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PureDWTS Season 19, Week 6 – Power Rankings

I apologize for this being so ungodly late, but between all of the media and other posts we had going up earlier, a sh*tastic day at work, and some of you just generally driving me to drink, I decided that these rankings could wait a bit.  Side note: if you wanna talk about the team dances next week, go here; if you so desire to vote for the dance styles and songs that the couples are dancing in week 7 (I think), this post has directions.  I’m pretty partial to the idea of Tommy doing a Viennese waltz to “I’d Rather Go Blind”, but to each his own ;-)

After two hours of Pitbull the peanut-butter eating, Spanglish-speaking naked mole rat judging, I still have no idea was “DALE!!!” means.  Oh well – I guess when it all came down to it, he was a halfway decent judge; he saw right through the showmance front that Vajanel put up, and actually knew the names of a few salsa steps to compliment  Alfonso on.  Doesn’t mean I ever want to see him as a judge again, though ;-) But hey, Mr. Worldwide needed a plug for his gig hosting the American Music Awards, so I guess that’s why we got him this week…

…the judging seemed kinder this week, so I wonder if there was a huge backlash from some of the out-and-out cruelty we saw last week and the judges were told to ease up a bit.  Still think Alfonso & Sadie (and now Bethany) are getting nitpicked, while Janel, Antonio, & Tommy are getting babied a bit; Lea and Mike are a toss-up each week.  Will be  interesting  to see if the dynamic of the judging panel changes at all with Len back – wonder if we’ll start to see more complaints about “messin’ about”, and Julianne will suddenly become the “nice judge” now that Len the critic is back.

Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan – kinda stinks that he didn’t last longer, but if he had to get eliminated, at least he went out on a high note.  His jazz was probably his (and Allison’s) best dance yet.  Not sure Allison made a strong enough showing to warrant getting asked back as a pro again next season, but we shall see…

1.) Alfonso & Witney – Perhaps not the most “strictly salsa” salsa we’ve ever seen on the show, but I can’t blame Witney for sneaking in some hip-hop to play to Alfonso’s strengths.  Thought he could have used a bit more hip action, but then I have to wonder if Witney tried to keep the steps a bit tight & boxy in order to baby his groin injury.  Still a very enjoyable routine – there was some complex stuff in there, and Alfonso managed to stay on-time and in-step with Witney. He’s still the showman of this season, for sure – and with the way the crowd goes crazy after his dances, I think he’s gonna be around till the end. :-)

2.) Bethany & Derek – For all the whining & complaining I saw about how “horrible” a tango song “Jealous” is, you would have thought we had told you that Bethany & Derek were dancing to a song by the Freecreditreport.com band.  And what did I say? It would work – and it sho ’nuff did.  I think this may have been Bethany’s strongest dance yet – very clean, very confident, and very focused.  Like Carrie Ann, I too found myself thinking Bethany looked a little like Nicole Scherzinger out there – maybe it was the hair.  Loved that she was able to conceal her one stumble so well and keep going; also loved the clever little accents in choreography that Derek put in to compliment the music.  I think Bethany’s really peaking at the right time.

3.) Sadie & Mark – Another round of applause for Mark for managing to navigate successfully the seas of propriety according to the Robertson clan, while still choreographing a proper rumba that was lovely to watch :-) Reminded me a lot of Shawn’s rumba in season 8 – very PG, and more tender rather than sultry.   I just can’t get over how LOOOOOONNNGGG Sadie’s legs look – could have used a bit more hip action, but considering that even the best rumbas we’ve seen on the show often lack any sort of mastery of hip action, I think she did alright.  I was ready to be mad about her wearing flats, but then I saw that she was still putting her weight on the balls of her feet and was still doing the footwork as if she had heels on, so I wasn’t too upset.  Hope she can loosen up a bit more to handle dances like Argentine tango, though – not sure you can really go the “sweet ‘n’ tender” route there.

4.) Lea & Artem – I just don’t quite know what to make of Lea anymore: she has these stellar days where I think she could give even Alfonso a run for his money; then she has days where she just kinda loses steam and regresses.  Tonight was more of a regression, I’m afraid – it started out strong, but about 20 seconds in she seemed to lose a little bit of steam and the posture problems came out.  Also seemed like she was taking steps that were far too big and it made her rush a little bit.  She seemed like she was having fun, but got a little pooped by about the :45 mark.  Wish Artem would a) put his shirt back on, and b) stop trying to push Alfonso as the one she has to beat/needs to outdo.  Let Lea compete against her personal best; the minute you start trying to outdo another contestant, sh*t kinda goes south.  Ask Gilles :-P

5.) Janel & Val – Here’s the problem with having both salsa & samba on a night like tonight: unless the pro REALLY takes pains to make sure a samba looks like a samba and a salsa looks like a salsa, they kinda end up looking about the same – and this was definitely more of a “samsa” or a “salba” than a true samba, so I can’t blame Pit for getting confused and thinking it was a salsa. The bounce was nearly absent – wayyyy too flat for a samba, and Janel did seem to be grabbing for Val whenever she could, as if she wasn’t 100% sure of what she should be doing.  As for the shirt removal at the end – errr, what? Just seemed like kind  of an afterthought, like “Oh, we’re almost done – better take my shirt off!” Just left feeling rather puzzled about the whole thing – not really a satisfying samba, and with much ado about showmancing in the package, I would have thought there would have been a whole lot more heat.  I  do think them landing in jeopardy was a bit of a warning, though – viewers may not be connecting to them as much as others.

6.) Tommy & Peta – If we’re being honest, this was probably the weakest dance of the night – Tommy seemed to forget at least 1/3 of his choreography, got off-time, and looked a tad lost the whole time.  If Mike had done the same routine, he would have gotten 5’s for it – maybe even 4’s.  But because Tommy is Tommy, and Julianne (sorta kinda) has a (small) crush on him (sometimes), they’re awfully kind and give him 7’s.  Kinda want to slap Julianne – she was on his case last week about wanting more, and then he gives her this (which is NOT more), and she praises him excessively.  I honestly thought he was much better last week, and this was a pretty low point.  Still think he’s got a few more weeks left in him, but I’m beginning to think  he’s reached his saturation point.

7.) Mike & Emma – Whether you’re  a Mike fan or not, I think it’s safe to say that tonight was his best dance yet – still pretty remedial when you compare it to what everyone else (except maybe Tommy) is doing, but Mike handled it well and seemed to stay on-time and in the pocket.  I really appreciate how clever Emma can  get when it comes to choreographing an intricate dance for a less-skilled partner – this is the 2nd time we’ve seen her take a guy with 2 left feet and have him execute a respectable Argentine tango. Sure, she was doing the bulk of the work, still – but she made it BELIEVABLE.  Everyone asks why Emma keeps getting “crappy partners”? Maybe it’s because she actually knows how to handle them.  And to those asking “Who the hell is still voting for Mike???” – clearly you don’t know the demographics of this show very well.  ;-)

8.) Antonio & Cheryl – Even though I think Antonio did his best dance so far this week, I still feel like he’s fading into the woodwork.  He seems to be relaxing a bit (though he’s still a pretty awkward mover, and has a tendency to really rush the tempo of a song), but personality-wise, I feel like we know NOTHING about him.  We’ve seen shades of all of the other couples – Mike’s racing, Sadie with her family, Alfonso with his family, Tommy wandering around in the desert – but we don’t really know anything about Antonio.  And I guess that’s where I have the biggest disconnect with him, and it makes me wonder if others are having the same problem.  Now with all the celebs-with-questionable-fanbases pretty much gone with Jonathan, I have to wonder if people are really picking up the phone for him.  My gut says “maybe not”, but I’m definitely not confident about it.  Oh well – at least Cheryl seems happy. :-)

So week 6 is a wrap – what did you guys think?

October 21, 2014 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!

Dancing with the Stars Season 19, Week 6 – Who’s Dancing What….and When? (Song Spoilers)

It’s Pitbull week! Except not really…oh wait, I know! It’s Latin week! Nope, not really that either…hmmm.  Who the hell knows what the theme of this week is supposed to be.  Some couples are dancing to Pitbull songs, but not all of them; and we’ve got a few ballroom dances peppered into a bunch of Latin dances…oh, and one lone jazz.  A little something for everyone, I suppose.

I could see Jonathan making a bit of a comeback this week, since jazz seems like it would be right in he & Allison’s wheelhouse; Mike is likely pretty screwed with the Argentine tango.  Tommy could go either way with the foxtrot – it’s his first “true” ballroom dance, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.  At the top of the leader board? I’m guessing Janel gets rave reviews for her samba, regardless of how good it actually is, because they need her to have a comeback week; I think Sadie will unfortunately be back to getting low balled after finally getting the scores she deserves last week. Ditto for Alfonso – I fully expect him to get nitpicked to death AGAIN, and if he & Witney are going the route I think they are with their salsa, they could be taking a big risk…so I’m bracing myself for the most harsh critique they’ve had yet.  Bethany? One big question mark…this will be her first “intense” dance, which could work for her or against her.

Heidi is currently traveling and has limited computer access, but she wanted to make sure this went up for you guys :-) She should be back later tonight with more intel…

ETA: I’m Baaaackkk! With Lea and Artem’s song – and no, it’s NOT the Iggy Azalea version. I also wanted to add that I’ve been rewatching the show and left something out of my numbers post that I wanted to mention. I REALLY appreciate and love how the dancers in the sky box are wearing little tribute costumes to one of their cohorts from time to time. This past week they were all wearing dreadlocks after Tommy’s dance, and this was after they were all imitating Tony after his audition tape was shown.  The previous week they all had beards and duck calls. They show a lot of camaraderie with each other that is fun to watch.  Which makes the judges and their behavior that much more dreadful.  ~Heidi

ETA2: Lots of complaining by Derek fans about his and Beth’s song. Chillax, people. Of all people, he can handle it. And if it doesn’t work? Well, it happens. Jonathan? Much harder to tell how that’s going to go. :-) Oh, and if you scrooooooll down, you’ll see Derek and Beth had a special visitor in their rehearsal. ~Heidi

ETA3: We think we know who sings Antonio’s song, but we’re not 100%. Be sure to tune into our Live blog tonight for some potential spoilers for next week. :-)

Janel and  Val – Samba
Vote: 1-800-868-3405

Jonathan and Allison – Jazz (Song: “Back in Time” by Pitbull )
Vote: 1-800-868-3406

Bethany and Derek – Tango (Song: “Jealous (I ain’t with it)” by Chromeo )
Vote: 1-800-868-3403

Alfonso and Witney – Salsa (Song: “Booty” by Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull  )
Vote: 1-800-868-3401

Lea and Artem – Salsa (Song:  “Sexy People (The Fiat Song)” by Arianna feat. Pitbull )
Vote: 1-800-868-3407

Michael and Emma – Argentine tango
Vote: 1-800-868-3409

Antonio and Cheryl – Salsa (Song: “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias, we THINK )
Vote: 1-800-868-3402

Tommy and Peta – Foxtrot (Song: “September” by Earth, Wind, & Fire )
Vote: 1-800-868-3413

Sadie and Mark – Rumba (Song: “Diamonds” by Rihanna )
Vote: 1-800-868-3411

Some more not-so-subtle clues from Alfonso & Witney…

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Oooh @therealalfonsoribeiro … dat booty tho #DWTS #TeamWitfonso @witneycarson

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@bethanynoelm and I Gettin our tango on Down Under !! #motough

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October 16, 2014 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 19, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well, I guess the euphoria of having my dream contestant on DWTS would finally wear off – and this was the week that it happened.  What a three-ring circus of nitpicking, wonky scoring, and overall chaos.  From what I saw from the judges – crack is whack, and so is meth, heroin, and bath salts, apparently.  Julianne wins the “twatwaffle of the night” award, for generally just being a bit of a cranky b*tch – so in other words, she was filling in for Len.  Hooray.

Sorry, but the wrong person went home – Randy may not have been the best dancer, but he was not nearly as bad as the score he got last week OR this week…but hey, the judges need their scores & critiques justified, so they had to screw him somehow.  Absolutely no reason that he should have been forced to go first TWO weeks in a row, basically making a mad dash from the opening  number to the quickchange; and to add insult to injury, this week he had to do it after being told he was in jeopardy.  Classy, Wade. I just might have to spoil a bunch of sh*t early to get back at you…

…as for Kevin, I actually think he turned out being a pretty decent judge.  I liked that he didn’t seem like he was out to really critique anyone, and tried to see the positive in everyone’s routines.  Also enjoyed his humor, and thought it was kinda cool how he seemed genuinely moved by Bethany & Derek’s dance.  He can come back anytime and enthusiastically yell out scores ;-)

1.) TIE: Bethany & Derek and Janel & Val – So the first two perfect 40’s of the season.  I feel one was deserved; the other? Meh. Felt like an awful lot of emphasis was placed on Janel & Val’s struggles with switching the routine, there was a lot of futzing around at the beginning of the routine, and then the score was almost given as a consolation prize for putting up with the crap.  Sure, Janel handled what she was given decently well – she should, given her background – but a 40? For wiping Val’s abs with a towel? Sorry, not buying it.  But hey, they seem bound & determined to make Vajanel happen, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  As for Bethany – I had been worried, after hearing that her ankle injury was still very much an issue; but thank the lord Derek was able to choreograph something that was true to Singin’ in the Rain while being feasible for her to execute.  God bless umbrella work that doesn’t go awry :-) And Bethany kept up, and for the first time, she really seemed 100% invested in the routine, which is what I’ve been wanting from her since the first week. I don’t see either going anywhere for awhile, but it should be interesting to see who fares better next week… Read more..

September 30, 2014 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 19 Mini-Spoiler O’ the Day – Sept. 11

4 days till the premiere! And we’ve still got spoilers for ya ;-)

If you’re looking for song and dance spoilers for Monday night’s show, check out Heidi’s “Who’s Dancing What?” post – we’ll continue to update it throughout the weekend.  My mini-spoilers are primarily going to be intel on coming weeks and how the couples are doing in rehearsals…as well as any other random tidbits that fall into my lap ;-) Read more..

September 11, 2014 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 19 Music Wish List

Normally this list would be a lot longer, but John, Heidi, & Lori all had brain farts on music – leaving Vogue & I to pick up the slack ;-) Here’s some of the songs we’d love to hear on DWTS this season…and we want to hear yours! Let us know in the comments what songs you’re hoping get used on the show!

Courtney:

“Chandelier” by Sia – This has been on repeat on my iPod all summer.  Just a great song for a contemporary routine.

“It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones – I’ve wished for it before, and now that we finally got Alfonso on the show, I need to see a quickstep to it…or maybe even a quickstep/samba fusion ;-)

“Sunglasses at Night” by Corey Hart – My perennial song wish – you guys know this :-) Well I wished for Alfonso & got him – maybe Rob Wade will give me my much-anticipated paso doble to this one! 8-)

“You & I (Nobody in the World)” by John Legend - While everyone was going crazy over “All of Me” last season, my favorite song off of John’s latest album is this one – it’s kind of the R&B answer to Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight”: a guy telling his lady she’s beautiful no matter what, as he watches her get ready to go out at night.  And if you haven’t seen the video yet, go watch it right MEOW – it’s just perfect.  If I only see one rumba all season – I want it to be to this song.

“Stay” by Shakespears Sister – Thought about this song last season upon finding out that Candace & Charlie were dancing to Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me”.  It’s a pretty old song, but it would make a stellar song for a contemporary routine – hell, I think it would make a fantastic contemporary TRIO song, based on the narrative of the music video.  Give it to Derek and watch him work wonders :-)

“Conjunction Junction” from Schoolhouse RockHad an epiphany the other night while watching a documentary about Schoolhouse Rock – how fun would it be if they did a Schoolhouse Rock theme week? This song would make such a fun foxtrot, and would allow the pros to show off a bit more of a playful side.

“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor – This song is so ridiculously catchy, and my sister and I have a running inside joke about this song and a gif of a dancing honey badger.  Just don’t ask :-P Would be a fun cha-cha.

“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic – A currently-popular song that’s actually appropriate for paso doble.  So please, producers – no more duds like “Sail”.

Vogue:

“Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson – I’d love to see Alfonso bring this song to life as his older self being this is the song he did with Michael in the Pepsi commercial. That could possibly give us a big “Michael Jackson” moment and I love how this show features something by Michael almost every season.

“A Place With No Name” by Michael Jackson – This is my favorite song currently. I’d freak if the pros performed this in a group number. They could bring on Sharna’s boyfriend Paul Kirkland to dance as well and help with choreography being he performs in the new Michael Jackson Vegas show.

“Come Get It Bae” by Pharrell – This is another one of my current favorite songs. I don’t care who performs it or how….just so they do it. I know Sharna likes this song a lot too.

“Hunter” by Pharrell – Being this song has “Duck Dynasty” mentions, I’d love to see Mark and Sadie dance to this song. Not sure if it’s age or lyric appropriate (maybe the band could fix it somehow?), but, it’s a great dance song.

“Anything Goes” by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – What a beautiful song for a Fox Trot or a Waltz.

“Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias – This would be such a great song for a “Latin” group number. The cast could bring the video to life.

“Fairytale” by Alexander Rybak – What a cool and snappy pop Irish/Hungarian “gypsie” jig. A song like this would make a great mix up to the show. I was hooked the first time I heard it.

Queremos Paz” by The Gotan Project – This song would be so cool for a Tango or Argnetine Tango. Actually, I’d take anything by The Gotan Project for a Latin number. Ssssssssssss

 

Now let’s hear your suggestions! 8-)

September 10, 2014 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!

DWTS Season 18, THE FINALE, Part 2 – Let’s Recap Tonight’s Show (Spoilers)

Repeat of rules from last night/last week: Once again, due to heavy traffic, we have to institute a few ground rules for tonight show. Most of these are good rules ALL OF THE TIME, and are basic netiquette.

  1. DO NOT hit refresh every few seconds – in fact, do not hit refresh every five minutes! Read, comment if you like, then walk away from the computer for five to ten minutes. I know this is hard, but it will prevent others from losing their minds trying to read and/or update the site.
  2. DO NOT use the comment section like it’s twitter – it’s not twitter. Make an actual comment with context of who you’re talking about, who you’re talking to (if it applies), etc. Context, and more than one line. If you break this rule more than one time, I start deleting. If you do it a couple times, you’ll find yourself on moderation.  Perhaps for life. :-)  Keep in mind that if you can’t follow this rule, I can make you follow it.
  3. Try very hard to keep the ugly to a minimum. Think before you post. If you’ve been called out previously on this blog for your behavior, this will be extra important because there’s only so much I will tolerate. I’m not talking about differing opinions, I’m talking about nasty. If I get the sense that you are purposely trolling  (look it up if you’re not sure), I will just block you. No warning other than this one.

Again, we’ve turned on the Comment Moderation feature for the entire site. That way, in the event of an unexpected elimination, we can week out any trouble makers that much quicker. ;-)

So, if you’re in rehab from the drinking during last night’s show, raise your hand. :-D Read more..

May 20, 2014 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 18, The Finale – Power Rankings

Well, that’s that, I guess – just go ahead and give Maks Meryl her MBT and let’s be done with this.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a finale tip its hand as much as it did last night – it was made quite clear who they wanted to keep far away from the MBT (Candace), who they wanted to make the final two (Amy & Meryl), and who they ultimately want/need to win (Meryl & Maks…duh).  I was rather disgusted that everyone (including Erin & the judges) seemed to jump on the ridiculous Meryl & Maks showmance bandwagon, but then again, I’m not at all surprised – I will forever remember season 18 as the season that DWTS decided to adopt the “tabloid sleaze” angle.  It won’t be a pleasant memory.

And I know it’s not just me, as a jaded DWTS viewer/blogger, that was put off by last night’s show – the bf actually had a rare day off yesterday, after being tied up with a competition over the weekend, and he came over for dinner and decided to stay & watch the show.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter got to hear some of his gems while watching the show last night – but for those who didn’t, I think this quote best sums up his feelings about the whole thing: “This is such a waste of my life right now.” He was appalled at the judging (“When did this bimbo ever do ballroom in her life???”), appalled at the teaching (he was especially taken aback by Mark forcefully moving Candace’s head during rehearsal – and he’s even friendly with Mark!), appalled at the choreography (“Why the hell is Maks doing contemporary? He’s a ballroom dancer!”), and was oddly disturbed by the fact that none of the pros seem to wear the proper footwear to teach in (“They could seriously hurt themselves…Argentine tango is not meant to be done in Nikes.”) He did seem rather impressed with one thing, though: how good Amy is, despite her disability.  He didn’t even realize she was missing the entire lower portion of her leg until I explained her story – and then he was just floored.

Can’t say I’m terribly surprised that James just couldn’t make his way past Candace last night – I think he unfortunately had a bit of an unmemorable week last week, and Candace does seem to have some fervent fan support.  Was left feeling rather puzzled by both of his dances last night – his tango felt a little bit chaotic & desperate (hello, kiss – guess everyone was trying to make a ploy for showmance votes last night), and his freestyle just felt…aimless.  Guess we now know how Peta does with freestyles when she doesn’t have any outward assistance from other pros.

Gonna do things in reverse tonight – start with 3rd place and work up to the winner…

3rd place: Candace & Mark

I think the judges all but ensured that Candace will wind up in 3rd when the chips are down tonight – while I agree with most that she’s the weakest dancer left, I don’t think she’s as bad as some of the scores she was given last night.  I guess I agree with her quickstep score – there still seemed to be a few frame and body contact issues, but really, it’s the finale – would it have killed them to give her just one 10? Or is she pulling in THAT many votes that they’re afraid she might overtake Amy or Darling Meryl? I just get the impression that Candace has been one variable that TPTB hadn’t planned on this season – she seems to have a lot more support than they thought she would, and that has led to some serious hosing over the weeks.  As for her freestyle – I don’t think it was nearly as bad as being 8-worthy across the board.  9-worthy, maybe.  I thought she connected well to the music and gave it a good effort – seemed like she was having fun out there.  Sure, maybe she was a little clunky coming out of some of the lifts, but it didn’t detract from the performance THAT much.  In the end, I’m left feeling a little torn on Candace: I feel bad for her, with some of the unnecessary hosing she’s gotten this season; but in the same token, I think she’s lucky to have gotten as far as she has, and should feel proud to be a finalist.  I think she’s had great journey this season :-)

Runner-up: Amy & Derek

If they gave the MBT to whoever overcame the greatest odds in order to end up in the finale, Amy & Derek would be a shoo-in, for sure.  But unfortunately, there seems to be a different agenda at play this season, so I think the best these two can end up with is second place.  Loved both of their routines last night – thought their salsa was a nice step-up from the one she did with Mark, and had plenty of content; and Derek STILL reigns supreme in the freestyle – I think the edge Derek has is that he’s better able to tell a story than some others with his choreography; I understood the theme and plot he was trying to convey with that routine, and he managed to still do some pretty awesome lifts and creative stuff in it.  Thought the rope was genius at the end – kinda symbolized for me the journey Amy has taken on the show, and her ability to handle things that no one would ever guess she’s capable of.  Of course the naysayers will claim there wasn’t enough content – what they fail to realize is that, just because she wasn’t necessarily on her feet for every single step, does not mean there “wasn’t content”; hell, I think doing that rope spin was far more difficult than any pirouette or pique Derek could have had her do on the ground.  But whatever – these two have already won this season for me, and I daresay Amy has a bright future ahead :-)

The winner: Meryl & Maks

Since the focus of this partnership all season long seems to be Maks (with Meryl as an accessory), I’ll respond in kind and make this critique about him, since I don’t think Meryl is the problem (other than the fact that she herself seems to have bought into the hype of “Maks has never won, Maks deserves to win” and is falling into step with it instead of actually standing up for herself).  Meryl is going to dance whatever she’s given FLAWLESSLY.  The problem is (and has been all season), that what Maks has given her has not been all that impressive.  And I stand by that statement tonight, because even the redo Argentine tango he gave her (which I guess is his favorite dance) paled in comparison choreographically to what his lil bro gave her over a month ago for me.  And here’s why: Maks seems to have a lot of “moments”, but isn’t quite adept at stringing them altogether to make a coherent routine.  Val, on the other hand, seems to see the whole picture: he understands that a dance, like a story, needs a beginning, middle, and end, plus some fluid transitions to make it all flow together seamlessly.  Plus, Val did his thing with a far more difficult song, and with a partner that he had only worked with for a few days.  And then there’s the freestyle: looks like Maks’ idea of being “creative” and doing something “never before seen on DWTS” involves creating a derivative, watered-down version of a winning freestyle from a year ago and acting as if it’s something brand-new and ground-breaking.  I actually don’t even think this was choreographically as strong as their rumba from a few weeks ago – and that was barely a rumba.  I think if he really wanted to showcase Meryl’s abilities, he would have shunned the ooey-gooey showmance-promoting route and choreographed something more upbeat and full of both lifts and energetic dance steps.  Show us how versatile she really is, instead of rehashing what we’ve already seen from her.  And for Pete’s sake, do something that actually seems to illustrate her journey on DWTS. Hell, at the beginning of the season, I had envisioned some wild, celebratory freestyle to “Gypsy” by Lady Gaga (which would have even appealed to the shippers on some level, while still nodding to all the traveling she & Maks have done together this season). So given what I just said, you’ll have to forgive me when I ask “So WHY does Maks ‘deserve to win’?” He’s struggled with choreography, he’s struggled with crafting routines that showcase his partner, and he’s struggled with his own behavior.  “But Courtney, it’s not about Maks – it’s about MERYL!!!!” I’m sure some of you are going to cry – to which I say “She’s an Olympic gold medal ice dancer that hasn’t been truly challenged all season long.  Should she win the MBT for (no pun intended) skating through the season without much of a struggle?” I look at all the tough stuff that Amy & Charlie in particular have had thrown at them throughout the season by their respective pros – and how they’ve struggled, and toiled, and still overcome those obstacles.  There’s just no comparison for me.  But everyone is going to vote how they’re going to vote (and that’s fine), and I think the die has already been cast that this was “Maks’ season” from the get-go – and everyone has just kind of fallen in line with that mindset.  It will be a hollow win, though, IMO – and it’s one I’m sure we’re going to be hearing about for the next 5 years, a la Donny Osmond.  But whatever helps Maks (and his fans) feel validated, I guess.

So there’s my two cents.  What’s yours? :-) Just as a side note: I still do post here at PureDWTS in the off-season, but with America’s Got Talent starting up next week, you’ll probably see more of me over at Pure AGT this summer.   If you’re a fan of the show, come join us! We’re a small (but entertaining) group ;-)

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!

DWTS Season 18, THE FINALE, Part 1 – Let’s Recap Tonight’s Show (Spoilers)

Once again, due to heavy traffic, we have to institute a few ground rules for tonight show. Most of these are good rules ALL OF THE TIME, and are basic netiquette.

  1. DO NOT hit refresh every few seconds – in fact, do not hit refresh every five minutes! Read, comment if you like, then walk away from the computer for five to ten minutes. I know this is hard, but it will prevent others from losing their minds trying to read and/or update the site.
  2. DO NOT use the comment section like it’s twitter – it’s not twitter. Make an actual comment with context of who you’re talking about, who you’re talking to (if it applies), etc. Context, and more than one line. If you break this rule more than one time, I start deleting. If you do it a couple times, you’ll find yourself on moderation.  Perhaps for life. :-)  Keep in mind that if you can’t follow this rule, I can make you follow it.
  3. Try very hard to keep the ugly to a minimum. Think before you post. If you’ve been called out previously on this blog for your behavior, this will be extra important because there’s only so much I will tolerate. I’m not talking about differing opinions, I’m talking about nasty. If I get the sense that you are purposely trolling  (look it up if you’re not sure), I will just block you. No warning other than this one.

Again, we’ve turned on the Comment Moderation feature for the entire site. That way, in the event of an unexpected elimination, we can week out any trouble makers that much quicker. ;-)

Tonight’s Drinking Game: Take a  shot every time they show Mark getting hurt and ask if he will dance. Take a double shot every time someone mentions that Maks has never won before. Triple shot if it’s Maks himself.  See you all in rehab tomorrow. :-)

ETA: Well, you oughta be half drunk already. :-)  Everyone looks pretty though.

ETA: James is IN IT TO WIN IT. Take that Meryl and Maks shippers…oh don’t worry, you’ll get your kissing. :-P  Really, good dance from James.

Can’t believe Meryl is finally going second….now when it no longer matters. Guess they did learn from Zendaya, eh?

ETA3: Good dance by Meryl and Maks, but I still don’t feel all this magic that I sense I’m supposed to get. :-)

ETA4: Poor Candace and Mark. She struggled with that dance and I have a feeling she’ll get a more generous score than she should…but hell, they were right. That had to be harder than hell to have Mark go down and be uncertain if he would dance with you or not, but she held up really well. She looked very pretty too. :-)  Love her.

ETA5: WOW. Are we sure that Amy is a double amputee?? Cuz that dance was a big ole FU to her critics. LOL.  And Jennifer Grey in the audience looking like she was going to lose it complete. Awesome. :-D

ETA6: Great freestyle by James!! Loved it. Looked like Sonya might have choreo’d it.

ETA7: Whoa, Evan dude lighten up!

ETA8 Boy, I’m really surprised by that almost kiss. And that dance didn’t look anything like Derek and Kelly’s. Except for the staging, the lighting, almost costume too. :-D

ETA9: Love Tom making fun of the whole teddy bear thing. And really seriously even the comments from Len and Bruno were the same as they were for Kelly’s freestyle.

ETA10: I was too nervous to even watch Candace and Mark, I was afraid Mark’s damn shoulder was going pop out. Boy has balls that’s for sure.

ETA11: Nope, no agenda. CAI starting to sound like Meryl and Maks fans – asking about lifts less than half an hour after Meryl did a dance with just as many. :::rolls eyes::: At least she didn’t purposely underscore her cuz she didn’t like the rope, LEN.  THIS is what we’re talking about when we way that other couples get away with shit that Derek can’t.  Anyway, beautiful dance – I was nervous the whole time, wondering what Derek was up to.

ETA12: When I’m right, I’m right. Not even 15 minutes ago I said that the very bad score on Candace’s freestyle likely meant that Candace was going through. Not surprising.  And they were likely called safe in the order they will place tomorrow. Meryl, Amy and then Candace.  But it doesn’t have to be if everyone VOTES!! ;-)

May 19, 2014 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. :-)

DWTS Season 18, Week 9 – Let’s Recap Tonight’s Show (Spoilers)

Once again, due to heavy traffic, we have to institute a few ground rules for tonight show. Most of these are good rules ALL OF THE TIME, and are basic netiquette.

  1. DO NOT hit refresh every few seconds – in fact, do not hit refresh every five minutes! Read, comment if you like, then walk away from the computer for five to ten minutes. I know this is hard, but it will prevent others from losing their minds trying to read and/or update the site.
  2. DO NOT use the comment section like it’s twitter – it’s not twitter. Make an actual comment with context of who you’re talking about, who you’re talking to (if it applies), etc. Context, and more than one line. If you break this rule more than one time, I start deleting. If you do it a couple times, you’ll find yourself on moderation.  Perhaps for life. :-)  Keep in mind that if you can’t follow this rule, I can make you follow it.
  3. Try very hard to keep the ugly to a minimum. Think before you post. If you’ve been called out previously on this blog for your behavior, this will be extra important because there’s only so much I will tolerate. I’m not talking about differing opinions, I’m talking about nasty. If I get the sense that you are purposely trolling  (look it up if you’re not sure), I will just block you. No warning other than this one.

Also, we’ve turned on the Comment Moderation feature for the entire site. That way, in the event of an unexpected elimination, we can week out any trouble makers that much quicker. ;-)

Tonight’s drinking game?? One shot for every ass kiss. :-) Happy drinking.

Candace – really good dance and Bruno is exactly right. I might not have noticed any mistakes if it hadn’t shown so clearly on her face.

And she’s safe. Okay, that’s a tad scary, although she could be in the bottom two and they want to scare the hell out of Charlie, Meryl (and Amy) fans. Since Amy is going third, and Charlie is next…one of them will be in jeopardy.

ETA 1: Charlie and Amy are in jeopardy – why are you people freaking out already?? The producers of this show are the most manipulative people on the planet. Be worried when James is called safe.

Great dance from Charlie…I’ll be waiting for people to bitch about his dropped hanky. Oh. Wait. :-)

ETA 2: Holy crap…again, mesmerized by Amy and Derek! Great quickstep!! Should be a 39, if not…well, she’ll get more votes. And if she for some crazy reason goes home?? She has Oprah and Kenny Ortega in her corner. :-)

ETA 3: Meryl in jeopardy and James safe. I’m so shocked…only not really. :-) Who wants to bet me that the last two standing are Charlie and Meryl?? Unless Amy is truly at the bottom, the producers won’t be able to resist.

I missed James dance because I was policing this site. People, we ain’t twitter. Cool your jets.

ETA 4: And here comes the “winner” narrative for Meryl and Maks. Massive struggle to get the dance.

ETA 5: Those were some ugly ass shoes Meryl was wearing. Period shoes I guess??

Ooo…blow to the Meryl Maks shippers when Meryl puts Charlie ahead of Maks on the partnership scale. :-D

ETA 6: Very nice Macy’s Stars of Dance. It just occurred to me that the reason Derek is creative director (besides being the best person for the job and they want him to get Emmys cuz it’s good for the show) is partly because they never expected Amy to last this long and they need Derek on the show.

ETA 7: Is Candace peaking at the right time or what?? Great choreo from Mark – loved it. :-) They are kinda stacking it so she’s more certain to get 4th place though.

ETA 8: Charlie was a tad flat on that. I still love him though and will give him all my votes if Amy goes home.

Jaysus – Derek FINALLY gets his due from the judges on the choreo this season. That was fantastic. Really fantastic. If Amy goes home tonight, she will still have some of the most memorable dances of the season. Kenny Ortega…you da man. :-)

ETA 9: WARNING…that rumba wasn’t that good, but the judges are raving. Danger Will Robinson…Danger Will Robinson. Long time viewers of this show will know what this means….

ETA 10: Hehehehe…cue the walking choreo. Anyone count?? :-D

Meryl is such a pretty girl, why does Maks keep dressing her in gawdawful outfits??

Another perfect score for Meryl and Maks. So shocked. LOL – not really. :-) Congrats to Maks though – he finally vocalized something in a way that I think he actually meant instead of insulting half the population. :-)

Amy is called safe first – told you guys an hour ago when the three Olympians were in jeopardy that Meryl and Charlie would be the last two standing. Someday you will listen to me. :-)

Very sad that we’ve lost Charlie – Would have loved to see a freestyle from Sharna. I think she could rival Derek – while Maks…won’t. GREAT JOB CHARLIE AND SHARNA!!

May 12, 2014 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 18, Week 9 – What’s Left to Dance? UPDATE

So somebody requested that I do an update to my first “What’s Left to Dance?” post, just to see what remaining dances the celebs have to do this season…or rather, which dances they might not get to at all :-(  I can’t recall another season where the celebs have had so many of the dances left to do with so little of the competition remaining – and I can’t say I’m enjoying it.  But before I get too far into it, here’s my handy-dandy chart, updated with everyone’s week 9 dances EXCEPT Amy & Derek (as they haven’t revealed theirs yet):

remainingdances2

So now to address some questions that are bound to pop up…

What dances are Amy & Derek doing next week??? I don’t know.  Haven’t heard anything official.  But there is a conspicuous gap in one section of the chart, so I would not be shocked to see Amy doing samba, since she’s the only person left that hasn’t already done it/will be doing it next week (in Charlie’s case).  Then again, maybe they think she’ll struggle with samba, and so they’ll give her paso doble instead…IDK.  No clue about the other dance – I would guess that it’s a ballroom dance, since she still has four she hasn’t done yet, but then again, it could also be jazz.  Who knows.  I guess my official “prediction” is samba and foxtrot…but that’s all it is, a prediction.  What do you think?

How many dances are they doing during finale week? And what kind? Again, I know nothing official, but obviously there will be a freestyle, and if Len griping about Charlie’s rumba in week 4 was any indicator, there will probably also be a redemption dance (a dance that the celeb didn’t do so well on the first time around, and could improve upon).  There’s probably also going to be a relay dance of some sort (probably something everyone has done – I’m guessing cha-cha or samba) and maybe some sort of instant dance/24 hour challenge (for the three that advance after the first night – I’m guessing someone will get eliminated after the freestyles on night 1.  Again, just educated guesses.

What about the trio dance??? AND THE PASO DOBLE???!!! I’m guessing the trio dance is kaput for this season, and I would be shocked if we saw another paso doble (unless Amy is doing it next week) since the finalists typically don’t do an unlearned dance in finale week (besides the freestyle).  Yes, it sucks. :-( I also doubt we’ll see another standard waltz or swing routine – seems like those were only brought in to fulfill specific purposes (Amy’s request to dance to a Cinderella song during Disney week, and Amy & Meryl saying they were most looking forward to doing swing in week 2).  Basically, unless someone’s doing it next week – we probably won’t see it again this season.  Sorry.

What do you think the couples will do as their redemption dance? I think it’s kind of a given that Charlie will get rumba, as Len made a point of saying it back in week 4. I would say that they’d saddle Amy with *cringe* waltz again, but I don’t see her being able to improve upon it that much – so I could see them letting her redo her cha-cha instead. Meryl will probably end up redoing rumba as well, which I’m sure will fit right into this Meryl vs. Charlie showdown they’ve been dancing towards all season.  If Candace makes the finale – hehe, she’s got a lot of dances that she could improve upon, but I think for the sake of variety, they’ll pick quickstep for her…she’s got both potential and room to improve on that one. If James makes the finale (and I’m leaning towards it being either Candace OR James that join the other three in the finale), I could see them giving him quickstep as well. That way, they ensure they get at least one ballroom redemption dance.

Will the freestyles be supersized? Given that they’ve been “supersizing” some of the regular dances this season, I don’t think they’ll suddenly opt for austerity and simplicity in the freestyle round…hell, I think the freestyles this time could be super-dupersized. Let’s put it this way: it would not surprise me if the couples called in the entire cast of Game of Thrones, the entire roster of the Miami Heat (blech), and/or the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir to help with their freestyles at this point…it’s that out of control, kids.

Why are they leaving so many dances unlearned this season? :-( I don’t know, but it kind of gives me a sad. If I had to speculate, I’d say they just got too wrapped up in theme nights and trying to accommodate other random aspects of this season ( i.e. Meryl & Charlie’s travel schedule, Amy’s prostheses’, certain pros’ weaknesses as a choreographer, etc.) that they had to tinker with the dances a bit – why they decided to basically scrap the paso doble, I really don’t know, as that is one dance that it seems like almost anyone could do, regardless of their level of skill or physical abilities…it’s all about selling the performance.  So yeah…it’s a head-scratcher for me, too.

So there’s my thoughts on the remaining dances headed into the semifinals and finals.  What are yours? What unanswered questions do you have about this season?

May 7, 2014 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!