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PureDWTS Season 17, The Finale – Power Rankings

*sigh* Well kids, all good things must come to an end – and last night, the inspired run that Bill had on DWTS this season came to a close.  As soon as the judges handed out that first bullsh*t score, I think I knew there was no way in hell they were gonna let Bill even get within striking distance of the MBT – but thankfully, Bill went out on a very high note: I don’t think Emma could have choreographed a more perfect routine for him than his freestyle :-) Just wish that the judges had given him just ONE pity 10, but again, I think they were afraid that giving him any excessively kind scores was going to prolong his stay…but it just became even more glaringly obvious when you take into account that each of the other couples got a perfect 30 on their freestyles.  I’m trying not to be bitter about it, but the fact that Len admitted that Bill “did improve” on his Viennese waltz, and then proceeded to give him the SAME SCORE as he got the first time around, just doesn’t compute for me.  Grrrrr.  But alas, I don’t know that poor Bill had the energy in him for more dancing tonight, so I’m partially relieved that the guy gets his life back now…now I just have to work on getting mine back.  Gonna miss Bill & Emma :-(

Speaking of that blasted “judges’ choice” dance – I don’t know what the hell was going on with the scoring & commentary there.  They tell Bill he improved, but give him the same score as the first time he did the dance; they tell Corbin he didn’t improve, but give him a higher score than the first time he did his dance.  I thought both improved, but from the way the judges were talking, you would have thought both had completely bungled their dances up even worse than the first go-round.  But once again, I think the judges had an agenda there, and the scores and commentary given for those two dances in particular had little to do with the actual quality of the dance.  The secret judges’ mission statement of finale week, night one seemed to be “make sure Bill goes home at all costs”. Oh well.

Gonna do my rankings in reverse order tonight – starting with 3rd place and working up to the winners.

3rd place: Corbin & Karina

Corbin’s a fantastic dancer, no doubt, and he definitely delivered in all three of his dances last night – but I’m still left just a bit chilly after watching him dance, and it seems to be a sentiment shared by many of our readers.  Something about Corbin’s dancing just doesn’t feel connected to me – it’s as if he’s dancing for himself each time, rather than for an audience, and the end result just seems to create a barrier that prevents me from really connecting to him.   As I said before, I thought his quickstep was an improvement, but I still felt a bit of a disconnect in it – like he was more in his own head than interacting with the audience.  He handled the samba pretty damn well for not having done it before – and while I do agree that he deserved to win the samba relay, I can’t really say that his samba was my favorite or the most fun to watch; it was just very technical.  His freestyle was pretty impressive and very ambitious – taking on MJ is no easy task, but both he & Karina did rise to the occasion.  Wish they could have made it their own a bit more, as opposed to just throwing in a small section of tango before breaking into a hodgepodge of MJ moves; I also could have done without the extra people, as they only came in for a small portion and they damn near dropped Karina during the one stunt they assisted with.  I think he’ll probably handle his cha-cha/foxtrot fusion decently well, but when it all comes down to it, I just have a feeling that he’s going to end up in third place – between the way the judges run hot & cold with him, to the way some of the viewers haven’t been able to connect with him, to a fanbase that I’m really uncertain about, I just think the best he can hope for is third.  Amber’s got the judges on her side, and Jack seems to have the viewers – not a whole lot left for Corbin :-(

2nd place: Jack & Cheryl

For what Jack lacked in terms of technique and energy last night, he more than made up for in heart :-) As I found myself tweeting more than once last night, I think poor Jack is just absolutely drained at this point – as someone who lives with someone with an autoimmune disease, I can tell you that the fatigue is neverending; sure, those suffering have good days and bad days, but most days they do just feel kinda sluggish…and on really bad days, they can barely get out of bed.  I think after 13 weeks, Jack is just plain pooped – and as a result, his first two dances got a bit bungled.  You could tell he was really trying hard with his jive, but he just didn’t quite have the energy to pick his legs up and he may have gotten a little foggy on the choreography.  At the very least, he admitted it wasn’t his best and he was mad at himself - I don’t think I would have been as sympathetic if he had acted like that jive was better than his first attempt.  I agree with Len about their samba relay – it felt a tad safe and slow-moving, but I’m wondering if that was an intentional choice by Cheryl in order to somewhat preserve his energy for the freestyle.  But man, was that freestyle something to behold – Jack seemed to come alive again, and I actually found that the Fred Astaire theme fit him remarkably well.  And the tears both he & Cheryl shed after getting through it flawlessly? Just precious.  If I think Bill & Emma were the best-matched couple of the season, I think these two were a very close second – I think Cheryl needed Jack just as much as Jack needed Cheryl, and this season has been an epiphany for both of them.  I gave all my votes to Jack this week, and I could have sworn that I saw Bill whisper “Now you win this mofo!” in Jack’s ear as the credits were rolling last night.  I actually think he’ll do quite well with his paso/salsa fusion – I think Corbin was pretty kind in giving him that, as he would have ended up with jive again, otherwise.  I think Jack may benefit from the fact that he’s the only remaining finalist that has really had a strong “growth” arc on the show, and also the fact that he’s fighting with an incurable disease as he’s been learning.  Saw a lot of Bill fans tossing their votes to Jack – I’m hoping it helps him pull out 2nd place.  Although seeing him hoist that MBT would be nice ;-)

 Winner: Amber & Derek

Amber was flawless last night – I don’t think she could have done any better with her Charleston or her freestyle. They must have really drilled synchronization when rehearsing that Charleston, because I didn’t see them out of step at all.  While they handled their samba relay routine well, it seemed to get a little repetitive to me – a lot of samba runs and pivots – and I think that may have been what Len was referring to when he said that one couple had “almost” nailed it.  Loved the concept and execution of their freestyle – the stepping was definitely something that’s never been done before for the freestyle, and this was one instance where the extra dancers actually served to enhance the routine as opposed to just being in it.  And best of all: it highlighted Amber and what she is capable of.  I doubt the samba/quickstep fusion will give them any trouble – just hope they don’t try to pull out “Sir Duke” yet again. Given their scores and the undoubtled large Glee fanbase,  I would be surprised if they didn’t win – still think there’s an outside chance that Jack maybe gained some support after last night, and there’s enough “Derek doesn’t deserve a 5th MBT” naysayers out there that it could make a difference – but at the end of the day, I think Amber deserves to win.

So what did you guys think of last night’s show? And who do you think will be walking away with the MBT tonight?

November 26, 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 10 – Finale Power Rankings

First off, a bit of an apology/explanation: some of you may have noticed me being a bit quiet and scarce both on Twitter and here at Pure the past few days – that was due to a rather intense bout of the stomach flu which had me sidelined for 5 days.  I’m feeling much better, but still not 100%…and thus I’ve just been taking it easy, saving my energy for things like the cheese and power rankings.  Thanks for hanging in there with me :-)

Anywho…

…I find myself repeating a lot of the “guidelines” Heidi & I set forth about a year ago when we did our Top 10 Best & Worst freestyles in DWTS history, after watching the freestyles tonight.  I feel like only one couple really knocked it out of the park, and the other two made some pretty amateurish mistakes…one in particular showed us just how green he is in the freestyle arena.  And I’ve decided that I just HATE the “favorite dance” round, since it’s nothing really new, and I think it’s seldom a vast improvement on the original performance…and I think it can often turn out WORSE.  Can’t we just go back to the redemption routine, where it was completely new choreography, new music, and a clean slate?

Gonna do things differently tonight, and start off with 3rd place and work my way up…

3rd place: Kelly & Val

I’m left with mixed feelings for both of their dances, overall.  The paso doble started off very promising – lots of attack, and not a single falter UNTIL that rather noticeable slip of the hand and momentary loss of connection, which I have to assume was due to Kelly’s nerves.  I seriously thought she might pass out, as anxious as she was looking beforehand.  But she did manage to regain her footing, and I was actually impressed that she managed to do her whole turning sequence without getting dizzy or off-balance this time.  But she just looked so SCARED, and while she corrected the problems from last time, she had problems with a different section this time.  Was it an improvement? Sure. But I don’t think it was perfect, and I kinda wish Bruno had docked her half a point as well – if you’re going to point out an obvious error, I think you should adjust your score accordingly.  Len may have given her a 10, but at least he did it WITHOUT also pointing out the mistake she made.  Moving on to the freestyle…*sigh* This is the part where I chastise Val for making the rookie freestyle mistake of kinda copping out with a movie theme that is SO iconic that he & Kelly had no hope of ever living up to the original – and then even going as far as to copying some of that iconic choreography, so it makes the contrast to the original even more obvious and just makes the copier pale in comparison to the original.  Historically, dance movie-themed freestyles on the show have not gone over well - examples that come to mind are Mya & Dmitry’s Hairspray freestyle, Gilles & Cheryl’s Flashdance freestyle, Evan & Anna’s Footloose freestyle, Stacy & Tony’s Saturday Night Fever freestyle, and Bristol & Mark’s Chicago freestyle.  Why? They’re almost always cheap, generic knockoffs of the original, and we’re kinda just left feeling “meh” about the whole dance.  I think this was the biggest flaw of Kelly & Val’s freestyle – the overall theme (and choreography) was a watered-down, lukewarm copy of the show-stopped Swayze & Grey number from the end of Dirty Dancing.  Did it have relevance to Kelly & Val’s relationship? Ok, maybe – but I think they would have fared better had they stayed away from such a recognizable piece of music and the choreography associated with it, and done something more unique to them.  As for the dancing itself – as with many of their dances, it felt like it took a long time for them to finally start dancing, and there seemed to be a few stutters and what I call “empty space”: gaps in the choreography where more dancing could be fit in, but instead we had…standing around.  The lifts were decent, but I think they paled in comparison to both Melissa & Shawn’s; I thought the troupe rushing in like a disorganized herd of elephants was a BIG mistake, though.  It was at that moment that I really lost sight of Kelly, who should have been the focus for the whole routine.  The choir? Ok, cute touch, but I think it too distracted from Kelly.  Overall, just wayyyy too many people onstage for her dance, and if they were going to copy anything, they should have copied the section of Tony & Cheryl’s DD routine where the group comes in, because it was far more organized and not nearly as distracting.  Yes, Kelly & Val had great chemistry – but has that ever really been a problem? I guess I’m just glad they didn’t go the route of over-the-top mush, so I will give them props for that.  Was it a good routine? Mehhh…they danced what they had well enough, but I just think the content (and theme) could have been much better thought out.  In the end, I think Kelly will likely end up in 3rd - especially if things end up like I think they will after the instant dance.  I’m guessing it’s going to be ranked, in which case I think the judges easily give her 3rd place; and “soap fanbase” or not, I think Shawn has always had her beat, and I think Melissa’s more buzzworthy at the moment.

: Shawn & Derek

I would LOVE to be wrong and for these two to win – I think they deserve it.  But part of me just can’t shake the feeling that there are too many people riding on the “Melissa & Tony have never won before so they should win this time” train for Shawn & Derek to overcome – especially since they got reamed for their quickstep, which I’m feeling on-the-fence about.  As I said earlier, I kinda hate the whole “repeat your favorite dance again!” concept, because I feel like the routines only have a small margin for improvement…and even if they don’t improve, the judges tend to cop out and give them inflated scores anyway.  But that said – I really wish Derek would have given my nerves a rest and just tweaked the choreography a bit for a few more points.  I think they still have the opportunity to slide into at least 2nd place – but I’m just not sure that the rule-breaking was worth the risk this time.  The rule-breaking left the door WIDE open for those judges to storyboard the crap out of this week, for them to lowball Shawn, the early frontrunner, in order to give the impression of it being “anyone’s game”.  The routine was spectacular once again – but I thought it was only maybe a tad better than the original, since there wasn’t really a lot of stuff to improve upon, other than the choreography itself.  I would be resting a lot easier tonight if they had just picked their mambo and knocked it out of the park again - which makes me wonder, like Heidi, if these dances were chosen FOR them, as opposed to being chosen BY them.  As for their freestyle – I may have a colorful and varied vocabulary, but I believe the best response to this once was “OMG.”  STUNNING tricks, especially the counterbalance stretch at the beginning and that insane falling-face-first-towards-the-floor-from-my-partner’s-shoulders-but-gracefully-ducking-into-a-roll-at-the-last-possible-moment stunt that left me holding my breath.  I officially crown that the most ambitious stunt ever attempted in DWTS history, because that was some seriously dangerous sh*t, kids.  Loved the fact that Derek included bits & pieces of their mambo, bhangra, Argentine tango, and a few other dances in their freestyle – he knows Len just eats that stuff up.  Also loved the Fab 5 backing Shawn up – so cute seeing them gyrating in their matching black costumes, and nailing the choreography as only a squad of Olympic gold medalists could :-) Overall, if it were up to me, these two would walk away with the MBT tomorrow night – because they have danced flawlessly, entertained me week after week, and have brought something new to the table each time they hit the floor.  That, to me, is what the champion of the all-star season should be…I’m praying I’m wrong about the results tomorrow night!

The winner: Melissa & Tony

In the end, I won’t be upset if these two win – they’ve been working hard and giving us good, drama-free dance each week, and dammit, they’re likeable :-) I think both of them have stepped out of their comfort zone quite a bit this season and have really grown, and even though they may not have been the most technical or the most entertaining dancers each week, I still enjoyed watching them.  But I do think they were a bit overscored tonight, and maybe lacked a little bit of the panache of both Shawn & Derek and Kelly & Val.  Their samba – I actually think it was a little bit of a backslide from the original, because it didn’t feel as fluid to me this time.  Rather than Melissa just moving through it effortlessly like she did last time, it felt a bit more…I don’t know, stop-and-go this time? As if Tony had maybe focused a bit too much on having her really accentuate each step, and the end result looked a bit too isolated.  It defintely wasn’t bad, but I just preferred the original myself – seemed like she wasn’t under as much pressure and enjoyed the dance more.  Then we have their freestyle – as a side note, I have to wonder if Tony was drawing inspiration from Eric Luna & Georgia Ambarian, an incredible theater arts champion couple, when he was choreographing this routine – because a lot of these lifts had a very Eric & Georgia feel to them, and even Melissa’s costume reminded me of one I’d seen on Georgia before.  Anywho! I’m a little bit torn on this one – I normally complain about routines that are too lift-dependent, and I feel like this routine was almost entirely lifts.  But I will say this: Tony is still the best lifter we’ve seen on the show, and I think Melissa may have given Julianne a run for her money as the best liftee tonight – because the lifts they did were just stunning.  It was a beautiful routine – and I do feel like it was a good homage to Melissa’s routine on the show.  But I think going with such a slow song was a bit of a gamble…the only precedent we have for a freestyle done to more of a ballad was Erin & Maks’ in season 10, and it only seem to read lukewarm with fans.  I think Melissa’s was definitely better, but I wonder if she might have a more competitive edge against Shawn & Kelly with a more uptempo song.  In the end, I won’t really mind too much if Melissa wins – she’s nice, she’s worked hard, and I think she & Tony have had the right attitude about this season.  Guess we’ll have to see how things pan out after the instant dance…

So who do you guys think will be walking home with the MBT tomorrow night? And which returning stars are you looking forward to seeing? :-)

November 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 15 – What’s Left to Dance?

So obviously, this season is beyond wacky – double eliminations, no eliminations, new dance styles, guest judges, the whole shebang.  And there have been quite a few questions about what dances are being done each week…while I don’t pretend to have a super-clear picture of how the rest of the season is going to unfold, I do have a little bit of info, and I think the bulk of our readers are smart enough to deduce a lot of things :-) So here’s my best (educated) guess at how the rest of the season will unfold – and keep in mind that, like other things this season, some of the stuff in this post has the potential to change.  The double elim’s were scheduled for weeks 4 & 6, and then were moved to weeks 3 & 8 without explanation.  It’s kind of a crap shoot, kids.

First things first: the question I’ve been seeing the most is “Will the couples be able to get through all of the 10 regular ballroom & Latin dances by the finale?” While I can’t say for sure, in all likelihood I doubt they will, given how many other extraneous dances they seem to be trying to fit into the schedule – unless they try and double or even triple up dances in some weeks, which I think is just asking for trouble.   So it’s entirely possible that you may not see Gilles doing a quickstep, or Shawn doing a samba, or Apolo doing a tango, etc. Sorry kids – don’t shoot the messenger.  So every couple has 5 regular dances still remaining - here they are, in no particular order.

ETA1: That’ll teach me not to look more carefully before hitting “post” ;-) I see now that Shawn & Derek ALSO have a fusion dance comprised of 2 dances they have yet to do, just like Gilles & Peta…while everyone else has done one of the dances in their fusion this season.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say there was a bit of pre-planning in who picked what…but I can’t imagine any way they could do that, judging from how sloppy & disorganized the selection process seemed to be.  Guess it’s all just a coincidence. 

ETA2: Since this seems to be just too difficult for some to process on their own, let me spell this out loud and clear: THERE ARE TWO DANCES NEXT WEEK.  TWOOOOO.  NOT THREE.  I know you saw Apolo’s tweet about 3 dances – the dude is referring to the fusion dance (which is ONE DANCE) as two dances, since it is two dances mashed together into one routine.  Then there is the swing marathon.  1 fusion dance + 1 marathon dance = 2 dances.  I can assure you, there is not some 3rd “secret dance” that the powers that be are going to spring on us at the last minute. Got it? Good, cause I’m done spoon feeding information to anyone that can’t be bothered to read this post.

ETA3: Small update – there will be one more dance this season (in week 9) that is a “new” style that the couples will pick for one another.  No, I don’t have the list.  Still not a peep about the Argentine tango – so at this point, I’m assuming we aren’t going to see it. 

ETA4: Looks like they scrapped the idea of having celebs as the 3rd member of the trio dances, and we’re back to using pros (and troupe members) - phew! Also looks like salsa has been thrown into the mix as a possible trio dance, and it’s been confirmed: back-to-back double elims in weeks 8 AND 9 8-O Start making those extra verified accounts, kids…

Gilles & Peta – remaining dances: samba, paso doble, waltz, quickstep, Viennese waltz

Ruh-roh! Gilles only has 2 “sexy” dances left for him to get overscored on, based solely on his sex appeal.  Then he’s got three of the pretty staunch ballroom dances to contend with – any bets on which of the 3 (or more) that he miraculously won’t get to this season? I could see him somehow dodging the waltz, since that seems to be a dance that has to be amazing in order for a couples to get votes. If there’s any dance I’d say Peta might struggle with choreographing, it’s the quickstep – for the simple reason that she’s only choreographed one so far on the show (for Donald) and I recall thinking it was a tad weak.

Shawn & Derek – remaining dances: samba, paso doble, waltz, tango, Viennese waltz

I think the fact that these two still have paso doble left bodes well for them – it’s a dance for which Derek almost always comes up with stellar choreography.  Viennese waltz will probably be a good one as well.  I do worry about the samba a bit, though, because it’s a dance that Derek has said is one of his least favorite to choreograph, and if I recall, it was one that Shawn got mixed reviews for on her original season.  I wonder if it would benefit them to use it as their trio dance. Read more..

October 31, 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 Week 10 – Power Rankings for the Finale

For a second there, I was sure this night was a complete wash…and then Donald reaffirmed my faith in humanity with one of the most adorable freestyles I’ve ever seen on the show :-D

Not a whole lot to say that most of you haven’t already said on Twitter – there was definite overscoring going on (William), and definite underscoring going on (Donald), but in the end, I doubt the scores are going to matter a ton…because this seems like it’s going to be the fanbase battle royale for the MBT.  And if the response I saw after one couple’s freestyle was any indicator – I think they’re a shoo-in for the MBT ;-) Let’s do things in reverse tonight, starting with who I’m predicting for the 3rd place finisher…

3rd place: Katherine & Mark

Honestly, it were up to me, these two would be a definite 2nd place – but I’ve got a gut feeling that they may have gotten a little lost in the shuffle tonight, in between the judges’ golden boy and the charismatic dark horse.  I thought her paso was pretty damn good – she definitely danced with more assuredness and confidence than her first paso, and the choreo was clean, proper, and exciting.  My only complaint: it seemed to highlight Mark more than Kath, but I guess I can’t fault them too much, as paso is really the man’s dance…which just further drives the point home for me that the judges kinda screwed her a bit when they gave her the paso in the first place.  As for their freestyle – I have to commend Mark for returning to the tried-and-true formula for freestyle success: he picked something that was relevant to his celebrity, he made sure it was high-energy, and he included quite a bit of actual ballroom steps to please Len.  I think it would have been a strong competition for Donald, if only Kath hadn’t lost a bit of steam in the middle and gotten a bit stuck in the lifts.  But I liked the flapper theme, and thought Kath singing at the beginning was a great way to really make the routine relevant to her – I just wish Mark had toned it down a bit, so she could have actually made it all the way through the dance with the same high level of energy.  Ok, so they’ve got the high score – but it’s only one point more than the other 2, so it may as well be nothing…and I’m sorry, as gorgeous and talented as I think Kath is, I don’t think she can compete with the raging hormones of Willy’s fans or the magnetic personality that Donald’s fans are drawn to.  Like Ricki last season, who also had the high score after the first night of the finale (and also the first dance of the 2nd night), I think Kath may be relegated to 3rd :-( However, I would love to be wrong and have her take 2nd…provided it bumps Willy into 3rd ;-)

2nd place: William & Cheryl

I guess hoping that the overscoring would stop in the finale was wishful thinking, as I was not particularly wowed by either of Willy’s dances tonight…and the fault for that lies more with Cheryl than anyone else.  William didn’t mess up, and what he did in both of his dances was technically good – he even looked liked he was having fun, which was something I had yet to see from him this season.  But here’s the problem: the level of difficulty for both of his routines was pretty pathetic…and I genuinely feel sorry for the guy, because I think Cheryl really let him down with the choreography tonight.  Their cha-cha just felt like a recycled version of their first cha-cha, which wasn’t very impressive in terms of choreography – his hip action seemed better this time around, and he seemed more relaxed, but there was nothing particularly impactful or exciting about it.  He could have handled more – but Cheryl didn’t give it to him.  And I’m sorry, but if another contestant pulls a Miss Cleo and predicts exactly what you’ll do in your freestyle (Donald knows what’s up), then you’re probably a one-trick pony without much of an edge.  Sorry, but this freestyle was a cop-out – I’m all for picking something relevant to your partner, but this felt like nothing different than what I’ve been seeing the past 9 weeks: a bunch of gyrations, dips, ass shaking, and vaguely salsa-y moves.  Even the lifts were pretty elementary - William’s a muscular guy, and he could have handled more heavy lifting.  He didn’t mess up, and he seemed to have fun – but the choreography didn’t show me that he was really a great dancer. Overall, at the end of it, I was just kinda left saying “So what else is new?” But I’ve got a feeling that hormones will prevail tomorrow night, and at least carry William into the final two…with his complacent partner, who probably didn’t even bother choreographing anything truly innovative, because she knew they’d be overscored anyway – just like they’ve been all season.

The Winner: Donald & Peta

The last remaining couple untainted by the fishy overscoring of this season – and thankfully, I think they came across as the most likeable, as well :-D While I SOMEWHAT agreed with Len that their Argentine tango was a tad on the safe side, I still think it was underscored, given that William & Cheryl just regurgitated their first week cha-cha (which is probably the ultimate “safe” move), and the first go-round, Len bitched that their Argentine tango “lacked content”.  So they gave him more content…and now it’s “too safe?” Poor Donald just can’t win with Len.  Whatever.  Len sure couldn’t bitch & moan after that freestyle they did, though – it was EASILY the best of the night, as the energy was through the roof and stayed there the entire routine, and Donald totally pwned those lifts.  And really – who would have guessed that Donald would pull out the country card and get out there and line dance? That was fresh & unexpected – yet somehow still strangely relevant to Donald, as I think it really showed us how multi-talented he is…and a goofball, at that :-P I’ve got a good feeling about tomorrow night, that justice will somehow prevail and the grand plans of TPTB will be squashed by a legion of fed-up fans voting for the little Quickie That Could…suck it, Univision merger ;-)

So who do you guys think will walk away with the MBT tomorrow? And how do you think this “24 hour dance challenge” will turn out? If they don’t rank the routines (30, 28, 26), I’m totally predicting they cop-out and give all three of them 30′s, just like instant samba last season.  But aside from that…which returning stars are you most looking forward to seeing? I’m all about some Jack, Gladys, & Roshon, myself ;-)

May 21, 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!

SPOILERS!!! DWTS Season 13 – AND THE WINNER IS…

White space for those who might not want to know until later….you know retweets often put the first sentence in the tweet and it’s only polite to try to avoid that.

The Winner is: JR AND KARINA!!! Congratulations!!

Second place – Rob and Cheryl.

Third place – Ricki and Derek

I will say, this was a pretty enjoyable final – and leave the rest for the Cheesecake Awards. :-) Carson is my favorite non-final three person. Ok, had to share that. :-) and I’ll say that Mark and Derek don’t discriminate – they are going to hoist the winners, regardless. Good boys. :-)

DON’T FORGET!!! We dont go anywhere in the off season. Vogue will still be posting random media, all of us will be watching for rumors, I’m still working on my ringer series, and the series on the history of judges scoring. Courtney has several things up her sleeve….and most of all, we have the final LoLz and Cheesecake coming up late this week early next week. Be sure to come by and hang out!!

I will be relaxing for a few days, but the cheese and lolz are coming soon. In the meantime…HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

November 22, 2011 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 13, The Finale – Dancing by the Numbers

YAY!!!  It’s almost over. I can relax, have some turkey and stuffing, play some video games, drink some beer….oh wait, nothing has been stopping me from drinking beer. :-)

Anyway, it was great at the start of the season and it’s great at the end.  Got a little rough in the middle but all is well now.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – think JR will likely win. Don’t know who will get second and third – but does it really matter?? Nah. I’m zen. :-)  I think it should be Ricki in second since she has the highest average for the season and did better last night than Rob did, regardless of the scoring, but it is what it is. I like all three contestants a good deal.

Anyway, on with the numbers after two dances:

The Judges Scores and Percentages

Place Celebrity Score Percentage
1. Rob 57 34.55
2. JR 54 32.73
2. Ricki 54 32.73

Read more..

November 21, 2011 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 Who Wore it Better? Part XIII – The Chelsie Appreciation Edition

Well she may not be on the show this season, but “out of sight” is certainly not “out of mind” for us here at PureDWTS! What better time to show Chelsie she’s loved than now? :-)

I must confess, due to my own pessimistic tendencies, this was originally supposed to be the Anna Apprecation Edition, because I was so certain she wouldn’t be back this season.  But thankfully, she is, and now I have inspiration to create subsequent editions of WWIB featuring all of the female pros – eventually. ;-) Finding costume dittos is hard sometimes, even for someone with a freakishly near-photographic memory like mine…

Battle of the peach jeweled ballgown: Brooke’s Viennese waltz with Derek in season 7 vs. Chelsie’s pro dance with Dmitry to Jewel in season 8

Heidi: I think the look worked on Brooke simply so that the dress didn’t detract from the emotion of the dance, which was a Viennese Waltz to Daughters, by John Mayer.  It’s kind of plain on her, otherwise. I prefer it on Chelsie, and I like her softer hairstyle with this dress. Of course, it could just be the lighting. :-)

Courtney: I noticed several patterns with Chelsie’s costume choices while compiling this post.  The first is that she has an affinity for doing very lifty, contemporary choreo while wearing shortened ballgowns.  You can’t see in this picture, but this dress has actually been shortened substantially – check it out on the Randall website. May not be of any consequence to you guys, but I do find it kind of interesting how the costume department, when pressed for time & unable to create new costumes, just takes what they have on hand & changes it to work for them – very resourceful.  Anywho! I always thought the dress was very pretty on Brooke, but I’m not sure it’s a color she would pick for herself – seems too demure, and better suited to someone more wholesome and youthful, like Chelsie. And I’m not wild about Brooke’s hair – looks too…plastered down? Idk.

The winner: Chelsie, for better coloring…or maybe lighting.

Battle of the black, fringed, jewel-trimmed Latin dress: Chelsie in the season 11 finale opening dance vs. Anna’s opening credits shoot with Sugar Ray in season 12

Courtney: Another pattern I noticed with Chelsie: she is so freaking hard to get a decent screen cap of!!!!! Seriously – she never stops moving, and her technique is so good that she moves with such a range of motion that she’s seldom in a position where she’s facing the camera, in a neutral position.  I got so many bad screenshots of her moving her body in crazy ways that made it impossible to see her costume well.  She also seems fond of black-fringed costumes – this one is pretty similar to the one she wore for her cha-cha with Romeo, and she wore gloves for both.  In truth – I’m not wild about this version of the black-fringed costume.  Since there’s very little sparkle, it just seems to look a little blah on both ladies for me.  At least with the Romeo version, there was quite a bit of sparkle to give the costume some depth.  I prefer colored versions of this particular style, such as the hot pink & multicolored versions featured in WWIB Part XI.

Heidi: I don’t care for the long black gloves with the short, fringed latin dresses – I don’t get that wardrobe choice at all. Other than that, there isn’t much to say about it really – it’s hard to see but I really prefer the dress on Anna – and again, it could just be the background and the lighting influencing me. I’m so easy. :-)

The winner: Anna by a hair…with an assist from the background & lighting :-)

Battle of the sheer, white, feather-trimmed ballgown: Cheryl’s Viennese waltz with Chad in season 10 vs. Chelsie’s dance with Mark in the “America’s Favorite Dancers” show

Heidi: They all have their “tics” don’t they?? :-) Mark’s is high water pants and polka dots, Cheryl’s is the sheer ballgown skirt.  I much prefer Cheryl’s tic in this case, although I do find it a rather strange choice. As for who wore it better?? Well, I think Chelsie is wearing it like it’s a dress made for CHERYL, if that makes sense. It doesn’t really seem like it belongs on her, and I also prefer Cheryl’s hairstyle, as it is fancy, fancy, fancy…just like the dress.

Courtney: Ahhh yes – another representative of Cheryl’s ongoing infatuation with sheer-skirted ballgowns :-) This one is odd for me: I think the bodice is gorgeous, with all of the beading & delicate details, but the skirt…looks totally silly to me. Like they let a class of preschoolers decorate it with a bunch of feathers & pom-poms.  All that’s missing is the uncooked macaroni and you’ve got yourself a craft project! I don’t know…they both look good from the waist up, and bizarre from the waist down.  I’m apathetic.

The winner: Cheryl loves her some sheer skirts…and rocks them well.

Battle of the red, jeweled midriff Latin costume: Chelsie in the pro dance with the Mwano family in season 11 vs. Edyta’s salsa relay with Ashley in season 9

Courtney: Chelsie costuming pattern #3: she will never show her stomach completely.  Seriously…find me an example of her midriff being completely exposed and I will gladly admit I’m wrong.  She’ll wear cut-out dresses, or ones that show a teeny-tiny bit of belly, but then you’ve got 2-piece costumes like this where they slap a piece of mesh down the front.  This costume definitely had to go through some un-Edytafication before Chelsie would wear it…the mesh, the extra layer of fabric on the skirt to cover the sides, the increased chest coverage.  Normally I would give this one to Edyta, no contest, but the open sides of the skirt look weird to me.  Gotta go with Chelsie this time.

Heidi: Edyta, by a mile.  It was originally designed for her and by adding back material it just makes an already unfortunate dress worse. :-)  When you add the mesh on the front it make the whole dress look heavy, what with the double patterned belts around the hips and under the bra line.  I think Edyta is just playing the part here better than Chelsie is – and damn that woman has a body.  :-)

The winner: Edyta, for playing the part.

Battle of the lavender, jewel-trimmed, one-shoulder ballgown: Kym’s Viennese waltz with Donny in season 9 vs. Chelsie’s Viennese waltz with Jake in the season 10 finale

Heidi: I think Chelsie is a bit too short for this dress – maybe if it was straight to the floor instead of layered it would work better for me. Both women look very pretty, but I’m gonna have to go with Kym, I believe.

Courtney: This is another thing I hate about screen-capping – it always makes colors look too warm.  The dress is closer to the color on the left than the color on the right – but it’s a pretty color, regardless.  I think it’s a good example of the “less is more” concept of costuming – very simple silhouette, flattering color, minimal trim.  Lovely :-) Looks great on both ladies, but I have to give this one to Kym – love her romantic wavy hair.  Looks like Chelsie may have been the victim of the dreaded quick-change, which usually necessitates un-fussy, generically-styled hair to fit multiple costumes.

The winner: She of the Awesome Boobage dominates once again.

Battle of the gold, fringed, halter-top Latin dress: Chelsie in the season 8 intros vs. Ashly in the 150th episode pro dance to “Hard to Handle” in season 6

Heidi: Hmmm….tough call. Both ladies wear this dress well. It compliments both Chelsie’s sunny, California girl look, and Ashly’s darker hair and complexion.  This one is a tough call!!  I think I’m leaning toward Chelsie, but I have to idea why. :-)

Courtney: Maybe because we have a hard time believing a wholesome Mormon mommy like Ashly would pick out an outfit like this for herself? ;-) I dunno, at least that’s what I think – both ladies are on the wholesome side, but Chelsie is able to pull off sexier, flashier outfits a bit better, IMO.  The impression I get from Ashly in this dress is that “I had to wear a gold dress to match the other dancers, so I bit the bullet and picked out the most conservative one I could.” Plus I love the way a gold outfit looks paired with blonde hair :-)

The winner: Chelsie, for looking more comfortable being sexy.

Battle of the pale blue, jeweled high-neck ballgown: Nicole’s waltz with Derek in season 10 vs. Chelsie’s pro dance with Dmitry to Goo Goo Dolls in season 11

Courtney: I had completely forgotten about this one – and now that I’m looking at it, I’m realizing that it is really a beautiful dress. Simple silhouette with delicate details.  Again, looks great on both ladies, but I’m gonna go with Nicole on this one – I think this dress is better balanced as a long dress, and the high neck looks a bit odd on Chelsie.

Heidi: I think the high collar on this dress rather begs for an upswept, formal hairstyle. It draws the eye to a nice neck and you don’t want your hair ruining the effect. So, I have to go with Nicole also. The bodice of the dress with the shorter length (and lack of shoes) on Chelsie just doesn’t look quite right.

The winner:  Nicole, by a length…of dress.

August 29, 2011 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 Search Engine Round-Up – Week of June 3, 2011

Buckle in, kids – we’ve got a lot of interesting stuff to chat about today ;-) 

Maks & Cheryl in Vegas/Maks & Cheryl kissing

Oh boy – I think I was secretly wishing that no one would ask about this, because I feel kind of odd giving any more attention to what has become a Twitter firestorm.  But no such luck…*sigh* The basic gist: some pictures surfaced of Maks apparently kissing (I say apparently because his rep insists he was “whispering in a fan’s ear”) a dark-haired chick in a black, backless dress over the weekend in a club in Vegas.  Cheryl has long, dark hair and was wearing a black backless dress that night.  The two have been good friends for quite some time, and I vaguely remember some questions about a possible romance between the two in season 7.  So for me, it wouldn’t be a total stretch if these two suddenly became amorous – if even for one night after a few too many drinks (lord knows I had a few nights in my younger, wilder days where a guy friend started looking like more than just a friend after I got a few gin & tonics in me – ooh wee, that required some damage control the next day!).  Not that I care enough to really debate it – so what if Maks & Cheryl are getting cozy??? More power to ‘em – they both have had a rough go of it in the relationship department the past few years…maybe dating someone they’ve been friends with for a long time will be good for both of them. The only thing I will contest is this: if they weren’t kissing (as his rep insists), then I’ve been doing it wrong all these years – as well as whispering in peoples’ ears.  Apparently that’s done via mouth-to-mouth contact.  Glad Maks’ rep could clear that one up for me ;-) Hahahaha…I IZ NOT STOOPID, Maks’ rep. Oh, and to those who intend to scold me for posting a link to the pix – spare me.  People came here wanting to know about it; I’m gonna give them full disclosure.  If they do a basic google search, they’re gonna find ‘em anyway. Plus there’s some other hella funny pix in that gallery – including a few of a very intoxicated-looking Teddy V. wearing a cardigan that’s about 3 sizes too small and some dorky glasses.  Bahahahahaha!

Total votes for DWTS finale/How many votes did Hines get?

HA.  If you think this info is readily available to the public – keep dreaming :-) I can’t recall if they’ve ever revealed the grand total of all the votes cast for a finale – they’ve hinted at percentages and margins (much like Heidi does in her By the Numbers posts) and made vague statements such as “the most votes we’ve ever had cast for a finale!”, but I don’t think they’ve ever said “x number of votes were cast last night”.  The votes are tabulated by an independent audit firm (don’t ask me which one) and I’m guessing they’re paid handsomely for their confidentiality. Really, guys – revealing the vote totals is kind of like insider trading…it provides the viewer with information that allows them to further manipulate the outcome of the show.  If you know that Hines needs x% of votes to pass Ralph, and that there are x votes being cast – that basically tells you exactly what needs to be done to ensure Hines sticks around.  It takes away some of the element of surprise, and also tends to benefit those at the bottom of the leaderboard – they then have a pretty good idea of how hard they need to vote to keep Joe-Schmoe-Sucky-Dancer around another week.  On top of that, I’m fairly certain that ABC gets revenue for every vote cast…and if the viewers know that they only have to cast a finite number of votes to save their favorite, they’re less inclined to “vote like crazy” – and hence, less $$$ in the pockets of TPTB. I know that a lot of Kirstie fans who were upset at the outcome of the finale were petitioning to get the vote totals released to the public – it’s not going to happen, but if it did, then it would just give disgruntled fans more fodder for complaint.  We’d have people demanding recounts, debates over the elderly not voting properly due to impaired vision, hanging chads, etc…oh wait, wrong election :-) Anywho – don’t hold your breath for ABC to fold and announce the vote totals.  Just accept that the show will never be 100% fair, or will even be a “full disclosure” type of show. 

When does DWTS season 13 start?

September 19, 2011 :-) Which makes me think that the cast announcement will happen roughly 3 weeks before the premiere, likely during the finale of The Bachelorette…I’m guessing August 29 (don’t quote me on that).  If that’s the case…we can probably expect the official annoucement of the couples on August 31, and the official cast pictures on August 2.  The show itself may be unpredictable, but at least the timetable for it is pretty finite :-)

DWTS gifting suites

Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be on the receiving end of some of the free stuff that gets lavished upon the pros, celebs, and crew at DWTS :-D From what I’ve heard, it’s right up my alley – lots of fun girlie stuff, like skincare products, makeup, jewelry, etc.  Perhaps the most exciting item gifted to the cast this season was jewelry from Anne Koplik Designs, the official jewelry designer to the show.  Some of the jewelry I’ve seen from them has been absolutely EXQUISITE – check it out for yourself here. Wish you could nab some fab free stuff from them? WELL YOU’RE IN LUCK!!! Stay tuned, kids, because a little birdie (John) told me that we’re going to be doing another jewelry giveaway sometime soon, courtesy of the lovely folks at AKD (follow them on Twitter @AKoplikDesigns!).  Word on the street is that this time, we’re going to be giving away a ring ;-) I’ve seen it, and it’s every bit as gorgeous as the earrings from Kym’s samba and the earrings from Chelsea’s Argentine tango that we gave away earlier this season. Among the other items I’ve heard given away in these suites are Boscia skincare products (yet another thing Anna & I have in common, besides our red hair, asthma, & dance skills – a love of Boscia!) & Gleam by Melanie Mills – a shimmery body makeup created by the head makeup artist at the show, which makes everyone’s skin look FLAWLESS.  I was fortunate enough to get a sample of it (shout out to Candy at Gleam for hooking me up!) and let me tell you – it’s UH-MAY-ZING.  Smells delish (very light coconut/vanilla fragrance), makes skin smooth & even-looking (even if you don’t have a tan!) and best of all – it doesn’t rub off on your clothes/furniture/boyfriend/etc. Yes, I am in full-on Romeo Miller plug mode right now ;-) Some of the celebs & pros have also gotten in on the gifting action – I believe I heard Cheryl gave out copies of her book, and according to Rick Fox, The Situation was a “walking gifting suite”, doling out samples of his jewelry, vodka, & iPhone app to anyone & everyone involved in season 11 :-P

Brooke Burke has a crush on Ralph

This probably stems from Brooke’s appearance on the Rachael Ray show on May 24, where she admitted that Ralph was her “childhood crush” and she had pictures of him plastered all over her bedroom.  Wonder how Ralph reacted when she shared that gem :-P

Will Derek/Mark/Maks be back next season?

Our best answer: time will tell.  When it was announced back in January that Derek would be sitting out this season to film Cobu 3D, both Derek & Conrad seemed to state with certainty that Derek would be back for season 13.  However, Julianne has said the same thing in the past about “definitely” coming back to DWTS – and we have not seen her for 4 seasons now, due to her music & blossoming movie career.  I think it’s safe to say that, barring some catastrophic scandal that blackballs her from both Hollywood & Nashville…she’s never coming back to DWTS. Sorry kids. Now Derek may have every intention of coming back (or maybe not, after the fiasco of this season), but if offered another movie role – what’s to say he won’t take it? As for Maks – I could have sworn Vogue did a post where Maks says in an interview that he’s unsure of whether he’s coming back, but of course – I cannot find it.  Hopefully I didn’t hallucinate that…feel free to hop in & link to it, Vogue! However, Tom seemed to allude in a recent interview with EW that Maks might not be back, since the famed “Tom Bergeron ass pinch” is being retired. I can’t say I wouldn’t blame Maks for either sitting out a season or calling it quits at the show – I can imagine the past 3 seasons have been rather frustrating for him (3rd place w/Erin, getting axed before the finale with Brandy, & runner-up this season), and he’s also got his hands full with opening a new dance studio in CA that he’s going to be co-owning with Tony – not to mention several other successful studios on the east coast.  Maybe now’s a good time for him take a break and recharge.  And then there’s Mark.  *sigh* I have heard nothing of any merit that suggests he won’t be back next season – however, judging from the reaction of a lot of fans both here and on Twitter, it seems like a widely-held opinion that Mark could benefit from some time away from the show.  His choreography (and behavior) the past few seasons seems to have deteriorated, and he seems to be investing more and more time & effort into his music…and hence, less effort into the show & his partners.  Perhaps he too could use a break.  Unfortunately, though he probably SHOULD take a break – I don’t think he will.  He seems to crave the attention it brings him.  As for all 3 – we’ll only know their plans for sure come mid-August, in the week or so preceding the cast announcement.  That’s when the pros usually start announcing whether or not they’re going to be on the fall season.  And Heidi does a SUPERB job of keeping up with all the Twitter madness during that period :-) So stay tuned!

Dancing with the Stars camel toe

*facepalm* Is this yet another one of you kids’ freaky fetishes??? LOL.  I mean, y’all have a D-Hough foot fixation, a Shirley Ballas boob obsession, and you wanna see Mike buck nekkid? Those 3 I can understand.  But CAMEL TOE???!! Oy vey.  I daresay it’s only been mentioned once at PureDWTS – in an edition of Who Wore it Better – and I believe Heidi chastised me for even mentioning it.  Now I know why. :-)  

June 4, 2011 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!

DWTS12 Finale Power Rankings

Well, I guess I should be used to the blatant “scoring with an agenda” that the judges have every week now, but not gonna lie – I still get pissed when I see routines that are roughly equal scored with such disparity.  Thank goodness tonight’s show was only an hour – I doubt I could have watched any more of the nonsense from the  judges.  Anywho…the first round of dances was just “meh” for me, and I enjoyed 2 of the 3 freestyles (I’ll let you guess whose I didn’t enjoy) – so I guess tonight wasn’t a complete wash.  But it definitely paled in comparison to other finale nights of previous seasons. I felt like the dancing this time last year (the finale of Nicole, Evan, & Erin) had a much higher level of entertainment value.  But anyway, on with the rankings – I’m gonna do it in reverse tonight, starting with who I think will nab 3rd.

3rd place: Chelsea & Mark

They may have been overscored to the point that they conveniently tied with Hines & Kym for the top spot, but if what I was seeing on Twitter was any indicator, I wasn’t the only one that thought so and I saw quite a high volume of angry Kirstie & Hines fans that were ready to vote until they passed out.  First, that samba – ugh.  I have a major bone to pick with anyone who tries to take “Hip Hip, Chin Chin” and “borrow” steps from the original, because really – no one holds a candle to the original.  NO ONE.  So as if to answer my call, karma conveniently bit Mark on the ass with this one…you know those “crazy arms” that Len disliked so much? Yeah, copied exactly from the original – 2:22 mark :-) Wuh wuh WUHHHH.  Chelsea was good in this samba (and she looked very pretty tonight), but I don’t think it was a VAST improvement from her previous one, and really – it was hard for me to appreciate this dance when I saw too many attempts to be the original, and Mark doing his usual overdancing.  Sorry kids. As for their freestyle – definitely not 30-worthy, IMO, when poor Chelsea looked like she was trying to remember where she was supposed to be at each beat.  She got off-time in the hip-hop sections, was kinda clunky getting in and out of the lifts, and several times, I caught her just kinda standing there, waiting for Mark to pick her up.  The energy was fun, yes, but compared to the other two freestyles, it didn’t feel as “inspired” – it just kinda felt like a routine to me. No great personal connection to the dance, like Hines & Kirstie.  Perhaps it was the result of Mark making most of the decisions on this one – I’m led to believe it was his choice of music, since he, Derek, & Julianne did a routine to the same song as kids. Anyway – I just don’t think Chelsea’s got the fanbase to beat out some very passionate Kirstie & Hines fans.  Or people who are all-around fed up with the nonsensical scoring and blatant favoritism from the judges towards her this season.  Chelsea, you’re a sweet girl – but you have kinda gotten dealt a crap hand this season, with all the politics flying around.  I think she’ll probably serve as a marytr tomorrow night, for all those opposed to the WTA dance.

2nd place: Kirstie & Maks

I felt so damn proud watching her tonight – I think Kirstie finally let go of the last of her hangups and really enjoyed herself  :-) I wasn’t crazy about her samba – felt a bit slow to me – but she seemed to feel pretty comfortable with it, and got back a bit of the same sass I saw from her cha-cha on the very first night.  As for her freestyle – say what you will about the technique, the choreography, and the level of difficulty, but what I saw from her in this dance made everything else seem moot: I saw pure joy.  She looked so happy and free out there – and honestly, some of those lifts? AMAZING.  Not just for “someone her age” but for anyone – hell, Chelsea’s 22, and I saw her struggling with some of her lifts.  Kirstie just seemed to float up into some of these “aerials” ;-) Anywho – if the busy signals my mom was getting while dialing in her votes were any indicator, Kirstie’s got the juice to overcome the ridiculous margin between her and Hines & Chelsea.  In the end, I think Hines’ score will give him a bit of an edge, but really – I have to commend Kirstie for everything she’s done this season.  She came in as the “fat actress” that everyone thought wouldn’t last past the first week, and here she is in the finale – dancing with such joy and skill that none of us thought possible.  Her journey has been a pleasure to watch :-D

The winners: Hines & Kym

I feel like these two were the perfect combination of skill & entertainment value tonight – they both connected to and technically nailed their dances.  Loved seeing Hines take a page out of Romeo’s book and channeling Jiminy Cricket for his quickstep – the energy of it was so cute, even if he did seem to get out of step with Kym once or twice.  I love how much he seems to really enjoy himself in his dances.  Their freestyle was my favorite of the night – I have to commend them for trying 2 things  that no one else has tried before for a freestyle: dancing to a marching band, and using more than one song (for those of you who didn’t catch it, the first half was the Jackson 5′s “Dancing Machine” and the 2nd half was “I Want You Back).  I think it worked quite well for them – the energy was fantastic, and I think Kym really was smart to include so many basic ballroom steps in that freestyle (always a Len-pleaser ;-)).  I think when it all comes down to it, these two will have both the votes and the fans to take the MBT – but both Hines & Kirstie are winners in my book ;-)

And so ends my final ranking of season 12! It’s been a fun, crazy, bumpy ride, kids – who do you think will come out on top? And what do you think of the season as a whole? Be sure to tune in for the last round of all your favorites this week – Heidi’s “by the numbers”, Vogue’s post-elimination media, and of course – the last cheesecake until September :-( Better get your fill, kids!

May 23, 2011 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!