PureDWTS Season 29, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Well, I guess I’m glad they at least mixed things up a bit for Halloween this year – rather than the standard fare of vampires, monsters, ghosts, etc. and horrifically overused songs like the themes from Ghostbusters and The Addams Family, we at least got some new material to work with; the downside of it appeared to be taking some creative license and shoehorning some songs/styles to fit themes. Seems like they had a handful of random songs that they somehow paired (with mixed results) to a list of villains they had cleared, and then picked a dance style that the couple hadn’t done that (sort of) fit the song. I found it somewhat interesting that all but two couples ended up with tango or paso doble as their style; the two who didn’t happened to be the only two couples who had ever been in the bottom two. Not sure if they were banking on those two being in the bottom two again or what, but it was just a bit of a strange coincidence to me.

As of last week, I was unsure as to what to expect as we edged closer to the finale; this week, I’m still not 100% sure, but at the very least the judges weren’t afraid to drop the hammer on some of those who weren’t up-to-snuff. I’m still wondering if we end up with a six-couple finale or an 11-week season – we still have (9) couples left now, with an impending double-elim this coming week; there’s been no mention of an additional double elimination in week 9, so I tend to think that will just be a single. That would leave us with a six-couple finale; however, given the current fluid state of affairs in pandemic tv scheduling, I think it’s possible the network might give us an extra week (since the show would still wrap before Thanksgiving), in which case another elimination (or a double) in week 10 could leave us with a five or four-couple finale, which seems a bit more manageable. Who should be in the finale? In terms of consistency, I think Kaitlyn, Nev, Johnny, & Justine deserve to be there; however, I think Nelly, Skai, and/or AJ could all potentially play spoiler to one of the four I mentioned making the finale. If the judges are still on their bullish*t, Chrishell could probably be in the mix as well…god, I hope she isn’t, but the bar is on the floor in terms of anything in 2020 turning out like it should.

So after what felt like an eternity of the judges gushing disingenuously over just-ok performances, they did a complete 180 and decided to go all in critiquing Monica’s dance this week – and honestly, I don’t think it was undeserved. As I’ve repeated ad infinitum since probably week 2 (and as some uppity Monica fans seem to forget when they accuse me of “hating” on Monica), Monica’s problem has never been her dancing; it’s in her performance-quality, or lack thereof. She can technically nail the steps, but completely fail on selling it to the point where I just tune out because it’s so dreadfully boring. I also felt like the tone of her performance this week was just totally wrong (although I tend to blame Val/TPTB for that): Nurse Ratched is a cold authoritarian, not a seductress. For someone that had no prior knowledge of source material, one might assume from Monica’s performance that the character is a femme fatale of sorts; but sex appeal is not part of Nurse Ratched’s arsenal – psychological manipulation and general bullying are more her forte. Then there was the matter of her costume giving me more Britney Spears’ naughty flight attendant in the “Toxic” video vibes than nurse vibes, and we’ve got a performance that just kinda fizzled, unfortunately. I guess the judges finally decided this week that they couldn’t protect Monica forever, and needed to focus on saving the really strong dancers (like Johnny, who fell into the bottom 2 last week) for the finale – so Monica got the chop. And I think Monica was cool with it – her comfort zone is behind the mat, directing her squad on their performance; I don’t think she ever quite got used to being the one actually performing.

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