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PureDWTS Season 23, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well that was possibly the most breakneck speed episode of DWTS we’ve ever witnessed – trying to watch, tweet, and take notes proved to be pretty difficult when they were moving as quickly as they were, so if these are a tad late, I apologize…I may have had to rewind and rewatch.

As much of a cluster as we predicted the face-off dances to be, on the whole I wasn’t too disappointed – my expectations were set pretty low, and tonight’s show maybe slightly exceeded them.  With the exception of a select few dances, technique seemed to be sacrificed in favor of showmanship across the board, and I really only saw 3 couples who seemed like they were 100% in-the-zone when performing…the rest seemed to eke by with varying degrees of bewilderment. It is what it is – when you’ve gotta cram 12 dances into 1 hour, you’re bound to make sacrifices somewhere.  I will say that I really enjoyed not hearing as much meaningless blathering from the judges 😀

Just to recap how voting/eliminations work this week – those who won their dance-offs are safe from elimination tomorrow; those who lost are at risk of getting eliminated. So the rankings should really only be 6 couples this week – but I do want to at least touch on the ones who won their dance-offs, so I’m gonna do things a bit differently tonight. First set of rankings is for those who are actually eligible to be eliminated – with the #6 position being the one I think  is most likely to get the boot. The second set is just a ranking of how well the winners did.  Also threw in a general ranking of the face-offs and how well/not well I think they worked out. …Read more

September 26, 2016 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 23, Week 2 – Power Rankings

I really do have kind of a love-hate relationship with TV weeks – and really, theme weeks in general.  They’ve brought us some really good dances, and they’ve brought us some pretty craptastic dances.  And a whole lotta awkward sh*t in between – this is what happens, kids, when you try to force a certain song to fit a certain dance, or try to force certain costuming to fit a certain dance, or a certain dance to fit a certain theme, etc. There was definitely some awkwardness last night that I would blame primarily on this week’s theme – I feel like Amber & Maks, Jake & Jenna, and Rob/Vanilla & Witney kinda got played by their assigned themes, while I commend Calvin & Lindsay and Babyface and Allison for making their theme work for them…particularly the latter, which I’ll get into more later. Also a lot of time wasting at the beginning of several of the dances, which seemed to be a pretty across-the-board thing, so I guess I can’t complain too much – although I will say some pros utilized the time wasting more than others.

And while I think the distraction of the protesters last week may have somewhat blurred any potential agenda by the judges, I felt like we really saw that agenda take shape awfully clearly this week: Laurie is the chosen one, and anyone that poses a threat to Laurie needs to be nitpicked, criticized, and underscored to protect her.  I think the only other celeb that escaped the judges unscathed besides Laurie was Terra, which is also somewhat problematic, which I will get into later; but why give a dance straight 8’s and then don’t explain ways in which it can be improved upon? If it’s truly perfect and you aren’t going to give any negative feedback, give it 10’s.  If you’re not giving it 10’s and you’re not offering up suggestions for improvement…something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.

Not sure if I’ll do another round of power rankings later tonight/early tomorrow or not (for next Monday’s elimination), as I’ve got some other things going on that are going to make the next 24 hours very, very busy for me, but for now…I guess take these as my predictions for who is going home tomorrow night, and I might just do an update tomorrow evening after we boot the first celeb. Read more..

September 20, 2016 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 22, The Finale – Power Rankings

Man, I miss the good ol’ days, when the Monday nights on finale week were just jam-packed full of great dancing and everyone truly brought their A-game.  I think the last finale that really fit that bill for me was season 17 – when (pun intended) even Bill Engvall really shone.  Tonight was cumulatively one of the weakest we’ve ever had – I feel like 2/3 couples kinda hit a flat note.  And also, even more disappointingly, the judges’ & PTB’s agenda was in high gear tonight – some got the kid glove treatment, others were scrutinized a bit more.  And while I think that there is an obvious winner in this bunch, based on tonight’s performances – I think it could go either way amongst two finalists, given some of the propaganda we saw tonight.

Part of me thinks that we may lose Mark after this season, which is a crying shame, because he & Lindsay are the only pros left that even come close to Derek in terms of choreographic skill and are capable of possibly grabbing an Emmy nod for the show. But the vibe I got from Mark after he & Paige’s freestyle makes me wonder if we just witnessed his swan song – he’s never struck me as a terribly sentimental pro, but he got seriously weepy tonight. Is he maybe finally bidding farewell to DWTS to focus on his marriage & his music after this season? Ack…I don’t want to think about it.  He’s been one of the few bright spots of this season.

Not much else to add – thought Erin looked pretty matronly in that dress they threw her in, and I raised an eyebrow at how much time was spent emphasizing that ABC Golden Girl Ginger was suffering from back spasms.  *yawn* Gonna do things in reverse tonight, starting with 3rd place and ending with the winner… Read more..

May 23, 2016 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 22, Week 9 – Power Rankings

Five years ago, I sat on my couch, slack-jawed and speechless over the fact that TPTB had managed to oust a season-long fan favorite and great dancer from the finale in favor of a member of the ABC family advancing.   I didn’t think it was possible that anyone on this show could have gotten more screwed-over than Ralph Macchio was in season 12, in order to allow Chelsea Kane into the finals. I’ll be damned if history didn’t repeat itself last night with Wanya Morris, quite possibly one of the most hard-working, consistent, passionate, and entertaining contestants this show has ever seen, being sacrificed in favor of the decent-but-unmemorable ABC family member, Ginger Zee. And it seems to sting even more this time, because I feel like it all came down to the “hanky slip heard ’round the world” – a relatively minor snafu that the judges decided to make a molehill of, and brutally underscored Wanya last week, while sheltering Ginger with some very cushy scores on some pretty ho-hum dances. Had that underscoring (and overscoring) not happened last week, I have decent reason to believe we’d be looking at a different finale lineup.  But when it comes down to it, I guess it’s more important to ensure the company gal advances over the popular guy that isn’t part of the family, no matter how talented he may be. Good luck defending this decision, ABC – judging from the shock and dismay I saw on Twitter, you may get quite a bit of backlash for this one.

As for the good news about last night – I did manage to get 2/3 of my dream finale, with Nyle & Paige advancing, and with Antonio, the weak link in this competition since Doug left, finally getting ousted. To the Steelers Nation – guess y’all aren’t as mighty as you claimed to be, huh? I daresay with all the outrage about Wanya getting ousted, I barely heard a peep from those disappointed about Antonio going home. And FWIW, Wanya put on one helluva show – dude was 100% in the zone last night, and didn’t have a single stumble.  Just makes it all the more of a glaring omission for him to not make the finale.

So for the first time, this week’s scores are being rolled into the totals for the finale – I invite you all to contemplate why that might be.  Given that we’ll see the freestyles next Monday before the final set of votes, these power rankings are somewhat moot, as I’ll do another set next Monday. But given that they’ll actually be using the judges’ scores from this week, I do think it’s possible to predict who might have the advantage headed into the finale…and who might struggle a bit more.  So take these rankings as who I think would win/be the runner-up/come in 3rd if the winner were to be decided tomorrow. Read more..

May 17, 2016 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 22, Week 4 – Power Rankings

Full disclosure: I’m actually not all that excited when Disney week rolls around.  I know everyone gets so caught up in the magic and the wonder and the childlike joy, but I often find myself distracted by songs that don’t really fit the dance styles they’re meant to have, loud costumes, sets that seem to draw attention away from the couple, and the copious use of the troupe. I actually much prefer theme weeks like acoustic week or classical week, where things are stripped down – or better yet, no theme at all.  Just let them DANCE.

Unfortunately, while I would normally have menial things like I mentioned above to gripe about, last night I found myself just absolutely floored at the disparity in judging & scoring that was going on.  I wasn’t even terribly concerned with Zendaya – overall, she did a good job and didn’t rock the boat too far, which is all I can really ask for – I found myself particularly peeved at Carrie Ann, who picked very convenient times to really crack down on certain couples and conveniently overlook the shortcomings of others.  And while last week gave me hope that TPTB might give up on the preseason narrative of pimping the football players and ABC darling Ginger and just let the chips fall where they may, this week the narrative is back with a vengeance – the only change made is that they seem to have decided to to put all their eggs in Antonio’s basket and drop Von, which is probably the most asinine thing I saw all night, given what I’ve seen and heard of the former’s work ethic (or lack thereof). Things are not nearly as rosy as they were made out to be in his package, kids – when you only manage to put in roughly 10 hours of rehearsal time in an entire week (most couples put in 6-8 PER DAY) and you’re apparently late to rehearsal because you’re too busy “always closing” and “getting the job done” and “blessing up” by posting pix of your shoes/house/car/workouts on Snapchat, I’m gonna go ahead and assume that your heart ain’t in this…in which case, you can GTFO. There are too many people on this season that are busting their asses week after week, and putting in the hours in the studio and giving us fantastic performances and heaps of gratitude for the experience, for this show to keep carrying the dead weight of someone that isn’t giving 100%.  I only want to see people who clearly want to be there – and TPTB aren’t helping, with some of the f*ckery we saw with the packages tonight.  I know we often complain about some getting a “bad edit” – keep this in mind: there is also such a thing as an overly-kind edit…

Makes me a bit sad to see Marla go, simply because I found her endless optimism and zen attitude refreshing – plus, while her dances maybe didn’t always excite me, I did find them pleasing and soothing, in a weird way…I found myself kind of hypnotized by her waltz last night.  Glad to see Dougie staying, though, because I do think he’s go more to show us – thankfully, I don’t see anyone going home next week (as is usually the pattern for switch week), so we’ll get at least two more dances out of him.  Getting a lot of questions about who I want to see in the switch – honestly, I have given up on the switch, and I’m just trying to be at peace with whatever pairings we end up seeing, and just hope that some of my more fragile babies (namely Nyle, Doug, & Jodie – and to a lesser degree, Von – I’ll explain later) get partners that are able to be patient and nurture them. I don’t worry as much about Wanya or Paige – I think they’ll thrive no matter what partner they get in the switch. Kim ought to be fine, too, and I don’t really have any investment in who Ginger or Antonio gets.  I guess I’m just hoping that the switch isn’t just another tool to further the agenda we saw this week – I know that’s wishful thinking… Read more..

April 12, 2016 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 22, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that this season of DWTS will be won by…a dude. 😛 Yeah, that could be one of six individuals (but more realistically, probably 4), but after tonight, I daresay the bulk of this season’s talent rests with the men – don’t get me wrong, there are a few ladies with skills…but I think the men this season are closer to being the full package of skill, charm, and work ethic that it takes to win that MBT.

That being said – while the major narrative that TPTB seemed to want to push tonight was current NFL player vs. current NFL player, I found myself feeling a bit let-down with our two current football players; could have been the huge preseason hype surrounding them, but I was left feeling surprisingly “meh” by what I actually saw. Instead, I found my eye drawn to two other men that far eclipsed our NFL duo in terms of making a good impression.  As for the ladies – there’s some with real charm, and some with skill, and some that TPTB seem to have a vested interest in keeping around (cue side eye…), but when I’m left thinking about who really stood out in my mind tonight – I’m remembering a lot more guys than gals.

Other observations? The intro was cute, but seemed a little bit hodgepodge and not terribly cohesive; maybe I was just spoiled by how catchy & fun last season’s was. I also tip my hat to Erin tonight, as I think she was just what some of the contestants needed after a rough go of it with the judges – she was kind and gentle with those that maybe didn’t come out with such glowing reviews & scores.

Just a refresher, for those of you just joining us this season: the power rankings are a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a contestant is to get eliminated – it takes into account scores, fanbase, personality, memorability,  and whatever other factors I find that seem to influence voting behavior. It is NOT a ranking of “who danced the best”, so if you’re hear to complain that “so-and-so should be higher than such-and-such because they got a much higher score!” – you’re outta your element, Donnie. Now that we’ve got that outta the way… Read more..

March 22, 2016 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 11 – Final Power Rankings!!! Who Will Win?

At the risk of sounding cliched – where has this season gone? Seems like only yesterday, I was catching flak from Keo fans for predicting that Chaka would be an early out, hoping & praying that Victor would last longer than a week, and was actually enjoying Tamar putting Val through the paces 🙂 It’s been a wild season with multiple curveballs thrown into it, and I’ll be honest – I’ll be glad to get my Monday nights back for a little while. But it’s been a fun ride 🙂

Last night…was a bit underwhelming for me, I’m afraid, save for maybe 2 dances. I think I’ve said this before, but I’m kinda over the “judges’ choice redo” dance – even if the couples don’t improve, I feel like they get lavished with praise, and the dance almost never feels 100% fresh, new, and exciting. On top of that, I feel like some couples get dances that there is really not a ton of room for improvement on (Bindi & Carlos), while others get to redo ones that they completely f’d up the first time around (Nick), and others get saddled redoing dances that so well-remembered for other reasons that their redo dance is bound to be a bit of a letdown (Alek, trying to best his rumba with Emma).  I feel like the only one that really benefited significantly from the redo was Nick – the rest either did slightly better or stayed about the same. I would have rather seen the couples either re-dance their favorite dance, or redo their favorite dance with new choreography and a new song.

Something else I’m a bit tired of as well? Hearing about how the freestyle is “the most important dance of the season” or how it is the “make it or break it” dance for the couples.  As I think Heidi has said before – the freestyle is not nearly as special as it once was, and hasn’t been nearly as important in affecting the outcome of the show in recent seasons as it has in the past.  Ever since season 15, when they started making the team dances a freestyle, and starting allowing the couples to use massive sets and lots of extra dancers in their regular dances, the actual freestyle in the finale has felt considerably less special – to the point where it can end up looking pretty similar to something the couple has already done (Nick), or is something that doesn’t even seem to fit a couple well, because they’re trying so hard to be “out-of-the-box” (Carlos). And sorry, but if America isn’t already voting for you BEFORE the freestyle round – I highly doubt they’re going to suddenly throw some votes your way because of it. You’re actually probably better off treating it as “just another dance” than trying to outdo yourself – because in all honesty, it’s likely not going to make much of a difference in whether you win or not, unless you completely f*ck it up.

As for Carlos – I doubt anyone was super shocked that the Toker 4 Jesus left us last night (credit to @sally_braden for that gem!), and I started getting an inkling that he was toast after the judges’ OTT gushing about that bizarre foxtrot of his, which felt stiff and awkward, on top of having a lack of…well, actual foxtrot in it. Lawd Jesus, somebody PLEASE reinstate Witney’s outside choreographer privileges, because these last few dances have just been painful to watch. I found their freestyle to be the weakest of the 4 we saw last night, simply because they seemed to throw in several elements that neither fit together cohesively nor really fit Carlos, just for the sake of doing something that had “never been done before”.  The bit with the lights on the hands at the beginning? Looked like they were directing ground traffic at an airport, and also – already been done before (Shawn & Derek’s bhangra in season 15). Including Paula, Hayes, & Alexa? Ok, it hadn’t been done, but did it really improve the routine? We only saw about 5 seconds of each one moving kinda awkwardly. The lift? He seemed to struggle with it, and it was the same one Alek did in his freestyle – only Alek did it better. The one credit I will give Carlos & Witney, though, is that the hip-hop steps they did seemed more impressive than the ones we saw in Nick’s freestyle. But more on that in a bit… Read more..

November 24, 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 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 7 – Power Rankings

Before I start in on everything else, I have to get this off my chest: poor Willow 🙁 Say what you will about “this is what happens when you put a 14-year-old on an adult show!” or “she should have prepared herself!”, but I think back to what a naive, insecure girl I was at 14, and I just cannot help but feel for her – she had done so well and seemed so excited to be there, only to be told “Sorry, not enough people like you enough to vote for you.  Bye-bye!” We knew a shocking elim was probably going to come at some point, what with the overlapping fanbases of some of the couples this season…I guess I had just hoped that it wouldn’t be HER. So please, if you have an ounce of compassion in you – please go tweet (or Instagram) some encouraging words to Willow – it’s tough enough to be a teenage girl in this world, let alone one who just got the rug pulled out from under her on national television.

As for the rest of the night – maybe I just got spoiled in previous seasons, with fun decade-themed dances like Nicole’s 50’s paso and Erin’s 80’s rumba (I still giggle at Maks in the Don Johnson costume!), but tonight felt like an “Eras Night” only in name: so many of the songs (and sets, and costumes) didn’t really seem to reflect the era they were meant to, so I guess I kinda said “Why even bother?” to some of it.  Oh well – probably yet another hastily-thrown-together theme to cover their asses when plans changed.  As for the judges – they’re still doing some fishy sh*t.  They’re just taking turns on who gets to play good cop, bad cop each week. Read more..

April 28, 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