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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 🙂

Another issue I’ve found myself having with Disney night in more recent seasons? Just how commercial it has become – I know that Disney night on DWTS has always served as a bit of free promo for its latest ventures, but it seems like they’re being less and less subtle about it; it also seems like there’s always one couple that gets saddled with the “new movie promo dance” and has to contend with a film that isn’t popular yet, and they are probably contractually obligated to portray certain aspects of the movie within the routine, which only serves to limit them further.  It was Jodie & Keo with Zootopia in season 22; it was David & Lindsay and Cars 3 last season; and this season, it was Nikki & Artem that had to do the promo dance this time, with Coco. Gotta plug those new films, Disney – it’s all about those Benjamins. Anymore, Disney seems to embody a sort of greed that just makes my blood boil – look deep enough and you’ll find many a story of how they’ve screwed people over for the sake of the almighty dollar. If you want an eye-opener, Google Adriana Caselotti – she was the voice of Snow White, and an opera singer that probably could have been the next Maria Callas…if Disney hadn’t contractually screwed her out of a career doing anything other than voicing Snow White. Or don’t, if you want to retain the “magic” of Disney – it’s just hard for me to feel childlike wonder when I see such a big corporate entity shitting on the lil guy, again and again.

Can’t say that too many of us (save for the legions of PLL fans that like to brag about how big they are, and the ones who like to creep my Twitter and pounce whenever I say anything remotely not glowing about Sasha) were all that shocked to see Sasha go – and I think we’re in fairly uniform agreement that most of the fault for her elim lies with Gleb and his absurdly bland choreography, rather than anything Sasha herself did wrong. Really and truly, Gleb had multiple advantages coming into the competition with Sasha – she came from a fanbase that typically serves its stars well on DWTS, she had a backstory that viewers could connect to (her weight struggles), and she actually had at least some dance background.  There is NO REASON why she shouldn’t have made it to at least week 6 based on that alone, especially given that there are still some duds left (Nick in terms of skill, and Vanessa in terms of partnerships that are uncomfortable to watch) that should have been gone before she was; all Gleb really had to do was give her decent and memorable choreography – and he failed her, in that respect. Part of me thinks Sasha saw it coming, to a certain degree, judging from her facial expressions as they stood on the stage. I applaud her for accepting her elimination with poise – she may have been upset, but she remained gracious and calm.  But this is becoming a bit of a disturbing pattern for Gleb, who for the 3rd season in a row has served some very mediocre choreography – I know Strictly fans keep telling me how “awesome” his choreo was on that show, but at this point, something’s gotta give; he either needs to adapt to this show or get out. With Mark & Artem being the only male pros that I think are really putting in the work with their choreo (and the bulk of the female pros being very smart about their choreo), we need more male pros serving their partners well…it’s shit or get off the pot time, Gleb.

So with half the season now over, where do things stand, in terms of the narrative? I still think Lindsey & Jordan will end up being the last two standing – I go back and forth on who I think will actually win, but I’m fairly confident it’s one of those two.  So assuming it’s going to be a 4-person finale again, that leaves 2 other spots to be filled – and if it were up to me, those two other spots would be filled by Frankie & Witney and Drew and Emma; both couples seem to be improving week to week, on top of being very likeable. I worry, though, that TPTB are going to do everything they can to squeeze at least one Chmerkovskiy into that finale (my money’s on Victoria & Val), at the expense of one of those two couples…and I worry that it might be Frankie & Witney. Then again, part of me wonders if Frankie might actually be the prime candidate for the winter tour celeb – he’s a good dancer, he’s likeable, he’s enthusiastic, and from what I can tell, his schedule is open.  I don’t think Lindsey is going to be available, due to her own tour schedule; Jordan seems like he’s blowing up big right now and probably has projects lined up as soon as DWTS is over; and Drew, while WILDLY popular and probably would be a huge draw with the main demo, seems like he’s all tied up with Property Brothers stuff, his book, and his upcoming nuptials. So Frankie’s a bit of a wild card for me right now, despite ending up in jeopardy last night – he could be there because he isn’t getting the votes, or he could be there to start generating buzz because he may be going on tour. I think Nikki is unfortunately expendable in the eyes of TPTB, so she and Artem are likely on their own in terms of fighting to stick around; I think we may have witnessed the swan song of Chmerlachey, and TPTB may let that gambit finally drop (and not a moment too soon) once one of them gets eliminated – hopefully next week.  The one couple I don’t really have a solid feel for? Terrell & Cheryl – I think they may have started out as an “expendable” pairing in the eyes of TPTB, but given Terrell’s breakthrough these past few weeks and the fact he’s actually turning out halfway decent (and isn’t being a complete bonehead), they may be starting to see him as an asset. …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 Season 25, Week 4 – Power Rankings

Sometimes, I hate being right ☹ I was really starting to think that my “Derek as a shield for Nick” theory was just me being paranoid and trying to find an explanation for the judges being irrational (note: they’re just irrational) and constantly giving Derek a hard time, but it was a bit like watching a slow-motion car wreck as they announced the couples in jeopardy last night – it was like watching my theory unfold and realizing I was maybe not as crazy as I thought I might be.  I’ve gotten poo-poohed by some that insist that Derek “wasn’t that great” (suit yourself, but he was definitely better than Nick, and often cleaner than both T.O. and Drew – all of whom are still in the competition) or that it was “just a coincidence” that they both received the same score each week until last night (when TPTB already knew Derek was a goner) – but if you sit down and actually think about it, it is rather odd that the two of them managed to get the same score FOUR TIMES IN A ROW, especially given that Nick is arguably considered to be the worst dancer left this season.  And if Nick is struggling with votes & scores, remember – he only has to beat one person to stick around…and if that person has the same number of points that Nick does, but maybe doesn’t have as big a fanbase…Nick & Peta survive another week as half of quite possibly the most annoying gambit TPTB have thrust upon us in DWTS history: Chmerlachey ☹

And while we’re on the topic of Chmerlachey – anyone else think that their efforts to make the two married couples “happen” have really kind of blown up in their face? 😛 I got the impression that they were hoping to have viewers really glom onto the two pairs and send them through to the finals – but at this point, Vanessa & Maks seem like they’re just barely tolerating one another after last week’s drama, Nick seems completely checked out and ready to go home, and Peta just seems like she’s trying to avoid getting hit by any crossfire and is quietly trying to blend into the background. The only one who seems like they’re (sort of) having fun is Vanessa, and even her smile is starting to look a bit brittle. The PenaVega’s may have been low-key annoying – but at least both were decent dancers and seemed to be having fun. Chmerlachey X 2…is just a dumpster fire. On the flipside, I don’t think TPTB anticipated Frankie managing to both connect with viewers as well as he has while also turning out to be a pretty good dancer; and to a lesser degree, I don’t think they quite know what to do with Terrell, as he’s actually turning out to be rather interesting to watch and perhaps not as much of a lightning rod for controversy as TPTB might have hoped. Drew also seems to be turning into a halfway-decent dancer on top of being popular, and Sasha the ABC darling, bless her heart, is about as exciting as watching paint dry.  With next week being the midpoint of the season, I think we may start to see a narrative shift, depending on where the votes are falling.

Hated losing Derek, because I did genuinely enjoy him – he seemed like he was down-to-earth and grateful for the opportunity, and I did love the choreography that Sharna was giving him. Loved their dance last night – was a refreshing approach to a very touching story, having them dancing in such a celebratory manner, to an upbeat song.  The styling of the choreo reminded me a bit of the styling of Alfonso’s Carlton jazz; I thought the costumes were adorable.  And for once, I managed to avoid tears during most memorable year week…that is, until the camera panned to Derek’s daughter crying after his dance.  Then the damn dust in my house kicked up, and things got rough. I need to change my furnace filter… Read more..

October 10, 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 3 – Power Rankings

And that, my friends, is an example of how trying to shoehorn certain dances to fit a theme ends up yielding some pretty awkward, inorganic-looking dances. Overall, I would consider this the weakest of the three instances where the show used this theme – the other being in season 12 (halfway decent) and season 15 (chaotic, but okay). It felt like they were reeeealllly stretching to find songs/dances that fit well with the celebs’ (alleged) guilty pleasures, this time around.  And while we’re on the topic – I actually hate the phrase “guilty pleasure”, because really, if it brings you pleasure (and it’s not a detriment to anyone else’s well-being), why should you feel guilty about it? Lord knows society puts enough pressure on people these days to fit into certain norms; this just seems to be another way to shame people into feeling bad about what makes them happy. You love you some pumpkin spice lattes? Drink ‘em up, champ. Do you love doing the Carlton dance at weddings? That’s not unusual, bud. Does watching Superbad make you giggle uncontrollably, no matter how many times you’ve seen it? Well you’re in good company, cause it does me too, and I’m not sorry. Really and truly, unless someone’s “pleasure” involves pedophilia, misogyny, racism, homophobia, animal cruelty, or any other activity that has the potential to hurt someone else in a non-consensual manner, they shouldn’t have to feel ashamed by it in anyway.  Shame the real villains – not the folks staying in their lane and trying to do the things that bring them joy, however small it might be.

Ok, now that I’m off my soapbox, down to the business at hand: so with no elim last night, what does that mean for next week’s elim? Basically, a huge points dump from two dances means the margins are going to get even closer, and with 5 couples clustered in the 39-41 point range at the bottom, it really is going to come down to fanbase – who is getting the votes and who isn’t.  And honestly – I think it could be any one of four different couples, and I’m not at all confident picking which one. I get the feeling it likely won’t be a double elim, as some have been speculating – given that next week is “most memorable year” week, which is typically pretty emotional and usually doesn’t have an elim, I think it’s only going to be a single one, and they’ll likely save the double for later in the season (I’m guessing team dance week, or week 8 or 9, when they can use it as a tool to narrow down their ideal finale). So in light of me feeling so uncertain about next week’s eliminees, I’m putting the four couples I think it will come down to in my “danger zone” – which means that I think it could ostensibly be any one of the four headed home.

Other odds & ends? Opener felt a bit strange & forced to me – it almost seemed like they were saying swimming and science were “guilty pleasures”.  Where was Maks? Dunno, other than the fact that nobody seemed to tell the crew what was up – very hush-hush, and by writing it off as a “personal issue”, it seemed like the show was trying to sweep it under the rug and hope nobody noticed…which of course, left it wide open for fans to speculate on, and People to spin something a bit less flattering. My only opinion on the matter is that we’re not getting the full story, we probably won’t ever get the full story, and that gushing Instagram posts don’t necessarily mean all is right in the world. The invisible hand of TPTB is likely at work here… Read more..

October 3, 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 2, Night 2 – Power Rankings

So the bar was set pretty low for the show on night #2 of this week, given that night #1 was, for the most part, a snoozefest. Did Latin Night rise to the occasion? Yes…and no.  Ehhh, sorta…I guess. If nothing else, the energy level seemed higher, though there was still some really, REALLY screwy scoring (sorry to anyone who danced in the first  half of the show – y’all were gonna get hosed, regardless), and the music department still seems to be saddling some couples with some absolutely garbage songs that have an impossibly long intro for a dance that’s already been severely truncated. Bruno seemed to be relishing the opportunity to continue his stint as “good judge” this week, to Carrie Ann & Len’s “bad judge” roles; Erin, who looked stunning on premiere night, looked more like the lead singer in a Florence + The Machine cover band last night in a dress that still has me scratching my head.

Sad to see Debbie go, but can’t really say it was entirely unexpected – I had her in my 4-couple “lost in the shuffle” club after ballroom night, while Terrell, who had an atrocious rehearsal package that I thought for sure would do him in, actually had enough support (from Cheryl’s fans, I guess) to stick around. Better to be a jerk and memorable (or at least paired with a popular pro whose fans can float you) than be polite and forgettable, I guess. I have a feeling Debbie was probably not long for this competition, though – she just looked progressively more exhausted with each dance she did, and something was probably gonna have to give by week 4, at the latest. Alan had an admirable first outing as a pro, as well, and probably earned himself a pro spot next year (side note: it feels totally weird saying “next year” instead of “next season”, when referring to DWTS…gonna take some getting used to.)

NOTE: If you’re looking for the power rankings from Monday night, go here. Read more..

September 27, 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 2, Night 1 – Power Rankings

Hmmmm.

I’m sitting here, scratching my head, because I’m not entirely sure what I just watched. It was a normal show night, but with the exception of a few couples that actually came to play, last night felt like it was pretty half-assed – few of the couples seemed like they really wanted to be there, doing those dances, to those songs, in those costumes; and I’m fairly certain Tom was just sifting through Twitter and cherry picking material that fans were bitching about to base his (rather flat) jokes on.  The costumes even felt like an afterthought – with the exception of Lindsey & Mark’s butterfly ensembles, everything else just felt generic and thrown-together; for those who are fans of Rupaul’s Drag Race, we saw a lot of “shake-and-go” dresses last night – things that look like they were store-bought, pulled out of a shopping bag, and lazily thrown on and shaken out before hitting the stage. Was everyone just completely exhausted from trying to learn two dances as early as week 2, which is an absurd idea? Or were the couples told to focus on their more crowd-pleasing Latin dances? Whatever it was, I was pretty bored with last night’s show, on the whole… Read more..

September 26, 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

Derek Hough Talks DWTS and World of Dance

It’s quite fascinating to hear Derek talk about how he came up with the Emmy nominated Kairos and the input from other folks on that dance. He also talks a good bit about World of Dance and how he often wasn’t happy with the results. Great interview. Whenever I watch his interviews, he strikes me as so genuine – much more so than any other male pro except maybe Mark. I love genuine. There is never anything put on or false.

August 18, 2017 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

PureDWTS – Dmitry Choreographs for Jenna & Kiki; Val Choreographs for Paul & Sydney on SYTYCD

So the live shows this season on So You Think You Can Dance started last night, and there was of course cross-over to DWTS – Jenna is back as an All-Star again, as is sometimes-DWTS-pro-dance-lurker/former MOVE cast member Paul Karmiryan; Dmitry is also choreographing again.  Additionally, Jenna has picked former DWTS troupe member Kiki Nyemchek as her partner this season, and Val has signed on to choreograph.

I was kinda shocked to see Kiki again – I didn’t realize he’s as young as he is (25 – I honestly thought he was already in his late 20’s five years ago), which means he was only 18 when he started in the DWTS troupe wayyyy back when; pretty sure he was a Fam hire. Judging from the comments on YouTube for their cha-cha, he still appears to be the pretty bland guy I remember from the troupe – the general sentiment seems to be that people preferred Jenna’s other partner and are disappointed that she picked Kiki over him:

Oof.  I see that Dmitry’s choreography hasn’t improved much – the song is awful, and the whole dance just felt like a non-event.  Couldn’t even tell you what Kiki did, as Jenna outdanced him the whole time. Paul & Sydney seemed to fare slightly (very slightly) better with Val’s choreography…

Oh look – the high kick is apparently a permanent thing now 😛 And there seemed to be a lot of stop-and-go, so no question – this is Val’s choreography, and this felt like a slight remix of Normani’s cha-cha…but less energetic. I will say I preferred it slightly to Dmitry’s cha-cha; but is it just me, or is Sydney…not all that great? She looks more like a contemporary or hip-hop dancer trying to do ballroom to me, than an actual ballroom dancer. She reminds me of that salsa dancer from several seasons ago (Cristina something, maybe?) that they tried to pass off as a ballroom dancer – just seems to lack polish & confidence in her movements.

Prediction: neither couple is likely to last long on SYTYCD, as is usually the trend – SYTYCD is just not particularly ballroom-friendly or ballroom-appreciative. Did any of you watch? What are your thoughts?

Be sure to check out Amanda’s review of last night’s show over at Pure SYTYCD.

August 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 24, Week 10 – Power Rankings

Dare I say I’m actually walking away from last night’s show cautiously optimistic about the outcome of this season, despite being thoroughly disgusted by the manipulations we endured all season long? 🙂 I think the narrative shift we saw beginning last week came to full fruition this week – the judges were decidedly less “gushy” about one couple that they had gushed about all season, while becoming unusually gushy about a couple they had given a pretty hard time all season – and the third couple? Well, they just critiqued that one kindly, somewhat coming to accept that they were there, despite not being as good as the other two, and just made sure to score them low enough that they weren’t too much of a threat to the other two. I do have to wonder if the rumors about Rashad doing the tour this summer are true, and that it was a bit of a last-minute decision, hence the judges’ sudden fondness for him in the past two weeks – Rashad has been good all season, but the judges just now starting to notice it? It gives me pause. As for Normani &  Val – I also wonder if they either promised Val he’d make it to the finals, or it was written into Normani’s contract as a condition for her doing the show; but then again, part of me wonders if TPTB were at first trying to angle for a back-to-back win for Val, but gave up after seeing that Normani didn’t have the voting clout to make it happen…or that Val wasn’t doing the tour after all. But the sudden about-face they did with regards to both Rashad & Normani? Just makes me go…hmmm…

…as predicted, though, they kinda kept David at arm’s length, and took the tack of “Well he’s here, we may as well try and justify his presence to the viewers who are pissed about Simone, even though David had nothing to do with her elimination!” Less predictable was the narrative they took with Normani, though, which read something like “You’ve just been sooooo perfect all season, that when you do make a mistake now, it is just blatantly obvious to us!” As for Rashad, they seemed to have retrograde amnesia, and completely forget about Shad’s bad feet from a few weeks back or Shad “not connecting to the dance” or whatever.  But I’m totally okay with this, as Shad & Emma have been on the receiving end of so much unfounded nitpicking as the season has unfolded that it’s about damn time they got some love. Also totally okay with Shad getting Erin interviews after both dances, while Normani didn’t talk to Erin at all last night, after being granted beaucoup screen time all season long – we don’t need to hear Val’s self-important soapboxing, or hear from Normani’s grandma, or from Fifth Harmony, etc. I’m guessing those two were feeling the pain of suddenly not being the favored couple, as there were a few instances where the cameras panned to the couples and Normani & Val were noticeably subdued while Rashad, Emma, Lindsay, & David were smiling/clapping/actually looking happy to be there. I feel a tiny bit sorry for them (but only a tiny bit!) because this is the exact type of hammer dropping after being gushed over all season that tends to leave couples feeling pretty salty – but in Val’s case, he could use some serious humbling, so this is a good exercise in humility for him. My only worry is about the barrage of vitriol the winner is likely to get from DWM cronies/Harmonizers should the winner tonight not be Normani & Val…

Not a whole lot else to add – I imagine tonight’s show will just draaaaaaag on, with all the filler and faux suspense and whatnot.  Some of you have expressed interest in me doing a power ranking of the Dirty Dancing movie on Wednesday on ABC, like I did for Hairspray Live! – would you guys actually read it if I did it? If there’s enough interest, I SUPPOSE I could forego my Wednesday night Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo viewing to suffer through the most awkward romantic lead in recent history…for you guys, of course 😛 Read more..

May 23, 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 24, Week 9 – Power Rankings

In season 12, it was Ralph.  In season 18, it was Charlie. In season 20, it was Nastia. In season 22, it was Wanya…and in season 24, it was Simone. Following the precedent they set back in 2011, the show has managed to screw a worthy contestant out of a spot in the spring finale for four consecutive seasons now – and more often than not, it seems to happen in order to lend a hand to one of the Chmerkovskiy brothers.  It’s getting BEYOND predictable, to the point of the spring season almost following a template: let things happen organically for the first few weeks, then determine who needs to make the finale (must take mandatory Chmerkovskiy quota into account) and be sure to start neutralizing any threats (read: other good dancers that might prevent a Chmerkovskiy from making it into the finale) by having the judges underscore, nitpick, and generally demean said threats until the generally gullible cross-section of the voting audience (the “sheeple”) actually start to believe that contestant really isn’t any good after all and ceases voting for them. And because of this template, I have ZERO sympathy for the judges – practice your shocked faces all you want, but what happened last night was a direct result of all the meddling you’ve done.  The blood is on your hands, and I better not hear implications of “The audience has to vote! You guys sent Simone home!” next week – you don’t get to pull the puppet strings all season long and manipulate the viewers, and then blame Simone’s elim on them.

But I’m guessing that’s inevitably going to be part of the narrative next week, as they seem to be gunning for a 3rd MBT for Prince Joffrey Val – the “we’ve sent two of the best dancers home – don’t let it happen again!” strategy seems to imply that viewers should vote for the best dancer left, which if you believe the judges’ scores and critiques, is Normani (I don’t agree). If the audience is more woke than I give them credit for, it may more broadly imply “vote for one of the good dancers”, which would mean Normani & Rashad, and imply that voters should not be voting for David.  I’ve gotten several questions about how things are going to shake out next week, and I’m not 100% sure (like just about everything else this season), but I feel fairly confident in stating that they will likely lowball the sh*t out of David – as Heidi has stated multiple times before, the judges like to be RIGHT, and a season of gushing about pro dancer Normani only to have halfway-decent dancer David take the MBT makes them look…dumb. I think David is going to get the Noah/Alek treatment relative to the other two – scores several points lower on his two night 1 dances, to the point where votes won’t be enough to bridge the gap between him and Rashad/Normani.  As for the other two – who knows. The fact that they seemed a bit more lukewarm on Normani last night makes me think they’ve already accomplished what they really wanted – ensure Val makes the finale, to continue the narrative of Val being the “star of the show” and hopefully gain some younger viewers from Normani’s fanbase – and they won’t care quite so much about what happens from here on out.  The other part of me thinks they’re saying “Go big or go home!!!” and will continue the OTT gushing in an attempt to secure MBT #3 for Val. There’s just so much funny business going on that I just cannot state with certainty what exactly TPTB are trying to accomplish.  However, if you’re trying to be strategic with your vote (and some of you have expressed a desire to do just that), I would recommend tossing them to Rashad – and I’m not just saying that as a Shad fan 🙂 As I mentioned above, I think they’re going to score David such that it’s going to be a huge uphill battle to catch up to Shad & Normani, and I think there’s at least a decent chance that Normani is going to continue to get pimped right up until the MBT is handed out – so if you’re looking to really stick it to TPTB, I think Shad’s your best bet.

As for poor Simone – I think the thing that made me the saddest about the whole thing is that she almost seemed relieved to be heading home.  That speaks volumes – the fact that she had a meltdown in practice about doing the best she can and it not being good enough for the judges tells me that this show had long since stopped being fun for her.  This show BROKE her, to the point where not continuing seemed like a better bet than continuing on in the competition. So I guess if that’s what she really wanted at the end of the day – I’m happy for her, and glad she could go out on a high note. Other random thoughts? SO. MUCH. FILLER. LAST. NIGHT. If we cut out the two guest performances and cut back on mic time for random people (i.e. Normani’s grandma), I’m willing to bet we could have shaved a half hour or more off the running time. And I feel like every pro, current or former, that isn’t tied up with the DWTS tour is now trying to pull a Derek & Julianne and start their own tour…and each kinda feels like a less fully-realized version of MOVE. Yeah, it was kinda cool seeing Cheryl doing something really different for her – but it felt more like contemporary by numbers, than a truly creative, connected performance. Read more..

May 16, 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 24, Week 8 – Power Rankings

Wow…I’m honestly not even sure where to begin. I feel like last night’s show was just 2 hours of the judges/PTB spanking the viewers for not voting how they (the judges/PTB) feel they SHOULD be voting. And the judges reached new lows – between Len telling Bonner “you should have gone home already!” and Carrie Ann deciding that David’s critique was a great time to shade Rashad (disrespectful to both men, really), to every judge giving vague, rambling, directionless critiques based on absolutely nothing, my head was spinning by the end. And my blood was boiling, because I think last night things legitimately got a bit sexist, too – between the judges giving Simone a hard time about smiling too much/not enough, Val & Alan doffing their shirts and shifting focus away from Normani, Sharna & Britt begrudgingly selling their souls in that trio, and watching female pros bite their tongues and try not to show they were upset by the critiques they were getting (while a certain male pro basically acts like a mouthy teenager every week and talks back to Len), I honestly felt sickened. Heidi & I are still gonna write that sexism post I promised you guys – but at this point, I think I need a cooling off period before I’m able to discuss it without absolutely losing my sh*t.

So Bonner went home, to the surprise of basically no one – but I will say that, for awhile there, I was seriously wondering if he was safe, with as cruel as they were being to him. Two unflattering packages, a sleazy trio dance to a terrible song, getting mocked by Val & Alan, two bad scores, and Len basically calling him out to his face on live national television – it seemed to point more to “he’s sticking around, but we want to make sure that he ain’t gonna survive next week’s elim!” But thankfully, he did end up going home – especially since they decided to share a sleazy clip of him during the trio rehearsal.  Yes, he might have gotten a bad edit – but they can’t actually edit you in such a way that you say “maybe I could spank you both on the butt!” if you didn’t actually say it. Or gesture it. Anywho – bye-bye, Bonner. You hopefully freed up Sharna’s schedule so she can fly to Indy and watch Hinch in the Indy Grand Prix this weekend 🙂

And then there were four – and next week’s elim is probably gonna hurt. I think everyone left deserves to be in the finale for different reasons, and would be fine if they ended up deciding to take all four to the finale; but my initial guess that they’re aiming for a Rashad-Simone-Normani finale doesn’t feel so concrete anymore – part of me wonders if they’ve grown accustomed to the new viewers and votes that David has brought to the show, and don’t want that gravy train to end…so I still think there’s at least a slight chance he could edge out one of the three above and make it to the finals. I’m also not entirely positive who he might displace – my gut says Normani, because her voting fanbase is still untested and she seems to be the one that gets the most help in term of gushing critiques and inflated scores; but they seemed to nitpick the life out of Simone & Rashad last night – will America buy it? If some of the comments I’ve been seeing are any indicator, the answer is no – people seem especially pissed about how Simone was treated. So I guess I’m still leaning towards a Simone-Rashad-Normani finale, with David potentially playing spoiler to Normani. Read more..

May 9, 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