Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 4 – Power Rankings

Color me NOT surprised that the “Raise Your Paddle!” thingie was a total clusterf*ck :-P I gave up after trying and failing to score both Janel & Jonathan…and  having my internet spin its wheels nonstop.  Ain’t nobody got time fo dat. Funny how almost all of the viewer scores basically echoed what the judges gave – kinda have to wonder if they just deferred to that when the server was so overloaded that hardly anybody was able to vote.  Hmmm.  How did you guys fare with the “Raise Your Paddle” voting? I would love to know if everybody had such as easy time as I had ;-)

So the partner switch is next week.  Wondering who got who? Go check out Heidi & I’s prediction post.  Sort-of (but not really) spoiler: nobody’s getting sent home next week, and the person  that gets sent home in week 6 will be calculated based on the scores and votes from weeks 4 & 5; so this ranking is kind of moot, and could totally change based on what happens next week.  But I’m gonna do it anyway :-P

Overall, feeling a bit let down by “most memorable year” week this season – not necessarily by the dances themselves (although there were some real stinkers), but just generally by how cold the judges came off.  Maybe it’s just me, but they seemed a bit more heartless than usual…in tears one minute, then just kinda beating up on the couples the next.  No me gusta.  But god bless Betsey for going out on the high note with such an adorable dedication to her daughter, and being the classy, easygoing gal that she is and thanking everyone for a great run.  You will be missed, you cutie you :-)

1.) Alfonso & Witney – *sighing as I cross yet another item off my DWTS Bucket List* So glad I get to rhapsodize about how fantastic Alfonso is and how nights like tonight are exactly WHY I HAVE WANTED HIM ON THIS SHOW FOR YEARS :-D Alfonso, if you’re reading this, I hope you realize just how much joy you brought to this frigid, jaded blogger’s heart tonight, as well as to the hearts of millions of Carlton Banks fans across America – and even if it might not have been your favorite or most memorable year, I can’t tell you how much it mean to us to see that dance :-) I had a craptacular day – woke up with a migraine, struggled to do office work from home, fumbled with blog stuff, and just generally felt defeated – but this dance brought TEARS to my eyes, with how happy it made me :-)  As always, the musicality was there – he didn’t waste a single beat, and made me appreciate accents in the music that I hadn’t even noticed before; and then the synchronicity – the way he was just locked in with Witney on some of that side-by-side work with a thing to behold – reminded me of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers doing a big dance number.  And man, just the EASE with which he tackles every movement – he doesn’t just “do” the moves; he LIVES AND BREATHES them.  Just…aggggghh.  I can’t.  To quote Mini Alfonso from last week “Tens across the board.” 8-) Couldn’t have asked for a better dance.

2/3.) TIE: Sadie & Mark and Lea & Artem – The two pleasant surprises of the evening for me :-) First of all, I will reiterate: I am  SO GLAD that Sadie got Mark as her partner this season – I don’t know that any of the other male pros would have thrown caution to the wind and donned the Uncle Si beard and hunting gear with as much gusto as Mark, and his quirky choreography seems to suit Sadie well.  They just WORK together.  Thought their routine was both samba-appropriate and Sadie appropriate, and she handled the technique of the samba well – and it was just FUN to watch, and was a good use of Uncle Si, Willy, & Jase as props ;-) As for Lea – WOW.  That’s literally all I had written in my notes about her contemporary.  I think her performance was a turning point in the evening where everything went from “meh”, to “ok, NOW you have my attention!” Given her background, it makes sense that she would excel at contemporary; but given some rather subpar performances we’ve seen from her the past two weeks, I guess I wasn’t expecting a whole lot.  But she managed to handle the technique flawlessly, as well as connecting to the dance emotionally.  And seeing what I’ve seen of her possible fanbase in the switch-up voting – I now see her as a possible contender :-) Just hoping she can hold onto her momentum from this week and handle her next dance as handily and she did this one…

4.) Bethany & Derek – Could there have been more rumba content in this? Sure.  But do I think that they ever really set out to do a perfect, Len-pleasing rumba? No.  I think they achieved what they aimed for: to tell an inspirational story about overcoming bullying, and in that respect, they hit a bullseye.  I’m thinking going the more contemporary/rumba fusion route was a calculated risk, and while some of you might be moaning & groaning about “lack of content”, I doubt anyone can really argue that she was completely connected to the message & emotion of her routine, and for the first time so far this season, I feel like we really “saw” Bethany.  And ultimately, when it comes down to what we take away from this week and what we forget – I’m willing to bet a lot of viewers remember this routine over some with more content, but less emotion.

5.) Janel & Val – Basically the polar opposite of Bethany’s rumba: lots of content, but little emotional connection for me.  Sure, she did a lot of rumba, and she handled it pretty well (although I almost think there was a tad too much content – could have used a bit more light & shade), but I didn’t feel as emotionally shaken by her routine as some of the others we saw tonight.   Unfortunately not a whole lot else to say – other than  go read Heidi & I’s partnership prediction post, because there’s some interesting revelations in it about who may and may not be getting the votes…and Janel falls in the latter category.  Possible “surprise elim” fodder in the coming weeks?

6.) Tommy & Peta – Oh, Tommy :-P Even when you’re screwing up, you’re still making me smile.  This was the first week I think we saw a few cracks forming in an otherwise pretty flawless run Tommy’s had so far – jive is unfortunately not a very laid-back dance, and so I guess I’m not totally surprised that Tommy seemed to get a bit off-time and winded.  But even when he was off-time and losing steam – it was still somehow fun to watch and kept me entertained.  Thought the choreography with the handcuffs was pretty clever, and as always, Tommy seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly…and that’s all I can really ask for from him :-)

7.) Antonio & Cheryl – I think  this samba was the most unintentionally hilarious dance of the evening :-P Mama Spence and I were DYING watching the “look at me, I’m trying to be sexy but it’s really coming across as dorky” bopping down the stairs, the “ooh look at mah sexy body” rubbing on his own chest, and the “teehee, gymnastics r smexy” botched somersault. Oh wow…somebody get me a cold shower…cause I’ve overheated m’self cracking up! He handled the samba very slightly better than Jonathan, but that’s unfortunately not saying much – still a lot of stiffness and not much of a feel for the rhythm.  And worst of all – I still feel like I’m not connecting to him AT ALL.  He’s just not coming across as super-personable or relatable – he’s just kinda…there.  But people seem to be  voting for this guy, so I’m not sure that we’re getting rid of him anytime soon…but hey, if we get more unintentionally hilarious performances like this out of him, I might be able to tolerate him awhile longer :-P

8.) Michael & Emma – He may not be the best dancer, but dammit – I like him…and I think America does, too, because he’s still here.  Actually thought the judges were a tad harsh on what I would consider to be one of his stronger dances – it actually started off quite strong, and aside from a few fumbles in the middle, he kept up with it and didn’t do terribly.  Thought he had one of the more heart-rending stories of the night – you could definitely tell how much he misses Dale, and how his win at Daytona was a bit tarnished by the fact that Dale wasn’t able to share the thrill of victory with him.  And  dammit, Emma must be  doing something right – because he IS improving, even if it’s not by leaps & bounds.  Still think our buddy Mike has a few more weeks left in him…

9.) Jonathan & Allison – Hate to say it, but I think Allison may have screwed her partner on this one a bit, as well – and now that we’re in week 4 and I feel as though I’ve given Allison a fair shake to prove her worth as a ballroom choreographer, I feel as though I can say this: I don’t think this whole “Let’s take a contemporary dancer and let them teach ballroom!” philosophy is really working out on DWTS.  Because not only did I see Jonathan’s weaknesses in the samba tonight – I saw Allison’s, too.  Her technique was reminiscent of Lacey’s ballroom technique – it just kinda made me go “yikes”.  Not only that, but I agree with the judges that the dance was pretty repetitive and one-dimensional – lots of the same steps, repeated over and over, with a bunch of non-samba (hip-hop) peppered in.  No, Jonathan did not master the technique, and he was really, really stiff; but after looking at Allison – I have to wonder: could she even teach him the proper technique? I love Allison as a contemporary dancer; I love her when she’s collaborating with Derek; I love her as a person – but I’m not loving her as a pro on DWTS.  And unfortunately, I’m not sure that Jonathan could really afford to have another weak dance like his week 2 cha-cha.  It’s hard telling how this week’s votes/scores and next week’s are going to cobble together, but I do think there’s potential for a (slightly) shocking elim come week 6…and I think Jonathan might be a primo candidate.

Ok, so what are your thoughts on “most memorable  year” week? And what couples are you hoping to see in the switch next week? :-)

October 7, 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 – 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… Read more..

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 Music Wish List

Normally this list would be a lot longer, but John, Heidi, & Lori all had brain farts on music – leaving Vogue & I to pick up the slack ;-) Here’s some of the songs we’d love to hear on DWTS this season…and we want to hear yours! Let us know in the comments what songs you’re hoping get used on the show!

Courtney:

“Chandelier” by Sia – This has been on repeat on my iPod all summer.  Just a great song for a contemporary routine.

“It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones – I’ve wished for it before, and now that we finally got Alfonso on the show, I need to see a quickstep to it…or maybe even a quickstep/samba fusion ;-)

“Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart – My perennial song wish – you guys know this :-) Well I wished for Alfonso & got him – maybe Rob Wade will give me my much-anticipated paso doble to this one! 8-)

“You & I (Nobody in the World)” by John Legend - While everyone was going crazy over “All of Me” last season, my favorite song off of John’s latest album is this one – it’s kind of the R&B answer to Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight”: a guy telling his lady she’s beautiful no matter what, as he watches her get ready to go out at night.  And if you haven’t seen the video yet, go watch it right MEOW – it’s just perfect.  If I only see one rumba all season – I want it to be to this song.

“Stay” by Shakespears Sister – Thought about this song last season upon finding out that Candace & Charlie were dancing to Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me”.  It’s a pretty old song, but it would make a stellar song for a contemporary routine – hell, I think it would make a fantastic contemporary TRIO song, based on the narrative of the music video.  Give it to Derek and watch him work wonders :-)

“Conjunction Junction” from Schoolhouse RockHad an epiphany the other night while watching a documentary about Schoolhouse Rock – how fun would it be if they did a Schoolhouse Rock theme week? This song would make such a fun foxtrot, and would allow the pros to show off a bit more of a playful side.

“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor – This song is so ridiculously catchy, and my sister and I have a running inside joke about this song and a gif of a dancing honey badger.  Just don’t ask :-P Would be a fun cha-cha.

“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic – A currently-popular song that’s actually appropriate for paso doble.  So please, producers – no more duds like “Sail”.

Vogue:

“Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson – I’d love to see Alfonso bring this song to life as his older self being this is the song he did with Michael in the Pepsi commercial. That could possibly give us a big “Michael Jackson” moment and I love how this show features something by Michael almost every season.

“A Place With No Name” by Michael Jackson – This is my favorite song currently. I’d freak if the pros performed this in a group number. They could bring on Sharna’s boyfriend Paul Kirkland to dance as well and help with choreography being he performs in the new Michael Jackson Vegas show.

“Come Get It Bae” by Pharrell – This is another one of my current favorite songs. I don’t care who performs it or how….just so they do it. I know Sharna likes this song a lot too.

“Hunter” by Pharrell – Being this song has “Duck Dynasty” mentions, I’d love to see Mark and Sadie dance to this song. Not sure if it’s age or lyric appropriate (maybe the band could fix it somehow?), but, it’s a great dance song.

“Anything Goes” by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – What a beautiful song for a Fox Trot or a Waltz.

“Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias – This would be such a great song for a “Latin” group number. The cast could bring the video to life.

“Fairytale” by Alexander Rybak – What a cool and snappy pop Irish/Hungarian “gypsie” jig. A song like this would make a great mix up to the show. I was hooked the first time I heard it.

Queremos Paz” by The Gotan Project – This song would be so cool for a Tango or Argnetine Tango. Actually, I’d take anything by The Gotan Project for a Latin number. Ssssssssssss

 

Now let’s hear your suggestions! 8-)

September 10, 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!

Vote for Your Favorites in the PureDWTS Season 18 End-of-Season Awards!!!

So against my better judgment, I decided to resurrect these awards, after skipping them for a few seasons :-P Just figured that everyone had some pretty strong opinions about this season, and would want to discuss (or argue…) about some of the finer aspects of this season…so here’s the gist:

1.) You get one vote per award category.

2.) If you don’t see your first choice listed, you are able to write-in votes for SOME of the categories – but here’s my strong words of caution: seldom do write-in votes win these awards, so I would encourage you to only write-in if you feel really strongly about something; if your write-in vote is grossly misspelled, doesn’t make sense, or cannot be understood, I’m throwing it out – I’ve had too many seasons of weeding through pages upon pages of write-in votes that were only slightly above jibberish in terms of clarity.  And if you decide to be a little jerk and answer questions like “Which was the best dance of the season?” with “All of Meryl’s dances!!!” or “tie between Meryl’s tango, Candace’s contemporary, Amy’s Argentine tango, and Charlie’s jazz”, I’m throwing out your vote.  Pick ONE – like all of the people courteous enough to actually follow the rules of this poll.

3.) Polls will be up for ONE WEEK – so get your votes in NOW. Read more..

May 26, 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 18, The Finale – Power Rankings

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

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

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

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

3rd place: Candace & Mark

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

Runner-up: Amy & Derek

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

The winner: Meryl & Maks

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

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

May 20, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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 18, Week 9 – Power Rankings

Things I learned from last night’s show:

1.) Running prostheses are a beautiful thing.

2.) Bruno Mars, a half-Puerto-Rican, half-Filipino pop singer who has only been popular in the States for about the last 5 years, apparently meets the criteria to be considered an “American Icon”. Somewhere, Ronnie Van Zant is spinning in his grave (Freebird rumba FTW!)

3.) There will never be another Michael Jackson routine as good as Shawn & Mark’s “P.Y.T.” cha-cha in season 8.

4.) If you need to justify Ralphing a certain male contestant in order to ensure that your chosen one makes the finale, just make him do a samba to a Biggie Smalls song…and then tell him he’s not “funky” enough.

5.) When someone “brings out the best” in you, you hurl mic packs in fits of joy.

Yeah, last night was an odd night – there was the low-energy, less-skilled end of the spectrum (Candace & James) that was called safe right away, and then the actual contenders were kept in jeopardy till the end of the show and we ended up losing someone that many of us had pegged as the winner of season 18 back in March.  Yep, just as we all feared – Charlie got Ralphed, and it breaks my heart…I found him far more fun and engaging than Meryl all season long, and I thought Charlie was Sharna’s best shot at the MBT so far (and probably ever).  Charlie seemed to take it all in stride, but I think Sharna may be hurting for awhile – and I can’t blame her.  She did everything in her power to make Charlie shine this season, but just kept getting smacked down by the judges for no good reason (other than to protect the Princess).  I’m kinda hoping Karina sits down with her and gives her a pep talk, because she’s been there – and I’m hoping Sharna can return next season with a vengeance, and claim what should have been hers this season (just like Karina did with JR in season 13). Read more..

May 13, 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 18, Week 9 – What’s Left to Dance? UPDATE

So somebody requested that I do an update to my first “What’s Left to Dance?” post, just to see what remaining dances the celebs have to do this season…or rather, which dances they might not get to at all :-(  I can’t recall another season where the celebs have had so many of the dances left to do with so little of the competition remaining – and I can’t say I’m enjoying it.  But before I get too far into it, here’s my handy-dandy chart, updated with everyone’s week 9 dances EXCEPT Amy & Derek (as they haven’t revealed theirs yet):

remainingdances2

So now to address some questions that are bound to pop up…

What dances are Amy & Derek doing next week??? I don’t know.  Haven’t heard anything official.  But there is a conspicuous gap in one section of the chart, so I would not be shocked to see Amy doing samba, since she’s the only person left that hasn’t already done it/will be doing it next week (in Charlie’s case).  Then again, maybe they think she’ll struggle with samba, and so they’ll give her paso doble instead…IDK.  No clue about the other dance – I would guess that it’s a ballroom dance, since she still has four she hasn’t done yet, but then again, it could also be jazz.  Who knows.  I guess my official “prediction” is samba and foxtrot…but that’s all it is, a prediction.  What do you think?

How many dances are they doing during finale week? And what kind? Again, I know nothing official, but obviously there will be a freestyle, and if Len griping about Charlie’s rumba in week 4 was any indicator, there will probably also be a redemption dance (a dance that the celeb didn’t do so well on the first time around, and could improve upon).  There’s probably also going to be a relay dance of some sort (probably something everyone has done – I’m guessing cha-cha or samba) and maybe some sort of instant dance/24 hour challenge (for the three that advance after the first night – I’m guessing someone will get eliminated after the freestyles on night 1.  Again, just educated guesses.

What about the trio dance??? AND THE PASO DOBLE???!!! I’m guessing the trio dance is kaput for this season, and I would be shocked if we saw another paso doble (unless Amy is doing it next week) since the finalists typically don’t do an unlearned dance in finale week (besides the freestyle).  Yes, it sucks. :-( I also doubt we’ll see another standard waltz or swing routine – seems like those were only brought in to fulfill specific purposes (Amy’s request to dance to a Cinderella song during Disney week, and Amy & Meryl saying they were most looking forward to doing swing in week 2).  Basically, unless someone’s doing it next week – we probably won’t see it again this season.  Sorry.

What do you think the couples will do as their redemption dance? I think it’s kind of a given that Charlie will get rumba, as Len made a point of saying it back in week 4. I would say that they’d saddle Amy with *cringe* waltz again, but I don’t see her being able to improve upon it that much – so I could see them letting her redo her cha-cha instead. Meryl will probably end up redoing rumba as well, which I’m sure will fit right into this Meryl vs. Charlie showdown they’ve been dancing towards all season.  If Candace makes the finale – hehe, she’s got a lot of dances that she could improve upon, but I think for the sake of variety, they’ll pick quickstep for her…she’s got both potential and room to improve on that one. If James makes the finale (and I’m leaning towards it being either Candace OR James that join the other three in the finale), I could see them giving him quickstep as well. That way, they ensure they get at least one ballroom redemption dance.

Will the freestyles be supersized? Given that they’ve been “supersizing” some of the regular dances this season, I don’t think they’ll suddenly opt for austerity and simplicity in the freestyle round…hell, I think the freestyles this time could be super-dupersized. Let’s put it this way: it would not surprise me if the couples called in the entire cast of Game of Thrones, the entire roster of the Miami Heat (blech), and/or the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir to help with their freestyles at this point…it’s that out of control, kids.

Why are they leaving so many dances unlearned this season? :-( I don’t know, but it kind of gives me a sad. If I had to speculate, I’d say they just got too wrapped up in theme nights and trying to accommodate other random aspects of this season ( i.e. Meryl & Charlie’s travel schedule, Amy’s prostheses’, certain pros’ weaknesses as a choreographer, etc.) that they had to tinker with the dances a bit – why they decided to basically scrap the paso doble, I really don’t know, as that is one dance that it seems like almost anyone could do, regardless of their level of skill or physical abilities…it’s all about selling the performance.  So yeah…it’s a head-scratcher for me, too.

So there’s my thoughts on the remaining dances headed into the semifinals and finals.  What are yours? What unanswered questions do you have about this season?

May 7, 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 18, Week 8 – Power Rankings

Much ado about Abby Lee Miller – and honestly, for as bad as I thought she might be, I think she scores she gave were (for the most part) fair, even if she was nitpicking to death on any technique flubs she could find. It was as if the producers had told her “nitpick all you want, but you can’t give any score below an 8″. And a few of the scores seemed a bit too perfect, if you ask me – as if they had be predetermined, because some of the critiques were not matching the scores AT ALL. What I don’t think the producers had planned on, though, was Abby being a bit of a loose cannon – she said a few things that made me go “Ooh, pretty sure the producers didn’t want that broadcasted.” Watching rehearsals??? Pretty sure the judges have always vehemently denied that they do that…yet Abby admitted it like it was a commonplace thing. And then there was Abby sorta-kinda outing Danicanotadancer as a highly trained dancer…I had a good chuckle on that one…

…speaking of Danica, did anyone else get the impression that she was not all that upset about getting eliminated? Maybe she kinda had an idea that her number was up and had already made peace with it, maybe she is just exhausted and eager to get back to her son, maybe the tiff with Maks during duel rehearsal left a bad taste in her mouth…but I didn’t see the emotional display from her I thought we would see when she got eliminated. I was expecting Brandy & Elizabeth Berkeley-esque tears and displays of desperation, given how Type A Danica seems to be…was pleasantly surprised to see her so gracefully accept the whole thing. Maybe in the end, she was glad to have all that pressure off of her to do well…can’t say I blame her.  And this season more than ever, I see the difference between the Chmerkovskiy brothers: Val seems to “get it”, while I’m not sure Maks EVER will.  I think Val is starting to understand what it takes to do well on DWTS, and is developing a more clever, out-of-the-box, Derek-like attitude about things; Maks, on the other hand, seems like an old dog who can’t learn new tricks – and he’s hellbent on winning the show on HIS terms or he’s gonna die trying.  I’ve always felt like Val was the better choreographer, but now I feel like he’s also got the right mindset to win this show someday – and I think Maks is just too set in his ways to really get flexible enough to win (unless he gets a ton of help from the men upstairs).

Which brings me to the “I don’t care about anything she says” heard ’round the world.  *sigh* Do I agree with the sentiment? Yes.  Do I think Maks was just saying what the rest of us were thinking? Yes.  Do I think it was smart of him to say? Errrrr…yes and no.  As I mentioned on Twitter, I wish he would have waited until after their duel had been scored to say it – because saying it after their first dance meant that there was a target on his back for their second dance.  Abby Lee was a complete jerkwad, no doubt – but she was also a jerkwad holding the scoring paddles, and a vindictive jerkwad at that.  What’s to say that Abby might have given them a 9 on that samba instead of an 8, had Maks not said what he said after their rumba? Sure, it was only one point, but you just never know – and this is why I almost always think it’s a better idea for the pros to just bite their tongue when they get the urge to talk back to the judges.  You just never know what the consequences might be…and often, its their celebrity partner that’s paying the price.  At least Val was smart enough to wait until the scores for their second dance were already locked in before talking back to Abby… Read more..

May 6, 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 18, Week 6 – Power Rankings

So as predicted, the show took a few liberties with “party anthems” last night – I can’t speak for you guys, but I’ve never been drunk off my heiny at a frat party and gone “OMG!!! This is my JAAAAAMMMM!” while toasting my Keystone in the air to “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease.  But hey, that’s just me :-P I’m also not quite sure that “Feels So Close” is even popular enough to receive “anthem” status, but maybe at 29 I’m just getting too old to know what’s popular…

Anywho…so Redfoo (aka Berry Gordy’s baby boy) did about as well as a guest judge as we expected him to – he was there more for entertainment value, comic relief, and self-promotion more than any sort of constructive input on the dances, but I was oddly ok with the whole thing because I don’t think it really affected the scores or critiques for better or worse.  I’d much rather hear Redfoo’s incoherent analogies about crustaceans running in the sand and NeNe being an entrepreneur than Donny Osmond’s self-centered prattling (or worse yet – the hellfire which I imagine the insidious Abby Lee Miller will be raining down on Derek & Mark two weeks from now 8-O ).  I can’t imagine he’s up to a whole lot since LMFAO decided to go on hiatus a year and a half ago – I have a feeling that the call he got from TPTB went something like this: “So Redfoo, we want you as a guest judge on DWTS!” “Sounds cool, but what’s in it for me?” “$100 bucks, a sammich, and your own personalized set of neon zebra print paddles!” “I’M SO THERE!!! Let me just go tease my hair real quick…”

Kinda sad to see Drew go, but I think he was ready – seemed like he was getting really tired and burnt out, and hadn’t been able to recapture the magic of his switch week dance with Witney in these past two weeks with Cheryl.  Really & truly, I wish it had been NeNe – and I guess I’m hoping that the novelty of her is beginning to wear off and we might say goodbye to her next week.  She may be fun to watch, but at this point, I feel like she’s not really even picking up legitimate choreography – it’s just a lot of booty shaking and “NeNe-ing” around the floor and getting absurdly high scores, while others doing appropriate choreography (namely Candace & Charlie) just can’t seem to catch any breaks with the judges.  What gives??? Read more..

April 22, 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 18, Week 7 – The Team Dances REVEALED!!!

It’s been a long ass day and I need sleep, so I’m just gonna get right to it…your teams for next week’s team dances are:

Team Meryl: Meryl & Maks, Danica & Val, Amy & Derek, and Candace & Mark

Team Charlie: Charlie & Sharna, James & Peta, NeNe & Tony

Yes, I know – please take a moment to lift your jaw off the floor as I did when I first heard the teams. I assure you, there’s a perfectly rational explanation…and her name is Saint Meryl the Peacemaker. :-) Apparently Meryl won the coin toss and got to pick first – and the funny thing is, the pros did not have any say in who got picked for each team. Deep Throat insinuated that the pros may not have even been in the same room when the picking of the teams was happening…which I actually think is kind of cool. Kept some of the politics out of the team-picking. Anywho! Danica & Val were Meryl’s first pick, as that was who she “thought Maks would really want”. Then Charlie picked James & Peta (bromance!), and Meryl picked Amy & Derek. Charlie picked NeNe & Tony, and Meryl was left with Candace & Mark. Read more..

April 21, 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!