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PureDWTS Season 21, Week 9 – Power Rankings

So I thought the show had hit a new low with the whole Nick baby shower mess last week – but as it seems lately, the  universe has a funny way of calling my bluff when I say “It can’t possibly get any worse.” Enter what I like to call “The DWTS Drama Porn 2-Hour Extravaganza” – will Tamar dance??? Will half of the married couple leave us tonight??? Are Bindi & Derek at odds??! OH THE HUMANITY!!! Seriously, tonight felt exploitative and disgusting. I don’t think TPTB had any clue what was going on with Tamar (and neither did Val – he seemed genuinely unsure of what was happening), but the minute they thought they could run with the drama on it??? My god, it turned into the Tamar show. “Tamar’s on the phone, she’s in a race against time to make it back here!” “We’ve just received word that Tamar is in the building!” “Tamar, darling, just sit down, we wouldn’t want you to swoon like Aunt Pittypat when getting your scores!” I rolled my eyes at how they were milking that footage for all its worth. And then there was Bindi & Derek’s rehearsal package – I just love (and by love I mean “rolled my eyes emphatically”) that they decided that this was the week to hone in Derek’s struggles as a choreographer and teacher. Gotta keep things interesting, eh? Sure, we never get to see packages from the pros that outsource their choreography to Alan and then have these easy, breezy rehearsals because they don’t have to worry about actually choreographing, but let’s really harp on Derek getting choreography block, and fabricate some drama between he & Bindi. And then there was the nonsense with Carlos & Alexa – if there’s one thing Carlos said this season that I actually agreed with, it was that having he & Alexa up there in jeopardy together was “what they wanted”…”they” being TPTB, who were also slick enough to turn the audio on when Alexa & Carlos were hugging and trying to calm down. Tacky, guys  – BEYOND tacky.

As for Tamar, I’ll just say this: I do believe she is really and truly sick, and has been for several weeks now – her voice sounds awful.  But I do find the timing of the hospital trip very convenient – she’s been sick all week and then suddenly needs a doctor midway through dress rehearsal, but manages to return with only moments to spare before she would have been disqualified for not dancing in the duet? Part of me wonders if she was intending to quit, but changed her mind – and if she really and truly does have pneumonia, quitting would have been the prudent course of action here, to look out for her health and to allow someone else who is able-bodied (read: Alexa) to continue in the competition another week.  Pneumonia is nothing to mess with – my manager came down with it earlier this year, and was in the hospital for two weeks and out of work for a month. At one point, his breathing became so laborious (he suffers from COPD) that they put him on a ventilator. You can DIE from pneumonia, if you don’t treat it promptly and properly.  It is serious business, and should be treated as such – so while I commend Tamar’s commitment to dancing, I also think she’s kind of a moron for not saying “I need to slow down and rest.” A $40 trophy cobbled together with parts from the craft store is not worth dying over – go home and rest with your family. I will say this, though: I don’t think we’ve gotten the full story, and I would be interested to see what TMZ is able to dig up in the coming days. I’m keeping my eyes peeled…

As for Alexa – my heart broke for her tonight, and it doesn’t do that for very many people these days. After such a heartfelt and personal performance like her contemporary, and then such a fun number with Bindi, it seemed like such a waste to send her home. She finally found her groove, and she got sent packing…while her husband got to stay.  Please, DWTS – never, ever have a married couple on the show again.  Or if you do, make sure they’re secure enough that the husband doesn’t say sh*t like *cringe* “I want to beat my wife” in one breath, then claim he wishes he could trade places with her and go home instead. Cry me a river of Jaleel White tears, Carlos. Read more..

November 10, 2015 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 8 – What’s Left to Dance?

I probably should have done this a couple weeks ago, during the midpoint of the season (when I usually do it), but admittedly, time kinda got away from me 🙂 But I’m actually kinda glad I waited, because I think the remaining dances are going to be of much greater importance at this phase of the competition than they were two weeks ago – because with so many strong dancers still remaining, I think it’s all gonna come down to who gets dances that suit their abilities and who doesn’t. Some have several dances left that they have the potential to ace – others are kinda screwed, with their only remaining dances being ones that their aren’t likely to do well with.

Before I throw up my table, a few points of clarification: I’ve included the core 10 dances (cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, jive, waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, Viennese waltz), as well as what I consider to be the “extra” dances (salsa, Argentine tango, jazz, contemporary, and any other weird one-off dances – in this case, Charleston).  You’ll notice I’ve italicized waltz, salsa, & Charleston – the reason being that I don’t think everyone is going to do these dances, and they were only used previously this season in order to fit specific songs/themes. So if [insert celeb here] doesn’t get to do salsa – I highly doubt it’s going to be of much significance, since only two other contestants got to  do it and it was in a theme week. I’m not counting last week’s dance-off dances, since they were not full-length, regular dances. Also of significance: I have not included any of the coming week’s dances in the table, as we don’t know all of them – so please do not go immediately post in the comments “Bindi has Charleston! You forgot to update it!!!” I reserve the right to call you out if you do, as you clearly have not read the post…which is kinda rude. Read more..

November 4, 2015 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 8 – Power Rankings

I know I can’t be the only one that was over themes a couple weeks ago – and I have to wonder if others share the other sentiment I have: that a lot of the theme weeks this season have started to feel a bit…redundant. “Hometown Glory” week, “Most Memorable Year” week, and now “Personal Icons” week – anyone else feel like these themes have churned out kinda the same dances over and over? I feel like I’ve seen so many crying dances this season – more than I care to. How ’bout we just ditch the themes from here on out and just…y’know, DANCE.

As predicted, the immunity and dance-off was about as farcical as it could possibly be – clear agendas, and some eyebrow-raising rulings by the judges. Felt more like whoever got the louder reaction from the crowd got the points, rather than whoever was dancing more competently or actually even trying to portray the dance style they were given. In the end, I doubt 2 points is going to help anyone a TON if they aren’t already getting the votes, and really the only one who got a serious boost was Nick, who has a nifty little 4-point cushion over the next highest-scorer and and now is within one cumulative point of Bindi – I’m just waiting for that to somehow come into play in these next few weeks, when Nick suddenly inches ahead of Bindi and suddenly by virtue of his cumulative point total, he gets an edge – maybe first pick in some cockamamie dance they’ve cooked up, maybe first pick of songs, who knows. It all just feels verrry convenient.

Sad to see Andy go, but I can’t help but think that Allison’s chaotic choreography is partially to blame for their departure – for the second time this season, she kinda got subtly called out by the judges again for having too much going on in Andy’s Viennese waltz…which, by the wait, just kinda felt to me like a retooling of Hayes’ switch week Viennese waltz which was met with equal criticism by the judges. His paso last week was pretty chaotic as well – and poor Andy just couldn’t keep up in either one, I’m afraid, and it made the critique from the judges feel like they were calling out his sloppy technique…but the subtext was “your technique was sloppy because the dance had way too much going on.” Part of me hopes that during her maternity leave next season, Allison gets a bit more introspective and maybe figures out a way to still honor her own style while focusing more on being true to the ballroom style that this show focuses on… Read more..

November 3, 2015 I Written By

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

Hayes Grier and Emma Slater Visit Good Morning America After Elimination

Awww….I love me some Hayes and Emma. Such a surprising and likable young man!! Good dancer too, especially considering his age.

ETA: Here are Hayes and Emma on The View!

October 27, 2015 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. :-)

Halloween Week on DWTS Season 21 – Post Show Media

What’s everyone doing for Halloween??
Read more..

I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Well…if the crew set out to hotbox the  studio, they succeeded 😛 Seriously,  though – what a colossal production FUBAR. I could barely see some of the dances through all that smoke, and trying to even see the judges and Tom afterwards was a struggle. I have to wonder if it negatively affected some of the couples as well – especially the ones that stuck to the main floor and didn’t hop up on any platforms. Talk about props getting in the way – and this, kids, is why themes can really screw up an otherwise decent evening. BEWARE THE SMOKE MONSTER.

And the smoke wasn’t the only monster in the ballroom last night.  Unfortunately, I felt like at least 2/3 members of the judges panel devolved into gossipy teenage girls when giving critiques, and came across as vindictive and childish. I’m also completely OVER the whole “Derek’s never lost!” plotline they pose in every team dance, so now that he’s actually lost – can we please come up with something more compelling to talk about? It was clear Derek didn’t give a rat’s ass, and perhaps the only ones that did were a certain other pro and his fans. It’s time to find some new material, guys.

On the upside? I actually found Leah a lot more natural and enjoyable last night, and she seemed much more at ease. Much more like the Leah I loved hosting back in season 19.  As for Hayes getting eliminated – he did far better than I thought he would this season, so I give him BIG props there.  But though I hate to say it, I think he’s partially responsible for his own elimination – as I mentioned last week, he seemed to place too much emphasis on #VoteForTeamSlayes trending on Twitter and not nearly enough on actual voting…and when your fanbase is a bunch of impressionable teenage girls that will blindly follow your every whim, I think you need to be VERY CLEAR on what it is you need from them. Remember, kids: as much emphasis as this show sometimes puts on social media, Twitter hashtags will not keep you in this competition – only votes will.  So you may as well forget about Twitter and just focus on the votes…something to keep in mind next week… Read more..

October 26, 2015 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 20, The Finals – Power Rankings

Well,  that was a pleasant little finale night – not terribly exciting, but pleasant nonetheless 🙂 I found that, for the first time, all three of the freestyles felt a little bit…recycled to me.  They were still nice to watch, but none of them  jumped out at me as something totally fresh and never-before-seen.  I guess we’re reaching that point in the lifespan of the show where “it’s all been done”, but still – sometimes I miss that sense of wonder of the early seasons, when “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” was the most innovative freestyle ever, or when Apolo & Julianne danced “Bust a Move” blindfolded.  *sigh* It’s bittersweet.

Can’t say I’m too surprised at anything the judges said or any of the scores they gave – still think they’re pulling for Rumer to win and have pretty much ensured that Noah won’t run away with the MBT, but I think Riker stands a decent chance at playing spoiler to the “Valenrue” pimping machine we’ve seen all season.  Will be interesting to see how things shake out tomorrow night, for sure. For tonight, I’m just thankful that I managed to get all of my phone  votes in already, and that the show was only an hour long – got a cheesecake to make and a new MAC eyeshadow palette I want to play with 😉

3rd place: Noah & Sharna

Had Noah not slightly bungled his redo Argentine tango, I think my rankings could have looked different tonight – but alas, by handicapping him 8 points behind both Rumer & Riker, I think he’s gonna have a pretty tough row to hoe in order to get any better than 3rd place – and that’s even though I think he’s getting a LOT of votes, still. I have to commend him, though – the commitment I saw from him in the first 20ish seconds of his Argentine tango was the most comfortable and in the zone as I’ve seen him all season…he was dialed in, no doubt.  I think he maybe got slightly off-time on one step, though, and it seemed to throw him a little off his game for the rest of the dance – a bit of a bobbled lift, and he also seemed to lose the confidence he started with.  Not sure I would have docked a whole 8  points for it, but I can’t say I was entirely surprised to see the judges take advantage of the chance to give him a bit of a handicap against Rumer & Riker by doling out straight 8’s.  His freestyle was lovely, though – and I was floored at how well he handled that star lift.  No bobbles there, and he only had 1 arm to support her! 🙂 Overall, I don’t think Noah placing 3rd is anything to be ashamed of – the dude overcame some pretty ridiculous odds to make it all this way, and I daresay he’s proven that he’s a decent dancer, PERIOD…and not just a decent dancer, for being an amputee.  And I’ve loved watching every step of the journey 🙂

Runner-up: Rumer & Val

I think the fact that these two kinda went the safe route on a night when another couple (Riker & Allison) took more risks may ultimately relegate them to 2nd place.  Honestly, kinda shocked that the judges (or Rumer & Val, or whoever picked the redo dances) picked their foxtrot for them to redo – I wouldn’t exactly say that it was their most impactful dance, nor was it particularly well-executed or interesting to watch.  I found it kind of odd & flaily on premiere night…and I found it odd & flaily tonight, too.  Just…hmmm.  Also, food for thought: for last season’s redo dances, those who picked their week 1 dances to redo (Alfonso & Bethany) were required to add an extra 30 seconds of content in order to make the dances longer, since the week 1 routines are so short.  They didn’t make that requirement this week…why? Just something to contemplate.  As for their freestyle – eh. Felt like a garden-variety Argentine tango – and part of me wonders if they were just   so set on doing Argentine tango at some point (remember, they thought they had it last week for the judges’ choice!) that they just reworked their original routine a bit in order to turn it into some semblance of a freestyle. I get that Val was going for the “stripped-down, back to basics” look (hehe…where have I heard that before?), but in the process, I think they lost a bit of what makes the freestyle special: that knock-your-socks-off performance value.  This was nice to watch – but it didn’t leave me feeling forever changed or dazzled.

Winner: Riker & Allison

I think these two came into the finale with the right strategy: knock ’em dead with 2 showstopping dances.  God bless that pirate paso doble – I think Riker could have easily slayed any dance that Rumer may have redone with this  number…it was THAT good, and he was even more on-point doing it tonight. As I mentioned on Twitter – I kind of  love how committed Riker is to the character of Captain Jack.  When that costume goes on, he’s 100% Jack, and his technique is flawless.  And then the freestyle – it felt like a bit of a riff on Alfonso’s freestyle last season, but I loved that dance so much that this really felt like almost a sequel or a remix.  A really nice combination of the old and the  new, and Allison killed the choreo…even saw a few signature Twitch moves thrown in 😉 And that bit at the end with Riker dancing with the guys in the troupe? A few times, I thought I saw Derek up there – he’s got that same great quality of movement and sense of ease onstage that D has.  When it all boils down tomorrow night, I think Riker may have played all the right cards – because I think full-out and flashy won out against simple and stripped down tonight.

So what freestyles did you enjoy the most/least? And who do you guys think will win? 🙂

May 18, 2015 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 20, Week 9 – Power Rankings

First, a commendation:  I actually thought all of the judges did a great job with their respective couples, and was pleasantly surprised at how creative they all got.  Definitely would not mind if they brought back the judges’ choice dance, in its current format, to the show next season.  Second, another commendation: tonight felt like the first night in a long time where there wasn’t really a big agenda behind the scoring.  I don’t think anyone got absurdly praised, and I don’t think anyone got absurdly punished – granted, the high level of dancing we saw tonight was a pleasant anomaly, but this was the first time in awhile where I didn’t feel like the judges were being underhanded with scores or critiques. It all seemed to fit nicely.  🙂

Not a whole lot else to add – just can’t believe it’s now week 9 and I only have one more week of this stuff before we enter the off-season…and I make it my personal mission to find Sasha a partner for next season 🙂 Read more..

May 11, 2015 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 20, Week 8 – Power Rankings

Not a whole lot to lead-in with – apologize that these didn’t come last night (I try to have the power rankings up before going to bed on Mondays with a results show the following day), but I had a cake to make and my icing gun broke and I kinda lost all my will to live…momentarily 🙂 Then I slept and I was ok.  Definite judges’ agenda last night, and it seemed to be “make sure Rumer makes it to week 9 AT ALL COSTS, and kinda try to shield Nastia & Riker while you’re at it – the rest are expendable”.  Len has completely lost all credibility for me at this point – just seems like he’s following the directions being fed to him by TPTB each week, even if it means contradicting himself.  Random epiphany I had while watching Robert’s samba trio: how cool would it be to have a pro samba to George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” with the pros playing female & male models? 😉

Also, a point of clarification on Nastia’s “meltdown” in their package: per Deep Throat, that occurred at the end of an 8-hour rehearsal, and Nastia was already planning on heading home – so yeah, she didn’t “walk out of rehearsal in anger”, as some are trying to spin it. Also interesting to note: sometimes the staff filming the rehearsals are encouraged to ask kinda inflammatory questions in order to amp up the drama when the pros and celebs are feeling tired, anxious, stressed, etc – so the frustration you saw from Nastia was more than likely her getting irritated by a needling cameraman, rather than with Derek. Felt that this required clarification, since some of Derek’s detractors seem to be having a field day on Twitter over Nastia’s “outburst”. Hehe – I’ll show you a REAL outburst. Just goes to show that the narrative of the show has gotten so out-of-control that you can’t trust the rehearsal packages anymore. Read more..

May 5, 2015 I Written By

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

The Dancing Poetry Corner – Real and Reel Life Stories

Dancing Sarge In Charge

Joann Tresco of Hummelstown, PA, is a retired Pennsylvania Army National Guard Master Sergeant. He military career spanned 34 years.

Tresco had a love and passion for dance that translated into the next phase of her life. She traded her Army boots for dancing shoes. It is so exciting for her to become the Operations Manager for the dance studio she grew up with.

She is combining the best of both her worlds. Her military management skills have served her well in managing the dance studio and teaching dance. She takes a hands-on approach with the clients who have tripped the light fantastic on the studio ballroom floor.

The link will take you to a narrative and video of her inspiring story. Chuck Rhodes, the Out and About Reporter, WHTM, ABC27, Harrisburg, PA, takes you inside her new life. There is a link to look around the studio she is heavily involved with, PaDanceSport, Hummelstown, PA.

Tresco feels it is important for returning veterans to have the courage to stoke their own passions. She says anyone can make it work.

Tresco is a military success story and a success at this thing called life.

Dancing A Dream
Courage Through Dance

Written By Lois A Troutman, April 14, 2015

The affliction of cerebral palsy does not deter 14 year old Ellie Ritzman from her love of dance. In fact, she thrives on dancing at Dixie’s Dance Studio, Millerstown, PA. Being part of a dance team brings out Ellie’s personality. Making this more special for Ellie is she is dancing with her sister, Leah, and her friends.

Ellie’s mother, Dianne, felt this was something that could not happen. But, she helped Ellie follow her dreams. Read more..

April 15, 2015 I Written By

Resident DWTS Poet