PureDWTS Season 21, Week 2, Monday – Power Rankings

I apologize for not getting this up last night – asthma kicked in and I just needed to lie down. God bless allergy season! I think this may be the first time since season 15’s two-night performance debacle during the Presidential debates that I’ve had to do (2) rankings in one week ๐Ÿ˜› I wouldn’t mind so much, except that there’s still a LOT of couples left…and when I want to weight in on each one, that’s a lot of writing!

Aside from the Colts playing like sh*t and my live stream freezing up at key moments, I also had the added irritation of the bulk of the dances having way too much “messing about” at the beginning.ย  With the dances already being soย  shortened, it just seems like that much more of an excuse to d*ck around in order to conceal weaknesses. Dislike. Also seemed like a night where nobody 100% knocked their dances out of the park – maybe it was the strain of having to learn two dances this week, but while there was quite a bit of improvement from (most) everyone, I don’t feel like anyone completely mastered their dances.ย  A few came close…but still room for improvement all around.

I’m pretty shocked that it was Chaka that got sent packing tonight – I actually think she did noticeably better than last week, and thought that an R&B legend would have more folks voting for her than a reality TV wife. Also an eye-opener? The fact that Keo somehow looks better (and seems to teach better) when it’s a ballroom dance instead of a Latin one…go fig. Isn’t Latin his specialty? I just don’t know what to make of Keo anymore…but 3rd season in a row where he hasn’t been able to make it past week 3? Yikes – that’s a pretty dismal track record, and something has gotta change…and it ain’t the type of partner he’s getting.

1.) Bindi & Derek – It was a fun dance, for sure, and probably the most technically solid of the night – and you could tell that Bindi was really having fun with it.ย  But I’m wondering if Bindi’s infectious enthusiasm may be working against her a bit, as it seemed to get a little “excited puppy”-ish and sharp at times.ย  While this worked really well for the jive, for a dance with as much control as the tango, it might have been a bit misplaced.ย  Hopefully it’s something she can fine tune by the time she has to do a rumba.ย  Anyone know WTF was up with the camera angles on this one? Sh*t, muppets…get it together.

2.) Nick & Sharna – What is it with boy band members having shoe issues on this show? Didn’t Lance Bass have a shoe malfunction at one point? And Joey Fatone too? So weird. Anywho! Someone on Twitter told me that Nick & Sharna said on All Access that their song didn’t start properly, and so they missed the intro and had to rush into the dance itself – between that and the shoe issue, I guess I can see why Nick might have been a little off his game.ย  But it’s something he’s gonna have to work on. Kicks could have been cleaner (and more on time) and I think he got stuck in his head a bit, but it certainly wasn’t terrible.ย  Still seeing a LOT of support for the guy, so I doubt he’s gonna be in danger anytime soon.

3.) Carlos & Witney – Gonna repeat what I said on Twitter: Carlos will outlast Alexa. Banking on it now. Why? Because from what I’ve seen so far, he’s a better showman, a more natural dancer, and seems more confident and at ease on the floor – plus he seems to have a decent chemistry with his partner. His foxtrot was gorgeous – on time, good frame, great arm extension, and he seemed to actually FEEL the dance.ย  He could stand to work on his posture a bit, but I’m starting to see shades of Corbin in him – and that’s both good and bad. He’s got Corbin’s skill and presence, but also a bit of Corbin’s…social awkwardness? I don’t know, it just seems like when he’s not dancing, Carlos is just talking and talking and talking and trying to make people like him.ย  Breathe, dude.ย  Less talky. More listen-y. ๐Ÿ™‚

4.) Tamar & Val – Ok, I’m reeeeallly starting to like Tamar, because she is unlike any other partner Val has had, and that makes her a challenge.ย  I loved that after he told her to thrust, she said “No, I ain’t thrustin’ while I’m thinkin’ about my family!!!” Up until this point, Val has lucked into getting very compliant partners – partners that nodded their heads and said “Whatever you say, Val!” to everything he commanded.ย  Tay ain’t gonna be that easy – and I think it’s gonna be a good learning experience for him.ย  Not every partner is going to be a walk in the park. Just ask Tony ๐Ÿ™‚ Anywho – she looked good doing this cha-cha, and seems to be starting to develop some good leg and hip action. Arms could use some work – hers seem exceptionally long, and she doesn’t quite seem to know how to develop them yet…she’s still kinda flinging them out.ย  But did anyone else find it hilarious that the judges liked Tamar better dancing alone, than with Val? ๐Ÿ˜€

5.) Alek & Lindsay – I’ll withhold my squeals of joy until we see how he fares with a Latin dance – but dare I say that Alek’s pretty good foxtrot last week wasn’t just a flash in the pan? He looked pretty good this week, too – and he was OWNING those lifts.ย  Like, Noah-style. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thought Lindsay’s choreography was maybe a tad lift-heavy, but I guess I could see why she was throwing so many in – Alek is good at them, and the song had such dramatic flourishes. Also loved that they brought back the set from the porch set from the U.S.A. guest dance at the end of last season ๐Ÿ˜› Still seeing a LOT of potential in Alek – and excited to see what else he can do!

6.) Alexa & Mark – These two…have become a bit of a head-scratcher for me. Alexa’s talented, no doubt, and she seems to be having a lot of fun…but something about the two of them together just seems OFF. Just seems to be a weird energy between them – it started last week with Mark looking unusually subdued, and there just seemed to be something a tad odd this week, too.ย  And I can’t put my finger on it. She danced the salsa reasonably well (but didn’t seem 100% confident in it), and put on a good show, but there just seemed to be an underlying unease about the whole thing. Maybe I’ll think differently watching it a 2nd time. WTF was up with the cat makeup? Did I miss the story behind it? Because it was kind of…distracting. I just don’t know…I haven’t written them off just yet, but I’m also not 100% sold on them.

7.) Hayes & Emma – Well color me surprised – Hayes actually gave a very nice, mature performance last night! Gone was some of the awkwardness we saw from him in week one – he seemed to be paying a lot more attention to timing and really STRETCHING the movements…his arms looked great, but he was doing something a bit effeminate with his hands. But I was actually kinda touched at how close he & his mom are – wondering if she was kinda young when she had him, because she looks FANTASTIC. I think he still needs to work on stage presence a bit more, but like Heidi, I’m starting to think he’s a contender.

8.) Paula & Louisย  – Paula really redeemed herself this week – granted, Louis went the smart route and gave her a VERY simple, non-syncopated rumba, but she handled it well, and actually had some respectable leg and hip action. I think that’s probably the strategy Louis should stick with this season – keeping it simple and making sure Paula can both remember it and execute it without issue.ย  A well-executed basic trumps a sloppy advanced move ANY day ๐Ÿ™‚ Thought it was adorable how happy she was with her 7 – and that she was worried that the audience was booing HER! I think she calmed down quite a bit from last week and we saw more of the real Paula this week – and she looked fantastic, too ๐Ÿ™‚

9.) Andy & Allison – This pair is another head-scratcher for me – and I’m not sure if it’s Allison’s fault, Andy’s fault, or both of their faults.ย  They just seem to be fading into the woodwork for me…which is NOT a good place to be. When I’m running through the couples in my head and I’m stumped on the last one – it’s usually Andy & Allison that I’m forgetting. I think Allison really let him down with the choreography – this was another kitchen sink jive, where she just threw too much of everything in and Andy could barely keep up.ย  Saw a lot of getting off-time and Andy just rushing from step to step in order to keep up with Allison – no bueno. And then the judges just RIPPED into it – I thought for sure he was going to get 6’s.ย  And then he gets a 21.ย  *shrug* They went a lot easier on Nick in their critique, and he ended up with a 21 as well.ย  Just a lot of incongruence here…and I’m not sure what to make of it.

10.) Gary & Anna – Yes, Gary is as crazy as a bag of cats, and is probably quite a handful for Anna to teach, and he does tend to wander aimlessly from step to step when he’s out on the floor. But I’ll be damned if that guy doesn’t look like he’s having the time of his life while he’s doing it ๐Ÿ™‚ Anna is probably wise in adopting the same strategy that Louis is for Paula – keep it SIMPLE, and make sure Gary can actually do it. And he does do it – albeit slowly & carefully – but there is just something so fun to watch about him.ย  And I thought he actually looked really nice with the slicked-down hair last night – maybe his hair looking less disheveled mitigates the cray-cray ๐Ÿ™‚

11.) Victor & Karina – Like Gary – I just love watching this guy cause he looks like he’s having the time of his life out there ๐Ÿ™‚ And Victor sure looked like he was loving being up there, even if he missed a lot of steps and spent more of the performance off-time than on-time. But I do think he did better than last week, and there was more content this time around.ย  Hoping that a slower dance will show us what he’s really capable of – cause I’m not ready for him to go home yet!

12.) Kim & Tony – A vast improvement from last week, no doubt – but I’m still wondering if Kim is really making a huge impact on viewers.ย  This routine just seemed to take so long to start, and then once it did, we only saw a few seconds of her really hitting the quickstep hard and the rest was just fluff. I’m also wondering if showing Kim constantly checking her phone during rehearsal is gonna paint the picture that she isn’t 100% into this whole experience – which is probably true.ย  I just don’t know – was really glad to see her embrace things more this week and really move, but I just don’t know that this show is for her.

So what did you guys think of last night’s show? Be sure to tune into us again tonight for night 2 of Hometown Glory week discussion! ๐Ÿ™‚