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PureDWTS Season 19, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well, I guess the euphoria of having my dream contestant on DWTS would finally wear off – and this was the week that it happened.  What a three-ring circus of nitpicking, wonky scoring, and overall chaos.  From what I saw from the judges – crack is whack, and so is meth, heroin, and bath salts, apparently.  Julianne wins the “twatwaffle of the night” award, for generally just being a bit of a cranky b*tch – so in other words, she was filling in for Len.  Hooray.

Sorry, but the wrong person went home – Randy may not have been the best dancer, but he was not nearly as bad as the score he got last week OR this week…but hey, the judges need their scores & critiques justified, so they had to screw him somehow.  Absolutely no reason that he should have been forced to go first TWO weeks in a row, basically making a mad dash from the opening  number to the quickchange; and to add insult to injury, this week he had to do it after being told he was in jeopardy.  Classy, Wade. I just might have to spoil a bunch of sh*t early to get back at you…

…as for Kevin, I actually think he turned out being a pretty decent judge.  I liked that he didn’t seem like he was out to really critique anyone, and tried to see the positive in everyone’s routines.  Also enjoyed his humor, and thought it was kinda cool how he seemed genuinely moved by Bethany & Derek’s dance.  He can come back anytime and enthusiastically yell out scores ;-)

1.) TIE: Bethany & Derek and Janel & Val – So the first two perfect 40’s of the season.  I feel one was deserved; the other? Meh. Felt like an awful lot of emphasis was placed on Janel & Val’s struggles with switching the routine, there was a lot of futzing around at the beginning of the routine, and then the score was almost given as a consolation prize for putting up with the crap.  Sure, Janel handled what she was given decently well – she should, given her background – but a 40? For wiping Val’s abs with a towel? Sorry, not buying it.  But hey, they seem bound & determined to make Vajanel happen, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  As for Bethany – I had been worried, after hearing that her ankle injury was still very much an issue; but thank the lord Derek was able to choreograph something that was true to Singin’ in the Rain while being feasible for her to execute.  God bless umbrella work that doesn’t go awry :-) And Bethany kept up, and for the first time, she really seemed 100% invested in the routine, which is what I’ve been wanting from her since the first week. I don’t see either going anywhere for awhile, but it should be interesting to see who fares better next week…

3.)  Alfonso & Witney – *sigh* I’m stumped on what this guy has to do to get anything more than an 8 these days.  As I mentioned to someone else earlier – I have to wonder if he & Witney may have inadvertently screwed themselves in week 1 by coming out of the gate so strong, because now it seems like he gets nitpicked to death by the judges (particularly Julianne) no matter how well he does.  Say what you will about  Bethany & Janel and their perfect 40’s – but if they both deserved them, then Alfonso did too, because he’s dancing at a level that’s far more technical and with an off-the-charts sense of musicality.  That’s actually what I love most about all his routines – he finds the most clever ways to accent different beats in the music with his movements.  Loved “Mini-Alfonso” and was also very impressed with how Witney managed to meld quickstep and disco – it was a tall order, but she pulled it off.  He was a bit stiff at a few times, but all things considered, that was a pretty minor problem. All I can say is that Alfonso better rock the socks of his “It’s Not Unusual” jazz, complete with the famous Carlton dance, next week – the stars are aligned for another perfect 40 ;-)

4.) Sadie & Mark – Ok, I may have teared up a little bit watching this one – it was just so SWEET.  Loved how it payed homage to Up, while still being a proper Viennese waltz, and thought it was very appropriate for Sadie – I have to give Mark props for really tailoring the routines to be appropriate for her age and also her personality.  Sadie isn’t a sexpot like Janel – she’s a bit more reserved, and I appreciate that Mark’s not trying to push her to take on that persona.  And unlike Julianne, I actually think Sadie’s long, floaty arms are an asset – like her legs, they just seem to go on and on and on, which makes every line look that much better. Very impressed with what I’ve seen from these two so far, and glad that Sadie didn’t let Carrie Ann’s stupid comment or being in jeopardy last week get to her :-)

5.) Lea & Artem – Here’s my dilemma with Lea: each dance she does seems to start off quite strong, but fall apart somewhere in the middle. That was definitely the case with her cha-cha – she actually started off with some great leg action and really sold the dance well, but about 30 seconds in, something seemed to get off-kilter and never fully recovered.  Not sure if she lost her balance or forgot some choreography, but something seemed to lag.  I will say this, though: she sold it well the whole time.  Still really like her as a dancer – just hoping she can be a bit more consistent in her routines.  She’s got the talent – she just needs to focus, I guess.

6.) Tommy & Peta – Praise Jeebus – Tommy remembered his choreography!!! Deep Throat had mentioned that he had yet to get through the entire routine without forgetting something as of rehearsal today, so he must have dug deep and made something happen out there on the floor…and the result was actually quite charming.  It actually did remind me a bit of the famous tango scene in Scent of a Woman – wasn’t overtly sexual, but just a rather charming tango between a young woman and an older man.  And it wasn’t like Peta went easy on him, either – I saw some tricky footwork in there, which he actually handled well.  Lotta unexpected finesse from Tommy as a dancer, and also Peta as a pro…even if she does “smell like Maks”, according to Tommy…but that’s none of my business…*sipping tea like Kermit the Frog* 8-)

7.) Michael & Emma – And this was the week that Mike actually managed to pull something together and have a halfway decent dance :-) Sure, he’s still a pretty awkward mover, and Emma has to do quite a bit of backleading – but something actually seemed to kind of “click” in Mike’s head this week, and his dancing came across as rather charming and earnest…even if he looked like Buddy the Elf in his Robin Hood getup.  :-P I do think viewers find him charming, and are likely to keep him around for a little while longer – now that he actually seems to be catching on, it could give him a bit of extra momentum.

8.) Jonathan & Allison – Part of me wonders if his appearance in jeopardy this week was a bit of a warning rap across the knuckles to Allison for getting a bit too creative with their cha-cha last week.  Or maybe he’s not getting the votes, who knows.  Was a bit puzzled by their tango – I had said that I thought “Back to Black” was a bizarre song for it (or at least the Gatsby version), but I actually found that the routine ended up a bit bizarre as well…almost “stuttery”? That’s the best word I can use to describe it – seemed like a lot of strange starts and stops, and it looked like Jonathan might have garbled the footwork at one point.  His frame could also use a bit work.  The scored seemed a bit kind, too – really, the same as Alfonso? Yeesh.  My man just can’t seem to catch a break…and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jonathan  in jeopardy again next week.  Just having a bit of a hard time clicking with this couple…

9.) Betsey & Tony – Betsey is just so darn cute :-) Love how excited she seems to be each week to just be on the show and to be dancing with Tony.  Thought they gave Ghost a good shot, and the routine was actually quite pretty – was impressed with the lift Tony did holding Betsey on her back above him while he slid around in a circle on the floor, and then Betsey did a back walkover out of it.  The lifts were the highlight of the routine for me – well, they were all of the routine for me, as there really wasn’t much else in between; seemed like it was just Betsey vaguely gesturing and walking from place to place, waiting for each lift.  But can I really fault a 72-year-old woman for not doing a whole lot in a dance where she was being lifted and showing off her flexibility? I still enjoyed it :-) But I do think  Betsey’s days are likely numbered – she just can’t keep up with some of the younger contestants this season.

10.) Antonio & Cheryl - While Antonio is getting slightly more tolerable by the week, if I’m being honest, I would have much rather kept Randy and sent Antonio packing this week.  Just felt like Randy was embracing the journey more gracefully than Antonio has been, but whatever.  He did alright with his foxtrot – some wonky shoulders and that weird I-need-to-turn-my-whole-body-in-order-to-turn thing that Bruno & Julianne were talking about, and that choreography seemed pretty dumbed-down…but it wasn’t terrible.  I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either :-) But I do wonder if he’s maybe getting lost in the shuffle, and the appearance in jeopardy was a bit of a warning that he might not be getting the votes…but who knows.  I never would have guessed that Randy would have gone home this week, so I could be totally off.

So what did you guys think of tonight? Were the scores deserved/undeserved? Did the right person go home? Let’s hear it!

September 30, 2014 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!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 3 – A Brief Rant on “Movie Week” Issues

Since Heidi’s “Who’s Dancing What?” post is getting a tad long, I thought I had better move this over to its own post and open the floor a bit more for discussion :-) So as of yesterday, we received intel that Janel & Val had switched songs – they were no longer dancing to “I Feel Pretty”, and had been seen rehearsing to “America” instead.  At the time, we didn’t have an explanation as to why; but now, with some additional intel, I feel as though a bit of a rant is in order…

…but first, an explanation of what I like to call West Side Storygate.  As of Monday, we had heard that SOMEONE was dancing a Viennese waltz to “I Feel Pretty”; based on hints Derek gave during the show, we assumed it was Bethany & Derek.  However, Val actually confirmed in a post-show interview that it was he & Janel, and that he had requested the dance style be changed from Viennese waltz to jazz “in order to do the movie justice”.  Apparently he actually choreographed a pretty cool routine that was reminiscent of the big dance at the gym in the movie – the troupe was involved, they were going to have a big dance set, the works.  However, apparently later in the week (I guess Tuesday or Wednesday), the studio that owns the rights to the movie allegedly said “Whoa, hey, time out there, chief – you can use ‘I Feel Pretty’, but the dance can’t look anything like the movie!” So basically, kind of the same thing that happened to Derek in season 15, when he & Shawn were tasked with doing a Knightrider-themed bhangra…but were not legally allowed to use any elements from Knightrider.  A tough row to hoe for any pro, methinks.  So Val basically had to redo the entire thing – they switched songs, changed the set, omitted the troupe, and redid most of the choreography.  Janel picks up choreography quickly and should PROBABLY be ok in time for the show, but Val was (understandably) upset.  Which brings me to my rant…

…WHY WEREN’T ALL THE RIGHTS TO THE SONGS AND MOVIES BEING USED CLEARED PRIOR TO THIS WEEK???!!! Seems like several couples were still waiting to see what their music and dance styles would be as of Monday evening – that’s gotta be a tad stressful for the pros, who then have to scramble to adapt to themes, music, and dance styles thrown at them at the last minute.  Seems like they haven’t had this problem so much in previous season that have done a “movie week” theme – maybe we just didn’t hear about them, but I’m wondering if perhaps Rob  & Co. have tried to be a bit too accommodating to the celebs this season, and let them suggest the movies they want to dance to….and that’s resulted in some time crunches & movie/music clearance issues.  Remember, the added complication of “movie week” clearances is that you have to clear both the song AND the theme rights to the movie – and the latter category is where we encounter most of the issues.  So anywho – what are you guys’ thoughts as viewers? Would you mind seeing a dance using a song from a certain movie that really wasn’t at all reminiscent of that particular movie? Is there any benefit to letting the celebs pick what movies they want? Do we really need movie week at all? Let’s hear it :-)

And because I’m not a total Crabby McCrabberpants…here’s a pic of Witney holding Alfonso’s adorable son.  Because ADORABLE BABIES, dammit. ;-)

September 27, 2014 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!

PureDWTS Exclusive! An Interview with Randall Christensen, Part II

Last week, we gave you part one of our exclusive interview with Randall Christensen, the costume designer for season 2-12 of DWTS.  Now read on for more insight from the man behind the costumes…as well as some exciting news! :-D

What are some of the shows that stood out for you the most when you costumed them, and why? (i.e. certain theme nights, specific seasons, finales, etc.)

Randall Christensen:  Movie/Broadway or TV night is always great fun.  We get to step out of character even more.  If you can dream it up, SOMEONE will wear it!  Themed nights are always fun.  Loved the Halloween show back several years ago.  Edyta as Morticia Addams (The Addams Family), Monique Coleman/Louis van Amstel in their “Ghostbusters” tear away coveralls, to “slime” green…..great fun!  Doing specific time periods are fun and challenging as well.  Doing a retro ‘50’s Paso Doble for Nicole Scherzinger was one of the most challenging, as the Paso Doble is so serious and passionate, yet the ‘50’s inspired song just didn’t go…..but Derek is a genius with choreography, and we came up with a fun yet strong look for them both.

If you could pick any of the pros, past or present, on the show to be your assistant, who would it be and why?

RC:  Hands down, Edyta Sliwinska would be a great co-designer.  She has such an eye for style!  Lacey Schwimmer has some really fun, “out there” and cutting edge ideas too.

What was the best part of your job on DWTS?

RC:  Hands down, the best part of my job was the trust of the producers, and being able to create with such freedom.  You just do NOT get that in the television industry, and that was the most rewarding thing I can imagine.  Weekly, the most rewarding part of my job was when Harold Wheeler and orchestra start playing the overture, there’s not a week that went by that I was ALWAYS there, with shivers running down my spine.  When those couples came down that stairway……truly a magical moment each and every week.  I never missed that descending down the stairs at the top of the show – NEVER! Read more..

January 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!