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PureDWTS Season 28, Week 4: Power Rankings

Anyone else lightweight disappointed that we didn’t get to see Leah & Len come to complete fisticuffs on live national television? 😉 They were getting close there in the end, critiquing Karamo’s dance – and Leah (deservedly) called out Len’s suspicious nitpickery and also Carrie Ann’s sham lift policing, and I was generally kind of glad to have her on board last night – there were times when the judges needed reminding that some of these contestants are NOT dancers, they’re all working hard, and there’s no need to be mean or make things personal. Sure, some could argue that she was over-the-top and stole focus from time to time (which, to be fair, is kind of her brand), but given that it was usually when Len was talking, I’m not too upset – that man could use a bit of humbling these days, particularly when he’s going in on men of color for no good reason…

…and speaking of people of color, consider this me raising my eyebrows at bit at the bottom 2’s we’ve had so far. Mary, Ray, Lamar, Kel, Karamo…if Ally ends up there next week, we may need to have a “come to Jesus” (or whatever deity of your choice) meeting. I can understand Ray and Lamar – neither were very good dancers, and Ray had the added stench of a potentially murderous past. But Mary, Kel, and Karamo – they don’t suck, guys.  I partially blame some of the shenanigans from the judges, but is the viewing audience just far more besotted with snowy-white southern girls Hannah and Lauren, a certain conservative firebrand partnered with Lindsay, and family man/former teen idol James? Jury’s still out on Kate – she’s snowy white too, and from a popular TV show, but this show doesn’t tend to hold on long to women over the age of 40 (unless they’re paired with Derek). Just food for thought, y’all…

Anyway, scoring was all over the place last night, and it seemed like some of the viewers on my Twitter timeline were starting to buy into some of the poppycock that the judges were trying to pass off as fair and informed judging.  One thing I want to get very clear: just because the judges rip a dance to shreds does not necessarily mean it’s inherently bad, and just because the judges praise a dance to high heaven does not mean it’s a great dance that’s above reproach.  I would think by now, most viewers would realize that the judges’ job isn’t necessarily to honestly judge the dance they saw – we’ve seen plenty of instances over the years where they were clearly carrying out some sort of agenda, and their comments and scores didn’t align with what we actually saw on the floor. I recall ridiculous nitpicking of fantastic dancers (and eventual champs) like Jordan and Nicole, and over-the-top praise of generally-okay dancers like William Levy, who just so happened to be inking a deal with Univision (an ABC affiliate) around the time he was on the show. To quote Bing Crosby’s character in White Christmas, “Everybody’s working an angle.” When in doubt, remember this: the judges are getting paid to say what the producers want them to. Sometimes that aligns nicely with the truth; other times it’s nothing resembling it. Sometimes, they seem like they actually know what they’re talking about; other times, they seem about as credible as an Instagram model endorsing the Fyre Festival for a fat paycheck 😛

I would say I was sad to see Lamar go, but I’m generally happy that he went out on a high note – that Viennese waltz was his best dance yet, and he really did improve incrementally each week (even if the judges’ scores didn’t really reflect it). I think he was likely ready to go – it was hard for him to remember the choreography, and I got the impression that the judges’ critiques and scores never really stopped cutting him to the quick each week. Was glad Leah was there to throw him a bone with that “7” paddle, and to shame Len and Bruno for throwing up the “4” paddles for the third week in a row. But with Lamar now gone, there’s really only one obvious bit of “low-hanging fruit” still in the competition – and my gut says he’s still got at least a few weeks left in him, unless the judges decide to get really real and start whipping out the “4” paddles again. So that means we’re likely to start losing better dancers starting next week – how will the viewers react to a potential rehashing of last season’s three-ring circus of persistent mediocrity, starring Bones and Grocery Joe? I’d say next week is when we start getting a feel for whether this show even deserves another season… Read more..

October 9, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 3: Power Rankings

Well I obviously didn’t get to watch the show in real time (had a 3-hour delay in Montrose on my way back from sis’ wedding Monday night, and did a mad dash through the Dallas airport to make my connection back to Indy), and due to 500+ emails I had from 1 week away from the office, I didn’t even get to watch the show until Wednesday evening – and then I was dealing with a freshly cortisone’d wrist on Thursday evening, so typing up the power rankings wasn’t really in the cards until the weekend.  Forgive me? 🙂 I promise the week 4 rankings will be done in a far more timely fashion…

…so I’d say week was generally an improvement over week 2, and I’d credit that to the judges (Len in particular) taking a much softer tack than they have the first two weeks of the season.  At times, judging from what the three of them were saying, it was almost as if they had read my rankings last week…right down to some of the word usage (more on that later). Anywho, it seemed like just about everyone (even Lamar!) had fun this week, which made for a much easier-to-digest show – however, I feel like the show’s still stuck in a bit of an identity crisis. Soooo, do we have a troupe or nah? ‘Cause there seemed to be quite a few extra dancers this week (more than we ever had in the troupe) getting pretty regularly utilized, and a few of them even were former troupe members (I definitely saw Morgan and Vlad in the mix…did I miss anyone else?) Oh, and the fact that these extra dancers brought about more “mucking about” in most of the routines they were in makes me question just how strictly the whole “content, content, content” edict is being emphasized and enforced. Sure, it was Movie Night, which tends to give a bit more leeway for extraneous stuff…but are we focusing on content, or focusing on production value? Do we have a troupe or not have a troupe? Show’s still a bit wishy-washy on what it wants to be, methinks…

…and then there was the whole matter of Ray’s withdrawal from the competition.  Sure, we already saw it coming before Monday night, but still…*sigh* they (controversially) saved Ray over Mary last week, only for Ray to withdraw anyway this week. No, there’s nothing technically illegal/against the rules about it, but like Tamar dipping out of season 21 the day after Alexa (who reeeeeally wanted to be there) got eliminated, it was just a bit of a d*ck move. Seems to me like Ray’s foot problems were not a recent thing, and I highly doubt they only just started giving him a lot of trouble in week 3.  Sure, one could probably argue that Ray would have probably ended up in the bottom 2 again this week (assuming he had actually danced), and probably wouldn’t have been saved over anyone except Lamar (and maybe a certain other marginal male celeb), but still…as much as I love Shad and getting to see glimpses of his progress in his dancing pursuits post-DWTS, I would have much rather seen a third week of Mary over two mediocre weeks of Ray and a week 3 dance performed by the champ from 4 seasons ago. Read more..

October 5, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 2: Power Rankings

**NOTE: This is atrociously late, but with good reason – I’m currently in Telluride, CO, for my only sister’s wedding.  Tuesday was a whirlwind of preparation, Wednesday was a ton of traveling (IND -> DFW, DFW -> Montrose, then a 90 min car ride from Montrose to the rental house in Telluride), and today was preparation of floral arrangements, the altar, makeup dry-runs, grocery shopping, etc. Did I also mention that I’m experiencing some lightweight altitude sickness and haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep since Sunday? 😛 But it has been so very, very worth it to have this time with my family…and just marvel at how much bigger the glory of nature is than all of our minute, silly problems we focus on.  Seriously – staring at mountains is a religious experience.  Check out my IG story for more 😉

Oof. So the big reveal about the eliminations was (gasp!) a judges’ save, which many of us had already kind of predicted – but what I don’t think we could have seen coming was just how spectacularly WRONG the judges managed to get it on the first outing.  Sure, they were likely confronted with a real bottom two that none of us really saw coming (Mary and Ray), but judging from my gut reaction (and that of most of my Twitter timeline), the decision was a clear one: Mary should have been saved based on scores alone, and Ray should have been sent packing. That was the whole point of the judges’ save, right? To help them back up their own scoring and lessen the effect of any errant or contradictory audience voting? And yet when the chips were down, they went with the guy they cumulatively scored two points LOWER the first two weeks of the competition, muttering some phony baloney explanation about going with their head over their heart, blah blah blah. If this new power was meant to prevent another Bobby Bones from winning this season, the judges sure didn’t manage to give us any peace of mind with the way they chose to wield it this week. And notice that I said “judges” – because I’m fairly certain all three were in on the decision, and just offered up their votes in such a fashion that it gave the impression of being a nail biter: they knew all along that they wanted to keep Ray & Cheryl (because OG pro loyalty? Who knows), but they decided that Carrie Ann would vote to keep Mary & Brandon, and Bruno would vote to keep Ray & Cheryl, thus creating a tiebreaker which allowed Len the windbag to spew some grandiose nonsense before ultimately casting the deciding vote to keep Ray and Cheryl. Here I thought the viewers had poor judgement – perhaps I should be more worried about the judges and their newfound, rife-with-potential-for-abuse power this season.

Which brings me to my next concern: I think this whole “focus on content, score tough, be like Strictly!” strategy is resulting in a bit of an identity crisis for this show…because instead of the generally feel-good entertainment I’ve grown accustomed to, this show is now oddly…joyless. Len’s critiques alone just suck the air out of the room – I can watch a dance that is objectively pretty entertaining (like James’, regardless of what you thought of the content) and then feel completely deflated after listening to Len rip into it. If I’m feeling deflated as a viewer, I can only imagine how these celebs are feeling up there – or even the pros.  Len in particular feels oddly confrontational in all his critiques now – calling Emma “aggressive”? Making fun of Karamo’s shoes? Going in hard on Ally, who seemed like she was near tears the whole time? While we know Len has been known to get seriously cranky from time-to-time in previous seasons, he was never THIS mean-spirited THIS frequently. This doesn’t feel constructive – this feels like cruelty for cruelty’s sake. And that’s on top of the fact that that the choreo this season seems duller than ever before; I think one fraction of the pros are too scared to push boundaries and thus play it too safe (i.e. Jenna, Sasha), another fraction aren’t necessarily great choreographers regardless and are just doing whatever they want (i.e. Gleb, Val), another chunk of them don’t have much to work with and are just trying to keep it simple and doable for their partners (i.e. Lindsay, Peta, Brandon, Cheryl), and the last chunk are trying to strike a balance between playing by the rules and creating something entertaining (i.e. Emma, Pasha, Alan, Witney). Dare I say the costumes even seem a bit basic? The only two that stand out in my mind are Lamar’s head-to-toe invocation of the Jolly Green Giant, and Witney’s simple, see-thru lingerie-inspired samba dress (which was my fave of the night – I’d wear that in Vegas!) Overall, the vibe this season is just kinda bland and unhappy…if this is what Strictly is like on a regular basis, then I’m thankful that I don’t watch it.

Poor Mary – and really, poor Brandon. This is his second season as a pro, and the second season he’s had an unfairly early exit. Feels awfully similar to Keo’s initial seasons on the show, when it seemed like he just could NOT catch a break – only with Brandon, it feels like he’s already found his footing as a pro (whereas Keo had to learn how to teach, let alone how to teach a non-dancer) and is still getting screwed over…which makes it worse. Mary had such a great attitude about the show as well, and was a joy to watch…so I’m gonna miss these two. Bye bye, Mr. Steal Your Grandma…hope you have better luck next season (if there is one…)… Read more..

September 26, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 1: Power Rankings

So we wrapped up the premiere of the “new, improved!” DWTS a little over 24 hours ago, and I’ve got some mixed feelings. My main concern: in the wake of the disastrous year the show had in 2018, they’re currently trying to reinvent/rebrand the show to give ratings a boost and maintain a hope and a prayer of this show surviving into 2020.  The only problem? I feel like the rebranding involves just turning DWTS into Strictly Come Dancing 2.0.

Yes, they’re essentially the same show, in terms of the concept, aesthetic, etc. But Heidi and I have long been reminding people that comparing DWTS and SCD is a bit like apples and oranges, because the fact that the two shows air in completely different markets makes each take on slightly different flavors. Americans and Brits are two different cultures that have different tastes when it comes to television – I have yet to meet an American that understands the appeal of British soap operas (I can’t tell you how many times I fell asleep trying to watch the same god-forsaken episode of EastEnders in college because a girl in my dorm was from London and swore up and down that it was the greatest TV show ever), while I’ve heard more than one Brit puzzle about why American television is so violence-driven (same girl in my dorm was CONVINCED we all carried guns on our person because she had watched 24 before coming to college). And there’s obvious differences between our humor, with British humor being quite a bit drier and high brow than more crass, slapstick American humor. Given all those differences – would it be a stretch to assume that  Americans expect different things out of DWTS than Brits do out of SCD?

With respect to DWTS and what I’ve observed in my 10 years of blogging, I tend to think Americans care less about how many syllabus steps a routine has and care more about being entertained and wowed by a memorable dance. I know SCD is more driven by syllabus content and correct execution of the steps, and low-scoring of non-compliant routine is more commonplace than it is here in the US, where it’s unusual to see any paddle lower than a “6” taken out after week 1. So for things to shift rather suddenly from the DWTS focus on entertaining and memorable dance numbers to a more content-driven approach from the judges, I have to wonder: is this sh*t gonna fly…? Some of the best choreographers we’ve seen on DWTS are the ones that really thrive when they’re unfettered by syllabus  requirements – think Derek, Mark, and Julianne, who all ended up Emmy nominated at some point as a result. We’ve still got a few pros in the current stable that I think choreograph best in a more out-of-the-box setting – namely Jenna, and possibly Brandon. Then again, with the prospect of an Emmy nom a distant memory since the departure of Derek and the onslaught of more competition in the Outstanding Choreograhy category…maybe it’s time to start focusing more on content? I honestly don’t know – but I’m not sure the answer to all of DWTS’ problems is just tweaking everything to match SCD. Time will tell, especially after we hear about this new elimination twist next week…

One good thing to come out of the “let’s do it like SCD!” gambit? The delayed reveal of the partnerships left us more  likely to get unexpectedly WOWED by some of the contestants – and I daresay with all the chatter about Hannah, Karamo, Kel, and Sailor, I did NOT see James coming at all. I was genuinely and delightedly surprised, which was nice. I also didn’t head into this season with a favorite – there were a few contestants/partnerships I found intriguing, but nobody that I knew from the jump I’d be voting for…so I felt like I was seeing everything with fresh eyes. But shall we get on with the rankings?  🙂 Read more..

September 17, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 28: Christie Brinkley Out Due to Broken Arm; Daughter Sailor Stepping in

It’s been a busy morning, so I don’t have all the deets, but Christie apparently (recently?) broke her arm during rehearsal and can’t dance, so her 21-year-old daughter Sailor is taking her place this season, per GMA:

“Dancing With the Stars” contestant Christie Brinkley broke her arm in rehearsals and will not be able to hit the dance floor this season.

In a statement, BBC Studios and ABC said, “Brinkley suffered injuries which required surgery to her wrist and arm,” keeping her from participating in the competition.

But Brinkley’s fans will still have someone to root for: her daughter.

Brinkley’s 21-year-old daughter, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, a Sports Illustrated model, has stepped in to take her mother’s place for the remainder of the season.

“Showbiz is all about getting a break, and Sailor and I both got one on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ this season,” Brinkley said in a statement, joking about her injury. “Sailor joined the cast when I got mine … ouch somebody stop me, it hurts to laugh!”

Brinkley-Cook has already hit the ground running with only hours to learn her mother’s entire dance routine.

She even fit perfectly into her mom’s performance outfit for the season premiere. Brinkley’s outfit did not need to be altered at all.

And this is me rolling my eyes…cause the few previous times that someone got injured prior to the premiere and they found a replacement, we got the likes of Holly Madison, Carson Kressley, and Master P (Melissa Rycroft was a notably skilled outlier). OF COURSE they just happened to have a young, able-bodied, semi-famous partner waiting in the wings for the golden boy when his older partner of questionable dance skill broke her arm in the 11th hour…

ETA: Vogue here. Here is a video from GMA on this news. The cast talks on it at camera blocking and more..

UPDATE: Per a source, the broken arm happened on Thursday at rehearsal, and Sailor was already rehearsing in Christie’s stead by Friday…and she apparently “has some previous dance training”. *facepalm*

September 16, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

Dancing with the Stars Season 17 Contestant Valerie Harper Passes Away at 80

The great thing about having DWTS around for so many seasons is that we grow attached to so many celebs that have done the show.  The sad thing about DWTS being around so long is that those celebs continue to age…and inevitably, we lose some 🙁 Such is the case with season 17 contestant Valerie Harper, who passed away today at the age of 80 after a courageous battle with cancer, per Yahoo:

Valerie Harper — best known as Rhoda Morgenstern, the feisty, scarf-wearing best friend of Mary Richards in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda — has died, eight days after her 80th birthday.

Harper’s daughter, Cristina Cacciotti, confirmed the news on Twitter. The actress passed away at 10:06 a.m. Friday “after years of fighting cancer,” but the family did not immediately disclose her cause of death.

Asked in a 2007 interview what she’d want on her tombstone, Harper answered, “‘She was in the game.’ I love to inspire people. I’d like to be remembered in a way that they would take action. I love to get people moving [to better themselves]. I’d like to be remembered for energy. Pulling people on the dance floor!”

And pull us onto the dance floor,  she did – I loved how her philosophy on her season of DWTS was all about “living in the moment” despite her terminal diagnosis, and how she continued to defy the odds with her resilience and kept on living life to the fullest. She really did “carry on”…

Valerie is the second DWTS contestant to leave us, after season 11’s Florence Henderson passed in late 2016. Here’s hoping Valerie gets a commemorative star on the DWTS floor just like Flo’s 🙂 Sending love and prayers to Valerie’s friends, family, and fans during this difficult time.

August 30, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 28: Artem Talks About His Dismissal from DWTS on the Bellas Podcast

Up until now, we’ve really only gotten to hear Bobby and E! weigh in on Sharna’s dismissal from the show, and have only a few existential Instagram posts from Nikki Bella (and maybe a few subtweets) to tell the story of Artem’s dismissal.  So as we had previously heard, Artem was indeed a guest on girlfriend Nikki and her twin sister Brie Bella’s podcast this week, and a good portion of the episode was dedicated to Artem telling his side of the story – you can listen to the Bellas podcast on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, etc., but I’ve linked to this specific episode on Apple.  No transcript today, kids – the segment is long: it starts at the 4:29 mark and ends at the 19:25 mark. It’s a good listen, though…

There’s two key things that got mentioned that I want to talk about. First, Nikki pointed out that all of the pros have basically been unemployed (with a few side projects, of course) since March, when the tour wrapped – and as we know from our research about how the pros’ contracts work, the pros only get paid if they actually get cast on a season. So while the pros on DWTS do get paid relatively well, I could see how being suddenly let go (after not working for nearly 6 months!) could create some definite stress, and I feel for Artem, Sharna, and the troupe in that respect – my office is currently operating amidst whispers of layoffs due to money mismanagement higher up in the company, and we’re all trying to sock as much money away as possible, lest we fall victim. Imagine getting laid off and NOT seeing it coming – or worse, turning down other work on the assumption that you are returning to the show, and then getting cut 😯  I’m sure there’s a clause in their contracts that spells out that they aren’t guaranteed a position from season to season, but if I were Artem or Sharna (Sharna in particular, since she just recently renegotiated her contract), I would at the very least have a lawyer take a glance at their contract to see if they might have grounds to sue for estoppel – particularly if they turned down other work on the assumption that they’d be returning to the show. Then again, if they hope to keep the door open to return in a future season, they best just quietly accept their fate.  That’s the worst thing about all of this: no matter how you dice it, DWTS holds all the cards. They have first dibs on the pros, regardless of whether they’re going to use them or not, and they can string them along for as long as they like and then have no obligation to pay them if they opt not to use them – and oftentimes, they still have the legal right to prevent those same pros from accepting other work, if they choose to.  And if the pros complain? Buh-bye, kiddo – no more DWTS for you ever again.

Second key point: Artem wistfully mentions that dance is all he’s done for the past ~20 years, and now he’s having serious doubts about his skills…and wondering if he needs to reinvent himself and pursue a different career. This clip just breaks my heart:

And Artem, I feel you on the reinvention part – I’m currently in the midst of a reinvention of sorts myself, and I find myself questioning my worth almost daily. Luckily, it seems like both Artem and I have strong support systems in place to remind us that just because others don’t always see our worth, doesn’t mean we aren’t extremely valuable 🙂

Other quick note: the Bellas actually asked Sharna to appear on the podcast as well to talk about her dismissal, but she is currently unavailable at Burning Man 😎 Can’t say I blame her – nothing like a week in the desert with no phone service, no money, no societal expectations, and a lot of drugs to clear your head and give you perspective 😉

Discuss.

August 28, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 28: E! Claims Sharna Was Let Go Due to “Budget”

So the speculation on Sharna & Artem’s dismissal continues…and per E!, they think Sharna’s in particular may have been due to cost:

E! News has learned Burgess’ exit, which could just be for the season, was due to the budget of the aging series. DWTS previously took a cycle off to recalibrate after sinking ratings and is returning with some changes, including ditching the dance troupe and many extras previously associated with the reality series.

Now while that may not seem like anything worth reporting, I will say this: a source informed me yesterday that Sharna was, indeed, the highest paid of the female pros – she renegotiated her contract prior to season 27 (it may have even been prior to season 26), and it was for “quite a bit more than the other girls were making”. This would have been prior to the show taking a nosedive last year, and the folks in charge that agreed to it were the old crew (who would wind up getting canned and replaced by the new set of dunces prior to season 28). When the new crew of bigwigs (Llinares & Co.) took over, I’m sure they were told to find ways to cut costs – and I daresay it’s cheaper to let go of some pros that are costing too much and bring on newbies that you can afford to pay at a much lower rate (such as Daniella – this could also explain why the troupe was cut). So this theory about Sharna’s dismissal actually makes some sense to me…as for Artem, though, source said his contract wasn’t even old enough to come up for renewal yet, so it’s a bit murkier just why he was let go.

Now before any of you go off all half-cocked with questions like “UGH WHY WAS SHARNA MAKING SO MUCH MORE MONEY THAN THE OTHER GIRLS?! SHE DIDN’T DESERVE IT!!!”, something to keep in mind: oftentimes, contract pay rates have less to do with merit (although it helps) and more to do with how good your agent is at negotiating – plus, studies show that women are less likely to get raises than men, and half the battle is simply having the cojones to ask for the money in the first place and insist upon being compensated fairly. So if Sharna was commanding a nice lil salary from DWTS, I say “Good for her! #LadiesGetPaid”. Her contract pay may also have hinged upon her agreeing to stick around DWTS for awhile – like franchise players in the NFL, you can usually command a higher salary if you agree to a degree of exclusivity (i.e. DWTS has first dibs on Sharna each season, and reserve the right to forbid her from accepting any other offers). As for the inevitable questions like “But how was Sharna getting paid better than OG’s like Cheryl and Peta?!”, I recommend you reread our posts on how the pros’ contracts work, and keep in mind that once the pros are past their initial contract, they can negotiate on a season-to-season basis – which is where Cheryl and Peta are at this point, and a la carte one-season contracts never pay as well as multi-season ones (but the trade-off is flexibility – the pros are only contractually obligated to DWTS for a season at a time, and can do whatever they want after it’s over). I’m sure Jenna’s initial contract still has quite a bit of time left on it before she can renegotiate, and I’d venture a guess that Witney, Lindsay, and Emma have a little bit of time left on theirs as well – so none of them would be renegotiating just yet.

Thoughts on this theory for why Sharna was sent packing?

August 24, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 28: New EP Andrew Llinares Talks Live Voting & Disney Night at the D23 Expo

So I’m not sure how exactly this is supposed to help prevent a repeat of Bones, but apparently all the voting is going to be live this year, per EP Andrew Llinares at the D23 Expo earlier today:

“I think, first of all, we’ve been off-air now for a year, so we want to make this season really, really special,” he hinted during the panel, which was moderated by Ginger Zee and featured host Tom Bergeron and former Mirrorball champions Rashad Jennings and Jordan Fisher. “Bigger, more exciting, and more fun than it’s ever been, which is hard.”

“One thing we are going to do, we’re going to introduce live voting throughout the season, which is something we haven’t done before,” he continued. “You’ll see a show, so you might see the Disney show, and then you’ll see the result at the end of that show, based on what happened that night. So, we get the immediacy of the results.”

Within seconds of his reveal, one fan in the crowd yelled out “West Coast!,” which prompted Bergeron to ask Llinares how the live voting element will affect viewers in the Pacific time zone.

“The West Coast can still vote, but it will be voting when the show goes on for the first time,” Llinares clarified. “What we love about it is, if someone comes and does a great dance that night, but say they didn’t have a great dance the week before, they can come back, they can redeem themselves… We’re voting based on these dances that actual night.”

Gee…there’s no possible way this could go wrong! Strong sarcasm there – as we’ve seen every other time they’ve attempted a live vote, it seems like 1 in 3 people can’t seem to get it to work properly for them, voting crashes about 30% of the time, and as a heckler from the crowd pointed out, it kind of screws over anyone that doesn’t live in the eastern time zone. Sure, they can still vote – but they’re kinda voting blind, since the show won’t air for at least another hour or two for them. I could see this disadvantaging some contestants while helping others – someone like Nashville-based Lauren Alaina, whose fanbase fits pretty nicely within the eastern time zone, will probably do well; but someone like Lamar Odom, who played for a sports team in California, will likely miss out on some votes from the Pacific time zone.

Llinares also revealed when we can expect Disney night:

Earlier in the panel, while discussing the unique tie-in DWTS has with Disney, Llinares also revealed the date of this season’s Disney night. The magic-themed episode will officially take place Monday, Oct. 14, and he said fans should expect plenty of “surprises.”

What’s the surprise, Llinares? Disney songs that people have actually heard of? Songs that actually fit the dances they’re meant to go with?

And then he gloated about knowing the pairings:

“Well, we wanted to do something a little different this year… We want to keep it fresh for you guys,” he explained. “No one knows their partner but they’ll find out within the next few days because they start training soon.”

“I know [the pairings],” he added, “but we’ll reveal it on premiere night. Everyone keeps coming up to me trying to trick me.”

Anyone else getting an awfully schmucky vibe from this guy? Discuss.

August 23, 2019 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 28: Bobby Bones Weighs in on Sharna & Artem’s Dismissal and Sean Spicer, Talks to Lauren Alaina About Her Partner

So…I was at odds with this one, because while I think none of us really want to hear any more of Bobby’s thoughts on DWTS, a lot of people are still wrestling with the question of why Artem & Sharna were let go.  But for once (and I can’t believe I’m saying this), Bobby made some good points on his podcast yesterday about their dismissal, as well as Sean Spicer’s participation.  Bobby’s commentary on the whole situation starts at the 88:43 mark and ends at the 92:52 mark, if you want to listen for yourself; I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing below (pain in the ass, but I know some of you won’t bother listening and will just start going off in the comments regardless – so at least do me the favor of reading this):

Bobby: Let me say this.  You know they announced the Dancing with the Stars cast yesterday, and then it came out that Sharna, my partner from last season, is not returning to Dancing with the Stars. She is not the only one – they didn’t bring back Artem on the guys’ side, so it wasn’t just a Sharna thing. But I can tell you that I reached out to her before they announced and was like “Hey what’s up? Who’s your partner?” and she was like “I don’t know yet!”

Amy: Oh.

Bobby: And this was like two or three days BEFORE the announce.  And I was like “oh, cool” because she had just been on a trip and she came back and I was like “Oh cool, let me know!” When you see who you get, y’know. So a few days before, she didn’t know she wasn’t gonna be on the show. I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn here – I hope not! Uh, so, then she found and texted me and was like “Oh, I didn’t know…this is crazy! I had no idea.”

Amy: Whaaaat?! Wow, I mean, because she’s been on, like-

Bobby: She’s been on for 11 seasons, 12 seasons, yeah. So she wrote [he goes on to read a passage from Sharna’s farewell IG post]. A lot of these sites have now coupled me with the story, going “well this is why, controversial winner!”

Lunchbox: *chuckles* I saw that, yeah.

Bobby: Which it’s not – cause why would Artem not come back, either?

Lunchbox: Right, had nothing to do with you.

Bobby: I would have loved if it had everything to do with me, don’t think that I wouldn’t think that was great – not because of her, but that we just broke the system so much that they’re having to- that’s not the case. Ummm…so…Sharna’s awesome, I talked to her before, I talked to her right after, she’s like “You’re not gonna believe it.  I can’t believe it!” So she’s not back.  I don’t really know WHY…I’m not sure. I have great relationships with everybody – all that crew on DWTS, obviously with Sharna, so I don’t know what the deal is with her. So…I did see on Instagram that she wrote that…

Amy: That’s a bummer.  It’d be different if she was a part of the decision, like “Y’know what, I’m just not gonna do it this year”, but she was just as shocked…

Bobby: I talked to Lauren Alaina last night for a long time, cause she’s doing it. We put a dancing picture on my Instastory, of us dancing…she hasn’t started practicing yet. She’s still in that phase of “this is gonna be so fun!”

Amy: *chuckles* Wait till it rules your life!

Bobby: But I was like “Hey, you’re gonna have some real issues of inadequacy with this. Cause you’re gonna go and you’re just not gonna be able to get it and you’re gonna go ‘oh well I’m the worst’ and it’s gonna bubble into your life and you’ll go ‘well I’m just not good at anything’ and when that happens – CALL ME. Whatever time it is – cause I struggled from that. 2 or 3 days of doing 8, 9 hours a day, like I couldn’t get it, and I was like ‘I’m just sad’, cause I’m not smart enough to get what I see people doing all around me. If that happens, CALL ME. Cause wherever you are, I was there, PLUS.”  Cause I had never danced! She called the postshow/preshow yesterday, she called me right after she got on Good Morning America, this is a call from Lauren Alaina yesterday…

[goes to recorded call between Lauren and Bobby]

Bobby: Have you started practicing dancing?

Lauren: NO!

Bobby: No practice yet???

Lauren: No! NONE!

Bobby: And have you announced your partner?

Lauren: I haven’t even met my partner! I don’t know who it is!

Bobby: Wait, they were up there, though, today…

Lauren: The people were there, but they didn’t tell us who our partners were.

Bobby: You follow someone, one of the pros on your Instagram already, that’s not your partner???

Lauren: No I followed him because I sang for him last year.

Bobby: I thought that too, but all the conspiracy websites are saying that Alan is your partner.

Lauren: But, I would be HAPPY if he was, I love him.

[call ends]

Bobby: I talked to her last night, she was like “They said I’m gonna have a good one, but I don’t know who it is!” She still doesn’t know. So, I’m excited for the season, I plan on going for the premiere, I saw that there was some drama because they put Sean Spicer on there, people upset about that. Y’know, I probably would have stayed away from putting anyone political on there, too…there’s a reason why you don’t wanna come on the show and not talk about politics. There’s certain places people go for politics, there’s certain places people don’t – THIS definitely isn’t! He won’t last long, anyway – physically, I don’t think he can handle it. So, yeah…that’s the deal. Pretty good cast, pretty excited about that, my thing on Sharna was I didn’t know, she didn’t know, and then I saw her post yesterday after she had told me that she was kinda upset about not being able to be able to go back.  She may go back another time, I don’t know…but there you go.  Everybody’s asking me to say something about it, so I said it – I didn’t know, she didn’t know. Alright, cool…

So, some immediate takeaways: the celebs have NOT met their pro partners yet (and vice-versa), so it’s possible they don’t know who they’re with yet. Also clear that Sharna was as caught off-guard about the whole thing as Artem was, and was gobsmacked to find out she wasn’t coming back this season. Bobby also appears to still be a bit of a vainglorious little shit, who likes to think his win “broke the system”. *Sigh* However – he does echo what we’ve all been saying about Spicer’s casting, so he gets minor brownie points from me…you know this show is in deep sh*t when even the most controversial winner ever says “Oof, shouldn’t have cast Spicer, guys.”

Someone also sent me the clip below (can’t figure out if this is from the same episode or a different one), where Bobby makes some good points about how cutting Artem loose was a bad decision…

I’m also being told that Artem is set to appear on the Bella’s podcast this coming Wednesday, so we’ll likely get more of his side of the story as well…stay tuned.

Many of you have asked me for my own thoughts on why Sharna & Artem were let go…and to be honest, I’ve remained quiet, simply because I’m just as stumped as you guys. I guess I can maybe kinda see why Sharna might have been the sacrificial lamb – she could have been removed so as to not remind viewers of the dumpster fire of last season, or maybe the fact that she’s been an outspoken critic of the show in the past could have benched her; compared to media darlings like Witney, Lindsay, Emma, & Jenna, she hasn’t been afraid to speak her mind about the show in the past (note that the last time we had an outspoken female pro who criticized the show in the press, it was Lacey – and her appearances on the show dwindled pretty quickly after that). Is Sharna wrong for speaking her mind? Not always – but from a PR point of view, she may be more of a risk than the new management is willing to take. Plus she no longer has her “It’s Sharna’s turn to win!” plot armor to protect her spot on the show anymore. My only other thought about why Sharna and Artem may have been let go is due to other projects they had going on – perhaps Artem’s participation in Total Bellas or Sharna’s gig as a judge on DWTSAu gave the (incorrect) impression that their hearts weren’t 100% in the DWTS game anymore…? I’m really just spitballing, guys – it makes no sense to me, it makes no sense to you, hell – it makes no sense to Sharna and Artem.

Thoughts?

I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog