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PureDWTS Season 25, The Finale Power Rankings – Who Will Win?

And just like that, there’s only one show left this season – and then we have to wait a whole 9 months for a regular season of DWTS to kick back up again.  Lord knows what this spinoff, mini-season we’re getting in the spring is going to be like.

In what has become a regular struggle for me these days, I found myself not really wowed by the freestyles as a whole – it’s been several seasons since I last felt truly “blown away” by a freestyle, and the last time they really felt “special” or potentially game-changing was probably way back in season 11, prior to the days when you could include all manner of props/extra dancers/set pieces/etc in your regular weekly dances. I think at this point, a lot of the couples simply struggle to find a theme/tone for their freestyle that sets them apart from the other freestyles on a particular season – and I think each of the four couples last night achieved that distinction, to some degree, even if they maybe didn’t do it perfectly.  The trend seemed to be upbeat vs. edgy – I think upbeat maybe had a slight leg up on edgy, as viewers seem to always enjoy a happy freestyle, while they only sometimes like an edgy or dark one.

As predicted, Drew came out in 4th place – probably quite a bit better than most of us predicted initially, and an admirable effort by both he & Emma this season.  As has been the case pretty much all season long, they couldn’t really compete with the other three remaining couples on skill level, so they went with their usual brand of quirk – thought the pause in the middle of their freestyle was totally in-character, and I’ll credit Emma with throwing in something that has truly never been done before in a freestyle 😛 Paso was only marginally better than their first one (which I still maintain was not as bad as it was scored) – shaping got a bit better, but there were still bungled steps, and I didn’t see all this “vast improvement” the judges were gushing about.  It was about that time that I got the feeling that Drew was for sure getting the goodbye kiss last night, so I didn’t fret too much over the scores with which he was being gifted.

3rd place: Frankie & Witney

My god, it’s sure been nice seeing a sparkle back in Witney’s eye that we haven’t really seen since Alfonso’s season.  She seems like she’s genuinely having a great time with Frankie, and it’s even inspiring her choreographically. That foxtrot was some Bindi & Derek-esque magic – loved the theme, loved Frankie’s solo, loved the costumes, and loved how well they both sold it. Frankie really has come a long way since the premiere, and has become a confident, fully-realized version of his earlier-in-the-season self – and I adore how much he has enjoyed this experience, so I’m lightweight hoping he ends up being the tour celeb…guess we’ll find out tonight. As for their freestyle – as with all of the others, I appreciated what they were trying to do, even if it maybe missed the mark a bit.  For those that didn’t get the backstory from me on Twitter – Frankie & Witney actually lost a full day of rehearsal time for their freestyle, because they were waffling back & forth over the music (“Run Boy Run” vs. “Yeah 3X” by Chris Brown).  Production was really pressuring them to go with the latter, and Frankie thought that it might resonate better with fans – but Witney felt strongly that “Run Boy Run” inspired her more, so Frankie opted to defer to her (as we saw in the rehearsal package). I think the risk paid off, to a degree – it was definitely different than the other freestyles we saw, and there was some pretty cool choreo in there that I applaud Witney for. Part of me thinks it might have read better if it were treated as a paso doble/tango fusion, as opposed to a freestyle, but generally, I think it was enjoyable.  It didn’t really get me out of my seat and clapping like Jordan’s did, but I appreciated it.  I think that these two are probably resigned to taking 3rd, though, especially since the two powerhouse couples managed to get perfect scores for the evening, while Frankie came up 4 points short. But I’m happy that they got to make it to the finals, and have had a fun journey together 🙂

2nd place: Lindsey & Mark

Unpopular opinion: I’m not sure what’s happened to Mark these past two weeks, but the choreography we’ve seen is not up-to-snuff with the renaissance he gave us for the bulk of this season – I heard someone on Twitter mention “being on tour”? Not sure if they meant Lindsey’s tour (or Alexander Jean’s?), but both of Lindsey’s dances last night struck me as odd and out of character for different reasons.  I actually thought their quickstep was uncharacteristically stiff – not actually all that bouncy, compared to their first quickstep, and the bit at the beginning with Lindsey talking was just odd. The dance wasn’t bad, on the whole, and Lindsey didn’t mess up, but it just felt…low-energy. And like neither one of them really wanted to be doing that dance. Especially following Jordan’s Charleston. As for the freestyle – here’s the thing: if you’re gonna go edgy, go full-on edgy, like Frankie & Witney did. The weirdest part about it for me was that it seemed to dance with being edgy, while at the same time being kind of…goofy? I know they were going for the whole “mad conductor” theme, but I think some of the steps bordered on silly/cheesy – Mark playing Lindsey’s leg like a violin? Lifting Lindsey up to the heavens for what seemed like forever, and her grinning the whole time? I may have audibly groaned and said “Mark, you’re better than this.” There were good parts – good reuse of their jive choreo, and incorporating her violin playing worked for the most part (there were a few spots where it looked a bit strained). I appreciate the fact that they were trying to go for a unique theme that still fit Lindsey – but I’m not sure all the pieces came together perfectly. I think Mark may have spoiled us in the front half of the season, what with the robot Argentine tango, the gorgeous Disney foxtrot, that jive…so many genius dances, and this one just felt…decent, but not fully-realized. And then there were a few more troubling things said during their packages – and I know I’m gonna catch flak for this, but it needs to be said. Once again, Lindsey brought up the fact that she’s the only female left that’s “not a professional dancer” – whether she meant it to shade Jordan, or just meant she’s the only female left in the competition that’s not one of the pros, or whether she even said it of her own volition, I don’t care – it just came across as desperate & unnecessary…like it did the few times it got said last week. And the whole “Mark’s been on this show 19 seasons and only won twice!” read to me as equating seniority with entitlement, on a show that already heavily favors male pros over female ones from the jump – so to basically hear “Mark needs a 3rd MBT because he’s been here a long time!” while some of the female pros (like Lindsay) have been busting their ass and doing amazing work and are always coming up just short of the MBT, doesn’t exactly make me sympathetic towards his plight. And that was really the tipping point for me with regards to who I voted for last night – don’t know if Lindsey herself said it, was baited into saying it, or said it without thinking, but it shed a light on one of my biggest issues with this show: despite what some of you think, the male and female pros are not afforded the same opportunities on this show.

Winners: Jordan & Lindsay

Unfounded claims of Jordan “being cocky” or “needing humble pie” notwithstanding, he won the night for me with both of his routines, and I think he’s been consistently fantastic all season – and Lindsay’s been consistently giving him great choreography (WHICH SHE HAS BEEN DOING HERSELF FOR THE PAST THREE SEASONS…the fact that I have to repeat this and still get people sticking their noses in the air and saying “Nuh-uh, she used Alan for their contemporary!” is just another way this show and its fandom sh*ts on female pros). That Charleston was proof that Lindsay is the go-to pro for fantastic Charleston choreography – it was chock full of content, was high-energy, and made good use of the floor.  And as always – Jordan was flawless.  Their freestyle was my favorite of the night – it fit Jordan’s journey well, and he and Lindsay both seemed to be having the time of their life out there. The flips and falls and catches actually reminded me a lot of the minstrel number from White Christmas – one of my favorites; and there were nice little homages to his jive, his salsa, his Charleston, and a few other dances. And when it comes to fully completing each movement and getting as much out of it as you can – Jordan can’t be beat. And I’m hoping that’s the case with the MBT, because my mind keeps going back to last season’s finale, with Emma tearfully confessing in a finale rehearsal package “I may never get this chance again!” with regards to having a shot at the MBT.  And it’s a sad truth on this show: any given male pro will likely get at least 3-4 partners in his tenure as a pro that stand a decent shot of making the finals, right off the bat (unless you’re Keo, which is another problematic discussion); the average female pro is lucky to get 1-2 in her tenure that she could potentially make it to the finals with. Why? Because you’re more likely to find female celebs with previous dance experience to do the show than male ones, and the bulk of the predominantly-female audience of DWTS tends to fiercely support their favorite male pros (think about who the “big fanbases” have been the past 7 or so years – Derek, Mark, Maks, Val) while being passively-supportive to indifferent to most of the current female pros (until last season, the predominant opinion of Emma seemed to be “Awww, yeah, Emma’s great…with the old, bad dancers”.) And when the agenda of the season requires giving a certain pro (usually male) a boost, it’s often a female pro and her partner paying the price: in season 12, it was Ralph & Karina getting screwed to ensure Chelsea & Mark advanced; in season 18, it was Charlie & Sharna getting screwed to ensure that Meryl & Maks won without issue; in season 22, it was Wanya & Lindsay getting bumped out of the finale to make room for Ginger & Val.  So with all that in mind – sorry, but I don’t feel as gung-ho about Mark getting a 3rd MBT as I do about Lindsay getting her first; and I’m not saying she only deserves it because she hasn’t won – because she has been nothing short of phenomenal this season (and so has Jordan!), and she’s been phenomenal ever since her return as a pro 2 years ago. “But Mark hasn’t won in a while!!!” is the excuse I keep hearing – to which I say “But he’s already won twice, which is better than most of the female pros can hope for during their time on this show.” I don’t know that the stars are ever going to align in this way again for Lindsay – so yeah, I’m hoping she & Jordan pull this off.  Not sorry.

So how do you think things will shake out tonight? What do you think about the live voting? What returning couples are you excited to see?

November 21, 2017 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 26: DWTS Junior Isn’t Happening, Abbreviated 4-Week Spinoff Instead

Just when I was beginning to get suspicious that we hadn’t heard anything definitive about DWTSJ yet, Tom dropped this tweet:

My thoughts? Given that nobody had heard a peep about DWTSJ since the initial announcement (including most of the crew, whose only indicator that things would be different was a memo sent out at the end of last season stating that they would be needed in the fall of 2017 for season 25, and the fall of 2018 for season 26), I’m guessing they just couldn’t pull together a whole new cast of celebs, pros, hosts, and judges quick enough for the spring season – or, somebody actually raised their hand and said “Guys, this idea’s a bit of a turd.” A 4-week, abbreviated season of DWTS sounds good to me – not sure people will bond with the cast quite as much as they do in a regular 10-week season, but I certainly welcome the break, as spring is when things kick up over at Pure World of Dance.

Part of me also wonders if the budget for American Idol has grown to such gargantuan proportions that they’re having to cut corners elsewhere – hence, a shortened, regular season of DWTS, where they can keep the same pros, hosts, and judges and probably mitigate costs better than undertaking a whole new revamp like DWTSJ.

Update: According to Tom, spring season isn’t regular DWTS – it’s a spinoff of sorts.  All I can think of when I think “DWTS Spin-off” was that gadawful Dance Wars show that Bruno & Carrie Ann put on during the writers’ strike back in 2008…

Thoughts?

November 20, 2017 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 25, Week 9 – Power Rankings

I’m already seeing this finale labeled the “feel-good finale”, or “season 17, the sequel” because of the generally amiable vibe among both the celebs and pros that are left, and the fact that this is the first Chmerkovskiy-free finale we’ve had in two years. Admittedly, I’m eager to see a finale that isn’t tainted by the need to promote a member of the Fam as the “star of the show”, and without a crystal-clear front-runner – I think any of three remaining contestants could walk off with the MBT, and about the only thing I feel 100% confident asserting is that Drew will NOT win the MBT. But man – I am HYPE for these freestyles, guys.  With the choreographic prowess of the remaining pros, we’ve got the potential for some showstoppers.

Judges were back to being on their bullsh*t last night – particularly Carrie Ann, who had a wishy-washy, patronizing, nonsensical critique for just about everyone – the only one in whose favor it seemed to work was Victoria, who was headed home anyway.  Len was similarly skewed, getting particularly cranky about “hip-hop” content and various other petty complaints. My guess is that they were told to create the impression that it was a horse race, and to nitpick everyone except Victoria.  Thankfully, Bruno seemed to play good judge again, and usually threw in a conciliatory score that was a point higher than what Carrie Ann or Len gave.

So Victoria left us – and I felt bad, because she seemed like a genuinely nice girl, and I don’t think she saw this coming.  Part of me thinks the judges being overly-kind to her over the course of the season may have actually convinced her that she had a legitimate shot at the MBT – hell, from the way they gushed (pretty predictably, if you ask me) over both of her just-okay routines last night, you would have thought she was the front-runner for the win.  I’m guessing Val is probably also partially to blame for her inflated expectations, and in the same token, he was also beginning to get detrimental in terms of choreography – since when is it allowed to basically do a second trio as one of your individual dances??? And in that trio, have the other two people doing most of the dancing, while the celeb primarily stays stationary? Had Amy & Derek pulled the same stunt on their season, fans would have absolutely shat themselves in anger. And I’ve still gotta raise an eyebrow at the fact that they ended up doing contemporary, while the press release listed waltz as their dance.  Say what you will about Victoria saying she had contemporary since last Monday – there’s been enough instances of Val’s partners conveniently getting their styles changed that it gives me pause, and it’s entirely possible that the song was originally intended for a waltz and someone just couldn’t make it work. Read more..

November 14, 2017 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 Dancing with the Stars Junior, Season 1 – Alabama Barker “Would Love To Be On DWTSJ”

Thought I’d do a quick sweep of the interwebs this morning, to see if anyone has heard anything about Dancing with the Stars Junior – ’cause lord knows I haven’t (and neither has Deep Throat).  Didn’t find much other than the scant amount of info in the original press release (and just other outlets parroting that Tom would not be hosting), but I did stumble across this little nugget from a few weeks back at ET:

Is Alabama Luella Barker destined for Dancing with the Stars Junior?!

Travis Barker’s daughter is just 11 years old – but with her debut single, “Our House,” out now – she’s ready to claim the spotlight.

When the father-daughter duo stopped by ET on Monday, Alabama revealed she’d love to take center stage on ABC’s DWTS youngster spinoff, set to premiere this spring.

“I would love to… let’s do it,” she said, noting that she has some dancing skills up her sleeve.

 Apparently dad Travis Barker (of Blink 182 fame) approves, which makes me wonder if her mom, DWTS season 3 contestant Shanna Moakler, is also on board – they did say in the press release that they’d be casting child stars, as well as possibly some of the children of former contestants…Alabama fits both bills.

And she appears to have some moves, too…I wouldn’t mind seeing her on the show.  Thoughts?

November 8, 2017 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 25, Week 8 – Power Rankings

So for those of you that don’t know – my Twitter got hacked 🙁 Not quite sure what happened, but I got a new phone on Friday around noon, didn’t really check Twitter all weekend, and then woke up Monday morning with all of my tweets from the past two years just gone, my profile picture/bio deleted, and some new artwork in its place. I’m also apparently from a city that rhymes with a city in Alabama, but starts with a “C”…but that’s neither here nor there. I’ve got a case open to try and get my Twitter back, but not sure how long that’s going to take. Lesson learned, kids: if you trade in your phone, make sure they wipe it clean and don’t leave any of your data vulnerable; change your passwords often; and don’t click on any suspicious links…

…so aside from that obvious setback, I actually had a pretty sh*tty day at work as well, so I think I was totally ready for DWTS to just really be the turd on top of an already craptastic day; however, I actually found myself rather pleasantly surprised, particularly with the trio dances with returning celebs.  Honestly, I think if they’re dead set on bringing former winners/finalists/whatever back to the show, this is the best way to do it – one week of dances, without the long, drawn-out pressure (and potential disappointment) of a full-length all-star season. And I feel like they really lucked on the crop of celebs they were able to get to come back – five champions and one runner-up, and of that, probably the two strongest male contestants this show has seen (Alfonso & Corbin), and probably one of the top five female contestants this show has seen (Kristi). Granted, some trios worked out better than others, and there are two trios I probably would have recast if it were up to me, but on the whole…still a pretty entertaining round.

It pained me to see Terrell go, even though once again, the writing was pretty much on the wall after last week’s show. The man behind the curtain just seems to be showing his hand a bit too much these days, I’m afraid.  But I’ll be damned if Terrell didn’t impress the hell outta me with how much he improved from week 1, and just his personal growth in general – he went from being pretty insufferable in week 2 to being utterly charming in week 8, and his Charleston last night was actually my favorite dance of the individual round. Not too shabby at all, considering he wasn’t even Cheryl’s original partner, and filled in at the last minute.  And big props to Cheryl, for taking another seemingly hopeless partner on paper and turning him into a decent dancer that people actually enjoy watching 🙂

1.) Jordan & Lindsay – I get the impression that the judges are trying to set up their ideal placements for the finale, and based on their comments and scores last night, I think they may be pushing for a Jordan win – but part of me also wonders if Jordan might need the help, as well. A six-point lead over Lindsey & Mark, for dancing that was maybe only slightly better? And then a 13 point difference between them and the bottom of the leader board? Part of me wonders if Jordan might need a bit of insulation, and the fact that they had him bring up the fact that Lindsay has yet to win? Also makes me wonder if they’re trying to increase their pantheon of champion pros by one. At this point, I honestly don’t find myself caring one way or another who wins – I think Jordan, Lindsay, & Frankie have all been tremendous this season, and I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that either Drew nor Victoria is anywhere within striking distance of the MBT. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t think it would be nice to see some of Lindsay’s hard work over these past several seasons rewarded 😉 Can’t say I was wild about the music they were given for their quickstep, but I appreciated what Lindsay did with it – the mod, quirky vibe fit the music well, and as always, Jordan’s technique was unmatched. I found their trio to be the strongest of the night – and I expected it to be, given that I think Corbin & Jordan are two of the top three male contestants (with previous dance experience) we’ve ever had on the show. I thought they had the most interesting transitions and interactions among the three of them, and appeared to be the most confident and precise out on the floor. I expected them to be – but I still enjoyed it, and I still appreciate that Jordan continues to bring a high level of execution each week.  I can always count of them for a showstopping routine, and this week didn’t disappoint 🙂

2.) Lindsey & Mark – If the judges appeared to be giving Jordan a boost and pushing a Jordan win as the narrative last night, I think they maybe did it at a bit of the expense of Lindsey & Mark – because I found a few of the scores they were given to be rather questionable. And if my gut is telling me that Jordan may need a bit of help – it’s also telling me that Lindsey is likely doing just fine in terms of votes.  Which is good, because admittedly, Lindsey’s samba was probably my least favorite of the dances she’s done – I appreciated that Mark went creative again with the choreo, but I found Lindsey to be a bit too bouncy through her upper body (as opposed to keeping the characteristic samba “bounce” in her core) and like many of the female contestants on this show, she wasn’t quite closing her thighs enough as they passed.  Samba’s a difficult beast on this show – so for Lindsey to have one off-dance, that’s still pretty damn good. I LIKED their trio, but I don’t know that I LOVED their trio – I guess I was just hoping that Mark would really go all-out with the creativity, given that they had a pretty open-ended dance and he got one of his most talented partners (Kristi) back to help; but while it was a pleasant trio and there weren’t any huge mistakes (I did see a few points where the staging looked a bit off, though), I just don’t know that I found anything super special about it. Just more of a personal preference, rather than anything grossly wrong, technically-speaking. I do think it was underscored, though, and I found the two 9’s from Len & Bruno puzzling, given that they didn’t seem to have anything bad to say about the dance. But again, I go back to “Make this season a horse race!” along with “Lindsey’s got the votes, but Jordan maybe doesn’t” – sure, it ain’t really fair, but like many unfair things about this show, it’s easy to see why they did it.

3.) Frankie & Witney – Again with Frankie, I go back to “Where do the judges seem to be placing him in the great scheme of things?” If they’re putting Jordan out front, and underscoring Lindsey a bit (but still keeping her in striking distance), I think they’re trying to set Frankie up as the 3rd place finisher this season – they’re keeping him separated enough from Jordan & Lindsey that it would probably be difficult (but not impossible!) for him to break into the top 2, but they’re also keeping him separated enough from the bottom of the leader board (Drew & Victoria) that they most likely can’t catch up. Which I’m fine with – I think I said a few weeks back that I would be happy if Frankie just made the finals, and it looks like that’s probably going to happen after all. I actually really liked his Viennese waltz, and like Drew’s waltz, I was puzzled as to what exactly the judges (mainly Len) were bitching about – I took particular issue with Len bitching about rise and fall, because I saw enough of it, and Len was acting as if Frankie should have been rising & falling to the same extent one would with a regular waltz (I can’t seem to find the post where I mentioned it, but the rise & fall in Viennese waltz isn’t as pronounced as it is with regular waltz – with the faster tempo of the former, you just don’t have time for dramatic rise and fall). I also thought Frankie was extending beautifully through his torso and arms, which is rare for shorter guys on this show.  Thought the trio with Alfonso was great – once again, I got back to my “say what you will about Alfonso, but” speech: he may be a bit insufferable at times, but this dude cares genuinely about the show, and he ALWAYS delivers. I think he was the best returning celeb when it came to tailoring his own energy level to match the current celeb’s – there were definitely moments that I saw him toning his steps down a notch, which I appreciated. I still maintain that he’s the best male celeb we’ve ever had on DWTS, as I think he comes across more organic and is more of a seasoned showman than Corbin or Jordan (if we’re going for “best male celeb without previous dance experience”, I think that goes to either Hinch or Shad). Also loved that the choreo had a sense of humor (the “nope, not gonna do the Carlton!” move made me snicker), and that they didn’t always have Witney in the middle – I think it’s temping to put the odd man out in the middle to give the dance a sense of balance, but I noticed quite a few spots where they actually had Frankie (or is it Malcolm…? ;-)) in the middle as the focal point, which is much riskier to do…but gives much more emphasis on the celeb, as opposed to the others. Great job on both dances, and I’m eager to see what else we get to see from them before the finals.

4.) Drew & Emma – From an objective standpoint, I think Drew & Victoria are the two weakest dancers left in the competition – but unlike Victoria, I think Drew has slightly more potential to be competitive in the finals than Victoria does, plus I think he has more mainstream popularity with the main viewing demographic. So even though Drew ended up low man on the totem pole this week, points-wise – my gut’s telling me he’s going to the finals over Victoria. I think he may have gotten a tad screwed by getting saddled with waltz as his individual dance – this late in the competition, it seems like high-energy, show-stopping dances are what sticks out in viewers’ minds, and they also seem like the dances that are less likely to get nitpicked by the judges; I think Drew was unfortunately a victim of “it’s a lot easier to see mistakes in a very slow dance than a faster one” and caught the full force of the judges’ nitpickery. I actually didn’t think it was as bad as they were saying, though – not sure I was wild about the choreography from start to finish, but I thought Drew handled it well, at least tried to get rise and fall, and his frame looked pretty good. Liked their trio with Shad – if there’s one thing Drew really needed to work on, it was “swag”, and Shad was the man to teach him.  Sure, there were a few slightly fumble-y spots, but overall I liked it – everyone seemed to be having a really good time, and I appreciated that Shad was able to dance in a way that didn’t overshadow Drew. Good energy, very fun. I don’t know that Drew & Emma can hope for any better than 4th place at this point, but given the caliber of the talent we’ve had this season, I think they’ve done a tremendous job.

5.) Victoria & Val – Part of me really feels for Victoria, because like the viewers themselves, I think Victoria has come to the realization that she’s hit a plateau on the show – she’s probably not going to get much better than she already is, and she’s likely to only suffer by comparison to the remaining contestants. She’s just reached her limit – nothing wrong on her part (or even Val’s, really), it’s just the way the cookie crumbles when you’ve got some sort of physically-limiting factor in play. I don’t think she minds too much, just based on what seems to be a really stellar outlook on life; but there were just a few moments last night where the look on her face said “I’m not going to get any better than this…it’s probably the end of the line for me, but I’m going to be okay with it.” Seemed rather unfortunate that they saddled her with not one, but two very footwork-heavy dances this week – I always knew jive would be the biggest struggle for her, given that it’s so dependent on leg and footwork to get executed well (and Victoria can’t feel her legs); Argentine tango has long been labeled the “war of the feet” dance on DWTS, and while Val had a bit of an easier time concealing her shortcomings in that dance by keeping Vic relatively stationary while he did most of the moving around the stage, it still felt like a bit of a watered-down version of many of his other Argentine tangos (namely Ginger & Rumer’s) and seemed to lack the characteristic “punch” you get when you’ve got an actual “war of the feet” going on out on the floor.  The Argentine tango was neither great nor terrible – just a non-event, unfortunately.  The trio…was a bit bizarre, for me. The set-up was a head-scratcher – basically re-living Laurie & Val’s win, and then just awkwardly inviting Victoria to join them.  The dance itself seemed to be the Laurie & Val show, with special guest Victoria – Laurie & Val were doing most of the heavy-duty dancing, while Victoria just bobbed around in the background, with her feet conveniently obscured for most of the dance by the set-up of the stage with the fans crowded around it. And here’s the funny part: I caught a glimpse of Laurie’s feet a few times as well, and she’s still not really pointing them – same problem I had with her on her own season. Probably the weakest trio of the night, and one I would recommend re-casting with another former contestant that would be less likely to overdance – I actually think Danica would have been better at matching Victoria’s energy and not making her look weaker by comparison. But anyway – I’m getting the feeling that Victoria’s come to the end of the road, and the impression I got from the judges’ wishy-washy, I-don’t-really-want-to-say-that-you’ve-plateaued-and-aren’t-going-to-get-any-better-so-I’m-going-to-make-up-some-other-reasons-why-that-wasn’t-great critiques, I think they realize it, too.  She’s had a good run (and as I’ve mentioned before – she’s probably my favorite partner Val has had, personality-wise), but I just think she’s not really able to compete for the MBT with the couples that are left.

So with only two weeks left – what are your thoughts as we head into the semifinals? Who do you see making it to the finale?

November 7, 2017 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 25, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Greetings from Houston 🙂 I’ve been on vacation since Thursday, and started off bumming around Denver with my sister before heading to hang out at my aunt’s in Magnolia, TX on Sunday.  Happy Halloween, and GO ASTROS!!! 🙂

So the dreaded double elim hit last night, and I think it was kind of a dick move to get both Nikki & Vanessa up there and then go “Surprise! You’re both going home.” Sure, they probably at least had an inkling, but still – dick move, bruh. Can’t say I’m too disappointed to see Vanessa & Maks go – it was getting pretty uncomfortable watching them, and while I think Vanessa was hoping to make it further, I think she may have had a nervous breakdown before long; I get the feeling she’s leaving the show with a bit of a disillusioned, Marilu Henner-esque view of her experience: something she wanted so badly for so long, but it ended up not being nearly as fun as she had hoped. As for Nikki – I had no issues with her, and I do think she was screwed a bit in the grand scheme of this season, but who I really feel for is Artem – for the second season in a row, I think he was unfortunately a victim of circumstance, and his partner was sacrificed in order to keep someone else in the competition longer. Like Mark, he was the only male pro that I thought was making an honest effort to give his partner the best choreo and experience he could – and he still got screwed. I may have seen it coming, but this is one instance I was hoping to be wrong. I would say I hope he gets a contender next season, but given that he’s had two contenders in a row now and STILL gotten shafted, maybe I should start hoping he gets a Bindi or the female equivalent of a Hinch/Grandpa – someone that outwardly isn’t a contender, but ends up just being a natural. I recommend Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was in the audience last week 😎

Halloween week…was Halloween week, and anymore, it doesn’t really seem to vary much from season to season. The team dances as a whole were a scoring/critique dumpster fire, and no amount of ABC posting how “great!” Team Phantom was is going to convince me it’s true – stop trying to gaslight us, ABC.  I guess I’m lightweight curious to see these trios next week, because I think there’s some potential for some showstoppers (Jordan/Lindsay/Corbin, Lindsey/Mark/Kristi, Frankie/Witney/Alfonso…that last one in particular has me particularly curious), some fun, sentimental reunions (Drew/Emma/Rashad), and some head-scratchers (Victoria/Val/Laurie, Terrell/Cheryl/Kelly). To those speculating that Vanessa & Nikki were eliminated because they didn’t have trio members for them – stop. A little birdie told me they actually had quite a few former contestants on-deck that were willing and able to step in, but they were able to be picky & choosy and select the best fit for each couple.  Allegedly, Danica was on the list, which makes sense, given that she’s an L.A. local and a decent dancer – my guess is that she may have gone to Vanessa & Maks, since Maks partnered here during switch week in season 18. If I had to guess (and really, this is just a guess, because I have no idea what other names were on the list), I think Lea may have been a good pick for Nikki & Artem, as she’s L.A. local and a decent dancer. Fun fact: the “bring back a former celeb for the trio” idea was originally kicked around as one of the many lofty ideas the producers had for All-Stars, but with all the flying by the seat of their pants that they had to do that season, it got scrapped. Read more..

October 31, 2017 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 25, Week 7 – *SPOILERS* The Team Dances!!!

Bear with me, friends, as I’m getting incomplete info and trying to type this out on my iPhone without my glasses, which I left at the office…wuh wuh wuhhhh.

Apparently they went a completely different route picking the captains this time – Drew is one of the captains, and Terrell is the other, which leads me to think they went with lowest cumulative score instead of highest this time around. No, I don’t know which order they picked in, so do not assume the order the couples are listed is somehow indicative of picking order. All I know is that the dances are freestyles again…will update if/when I know more.

First impressions? I think Terrell’s team has a ginormous edge – and I think if the Chmerkovskiys are wise, they’ll let Emma and Witney have input.

UPDATE: Added songs, and grabbed Drew’s team name from a Snapchat someone tweeted me. About 90% sure Drew got to pick first and chose to pick music, which would have given Terrell first pick of team members.

UPDATE #2: There’s some pix of the teams at People – although I will point out that Maks was actually referring to his team as “Phantom of the Ballroom” and not “Phantom of the Opera” on Instagram/Snapchat.

Team Phantom of the Ballroom (song: “Theme from Phantom of the Opera”)

Drew & Emma (captain)

Frankie & Witney

Vanessa & Maks

Victoria & Val

Team Monster Mash (Song: “Monster Mash”)

Terrell & Cheryl (captain)

Lindsey & Mark

Jordan & Lindsay

Nikki & Artem

 

Note: These are two different polls. The team you think has the edge isn’t necessarily the one that will win. 🙂

October 24, 2017 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 25, Week 6 – Power Rankings

I’m not exactly sure who at DWTS this should be directed towards (Mandy? The producers? Val/Maks/the male pros as a whole?), but here goes:

Exactly how high and out-of-touch with reality were you when you decided on the concept for the opening pro dance for movie week???

Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve witnessed such a gauche, tactless move on this show since…well, ever. And this show has had its fair share of snafus over the years. In the past two weeks, Hollywood has basically had roof blown off of it with 20+ years of Harvey Weinstein’s misogynism and sexual misconduct coming to light, and 30+ women have  come forward with stories of his unwelcome advances in exchange for “furthering their career”; it has really brought the issue of men basically ruling Hollywood to the forefront, and illustrated just how so many women in the industry live constantly under the boot of the patriarchy and have to really fight for representation. So what does DWTS do? Choreographs an opening dance that paints Val as a bright, new, MALE screenwriter, auditioning for a room full of MALE directors, producers, and studio heads, before being given the job and commanding a bevy of doe-eyed ingenues that swoon over his every move. The dance was 3/4 the male pros showing off how awesome it was to be men in Hollywood, and 1/4 the female pros looking pretty swaying in the background and stroking the mens’ egos – and it was yet another insult to the talent of our female pros, just like most of the hair-flipping, sex kitten routines Mandy Moore subjects them to on the regular. And it basically glorified the very culture that women in Hollywood are trying so hard to fight right now – with spectacularly poor timing. I don’t want to hear justifications from anyone that this “was just how old Hollywood was, and that’s what was being depicted” – as far as I’m concerned, the time for reliving and romanticizing those days is LONG past, and for the love of all things good and pure, WAS IT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO DO THAT PARTICULAR ROUTINE THIS SEASON, OF ALL SEASONS?! So help me god, I hope people drag the hell out of Mandy for this one – there were so many other routes she could have gone, and she went with this festering turd instead.  *rings bell like Septa Unella* SHAME… *ring*… SHAME… *ring* …SHAME…

And another item to file under “really bad ideas for DWTS” – who the hell thought it would be smart to bring Shania Twain in as a guest judge??? Aside from her being neither an authority on dance nor particularly relevant to the movie theme, she functioned mainly as a random word and number generator, that spat out incoherent critiques and puzzling scores, and didn’t even sing live when she performed the song she did for a recent movie. I got shades of Idol-era Paula Abdul, trying to make sense of some of what she was saying – it was not a good look.  Just brings me back to “Why do we even need guest judges, anyway?” All the extra scores do is just make the margins smaller for next week’s elimination…which may explain why they felt the need to include a guest judge at all this week: anyone want to place bets that the double elim may come next week? And they’re basically trying to distill it down to who is getting the votes…and who isn’t? Then again, the decision to bring her in may be as simple (and dumb) as somebody high-up at DWTS losing a hand in poker and having to agree to have Shania on to pay their debt 😛

So Nick finally hit the road, and not a moment too soon – that samba was pretty cringe-y, and Nick’s “feign disappointment about getting a low score and being in jeopardy” face was getting progressively less believable with each passing week. Dude was practically halfway to the parking lot before Tom finished saying “And the couple leaving us tonight is…Nick and Peta!” I think Peta was also lightweight relieved to be done, as she seemed to be trying to keep a low profile with all of the Chmerlachey drama – and I think she’s just tired and probably very much in need of the 11-month break she’s going to get before she has to be a pro again. A baby and a marriage in the same year are big life-changers, and we saw how much a year-long break benefited Mark… Read more..

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 25, Week 5 – Power Rankings

I’ve said it before, but here it goes again: I actually usually hate Disney night, and it’s not because I “hate Disney” or “had an upsetting childhood” (Twitter sure is full of recreational psychologists these days) – it’s because, like many a theme week, it tends to force the pros to shoehorn their choreo to fit songs that aren’t all appropriate for the dance they’ve been assigned, and the end result is usually…painful to behold, and a detriment to the celeb partner’s scores. However, I will say this: maybe my personal bar was set pretty low, but I actually found myself enjoying last night’s show, on the whole. Most of the pros (with the exception of maybe three) seemed to bring their A-game and actually churn out some respectable and entertaining dances, that still managed to stay true to the Disney movie they were assigned; granted, there were still some eyebrow-raising scoring issues and the general ick of Chmerlachey in its death throes, trying wayyyy too hard to stay on our radar, but all in all, I found the show enjoyable…even with having to watch it on a dodgy live stream on my iPad due to Monday Night Football.  For the first time in PureDWTS history, Heidi’s Titans were playing my Colts on MNF – so we both were on the live stream struggle bus, but thankfully, our server issues here at Pure seem to have been fixed by our latest update, so we hope more of you will stick around to chat with us now 🙂 Read more..

October 17, 2017 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 Cast Rumors & Watchout – Ayesha Curry Says She’s Been Approached to Do DWTS, Might Do It In The Future

I’m gonna go ahead and file this one under “watch out in the next few seasons”, because as we’ve seen, some stars spend several years as cast rumors until the time is right.

Cookbook author Ayesha Curry (who’s also married to NBA star Steph Curry) stopped by ET to talk about her new cookwear line, and gave this answer when asked if her husband would ever do DWTS:

Asked whether her husband of six years, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, would ever entertain joining the show down the line, Curry joked that someone in their immediate family is desperate for him to put on the dancing shoes. “I don’t  know if he would make the decision to do it, but his mom really wants him to do it,” she said with a laugh.

The 28-year-old mother of two shared that she’s actually been asked to compete on DWTS.

“I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but I have been approached to do it and I chicken out every single time,” Curry revealed. “I’ve got two left feet.”

While Curry isn’t shy about posting videos of her dancing or grooving to music on social media, she insists she doesn’t have rhythm — though, we beg to differ!

But she didn’t fully shut the door on a future DWTS appearance, saying she’d “maybe” do it in due time. “Down the road… in a couple of years,” she said. “The only motivator for me, in my mind, is that I would get in phenomenal shape and that’d be a great perk.”

So it sounds like she’s not completely ruled out the possibility of doing the show – although I doubt that matters, because as we’ve seen, a “no” can become an “ok, fine!” if the price is right (looking at YOU, Nick Lachey). I wouldn’t mind seeing her – I think she might actually be the type of calm, focused partner Keo would need to make it past the first couple weeks of the season. Thoughts?

October 12, 2017 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