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Dancing with the Stars Season 23, The Finale – Dancing by the Numbers! The MBT Goes to…

I’m somewhat happy to say that I don’t really know what’s going to happen. 🙂  Not sure where to start on this one.

Well, I think my favorite freestyle was Calvin’s. But I think he’s going to get third place. Love the dude…and I really find any man who gets emotional seeing his (extremely gorgeous) son exceptionally attractive. But I think he should be happy with third place, considering the competition. Read more..

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. :-)

PureDWTS Season 23, Final Power Rankings – Who Will Win?

And so we wrap up another season of this show – and I’ll be honest: I’m pretty ready for it to be over.  On top of the general fatigue of writing each season, I’ve also been dealing with some medical issues (namely, trying to find a suitable form of prophylaxis for my migraines), additional stress at my 9-5 (the FDA just loves to make my job harder!), dating (something I haven’t done in quite awhile), the election and its fallout (just…ugh), and just a general uptick in the level of aggression and vitriol from some fans of the show…which is not quite as balanced-out by some awesome discussion with very intelligent, engaging fans of the show as it used to be.  I used to be able to say “Yeah, there’s assholes, but they’re far outnumbered by the number of really awesome people that I interact with as part of the show!” But at the rate the show is going, what with alienating core demographics with their manipulations and machinations in favor of pursuing more “desirable” demographics, they’re losing more and more of those really intelligent fans…and they’re gaining thin-skinned, entitled twatwaffles that label anything they don’t agree with as “bullying” and have a tendency to deliberately misinterpret things they either don’t like or aren’t quite smart enough to full comprehend.  The quality of discussion has really gone downhill…and I’m left in a similar position to how I was post-All-Stars: should I still be blogging this show? Or is it time to move on? It will be food for thought for me in the off-season, no doubt.

But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this season – most of this season’s cast (minus maybe one celeb and one pro – not necessarily paired together) has been awesome to watch, and I even found myself liking Rick, Vanilla, Terra and Ryan far more than I thought I would! For what it’s worth, they found themselves a pretty likeable crop of celebs this season – people I could really pull for.  And a wicked little part of me got a kick tonight out of seeing basically everyone taking the mickey out of Carrie Ann’s inane lift-policing on live TV tonight 😛 It’s actually extra-funny to me, considering that I now find myself blocked on Twitter by Carrie Ann for asking if the lift police were off-duty last week (and admittedly, it was one of my tamer tweets!). Also nice having Len back, although I’m not sure his presence made a ton of difference in critiques & scoring – it was maybe SLIGHTLY less off-the-wall than normal, and things do get a little gushy & hyperbolic in the finals, anyway.  Train’s performance was weird and basically sampled “Heart & Soul” the same way that Pitbull samples pretty much every song popular in the 80s: poorly. Also found myself scratching my head at the La-La-Land performance. Erin, honey, you need to brush up on your A Christmas Story references – Randy can’t put his arms DOWN in the snowsuit, not up.  Pssssh, next thing you know, she’ll be mispronouncing “fragile” – it’s “fra-gee-lay”.  Which, of course, means it’s from Italy 😉 Can you tell I’m a fan?

Perhaps most satisfying was FINALLY seeing Jana given the boot, even if we were forced to endure yet another whiny, pity-party rehearsal package where she & Gleb bemoaned the various crap hands they’ve been dealt this season, from her rib injury to his flu virus, before witnessing two pretty gimmicky dances that didn’t leave a lasting impression. Her tango looked like just about every other dance she and Gleb did this season – too rushed, too trick-laden, too time-waste-y, too dramatic, and too bereft of solid, basic steps or good use of the floor (that damn platform needs to go).  Gleb, honey, your body of work this season has got me very, very worried for the future of this show if you really and truly are supposed to be the “new Derek” – you’ve been a one-trick pony, and you’re gonna have to be a jack-of-all-trades if you want to fill D’s shoes.  I’ll just say that Jana’s freestyle felt like the dance equivalent of a pumpkin spice latte: something pretty cliched that the average basic bitch probably loved, but wasn’t refined enough to realize is actually utter crap. It was a garden-variety contemporary, complete with over-the-top, angsty expressions and wild, flailing gestures, and with a gimmicky prop thrown in with a questionable degree of success.  Those two wrapping each other up in that diaphonous piece of fabric kinda reminded me of playing that Halloween party game where you wrap your friends up in toilet paper to look like mummies – it made me laugh but I couldn’t take it seriously 😛 Kinda like some of the lifts, where Jana got so much of a running start that I thought for sure she was gonna go for a full-on star lift or even the famous Dirty Dancing lift…and then she went for something…not very dramatic.  ‘Twas weird.  But anyway – I think it may have clearly illustrated to viewers that Jana really didn’t belong in the finale in the first place, and was a bit out of her element…the other 3 finalists danced circles around her last night.  I tend to think both Marilu and Terra could have given us more entertaining finale dances than Jana did.  But I will applaud her for how complimentary she was to the other 3 finalists when she got eliminated – I think she even knew that she was a bit in over her head, making it to the finals. Read more..

I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22 Finale, Night 2 – 24-Hour Fusion Dances Revealed **SPOILERS**

Please forgive the incomplete info – doing the best I can, kids 😛

ETA: George Pennacchio filled in my gaps.  Nyle’s song is a guess on my part, as George only said that their song was called “Summer”.  Now if all of you who like to complain about every tango done to an EDM song “was just a copy of Meryl & Maks'” don’t bitch about Peta & Nyle’s…then YOU, my friends, are hypocrites. 😉

Ginger & Val – Argentine tango/Foxtrot (song: “Just Like Fire” by Pink)

Nyle & Peta – Tango/Cha Cha (song: “Summer” by Calvin Harris(?))

Paige & Mark – Salsa/Jive (song: “Little Bitty Pretty One” by Thurston Harris)

Thoughts? How convenient that Val got Argentine tango again – he can just recycle the last 5 ones he did, which were all just remixes of the previous one he did. Having a hard time remembering Nyle’s tango, but wasn’t that one that he bungled up on? Paige is gonna look so stinkin’ cute doing a salsa/jive. 🙂

Here’s to a fun finale! 😎

 

May 24, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 11 – Final Power Rankings!!! Who Will Win?

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

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

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

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

November 24, 2015 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 9 – Tamar Braxton Withdraws from DWTS, Cancels Remainder of Tour

Before I begin, please everyone send some love to @Voguerista – her father passed away unexpectedly yesterday, and all of us at Pure have a heavy heart today 🙁 I never had the pleasure of meeting her dad, but to produce someone as benevolent, kind, and hard-working as our little Vogue? He must have been one extraordinary man. 🙂 Prayers to Vogue & her family during this difficult time.

Well, according to Tamar’s Instagram, she is withdrawing from DWTS on the advice of doctors – she’s currently suffering from multiple pulmonary embolisms in her lungs:

With a Heavy heart I regret to inform you that my season of #dwts has to come to an end along with the rest of my tour dates with @musicbykem. After yesterday’s final #dwts performance I went back to the hospital (after the doctors didn’t want me to leave in the first place) only to find out that I don’t have pneumonia but something way more serious and that is having several P.E.’s (blood clots in both sides of my lungs) As you all know I will be the first to always encourage anyone to push through any obstacle that comes along one’s way. But in this case, my health is my current obstacle. .. And in TRUE #tamartian form I must go about this the exact same way as I would anything else. I woke up to a mirror and saw myself this morning and that makes me the winner because that almost wasn’t the case. 🏆Take care of yourselves… I love you and thank you ALL for your support❤️ p.s. Big hugs and kisses to my boo @iamvalc for being beyond a friend, brother and the BEST partner EVER😘🙌🏽🙌🏾

A photo posted by To (@tamarbraxtonher) on

First of all, I wish Tamar nothing but the best and I’m sending prayers & positive vibes her way – I lost my aunt to a P.E. 12 years ago, and when Mama Spence was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, they were fortunate enough to catch two P.E.’s and stop them in their tracks before they could really cause some damage.  They are even MORE serious than pneumonia, as you can die in a matter of minutes if one breaks loose.  She is absolutely doing the right thing by withdrawing and cancelling the remainder of her tour dates in order to attend to her health.  I vaguely recall her sister Toni suffering from the same affliction several years back before being diagnosed with lupus – P.E.’s can be a symptom, so there may be life-altering consequences for Tamar if she, too, suffers from an autoimmune disease.  I can only imagine how scary this must be for her.

All that being said, I can’t help but feel frustrated at the fact that she left the hospital against doctor’s orders on Monday night to come dance (rather lackadaisically, I might add), made it through to next week, and Alexa got sent home…only to have Tamar turn around and withdraw about 24 hours later. Not only was she seriously endangering her life by dancing (think about what could have happened if one of those clots broke loose on live tv), but had she withdrawn on Monday – Alexa might still be with us.  And while I’ve seen some on Twitter already entertaining the notion of Alexa returning, I just don’t see how they could – when she was voted off, they shut down her voting number.  My guess is that they will either not eliminate anyone on Monday, let all 4 remaining couples into the finale, and combine the totals from weeks 10 & 11 to determine the winner; or opt for a 3 person finale and eliminate one more couple. But who knows…

What do you guys think?

November 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 – SPOILERS!!! Who Won???? Let’s Discuss the Show!

Court here 🙂 As Heidi is currently tied up at work, I’m covering for the time being…who’s ready to finish this season off?

Nice to see Redfoo shufflin’ in the opening number…and Nastia basically slaying her little bit, as if to say “Yeah, you eliminated me just short of the finale…and I just danced better than at least 2/3  of the finalists last night.”

Riker handled that bobble in his freestyle like a champ – didn’t even know it happened until Deep Throat told me about it later.

Ruh-roh – Riker got the encore? Oh boy, Riker fans – I sure as hell hope you actually voted for him to WIN, and didn’t just waste the night tweeting for him to get the encore. Historically, he/she who gets the finale encore does NOT end up winning the MBT.

Oh boy – Team Fooma and the Juicy Wiggle 😛 Any Aussies out there? Heard a rumor that the “juicy wiggle” was actually a dance craze in Australia – and Foo basically bogarted it when he was judging The X-Factor there last summer. Random.

Woohoo LEFT SHARK!!! AND MY BELOVED CRAB SASHA!!! 😀 And Charlotte’s awesome boobage.

I gotta give Fonz credit – I’m beginning to think his season never ended and he just decided to be on this one as well, since we see so much of him  😛 Dare I say we’ve seen more of Alfonso this season than at least 2/3 of this season’s cast?

WHHHAAAATTTT???!!!! Fonz taking over Funniest Home Videos??? BEST NEWS I’VE HEARD ALL DAY 😀

Ok, Derek got the best lines from “Bad Lip Reading”…#ipooped

A little birdie told me Emma is involved in Jason Derulo’s number…;-)

Emma just SLAYS.  That is all.  For those keeping count, this is the 2nd time Jason has performed on the show…and made Ems the focal point of his dance. #justsayin’

Chris still looks uncomfortable dancing to me.  But Wit’s costume is adorable.

Ugh. I just realized we’re only 45 minutes into this finale – I still have to sit through another 75 minutes of it. *sigh*

Dare I say even Bruce Willis was impressed by Nastia reprising her Lindy? 😉

Speaking of Bruce – I can’t tell if he was genuinely tickled by the “Dance Hard” parody…or forcing a smile.

Nah, I think he’s having a great time – he’s grinning every time they pan to him. Either that, or they’re just looping the same clip of him smiling…

Poor Charlotte.  Poor Keo. 😛

Eh…this dance feels like  “B.O.S.S.” redux to me.   It’s just ok – bet Mandy choreographed it.

Aaaaand the pro dances just get even more mediocre… #putyourshirtbackongreasychest

This “Elastic Heart” dance smells like Emmy bait to me – did Derek choreograph it?

And God bless Miss Patti and her “In Da Club” salsa…with Charlotte as the bottle girl and Chris & Michael as bouncers 🙂

An hour and 15 minutes in and they’re just now mentioning the fusion dance.  Gaaaaaah.  Still gotta sit through 45 minutes of this… 😯

Goddammit it’s so dusty in my house whenever Noah dances…but he slayed that fusion.  Better be a perfect score!

Ahem. So the judges pull out the 9’s – you best believe Noah was a legitimate threat to Rumer or Riker winning – and he possibly still is. Verrrrry interesting choice in score.

Could they have saddled Riker with a shitter fusion than salsa/quickstep?  If he gets reamed, so help me god…

Bet you anything Rumer gets paso/foxtrot or some other dark, edgy dance – since that’s all we’ve gotten from her all season.

Either I’m psychic, or Rumer & Val are just that one-note.

Aaaaand somehow we’re still “rushing”, but there’s ample time allotted for heaping over-the-top praise on Rumer – since she’s basically the best dancer ever on DWTS, the greatest thing since sliced bread, the cure for cancer, and the second coming of Jesus Christ. This season cannot be done fast enough for me.

And we have the mandatory maudlin song being performed as the 3 finalists stand awkwardly by with clips of the couples playing in the background.  Yawn.

Noah & Sharna 3rd.  No huge surprises there, considering the scoring low-ball – but look at just how much they had to low-ball him to make it happen.

Winner: Rumer & Val. 2nd place:  Riker & Allison

And cue the million and one justifications from Val why his 1 golden MBT is the most important win in DWTS history and is better than every single other win combined.

Is it season 21 yet?

May 19, 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 19, The Finale – Power Rankings

ZOMG guise Janel r hurt! Janel didnt getz enuf rehursul tyme! O the humanatee!!! Seriously, felt like the lolcat sympathy hour for awhile there, with everyone reacting with such horror at poor Janel and her rib injury and lack of rehearsal time.  Nevermind the fact that Alfonso has been injured FOR WEEKS, or that all of the contestants this season have outside commitments.  I took Tavis to task almost 2 months ago for complaining about not having enough rehearsal time – you best believe I’m an equal-opportunity chastiser, and I’m gonna take Janel to task for it too.  You don’t get to sign up for DWTS, knowing you have another commitment, and then complain about how little rehearsal time you have.  Bethany & Derek made do with 7 hours for one dance. Suck it up, buttercup.

All that aside – tonight was a pretty strong night for just about every dance.  Probably the strongest freestyle round, across the board, that we’ve seen in awhile, with everyone committing 100% to their dances.  I don’t think anyone struggled with showmanship.  Judges’ choice round could have been a bit better, but overall I think  everyone did ok.  Tomorrow night should be interesting, though – with only 3 points separating the leader (Alfonso) from the third place (Janel), they really are kinda throwing it to the fans to figure out – and while I’m pretty sure I know how things will shake out, the fact that they did a real bottom 2 tonight will probably whip some fans into a voting frenzy.  How convenient.

As for Bethany – she should’ve stayed.  Even though she fumbled a bit on her jive (dumb bed), I thought her freestyle was spot-on and was her strongest dance yet. Sorry to see her go – she seemed to have finally blossomed. But I think she and Derek went out on a high note, and can take pride in what a fantastic job they did this season. 🙂 Read more..

November 24, 2014 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 18, The Finale – Power Rankings

Well, that’s that, I guess – just go ahead and give Maks Meryl her MBT and let’s be done with this.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a finale tip its hand as much as it did last night – it was made quite clear who they wanted to keep far away from the MBT (Candace), who they wanted to make the final two (Amy & Meryl), and who they ultimately want/need to win (Meryl & Maks…duh).  I was rather disgusted that everyone (including Erin & the judges) seemed to jump on the ridiculous Meryl & Maks showmance bandwagon, but then again, I’m not at all surprised – I will forever remember season 18 as the season that DWTS decided to adopt the “tabloid sleaze” angle.  It won’t be a pleasant memory.

And I know it’s not just me, as a jaded DWTS viewer/blogger, that was put off by last night’s show – the bf actually had a rare day off yesterday, after being tied up with a competition over the weekend, and he came over for dinner and decided to stay & watch the show.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter got to hear some of his gems while watching the show last night – but for those who didn’t, I think this quote best sums up his feelings about the whole thing: “This is such a waste of my life right now.” He was appalled at the judging (“When did this bimbo ever do ballroom in her life???”), appalled at the teaching (he was especially taken aback by Mark forcefully moving Candace’s head during rehearsal – and he’s even friendly with Mark!), appalled at the choreography (“Why the hell is Maks doing contemporary? He’s a ballroom dancer!”), and was oddly disturbed by the fact that none of the pros seem to wear the proper footwear to teach in (“They could seriously hurt themselves…Argentine tango is not meant to be done in Nikes.”) He did seem rather impressed with one thing, though: how good Amy is, despite her disability.  He didn’t even realize she was missing the entire lower portion of her leg until I explained her story – and then he was just floored.

Can’t say I’m terribly surprised that James just couldn’t make his way past Candace last night – I think he unfortunately had a bit of an unmemorable week last week, and Candace does seem to have some fervent fan support.  Was left feeling rather puzzled by both of his dances last night – his tango felt a little bit chaotic & desperate (hello, kiss – guess everyone was trying to make a ploy for showmance votes last night), and his freestyle just felt…aimless.  Guess we now know how Peta does with freestyles when she doesn’t have any outward assistance from other pros.

Gonna do things in reverse tonight – start with 3rd place and work up to the winner…

3rd place: Candace & Mark

I think the judges all but ensured that Candace will wind up in 3rd when the chips are down tonight – while I agree with most that she’s the weakest dancer left, I don’t think she’s as bad as some of the scores she was given last night.  I guess I agree with her quickstep score – there still seemed to be a few frame and body contact issues, but really, it’s the finale – would it have killed them to give her just one 10? Or is she pulling in THAT many votes that they’re afraid she might overtake Amy or Darling Meryl? I just get the impression that Candace has been one variable that TPTB hadn’t planned on this season – she seems to have a lot more support than they thought she would, and that has led to some serious hosing over the weeks.  As for her freestyle – I don’t think it was nearly as bad as being 8-worthy across the board.  9-worthy, maybe.  I thought she connected well to the music and gave it a good effort – seemed like she was having fun out there.  Sure, maybe she was a little clunky coming out of some of the lifts, but it didn’t detract from the performance THAT much.  In the end, I’m left feeling a little torn on Candace: I feel bad for her, with some of the unnecessary hosing she’s gotten this season; but in the same token, I think she’s lucky to have gotten as far as she has, and should feel proud to be a finalist.  I think she’s had great journey this season 🙂

Runner-up: Amy & Derek

If they gave the MBT to whoever overcame the greatest odds in order to end up in the finale, Amy & Derek would be a shoo-in, for sure.  But unfortunately, there seems to be a different agenda at play this season, so I think the best these two can end up with is second place.  Loved both of their routines last night – thought their salsa was a nice step-up from the one she did with Mark, and had plenty of content; and Derek STILL reigns supreme in the freestyle – I think the edge Derek has is that he’s better able to tell a story than some others with his choreography; I understood the theme and plot he was trying to convey with that routine, and he managed to still do some pretty awesome lifts and creative stuff in it.  Thought the rope was genius at the end – kinda symbolized for me the journey Amy has taken on the show, and her ability to handle things that no one would ever guess she’s capable of.  Of course the naysayers will claim there wasn’t enough content – what they fail to realize is that, just because she wasn’t necessarily on her feet for every single step, does not mean there “wasn’t content”; hell, I think doing that rope spin was far more difficult than any pirouette or pique Derek could have had her do on the ground.  But whatever – these two have already won this season for me, and I daresay Amy has a bright future ahead 🙂

The winner: Meryl & Maks

Since the focus of this partnership all season long seems to be Maks (with Meryl as an accessory), I’ll respond in kind and make this critique about him, since I don’t think Meryl is the problem (other than the fact that she herself seems to have bought into the hype of “Maks has never won, Maks deserves to win” and is falling into step with it instead of actually standing up for herself).  Meryl is going to dance whatever she’s given FLAWLESSLY.  The problem is (and has been all season), that what Maks has given her has not been all that impressive.  And I stand by that statement tonight, because even the redo Argentine tango he gave her (which I guess is his favorite dance) paled in comparison choreographically to what his lil bro gave her over a month ago for me.  And here’s why: Maks seems to have a lot of “moments”, but isn’t quite adept at stringing them altogether to make a coherent routine.  Val, on the other hand, seems to see the whole picture: he understands that a dance, like a story, needs a beginning, middle, and end, plus some fluid transitions to make it all flow together seamlessly.  Plus, Val did his thing with a far more difficult song, and with a partner that he had only worked with for a few days.  And then there’s the freestyle: looks like Maks’ idea of being “creative” and doing something “never before seen on DWTS” involves creating a derivative, watered-down version of a winning freestyle from a year ago and acting as if it’s something brand-new and ground-breaking.  I actually don’t even think this was choreographically as strong as their rumba from a few weeks ago – and that was barely a rumba.  I think if he really wanted to showcase Meryl’s abilities, he would have shunned the ooey-gooey showmance-promoting route and choreographed something more upbeat and full of both lifts and energetic dance steps.  Show us how versatile she really is, instead of rehashing what we’ve already seen from her.  And for Pete’s sake, do something that actually seems to illustrate her journey on DWTS. Hell, at the beginning of the season, I had envisioned some wild, celebratory freestyle to “Gypsy” by Lady Gaga (which would have even appealed to the shippers on some level, while still nodding to all the traveling she & Maks have done together this season). So given what I just said, you’ll have to forgive me when I ask “So WHY does Maks ‘deserve to win’?” He’s struggled with choreography, he’s struggled with crafting routines that showcase his partner, and he’s struggled with his own behavior.  “But Courtney, it’s not about Maks – it’s about MERYL!!!!” I’m sure some of you are going to cry – to which I say “She’s an Olympic gold medal ice dancer that hasn’t been truly challenged all season long.  Should she win the MBT for (no pun intended) skating through the season without much of a struggle?” I look at all the tough stuff that Amy & Charlie in particular have had thrown at them throughout the season by their respective pros – and how they’ve struggled, and toiled, and still overcome those obstacles.  There’s just no comparison for me.  But everyone is going to vote how they’re going to vote (and that’s fine), and I think the die has already been cast that this was “Maks’ season” from the get-go – and everyone has just kind of fallen in line with that mindset.  It will be a hollow win, though, IMO – and it’s one I’m sure we’re going to be hearing about for the next 5 years, a la Donny Osmond.  But whatever helps Maks (and his fans) feel validated, I guess.

So there’s my two cents.  What’s yours? 🙂 Just as a side note: I still do post here at PureDWTS in the off-season, but with America’s Got Talent starting up next week, you’ll probably see more of me over at Pure AGT this summer.   If you’re a fan of the show, come join us! We’re a small (but entertaining) group 😉

May 20, 2014 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

Tom Bergeron Interviewed About The Future Of Dancing With The Stars And More

For a cool new Dancing With The Stars interview with Tom Bergeron, see the Hollywood Reporter. He discusses working with new co-host Erin Andrews, season 18’s Partner Switch Up, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, the future of the show, and more. Below is a take…. and now it’s show time! More later!

With show runner Conrad Green leaving after this season, it’ll be the end of a DWTS era. I need to make sure: Will you still be around as long as the show’s still around?

I’m under contract for two more seasons, so I’m here at least through the spring of next year.

How do you see the show changing, if at all?

It’s hard to know. I’m sure we’re on in the fall — they’ll announce that formally very soon, I would imagine. We’re up year to year, which is unusual for a show that’s so long-term. So I would think we’ve at least got those two seasons, and we’ll see what happens after that. I still have fun. I love working on the show and I love the people. But I’m also a realist about television shows and typical life spans. I’ve been fortunate both with this and America’s Funniest Videos, which I’ve decided to wrap up after next season. By that point I will have done this for 15 years. That’s crazy! If you didn’t have these shows working simultaneously, that’s like a quarter century of network television.

May 5, 2014 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.