or lyric appropriate (maybe the band could fix it somehow?), but, it’s a great dance song.

“Anything Goes” by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – What a beautiful song for a Fox Trot or a Waltz.

“Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias – This would be such a great song for a “Latin” group number. The cast could bring the video to life.

“Fairytale” by Alexander Rybak – What a cool and snappy pop Irish/Hungarian “gypsie” jig. A song like this would make a great mix up to the show. I was hooked the first time I heard it.

Queremos Paz” by The Gotan Project – This song would be so cool for a Tango or Argnetine Tango. Actually, I’d take anything by The Gotan Project for a Latin number. Ssssssssssss

 

Now let’s hear your suggestions! 😎

September 10, 2014 I Written By

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