PureDWTS Season 28, Week 5: Power Rankings

Monday night summed up: shut up and make those sweet Disney dolla$, kids. I’ve mentioned it more than once in past seasons, but almost all of the joy from Disney night has gotten sucked out by the relentless capitalist drive to turn the whole show into one giant, two-hour long commercial for Disney – and this season seemed to turn the sales pitch to a fever pitch.  Promos for the new Disney streaming service, rehearsal packages consisting of the couples puttering about Disneyland, and a massive opening number shot on location at the park – it was all a bit much, especially when you take into account that the songs/dances/dance styles seemed like such an afterthought at times. Off the top of my head (and I’m sure you guys will correct me if I’m wrong or missed any), at least six of the nine songs/dance styles/themes on Monday night were recycles from previous seasons – which seemed to be a bit of a detriment to some of the couples, as comparisons to previous dances done to the same song/theme were bound to be made. Not sure what can realistically be done about it, though – heard some folks suggesting that the show “retire” certain Disney songs, but I just don’t see it happening, given that there are already seemingly few Disney songs that actually fit into the dance styles we see on the show without resorting to a bunch of jazz & contemporary routines. One thing done right on Monday night? Having the “extra dancers” do the obligatory promo dance to a newly-released song from a Disney movie nobody has seen yet – it’s always been a bit of an albatross for the couples that have had to do it in previous seasons (Jodie & Keo with Zootopia, Nikki & Artem with Coco, David & Lindsay with Cars 3), so it was nice that they released the couples from that burden and allowed Daniella & Co. to dazzle us 🙂

As expected on feel-good/make money Disney night, nobody was eliminated, and we didn’t even get a bottom 2 – which was halfway disappointing, but also halfway curious, as they could have used that bottom 2 to potentially rally votes for couples that maybe didn’t belong there. But they didn’t – so they either a) ran out of time, or b) have people in the bottom 2 that belong there, and they don’t dare upset the balance by revealing their hand. Given that the President took time out of his busy schedule of inciting conflict to tweet about voting for his former press secretary on DWTS this week, perhaps I’m a tad skeptical that Lindsay’s partner might be down there – but it could be possible, especially since we are now combining scores and votes from two nights to determine who goes next Monday, and more total points = smaller margins to overcome = more unexpected results.  At this point, he’s the weakest dancer left, and he should be gone; but will he get sent packing…? I really don’t know what to expect from week to week on this show anymore…we’re 5 weeks in and have only ditched three couples, so my gut thinks we’re probably getting a double elim next week; a double elim increases the likelihood of a certain someone getting booted, as he would have to get past not one, but TWO other couples in order to stick around.

So we’re (probably) at the halfway point in the competition, and we’re starting to see a narrative take shape. I think there’s definitely contestants that the judges have decided to champion for the win (or at least a place in the finale) and there’s ones that they’ve decided are expendable.  While my initial feeling was that it was Hannah that was going to get pushed for the win, I’m now thinking they may be focusing on Lauren instead – the latter has a Kelly Pickler-esque, folksy charm and down-to-earth nature that isn’t as apparent in the more reserved Hannah, and my gut’s telling me that the viewers are just eating Lauren up…while they’re a bit more hesitant to embrace Hannah, whose dancing has not popped in the way I had initially hoped, and who I think viewers may actually be a bit burnt out on (more on that later). While I don’t have any beef with Lauren – she seems like a girl I’d love to hang out with it – here’s one problem I see right now with a Lauren win: it just extends Bones’ control of this show. I could see him gloating for months on his show about how he “broke the system”, and now he’s the puppet master and can get all his friends on the show and guarantee them a win simply by plugging them on his radio show. A Lauren (and *cringe* Gleb) win would simply be a slightly more palatable version of Bobby winning – particularly if Gleb continues with some of the choreographic nonsense we’ve seen that doesn’t showcase Lauren well. If the show is trying to distance itself from the stink of season 27, then someone that can legitimately dance needs to win – and I’m hoping James can run interference, because right now, it seems like the judges are going with the “let’s pretend Lauren’s dancing is phenomenal, so when she wins, we keep our street cred!” narrative. Lauren doesn’t suck – but I don’t think she’s anywhere near James, Hannah, or even Ally in terms of her dance skills, and Gleb’s choreography is utterly insulting compared to the chock-full-o’-content dances that nearly all the other pros are churning out (even Val). So do the judges continue handling Lauren’s routines with kid gloves, or do they start backing another contestant FTW? Do they choose to acknowledge that James is probably the best dancer this season? Do they keep trying to make Hannah happen? Or do they start backing a dark horse like Ally, Kel, or even Kate? Hell, at this point, I think there’s even an outside (really outside) chance that Sailor could be the dark horse. Makes one wonder how things are going to pan out in the next 4-6 weeks… Read more..