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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, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 4 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

April 12, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 3 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

April 5, 2016 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, 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 10 – Power Rankings

Fun fact: you can totally dominate an entire episode of DWTS with your antics, narrowly avoid elimination, and then turn around and withdraw 24 hours later – and somehow STILL get more attention once you’ve been eliminated than some contestants got all season long  😎 Yes, kids, this was the second installment of “The Tamar Show”, with Tom reminding us for nearly the entire first half of the show that we were going to get an update on Tamar – nevermind the fact that we had 4 celebs that were actually still competing on DWTS tonight, the people must know what’s been going on with Tamar!!! Yes, it sucks what happened, and despite my feelings about Tamar this season, I do wish her a speedy recovery – but the constant reminders of her last night? Just kinda did a disservice to Alek, Bindi, Carlos, & Nick.  If next Monday is the same way – so help me god, I just might commit seppuku with a plastic knife.

Also becoming tiresome to me? The fact that Carlos still seems like he’s trying to come up with sob stories each week to compete with Bindi, Nick, & Alek.  And they just sound totally disingenuous, on top of sounding a bit silly compared to the struggles of the other contestants remaining. Carlos says “I was depressed and addicted to weed!”; Nick can easily counter with  “Yeah, I was pretty heavy into alcohol, cocaine, X, and prescription painkillers for awhile…failed at rehab…got a heart condition…did I mention my sister died of a drug overdose a few years ago? But please, tell me more about your crippling weed addiction.” Carlos pulls out “I haven’t spoken to my mom in 4 years!” Bindi can say “How awful! My dad died in a freak accident when I was 8 – I just wish he was still here.” Meanwhile, Nick is over in the corner, waving his hands and going “Hey, anyone want to talk about how my parents only want my money, and how I’ve had to cut ties with them as a result?” Oh wait…Carlos says he “found Jesus!” Wonder what Alek has to say about that…”Gosh, I only just found a terrorist on a train, and beat the tar out of him to protect the lives of the other people said train. Shucks.” I guess my point is this: Carlos may not have a super-compelling story to tell, but that doesn’t mean I want to see him grasp at straws to try and out-sob story everyone else.  I probably would find him more likeable if I didn’t feel like he was constantly trying to one-up everyone else and just let his dancing do the talking.

As for the possible bomb Tom dropped at the end of the show about either Nick or Bindi having the lowest combined total – call me crazy, but I actually think there could have been some truth behind it. I just don’t see them lying about it – they could have very easily just called those two “in jeopardy” and not even mentioned anything about the lowest combined total, and the effect would have been the same.  But they DID actually say “one of you has the lowest combined total, but you’re not going home because Tamar is out.” I don’t believe for a minute that it’s Bindi that got the lowest combined total, considering everywhere I look, people are singing her praises – but Nick? He could be in some legit trouble with votes. Now while his fans assure me that the Backstreet Boys “are HUGE around the world!” and that he is “getting tons of votes”, I feel like this is a good opportunity to remind everyone of a central tenet of being successful on DWTS: international votes aren’t likely to help much if you don’t also win over the main viewing demographic of DWTS – middle-aged, conservative-leaning American women.  There hasn’t been a single DWTS champ that didn’t in some way appeal to that demographic, and in order to win, you HAVE to have them on your side. Is Nick appealing to that demographic? If so, is he making himself more appealing to that demographic than Bindi, Carlos, and Alek? Keep in mind that veterans (think J.R., Noah…and Alek) typically hold a lot of appeal for that demographic, as do those who are openly Christian (Sadie, Candace…and Carlos), and really anyone that is typically just bubbly and likable across the board (Kellie, and Bindi – particularly the latter, who seems to have enchanted just about everyone). Where do boyband members fit in? Only one has managed to win (Drew Lachey), and the rest have done ok-to-well, likely owing to their previous dance experience. One slight problem I see is this: Nick’s fans might still be a tad young to fit into the “middle aged” category – I was 13 when BSB posters covered my walls at the height of their popularity, and I’m 30 now…still 10 years shy of that “middle-aged” label. Part of me thinks his more casual fans might still be a tad young to be tuning into DWTS on the regular and actually voting – I know I’m really more of the exception than the norm.  You also have to take into account what happened last week – Nick kinda got upstaged by Tamar’s drama, and Carlos likely got a bit of a boost (not a huge one, but enough) in votes from Alexa’s fans that kicked their votes over to him.  Nick also dropped back down to getting mostly 9’s last week after getting a perfect score the previous week. When you take all of this into account – is it really all that far-fetched to think that maybe Nick really was the lowest combined total of votes & scores? Did his fans maybe get a bit complacent, thinking that so many people were voting for him that he would be ok if they maybe didn’t vote so hard a certain week? I just think back to Zendaya in season 16 – her fans were so sure that she was getting oodles of votes, yet she still managed to come up short in the end and Kellie took the MBT. Regardless of whether what Tom said last night was truth or a total fabrication, they likely did both Bindi & Nick a huge favor – I can only image the panic that ran through some fans at the revelation that their favorite was in danger, and the increased vigor with which they voted. Heck, even if you think Tom was lying…is that really a bluff you care to call?  😯 Read more..

November 17, 2015 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 8 – What’s Left to Dance?

I probably should have done this a couple weeks ago, during the midpoint of the season (when I usually do it), but admittedly, time kinda got away from me 🙂 But I’m actually kinda glad I waited, because I think the remaining dances are going to be of much greater importance at this phase of the competition than they were two weeks ago – because with so many strong dancers still remaining, I think it’s all gonna come down to who gets dances that suit their abilities and who doesn’t. Some have several dances left that they have the potential to ace – others are kinda screwed, with their only remaining dances being ones that their aren’t likely to do well with.

Before I throw up my table, a few points of clarification: I’ve included the core 10 dances (cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, jive, waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, Viennese waltz), as well as what I consider to be the “extra” dances (salsa, Argentine tango, jazz, contemporary, and any other weird one-off dances – in this case, Charleston).  You’ll notice I’ve italicized waltz, salsa, & Charleston – the reason being that I don’t think everyone is going to do these dances, and they were only used previously this season in order to fit specific songs/themes. So if [insert celeb here] doesn’t get to do salsa – I highly doubt it’s going to be of much significance, since only two other contestants got to  do it and it was in a theme week. I’m not counting last week’s dance-off dances, since they were not full-length, regular dances. Also of significance: I have not included any of the coming week’s dances in the table, as we don’t know all of them – so please do not go immediately post in the comments “Bindi has Charleston! You forgot to update it!!!” I reserve the right to call you out if you do, as you clearly have not read the post…which is kinda rude. Read more..

November 4, 2015 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 8 – Power Rankings

I know I can’t be the only one that was over themes a couple weeks ago – and I have to wonder if others share the other sentiment I have: that a lot of the theme weeks this season have started to feel a bit…redundant. “Hometown Glory” week, “Most Memorable Year” week, and now “Personal Icons” week – anyone else feel like these themes have churned out kinda the same dances over and over? I feel like I’ve seen so many crying dances this season – more than I care to. How ’bout we just ditch the themes from here on out and just…y’know, DANCE.

As predicted, the immunity and dance-off was about as farcical as it could possibly be – clear agendas, and some eyebrow-raising rulings by the judges. Felt more like whoever got the louder reaction from the crowd got the points, rather than whoever was dancing more competently or actually even trying to portray the dance style they were given. In the end, I doubt 2 points is going to help anyone a TON if they aren’t already getting the votes, and really the only one who got a serious boost was Nick, who has a nifty little 4-point cushion over the next highest-scorer and and now is within one cumulative point of Bindi – I’m just waiting for that to somehow come into play in these next few weeks, when Nick suddenly inches ahead of Bindi and suddenly by virtue of his cumulative point total, he gets an edge – maybe first pick in some cockamamie dance they’ve cooked up, maybe first pick of songs, who knows. It all just feels verrry convenient.

Sad to see Andy go, but I can’t help but think that Allison’s chaotic choreography is partially to blame for their departure – for the second time this season, she kinda got subtly called out by the judges again for having too much going on in Andy’s Viennese waltz…which, by the wait, just kinda felt to me like a retooling of Hayes’ switch week Viennese waltz which was met with equal criticism by the judges. His paso last week was pretty chaotic as well – and poor Andy just couldn’t keep up in either one, I’m afraid, and it made the critique from the judges feel like they were calling out his sloppy technique…but the subtext was “your technique was sloppy because the dance had way too much going on.” Part of me hopes that during her maternity leave next season, Allison gets a bit more introspective and maybe figures out a way to still honor her own style while focusing more on being true to the ballroom style that this show focuses on… Read more..

November 3, 2015 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

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??
Read more..

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!

The Dancing Poetry Corner – Real and Reel Life Stories

Dancing Sarge In Charge

Joann Tresco of Hummelstown, PA, is a retired Pennsylvania Army National Guard Master Sergeant. He military career spanned 34 years.

Tresco had a love and passion for dance that translated into the next phase of her life. She traded her Army boots for dancing shoes. It is so exciting for her to become the Operations Manager for the dance studio she grew up with.

She is combining the best of both her worlds. Her military management skills have served her well in managing the dance studio and teaching dance. She takes a hands-on approach with the clients who have tripped the light fantastic on the studio ballroom floor.

The link will take you to a narrative and video of her inspiring story. Chuck Rhodes, the Out and About Reporter, WHTM, ABC27, Harrisburg, PA, takes you inside her new life. There is a link to look around the studio she is heavily involved with, PaDanceSport, Hummelstown, PA.

Tresco feels it is important for returning veterans to have the courage to stoke their own passions. She says anyone can make it work.

Tresco is a military success story and a success at this thing called life.

Dancing A Dream
Courage Through Dance

Written By Lois A Troutman, April 14, 2015

The affliction of cerebral palsy does not deter 14 year old Ellie Ritzman from her love of dance. In fact, she thrives on dancing at Dixie’s Dance Studio, Millerstown, PA. Being part of a dance team brings out Ellie’s personality. Making this more special for Ellie is she is dancing with her sister, Leah, and her friends.

Ellie’s mother, Dianne, felt this was something that could not happen. But, she helped Ellie follow her dreams. Read more..

April 15, 2015 I Written By

Resident DWTS Poet