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 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, 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 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, 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 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, 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 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, 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 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, 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 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, 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 20, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Let’s play a game 🙂 It’s called “Who can come up with the most ridiculous, subjective, and flimsy critique for a dance that’s nearly flawless???” I’ll start!!!  “Nastia, your pupils were FAR too dilated while you were doing that tango – it made me feel like you were undressing me with your eyes!” Or how ’bout this? “Derek, the pleats on your pants weren’t sharp enough – and it really detracted from the dance for me.” YOUR TURN!!! I think you guys get the point I’m trying to make – some of the critiques have gotten so out of control that the judges really seem like they’re grasping at straws to appear superior and relevant.  Or they’re just trying to make sure that Nastia doesn’t get too confident, even though she is every bit as good as Rumer & Riker.  Whatever, guys – I guess just keep spinning the “Wheel O’ Excuses Why We Simply Can’t Just Tell Nastia She Did Well” back in your trailers to keep things colorful…and to keep the season’s agenda on-track.

Besides Nastia, I STILL feel like Robert is getting the short end of the stick from the judges and can’t do anything right in their eyes; and then there’s Chris, who looks downright miserable all the time, barely moves, and the judges just FAWN over him.  Here’s a bit of a “behind the scenes” scoop for you guys, free of charge: CHRIS DOES NOT WANT TO BE THERE.  Sure, it’s totally written all over his face whenever the camera pans to him, but just confirming it for you – the dude was legit disappointed that he didn’t get sent home last week.  And can you really blame him? He’s struggling hardcore each week, he’s butting heads with Witney, and I’m pretty sure he just wants to get back to the farm to have some wild hayloft sex with his Whitney.  Or something like that.  While I think it was Patti’s time to go either this week or next week, I still would have rather kept her over Chris – at least she was having fun, even if she wasn’t really doing a whole lot.  She was still entertaining. Read more..

April 21, 2015 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!

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

PureDWTS Season 20, Week 5 – Power Rankings

First off, an apology: these are late, but I do (sort of) have good reason: I needed time to cool off after last night’s show (more on that later) and I actually got caught up talking to Deep Throat and just got too tired to start these last night (as I usually do).  Then after my truncated sleep schedule last night (no rest for the spoilers!), I just dragged all kinds of @$$ today and didn’t get around to finishing these until just now.  So I apologize – hope this is all still relevant and you guys haven’t completely moved onto Spring Break week 😉

Overall, I enjoyed Disney night – this one felt a lot more well-prepared and planned out than the last, which felt a bit hastily thrown together.  Sorry to see Suzanne go – I do feel like she was really trying and wanted to be there, and maybe just got caught having a weak moment in rehearsal.  But if she didn’t go home this week, she certainly would either next week or during the double elim – just kinda stinks that she went out on a bit of a low note, forgetting almost half her routine.  And it started out so promising, too! Hopefully she can do it again on the finale results show 🙂 Read more..

April 14, 2015 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 20, Week 5 – Disney Week Song Predictions 2.0

And Disney week is upon us once again 🙂 Since so many of us (myself included) are chomping at the bit to start speculating about what we might hear, I thought we’d resurrect the season 18 Disney week song prediction post to start the discussion!

First, a little bit of intel: allegedly, there have been some issues with song clearance, AGAIN – which is no surprise, considering there were clearance issues with some of the season 18 Disney week songs (“Be Our Guest” got approved in the nick of time; “Hakuna Matata”, however, did not) and Disney is notorious for closely guarding their copyrights.  Knowing that – I would not be at all surprised if some of the season 18 Disney week songs got reused.  Disappointing? Maybe. Avoidable? Doubt it.  Also, knowing this show’s penchant for reusing songs, I would not be surprised to see if some other Disney songs used before on other seasons of the show crop up again. So to start the predicting off, here’s a recap of the songs we saw during the last Disney week, and songs we’ve seen on the show before – then I’ll share my Disney week wishlist, and you guys can share yours 🙂 Read more..

April 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, 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!