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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 9 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

November 10, 2015 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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!

Hayes Grier and Emma Slater Visit Good Morning America After Elimination

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

ETA: Here are Hayes and Emma on The View!

October 27, 2015 I Written By

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

Halloween Week on DWTS Season 21 – Post Show Media

What’s everyone doing for Halloween??
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I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 7 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

October 26, 2015 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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 6 – Power Rankings

*slow clap* Great job on a completely un-fishy, totally coherent evening of scores and critiques, judges. No really, you really did well. *eye roll* This had to be one of the most ridiculous, incongruent, completely-out-of-left-field nights the judges have had in a LONG time.  I can think of two routines that were grossly overscored, and two or three that were underscored; I also feel like some couples got picked apart with a fine-toothed comb while others just got glossed over with praise and any mistakes completely disregarded. Only explanation I’ve got? Certain “chosen ones” are not getting the votes they need to stick around, and they need a boost; while some of the have-nots that shouldn’t be so popular (in their eyes) are just raking in the votes. Resist the urge to meddle, PTB – karma is a heinous bitch, and as we’ve seen…your actions can often have unintended consequences.

I kinda felt like something was amiss when they made a point of having Carrie Ann  spell out what the judges were looking for at the beginning of the show – it was almost as if they had been lurking in the comments here at Pure and saw what issues we had been discussing with regard to “Iconic Dance” week…y’know, the whole “where are they going to draw the line between staying faithful to a dance and actually doing the assigned dance style” issue. *waves* Keep lurkin’, guys – I’ve got so much more to say 😉 Also odd? Leah felt really clunky and awkward tonight – nothing like the smooth, at-ease Leah who cohosted a year ago when Erin had to cover the World Series. She was hilarious then – she was painful tonight. Bring back the Leah that was bopping Derek in the face with a microphone, PLEASE 😀

On a more positive note, I loved the opening number – hard to beat Karina channeling Flashdance, Derek channeling Singin’ in the Rain, and Keo doing his best MC Hammer – dare I say it’s a rather fitting role? Kind of a minor sensation, probably outlived his 15 minutes of fame, ridiculous outfits… Read more..

October 20, 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 5 – Power Rankings

Well I gotta give TPTB some props – at least they managed to last through 4 weeks before kicking the manipulation machine into high gear. But man, did they overcompensate this week – aside from Paula still at the bottom and Bindi still at the top, the scoreboard got all shuffled up this week.  Alexa shot up from being 2nd from the bottom last week, to getting the high score this week and 4th place in combined scores; Carlos jumped from 5th place last week (and in jeopardy) to getting the 2nd highest score of the night and 2nd place with combined scores. Tamar went from being part of the 3-way tie for 2nd place, to being in 7th place after this week; and poor Alek, with two weeks worth of emotional trauma (and low-balled scores) under his belt, is now second to last. Andy managed to jump from 7th place last week to 5th this week, while going from straight 7’s and 8’s to straight 9’s.  I will credit SOME of this drastic shuffling to some people getting switch partners that were much better at harnessing their talents than their original pro, while some ended up with pros that were worse than their original partner. And for the love of Jeebus, judges – be a little more understanding that it’s switch week.  I get that you have an agenda, but it BLOWS MY MIND how you can talk about how the switch is so tough in one breath, and then dole out nitpicky critiques and lowballed scores in another. Thankfully, the double elim that we were hearing about for next week was a false alarm, and only one couple is going home next Monday – but last night’s scores do make me seriously wonder what the narrative is going to look like in the coming weeks.

I found myself agreeing with Maks far more than I thought I would – and I was particularly pleased that he finally called Allison out on her busy, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink choreography. Will be interesting to see if that comment is received the same way that Alfonso’s comment to Alexa was a few weeks back – although judging from Twitch’s twitter timeline, I’m guessing it’s not going to be received well. Also felt like Maks might have taken an interesting, subtle jab at the switch-up itself, when he told Tamar “You just got together this week, so you didn’t get to connect”. He wasn’t immune to the wonky-ness, though, and he gave a couple scores that made me raise an eyebrow. I do commend  him on giving more coherent critiques this time – overall, I’d give him an 8 out of 10.

Other observations? I am very aware that Nick is a Backstreet Boy – therefore, I do not need to to see Nick doing the “Backstreet’s Back” move every week to remind me. This is the 3rd time it’s gotten thrown into a routine, and twice was enough for me – find something else for this guy to do.  Was it just me, or did the first half of the show seem to be devoted to the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it boner joke? Caught at least 3 innuendo-y moments. Also wish they would have kept Tamar in the outfit she wore for the intro dance – she looked STUNNING, and then they put her in  that weird, feathery swan dress for her actual dance.  No me gusta.

Since this is a ranking of who I think is most likely to stay or go (based on this week’s scores and last week’s), I’m half-tempted to do a “switch-up postmortem” tomorrow where I actually rank how well I thought the pros handled the switch, and maybe throw in a poll to see how you guys felt about it, too…would that be something you’re interested in? Read more..

October 13, 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 4 – Power Rankings

*looks around* Wow, Alfonso hosted DWTS and the world didn’t end. Right on! Seriously, though, I though the guy did a pretty damn good job – his pacing was good, he didn’t talk too much, and he kept things moving. I’m sure there are some that would disagree, but as for me? I’m just thankful that he stepped in for Tom and seemed to minimize any potential disruption that Tom’s absence caused. But the joke about joining the band? Played out, dude. Pun intended 😛

One rather strange observation about last night’s show? The running order – it struck me as kinda odd, and I wasn’t the only one. Seemed like they actually front-loaded the show with good dances, and relegated some head-scratchers to the end of the show. Seemed…backwards. I would have moved Andy, Paula, and Carlos to the first hour; and probably moved Hayes, Tamar, and Alek to the back. Not much else to add, just that it all seemed kinda out-of-order to me, given the quality of the dances.

Other noteworthy moments? Allison announcing her pregnancy – my god, that child is going to be gorgeous and talented. And it leaves the door open for Lindsay to remain a pro next season, which makes me happy 😀 And who doesn’t love Sasha channeling Bruno circa 1983, in one of his “I’m Still Standing” getups? Guess I’m just thankful that it wasn’t the bizarre black man-leotard thingie… 😎

Did @DancingABC accidentally tip their hand with regards to the switch-up? They tweeted out this eyebrow-raiser right before Alek performed – and it has since been deleted. Someone told me that the phone votes were saying “Thanks for voting for Alek & Sharna!” as well, but it didn’t do it for me. Just a senior moment, or someone inadvertently tweeting about next week’s pairings? You be the judge.

weirdtweet Read more..

October 6, 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 3 – Power Rankings

Last night, for the first time ever, I got to say the following sentence and mean it literally: “There are Muppets in the control room.” 😛 Not sure they had a terribly strong presence on last night’s show, but it was still a cute touch here and there to see Kermit & Miss Piggy bopping around.  Another nice touch? A guest judge that actually gave intelligent critiques.  I’ve seen about 50/50 when it comes to everyone’s thoughts on Alfonso – half seemed to like him as a judge, half seemed to hate him.  I fall in the former camp – call me crazy (or “biased” – just make sure you own your own biases, too 😉 ) but since Len left, it has felt like a 3-ring circus on that judging panel, and the last thing I wanted was a another pointless guest judge mucking it up even further – I felt like Alfonso did his best to give relevant, helpful critiques, and was nicer about it than both Carrie Ann and Julianne. And dammit, he was able to get away with saying what we all (likely including the other judges) have been thinking: the husband & wife act between Alexa & Carlos is TIRED.  They need to start looking out for themselves, or they’ll both lose.

As for the other judges – Carrie Ann still seemed cranky with just about everyone except Tamar, Julianne seemed to vacillate between semi-coherence and obvious scripting, and once again – Bruno seemed to be on the most even keel, although that’s even debatable.  God I miss Len something fierce. And something else I miss: rehearsal packages that aren’t completely scripted, tacky, and forced. The three that come to mind as the most cringeworthy are Tamar & Val’s, Alexa & Mark’s, and Alek & Lindsay’s…particularly the latter, as I’m now getting inundated with tweets asking if Alek is dating Brittany/Jenna/Karina/etc. You do all realize that was scripted nonsense, right? Right down to Hayes humorously c*ckblocking Alek’s attempt to “get Brittany’s number” with his Ninja Turtle costume? I thought we taught you guys better than that – to see through the bullsh*t.  The only nugget of truth from that whole nonsensical segment was Emma saying “I would love to get you in the switch, Alek!” She confirmed that on Twitter last week – so by all means, feel free to tweet #DWTSAlekEmma till your heart’s content :-) Just don’t hold out for pap pix of Jenna & Alek getting coffee, or Brittany & Alek getting into an Uber together, etc.

Sucks that Kim had to withdraw, but I can’t say none of us saw it coming – a stroke is a bit more serious than a sprained ankle or an aching back, and it’s good that she’s taking time out to take care of herself.  Can’t say I agree with the campaign I’m seeing to bring her back later in the competition, though – basically giving her a free pass straight to a later week without having to survive her way through the elims like other contestants? I don’t think so, kids. Let her come back and dance at the finale, but that’s it.  As for who ended up “in jeopardy” – I’m not entirely sure that those two couples were the actual bottom two, and since TPTB knew from the get-go that they weren’t actually going to eliminate anyone…I think they very well could have just picked two random couples to be in jeopardy. That being said – I do find it curious that they picked who they did, especially since we’ve only seen Gary in jeopardy with the eliminated couples the past two elims.  I think Andy & Allison are in real danger of fading into the woodwork, and Paula might be losing steam.  Guess we’ll see come next Monday… Read more..

September 29, 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!