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PureDWTS Power Rankings Special – The Hairspray Live! Edition

Let it be known that this is the first time in PureDWTS history that my power rankings actually have nothing to do with DWTS 😛 But since some of you (bless your hearts and your desire to listen to me ramble on) requested it on Twitter, here it is – the first-ever non-DWTS edition of the power rankings!

So last night was Hairspray Live! on NBC – Vogue has spoiled all of us by and posted some post-show pix and media over at PDH if you want to check it out.  Overall, I liked the production – I didn’t love it, but I think a lot of that had to with the fact that I found myself mentally comparing it to the 2007 movie version of Hairspray quite a bit, and there were parts that I thought the movie did better, and parts that I thought the live show did better. This particular production seemed like it stayed more faithful to the play than the movie, although I did see them borrow from the movie at a few points, too.

So how am I going to parlay the power rankings into a pseudo-quasi review of the show? I’ve decided to look at the 11 main cast members and just analyze them (they’re really the only ones who had enough screen time for me to really judge).  I’m going to take into account how the character was handled within the context of the plot, as well as how that particular actor handled the role – and since nobody’s going home like on DWTS, just think of those at the top being the ones that handled it the best, and the ones at the bottom being the ones that fared the worst.  So away we go…

1-2.)  TIE: Derek Hough as Corny Collins and Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle Stubbs – I think these two are a prime example of what can be done when you take a relatively secondary character and just play THE SHIT out of it, to the point where you kinda steal the show from the main characters.  Surprising almost no one here (but likely quite a few folks who either didn’t know much about him, or people who were skeptical about him), Derek could not have impressed more as Corny – the dancing was there, the singing was there, and the acting was there.  I cannot recall another actor playing Corny that has been as athletic as Derek, and that likely helped a lot – Corny’s such a dynamic character, that you need someone that’s able to spin, pose, belt, pull faces, and point & wink without breaking a sweat and without getting winded.  That’s all that cross-training and stage experience coming into play 😉 While I actually found a lot of the choreography to be a bit kindergarten-y for D (but probably plenty difficult for everyone else), he was still dancing the crap out of it, and seemed to steal my eye in any scene where they had him doing any sort of dancing. Amber & Link may have been the “stars” of the Corny Collins show, but Corny himself was the one truly worth watching.  As for Jennifer – daaaaaaaaamn, girl. I think anyone who is able to bring not one, not two, but THREE cast members to tears while belting out “I Know Where I’ve Been” in a style that would make even Whitney Houston jealous deserves a standing ovation.  Maybelle is a character that doesn’t get a ton of screen time in the grand scheme of Hairspray Live! – but I’ll be damned if Jennifer didn’t make the most of every second she got on screen. I actually really liked how she played Maybelle more as a feisty young mother and business woman fighting for a better life for her kids, since most of the actresses that have played her seem to play her as a bit older, and more subdued & wise.  All I could think about after the show was how many roles on Broadway she would just SLAY – Big Mamma Morton in Chicago, Teen Angel in Grease, Justice in Rock of Ages, anything in Ain’t Misbehavin’, the list goes on. She’s got real chops when it comes to stage work, and I’d love to see her really establish herself on Broadway. If I had to give one of them the edge over the other, I’d probably say Jennifer because she had a bit more gravitas in her performance – Corny doesn’t have too much serious material to work with.  But both were standouts to me in a great way 🙂

3.) Kristin Chenoweth as Velma Von Tussel – This was once instance where I preferred the Hairspray Live! actor to the 2007 movie actor – I liked how Kristin played her a bit more zany and humorous, while I found Michelle Pfeiffer’s Velma to be a bit more…cold and serious.  She was also one of the few that seemed to have a good on-screen chemistry with those she was supposed to be playing off of – she did ok with Dove (which I think is more a result of Dove being a bit off her game), but I loved the banter she had with Derek on the Corny set…you can tell those two are good friends off-screen.  But chemistry goes a long way, and I actually was very entertained when I watched those two play off each other onscreen. Also liked that she got creative with the vocals – “Miss Baltimore Crabs” had me chuckling.  Kristin’s such a seasoned stage pro, though, that I didn’t expect anything else – killed it, and made me laugh 🙂

4.) Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad – To be fair, I feel like Edna is the role in Hairspray that usually stands the greatest likelihood of “stealing the show”, just by virtue of the novelty of it – it’s always played by a male actor in drag (with a LOT of padding), so right off the bat, the audience usually finds him/her hilarious. And Harvey was no exception – from Edna’s first line in that gruff, gravelly voice of his, I was entertained. But god bless Harvey, he makes one pretty hideous woman 😛 The makeup kinda reminded me of one of the makeover challenges on Rupaul’s Drag Race, where the queens are tasked with making over a regular guy into a drag queen in a limited amount of time – but it all just added to the overall campiness of the character, so it worked.  And I liked that he played Edna a bit louder and sassier than Travolta did in the 2007 version – I feel like Harvey’s Edna was a lot more “Baltimore”, while Travolta’s was more demure, quiet, and “Midwest”. Also loved the chemistry he had with Martin, and they both seemed to capture well the quirky affection Edna & Wilbur have for each other.  Good casting 🙂

5.) Ephraim Sykes as Seaweed Stubbs – I think Ephraim probably fared the best of the newcomers/unknown actors in this production – he’s another one that seems to be a triple threat (singer/dancer/actor) and didn’t struggle with onstage chemistry issues like several of the other newcomers.  He seemed to mesh well with Maybelle & Tracy, tried to vibe with Penny (but I blame the lack of spark more on Ariana), and stood out well in the dancing sections. Maybe didn’t stand out for me as much as, say, Lil Inez or Maybelle, but I was pleased nonetheless.  No complaints here 🙂

6.) Shahadi Wright Joseph as Lil Inez Stubbs – If you told me to pick one character from the show to give more screen time to, you wouldn’t even have finished your sentence before I said “LIL INEZ!!!” enthusiastically.  That little girl was giving me LIFE last night – adorable, energetic, and dancing her little heart out in “You Can’t Stop the Beat” in her little yellow dress.  Seriously, go re-watch that number – she is out-dancing most of the adults.  So it was kinda disappointing that they opted not to give her more screen time, like they did in the 2007 movie – in that version (spoiler alert), she actually is the one that ends up winning Miss Teen Hairspray when Link pulls her out onto the dance floor during the broadcast, and she gets a ton of phone votes by people impressed by her dance moves. I would have loved to have seen that in this version, if only to see Shahadi dancing more – plus I feel like this version ends just a bit too perfectly for Tracy, who ends up with the boy, the scholarship, the Miss Teen Hairspray title, etc., when all that really mattered to her was integrating the Corny Collins show.  Shahadi went above and beyond with the little screen time she was given – I just wish we could have gotten more.  But I daresay that girl has got a bright future ahead of her – real star-power, that one.

7.) Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad – I only have one kinda strange gripe about this one: I almost feel like Martin is too “cool” to play Wilbur.  The thing about Wilbur, Edna, & Tracy is that they’re all square pegs – none of them really fit in, except with each other, and their weirdness is what bonds them together and makes them a family.  I think that’s why Christopher Walken worked so well as Wilbur in the movie – he was quirky enough that he carried off the offbeat-joke-shop-owner-with-a-daughter-and-a-wife-who-don’t-quite-fit-in-too role off well.  Martin Short has just reached a point that he’s so charismatic and at-ease with his humor that he seems a bit too normal to play Wilbur – there just wasn’t enough quirk there for me, although I did love his chemistry with Harvey.  I think Ty Burrell would have made a great Wilbur – he’s got enough of that nerdy vibe for me to buy him in that role.  But Martin did well, and there’s very little he does that I don’t enjoy.

8.) Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad – It could just be that Tracy is the type of role with very little variation from actress to actress (same overall “look”), but while I don’t think Maddie did BAD, I don’t think she really did anything that really set her apart from other Tracy’s (like Ricki Lake & Nikki Blonsky).  Vocals were good, dancing was ok (she looked maybe slightly better than Dove – so generally not terribly confident or at-ease on the floor), acting was alright.  I think she tried to establish chemistry with Link, but he was just so damn flat that it all kinda fell apart.  I’m left without a whole lot to say about Maddie – she did good, but I don’t think she did outstanding.  I will give her props for coming into a huge national production as a relative unknown and doing as well as she did, but when we think back to all the actresses that played Tracy, I’m not sure I’ll remember her name.

9.) Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton – I will say this: of all the characters that had to sing while doing heavy choreography during the show, Ariana was one of the only two actors who were actually managing to do both without appearing winded or their singing suffering (the other being Derek).  I would venture a guess it’s because she’s a highly trained vocalist who has probably gotten quite a bit of instruction on breath control.  And yes, she was probably the second-most talented vocalist in the cast, after Jennifer, and she sounded great – had she only had to sing, she would probably be much higher on this list; but she did actually have a pretty substantial speaking role, and the acting we saw was…tepid. I feel like she basically just rehashed this character she did on SNL (which someone on Twitter told me was basically her character from Victorious, too) and seemed too busy being awkward that it actually sabotaged any chemistry she might have had with Seaweed; Ephraim was giving good chemistry and trying to vibe off of her, but it seemed like Ariana got so caught up in being weird that she almost seemed afraid of him.  I much preferred Amanda Bynes’ take on Penny in the 2007 movie, where she managed to be awkward and dowdy while still having a good, flirtatious chemistry with Seaweed.  She’s an ok dancer, but if I were her, I’d stick to singing for now, and leave the acting and dancing to someone else.

10.) Dove Cameron as Amber Von Tussel – I had never heard of Dove prior to last night, and if someone hadn’t told me otherwise on Twitter, I would have guessed she was was primarily a singer that had little to no experience with acting or dancing, because she didn’t seem particularly confident in either one of those skills during the production.  Not much in the way of varying facial expressions, and seemed to be doing the dance moves pretty cautiously and timidly. Her interactions with other characters seemed a bit wooden, too – Kristin and Maddie were giving her plenty to work with, and Dove only seemed to kinda engage. Someone on Twitter mentioned that she may have been really nervous, because she’s usually quite a good performer, so I’m not sure what the deal was – she’s a very pretty girl, and she actually sounded great when singing (especially during “Mama, I’m A Big Girl Now”) but beyond that, I didn’t find anything about her performance to be remarkable.  Maybe she just needs to get used to live performances?

11.) Garrett Clayton as Link Larkin – Honest to god, I cannot think of a single memorable Link moment from last night’s show.  Perhaps it’s a combo of kinda robotic acting and a bit less of a front-and-center role than in the movie, but I almost feel like Link just got reduced to a stock character in this iteration of the musical – he was just there to kinda fill in the space of the dreamy male love interest for the female protagonist, and that’s about it. In the 2007 version of the movie (where Zac Efron played him), I feel like they at least made an effort to give Link more of his own identity – he was trying to become a rock star and had more performance numbers, you see him change his thinking about segregation, he makes a big move at the Miss Hairspray pageant that makes a statement, etc. In this version…he just seems to be following either Amber or Tracy around like a lost puppy, and there’s only a passing mention about him trying to get his “big break” on the Corny Collins Show. So to be fair – Garrett may not have had a ton of material to work with, but I found his acting to be unremarkable and kinda one-note. He just kinda seemed to be going through the motions, and didn’t really do anything to make the role his own.  And I’m not sure he could have had any less chemistry with Maddie if he tried – they felt more like two people on a mismatched blind date than teenagers in love.  Just…something really off about their vibe together.  I feel really bad saying that, considering they’re the two main characters, but I would argue that they had more screen time than the rest of the cast in order to establish chemistry…and they just couldn’t do it.

Other random thoughts about the show that don’t really fit anywhere else:

*Thinking through the celebrity cameos, I completely forgot about Rosie O’Donnell – probably because casting her as the slightly-butch gym teacher just seemed like wayyyy too much of a gimme. I would have rather had Ricki Lake play that role, instead of throwing a wig on her and shoving her in the background of one of the musical numbers to be forgotten.  Seeing her scold Tracy for her too-high hair could have been delightfully ironic 😉 Sean Hayes as Mr. Pinky? Didn’t even recognize him until 5 minutes after “Welcome to the 60’s” ended and it dawned on me. Would have rather seen Anderson Cooper play that one.

*Seemed like they were kinda rushing the curtain call and ended the show 5 minutes early…why? I have no idea, but it did make the ending feel a tad abrupt.

*The thing that has always bugged me about the original Hairspray script is the way that Penny’s mom has a sudden about-face in the finale about her daughter dating a “colored boy” and is suddenly thrilled to bits about it, after the very thought of such a thing nearly gives her the vapors earlier in the script.  While it’s a lovely (idealistic) notion to think of a family member letting go of a long-held prejudice simply because they see a loved one happy, it’s not realistic at all – I think that anyone that has grown up with a racist in their family can tell you that those tendencies don’t just change on a whim. I think the 2007 movie handled it more realistically – Penny’s mom sees her on TV, kissing Seaweed, and falls out of her chair in shock…and that’s it.  Better to leave it at that than either try to claim she suddenly came to accept it gracefully, or showing her dragging Penny home by her pigtails to beat her with a bible.

*Seemed like there were a few issues with the orchestra drowning out the vocals, particularly in “You Can’t Stop the Beat” and whatever the song was that Jennifer & Ariana sang during the curtain call.  I’m told that this was also an issue people noticed with Grease Live…maybe one of the caveats in filming on a huge back lot that has both indoor and outdoor sets? Hard to adjust orchestra volume?

So those are my thoughts…what are yours? Did you enjoy the show? Did you have a favorite character? What would you have done differently? Let’s hear it! 🙂

December 8, 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

TV Reminder: Don’t Forget To Watch DWTS Derek Hough In ‘Hairspray Live’ Tonight!

TV Reminder: Don’t forget to watch Dancing With The Stars Derek Hough in “Hairspray Live” tonight at 8:00pm ET on NBC. Check your TV guides to be sure on the time in your area. It’s going to be a kick. It’s a fun time for the whole family. Don’t miss it. If you do, Pure Derek Hough will have you covered with Derek’s performances and lots more.

December 7, 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.

Dancing With The Stars Witney Carson, Derek Hough, And More Featured In 2016 December issue of NKD Magazine

Dancing With The Stars Witney Carson and Derek Hough are featured in the 2016 December issue of NKD Magazine. Don’t miss seeing the issue HERE or you can click the link below. Beautiful.

December 1, 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.

Sneak Peek Of Mark Ballas’ And BC Jean’s Wedding Photos, More Details On Their Wedding

As you know from a previous posting, Dancing With The Stars Mark Ballas married BC Jean last Friday in Los Angeles, California. Today, Good Morning America previewed some of the professional photos which you can watch HERE. You can also read more details below on the wedding courtesy of People. There is also a cool People VIDEO here. Be sure to pick up this week’s issue of People for even more. Thanks to @Idolxfactor1 for recording.

For the actual wedding on Nov. 25, the 29-year-old bride says the couple “went for an earthy vibe” and exchanged vows at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu in front of a 100-year-old oak tree and had and sage and jasmine burning during the ceremony.

“We did a very eclectic, boho-chic design with rustic hints that created a very elegant and personalized look,” says celebrity events planner David Tutera, who helped Ballas and Jean plan the big day alongside Slomique Hawrylo.

For more from Mark Ballas and BC Jean’s wedding — including all about their epic first dance and wedding cake — pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. Special video of the couple’s journey to the alter is now streaming on People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices.

As musicians, the music at the ceremony was important to the couple. Ballas and Jean’s families walked down the aisle, which was lined with “bohemian carpets,” to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Mark and his groomsmen walked to a Vitamin String Quartet cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” while Jean’s bridesmaids walked to a cover of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” The bride walked with her father to an original cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and after the vows, the couple walked with their 2-year-old rescue dog Hendrix to an original cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together.”

The guest list for the big day read like a list of DWTS all-star season. Among the 160 guests — who were sent custom invitations by Invitations by Dawn — were Julianne Hough, Cheryl Burke, Valentin Chermkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Emma Slater, Sharna Burgess, Allison Holker, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Candace Cameron Bure, Leah Remini, Alfonso Ribeiro and Kristi Yamaguchi.

ETA: See this new People article on the CAKE which includes a fun photo. It’s awesome.

ETA2:
Now People has posted on BC and Mark’s wedding dance and more. See this link.

November 30, 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.

Derek Hough Tapped To Judge “World Of Dance”, Hairspray Live Coming Up Soon

A lot is going on in the world of Derek Hough. Not only is he getting ready to dance in “Hairspray Live” on December 7th, he has been tapped to judge Jennifer Lopez’s new dance series “World Of Dance”. Here is more from Variety….

The judges’ table is filling out on broadcast’s next reality competition show, “World of Dance” on NBC.

Derek Hough and Ne-Yo have been tapped as judges on the dance series, joining previously announced judge Jennifer Lopez, Variety has learned.

“World of Dance,” which was picked up this summer with a 10-episode order is described as an unparalleled dance competition that will feature solo artists competing against duos and crews in all genres of dance, including hip hop, krumping, popping, locking, tap, ballet, break dancing, ballroom, clogging, stomping and more. The winner will receive a grand prize of $1 million.

Like we were talking on at twitter and Pure Derek Hough…this might be it for Derek and Dancing With The Stars and I can’t say I blame him. Can you? More at Variety. For more on Derek including a bunch of new “Hairspray Live” interviews and more, see Pure Derek Hough.

November 29, 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.

Dancing With The Stars Mark Ballas Marries BC Jean – Photos

It’s official!!! Dancing With The Stars Mark Ballas married BC Jean on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, California and we couldn’t be happier. Below are some details from People. For more, be sure to pick up the next issue of People Magazine. CONGRATULATIONS Mark and BC!!!

“It’s a wild feeling,” Ballas tells PEOPLE of marrying Jean (née Brittney Jean Carlson). “Your wedding is something you subconsciously prepare for your entire life. You wonder who it’s going to be with, where it is going to be and how the ceremony and reception are going to be. Now it’s finally here and happening. It’s surreal. I just want to soak it all up because I just know I’m going to click my fingers and the whole evening will be over and I want to make sure I enjoy it.”

For more details from Ballas and Jean’s wedding — which was planned by celebrity events planner David Tutera — check out the next issue of PEOPLE, on stands next Friday. Special video of the couples’ journey to the alter will begin streaming on People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) Wednesday. Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices.

Ballas, 30, and Jean, 29, became engaged a day before Thanksgiving last year. They celebrated the holiday this year with a dinner and beach party with family and friends on Thursday.

Approximately 160 guests — including Ballas’ best man Derek Hough — attended the ceremony and reception Friday.

“I’m so grateful so many family and friends were able to travel here to celebrate our wedding,” says Ballas, who is starring as Frankie Valli in Broadway’s Jersey Boys. “It’s going to be a night of amazing moments.”

More at People. Entertainment Tonight, the Daily Mail, and E Online also have some fun reports. Below are some photos of those in attendance.

The honor of shooting a lil something for @bcjean and @markballas this week.

A photo posted by Lightfield Lewis (@lfl84) on

Girl on each cheek at the #BeanWedding #BrittanyCherry #JennaJohnson #MarkBallas #BCJean

A photo posted by Capri Tordoff (@dancingwiththestarsusa) on

Read more..

November 26, 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.

DWTS Julianne Hough And Derek Hough Perform On Thanksgiving, Begin The Holidays

Were you all able to see Derek Hough perform with the cast of “Hairspray Live” in the Thanksgiving Day Macy’s Parade? If not, you can watch the fun performance below (thanks to @Idolxfactor1 for recording). “Hairspray Live” is going to be a blast to watch on December 7th. Derek and Julianne also hosted the Disney Holiday Christmas last night. Teaser below. For more coverage including more performance videos, screen caps, and more, see Pure Derek Hough. Miss Heidi was one busy girl yesterday and Pure Derek Hough is Christmas candy to get our holidays started

November 25, 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.

Dancing with the Stars Season 23, THE FINALE (Night Two) – LIVE BLOG!!

As always…

Site rules in are effect – don’t hit refresh every 2 minutes, make sure you’re not posting one-liners, etc. Thank you. 🙂

I often like the Finale – but I often find it to be jammed with pointless filler while we wait an absurdly long time to find out who wins. Which way will it feel tonight? I bet wine would help….

So far, I’m seeing a lot of stuff that looks rehashed either from earlier this season, or last thanksgiving’s season. Cuz Mandy.

No Derek in the pro dance, not a surprise, I guess. He should have known the choreo from earlier this season. 🙂

James redoing my favorite dance of his…or one of them anyway. 🙂

After the obligatory VT of early season happenings, we have Andy Grammar singing while Allison and Keo do a dance that starts out kinda strange.

Next up, Calvin and Lindsay – great dance from them, as per usual.   Marilu on All Access, in All Access Update.

I love Maureen with all the men, including Babyface and Ryan!! That was fun, the lucky woman.

A pro dance that starts out as a bump and grind – shocking right?? I do like the colorful leotards though.

Of course Laurie and Val pick the dance that’s all about Maks and Val as their favorite. I question if they really picked it…

Very nice that they went to the Children’s hospital.

All Access Update – watching the Grove cam and that floor they’re on is very slippery.

OMG….this song makes me freakin’ SOB every damn time. And this beautiful dance to go with it. Jenna’s dress was hot. Glad she didn’t the whole song and make my eyes hurt. 🙂

Love me some Babyface as well – so Smoooooth.

Rick Perry has gone insane in a wonderful, wonderful way. 🙂

Okay Calvin and James just MADE what I though was going to be a boring guy strip number. And Ryan was there too? Cool. that was fun.

Terra being hilarious on the Grove Cam on All Access. Marilu trying not to bust her ass on the slippery floor.

And we are getting NO Derek tonight. :::sigh::: At least I get him twice on Thanksgiving. I don’t mean that to sound dirty. 😉 Seriously, they need to move inside – that floor is dangerous.

Maks trying real hard not to be a hypocrite on All Access about Laurie being an Olympian. He’s failing, of course.

Sorry, I’m finding All Access more interesting than the actual show.  Which I see we are exploiting Laurie’s grief again. Goodie.

Okay this has cool potential with Fikshun in it. Don’t get the Jenna love though. Oooo…the ladies in pink look lovely. Sugar plum fairies?

Gee, look at Maks dancing with the cool little girl that no one on this show has ever danced with before. :::snark:::

Wow, the DWTS Tour finally made it to Radio City? Wow, wonder if they sell it out. And what’s this about a “Major Cast Announcement?”

Yeah, the order they just announced them in doesn’t bode well for James. I’ve seen it too many times.

Beautiful fusion from James – lovely. Seemed like he had both elements in there.

Julianne’s dress looks beautiful, what I can see of it.

Fun dance from Calvin and Lindsay – but man, CAI is just an idiot. Shut up already!

Judges are not going to change the results, since Laurie can’t get higher than 10s. She’ll get a 40. Why watch?

Well, if the judges gush over that too much they’ll look ridiculous. Okay who am I kidding. The one lift was messy as hell, but they’ll completely ignore it.

And that’s it – Laurie’s gonna win. CAI is acting the moron and we know what that means.

But Len didn’t do his “You should win” to Laurie, so maybe there’s hope.

Geez, Jana sings just like she dances – kinda flat yet over wrought.

I’m thinking that the exploitation certainly helped her.

Now…for third place: Calvin and Lindsay

AND THE WINNER IS….Laurie and Val. Congrats to Laurie – she’s a cutie.

And that, ladies and gentlemen is why I can’t take Val. Always the attention hog. Laurie’s moment, dude. Just…STFU.

November 22, 2016 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Dancing with the Stars Season 23, THE FINALS – LIVE BLOG!!

As always…

Site rules in are effect – don’t hit refresh every 2 minutes, make sure you’re not posting one-liners, etc. Thank you. 🙂

What kind of fresh hell will I have to endure this evening??

The obligatory kinda silly opening. Non-actors reading lines. 🙂

Calvin and Lindsay up first….agree with Lindsay, CAI totally screwed them over. That was utterly ridiculous.

They’ve done some version of “watching video” nearly every season in the final or semi-final. Think this is the first time that they’ve looked at their OWN video.

Beautiful V. Waltz. Only complaint I had didn’t really have to do with them but the stupid “no lift” rule that makes it incredibly awkward to do some moves because Lindsay is trying so hard to keep her feet on the ground. And CAI is just enough the bitch to call it in the finale too.

Agree with Len on all but the footwork. OH FOR GOD’S SAKE!!! Her foot did not come off. My god save me from CAI and her moronic behavior. Ridiculous.

@#$%$#@@#$%^&&

Another Jana package that consists of wahhh whaaaa wahhh….

Dance was going pretty well until she missed a couple steps in the middle and then there was that LIFT. It was just messy towards the end. And the middle.

Agree with Julianne wholeheartedly. At least CAI saw her lift too…but if she get’s a nine from CAI she’s an idiot. OH HELL YES LEN!!! Where have you been for 23 seasons?

Calvin really got hosed – same score as Jana and his dance was MUCH better. She was so messy and got called out for it by Julianne, yet gets the same score with more raves.  So, is he moving on to tomorrow and they want to keep him down?

The attempt to turn Val into Derek continues. Too bad he sounds so insincere. And can’t really choreograph very well.

Good dancing from Laurie although there’s something going on with how she bends – I guess it’s gymnast body. It also felt more like a Tango than a Paso. Bit of a sync issue at the end.  Great back kick in there – but no surprise. Gymnast.

Lot’s of gushing…odd that CAI can see those feet come off the ground but completely miss the sync issue. Peeked on twitter and saw Courtney saw it too.

Wow…this is interesting scoring.

Why do we have a musical performance BEFORE the last dance of the round?? And will this affect voting – we know large chunks of the audience might not have the best attention span.

LOL Sharna. Love Helio…that was fun.

Okay, that was an EXCELLENT foxtrot!! So smooth, beautiful….very well done.

I didn’t see the stumble at all…interesting that the producers had it all cued up to replay it. I think he should still get at least one 10 – Laurie did and she had issues as well.

Erin, shut up. Okay, same score as Laurie?  I’ve lost track. Crap, Laurie got TWO 10’s??  Right. :::sigh::: The judges are ranking. Laurie #1, James #2 – gotta get voting. Quite sure that Sharna can kill Val in a freestyle, but it probably won’t matter.

I can’t decide if this stealth cam is set up or true stealth. I saw them set it up for Derek and Marilu, but this looked stealth. I still wonder though.

So far, this looks like all of Jana’s dances.  the teacher is an interesting idea, but  I’m not sure it really adds anything. Oh, they’re having some trouble with it…it’s getting in the way.

Okay, at the end I have to say that wasn’t a very good freestyle. It started out okay, but got very messy with the tether and it just was…weird.

Oh Jules, you’re being kind. That scarf didn’t work. Props to Gleb for trying it, but it really didn’t work. Maybe if they had another week of rehearsal.

Ah poor Gleb. Now he’s making me cry. Nine’s are nothing to be ashamed of. Hey, Val – that was real emotion. Take notes.

Lindsay scares me. 🙂  Calvin is so awesome. I love him. 🙂

NOW THAT WAS A FREESTYLE!!! That was fantastic, brilliant and amazing – and it actually had stuff I haven’t seen before with the treadmills. Just amazing. Perfect. If it doesn’t get a perfect score, the fix is in.

THAT was really good. Lindsay takes the lead as best female choreographer in on DWTS. By a long shot. Sharna and Val have a shit ton of work to do.  Wow. Mind. Blown.

Damn straight that’s a perfect score. That’s what I want to see in a freestyle.

The La La Land dance was pretty cool. Why is Mandy so uneven in her choreography? I know all choreographers have bad dances but she seems more uneven than most.

Geez, Val. You want to talk to America? Try bringing some authenticity to your choreography and your packages. People WILL buy what you’re selling if it’s authentic. But I don’t get that from you.

Okay…fun, happy, happy freestyle. But nothing earth shattering or terribly exciting. Don’t get me wrong – it didn’t suck. And it’s not a freestyle that would cost her the win, but…

I’ll be disappointed if this gets a perfect score. It would normally be a 40 dance, I think….but it’s so far below Calvin’s in my opinion. His was more difficult and more innovative. There was just nothing new or exciting. But part of the problem is the allowing of props, extra dancers, etc during the regular season.

Oh shut UP, Val! Dang, you ruin it every time!

Hmmmm….not sure how I feel about that freestyle.  I think it was very different. The voice over worked, I think. It was very well danced. It was NOT cliche.  I think the music was perfectly chosen.

Julianne says “one of best freestyles ever” – don’t think I agree with that. It was very good.  I dunno, I think I have to sit on this one for a bit. It’s something I’m going to have to mull over. I hope the audience doesn’t have to mull it over. I think, judging by the scoring and the comments, that James has a real shot to win this. Not sure that dance was enough. I think it beats Laurie on emotion though.

So, I’m wrong AGAIN!! But happy to be wrong. 😉 Only working at 70% this season.  In case you didn’t guess, Jana and Gleb are eliminated – and they knew it too.

Very interesting, having James last to be called safe. I suspect they’re trying to suppress Calvin’s vote. Much the way Marilu was always called safe fairly early, they’re trying to lull Calvin’s fans into complacency. Not sure if Calvin being there really hurts James or not…I guess we find out tomorrow.

In closing….yes, I will do a new post tomorrow night and yes, I’m working on the numbers as we speak…It’s a toss up folks. If not for the running order and the filler, Calvin would have a real shot with his great freestyle. As he should. But because of the nitpicking all season, the scoring and the filler, I think it comes down to Laurie and James – and it’s not a sure thing either way. VOTE!!

 

November 21, 2016 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 23, The Semi-Finals – Dancing by the Numbers!

I find myself asking the exact same question that I’ve asked for the last couple weeks – does extreme pimpage (raving judges, over scoring, positive/mush/sentimental editing) work on an audience? I think it’s very clear that the answer is yes. Why? Trump. Enough said. And if they didn’t know that it worked, they wouldn’t do it so much.

But you have to wonder where the tipping point is: when do they go so far that the general viewer sees the man behind the curtain?? I mean, this past week the thing with Laurie was just…disgusting. Leave the poor child and her family to deal with their grief without making a public spectacle of it – that’s just distasteful. The raving over Jana – come on. The first part of the season I forgot she was even on the show. Boring. When does the general audience wake up and say, “dang, they’re really pushing so and so HARD.” Read more..

November 17, 2016 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)