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DWTS 15, Week 5 Power Rankings – Part II

So now that we’ve seen everybody dance both their team dance & individual dance, I can finally start to get a snapshot of where things stand heading into week 6.  As I promised in part I, I’ve really just taken my commentary on last night’s dances, copied & pasted it here, and added any additional notes I found pertinent to go along with my commentary on tonight’s dances.  I know many of you have already read the spoilers we posted last night for tonight’s show, so there aren’t probably any huge revelations for you; for those that haven’t, I doubt there are any huge revelations for you, either…it became pretty clear to me that they put the stronger individual performances on Tuesday night and the weaker ones on Monday night, perhaps in an effort to increase viewership for Tuesday night’s show.  As for the team dance – I think you guys can probably guess where I stand ;-) And the other thing that became quite evident after tonight? They are really doing their damndest to protect Gilles and ensure he sticks around.  Gilles gets the high score of night 1; 3 of the 4 couples on night 2 get the same (2.5 points lower than Gilles’) score, and the one person that even comes close still falls .5 points short of Gilles, despite dancing one of the most beautiful waltzes I’ve ever seen on the show.  The message is clear: protect the whiny, egotistical Frenchmen at all costs.  Gag me.

Speaking of week 6 – it is country week, and each couple is doing an individual unlearned dance and a group dance.  The group dance will not be scored, except the couple that does the move that impresses the judges the most will get two bonus points – which is practically nothing, in the great scheme of things, since we’re taking all of the points from this week and all of the points from next week and adding them together.  It’s gonna be a fanbase battle royale…hope you guys voted hard!

1.) Sabrina & Louis – I was skeptical about Sabrina being able to carry off such a soft, romantic dance, since she seems to hit everything so hard – but this was actually quite lovely.  She showed a lot of control and some of her lines were just beautiful – at a couple moments, I honestly thought she would fit right in on a dance floor filled with American Smooth professionals.  I even believed adoring looks she was giving Louis – and while I agree that vulnerability may not be Sabrina’s strong suit, I thought she absolutely showed it tonight in this waltz.  Funny how you call her out on it, Carrie Ann, and then give her a 10 anyway.  If you aren’t gonna nut up, then you gots to SHUT UP.  Loved the theme, loved the choreography, loved the execution – and love that someone from Team Call Me Maybe was able to give Gilles a run for his money in the individual dance round :-)

2.) Gilles & Peta – Well, guess I can’t really get too mad at the overscoring of this one, since it’s kind of become par for the course this season.  I actually thought Gilles had some really nice lines in this rumba – he was actually extending both his arms and his legs nicely.  But my big problem was that I still felt like Peta was doing all the work…and it got a little repetitive.  To concur with Len, I got tired of the leg extensions and displays of flexibility really quickly, and it seemed to slow everything down just a little too much.  It was a time-waster in an already shortened routine.  It seemed like the first part (the a cappella part) was nice, and then once the crescendo hit with the instruments it was all overwrought emotion from there on out.  I would have probably given it a 28, tops, because I felt like there just wasn’t as much content as there should have been.  29.5 is an awfully cushy score. Adding in after Tuesday night’s show: I wasn’t so upset about this score last night, but now I am, considering that Shawn & Derek did what I would consider to be a FAR superior rumba, both in terms of technique & performance, got reamed by the judges, and ended up 2.5 points less than Gilles.  The pimping is obvious now, and TPTB (and Gilles himself) seem hellbent on changing the name of the show to “Dancing with Gilles Marini!…and some other people”.  But I do feel a bit vindicated knowing that Gilles’ magnum opus of a team freestyle got called out for being a ridiculous mess and got 2.5 points less than Team Call Me Maybe…that really must chap his ass, as does the fact that Sabrina is now at the top of the leaderboard ;-) Read more..

October 23, 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, Week 5 – “Guilty Pleasures Week” Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions?

October 17, 2012 I Written By

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

DWTS 15 All-Star Season Music Suggestions & Wish List

So we’re at t-minus 2 weeks until the premiere, and of course, we’re all curious about what songs we might hear this season.  Since we don’t plan to reveal any potential song spoilers until just before the premiere (stay tuned ;-)), we thought we’d take this opportunity to share some of our picks for music we’d like to see on the show – as well as a few songs some of our readers suggested on Twitter.  I’ll try to update the list with songs you guys suggest, but I can’t make any guarantees.  Life gets busy :-P But make your picks good ones, because you never know who might be taking a gander at this list, looking for inspiration ;-)

Court’s picks:

Sunglasses at Night” – Corey HartSunglasses at Night - Corey Hart: The Singles - This has been my “OMG, I’ll pee my pants if they actually use this!” song pick since Guilty Pleasures week in season 12.  I am DYING to see someone (perhaps Joey or Drew) do a paso doble to this, complete with dark sunglasses and a big dose of tongue-in-cheek humor.  The cheese factor would be through the roof!
It’s Not Unusual” – Tom JonesIt's Not Unusual (Single Version) - Greatest Love Songs This song just BEGS for a Carlton Banks-esque quickstep from Mark.  BONUS: It would probably embarass the bejeesus out of Bristol in the process.  :-)
I’d Rather Go Blind” - Etta JamesI'd Rather Go Blind - Tell Mama - The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions With Etta’s passing earlier this year, I find myself with a new appreciation for her music – and I think this would make a GORGEOUS Viennese waltz.
“Good Time” - Owl City feat. Carly Rae JepsenGood Time - Good Time - Single A totally fun, guilty pleasure song – I could see them using it for a team cha-cha or cha-cha relay.
“Cinema (Skrillex Mix)” - Benny BenassiCinema (Skrillex Remix) - Cinema (Remixes) [feat. Gary Go], Pt. 2 - EP I realize that, between AGT & SYTYCD, this song has gotten pretty overused this summer – but in both instances, it’s been used for a hip-hop routine.  But I’d like to see what some of our pros could do with it – this has a Derek or Mark freestyle written all over it.

Heidi’s picks:

“Swallowed by the Night” – The Floating MenSwallowed By the Night - Tall ShadowsMy favorite Nashville band of all time. Alternative, acoustic and entertaining as hell. This sounds like a quickstep to me, but I could be wrong.
“Goody Two Shoes” – Adam AntGoody Two Shoes - Friend or Foe Kick someone’s ass as a jive. Someone like Bristol. ;-) *snerk*
“Come Dancing” – The KinksCome Dancing - Come Dancing With the Kinks - The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986 (Remastered) [Remastered 2004]  The Kinks just make me laugh.
“Hella Good” – No DoubtHella Good - Rock SteadyReally, anything by No Doubt. I got into them thanks to the TV show Alias – loved it.
“Slow Down” – Brian SetzerSlow Down - Rockabilly Riot, Vol. 1 - A Tribute to Sun Records  Because I said so.  :-)

Vogue’s picks:

“Give Me All Your Luvin’” - Madonna feat. Nicki Minaj & MIAGive Me All Your Luvin' (feat. Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.) - MDNA (Deluxe Version)  Wow, what a Dancing With The Stars show stopper this could be if this song was done for a pro number with ALL the pros and the troupe.
“Finally Found You” – Enrique Iglesias - I’m hoping Enrique will come back for another song performance with the pros dancing to this new song. He’s such a great supporter of the show.
“Partynauseous” – Kendrick Lamar feat. Lady Gaga – This new single is yet to be released, but, you just know it’s going to make a strong showing. I’d like to see what Derek and Shawn could create for it.
“Masterpiece” – MadonnaMasterpiece - MDNA (Deluxe Version) Sorry to add another Madonna song, but, this just can’t be helped. “Masterpiece” was the theme song for Madonna’s movie last year called “W.E.”. It won a Golden Globe Award this year for “Best Original song” and she’s currently singing it on tour. It is truly one of Madonna’s best ballads to date (and I didn’t think she could ever top “I’ll Remember”). It would make such a touching song for a slow waltz and sure to melt hearts if done right.
“Una Musica Brutal” – Gotan Project Una Música Brutal - La Revancha del Tango (Bonus Track Version) I love any and all songs by the Gotan Project. You might remember Peta and Donald doing a Tango to “Santa Maria” last season. Well, “Una Musica Brutal” would be another winner for a show stopping Tango. I’d love to see it.

Lori’s picks:

“Come Wake Me Up” – Rascal FlattsCome Wake Me Up - Changed (Deluxe Edition)Since the first time I heard it, I’ve been wanting to see a Viennese waltz to this song, because it just seems to be SCREAMING out to me, that it needs some waltz choreography. It already seems to have the 1 2 3 and the rise and fall that’s needed…
“Wanted” – Hunter HayesWanted - Hunter HayesThis YOUNG kid is an amazing artist…he’s only 20, and for his debut album, he wrote all of the songs, sang every part in every song, and played every instrument on the entire album. Long process to lay each track separately.  This song is beautiful, and a nice slow rumba song (I think) and I just like the song!
“Another Brick in the Wall” – Pink FloydAnother Brick In the Wall, Pt. 2 - The Wall (Remastered)I love the conflict between the teacher and the students, and the mind control aspect….
“Gangnam Style” – PSYGangnam Style (강남 스타일) - PSY 6甲 (Six Rules), Pt. 1 - EPIt’s catchy and quirky, and a very fun song.

John’s picks:

NOTE: John sustained some kind of neck injury & is currently bedridden (#getbettersoon @techguy) so he was only able to come up with one song.  He gave me carte blanche to pick some others for him…but let’s just say he should thank his lucky stars I didn’t, because if I had to guess what kind of music John listens to, this would be my first guess;-) -Court-

“Because of You” – Kelly Clarkson & Reba McEntireBecause of You - Reba DuetsI’d love to see them dance to this song…although the band might slaughter it :-)

Reader picks:

“I Won’t Give Up” – Jason MrazI Won't Give Up - Love Is a Four Letter Word (Deluxe Version)
“Lights” – Ellie GouldingLights - Lights
“Super Bass” – Nicki MinajSuper Bass - Pink Friday (Deluxe Version)
“Give Your Heart a Break” – Demi LovatoGive Your Heart a Break - Unbroken
“One More Night” – Maroon 5One More Night - Overexposed (Deluxe)
“Someone to Watch Over Me” – Ella FitzgeraldSomeone to Watch Over Me - Ella: The Legendary Decca Recordings (Box Set)

September 10, 2012 I Written By

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

DWTS12 Week 6 Power Rankings

Well, as high as my hopes were for “Guilty Pleasures” night, I’m left with mixed feelings this evening – definite highs and lows, some wonky scoring, and yet another unfortunate mishap.  But hey, at least I’m not left with complete negativity like I was last week! 6 out of the 7 songs I predicted before the show were correct…but I didn’t get a Ralph & Karina paso to “Sunglasses at Night” Sunglasses at Night - Corey Hart: The Singles :-( A girl can dream…

1.) Hines & Kym – For the first time since week 1, I feel like I actually saw Hines a little bit off his game – this Viennese waltz seemed to lack the finesse that usually sets his performances apart from the other contestants.  He seemed to get a little bit “ahead” of the beat at times, and looked kinda flat-footed to me.  My best explanation? He couldn’t reconcile the fast tempo of the V. waltz with the romantic feel of it, and thus ended up somewhere in between the extremes – just kind of “blah” and more in his head than in the dance.  Was it a bad dance? No.  Did it leave an impression on me? No.  Certainly wasn’t his best dance, and I thought it was overscored by a point or two.  However, he does have the 2nd highest score of the night, and has been a fan favorite since day 1 – I get the feeling his support only grows week to week.  With the points spread the way it is, his chances of going home are slim to none.

2.) Ralph & Karina – Though I’m still mourning the fact that “Sunglasses at Night” was not used as his music (*sniff*), I think this paso started off strong and had a lot of promise – Ralph attacked it with a fierceness I haven’t seen from him since week 1.  Then came the 2nd “fall heard round the world” – aye dios mio.  I really don’t want to see any other contestants - celebs or pros – falling down anymore this season.  I feel horrible for them, even if they aren’t necessarily my favorite people.  Karina looked like she was near tears, but I was impressed with how Ralph managed to keep going despite the mishap.  Really & truly, as warped as this may sound – I think the fall may have helped them more than if they had done the whole routine without a hitch.  High scores often bring complacency with voters – low scores and mishaps are what spur people to vote hard.  And that’s exactly what I think will happen this week: Ralph’s fans are just going to vote that much harder to protect him from danger.  Daniel-san has a few more weeks left in him, at least ;-)

3.) Romeo & Chelsie – After the last beat of this waltz, I thought to myself “Wow…Romeo could be the wild card for the finale!” Seriously – if he continues to improve the way he has the past few weeks, I could see him possibly bumping one of the favorites (perhaps Ralph or Kirstie) out of the finale.  He’s finally let go of the “cool guy” exterior, and seems to be throwing himself headlong into every dance – I gotta give the kid props, he really seems to get into the “character” of each dance.  And his technique is improving too – this waltz was the smoothest and most controlled I’ve seen him so far.  And nobody can accuse the kid of not being romantic – he laid a smooch on a very unsuspecting Chelsie at the end! He’s tied for the high score this week, and seems to be gaining support on Twitter – more and more people seem to be taking notice of him each week.  My only concern is that he may be sharing a voting demographic with Chelsea – people voting for “young & charming” may be dividing their votes between the two of them, which could result in one or both of them getting sent home earlier than expected.  I think he ought to be ok this week, but he could be a possible “shock elim” in the coming weeks…

4.) Kirstie & Maks – Wow.  Kirstie did a lot better than I thought she would with this samba – especially since the music was not great.  Was it perfect, or her best performance? No.  But it was good to see a little bit of the attitude back from her cha-cha the first week, and overall, it was entertaining – even if she mess up a few times.  Was really impressed that she handled the samba rolls so well – gotta give credit to both Maks & Karina for not holding back this season & dishing out one of the most difficult samba moves.  Thankfully, I think these two are in a good place this week – not so high as to make their voters complacent, and not so low as to be in legitimate danger. But let’s just hope they can carry this momentum for the next few weeks, because we are definitely in “shock elim” territory.

5.) Chelsea & Mark – Something about this quickstep left me very uneasy – well, a few things actually.  This was the first time I’ve seen Chelsea actually look uncomfortable out on the floor.  Even when doing her “rule-breaking” jive and “risk-taking” Viennese waltz, she looked perfectly at ease.  At times tonight during this quickstep, she looked completely lost to me – a strained smile,  a tense frame, and a look in her eye that seemed to say “I’m holding on for dear life.” Mark was Mark-squared this week – exaggerating every bounce & flick, which just seemed to draw even more attention to the fact that Chelsea wasn’t moving with her usual energy.  I would even go so far as to say that I saw this same “trying to keep my head above water” cry for help on Shannen’s face a year ago, when doing Mark’s exceptionally difficult Viennese waltz.  I just wish he could scale things back in order to suit his partner’s abilities – that’s all.  Here’s what I think their big problem is – despite their high score, I don’t know if they’re going to be memorable enough this week – Hines is Mr. Consistent, and is likely getting loyal voters each week; Kirstie had a comeback week; Romeo had a breakthrough week; and Ralph had a live television accident week.  Is anyone going to really remember this dance amongst all that excitement? Plus, they’re tied for the high score – a dangerous place to be if your fanbase is iffy, since it also breeds complacence…ask Audrina.  If there was going to be a shock elimination this week, I’d say it would be these two – there’s just several factors at work that, if combined, could result in disaster.  Do I think they deserve to go home? Hell no.  But I wouldn’t rule it out completely, either.

6.) Kendra & Louis – Kendra’s best performance, but it’s not really saying much considering she has been a rather big letdown for me this season.  Yes, Kendra had a lot of fun tonight and it showed – but this was 80% gyrating and only 20% actual samba, and the little samba I saw was pretty atrocious.  I just don’t think she really knows what to do with her arms & legs sometimes – I guess the word “flaily” describes it best.  At least she seemed to try to keep the attitude to a minimum this week (aside from an eye roll or two).  Do I think she deserves to stick around, based on her performances so far? No.  I’d say she’s probably the least improved of the remaining dancers, and will likely get eaten alive if she manages to eek out another week on the show.  But I think this week we’re finally gonna get to see if her fanbase is as “huge” as it claims itself to be – she isn’t at the bottom of the leaderboard for once (she’s got a 3 point cushion), and she’s not up against someone like Petra with a small fanbase.  Will her fans rally, since the urgency is not there?

7.) Chris & Cheryl – Ugh.  I really wanted these two to do better tonight – but unfortunately, I think they kinda got the score they deserved :-( However, I’m going to partially blame the music – I don’t think either of them were thrilled that they got “Don’t Stop Believing”, as it seemed like they both never really connected with the dance.  Honestly, this song & the tango are a complete disconnect – a fierce, aggressive dance paired with a song about hope and perseverence? No wonder these two looked lost! Chris seemed terrified with every step – as if he might shatter the floor if he moved too quickly – and I’m a bit disappointed with Cheryl for reverting to her “I’m just gonna dance around my partner and hope no one notices” ways that she used with Chad & Rick.  This week was not good, but if I’m looking at all Chris’ performances so far – I’d say he just had an off-week and deserves to stay more than Kendra, since I do think he’s improving.  And I do think he has at least a mediocre chance of overtaking Kendra to stick around – especially since he’s been around longer and probably has a more popular pro to bolster his vote totals.  Can he do it? We shall see.

Ok folks, weigh in: was “guilty pleasures” night better or worse than you expected? Do you think Kendra can survive another week, or is her time up? Will ABC continue to pimp the Pia/Mark (with minor supporting cast Karina) performance? (Ok, we can pretty much guarantee that last one ;-)) What say you? :-)

April 25, 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!