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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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 9 – Power Rankings

As we head into what promises to be a very historic and contentious election day, I think we witnessed something relatively historic and contentious last night on DWTS: I think we might have just seen Derek bid farewell to the show, once and for all.  Because history does repeat itself: Marilu got Nastia’d.  Got the same “bad edit” treatment that they gave Nastia a year and a half ago, which resulted in her elimination from a season that on paper, she probably could have easily won, had there not been an agenda at work. And Derek was uncharacteristically vocal about how unhappy he was with the edit they were given – so was his partner.  If there are still any concern trolls lurking here that want to comment on the “tension” or “awkwardness” or “frustration” in Marilu & Derek’s package last week, do yourselves a favor and go read the two posts I just linked to first. Then go watch season 1 of UNReal on Hulu Plus. Let it sink in.  Start to question things.  Because I’m starting to think the line between reality and script is getting dangerously blurry for some of you…

…for what it’s worth, though, I thought Marilu went out on a high note.  I think her samba was the most relaxed and in-the-zone we’ve seen her since “Most Memorable Year” week.  I think she & Derek should be really proud of how they did – and both of them can leave with their heads held high.  I think Marilu left with a bit fewer stars in her eyes about DWTS (but with a much more grounded view), and I think Derek finally got the push he needed to leave a relationship that he has outgrown and has become toxic for him (the one he has with DWTS, NOT the one he has from Marilu – I’ve noticed the Marilu detractors are big fans of deliberately misinterpreting and twisting my words).  Onto bigger and better things for both of them. And I thought Mark did a spectacular Frankie Valli vocal.  🙂

As for those that remain – I found myself rolling my eyes and yawning more than usual last night, and the bulk of the eye-rolls and yawns involved the Jana & Laurie love-fest that we were subjected to.  Make no mistake – there was an agenda behind those perfect scores.  It all but guaranteed both would make the finals, although I’m having some pretty serious doubts about Jana – this is how many times we’ve seen her as one of the last two standing up there at the end of the night? Heidi would have to remind me, but the last time we saw consecutive repeat appearances of a couple in the last two standing was Apolo & Karina during all-stars, I believe  – and they were eliminated just shy of the finale.  With last night’s theme appearing to be “history repeating itself”, I don’t think it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility that Jana could be in some pretty deep sh*t, votes-wise.  Since all that was handed out last night was 9’s & 10’s, I’m going to venture a guess that the margins are actually going to end up being rather small – meaning it’s pretty much going to be up to the fans who advances to the finals and who doesn’t.  And there could be some surprises. Read more..

November 8, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

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 on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 5 – Power Rankings

In a pleasant turn of events from last week’s near-universal Cirque dumpster fire, nearly everyone this week at least did ok-to-great with their dances – I don’t feel like anyone really stepped in it or f*cked up beyond help.  Truth be told, I think I’d rather forego switch week (and judging from the lack of chatter I’ve heard from our sources about the switch, we are probably gonna forego it this season) and let couples have a no-elim week during most memorable year/personal story week.  As I was discussing with some of my Twitter followers, the novelty of the switch has worn off, and it just seems like kind of a drag these days – it’s stressful for all involved, the judges seem inclined to “make an example” and score harshly during switch week, and height differences (a la Kim & Keo last season, and potentially with Calvin & Terra this season) seem like they could potentially screw over some pairings.  Next week is Latin week, and we’ve got confirmation that week 8 is Halloween week (again) – that really only leaves week 7 as a possibility for switch week, and there will only be 8 couples left by then…every time they’ve done the switch, they’ve done it with 9 couples.  Could they do it with only 8 couples? Yes.  Will they? I doubt it.  Can’t say I’m terribly disappointed.

As many of us predicted, there was no elim last night, despite TPTB trying to fake out the couples that there would be.  Seemed like every time I tweeted “I don’t think there will be an elim”, at least one person would tweet back with “But Court, James said they were told there WOULD be an elim!” Guess what: the powers that be LIE. They think they’re slick, the think they’re really pulling a “gotcha!” on both the contestants AND the viewers, and most of the time, those two groups don’t know enough to second guess them.  Thing is, we’ve been watching this show long enough to know that there has never been THREE eliminations based on one set of viewer votes (in this case, last Monday’s viewer votes).  That’s unprecedented, and has the potential to rile up a LOT of viewers – which is why it was kinda easy for me to see that they weren’t going to do it.  But maybe this thought hadn’t even crossed their mind, and they were actually planning on it – until someone actually sat down and thought about it.  Wouldn’t be the first time this show flew by the seat of their pants with plans week to week. If they had actually done it, I would put money on it that we would have seen Jana or Amber fall – and honestly, I wouldn’t have been upset if either left.  But they didn’t, so just keep this in mind: TPTB often fib for the sake of drama, and the other half of the time, they’re just making sh*t up as they go along.

Other random thoughts from last night? Was nice to get a proper pro dance at the top of the show, even if it felt a bit random and out-of-place – but I was glad to get an actual ballroom dance, without hair-flipping, or shirt removal, or low-brow “sexy” choreography.  Did TPTB (or Mandy) actually take a look at social media and see all the complaints about how we’re all just kinda over the “sexy” pro dances? And that we actually want to see the pros DANCING??? Seems like a possibility. I also had to raise my eyebrows at the fact that we currently have a 4-way tie for last place – and that 3 of the 4 in that group are what I would consider to be “on the bubble” and at-risk for being eliminated next week anyway, regardless of score. Keeping the margins awfully close, and throwing it to the fans, it seems… Read more..

October 11, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 23, Week 4 – Power Rankings

“Cirque du Soleil Week” turned out to be more like “Cirque du NO WAY” week, I’m afraid – with the exception of maybe 3 couples, pretty much everyone got chewed up and spit out by the theme in some way or another.  This is what happens when you try to force a theme to fit a dance – things tend to get messy, and we end up bereft of a lot of good dancing.  You know it’s overkill when a source at the show last night texts you to tell you he/she is tripping over acrobats while trying to move around backstage 🙂

Also kinda sucks that, on top of the overkill of Cirque week, and the great Julianne vs. Amber “Uncomfortable-gate” non-controversy stealing the show, the bomb also got dropped that tonight is a surprise double elimination.  Had a lot of you on Twitter asking me if I thought this was in the same vein as the Sean Avery elimination – where Sean had butted heads with producers, and they rearranged the elimination schedule to allegedly send him home earlier.  Honestly, the only one I thought MIGHT fit into the same category as Sean might have been Amber, but given how they milked the Amber drama and then lavished praise on her dance last night, I’m not really inclined to think they would pull something like this to get her out.  I’m more inclined to think that they’ve rearranged the schedule in some manner, and need to make sure they have X number of contestants in X week and the easiest way to ensure that is to do a double elim this week.  FWIW, if they do a double elim this week (and a single elim each week from now until Halloween), they end up with even numbers for the team dances – not that they’ve ever really seemed to care about that, but just illustrating that I don’t think there’s anything particularly foul driving this decision, and it could be for some very innocuous reason.  We know there has to be a double elim at some point in the fall season – where it falls is up to TPTB, and maybe this was just the most convenient time to do it.

Kinda rolling my eyes that, for the 3rd week in a row, we have to deal with a 2-hour results show, which is basically a one-hour recap show with a few musical guests built into the 2nd half, in between results.  Anybody know what fall show got cancelled and left a gap in the schedule that they needed DWTS to fill? I’d kinda like my Tuesday nights back, thanks… Read more..

October 4, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 9 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

May 17, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 8 – Power Rankings

*shaking head* Still trying to reconcile the fact that Ginger is getting heaped with praise and given perfect scores, when her dances are about as exciting to me as watching paint dry/water boil/grass grow/British Parliamentary proceedings/etc. Yes, I know she’s a company gal; but I still don’t really understand what the benefit would be to DWTS to push her as hard as they have been. Are they changing narratives in the 11th hour, and gunning for a 2nd MBT for Val after all? Are they trying to keep the GMA casting pool fruitful for future seasons? Is this image rehab for Val the social media sociopath? Or was last night just part of the ruse – that maybe Ginger isn’t finale bound after all, and they were just giving her a nice send-off? My head spins trying to make sense of it. The grim reality is, though, that tonight’s tongue bath of Ginger may have dashed our hopes of a Nyle/Wanya/Paige finale – and we may see one of those three heading home in next week’s double elim instead of advancing to the finale, despite the fact that those 3 have been the most consistent and entertaining this season.  Buckle in, kids – next week is probably going to hurt.

I love how they touted the Judge’s Challenge (or whatever the hell they were calling it) as a “brand new dance” – bitch please, that was just a combo of the dance duels from season 18, the judge’s challenge from season 20, and the “America scores” fiasco from season 21. Three shitshows rolled into one, for your viewing pleasure.  The scores ended up being a complete cop-out, though, with each dance receiving the same score – and while I saw a lot of folks up in arms about it, I have to say I was a tad relieved; I don’t think any of the 3 dances really passed muster, and each had their own set of faults to contend with.  But giving them all the same score does two things: it makes the margins much closer, so it’s easier for someone at the bottom of the leaderboard (read: WANYA) to claw their way outta the bottom two; and it basically just throws it back to the fans…he or she with the most votes, advances, with slightly less power given to potentially skewed judges’ scores.  The judges’ dance didn’t really help anyone (except maybe Wanya, in a roundabout kinda way), but it also didn’t really hurt anyone, either. It’s pretty much all on the fans, at this point – the second dance just leveled the playing field a bit.

As for Jodie – she had a good run, and she went out on a high note; Keo probably grew more in this season than he has in all 3 of his previous seasons combined.  I’d call that a win for both, and for what it’s worth, Jodie actually seemed a tad relieved to be heading home.  I think she had wanted to do the show for quite some time, and unfortunately she got cast on a season where the competition was unusually fierce.  On a more “normal” season, I think she would have EASILY made the finale; but I think the pressure really got to her this season, both in terms of trying to do well and trying to emotionally support her partner.  And hey, it dovetailed nicely into her starting filming for season 2 of Fuller House today 🙂 And also for what it’s worth – I think Keo ended up being the right kind of partner for her.  I think she was too emotionally fragile to deal with a critic like Val or an Artem week after week, she was too tall for Sasha, and I can’t imagine anyone else partnering Paige than Mark.  It worked out, and hopefully Keo can come back next season as a more seasoned pro. Read more..

May 10, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 4 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

April 12, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence