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PureDWTS Season 23, Week 8 – Power Rankings

So for those just tuning in that may have missed the producers’ agenda that permeated last night’s episode, let me recap:

1.) Make sure you keep pushing for Jana to make the finals.

2.) DO NOT LET DEREK ANYWHERE NEAR THE FINALS!!!

3.) Create an emotional redemption arc for Laurie, complete with Val crying his eyes out on camera.

4.) Milk the drama of Sharna’s injury, but let Jenna have the spotlight tonight…we need her to happen!!!

5.) Keep Calvin in the running for the finals, but he needs to take a back seat to the others tonight.

The face-offs, just like the ones in season 21, were about as big of a sh*tshow as one could expect – mainly just a means to carry out the agenda of the moment, and pretend to give a sliver of power to the viewers so they can feel like part of the action.  I actually found myself profoundly relieved that James ended up with immunity – judging from his rehearsal package, it looked like he may have lost some rehearsal time learning the two face-off dances he hadn’t already done (jive & salsa), and I was very, very leery of him having to learn them from Jenna, whose teaching skills are…dubious, at best.  So the fact that he ended up not having to attempt them with someone that’s NOT his normal partner? Phew. And really, if they were going to give immunity to anyone, I would rather it be someone that was probably headed to the finale already (and not someone that genuinely needed a boost to stick around), so as to minimize rocking the boat too much – so in the grand scheme of things, I would have been fine with Laurie, James, or Calvin getting it, and oddly enough, they were the only three last night that ended up with perfect scores.

I think I mentioned last week that I was fairly certain that Ryan was on borrowed time – just couldn’t put my finger on when, exactly, the hammer was gonna drop.  Oddly enough, his tango last night was probably my favorite dance he did all season – the Cheryl Burke House of Pain method seemed to work, as he seemed more invested in that dance that any other one we saw from him all season.  It was fun to watch, but it was time for him to go – but overall, I’m actually glad he ended up doing the show, because I think I came out of it with a much better understanding of him.  He generally seems like a good guy, not the calculating type – but is simply too dumb to function sometimes, and that’s what gets him into trouble 😛 And then there were only 2 men, and I’m guessing they’re probably guaranteed a spot in the finals.  Which means we’re most likely gonna lose 2 ladies in the next 2 weeks… Read more..

November 1, 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 23, Week 6 – Power Rankings

DISCLAIMER: As I write this, I am currently under the influence of some new migraine meds that have the unfortunate side effect of making me very, very foggy – if my struggle to find the word “paint can opener” the other day at Sherwin Williams was any indicator, I’m definitely experiencing some aphasia; additionally, the fact that I put a carton of coconut milk in my purse and put my iPhone in the refrigerator while putting away groceries yesterday probably points to some general absentmindedness.  So forgive me if the words don’t come as easily today as they usually do – I’m told this passes after about the two week mark, so fingers crossed…

…and perhaps it is the effects of the medication, or perhaps not, but I’m left feeling a bit unsure of what to make of last night’s show.  I guess I should have known by about the 20 minute mark that things had already gone completely off the rails – we had Pitbull prematurely scoring (and then being completely late scoring the rest of the night, and having a suspiciously hard time with those paddles), Erin making painfully obvious double entendres about Ryan’s “facials”, and Ryan trying to make black light paint a thing, but having it look more like sunburn art. Then there was that pinata that Erin was curiously insistent that everyone hit, but only appeared to be filled with glitter.  Go fig…but perhaps more peculiar was the scoring, which at times left me wondering what exactly the agenda really was.  Part of me thinks TPTB may be falling out of love with Laurie (or may at least be seeing that she may not actually be a sure thing for the win), they seem suddenly obsessed with Jana (after appearing to be rather lukewarm about her thus far this season), they seemed to very slightly ease up on their “underscore Calvin at all costs” edict of the past several weeks, they seemed to finally drop the hammer on Terra (after heaping sometimes over-the-top praise on her the first few weeks of the season), and they seem to kick their praise of James into overdrive (which even I, as a James fan, can agree was a bit too much).  Are they trying to shape their ideal finale? Or are they even taking it a step further, and shifting gears from gunning for a Laurie win…to gunning for a James win? I think it will be very, very interesting to see how things go once Len is back on the panel next week…when daddy’s away, the other three stooges seem to play; but when he’s back, they seem to get back to business.

Wish I could say I was sad to see Amber leave, but I got the impression that she really wasn’t having much fun anymore, and that she never really got comfortable being on the show – so I don’t think she was all that disappointed to go, either. I think Maks collected his paycheck and is happy to be back to being a stay-at-home-dad-to-be. I didn’t see too many fans outrageously upset, either – Amber’s exit was minimally disruptive. I’ll admit – at one point in the show, I told myself I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed if Jana left instead of Amber, but in the end, I guess I’m partially glad the former stayed, because I think Gleb is more of an asset to Marilu’s team dance than Maks ever would have been.  Speaking of which – if you haven’t yet, check out our team dance spoiler post, if for no other reason than to justify my waking up at 2 AM to reveal the teams 😛 Read more..

October 18, 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 23, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well that was possibly the most breakneck speed episode of DWTS we’ve ever witnessed – trying to watch, tweet, and take notes proved to be pretty difficult when they were moving as quickly as they were, so if these are a tad late, I apologize…I may have had to rewind and rewatch.

As much of a cluster as we predicted the face-off dances to be, on the whole I wasn’t too disappointed – my expectations were set pretty low, and tonight’s show maybe slightly exceeded them.  With the exception of a select few dances, technique seemed to be sacrificed in favor of showmanship across the board, and I really only saw 3 couples who seemed like they were 100% in-the-zone when performing…the rest seemed to eke by with varying degrees of bewilderment. It is what it is – when you’ve gotta cram 12 dances into 1 hour, you’re bound to make sacrifices somewhere.  I will say that I really enjoyed not hearing as much meaningless blathering from the judges 😀

Just to recap how voting/eliminations work this week – those who won their dance-offs are safe from elimination tomorrow; those who lost are at risk of getting eliminated. So the rankings should really only be 6 couples this week – but I do want to at least touch on the ones who won their dance-offs, so I’m gonna do things a bit differently tonight. First set of rankings is for those who are actually eligible to be eliminated – with the #6 position being the one I think  is most likely to get the boot. The second set is just a ranking of how well the winners did.  Also threw in a general ranking of the face-offs and how well/not well I think they worked out. Read more..

September 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

DWTS Former Troupe Member Sonny Fredie Pedersen Premieres “Tyrna” Single And Video

I loved Sonny Fredie Pedersen’s last dance single “Cha Cha”. Well here he is with a follow up single and video called “Tyrna”. Note that Nika Kljun choreographed the video. You might remember her from the first Move Live On Tour. The kids are so talented in this video too. Check them out.

Download “Tryna”

September 23, 2016 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 2 – Power Rankings

I really do have kind of a love-hate relationship with TV weeks – and really, theme weeks in general.  They’ve brought us some really good dances, and they’ve brought us some pretty craptastic dances.  And a whole lotta awkward sh*t in between – this is what happens, kids, when you try to force a certain song to fit a certain dance, or try to force certain costuming to fit a certain dance, or a certain dance to fit a certain theme, etc. There was definitely some awkwardness last night that I would blame primarily on this week’s theme – I feel like Amber & Maks, Jake & Jenna, and Rob/Vanilla & Witney kinda got played by their assigned themes, while I commend Calvin & Lindsay and Babyface and Allison for making their theme work for them…particularly the latter, which I’ll get into more later. Also a lot of time wasting at the beginning of several of the dances, which seemed to be a pretty across-the-board thing, so I guess I can’t complain too much – although I will say some pros utilized the time wasting more than others.

And while I think the distraction of the protesters last week may have somewhat blurred any potential agenda by the judges, I felt like we really saw that agenda take shape awfully clearly this week: Laurie is the chosen one, and anyone that poses a threat to Laurie needs to be nitpicked, criticized, and underscored to protect her.  I think the only other celeb that escaped the judges unscathed besides Laurie was Terra, which is also somewhat problematic, which I will get into later; but why give a dance straight 8’s and then don’t explain ways in which it can be improved upon? If it’s truly perfect and you aren’t going to give any negative feedback, give it 10’s.  If you’re not giving it 10’s and you’re not offering up suggestions for improvement…something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.

Not sure if I’ll do another round of power rankings later tonight/early tomorrow or not (for next Monday’s elimination), as I’ve got some other things going on that are going to make the next 24 hours very, very busy for me, but for now…I guess take these as my predictions for who is going home tomorrow night, and I might just do an update tomorrow evening after we boot the first celeb. Read more..

September 20, 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 23, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Well, that was all going so well and I honestly thought last night was going to go off without a hitch until some asshats decided to infiltrate the audience and turn it into their own personal platform for protesting Lochte. I don’t really care if you love Lochte or hate him – last night was not the night, the studio was not the place, the manner in which they protested was not acceptable. After that, it was as if all the air got sucked out of the ballroom, and everyone just wanted to go home.  It took the mickey out of Ryan’s performance, diminished the enthusiasm for Laurie’s (a bit), and if Twitter was any indicator, the viewers were more interested in talking about what happened with the protesters than who did well/who their favorites were.  *sigh* Guess there’s gonna be a bit of a need for more thorough screening of audience members and more beefed-up security, from now on…

Moving on from that, I’m left with some very mixed feelings about tonight’s show – there were some that did much better than I thought (namely Ryan, Rick, Terra, Rob, & Hinch), some that didn’t do quite as well as I would have hoped (Marilu, Amber, & Babyface), and some that just kinda left me scratching my head (namely Jake).  Part of me feels like the energy of the show was brought down a tad not just because of the protesters, but just the fact that the ballroom dances we were given seemed a bit…languid.  Not sure if it was a pacing problem or what, but it seemed like there just weren’t enough high-energy dances to break up the more flowing ones. Or maybe the ones that were supposed to be “high-energy” just…weren’t.  I dunno…just a weird pacing problem tonight.

Just as a reminder for the regulars and an FYI for the newbs, the power rankings are a rank of who I think is least likely to most likely to get voted off next week – those at the top of the list are safest, with decreasing estimates of safety as you go further down the list, with the couple at the bottom being my prediction for who goes home next week. It takes into account not only their score, but also how likeable they were, how memorable they were, how likely (or unlikely) the fans are to throw them votes, how big their voting fanbase is, etc. So if you’re here to say “Well so-and-so got a higher score than such-and-such, you should have them higher!” – you’re outta your element, Donnie. Let’s proceed… Read more..

September 13, 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 Remembers Prince

I was really hoping TMZ got it wrong – but now that some of the major news outlets are picking up the story, I guess I have to confront the fact that one of my idols is gone. One of only two artists in this world whose music has brought me to tears – several years ago, I remember standing at a stadium in Louisville, watching in awe as the “Purple One” himself belted out a heart-rending live version of “Purple Rain”…and I bawled my eyes out.

Prince was infamous for being very protective of his music copyrights, which meant that we were seldom treated to one of his songs being used on DWTS. But the 3 occasions that we were, boy – did it thrill me.  To this day, Nicole’s season 10 cha-cha to “Kiss” is still my favorite cha-cha we’ve ever seen, and probably one of my top 10 favorite dances of all-time on DWTS.  Let us relive it…

Prince had given special permission for Nicole (and only Nicole!) to use that song, and in the same week, he also gave approval for Erin to dance a paso to “You’ve Got the Look”:

And we were treated to a cha-cha to “Trust” from the Batman soundtrack in season 19:

Rest in peace, Prince. Enjoy driving that Little Red Corvette in the sky… 🙁

April 21, 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 5 – Power Rankings

The old adage is true: you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and the Maks we saw last night was basically the same hypocritical foot-in-the-mouth bonehead that we saw when he was still a pro – soap-boxing about lack of content, while conveniently forgetting that he himself was known for choreographing full routines of d*cking around and “messin’ about” when he was a pro; and then there was some suspicious scoring…Maks conveniently gave his 3 highest scores of the night to lil bro’s original partner, lil bro’s switch partner, and his fiancee’s original partner…and  also gave an unusually kind critique to his fiancee’s switch partner, despite him not being all that great. Basically, it was a good night to be on the DWM payroll, or paired with someone that was on the DWM payroll – and if you weren’t, watch out…cause Maks was comin’ for you & your “lack of content”. Good luck with the tour, bruh – cause I don’t see them offering you a permanent  spot at the judges’ table anytime soon.

That’s not to say that Maks was the only judge on-notice last night – Len seemed to parrot everything Maks said, and Maks seemed to parrot everything that Len said, and both picked very interesting week to suddenly crack down on “lack of content”. Since some of you seemed to be getting it twisted on Twitter, let me make one thing clear: I’m not saying “it’s ok to not have content”.  Hell, I’ve found myself complaining about it quite a lot this season, read through my previous rankings – it’s been a definite problem. But I do think they picked a lousy week to suddenly be so concerned about it after not batting an eye for 4 weeks – switch week is one week where I think the judges need to keep in mind that all of the couples are working with a handicap: they all only have about 5 days to build a rapport and create a routine for someone that they haven’t already been dancing with for a month and a half, and they’re all somehow expected to crank something out that is every bit as good as something the celeb’s original partner would be able to pull out of them at this phase of the competition. Nobody is really working at 100% capacity. Long story short? Switch week is tough, and is probably NOT the time to suddenly go for the jugular and “make an example” of some pros’ choreography at the expense of their celeb partners. There is a time and a place – and it’s not here or now. I was actually a bit thankful for Carrie Ann & Bruno last night, who seemed to soften the blow a bit by at least throwing out some positive/constructive things with regards to the celebs’ performance when all Len & Maks could do was rant about content and take the pros to task.

As expected, nobody went home last night; but with the scores and votes from last week and this week getting combined in order to determine who gets the boot, we’re to the point where we’re really going to start seeing who’s getting the votes (and who isn’t), and we may be heading into shock elim territory – a lot of the “shocking” (but not really, when you think about it) eliminations from the past always seemed to happen when we got a huge dump of points and multiple weeks of combined scores. It makes the margins smaller, and therefore makes it a lot easier for someone at the bottom of the scoreboard to overcome a deficit – which makes good dancers with good scores (but dubious voting fanbases) a target. Was Maks’ comparison of Jodie to Sabrina a warning? Guess we’ll see.  Other random thoughts? Maks really needs to stop name-dropping Meryl when he wants to make a point – Maksyl was one of the most farcical and disingenuous pairings we’ve seen on the show, and it was 2 years ago.  Get some new material, dude. James Bay sounded breathy and bizarre. Ginger’s hubby? I like that dude’s style 😉 And the Indycar fangirl in me was giddy that James Hinchcliffe was in the audience last night – gives me hope that we might see another driver on the show soon!

NOTE: Just a reminder – these are just like any other power rankings; it’s still a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a couple is to go home (and remember, it’s their original partner that they would get eliminated with).  I will do a separate “switch up post-mortem” like I did last season, where I rank the pros by how well they did or didn’t handle the switch. Read more..

April 19, 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 4 – Power Rankings

Full disclosure: I’m actually not all that excited when Disney week rolls around.  I know everyone gets so caught up in the magic and the wonder and the childlike joy, but I often find myself distracted by songs that don’t really fit the dance styles they’re meant to have, loud costumes, sets that seem to draw attention away from the couple, and the copious use of the troupe. I actually much prefer theme weeks like acoustic week or classical week, where things are stripped down – or better yet, no theme at all.  Just let them DANCE.

Unfortunately, while I would normally have menial things like I mentioned above to gripe about, last night I found myself just absolutely floored at the disparity in judging & scoring that was going on.  I wasn’t even terribly concerned with Zendaya – overall, she did a good job and didn’t rock the boat too far, which is all I can really ask for – I found myself particularly peeved at Carrie Ann, who picked very convenient times to really crack down on certain couples and conveniently overlook the shortcomings of others.  And while last week gave me hope that TPTB might give up on the preseason narrative of pimping the football players and ABC darling Ginger and just let the chips fall where they may, this week the narrative is back with a vengeance – the only change made is that they seem to have decided to to put all their eggs in Antonio’s basket and drop Von, which is probably the most asinine thing I saw all night, given what I’ve seen and heard of the former’s work ethic (or lack thereof). Things are not nearly as rosy as they were made out to be in his package, kids – when you only manage to put in roughly 10 hours of rehearsal time in an entire week (most couples put in 6-8 PER DAY) and you’re apparently late to rehearsal because you’re too busy “always closing” and “getting the job done” and “blessing up” by posting pix of your shoes/house/car/workouts on Snapchat, I’m gonna go ahead and assume that your heart ain’t in this…in which case, you can GTFO. There are too many people on this season that are busting their asses week after week, and putting in the hours in the studio and giving us fantastic performances and heaps of gratitude for the experience, for this show to keep carrying the dead weight of someone that isn’t giving 100%.  I only want to see people who clearly want to be there – and TPTB aren’t helping, with some of the f*ckery we saw with the packages tonight.  I know we often complain about some getting a “bad edit” – keep this in mind: there is also such a thing as an overly-kind edit…

Makes me a bit sad to see Marla go, simply because I found her endless optimism and zen attitude refreshing – plus, while her dances maybe didn’t always excite me, I did find them pleasing and soothing, in a weird way…I found myself kind of hypnotized by her waltz last night.  Glad to see Dougie staying, though, because I do think he’s go more to show us – thankfully, I don’t see anyone going home next week (as is usually the pattern for switch week), so we’ll get at least two more dances out of him.  Getting a lot of questions about who I want to see in the switch – honestly, I have given up on the switch, and I’m just trying to be at peace with whatever pairings we end up seeing, and just hope that some of my more fragile babies (namely Nyle, Doug, & Jodie – and to a lesser degree, Von – I’ll explain later) get partners that are able to be patient and nurture them. I don’t worry as much about Wanya or Paige – I think they’ll thrive no matter what partner they get in the switch. Kim ought to be fine, too, and I don’t really have any investment in who Ginger or Antonio gets.  I guess I’m just hoping that the switch isn’t just another tool to further the agenda we saw this week – I know that’s wishful thinking… Read more..

April 12, 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 2 – Power Rankings

Houston, we have a fairly unsettling problem (and no, it’s not Von’s insanely loud farting) – we have at least four pros who seriously did their partners a disservice last night with lackluster choreography. Whether it was misinterpreting the dance, throwing in too much extraneous stuff, or just wasting time, I saw a lot of issues that could have easily been avoided had the pros in question just buckled down and stuck to the basics. And this is a carry-over from last week, when I saw at least two pros giving their partners some kinda shitty choreography.  Part of me wonders if the fact that the show’s best choreographer, Derek, isn’t there anymore to help keep the standard high is partially to blame – since nobody has to go toe-to-toe with Derek anymore, maybe some of the pros don’t feel the need to work as hard, and feel more comfortable just settling for mediocre choreography that busting their asses and cranking out something great.  Just a theory – and probably not one that will make me very popular, but it is what it is.

Last night saw the giddy high of the premiere cooling off quite a bit, and the judges tending more towards the nitpicky where some couples were concerned. Part of me thinks Len being gone last season has done him more harm than good – it’s almost as if he forgot a bit about some of the pros’ penchants for “messing about” and it’s almost like reopening an old wound for him – he’s extra-cranky about it again, and I don’t get the feeling he’s having as much fun as he used to. Time will tell, I suppose.

To almost no one’s surprise, Geraldo & Edyta left us – I feel like the right couple went home, and if nothing else, they left on the high of giving us a ridiculously entertaining (or just plain ridiculous, depending on how you look at it) dance. And to Geraldo’s credit – I think he had a lot of fun on the show, even if he wasn’t a stellar dancer. I saw a few folks complaining that Edyta deserved a “better partner” and shouldn’t have had to leave so early, and it just kinda floors me because EDYTA WAS GONE FOR 6 YEARS AND THE CHANCES WERE SLIM TO NONE THAT SHE WOULD EVEN BE INVITED BACK. Edyta fans, I would just be thankful she was on the show at all – because the split she had with the show back in 2010 was a pretty acrimonious one, from what I hear, and she had basically torpedoed any chance she may have had at coming back.  Seriously, they could’ve given her Verne Troyer as a partner and I think she would have been thankful for the opportunity. More and more, I’m just convinced that there is no pleasing some fans of this show… Read more..

March 29, 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