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PureDWTS Season 24, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Anyone else missing Derek & Mark (and their choreography) something fierce right about now??? Because my god – if last night wasn’t an exercise in choreographic futility for some of our pros, then I don’t know what the hell it was. On top of that, the judges seemed eerily kind to just about everyone (except Nick, which we’ll get into later), which left me with this unpleasant sense of foreboding for most of the show – like I was waiting for something bad to happen, but I wasn’t sure what.  Basically, the same feeling I had while watching the first 20 minutes of last season’s Game of Thrones finale – but thankfully, when it all played out, I felt less like Margaery & more like Cersei, because something that Heidi & I had be predicting would happen eventually, happened: Heather got outsted in a “shocking” (but not really, if you actually think about it) elimination. We had been saying she was the most likely candidate for the token “shock” elim this season, but I don’t think we were anticipating it happening this early on – I myself had her making it to at least week 7, I think. But when you take into account the turd of a routine her pro foist upon her last week, and the fact that most of the general viewing audience couldn’t really get past her basically being a professional dancer herself, she followed the basic formula for getting “Sabrina’d”: the minute a skilled dancer dips below a certain score threshold, they get sent home because they Just. Aren’t. Getting. The. Votes. If you want to see a breakdown of just how few votes Heather was getting (or rather, just how much better than Heather everyone else was doing), go reread Heidi’s Dancing By the Numbers. I wish I could say I was disappointed by a good dancer getting sent home before some less-skilled ones, but I made no secret of it that I never really found myself enjoying Heather’s performances – and it was a combination of lack of connection to the audience on her part, and just plain subpar choreography from Maks on the other. Add in the fact that Maks managed to find TWO ways to proverbially spit in Alan’s face last night, and I’m left saying “Toodles, Heather & Maks – don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!” Not gonna lie, though: part of me would love to see Alan as a pro next season, and have Maks left out in the cold – karma could be such a perfect bitch 😎

Which brings me to a few notes on demographics.  I think I warned everyone a month ago that Chris, Erika, Heather, & Normani were the four most likely to struggle with fanbase issues this season – three of them are now gone. You Harmonizers still feeling so confident about Normani’s voting fanbase? I saw quite a few folks wringing hands after it was announced that everyone on the girls’ team was in jeopardy, and many of them seemed convinced that Nancy was the one headed home.  You guys do realize that she aligns almost perfectly with the main viewing demographic of the show, right? A middle-aged Olympian with an inspiring backstory? Please help me understand why you thought a C-list-at-best, 30-something professional dancer from a 2-years-defunct teen tv show that was being given highly mediocre choreo by her partner was somehow going to outlast that Olympian, who so far has thrived and been given solid routines by her partner? It’s important to remember that sometimes, this show is about everything EXCEPT the dancing – in this case, the fact that Heather was already a great dancer didn’t matter to a lot of folks. If anything, it seemed to turn them off. They seemed to prefer Nancy’s journey to Heather’s already-professional polish. I also think Nancy has come off far more relatable and down-to-earth than Heather ever did on the show – and trust me when I say that can make a bigger difference than a few points, sometimes.

As for the rest of the show – Nick was an ok guest judge; seemed excited to be there and tried to give insightful critiques, but I think he came across a tad disingenuous at times. He also seemed like a bit of a yes-man, and had been fed a list of instructions on what to say and to whom (“Make sure you mention that Normani could win this whole thing! And don’t go easy on Nick V.!”) But I was pleased to see he gave Rashad a “10” when the other judges were whipping out 9’s – seemed to make up for Carrie Ann’s uncalled-for “7” last week. Opener seemed bland, like it was an afterthought – “Crap, what are we gonna do for the opener this week??? IDK, just…line everyone up or something…” Can’t say I missed Julianne too much – guess the Move Beyond tour didn’t leave any time for the “Ballroom is soooo different than what Heather does!” apology tour this week…and now Heather’s gone. Wuh wuh wuhhhhh. Read more..

April 25, 2017 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 4 – Power Rankings

So many things…so many interesting things to talk about this week 😉 As expected on pretty much every “most memorable year” night, tears were shed, and those who went with more of an emotional story stood out, while those who went the fun route tended to fade into the woodwork. I found the running order a bit interesting – two back-to-back rumbas to start off with; and source wasn’t 100% sure, but apparently after Sunday’s camera blocking, Rashad tentatively had the pimp spot, but there appeared to be some question as to when Normani would go, as Fifth Harmony apparently had some scheduling conflict (I’m guessing they couldn’t stay the whole time, since we didn’t see them again after they sang with Normani). Guess they switched the game up – although I actually think Rashad’s dance ended up being more impactful by NOT going last, as they seemed to give him a bit more time than they did Bonner; but not too much time, because like Mr. T & Simone, Rashad did not get a post-score interview with Erin. You notice a bit of a disturbing pattern here? 🙁

Of those who DID get an interview with Erin, three of the five male pros seemed to get diarrhea of the mouth, and ended up completely hogging the mic from their partners – Val kinda got patronizing, Maks was glibly trying to cast next season already, and Gleb…was busy babbling something about being sexy, so we barely heard from their ladies. Therefore, I tip my hat to the two remaining male pros for keeping the focus on their partners by remaining quiescent. Much ado about lifts, Carrie Ann – wonder what made you decide to enlighten us all with the definition, and then proceed to anxiously justify every lift you called out last night? *takes a sip of tea* Don’t worry, boo boo, that lift post is still coming 😉 I also think we continued to witness the narrative change last night – seems like we might be seeing Rashad & Simone (and their engaged partners, Emma & Sasha) take center stage now, with Normani, David, & Nancy all in the hunt for that third spot in the finals. Will TPTB let it ride? Time will tell.

Was very sad to see Mr. T go – was chatting with Deep Throat the other day, and they remarked that T was very much loved by everyone in the cast and crew: he was always making a point to say hello to everyone, and make sure they were doing well and having a good day. T was just genuinely GOOD PEOPLE, and I did enjoy seeing him on the show. But I do think he was beginning to get flustered with himself, and was probably ready to go – he had fun and tried hard, but I doubt he was going to improve much more if he had remained in the competition. Oh well – I look forward to a fun returning dance from him at the finale 🙂 Read more..

April 11, 2017 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 10 – Power Rankings

It’s nights like last night that make me seriously question why I continue to watch DWTS, let alone write about it – because there was some seriously skeezy, very manipulative stuff going on, and the agenda could not have been more clear.  Someone on Twitter asked me last week how we get our predictions about who’s going home/how the judges are going to score/who’s going to get pimped or hosed correct so often – and last night I found myself seriously questioning whether it’s the fact that we’ve been doing this for 7 years now, and just sharpen our skills each season…or if the show has just gotten more and more obvious with their agenda, thereby just making it that much easier to predict what’s going to happen.  It’s a very disconcerting thought to be having…

…so while we’re on the topic of disconcerting things we saw last night, I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way and leave it up to you whether you continue to read after this point or not: I was very, very disappointed (and kinda disgusted) with how Laurie’s package about her grandmother’s death was handled. And before some of you turn your moral outrage to a fever pitch, know this: BEING DISAPPOINTED IN LAURIE’S PACKAGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW LAURIE HANDLED HER GRIEF, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HOW THE PRODUCERS EXPLOITED IT. The very fact that I have to even preface this commentary with that makes me seriously weary of how emotionally unintelligent some DWTS fans have become, as I witnessed on Twitter last night, and does not give me a whole lot of hope for continued intelligent discussion in future seasons. But I found the way they chose to hone in on Laurie crying, lamenting the fact that she didn’t get one more trip home to see her grandma, and then playing the clip of her grandmother wishing her good luck at the end seemed like “emotion porn” – taking Laurie’s genuine grief and cobbling it together in such a way that it seemed extra devastating, and only seemed to rub Laurie’s face in her own sorrow.  It looked like Val didn’t warn her not to watch the package before their foxtrot, because she did seem very thrown-off by it, and a little choked up during her dance.  So many people feel the need to remind me each week that Laurie “is only 16”; so yes – given that, maybe it wasn’t in the best taste of the producers to create a package that could very easily have compounded the poor girl’s guilt about not getting to see her grandmother one more time. Also saw a lot of folks on Twitter justifying it with “well they did the same thing to Bindi” –  sorry, but Bindi’s father had been gone for 9 years when she did her season; Laurie’s grandmother passed away just a few days ago.  Big difference in the way one interprets grief immediately after a death and then several years after a death, and Derek at least had the forethought to warn Bindi not to listen to her packages, lest they affect her performance. Laurie kinda got thrown headlong into it – she handled it well, but am I alone in thinking that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t in the best taste to create a package that hinged upon Laurie’s guilt about not getting more time with her grandmother…and then kinda ambushing her with it? It is possible to create a package with a theme of remembrance that doesn’t victimize those grieving – we’ve seen this show do it. And given that I’ve had people forwarding me links to interviews this morning where Val has said that he actually knew about Laurie’s grandmother dying BEFORE she did and that the interview with her grandmother happened 10 weeks ago (and not last week, as the package led us to believe), makes me all the more weary of how the show handled the whole thing.  It stinks…bad.

Moving right along to another bone of contention from last night’s show – wonky/inconsistent/agenda-filled scoring/judging that was clearly meant to shield some while disadvantaging others.  James got nitpicked, so as to justify not tying Laurie with a perfect score; Calvin got severely low-balled, so as to keep him from getting too close to Jana; Laurie got treated with kid gloves; Jana got overly kind scores & critiques.  The judges copped out and gave everyone the same score on their trio, which basically just made the margins a bit smaller – something that I don’t think would have happened if Len had been there, and needless to say I cannot WAIT to have him back next week…although I have to wonder if he will just follow the company line and only award 9’s & 10’s.  We had already kinda gotten the feeling that Terra was a goner headed into this week, and the fact that they gave her a perfect 60 for the night was the final nail in the coffin, I’m afraid – Rob Wade got his ideal finale, which did not include a little person who was actually more technically proficient than at least one of the finalists.  Sad to see Terra go, because she was a good dancer and I got the impression she really was having fun on the show – but as with many sh*ttastic things that happen on this show these days, not entirely unexpected. Read more..

November 15, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Whenever I fill in on the live blog for Heidi, and also simultaneously tweet and take notes for the power rankings, I always worry that I’m gonna just end up repeating the same stuff over and over, and run out of things to say – but oddly enough, live blogging AND tweeting AND taking notes actually helped me work through week 2 of the Topamax brain fog this week, so I feel a lot more lucid now and I’m finding it a lot easier to form coherent thoughts.  Silver linings 🙂

There seemed to be a rather interesting line drawn between some of the pros tonight – that line separating the pros who tend to do a lot of “messing about” and time-wasting, and pros who are savvy enough to stay true a theme while still managing to waste very little time getting down to business and making sure their celeb is dancing for the bulk of their time on-stage. And that line did not go unnoticed by the judges – particularly Len, who seemed to be trying to get the train back on the tracks after they went a bit off the rails with some funky scoring in his absence. He not-so-subtly shaded more than one pro for “messin’ about” while praising others for getting down to business.  What I found a tad unnerving, though, was the way some of the pros seemed to get mouthy back at him, and dismissed some pretty valid points he was making with the usual “Len, you’re old and tired” cliches that have been done to death, but still get a chuckle out of the audience.  Actually found myself really bothered by the jet lag comment from Val, and the fact that Julianne backed it up – Len definitely wasn’t talking out of his ass, and they just kind of poo-poohed it away.  Not cool, and I would love to see someone call Julianne out for being a drama queen and hyperbolizer and have Len back them up on the air, and see how she likes it.

On the whole, I think those who ended up with “novelty” or “extra” dances (i.e. Charleston, jitterbug) probably were scored relatively a bit easier than those who got stuck with one of the core ballroom or Latin dances this week, as it seemed like it was easier to parlay the novelty dances to fit the eras theme than it was to make the stricter Latin & ballroom ones without sacrificing content.  And I think that’s something that probably needs to be spelled out for the pros as they begin choreographing the dances, and the judges probably need to spell it out at the beginning of shows like this – maybe explain what they’re looking for in terms of attention paid to the theme vs. amount of syllabus steps, explain whether lifts are allowed, etc. – because there did seem to be some confusion, not only among the pros, but the judges themselves.  Or that could just be them making things up as they go along, who knows 😛 Mo going home = seemed like the right time.  Like Amber, I just did not get the impression that it was fun for her anymore, and her relationship with Artem seemed pretty…strained. But next week’s elim will likely hurt, because if it is who I think it is – this person is still having a lot of fun and will not want to leave 🙁 Read more..

October 25, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

Dancing with the Stars Season 23, Week 7 – LIVE BLOG!!

Court covering for Heidi this week, who is on vacay in Hawaii and currently 6 hours behind EST – so while those of us in the eastern time zone are settling in for DWTS, it’s only 2 PM in Maui, and Heidi’s probably posted up on the beach, on her 3rd or 4th mai tai 😛

Site rules in are effect – don’t hit refresh every 2 minutes, make sure you’re not posting one-liners, etc. Thank you. 🙂

Early predictions: team dances may end up closer than you think – source said that while Team Future may have the more talented dancers and Derek’s choreographic skill, both Derek & Val seemed pretty stumped by the music, and consequently seemed to spin their wheels for awhile before starting to choreograph the routine.  Team Past, however, seemed to hit the ground running, and got a lot more done on the first night and generally seemed more enthusiastic about their music and theme.  I’ll be interested to see who actually comes out on top. Team dance spoiler post HERE for those who need a refresher.

A little bit of a late-breaking spoiler for week 8: next week is instant face-offs, per Hinch on the local news (posted vid on my Twitter, too frazzled to upload here). Since there will be an odd number of couples left, I’m guessing whoever gets the high score in the individual dance round will likely be immune from elimination, leaving the remaining 6 couples to face-off in one of 3 different dances, with the winner of each face-off probably getting a couple additional points.  This should be very, very interesting – especially who gets immunity from even having to dance-off in the first place.  I’m already thinking it might be a way for TPTB to buy Jana a way into the semi-finals.

Fave costume: Terra’s fluffy pink ballgown.  Mo looks uncomfortable in her 80’s punk rock getup. WTF is Erin wearing??? A Picasso painting?

Cute dance from Laurie, but that felt like it took FOREVER to actually get into hold.  Might have to watch a second time, but frame seemed kind of bouncy, too.

Source is saying Team Past is actually going first in the team dance round. No, I don’t have an explanation.

Kinda surprised at the scores they gave Laurie – I thought they were all gonna pull out the 9’s.  Seems like the hammer might be dropping.

I don’t think that rumba was meant to be funny, but I’m cracking up 😛 I don’t know if it was the lighting or what, but it was making it look like Ryan had a beard drawn on with a brown Magic Marker. Not much hip action, but I was amused.  Anyone still wanna nitpick James’ rumba from next week after watching this?

Anyone else catch Len not-so-subtly shading Val’s tendency to just generally waste a bunch of time instead of actually getting down to business and dancing?

Very cute dance from Marilu, but it looks like she may have gotten a bit behind the beat a couple of times.  That song was FAST.

Catching my breath for a second, and I could have SWORN I heard Tom say earlier that there were 4 weeks left in the competition.  So…11 weeks, again?

I’m standing here in my living room, clapping like an idiot.  Calvin MURDERED that jive.  Didn’t waste time, footwork was fantastic, legs looked great, he sold it, and his topline was everything that Laurie was missing in her quickstep.  I want him as one of the last two standing. C’mon, 40…

I would have given that at least one 10, but I guess I KIND OF get why they gave it 9’s.  They’re pickier about the core ballroom & Latin dances than they are the “extra” dances.

Sorry, but Mo has just kinda become a drag for me to watch – the heavy conversations with Artem in rehearsal are just tired at this point.  Pretty big stumble in that tango…but I bet they give her a pretty kind score nonetheless.

Very cute foxtrot from Terra, and I’m back to being sold on her again – she seems to really thrive in dances where she can really sell a character: jive, samba, & foxtrot have all worked well for her.  Really hope I’m wrong about feeling a tad worried for her tonight…

34 is probably fair.  I better start paring down details, cause I’m gonna run out of sh*t to  say in the power rankings…

Still not sure what the big deal is about Jana. Not a whole lot of samba there, and what I saw struck me as stiff.

Hinch has a cute dance that suits him well.  Maybe not as explosive as Calvin’s, but fun nonetheless.  Sharna definitely limping, though.

I enjoyed Team Past thoroughly, but I’m sure some of the younger crowd will complain that it was “boring” and will favor Team Future.  I loved it simply because it was different – I don’t think we’ve ever had a team dance quite like it.

A score of 38 leaves a nice 2-point bubble for the judges to score Team Future higher, so they probably will.  Sigh. Not loving how complicated this set is looking, and Terra crying in rehearsal is just eating me up 🙁

Ok, granted, that was a very odd piece of music, and that kind of dictated the routine – but that was one of the strangest team dances we’ve seen in DWTS history.  A bit too post-modern, I’m afraid.

Jana & Gleb and Maureen & Artem in jeopardy.

Maureen & Artem eliminated.

Look for the power rankings sometime tomorrow. I’m beat.

October 24, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 6 – Power Rankings

DISCLAIMER: As I write this, I am currently under the influence of some new migraine meds that have the unfortunate side effect of making me very, very foggy – if my struggle to find the word “paint can opener” the other day at Sherwin Williams was any indicator, I’m definitely experiencing some aphasia; additionally, the fact that I put a carton of coconut milk in my purse and put my iPhone in the refrigerator while putting away groceries yesterday probably points to some general absentmindedness.  So forgive me if the words don’t come as easily today as they usually do – I’m told this passes after about the two week mark, so fingers crossed…

…and perhaps it is the effects of the medication, or perhaps not, but I’m left feeling a bit unsure of what to make of last night’s show.  I guess I should have known by about the 20 minute mark that things had already gone completely off the rails – we had Pitbull prematurely scoring (and then being completely late scoring the rest of the night, and having a suspiciously hard time with those paddles), Erin making painfully obvious double entendres about Ryan’s “facials”, and Ryan trying to make black light paint a thing, but having it look more like sunburn art. Then there was that pinata that Erin was curiously insistent that everyone hit, but only appeared to be filled with glitter.  Go fig…but perhaps more peculiar was the scoring, which at times left me wondering what exactly the agenda really was.  Part of me thinks TPTB may be falling out of love with Laurie (or may at least be seeing that she may not actually be a sure thing for the win), they seem suddenly obsessed with Jana (after appearing to be rather lukewarm about her thus far this season), they seemed to very slightly ease up on their “underscore Calvin at all costs” edict of the past several weeks, they seemed to finally drop the hammer on Terra (after heaping sometimes over-the-top praise on her the first few weeks of the season), and they seem to kick their praise of James into overdrive (which even I, as a James fan, can agree was a bit too much).  Are they trying to shape their ideal finale? Or are they even taking it a step further, and shifting gears from gunning for a Laurie win…to gunning for a James win? I think it will be very, very interesting to see how things go once Len is back on the panel next week…when daddy’s away, the other three stooges seem to play; but when he’s back, they seem to get back to business.

Wish I could say I was sad to see Amber leave, but I got the impression that she really wasn’t having much fun anymore, and that she never really got comfortable being on the show – so I don’t think she was all that disappointed to go, either. I think Maks collected his paycheck and is happy to be back to being a stay-at-home-dad-to-be. I didn’t see too many fans outrageously upset, either – Amber’s exit was minimally disruptive. I’ll admit – at one point in the show, I told myself I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed if Jana left instead of Amber, but in the end, I guess I’m partially glad the former stayed, because I think Gleb is more of an asset to Marilu’s team dance than Maks ever would have been.  Speaking of which – if you haven’t yet, check out our team dance spoiler post, if for no other reason than to justify my waking up at 2 AM to reveal the teams 😛 Read more..

October 18, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 5 – Power Rankings

The old adage is true: you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and the Maks we saw last night was basically the same hypocritical foot-in-the-mouth bonehead that we saw when he was still a pro – soap-boxing about lack of content, while conveniently forgetting that he himself was known for choreographing full routines of d*cking around and “messin’ about” when he was a pro; and then there was some suspicious scoring…Maks conveniently gave his 3 highest scores of the night to lil bro’s original partner, lil bro’s switch partner, and his fiancee’s original partner…and  also gave an unusually kind critique to his fiancee’s switch partner, despite him not being all that great. Basically, it was a good night to be on the DWM payroll, or paired with someone that was on the DWM payroll – and if you weren’t, watch out…cause Maks was comin’ for you & your “lack of content”. Good luck with the tour, bruh – cause I don’t see them offering you a permanent  spot at the judges’ table anytime soon.

That’s not to say that Maks was the only judge on-notice last night – Len seemed to parrot everything Maks said, and Maks seemed to parrot everything that Len said, and both picked very interesting week to suddenly crack down on “lack of content”. Since some of you seemed to be getting it twisted on Twitter, let me make one thing clear: I’m not saying “it’s ok to not have content”.  Hell, I’ve found myself complaining about it quite a lot this season, read through my previous rankings – it’s been a definite problem. But I do think they picked a lousy week to suddenly be so concerned about it after not batting an eye for 4 weeks – switch week is one week where I think the judges need to keep in mind that all of the couples are working with a handicap: they all only have about 5 days to build a rapport and create a routine for someone that they haven’t already been dancing with for a month and a half, and they’re all somehow expected to crank something out that is every bit as good as something the celeb’s original partner would be able to pull out of them at this phase of the competition. Nobody is really working at 100% capacity. Long story short? Switch week is tough, and is probably NOT the time to suddenly go for the jugular and “make an example” of some pros’ choreography at the expense of their celeb partners. There is a time and a place – and it’s not here or now. I was actually a bit thankful for Carrie Ann & Bruno last night, who seemed to soften the blow a bit by at least throwing out some positive/constructive things with regards to the celebs’ performance when all Len & Maks could do was rant about content and take the pros to task.

As expected, nobody went home last night; but with the scores and votes from last week and this week getting combined in order to determine who gets the boot, we’re to the point where we’re really going to start seeing who’s getting the votes (and who isn’t), and we may be heading into shock elim territory – a lot of the “shocking” (but not really, when you think about it) eliminations from the past always seemed to happen when we got a huge dump of points and multiple weeks of combined scores. It makes the margins smaller, and therefore makes it a lot easier for someone at the bottom of the scoreboard to overcome a deficit – which makes good dancers with good scores (but dubious voting fanbases) a target. Was Maks’ comparison of Jodie to Sabrina a warning? Guess we’ll see.  Other random thoughts? Maks really needs to stop name-dropping Meryl when he wants to make a point – Maksyl was one of the most farcical and disingenuous pairings we’ve seen on the show, and it was 2 years ago.  Get some new material, dude. James Bay sounded breathy and bizarre. Ginger’s hubby? I like that dude’s style 😉 And the Indycar fangirl in me was giddy that James Hinchcliffe was in the audience last night – gives me hope that we might see another driver on the show soon!

NOTE: Just a reminder – these are just like any other power rankings; it’s still a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a couple is to go home (and remember, it’s their original partner that they would get eliminated with).  I will do a separate “switch up post-mortem” like I did last season, where I rank the pros by how well they did or didn’t handle the switch. Read more..

April 19, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Fair warning: if you read the live blog or follow me on Twitter, you might get a tad bored with the power rankings this week – I’ve only filled in on the live blog for Heidi a handful of times, but each time the struggle is kinda the same, with me trying not to repeat the same thoughts over and over again, just worded a bit differently.  I’ve tried to go more in-depth than what I said in the live blog or the snippets I gave on Twitter, but overall, the sentiments are kinda the same.  Sorry guys – blame New Orleans and its tasty cuisine for distracting Heidi 😛

I think this season, more than any other season in recent years that I can think of, the judges are being extra stingy with the points, and seem to be very careful about whom they reward them to and how many they reward.  Is this the true drawback of having so much talent in one season – suddenly dances that would have probably gotten 9’s or even 10’s on another season, are lucky to get straight 8’s? Also a drawback, and one we’ve seen develop a bit more in the past two weeks – it’s harder to determine what your narrative for the season is going to be when you start off thinking certain contestants are going to thrive, and they end up not doing so; likewise, a contestant you had written off as being mediocre and nothing to sneeze at could come out of nowhere and overshadow your “chosen ones”.  I think we witnessed the narrative starting to change last night – I started to see the judges (or at least one of the judges) begin to wean themselves off of certain contestants that weren’t up-to-snuff, and started to gravitate more towards contestants that were really starting to shine. Will be interesting to see if this direction continues, or continues to evolve as the season goes on…

…once again, last night’s elimination was no surprise; but at the very least, Mischa went out on a high note, and looked like she was finally able to let go and have fun.  And midway through the show, while watching Jodie’s package, I had a bit of an epiphany about Mischa: she’s Jodie from five years ago.  She’s in the early stages of sobriety, just trying to find her footing on the shaky ground of recovery, and cautiously just trying to navigate through life at this stage.  What’s to say that if Jodie had done the show five years ago, she wouldn’t have had the same struggles Mischa had this season? Or if Mischa had done DWTS five years from now – maybe her journey would have ended up more like Jodie’s? Just food for thought, and I wish Mischa the best – I just feel like maybe this was not the right time in her life for an experience like this, and it didn’t matter who her partner was…she just wasn’t ready.  But anyway – from here on out is where the eliminations start to get murky and probably painful.  There isn’t really anyone left that I strongly dislike (hell, I wouldn’t even say I strongly disliked Geraldo or Mischa – I just acknowledged that they weren’t right for the show), and with the scores so close together, they really do seem to be tossing it to the fans to decide.  Heidi’s numbers post will be an interesting read later this week… Read more..

April 5, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 2 – Power Rankings

Houston, we have a fairly unsettling problem (and no, it’s not Von’s insanely loud farting) – we have at least four pros who seriously did their partners a disservice last night with lackluster choreography. Whether it was misinterpreting the dance, throwing in too much extraneous stuff, or just wasting time, I saw a lot of issues that could have easily been avoided had the pros in question just buckled down and stuck to the basics. And this is a carry-over from last week, when I saw at least two pros giving their partners some kinda shitty choreography.  Part of me wonders if the fact that the show’s best choreographer, Derek, isn’t there anymore to help keep the standard high is partially to blame – since nobody has to go toe-to-toe with Derek anymore, maybe some of the pros don’t feel the need to work as hard, and feel more comfortable just settling for mediocre choreography that busting their asses and cranking out something great.  Just a theory – and probably not one that will make me very popular, but it is what it is.

Last night saw the giddy high of the premiere cooling off quite a bit, and the judges tending more towards the nitpicky where some couples were concerned. Part of me thinks Len being gone last season has done him more harm than good – it’s almost as if he forgot a bit about some of the pros’ penchants for “messing about” and it’s almost like reopening an old wound for him – he’s extra-cranky about it again, and I don’t get the feeling he’s having as much fun as he used to. Time will tell, I suppose.

To almost no one’s surprise, Geraldo & Edyta left us – I feel like the right couple went home, and if nothing else, they left on the high of giving us a ridiculously entertaining (or just plain ridiculous, depending on how you look at it) dance. And to Geraldo’s credit – I think he had a lot of fun on the show, even if he wasn’t a stellar dancer. I saw a few folks complaining that Edyta deserved a “better partner” and shouldn’t have had to leave so early, and it just kinda floors me because EDYTA WAS GONE FOR 6 YEARS AND THE CHANCES WERE SLIM TO NONE THAT SHE WOULD EVEN BE INVITED BACK. Edyta fans, I would just be thankful she was on the show at all – because the split she had with the show back in 2010 was a pretty acrimonious one, from what I hear, and she had basically torpedoed any chance she may have had at coming back.  Seriously, they could’ve given her Verne Troyer as a partner and I think she would have been thankful for the opportunity. More and more, I’m just convinced that there is no pleasing some fans of this show… Read more..

March 29, 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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

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 (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog