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PureDWTS Season 22, The Finale – Power Rankings

Man, I miss the good ol’ days, when the Monday nights on finale week were just jam-packed full of great dancing and everyone truly brought their A-game.  I think the last finale that really fit that bill for me was season 17 – when (pun intended) even Bill Engvall really shone.  Tonight was cumulatively one of the weakest we’ve ever had – I feel like 2/3 couples kinda hit a flat note.  And also, even more disappointingly, the judges’ & PTB’s agenda was in high gear tonight – some got the kid glove treatment, others were scrutinized a bit more.  And while I think that there is an obvious winner in this bunch, based on tonight’s performances – I think it could go either way amongst two finalists, given some of the propaganda we saw tonight.

Part of me thinks that we may lose Mark after this season, which is a crying shame, because he & Lindsay are the only pros left that even come close to Derek in terms of choreographic skill and are capable of possibly grabbing an Emmy nod for the show. But the vibe I got from Mark after he & Paige’s freestyle makes me wonder if we just witnessed his swan song – he’s never struck me as a terribly sentimental pro, but he got seriously weepy tonight. Is he maybe finally bidding farewell to DWTS to focus on his marriage & his music after this season? Ack…I don’t want to think about it.  He’s been one of the few bright spots of this season.

Not much else to add – thought Erin looked pretty matronly in that dress they threw her in, and I raised an eyebrow at how much time was spent emphasizing that ABC Golden Girl Ginger was suffering from back spasms.  *yawn* Gonna do things in reverse tonight, starting with 3rd place and ending with the winner… Read more..

May 23, 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 9 – Power Rankings

Five years ago, I sat on my couch, slack-jawed and speechless over the fact that TPTB had managed to oust a season-long fan favorite and great dancer from the finale in favor of a member of the ABC family advancing.   I didn’t think it was possible that anyone on this show could have gotten more screwed-over than Ralph Macchio was in season 12, in order to allow Chelsea Kane into the finals. I’ll be damned if history didn’t repeat itself last night with Wanya Morris, quite possibly one of the most hard-working, consistent, passionate, and entertaining contestants this show has ever seen, being sacrificed in favor of the decent-but-unmemorable ABC family member, Ginger Zee. And it seems to sting even more this time, because I feel like it all came down to the “hanky slip heard ’round the world” – a relatively minor snafu that the judges decided to make a molehill of, and brutally underscored Wanya last week, while sheltering Ginger with some very cushy scores on some pretty ho-hum dances. Had that underscoring (and overscoring) not happened last week, I have decent reason to believe we’d be looking at a different finale lineup.  But when it comes down to it, I guess it’s more important to ensure the company gal advances over the popular guy that isn’t part of the family, no matter how talented he may be. Good luck defending this decision, ABC – judging from the shock and dismay I saw on Twitter, you may get quite a bit of backlash for this one.

As for the good news about last night – I did manage to get 2/3 of my dream finale, with Nyle & Paige advancing, and with Antonio, the weak link in this competition since Doug left, finally getting ousted. To the Steelers Nation – guess y’all aren’t as mighty as you claimed to be, huh? I daresay with all the outrage about Wanya getting ousted, I barely heard a peep from those disappointed about Antonio going home. And FWIW, Wanya put on one helluva show – dude was 100% in the zone last night, and didn’t have a single stumble.  Just makes it all the more of a glaring omission for him to not make the finale.

So for the first time, this week’s scores are being rolled into the totals for the finale – I invite you all to contemplate why that might be.  Given that we’ll see the freestyles next Monday before the final set of votes, these power rankings are somewhat moot, as I’ll do another set next Monday. But given that they’ll actually be using the judges’ scores from this week, I do think it’s possible to predict who might have the advantage headed into the finale…and who might struggle a bit more.  So take these rankings as who I think would win/be the runner-up/come in 3rd if the winner were to be decided tomorrow. Read more..

May 17, 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 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 7 – Power Rankings

VOOOOONNNNNNNN! Not my human redwood/teddy bear/chicken man! 🙁 I think Von was the first elim this season that really stung for me – while I liked Doug & Marla, I recognized that they had probably peaked already and weren’t going to improve much; Von, on the other hand, I thought was just starting to realize his potential. I don’t think a lot of folks realized just how hard he was working – or how much fun he was having. Did I see him as finale material? Nah, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing him at least entertain us till week 9.  Oh well – guess TPTB determined that there was more money to be had in backing Antonio than Von, and engineered ways to make the former look better while just kinda letting the latter do whatever on his own. If I had it my way – it would have been Antonio sent packing instead of Von. At least Von was actually trying, and came across as a down-to-earth human being, rather than a narcissistic robot.

As for Kim – can’t say I was terribly surprised or disappointed, as I had been saying for weeks that she had been playing it a bit too safe this season.  Kim’s dances were never bad – she was always on time, and seemed to be having a lot of fun; but they were never really particularly memorable, either – and with a season like this, where you’ve got so many powerhouses, you’ve really gotta pack a punch. I find it interesting that Kim seemed so blindsided by her elim – I had heard from a source that they overheard Kim say a few weeks back that she was “fairly sure” she was going to make the finals. Not sure if Sasha is just THAT positive a teacher that he convinced her of this, or Kim just didn’t quite see the writing on the wall, but denial is not just a river in Egypt, Kim…he’s also Peta’s partner, and the guy that’s probably going to win this season 🙂

Which brings me to my next point: what does it mean that we’ve now seen Jodie, Paige, & Wanya in jeopardy, while Nyle, Antonio, & Ginger have yet to land there? I saw a lot of folks asking me to make sense of this on Twitter, and while I myself am not by any means sure of what to make of it, my best theory is this: they’re using jeopardy as a warning for some, but just as a way to boost votes for others. At this point, I still think this season is Nyle’s to lose; however, I don’t think TPTB want it to appear obvious that Nyle is running away with the trophy already.  They gotta make it a horse race, so it benefits them to give a bit of a boost to the couples that stand the best chance of giving Nyle a run for his money in the finale (Wanya & Paige).  Paige lands in jeopardy last week; Wanya this week.  I don’t by any means think that either is a low vote-getter, but I do think TPTB may be rallying the troops to ensure those two land in the finale with Nyle. As for Jodie – I think her being in jeopardy two weeks in a row was an effort to keep a better dancer around over a less-skilled one (part of me thinks that Doug may have actually been beating Jodie in votes during those first few rough weeks she had), and now that she’s one of the weaker dancers left – there’s no need to protect her anymore. Somebody’s gotta go home, and I don’t see them keeping Jodie over Paige or Ginger. I don’t think Kim just suddenly fell into the bottom 2 in the past week – she’s probably been there before, and perhaps TPTB just didn’t see fit to try and save her. As for Ginger & Antonio? TPTB may be starting to see the writing on the wall there – Ginger is not nearly the dancer that Paige is, and Antonio has been a colossal disappointment. They probably owe it to the ABC fam to at least make sure Ginger makes it to week 9, and with 2 of the 3 NFL’ers already gone, I guess they maybe want to enjoy Antonio as long as they can…but I think it will be a complete joke if the latter in particular makes the finale over Wanya or Paige.  Big credibility killer there. I think it’s getting to the point that it may be painfully obvious to just about everyone that a Nyle, Wanya, & Paige finale is the most logical scenario…so I don’t know that it really behooves TPTB to try and shake that up too much. But hey, what do I know…I’m just a lowly blogger 😛 Read more..

May 3, 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 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 3 – Power Rankings

Fair warning: if you read the live blog or follow me on Twitter, you might get a tad bored with the power rankings this week – I’ve only filled in on the live blog for Heidi a handful of times, but each time the struggle is kinda the same, with me trying not to repeat the same thoughts over and over again, just worded a bit differently.  I’ve tried to go more in-depth than what I said in the live blog or the snippets I gave on Twitter, but overall, the sentiments are kinda the same.  Sorry guys – blame New Orleans and its tasty cuisine for distracting Heidi 😛

I think this season, more than any other season in recent years that I can think of, the judges are being extra stingy with the points, and seem to be very careful about whom they reward them to and how many they reward.  Is this the true drawback of having so much talent in one season – suddenly dances that would have probably gotten 9’s or even 10’s on another season, are lucky to get straight 8’s? Also a drawback, and one we’ve seen develop a bit more in the past two weeks – it’s harder to determine what your narrative for the season is going to be when you start off thinking certain contestants are going to thrive, and they end up not doing so; likewise, a contestant you had written off as being mediocre and nothing to sneeze at could come out of nowhere and overshadow your “chosen ones”.  I think we witnessed the narrative starting to change last night – I started to see the judges (or at least one of the judges) begin to wean themselves off of certain contestants that weren’t up-to-snuff, and started to gravitate more towards contestants that were really starting to shine. Will be interesting to see if this direction continues, or continues to evolve as the season goes on…

…once again, last night’s elimination was no surprise; but at the very least, Mischa went out on a high note, and looked like she was finally able to let go and have fun.  And midway through the show, while watching Jodie’s package, I had a bit of an epiphany about Mischa: she’s Jodie from five years ago.  She’s in the early stages of sobriety, just trying to find her footing on the shaky ground of recovery, and cautiously just trying to navigate through life at this stage.  What’s to say that if Jodie had done the show five years ago, she wouldn’t have had the same struggles Mischa had this season? Or if Mischa had done DWTS five years from now – maybe her journey would have ended up more like Jodie’s? Just food for thought, and I wish Mischa the best – I just feel like maybe this was not the right time in her life for an experience like this, and it didn’t matter who her partner was…she just wasn’t ready.  But anyway – from here on out is where the eliminations start to get murky and probably painful.  There isn’t really anyone left that I strongly dislike (hell, I wouldn’t even say I strongly disliked Geraldo or Mischa – I just acknowledged that they weren’t right for the show), and with the scores so close together, they really do seem to be tossing it to the fans to decide.  Heidi’s numbers post will be an interesting read later this week… Read more..

April 5, 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 21, Week 11 – Final Power Rankings!!! Who Will Win?

At the risk of sounding cliched – where has this season gone? Seems like only yesterday, I was catching flak from Keo fans for predicting that Chaka would be an early out, hoping & praying that Victor would last longer than a week, and was actually enjoying Tamar putting Val through the paces 🙂 It’s been a wild season with multiple curveballs thrown into it, and I’ll be honest – I’ll be glad to get my Monday nights back for a little while. But it’s been a fun ride 🙂

Last night…was a bit underwhelming for me, I’m afraid, save for maybe 2 dances. I think I’ve said this before, but I’m kinda over the “judges’ choice redo” dance – even if the couples don’t improve, I feel like they get lavished with praise, and the dance almost never feels 100% fresh, new, and exciting. On top of that, I feel like some couples get dances that there is really not a ton of room for improvement on (Bindi & Carlos), while others get to redo ones that they completely f’d up the first time around (Nick), and others get saddled redoing dances that so well-remembered for other reasons that their redo dance is bound to be a bit of a letdown (Alek, trying to best his rumba with Emma).  I feel like the only one that really benefited significantly from the redo was Nick – the rest either did slightly better or stayed about the same. I would have rather seen the couples either re-dance their favorite dance, or redo their favorite dance with new choreography and a new song.

Something else I’m a bit tired of as well? Hearing about how the freestyle is “the most important dance of the season” or how it is the “make it or break it” dance for the couples.  As I think Heidi has said before – the freestyle is not nearly as special as it once was, and hasn’t been nearly as important in affecting the outcome of the show in recent seasons as it has in the past.  Ever since season 15, when they started making the team dances a freestyle, and starting allowing the couples to use massive sets and lots of extra dancers in their regular dances, the actual freestyle in the finale has felt considerably less special – to the point where it can end up looking pretty similar to something the couple has already done (Nick), or is something that doesn’t even seem to fit a couple well, because they’re trying so hard to be “out-of-the-box” (Carlos). And sorry, but if America isn’t already voting for you BEFORE the freestyle round – I highly doubt they’re going to suddenly throw some votes your way because of it. You’re actually probably better off treating it as “just another dance” than trying to outdo yourself – because in all honesty, it’s likely not going to make much of a difference in whether you win or not, unless you completely f*ck it up.

As for Carlos – I doubt anyone was super shocked that the Toker 4 Jesus left us last night (credit to @sally_braden for that gem!), and I started getting an inkling that he was toast after the judges’ OTT gushing about that bizarre foxtrot of his, which felt stiff and awkward, on top of having a lack of…well, actual foxtrot in it. Lawd Jesus, somebody PLEASE reinstate Witney’s outside choreographer privileges, because these last few dances have just been painful to watch. I found their freestyle to be the weakest of the 4 we saw last night, simply because they seemed to throw in several elements that neither fit together cohesively nor really fit Carlos, just for the sake of doing something that had “never been done before”.  The bit with the lights on the hands at the beginning? Looked like they were directing ground traffic at an airport, and also – already been done before (Shawn & Derek’s bhangra in season 15). Including Paula, Hayes, & Alexa? Ok, it hadn’t been done, but did it really improve the routine? We only saw about 5 seconds of each one moving kinda awkwardly. The lift? He seemed to struggle with it, and it was the same one Alek did in his freestyle – only Alek did it better. The one credit I will give Carlos & Witney, though, is that the hip-hop steps they did seemed more impressive than the ones we saw in Nick’s freestyle. But more on that in a bit… Read more..

November 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, 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 21, Week 10 – Power Rankings

Fun fact: you can totally dominate an entire episode of DWTS with your antics, narrowly avoid elimination, and then turn around and withdraw 24 hours later – and somehow STILL get more attention once you’ve been eliminated than some contestants got all season long  😎 Yes, kids, this was the second installment of “The Tamar Show”, with Tom reminding us for nearly the entire first half of the show that we were going to get an update on Tamar – nevermind the fact that we had 4 celebs that were actually still competing on DWTS tonight, the people must know what’s been going on with Tamar!!! Yes, it sucks what happened, and despite my feelings about Tamar this season, I do wish her a speedy recovery – but the constant reminders of her last night? Just kinda did a disservice to Alek, Bindi, Carlos, & Nick.  If next Monday is the same way – so help me god, I just might commit seppuku with a plastic knife.

Also becoming tiresome to me? The fact that Carlos still seems like he’s trying to come up with sob stories each week to compete with Bindi, Nick, & Alek.  And they just sound totally disingenuous, on top of sounding a bit silly compared to the struggles of the other contestants remaining. Carlos says “I was depressed and addicted to weed!”; Nick can easily counter with  “Yeah, I was pretty heavy into alcohol, cocaine, X, and prescription painkillers for awhile…failed at rehab…got a heart condition…did I mention my sister died of a drug overdose a few years ago? But please, tell me more about your crippling weed addiction.” Carlos pulls out “I haven’t spoken to my mom in 4 years!” Bindi can say “How awful! My dad died in a freak accident when I was 8 – I just wish he was still here.” Meanwhile, Nick is over in the corner, waving his hands and going “Hey, anyone want to talk about how my parents only want my money, and how I’ve had to cut ties with them as a result?” Oh wait…Carlos says he “found Jesus!” Wonder what Alek has to say about that…”Gosh, I only just found a terrorist on a train, and beat the tar out of him to protect the lives of the other people said train. Shucks.” I guess my point is this: Carlos may not have a super-compelling story to tell, but that doesn’t mean I want to see him grasp at straws to try and out-sob story everyone else.  I probably would find him more likeable if I didn’t feel like he was constantly trying to one-up everyone else and just let his dancing do the talking.

As for the possible bomb Tom dropped at the end of the show about either Nick or Bindi having the lowest combined total – call me crazy, but I actually think there could have been some truth behind it. I just don’t see them lying about it – they could have very easily just called those two “in jeopardy” and not even mentioned anything about the lowest combined total, and the effect would have been the same.  But they DID actually say “one of you has the lowest combined total, but you’re not going home because Tamar is out.” I don’t believe for a minute that it’s Bindi that got the lowest combined total, considering everywhere I look, people are singing her praises – but Nick? He could be in some legit trouble with votes. Now while his fans assure me that the Backstreet Boys “are HUGE around the world!” and that he is “getting tons of votes”, I feel like this is a good opportunity to remind everyone of a central tenet of being successful on DWTS: international votes aren’t likely to help much if you don’t also win over the main viewing demographic of DWTS – middle-aged, conservative-leaning American women.  There hasn’t been a single DWTS champ that didn’t in some way appeal to that demographic, and in order to win, you HAVE to have them on your side. Is Nick appealing to that demographic? If so, is he making himself more appealing to that demographic than Bindi, Carlos, and Alek? Keep in mind that veterans (think J.R., Noah…and Alek) typically hold a lot of appeal for that demographic, as do those who are openly Christian (Sadie, Candace…and Carlos), and really anyone that is typically just bubbly and likable across the board (Kellie, and Bindi – particularly the latter, who seems to have enchanted just about everyone). Where do boyband members fit in? Only one has managed to win (Drew Lachey), and the rest have done ok-to-well, likely owing to their previous dance experience. One slight problem I see is this: Nick’s fans might still be a tad young to fit into the “middle aged” category – I was 13 when BSB posters covered my walls at the height of their popularity, and I’m 30 now…still 10 years shy of that “middle-aged” label. Part of me thinks his more casual fans might still be a tad young to be tuning into DWTS on the regular and actually voting – I know I’m really more of the exception than the norm.  You also have to take into account what happened last week – Nick kinda got upstaged by Tamar’s drama, and Carlos likely got a bit of a boost (not a huge one, but enough) in votes from Alexa’s fans that kicked their votes over to him.  Nick also dropped back down to getting mostly 9’s last week after getting a perfect score the previous week. When you take all of this into account – is it really all that far-fetched to think that maybe Nick really was the lowest combined total of votes & scores? Did his fans maybe get a bit complacent, thinking that so many people were voting for him that he would be ok if they maybe didn’t vote so hard a certain week? I just think back to Zendaya in season 16 – her fans were so sure that she was getting oodles of votes, yet she still managed to come up short in the end and Kellie took the MBT. Regardless of whether what Tom said last night was truth or a total fabrication, they likely did both Bindi & Nick a huge favor – I can only image the panic that ran through some fans at the revelation that their favorite was in danger, and the increased vigor with which they voted. Heck, even if you think Tom was lying…is that really a bluff you care to call?  😯 Read more..

November 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, 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 21, Week 9 – Power Rankings

So I thought the show had hit a new low with the whole Nick baby shower mess last week – but as it seems lately, the  universe has a funny way of calling my bluff when I say “It can’t possibly get any worse.” Enter what I like to call “The DWTS Drama Porn 2-Hour Extravaganza” – will Tamar dance??? Will half of the married couple leave us tonight??? Are Bindi & Derek at odds??! OH THE HUMANITY!!! Seriously, tonight felt exploitative and disgusting. I don’t think TPTB had any clue what was going on with Tamar (and neither did Val – he seemed genuinely unsure of what was happening), but the minute they thought they could run with the drama on it??? My god, it turned into the Tamar show. “Tamar’s on the phone, she’s in a race against time to make it back here!” “We’ve just received word that Tamar is in the building!” “Tamar, darling, just sit down, we wouldn’t want you to swoon like Aunt Pittypat when getting your scores!” I rolled my eyes at how they were milking that footage for all its worth. And then there was Bindi & Derek’s rehearsal package – I just love (and by love I mean “rolled my eyes emphatically”) that they decided that this was the week to hone in Derek’s struggles as a choreographer and teacher. Gotta keep things interesting, eh? Sure, we never get to see packages from the pros that outsource their choreography to Alan and then have these easy, breezy rehearsals because they don’t have to worry about actually choreographing, but let’s really harp on Derek getting choreography block, and fabricate some drama between he & Bindi. And then there was the nonsense with Carlos & Alexa – if there’s one thing Carlos said this season that I actually agreed with, it was that having he & Alexa up there in jeopardy together was “what they wanted”…”they” being TPTB, who were also slick enough to turn the audio on when Alexa & Carlos were hugging and trying to calm down. Tacky, guys  – BEYOND tacky.

As for Tamar, I’ll just say this: I do believe she is really and truly sick, and has been for several weeks now – her voice sounds awful.  But I do find the timing of the hospital trip very convenient – she’s been sick all week and then suddenly needs a doctor midway through dress rehearsal, but manages to return with only moments to spare before she would have been disqualified for not dancing in the duet? Part of me wonders if she was intending to quit, but changed her mind – and if she really and truly does have pneumonia, quitting would have been the prudent course of action here, to look out for her health and to allow someone else who is able-bodied (read: Alexa) to continue in the competition another week.  Pneumonia is nothing to mess with – my manager came down with it earlier this year, and was in the hospital for two weeks and out of work for a month. At one point, his breathing became so laborious (he suffers from COPD) that they put him on a ventilator. You can DIE from pneumonia, if you don’t treat it promptly and properly.  It is serious business, and should be treated as such – so while I commend Tamar’s commitment to dancing, I also think she’s kind of a moron for not saying “I need to slow down and rest.” A $40 trophy cobbled together with parts from the craft store is not worth dying over – go home and rest with your family. I will say this, though: I don’t think we’ve gotten the full story, and I would be interested to see what TMZ is able to dig up in the coming days. I’m keeping my eyes peeled…

As for Alexa – my heart broke for her tonight, and it doesn’t do that for very many people these days. After such a heartfelt and personal performance like her contemporary, and then such a fun number with Bindi, it seemed like such a waste to send her home. She finally found her groove, and she got sent packing…while her husband got to stay.  Please, DWTS – never, ever have a married couple on the show again.  Or if you do, make sure they’re secure enough that the husband doesn’t say sh*t like *cringe* “I want to beat my wife” in one breath, then claim he wishes he could trade places with her and go home instead. Cry me a river of Jaleel White tears, Carlos. Read more..

November 10, 2015 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