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DWTS 15: Why I Hated the All-Star Season

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…much to the chagrin of my detractors ;-)

Yes, I am back, after a rather prolonged post-season 15 hiatus. Part of it was due to a hectic year-end at work, part of it was due to other stuff, and part of it had to do with what I’m about to elaborate on in this post. Thanks to everyone who checked in on me on Twitter, and I can assure you I’m back full-time now :-)

Many of you have noticed that I tend to take a bit of a break from Pure after the end of each season – mainly due to the level of burnout we all seem to reach after being in full-on DWTS mode for 3 months straight while we’re covering each season. Generally, I just need a break – some time to appreciate other things in my life besides DWTS – and I’m back after a week or two. This time, though, I had a harder time getting back into the swing of being excited and inspired to write about DWTS – and for awhile, I couldn’t figure out why. Then I had a revelation…

…I HATED THE ALL-STAR SEASON.

There, I said it. I hated the all-star season, and I think it has now surpassed season 9 as my least favorite season of DWTS EVER. Reflecting on this past season, aside from a few standout performances (and all the great interactions I had with Pure readers :-)), I was hard-pressed to really feel nostalgic and pleased about it. In fact, what I tended to remember the most was all the frustration, chaos, and general feelings of “WTF is going on???” that I had while watching and blogging from week to week – and when I really got to thinking about it, I found that there were 5 key problems that left me feeling totally turned-off the all-star season. Without further ado, I give you those reasons… Read more..

February 13, 2013 I Written By

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

DWTS 15, Week 5 – “Guilty Pleasures Week” Schedule

Ok, I was getting hit with a lot of questions about this on Twitter last night, and as many times as I repeated myself – there still seemed to be the same questions over and over again…apparently people don’t know how to navigate Twitter and look back on my timeline.  And you guys know how I just LOVE to repeat myself ad infinitum < /sarcasm>.  So here it is, all in one place, and the next person that asks me about next week’s schedule on Twitter is going to get a link to this post along with the message “Read this, asshat.” :-P

First, here’s why next week is funky: the 3rd and final presidential debate is scheduled for Monday night between 9-10:30 PM EST…which basically kills the prospect of our usual 2-hour performance show Monday.  They can’t possibly cram 8 individual dances and 2 team dances into 1 hour, so instead of one 2-hour performance show next week – we’re getting TWO 1-hour performance shows, on Monday & Tuesday.  Consequently, there is no results show – and thus no elimination next week.  Yippee hooray, we get two weeks of everyone who made it through last night’s elimination! Good for some, not so much for others.  But I digress…

From what I’ve been told, there’s going to be 4 individual dances and 1 team dance each night – and each couple will be dancing both nights.  However, they’re going to alternate what nights the team dances are done, and what nights the individual dances are done.  Let me explain.  Let’s say that Team Shawn does their team dance on Monday night – then the couples on Team Shawn will be doing their individual dances on Tuesday night.  Likewise, if the couples on Team Gilles do their individual dances on Monday night, they will be doing their team dance on Tuesday night.  Make sense?  I kind of wish we could see the team dances on the same night (because I think seeing them back-to-back tends to deter the judges from lowballing/overscoring each team relative to one another), but I understand why they’ve done it this way – it ensures that we get to see ALL of the couples dance each night, and probably eliminates the need to rush, rush, rush to get everyone’s costume changed after their individual dance.  Remember, they’ve only got one hour – and they were cutting it AWFULLY close with the team dance picks on the results show last night (I blame Gilles, who felt the need to give a grandiose speech as to why he was picking each couple.) And before you ask – no, I don’t know which team is dancing what night…yet.  I have a feeling that will be determined after TPTB have had a chance to look at how the rehearsals are going, and determine which one fits better with what night, in terms of logistics (props, how much the judges will likely comment on a dance, how “buzzworthy” each dance is).  We should know for sure on Sunday, after camera blocking.  And please, don’t ask me to speculate as to whether going first or second is better for the team dance – I’d normally say 2nd, but with the schedule being as funky as it is, I don’t know that that’s necessarily the case this time.

And now here’s the big question I keep getting – and it’s unfortunately the one I don’t have a lot of information on yet: the voting. I don’t know if there’s still going to be voting or not, and if there is, what time the voting is going to start/end and how it’s going to get tabulated into week 6’s results – which, by the way, will be another double elimination.  And “country week”.  8-O I know the scores given in week 5 will just get added to the scores given in week 6, and the percentage of points share will be calculated using the combined total points awarded in weeks 5 & 6.  If you’re thinking “Wow, that’s a lot of points!” you are correct – and we all know that more points = tighter margins.  So I daresay week 6’s double elimination will ultimately come down to fanbase more than any other elimination, and we’re going to get a good idea of who’s really getting the votes and who isn’t.  And as for the voting – I’m guessing there will indeed be voting, and like the points from week 5, the votes will just get carried over and combined with week 6’s.  Not sure what the voting window will be – if it were up to me, voting would commence at the beginning on Monday night’s show, and continue all day Tuesday, and then end at 11 AM EST on Wednesday morning.  I think that would be the fairest thing, because it wouldn’t give preference to either night – if there happens to be more viewers on Tuesday and we only see the members of Team Shawn doing their team dance on Tuesday, then I think voting that only happens on Tuesday would give an unfair advantage to the couples who danced individually that night, since they’d have more screen time.  Make sense?

If I get any further information, I’ll update this post in RED - so you might want to bookmark it, because I don’t know how long I’m going to keep it stickied to the front page.  I would advise everyone to go ahead and take a look at your DVR’s now, though, and make sure you’re set up to record for 1 hour from 8 – 9 PM on both Monday & Tuesday.  I have AT&T U-Verse as my cable provider, and my DVR made the time adjustment and captured last night’s show without a problem; but I’ve heard that those with Brighthouse have been having some issues recording the show this season, so some of you may have to manually go in and program your DVR to pick up the show.  Just a friendly PSA from the folks here at Pure…cause PureDWTS cares ;-)

ETA #1: Next week’s arrangement just got a lot fairer for everyone :-) The show will only be live on Monday – Tuesday’s show will be pre-taped.  The way I had it explained to me, the couples from Team A will do their 4 individual dances, Team B will do their team dance, they’ll roll the credits, keep the audience where they are, take a short break for Team A to change into their team dance costumes and Team B to change into their individual dance costumes, and then shoot Tuesday night’s show ahead of time.  That way, everyone has the same amount of time to rehearse, and the judges will be seeing the team dances the same night – which (god willing) will keep the judges (semi)honest.  Another update? Double elim moved to week 8.

Questions?

October 17, 2012 I Written By

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

Saying Goodbye To Drew Lachey & Helio Castroneves – Elimination Interviews

Court here, filling in for the “Voguecationing” Vogue 8-) I know I’m not as good at these as she is, but I’m gonna give it the old college try in her absence! And just hope that she comes back to us soon :-( We miss you, Vogue!!!

Making the rounds after their heartbreaking (and premature, IMO) double elimination last night, Drew & Anna and Helio & Chelsie chatted first with On the Red Carpet:
 

They also chatted with Access Hollywood about their early ouster.  God love Helio, he has got to be one of the most gracious, positive people I think we’ve ever had on the show – he seems to be taking it all in stride and is just grateful for the opportunity to return.  Drew seems to be taking it a little bit harder – even though I think he knew it was coming, doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt any less.  Anna also seems to be pretty upset about it.

The last stop of the evening was Jimmy Kimmel – by that point, I think everyone was getting a little tired & slap-happy and were just tryng to have fun :-P :

UPDATE: You can check out Drew & Anna, Helio & Chelsie getting interviewed by Ann Romney on GMA this morning here. I think the interview gets a little awkward & choppy due to the delay in the feed between NY & LA (and Ann just being kind of new at the whole interviewing thing), but Drew obviously has a bone to pick with the judges for their scores…can’t say I blame him. 

I’m actually really sad to see these two go – they were two of the bright spots for me each week, even if they weren’t the best dancers, because I could tell they were working hard and having fun…unlike some others this season 8-O

Ok guys, I’m gonna enlist your help – if you happen upon any other elimination interviews that I haven’t already posted, go ahead and post the LINK ONLY (don’t embed it, it makes the comments go all wonky) in the comments section and I will add it.  I dunno how Vogue does it – I have a whole new appreciation for how thorough and comprehensive her coverage is.  I can barely keep up! :-P

October 10, 2012 I Written By

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

DWTS 15 All-Stars: How Will the Eliminations Work This Season?

Many of you have been speculating as to how things will work this season, given that we have more couples than we would in a regular season and we have the added complication of a Presidential election throwing a wrench into the show’s schedule.  So we’ve decided to shed some light on the mystery of how the eliminations will work, and do some speculating of our own ;-)

First things first: we don’t know for sure that this is exactly how things will play out, week-to-week.  This is just the most likely scenario we were able to come up with, given what we’ve heard from various sources and press releases.  And we aren’t even positive that the show will be 10 weeks – we’re assuming it will, given what we know historically, but there hasn’t even been any official confirmation on that.  So take this all with a grain of salt – and you don’t get to bitch & moan to us if it doesn’t end up playing out this way. ;-)

Here’s what we know: according to one of Derek’s tweets, there are two double eliminations, and those will occur in weeks 4 & 6.  We also know from other sources that there will be one week with no elimination (likely due to the Presidential debates), and that there won’t be a results show on election day.  Based on what went down in season 7 (when the last election occured), we also know that the show has the potential to get bumped forward or backward an hour to accomodate the debates or other election coverage.  Given that information, here’s what we came up with: 

Week 1: Single elimination – Business as usual: performance show Monday, 1 couple eliminated on Tuesday’s results show.  I know some of you were complaining about having to lose a couple in week 1, as opposed to TPTB waiting until week 2 to let someone go – but I think after you read through this post, you’ll see that would be almost impossible.  Couples remaining: 12.

Week 2: Single elimination - Again, business as usual.  Couples remaining: 11.

Week 3: Single elimination – Ditto.  Couples remaining: 10.

Week 4: Double elimination – First of two double eliminations.  This is also where things begin to get wonky due to the election – the 2nd presidential debate is set to be televised between 9-10:30 PM EST on Tuesday, so this will likely necessitate the results show being pushed forward or back 1 hour – at least on the east coast.  There’s also the possibility that the results could be moved to another day entirely – maybe Wednesday, like they were one week in season 7. Couples remaining: 8.

Week 5: No elimination, no results show: Since the third and final Presidential debate is being televised between 9-10:30 PM EST on Monday, the performance show is obviously going to get cut short for those on the east coast (like me). Consequently, they are allegedly splitting the performance show into two nights – one hour on Monday, and one hour on Tuesday.  I’m guessing they’ll just have 4 couples perform on each night.  Since 4 couples dancing a standard-length routine doesn’t seem like enough to fill 1 hour (that’s a lot of filler, even with commercials), I think there might also be a 2nd dance this week – maybe a group dance or the team dance? So two performance nights, and no results show – so no elimination. Couples remaining: 8.

Week 6: Double elimination – Self-explanatory – basically a regular week, with two eliminations on results night instead of one.  Couples remaining: 6.

Week 7: Single elimination, no results show - Due to the ongoing Presidential election day coverage, there is no possible way they could have a regularly-scheduled results show on Tuesday – so one of two things has to happen: either the results show gets moved to a different night altogether (likely Wednesday), or they find a way to eliminate a couple at the end of Monday night’s performance show, similar to the format of last season of So You Think You Can Dance.  And before you ask – no, I have absolutely no idea how the voting would work if it’s the latter option…but I do have reason to believe that it’s a possibility.  Who knows. Couples remaining: 5.

Week 8: Single elimination – Back to business as usual.  Regular elimination on a regular results show.  Couples remaining: 4.

Week 9: Single elimination – Same thing.  Couples remaining: 3 finalists

Fun fact: if the show is indeed 10 weeks long, this will be only the 2nd season in DWTS history (season 5 was the first) with a fall finale airing AFTER the Thanksgiving holiday.  Not sure of the ratings implications that has (if any), but it does seem like the big reality shows try to end their seasons before the holidays roll around – I would guess because ratings typically fall during the holiday season, with everybody out Christmas shopping, going to holiday parties, baking, drinking Wassail, singing carols, eating fruitcake, whatever.  Personally, I would rather stay home & Christmas shop online in my PJ’s, while watching A Christmas Story for 24 hours straight on ABC Family. :-P But I digress…

So this funky schedule (and just this special season in general) poses some interesting problems – and the one many of you have brought to my attention is the issue of DVR’ing the show.  Some of you have actually missed the show because your DVR didn’t pick it up – with some cable providers, the show is listed as “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” instead of just “Dancing with the Stars”, so if you were counting on your series record from last season to just automatically record this season…you might be in for an unpleasant surprise.  So far, it seems to only be an issue for those with Brighthouse cable, but to be safe, you might want to check your scheduled recordings to make sure you’re all set up to record the show.  In addition, with some of the show times potentially getting shifted to accomodate the election, you may have to manually change the settings on your DVR in order to catch shows running earlier or later than usual, or on different nights altogether.  We’ll do our best here at Pure to try and keep you abreast of any time changes that we hear of.  :-)

So what do you guys think of the potential elimination schedule this season? Total chaos…or an acceptable solution to the multiple unique obstacles that this season poses?

September 26, 2012 I Written By

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

DWTS 14 – What’s Left to Dance?

Well, we’ve reached the halfway point (sort of…) of the competition.  Only 7 of the 12 couples we started with remain, and each couple has 6 dances down and 6 more regular ones to go (not counting team dances, freestyles, etc.) in the 4 weeks left in the competition.  Now we get down to the nitty gritty and see what everyone is really made of…because starting next week, they all have to do 2 full-length dances per week.  So let’s take a look at what each of the couples has to contend with in the coming weeks, shall we?

First impressions: anyone who still has samba left to do is likely at a bit of a disadvantage, as that’s the dance that really seems to trip a lot of people up.  Those who are still waiting to do Argentine tango could have a slight edge, as it seems to be a dance that can really redeem a couple when done later in the competition. I think Donald & William are likely going to struggle a bit with their remaining ballroom dances; Jaleel, Maria, and Katherine are probably going to be a bit challenged by their remaining Latin dances; and Melissa & Roshon are probably going to struggle with just about everything, since they don’t seem to be in the judges’ favor.

Jaleel & Kym – remaining dances: paso doble, waltz, quickstep, Viennese waltz, salsa, Argentine tango

I’d say Jaleel actually has one of the better sets of remaining dances left to do – it’s a good mix of Latin & ballroom, and he still has both of his “extra” dances to burn through.  He seems stronger in the ballroom dances than in the Latin, so I don’t see waltz, quickstep, or Viennese waltz being a big problem; and I could see him really doing well in the paso doble, since he seems to have some anger issues he needs to work out :-).  He seems to have to intensity necessary for Argentine tango, but I have to say, I’m skeptical about how proficient he’s going to be at the salsa – he’s got the personality, but I’ve noticed that his footwork tends to suffer at the expense of his showmanship…especially on more energetic dances like jive & samba.

Donald & Peta – remaining dances: samba, jive, waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, salsa

I seriously love Donald, but I think he’s got his work cut out for him the next few weeks – he’s still got two of the more difficult Latin dances left to deal with, and since he still seems to be struggling a bit with ballroom posture & frame, I think the waltz, tango, and Viennese waltz are going to be a challenge.  I think he’ll have a blast with the salsa, though – I can just see the big ol’ grin on our “hunkey dunkey” football player now :-D I’m just a bit concerned with the judges – I think they’re warming to Donald, but I don’t think they’re as willing to overlook slight errors with him as they are with Katherine, William, or even Maria.  He’s gonna have to be on-point every week if he wants that “10 from Len”.

Maria & Derek – remaining dances: samba, paso doble, jive, waltz, Viennese waltz, Argentine tango

I really wish they had already gotten samba & jive out of the way earlier this season :-( Those are two dances I just don’t see Maria having an easy time with – no one really and truly nails the samba (and along with cha-cha, it’s Derek’s LEAST favorite dance to choreograph), and with the exception of Nicole, it seems like really willowy ladies seem to have trouble with the jive, as it takes more time & effort to get those long legs kicking & flicking properly.  She might struggle a bit with paso, but Derek is generally pretty good at choreographing paso doble to his partner’s strengths, so I don’t think it will be too problematic; waltz and Viennese waltz shouldn’t be a problem; and the Argentine tango could be their secret weapon – if there’s one dance that might win them the pimp spot, it’s this one, as Derek has choreographed some of the most dramatic Argentine tangos over the years.

Roshon & Chelsie – remaining dances: paso doble, jive, waltz, tango, foxtrot, Argentine tango

First things first: while I still think Roshon is technically the best dancer still left in the competition, the judges (Carrie Ann in particular) have made it pretty clear that they’re VERY eager to point out any mistakes he makes – so he’s going to have to be damn near perfect in every single one of these dances, if he wants to stick around.  He’s done pretty well with the ballroom dances he’s had so far, so I think waltz & foxtrot shouldn’t be a problem; he also has a bit of an edge in that he’s already done the jive in the dance duel (and gotten some critiques from the judges on it), so he knows what he needs to work on.  The potential problems I see? Paso doble, tango, and Argentine tango – all require a certain degree of maturity and masculinity to really pull of well, and as we saw with the rumba this week…Roshon seems to struggle a bit with being a manly-man. :-P

Katherine & Mark – remaining dances: cha-cha, rumba, tango, quickstep, Viennese waltz, salsa

Well, when you’re a pretty good dancer and the judges seem to fawn over your every move, it doesn’t seem like you’d really struggle with any remaining dances – and to some degree, I get the feeling Katherine’s gonna have it made from here on out.  However, I see cha-cha, rumba, and salsa sticking out as potentially weaker dances for her – all require a certain degree of sexiness to pull off successfully, and I still don’t think Katherine is really comfortable with being sexy & sassy.  Her samba was ok, but I never got the feeling that she was 100% committed (or comfortable) with it; and while I thought her Argentine tango was great in terms of technique, she seemed to have emotional commitment problems there as well.  Can she pull off the sexiness? We’ll see.  Given her really good track record with the ballroom dances, I think tango, quickstep, and Viennese waltz should be a cinch – provided that Mark can continue to be “good Mark” and avoid any gimmicks. Read more..

April 25, 2012 I Written By

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