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PureDWTS Season 21, Week 8 – What’s Left to Dance?

I probably should have done this a couple weeks ago, during the midpoint of the season (when I usually do it), but admittedly, time kinda got away from me 🙂 But I’m actually kinda glad I waited, because I think the remaining dances are going to be of much greater importance at this phase of the competition than they were two weeks ago – because with so many strong dancers still remaining, I think it’s all gonna come down to who gets dances that suit their abilities and who doesn’t. Some have several dances left that they have the potential to ace – others are kinda screwed, with their only remaining dances being ones that their aren’t likely to do well with.

Before I throw up my table, a few points of clarification: I’ve included the core 10 dances (cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, jive, waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, Viennese waltz), as well as what I consider to be the “extra” dances (salsa, Argentine tango, jazz, contemporary, and any other weird one-off dances – in this case, Charleston).  You’ll notice I’ve italicized waltz, salsa, & Charleston – the reason being that I don’t think everyone is going to do these dances, and they were only used previously this season in order to fit specific songs/themes. So if [insert celeb here] doesn’t get to do salsa – I highly doubt it’s going to be of much significance, since only two other contestants got to  do it and it was in a theme week. I’m not counting last week’s dance-off dances, since they were not full-length, regular dances. Also of significance: I have not included any of the coming week’s dances in the table, as we don’t know all of them – so please do not go immediately post in the comments “Bindi has Charleston! You forgot to update it!!!” I reserve the right to call you out if you do, as you clearly have not read the post…which is kinda rude. Read more..

November 4, 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 8 – Power Rankings

I know I can’t be the only one that was over themes a couple weeks ago – and I have to wonder if others share the other sentiment I have: that a lot of the theme weeks this season have started to feel a bit…redundant. “Hometown Glory” week, “Most Memorable Year” week, and now “Personal Icons” week – anyone else feel like these themes have churned out kinda the same dances over and over? I feel like I’ve seen so many crying dances this season – more than I care to. How ’bout we just ditch the themes from here on out and just…y’know, DANCE.

As predicted, the immunity and dance-off was about as farcical as it could possibly be – clear agendas, and some eyebrow-raising rulings by the judges. Felt more like whoever got the louder reaction from the crowd got the points, rather than whoever was dancing more competently or actually even trying to portray the dance style they were given. In the end, I doubt 2 points is going to help anyone a TON if they aren’t already getting the votes, and really the only one who got a serious boost was Nick, who has a nifty little 4-point cushion over the next highest-scorer and and now is within one cumulative point of Bindi – I’m just waiting for that to somehow come into play in these next few weeks, when Nick suddenly inches ahead of Bindi and suddenly by virtue of his cumulative point total, he gets an edge – maybe first pick in some cockamamie dance they’ve cooked up, maybe first pick of songs, who knows. It all just feels verrry convenient.

Sad to see Andy go, but I can’t help but think that Allison’s chaotic choreography is partially to blame for their departure – for the second time this season, she kinda got subtly called out by the judges again for having too much going on in Andy’s Viennese waltz…which, by the wait, just kinda felt to me like a retooling of Hayes’ switch week Viennese waltz which was met with equal criticism by the judges. His paso last week was pretty chaotic as well – and poor Andy just couldn’t keep up in either one, I’m afraid, and it made the critique from the judges feel like they were calling out his sloppy technique…but the subtext was “your technique was sloppy because the dance had way too much going on.” Part of me hopes that during her maternity leave next season, Allison gets a bit more introspective and maybe figures out a way to still honor her own style while focusing more on being true to the ballroom style that this show focuses on… Read more..

November 3, 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 4 – Power Rankings

*looks around* Wow, Alfonso hosted DWTS and the world didn’t end. Right on! Seriously, though, I though the guy did a pretty damn good job – his pacing was good, he didn’t talk too much, and he kept things moving. I’m sure there are some that would disagree, but as for me? I’m just thankful that he stepped in for Tom and seemed to minimize any potential disruption that Tom’s absence caused. But the joke about joining the band? Played out, dude. Pun intended 😛

One rather strange observation about last night’s show? The running order – it struck me as kinda odd, and I wasn’t the only one. Seemed like they actually front-loaded the show with good dances, and relegated some head-scratchers to the end of the show. Seemed…backwards. I would have moved Andy, Paula, and Carlos to the first hour; and probably moved Hayes, Tamar, and Alek to the back. Not much else to add, just that it all seemed kinda out-of-order to me, given the quality of the dances.

Other noteworthy moments? Allison announcing her pregnancy – my god, that child is going to be gorgeous and talented. And it leaves the door open for Lindsay to remain a pro next season, which makes me happy 😀 And who doesn’t love Sasha channeling Bruno circa 1983, in one of his “I’m Still Standing” getups? Guess I’m just thankful that it wasn’t the bizarre black man-leotard thingie… 😎

Did @DancingABC accidentally tip their hand with regards to the switch-up? They tweeted out this eyebrow-raiser right before Alek performed – and it has since been deleted. Someone told me that the phone votes were saying “Thanks for voting for Alek & Sharna!” as well, but it didn’t do it for me. Just a senior moment, or someone inadvertently tweeting about next week’s pairings? You be the judge.

weirdtweet Read more..

October 6, 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 3 – Power Rankings

Last night, for the first time ever, I got to say the following sentence and mean it literally: “There are Muppets in the control room.” 😛 Not sure they had a terribly strong presence on last night’s show, but it was still a cute touch here and there to see Kermit & Miss Piggy bopping around.  Another nice touch? A guest judge that actually gave intelligent critiques.  I’ve seen about 50/50 when it comes to everyone’s thoughts on Alfonso – half seemed to like him as a judge, half seemed to hate him.  I fall in the former camp – call me crazy (or “biased” – just make sure you own your own biases, too 😉 ) but since Len left, it has felt like a 3-ring circus on that judging panel, and the last thing I wanted was a another pointless guest judge mucking it up even further – I felt like Alfonso did his best to give relevant, helpful critiques, and was nicer about it than both Carrie Ann and Julianne. And dammit, he was able to get away with saying what we all (likely including the other judges) have been thinking: the husband & wife act between Alexa & Carlos is TIRED.  They need to start looking out for themselves, or they’ll both lose.

As for the other judges – Carrie Ann still seemed cranky with just about everyone except Tamar, Julianne seemed to vacillate between semi-coherence and obvious scripting, and once again – Bruno seemed to be on the most even keel, although that’s even debatable.  God I miss Len something fierce. And something else I miss: rehearsal packages that aren’t completely scripted, tacky, and forced. The three that come to mind as the most cringeworthy are Tamar & Val’s, Alexa & Mark’s, and Alek & Lindsay’s…particularly the latter, as I’m now getting inundated with tweets asking if Alek is dating Brittany/Jenna/Karina/etc. You do all realize that was scripted nonsense, right? Right down to Hayes humorously c*ckblocking Alek’s attempt to “get Brittany’s number” with his Ninja Turtle costume? I thought we taught you guys better than that – to see through the bullsh*t.  The only nugget of truth from that whole nonsensical segment was Emma saying “I would love to get you in the switch, Alek!” She confirmed that on Twitter last week – so by all means, feel free to tweet #DWTSAlekEmma till your heart’s content 🙂 Just don’t hold out for pap pix of Jenna & Alek getting coffee, or Brittany & Alek getting into an Uber together, etc.

Sucks that Kim had to withdraw, but I can’t say none of us saw it coming – a stroke is a bit more serious than a sprained ankle or an aching back, and it’s good that she’s taking time out to take care of herself.  Can’t say I agree with the campaign I’m seeing to bring her back later in the competition, though – basically giving her a free pass straight to a later week without having to survive her way through the elims like other contestants? I don’t think so, kids. Let her come back and dance at the finale, but that’s it.  As for who ended up “in jeopardy” – I’m not entirely sure that those two couples were the actual bottom two, and since TPTB knew from the get-go that they weren’t actually going to eliminate anyone…I think they very well could have just picked two random couples to be in jeopardy. That being said – I do find it curious that they picked who they did, especially since we’ve only seen Gary in jeopardy with the eliminated couples the past two elims.  I think Andy & Allison are in real danger of fading into the woodwork, and Paula might be losing steam.  Guess we’ll see come next Monday… Read more..

September 29, 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 2, Tuesday – Power Rankings

And judging by the overall demeanor of the couples and judges last night, kids – DOING TWO DANCES IN WEEK 2 IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. Just felt like everyone was stressed-out and feeling the strain – I dug hearing about everybody’s hometown, but I don’t know that it was worth it to see everyone so on-edge. Glad we’re back to just ONE dance per week next week.

Something else I’m glad about next week? Alfonso at the judges table to hopefully give some positive, relevant critiques – because tonight, the judges table on the whole just seemed like a bunch of petty, bickering toddlers in need of a nap. Carrie Ann was the worst offender – wayyyy too hard on the couples last night, and prone to honing in on stupid sh*t (i.e. the ignominious “lift policing” – give it up, CA; it’s not relevant or cute). At times, I felt like grabbing all three judges, shaking them hard, and saying “You DO realize they had to do TWO dances this week, right? And it’s ONLY WEEK 2???”

Sad to see Victor go 🙁 But if I’m being honest, I’m not exactly surprised.  As an athlete from a more obscure sport with a less mainstream following, I knew Victor was likely going to struggle with votes. And while a lot of the Karina fans seemed eager to argue with me on Twitter that this season “was different” and that she “wouldn’t go out early like she did with Sean & Randy” – hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. If a more mainstream name like Randy couldn’t get the votes – Victor unfortunately didn’t stand a chance. Karina fans, you’re good power voters – but I don’t think you’ve reached the point where you can compensate for a celeb that has little to no voting fanbase.  It is what it is – and fingers crossed that we get an epic dance from Victor & Karina at the finale 🙂

Monday’s power rankings are here if anyone needs to catch up. Read more..

September 23, 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 2, Monday – Power Rankings

I apologize for not getting this up last night – asthma kicked in and I just needed to lie down. God bless allergy season! I think this may be the first time since season 15’s two-night performance debacle during the Presidential debates that I’ve had to do (2) rankings in one week 😛 I wouldn’t mind so much, except that there’s still a LOT of couples left…and when I want to weight in on each one, that’s a lot of writing!

Aside from the Colts playing like sh*t and my live stream freezing up at key moments, I also had the added irritation of the bulk of the dances having way too much “messing about” at the beginning.  With the dances already being so  shortened, it just seems like that much more of an excuse to d*ck around in order to conceal weaknesses. Dislike. Also seemed like a night where nobody 100% knocked their dances out of the park – maybe it was the strain of having to learn two dances this week, but while there was quite a bit of improvement from (most) everyone, I don’t feel like anyone completely mastered their dances.  A few came close…but still room for improvement all around.

I’m pretty shocked that it was Chaka that got sent packing tonight – I actually think she did noticeably better than last week, and thought that an R&B legend would have more folks voting for her than a reality TV wife. Also an eye-opener? The fact that Keo somehow looks better (and seems to teach better) when it’s a ballroom dance instead of a Latin one…go fig. Isn’t Latin his specialty? I just don’t know what to make of Keo anymore…but 3rd season in a row where he hasn’t been able to make it past week 3? Yikes – that’s a pretty dismal track record, and something has gotta change…and it ain’t the type of partner he’s getting. Read more..

September 22, 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 20, The Finals – Power Rankings

Well,  that was a pleasant little finale night – not terribly exciting, but pleasant nonetheless 🙂 I found that, for the first time, all three of the freestyles felt a little bit…recycled to me.  They were still nice to watch, but none of them  jumped out at me as something totally fresh and never-before-seen.  I guess we’re reaching that point in the lifespan of the show where “it’s all been done”, but still – sometimes I miss that sense of wonder of the early seasons, when “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” was the most innovative freestyle ever, or when Apolo & Julianne danced “Bust a Move” blindfolded.  *sigh* It’s bittersweet.

Can’t say I’m too surprised at anything the judges said or any of the scores they gave – still think they’re pulling for Rumer to win and have pretty much ensured that Noah won’t run away with the MBT, but I think Riker stands a decent chance at playing spoiler to the “Valenrue” pimping machine we’ve seen all season.  Will be interesting to see how things shake out tomorrow night, for sure. For tonight, I’m just thankful that I managed to get all of my phone  votes in already, and that the show was only an hour long – got a cheesecake to make and a new MAC eyeshadow palette I want to play with 😉

3rd place: Noah & Sharna

Had Noah not slightly bungled his redo Argentine tango, I think my rankings could have looked different tonight – but alas, by handicapping him 8 points behind both Rumer & Riker, I think he’s gonna have a pretty tough row to hoe in order to get any better than 3rd place – and that’s even though I think he’s getting a LOT of votes, still. I have to commend him, though – the commitment I saw from him in the first 20ish seconds of his Argentine tango was the most comfortable and in the zone as I’ve seen him all season…he was dialed in, no doubt.  I think he maybe got slightly off-time on one step, though, and it seemed to throw him a little off his game for the rest of the dance – a bit of a bobbled lift, and he also seemed to lose the confidence he started with.  Not sure I would have docked a whole 8  points for it, but I can’t say I was entirely surprised to see the judges take advantage of the chance to give him a bit of a handicap against Rumer & Riker by doling out straight 8’s.  His freestyle was lovely, though – and I was floored at how well he handled that star lift.  No bobbles there, and he only had 1 arm to support her! 🙂 Overall, I don’t think Noah placing 3rd is anything to be ashamed of – the dude overcame some pretty ridiculous odds to make it all this way, and I daresay he’s proven that he’s a decent dancer, PERIOD…and not just a decent dancer, for being an amputee.  And I’ve loved watching every step of the journey 🙂

Runner-up: Rumer & Val

I think the fact that these two kinda went the safe route on a night when another couple (Riker & Allison) took more risks may ultimately relegate them to 2nd place.  Honestly, kinda shocked that the judges (or Rumer & Val, or whoever picked the redo dances) picked their foxtrot for them to redo – I wouldn’t exactly say that it was their most impactful dance, nor was it particularly well-executed or interesting to watch.  I found it kind of odd & flaily on premiere night…and I found it odd & flaily tonight, too.  Just…hmmm.  Also, food for thought: for last season’s redo dances, those who picked their week 1 dances to redo (Alfonso & Bethany) were required to add an extra 30 seconds of content in order to make the dances longer, since the week 1 routines are so short.  They didn’t make that requirement this week…why? Just something to contemplate.  As for their freestyle – eh. Felt like a garden-variety Argentine tango – and part of me wonders if they were just   so set on doing Argentine tango at some point (remember, they thought they had it last week for the judges’ choice!) that they just reworked their original routine a bit in order to turn it into some semblance of a freestyle. I get that Val was going for the “stripped-down, back to basics” look (hehe…where have I heard that before?), but in the process, I think they lost a bit of what makes the freestyle special: that knock-your-socks-off performance value.  This was nice to watch – but it didn’t leave me feeling forever changed or dazzled.

Winner: Riker & Allison

I think these two came into the finale with the right strategy: knock ’em dead with 2 showstopping dances.  God bless that pirate paso doble – I think Riker could have easily slayed any dance that Rumer may have redone with this  number…it was THAT good, and he was even more on-point doing it tonight. As I mentioned on Twitter – I kind of  love how committed Riker is to the character of Captain Jack.  When that costume goes on, he’s 100% Jack, and his technique is flawless.  And then the freestyle – it felt like a bit of a riff on Alfonso’s freestyle last season, but I loved that dance so much that this really felt like almost a sequel or a remix.  A really nice combination of the old and the  new, and Allison killed the choreo…even saw a few signature Twitch moves thrown in 😉 And that bit at the end with Riker dancing with the guys in the troupe? A few times, I thought I saw Derek up there – he’s got that same great quality of movement and sense of ease onstage that D has.  When it all boils down tomorrow night, I think Riker may have played all the right cards – because I think full-out and flashy won out against simple and stripped down tonight.

So what freestyles did you enjoy the most/least? And who do you guys think will win? 🙂

May 18, 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 20, Week 9 – Power Rankings

First, a commendation:  I actually thought all of the judges did a great job with their respective couples, and was pleasantly surprised at how creative they all got.  Definitely would not mind if they brought back the judges’ choice dance, in its current format, to the show next season.  Second, another commendation: tonight felt like the first night in a long time where there wasn’t really a big agenda behind the scoring.  I don’t think anyone got absurdly praised, and I don’t think anyone got absurdly punished – granted, the high level of dancing we saw tonight was a pleasant anomaly, but this was the first time in awhile where I didn’t feel like the judges were being underhanded with scores or critiques. It all seemed to fit nicely.  🙂

Not a whole lot else to add – just can’t believe it’s now week 9 and I only have one more week of this stuff before we enter the off-season…and I make it my personal mission to find Sasha a partner for next season 🙂 Read more..

May 11, 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 20, Week 8 – Power Rankings

Not a whole lot to lead-in with – apologize that these didn’t come last night (I try to have the power rankings up before going to bed on Mondays with a results show the following day), but I had a cake to make and my icing gun broke and I kinda lost all my will to live…momentarily 🙂 Then I slept and I was ok.  Definite judges’ agenda last night, and it seemed to be “make sure Rumer makes it to week 9 AT ALL COSTS, and kinda try to shield Nastia & Riker while you’re at it – the rest are expendable”.  Len has completely lost all credibility for me at this point – just seems like he’s following the directions being fed to him by TPTB each week, even if it means contradicting himself.  Random epiphany I had while watching Robert’s samba trio: how cool would it be to have a pro samba to George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” with the pros playing female & male models? 😉

Also, a point of clarification on Nastia’s “meltdown” in their package: per Deep Throat, that occurred at the end of an 8-hour rehearsal, and Nastia was already planning on heading home – so yeah, she didn’t “walk out of rehearsal in anger”, as some are trying to spin it. Also interesting to note: sometimes the staff filming the rehearsals are encouraged to ask kinda inflammatory questions in order to amp up the drama when the pros and celebs are feeling tired, anxious, stressed, etc – so the frustration you saw from Nastia was more than likely her getting irritated by a needling cameraman, rather than with Derek. Felt that this required clarification, since some of Derek’s detractors seem to be having a field day on Twitter over Nastia’s “outburst”. Hehe – I’ll show you a REAL outburst. Just goes to show that the narrative of the show has gotten so out-of-control that you can’t trust the rehearsal packages anymore. Read more..

May 5, 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 20, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Let’s play a game 🙂 It’s called “Who can come up with the most ridiculous, subjective, and flimsy critique for a dance that’s nearly flawless???” I’ll start!!!  “Nastia, your pupils were FAR too dilated while you were doing that tango – it made me feel like you were undressing me with your eyes!” Or how ’bout this? “Derek, the pleats on your pants weren’t sharp enough – and it really detracted from the dance for me.” YOUR TURN!!! I think you guys get the point I’m trying to make – some of the critiques have gotten so out of control that the judges really seem like they’re grasping at straws to appear superior and relevant.  Or they’re just trying to make sure that Nastia doesn’t get too confident, even though she is every bit as good as Rumer & Riker.  Whatever, guys – I guess just keep spinning the “Wheel O’ Excuses Why We Simply Can’t Just Tell Nastia She Did Well” back in your trailers to keep things colorful…and to keep the season’s agenda on-track.

Besides Nastia, I STILL feel like Robert is getting the short end of the stick from the judges and can’t do anything right in their eyes; and then there’s Chris, who looks downright miserable all the time, barely moves, and the judges just FAWN over him.  Here’s a bit of a “behind the scenes” scoop for you guys, free of charge: CHRIS DOES NOT WANT TO BE THERE.  Sure, it’s totally written all over his face whenever the camera pans to him, but just confirming it for you – the dude was legit disappointed that he didn’t get sent home last week.  And can you really blame him? He’s struggling hardcore each week, he’s butting heads with Witney, and I’m pretty sure he just wants to get back to the farm to have some wild hayloft sex with his Whitney.  Or something like that.  While I think it was Patti’s time to go either this week or next week, I still would have rather kept her over Chris – at least she was having fun, even if she wasn’t really doing a whole lot.  She was still entertaining. Read more..

April 21, 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