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PureDWTS Season 29, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Just for the record – I really have no idea what I’m doing anymore 😛

I mean, I obviously know how to write, and I know how to look at dances and determine whether they are decent or not; I guess I mean the conclusions I’m drawing are basically a roll of the dice these days, because the results of this show aren’t really making much sense to me anymore. In what universe does an Olympic figure skater somehow tumble into the bottom two with a Superbowl champ, while reality stars with marginal dance skills end up safe??? Last night’s results would have been unheard of ten years ago on this show – hell, even three years ago on this show. Granted, Vernon was not as adept as the majority of the NFL players we’ve had on this show, and Johnny got RIDICULOUSLY low-balled on his score this week – but I guess the only conclusion I can reasonably draw is that not many people are actually voting (or voting consistently), and it’s causing the results to become unpredictable from time to time. There’s also the fact that you can now vote ten times PER COUPLE, per voting method, which I think is muddling things – where people used to have to put all their eggs in one basket, they can now put the same amount of eggs in multiple baskets; this only adds to the total number of points (and thus diminishes the power of each vote) and just seems to result in the needle not moving as much when you combine scores and votes. Add to this the fact that TPTB seem intent on keeping Monica (or Val) around despite a mediocre performance thus far, and I’m not sure what to make of things anymore. I feel like the “perpetual present” that the pandemic has left us all stuck in is seeping into every aspect of my life: it’s hard to think about what’s going to happen in the future, when each day just seems like an interminable NOW with no end in sight. Christ, this pandemic has made me nihilistic.

So we’re past the halfway point of the season, and we’ve eliminated 1/3 of the cast – so what type of narrative seems to be taking shape for the finale? Hard to say. For once, I don’t feel confident claiming any one person will for sure win – I tend to think Kaitlyn (and probably AJ, too – unless they fall into the bottom together) are likely going to get saved by the judges no matter what, but when it comes to winning…all bets are off. Will Nev make the finals? Maybe…maybe not. Nelly, Justina, and Jeannie are all big question marks for me, too – I think it’s equally possible that any of them make the finals or get eliminated just short of them. My gut says they can’t protect Monica forever, and if Skai keeps having off-weeks, I don’t think she sticks around, either. No idea what to make of Chrishell anymore, as it feels like Gleb could walk center stage and take a dump and still get glowing reviews for their routine. And is Johnny being set up as a shock elim in the coming weeks??? Could be…or last night could have been an anomaly. And despite Derek usually making the right call, my confidence in the judges this season choosing the correct couple when saving from the bottom two has waned – I tend to think they may be getting instructed to “make things interesting” from the control room, and may vote in a way that they wouldn’t normally. Hence, Carrie Ann’s (downright idiotic) choice to save Vernon & Peta over Johnny & Britt.

So Derek graced the DWTS stage for the first time in 3 years, and I daresay that was probably the only glimmer of hope DWTS has for a possible choreo Emmy nomination next summer – and given that perennial heavy-hitter SYTYCD did not air this year, it’s possible DWTS could eke out a nod along with some of the routines from World of Dance. Or who knows, maybe they won’t even bother to nominate anyone in that category – seems like a very 2020 outcome 😉 Loved this paso, and it felt like the culmination of all the years Derek spent using DWTS and the MOVE tours as a “test kitchen” for some of his wilder choreography ideas. Paso was always his favorite dance to choreograph, so the choice made sense; it was also nice to see how far Hayley has come in her ballroom and Latin technique, as some of her early days dabbling in it were a bit…shaky. I daresay her Latin technique bests Allison’s now, though, so if they ever went shopping for female pros again in the future (if there is one…), I think she’s a logical choice.

As most of us had predicted, Vernon left us this week – and while it was disappointing, I caught a bit of his GMA appearance this morning, and he seemed to have a very upbeat attitude about his elim, and was generally grateful for the experience. I think he had plateaued in terms of his dancing, too, so I don’t know that he would have fared well when they would have started doing 2+ dances per week. Glad he got to go out on a positive note, though – his cha-cha was a fun tribute to his grandpa and I think he had a lot of fun. …Read more

October 21, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 5 – Power Rankings

Soooo…I can’t be the only one who wonders what the Russian pros (minus Artem, he’s an angel) did to piss off the hair department this week, right? 😛 What in the name of Party City Clearance Bin was on Gleb & Val’s heads??? I think the conclusion Mama Spence and I came to was some unholy abomination born of Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride, the owner of the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, and this man looking for love in an 80’s dating service video:

 

Alan only got off marginally better than the other two, with what looks to be a discount version of Vicki Lawrence’s wig from Mama’s Family:

I don’t know if Tyrant is becoming more tolerable, or if everything else in this year is such a flaming dumpster fire by comparison and I’m just getting used to her particular brand of annoyance, but I found her MILDLY less annoying this week. MILDLY. But I will say I found it super-duper sketch when she brought up the whole elimination gaffe from last week again, and it makes me wonder if there’s more to it than simply being a control room “whoops”. Sis seemed awfully defensive about it, and eager to “set the record straight” – to which I say “Sure, Jan.” And so far, everyone that has fallen into the bottom two and been saved has ended up in the bottom two again and gotten flushed out the following week. But this week, Monica manages to avoid it altogether, owing to some awfully generous scoring for what I would consider a fairly weak tango? Just makes my brain itch. I don’t know to what end strings are being pulled, but it just adds to the stench of this season for me.

Well, in the aforementioned unexpected twist, Monica managed to stay completely safe this week, and it was Vernon and Jesse who took a tumble into the “Danger Zone” (seriously – of all the songs they could have resurrected for 80’s week, why not this one???).  Jesse was ultimately flushed out in a unanimous vote by the judges, and while I feel like he had plateaued (and even backslid) in the past two weeks, I am still a skosh disappointed that we lost him, because I do feel like he was trying; I feel like the one thing that gave Vernon a leg up over him, though, is that Vernon seems to take criticism from the judges and let it fuel him, while Jesse only seemed drained by it. Maybe it was for the best that he left sooner rather than later, as the weekly criticism seemed to be taking its toll on Jesse; but it still irks me that he and Sharna got screwed with music at least half the time, and I feel like that did play a major role in some of their dances being a bit lackluster. Their song this week had some really strange tempo changes that even Mama Spence noticed (and she will be the first to tell you she lacks all rhythm), so I’m inclined to cut them a bit of a break for some of their more awkward routines.

Given that it was a theme week, we of course had some songs that weren’t ideal for the dance that was being done to them, and most of the pros had to sacrifice a bit of content in favor of upholding the “spirit” of 80’s week…so I’m being a bit more lenient on filler/time wasters this week. I also have beaucoup gifs this week, so bear with me 😉 Read more..

October 13, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 4 – Power Rankings

So what are we gonna call last night? “Special Dance That is Meaningful to Some of the Contestants” night, sponsored by The Backstreet Boys(TM)?

Honestly, without a unifying theme (and with Tyrant just repeating “special and emotional dances”), it felt a bit aimless last night – you had contestants like Skai and Anne giving very emotionally charged stories and performances, and then you had Monica and Nelly half-heartedly dancing along to songs they didn’t even seem to like. Should have just called it “Most Memorable Year” or “Personal Story” week and let that guide things.

So that aimlessness spilled over into the elimination, which we had plenty of time for, but which somehow still got royally FUBAR’d. While I agree with Heidi’s sentiment that Tyrant was marginally less annoying last night than in previous weeks, all that went out the window for me the minute she started screeching “My cards were wrong! It’s the control room’s fault!” when the big elimination gaffe was revealed. All I could think was “Bergeron would have never thrown the crew under the bus like that.” He would have made some cool, off-the-cuff quip about live television that made us all chuckle, and then moved right along with adjusting course to correct the error. And then once it was made clear that the correct bottom two were Anne and Keo and Monica and Val, she barked at the judges to hurry up an render a verdict, so she had more time to yap about 80s night as the credits rolled. If it wasn’t clear before, it’s abundantly clear now: Tyrant is only ever looking out for number 1.

So we lost Anne and Keo, and that was the first elimination this season that left me feeling disappointed. There was something so refreshing about Anne’s performances – she always seemed to commit fully, and just let her flag fly out on the floor. And she always hyped up Keo, which I appreciate 🙂 And while her story about getting blackballed for dating Ellen back in the day is absolutely heartbreaking, there’s another infuriating layer to the story that didn’t get mentioned: Weinstein actually exposed himself to her and demanded sex around the same time, and then blackballed her further when she rejected him. That poor woman couldn’t get a decent job in Hollywood for YEARS as a result of the one-two punch of the Ellen relationship fallout and Weinstein being Weinstein, unchecked. Overall, I’m glad she was on this season (and I’m glad she got to tell her story), but there were other couples I would have gladly sent home first…it is what it is. Read more..

October 6, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 3 – Power Rankings

What can I say about Disney night that I haven’t already said in season 28, season 27, season 25, etc.? Not much. It’s the same 2-hour long Disney commercial that it has always been, with dances (usually poorly) shoehorned to fit (overused) songs, and costumes that feel like plagiarized essays – “yeah, you can copy mine from last season, but change a few things so it’s not so obvious.” That much I kind of expected – but I’m also dealing with the added complication this season of still having TOO. DAMN. MANY. COUPLES. It’s enough of a mental load to remember them all at the end of the night, and on top of that, we’re still getting really truncated dances – which is beneficial to some (marginal dancers like Chrishell) while detrimental to others (decent dancers like Skai, who seems to take a few bars to really hit a stride). With 13 couples remaining, next week will basically feel like a regular premiere night, and we’re already in week 4. We’re gonna have to start trimming some fat (and quickly) if we want to get whittled down to a 4-couple finale before Thanksgiving.

Tyrant was still up to her usual “look at meeeeee!” claptrap with her Minnie Mouse ballgown and absurdly long wig, but dare I say she may have dialed things back a just teensy bit this week? At the very least, the judges seemed to get more time to critique, while we seemingly only had to endure one dumb Tyrant question posed to each couple instead of multiple, increasingly painful ones that the celebs struggled to answer eloquently (or diplomatically). Don’t get it twisted – this show is still much harder to endure than necessary, owing to Tyrant’s presence (and Bergeron’s absence); but this week felt fractionally less painful.  Think someone pulled rank and told her to pipe down after last week’s sh*tshow?

So “that b***h Carole Baskin” got sent packing this week, and I hope that means I don’t have to hear any more bitching about how upset some of you were that “Derek saved her!” last week. You guys do realize the judges collude on who to save/ditch, right? So even though it appeared that Derek “got the deciding vote”, the three of them had already decided who was staying and who was going, and it was just a matter of what order they revealed their votes in to maximize suspense. And Carole had to have more than one vote to stay, yet nobody seemed as upset with Carrie Ann as they were with Derek.  My god, I worry about the intelligence quotient of the voting public these days *facepalm*. Anywho, it was her time to go – and I think that’s why they handed her samba as her style this week to ensure it, as nearly no one nails that dance and even the good ones usually just barely flirt with proper technique.  Carole basically tiptoed carefully through her dance – no bounce, not much rhythm, but I will credit her with generally keeping in step with Pasha. And I think Carole may have been saved from complete embarassment when Tyrant hit her with this gem of a question: “So how does Pasha compare with the cats?” That’s like someone asking me how Mama Spence compares to the spreadsheets I use to make budgets at my 9-5. I dunno – I worry about both of them making dollars and sense? Da fuq. Is anyone rehearsing these questions with Tyrant before the show, or is she just improvising them on the fly???

Read more..

September 30, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 2 – Power Rankings

Welcome to “Dancing with Tyra Banks! And 15 Other Famous People But Mainly TYRA BANKS!!! Did We Mention TYRA BANKS??? WE ARE CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED TO SAY HER NAME AT LEAST 50 TIMES PER SHOW, SEND HELP!”

For anyone still able to hold onto the notion that Tyra “is doing better than we thought she would”, I admire your optimism, but I’m completely over her after only 2 weeks. Every time she asks an awkward (and usually frivolous) question after a couple gets their judges’ critiques (which are cut woefully short), or we have to hear her make every interaction about herself in some way, or we’re forced to witness her awkward attempt at humor in the “smizing” cold open, I just think to myself “Tom Bergeron would have never stooped to this level, and he could have gracefully hosted this show with a blindfold on and his hands tied behind his back…and it would still be better than this drivel!” Erin would have been worlds better than this as well…and Samantha Harris…and even one-and-done host Lisa Canning. About the only previous host Tyra has beat is Brooke Burke-Charvet, owing to the fact that Brooke wasn’t much more than a barely-sentient (but very pretty) potato. At least Tyra has a certain trainwreck appeal that makes her somewhat entertaining to watch…

…so with the new(ish) voting format, as Heidi mentioned, we’ve kind of discovered that it may actually be more beneficial for a couple to dance in the first hour of the show (as opposed to the second); I don’t think it was a coincidence that they seemed to front-load the show this week with most of the good dancers (Nev, Skai, Johnny, Justina, AJ) and left more of the weaker dancers in the back half (Charles, Carol, Chrishell, Vernon, Anne). And I don’t think the order in which the couples were called “safe” from elimination was a coincidence, either, despite Tyra insisting that the couples were “in no particular order”; the earliest ones called safe (Kaitlyn, Justina, AJ, Johnny) are the ones I think the majority of us assumed would be the safest, and the last three standing (Chrishell, Carol, and Charles) were the three most of us had in the danger zone.  I find the fact that Skai was one of the last four standing to possibly be a bit of a warning shot – I’m wondering if she’s dealing with Disney Kid Syndrome(TM) and is struggling with votes.

Other noteworthy stuff? On the negative end, I’m not sure the cameras panning to the couples sitting in their socially-distanced balconies after watching another couple dance is a good thing – more often than not, the couples were either making strange (potentially shady?) faces, or were messing with their phones; at least once, the camera panned to an empty balcony for a few beats. On the positive end, we are getting to experience the saucy troll side of Derek – the passive aggressive “Good job! That’s all I have time to say!” to Jesse after being rushed along from giving a critique by Tyrant (I’ve decided it’s her new name, y’all, since she’s the airtime hoarder) was SENDING me, as was this Carrie-Ann trolling TiK ToK he posted the other day that has inspired me to resurrect my long-marinating “lift policing” post for later this week 😉 Seriously, I cannot wait to see what other sassy comedic GOLD this arrangement sends our way – this is what happens when you hire the most decorated former pro in DWTS history to judge, after he’s had a successful run judging another more high-profile show on a rival network and he has absolutely NOTHING to lose by being a bit of a little shit 😉

@derekhoughShe’s a stickler for lifts @dancingabc♬ original sound – Tucky

So we lost Charles & Emma, which wasn’t terribly surprising – I think most of us had Carole and Charles as our bottom two; really and truly, as much as everyone seems to want Carole gone, I do think the right decision was made – I thought Carole was slightly better than Charles both weeks. Charles, bless him, I just don’t think he was going to improve much more this season. Sweet man, sweet partnership with Emma…but just not meant to go the distance. Read more..

September 23, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 1 – Power Rankings

As I find myself saying more and more often in this god forsaken year – this episode of Black Mirror sucks 😛

Granted, my bar for this season of DWTS was set lower than ever; I was expecting a certain degree of shenanigans that inevitably comes with COVID-19 precautions. The lack of audience meant the couples seemed to just get swallowed up by the stage (and lighting), and the walls constructed on both sides of the dance floor to obscure the lack of audience seemed to evoke a sort of post-apocalyptic robot obelisk. Then there was the dystopian (and highly unnerving, at times) pre-recorded applause, booing, and cheering noises that were piped in, often at the wrong time (and wayyyy too loud). The intro of the celebs at the beginning of the show seemed to be some sort of bastardized version of the “choose your player” screen at the beginning of video games, with each character pulsing awkwardly in some sort of characteristic movement – or a preview of the 2020 version of The Sims, who knows. While I enjoyed the intro of the pros walking to the stage one by one and striking a pose, they all seemed to look a bit sad – I like to think it was because they missed Tom. I certainly did.

I just can’t with Tyra, guys. I know it was her first night, but sis was just trying wayyyy too hard, and it came across disingenuous and awkward at times; I just found myself going “We let go of the ease and aplomb of Tom and Erin FOR THIS???” And this is DWTS, not the Met Gala – so the ginormous “look at meeeeeee!” ballgown made me roll my eyes, as did the costume change. I can’t recall Tom or Erin ever changing costumes during the show, or wearing anything that was so over-the-top as to shift focus from the contestants. Nor did they feel the need to stunt in a Ferrari… Read more..

September 15, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 10: Power Rankings – Who Will Win?

Before the show each week, I start to compile a list of talking points in my head that I can include in the intro to the week’s power rankings. General, all-encompassing thoughts that seem to summarize what is going on on the show at any given time. Headed into Monday night’s show, my thoughts were something along the lines of “Y’know, aside from you-know-who and maybe Ray being included this season, this has actually been a really great cast and the funny business has been kept to a minimum. Glad that we’re headed into the finale with the right group of people!” Well, strike that – the judges managed to ruin that sentiment in one unceremonious swoop last night, when they opted to eliminate possibly the best and most consistent dancer this season (who had never been in the bottom two before) in favor of saving someone who was in the bottom two for the third time (and is consistently overscored). Do I even need to mention that James likely only fell into the bottom two owing to personal tragedy striking over the weekend, which likely affected his performances? His bottom two appearance was a fluke, and he had a record of solid performances over the span of this season that should have made him the easy choice for saving – and yet the judges discarded him without batting an eye.  This is unfortunately exactly what I worried would happen with the judges’ save in my power rankings last week – the judges using it to REPEATEDLY contradict the viewer vote. I’ve seen several theories from folks trying to make sense of why James was eliminated over Ally, and I guess I’ll just address them in list form:

“Maybe James asked to be eliminated so he could go home to be with his family!”

We’ve had contestants that have dropped out for all sorts of reasons over the years – injuries (i.e. Misty May-Treanor, Dorothy Hamill), illnesses (i.e. Tamar Braxton, Kim Zolciak), even interpersonal issues (Sara Evans left season 3 because she was getting divorced). If James wanted to go home, he could have very easily just announced that he was withdrawing, and I don’t think anyone would have begrudged him for it. Why go through the whole song and dance of rigging an elimination, and making the judges look absolutely insane??? And why have James beg for votes after getting his second score? Both he and Emma looked genuinely shocked and devastated when they were eliminated, so I tend to think this was NOT pre-planned. He seemed to be enjoying the experience of DWTS too much to just withdraw.

“Did James maybe pose too much of a threat to Hannah winning, so they got rid of him?”

I would say he was probably the most likely to play spoiler to a Hannah win, but why would they put so much emphasis on Hannah winning??? Sure, she’s ABC family, but I don’t think they had to make a bunch of wacky promises to get her to sign onto the cast (she seemed pretty willing to do the show), and she’s arguably at the END of her ABC shelf life (Bachelor & Bachelorette stints are already over, the possibility of a Tyler C. reconciliation is dead and buried, Bachelor in Paradise won’t air until next fall – IF they would even cast her)…so I don’t really see an advantage for ABC propping her up for the win. It would have actually made more sense to me to ensure James won, as it would uphold the narrative that the new system works to make sure dancers that are both good and popular with the audience win (and we don’t get another Bones).

“Did the judges maybe think James needed to go be with his family?”

If so, they had no business projecting that onto James – PERIODT. Ask James if he wants to go home; don’t assume he wants to go home because of what he’s going through, or assume that it’s the “right thing to do” given the circumstances. Bitch please – give the poor man agency over his own life, and don’t be so arrogant so as to assume you know what’s best for him.

Are they trying to make sure that Ally wins?

If so, it’s a fool’s errand – she’s been in the bottom two THREE times now; do they judges think she’s somehow gonna miraculously rally the votes to take home the MBT next week??? ‘Cause I sure don’t. If the viewers weren’t voting for her by now, they’re not gonna vote for her next week – especially now that she’s got the stink of being the one that the judges eliminated James for hanging over her head. Not her fault, but I’ll admit that I’m probably not going to be throwing any votes her way – she should have been gone by now. Additionally – WHAT DOES THE SHOW GAIN FROM ALLY WINNING? Are they trying to change the narrative to “screw the viewer votes, the judges know best!” Because that’s the only outcome I see from the unlikely event that Ally somehow manages to win. She’s part of a defunct girl group, she’s not got any huge projects in the pipeline…is she the tour celeb??? One of the celebs on this new, ill-conceived DWTS vacay??? Who knows. Bottom line: I don’t see any great benefit to the show or the network in the highly unlikely event Ally wins.

“Ally was clearly the better dancer, so it makes sense that James got eliminated!”

Delusion, thy name is Harmonizers. It could be argued that Ally’s a better all-around dancer than Lauren, possibly a better showman than Hannah, and perhaps a better technician than Kel – I even said last week that I think Ally’s probably the second-best dancer this season. But James had Ally beat on ALL FRONTS, and he was the only one I thought for sure that the judges would ditch Ally for. Sis’ two dances last night were okay-to-decent – but they weren’t James-level polished, and when you take into account the fact that James (even in his off-weeks) consistently was by and large better than everyone else this season, the decision to keep him should have been a no-brainer. Ally’s a great girl and a good dancer – but she ain’t the best. Overscored, sure. It’s not even subjective at this point – James was the better dancer, period.

Was this all just for drama?

Who knows – maybe. With the unmentionable one gone, did they somehow need to stir up drama in another way? If so, this was a dangerous (and possibly counter-intuitive) game to play – I feel James would have been someone that people specifically tuned in to watch in the finale, and now that he’s gone, I could see ratings taking a tumble. Are people talking about what happened Monday night? Sure.  But will it translate to viewers? Doubtful.

All conspiracy theories aside, I’m honestly gutted for James – both for the tragedy he’s currently enduring on the home front, as well as his magical journey on DWTS coming to an abrupt and unexpected end. I was really looking forward to seeing a freestyle from him & Emma! I think he’s right up there with Hinch and Shad as one of the best male celebs without dance experience that we’ve had on the show – hell, he might be THE best male celeb without dance experience that we’ve had on the show. He’s also a class act that hasn’t said one bitter word since his elim (though I would not shame him if he did), and has been nothing but gracious and supportive of the remaining finalists.  To Ally’s credit, she also tearfully begged James to take her spot in the finals – she saw the writing on the wall (that James was the better dancer with the better track record) and also felt terrible that he got eliminated in a week where he had already endured so much sorrow. So to make my stance clear: what happened sucked, but I don’t blame anyone but the judges – it was their low-balling and just mind-boggling decision-making that caused James’ elimination, NOT Ally. So sending her (or any of the other remaining contestants) bad energy or abuse? Not a good look – I would hope our readers here are smarter and more emotionally intelligent than that 😉 Read more..

November 20, 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.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 9: Power Rankings

HE’S GONE, GUYS!!!! HE’S REALLY, FINALLY GONE!!! 🙂 *cue Pharrell’s “Happy”*

It only took nine weeks, but we finally shook him loose…and not a moment too soon.  Not sure if I was feeling more optimistic at the beginning of the season and fatigue/frustration is setting in now that we’re close to the end or what, but somehow, it seems like S*** somehow got WORSE as the season wore on. Even Bristol Palin (whose politically-charged casting I also disapproved of) managed to actually improve during the course of season 11; wacky Rick Perry even got a skosh better before he got booted in season 23. S***…not so much.  And yes, I still refuse to say his name – I don’t want his supporters or anyone at ABC thinking that “any publicity is good publicity”, and thus I make sure it doesn’t even show up in the search algorithm by refusing to say it. He should never have been on this show in the first place; the fact that he stuck around as long as he did is a damn travesty. But mercifully, it’s over now. And I give all the props in the world to Lindsay and Jenna for being nothing less that consummate professionals and class acts in partnering him this season 🙂

So we saw a bit of wonky scoring last night – I don’t think that was an accident, by any means. If I had to guess what was happening, I’d say that someone in the control booth was keeping a very close eye on the votes and scores throughout the show, and was feeding the judges instructions on what scores needed to be given in order to elicit a particular outcome at the end of the night. Based on her being in the bottom 2 twice before, my guess is that the judges were instructed to protect Ally at all costs – hence, two good (but definitely not perfect) dances got gifted with gushing praise and perfect scores. I think they likely were told to go easy on Kel on his second dance, based on the number of votes the man in the control room was seeing – they got kinda nitpicky with his paso in the first hour, but had nothing but good things to say about his good (but again, not perfect) Viennese waltz in the second hour. I’m guessing Hannah and James are doing a-okay with votes, and thus weren’t spared from the full force of the judges’ nitpicking. Half the judges (Joey, who gets a pass for being the guest judge, and Carrie Ann, who refuses to take any responsibility for S***’s continued presence) whipped out the “7” paddle for S***’s first dance, but demurred for his second dance (which might have actually been slightly better than his first dance) and whipped out the “6” instead. I’d stake money on it that they were ordered to do so by the control room, as it was likely the only way to ensure he fell into the bottom 2. That left Lauren to join him in the bottom 2, and if I’m being honest, this felt like the first time this season that the bottom two actually made sense: S*** was quite obviously the worst dancer left in the competition, and I think Lauren’s the weakest one left after him. Though that really didn’t matter – the reality was that S*** was going home as soon as he fell into the bottom 2, regardless of who was there with him.  Keeping Ally and Kel out of the bottom two was likely more for optics than anything else…

…which brings me to my next thought (or really, a couple of semi-related thoughts): why aren’t more people voting for Ally, and at what point will the judges stop saving her if she keeps falling into the bottom 2? I’ve seen a lot of folks on Twitter trying to figure out why Ally isn’t getting more votes, especially since “Normani made it all the way to the  finals, the Harmonizers should be carrying Ally as well!” First, I go back to my “Not as many people are watching/voting on DWTS now” point – the show was averaging between 8-11 million viewers 2.5 years ago when Normani was on; now they’re barely hovering above 6 million. Secondly (and this is one I really have to sell folks on), I’m still not convinced that Normani was “getting tons of votes” like her fans claim. I explained the many reasons why I think she didn’t win in this post, but for the TL:DR crowd, take a look at the margins between Normani and the person voted off each week.  Aside from one off-week early on in the season, she always either had pretty hefty padding in terms of points or immunity to keep her safe – she didn’t actually NEED a ton of votes in order to stick around each week. Additionally, I also mention in that post the somewhat indifferent attitude DWTS fans seem to have towards female pop stars – they tend to struggle with votes, particularly if they’re young and relatively new to the music scene (read: not immediately familiar to Baby Boomers).  I tend to think all of these factors that Normani had stacked against her, Ally is likely dealing with as well…and to a greater degree, owing to the demise of Fifth Harmony, overall lower viewer/votership, a pro less popular than Normani’s, and a rep as “the worst dancer in Fifth Harmony” (which still I absolutely don’t understand). Plus, Ally’s up against at least three contestants (four if you count Kel; five when you throw in S***) that appeal more readily to the middle-aged, female, conservative-leaning main viewing demographic. Really and truly, Ally’s dealing with a pretty stacked deck – which SUCKS, cause she may actually be the second best dancer this season from a technical standpoint. So that brings me to my next thought: with the new format that allows the judges to pick who goes home from the bottom 2, will they ever reach a point where they stop trying to save someone that ends up there repeatedly? Ally’s been there twice already, and been saved both times; if she ends up there next week, is it worth saving her if she’s just going to keep ending up there again and again? I think at some point, the judges’ are going to have to take into account the fact that a couple that ends up in the bottom 2 repeatedly is just not clicking with fans for whatever reason – and continuing to save that couple could send the message that viewer votes don’t necessarily matter, and could risk alienating viewers. It really might be just a stay of execution, so to speak.  And when you take into account that she could end up there with a couple that maybe just had an off week (score-wise or votes-wise) and their being in the bottom 2 is really just a fluke…is it worth it to save the one with repeat bottom 2 appearances, and send the one-off couple that shouldn’t really even be there packing? It’s something to consider, and I saw a few people on Twitter suggesting that the judges should have a limit on how many times they can save the same couple – I don’t think it’s a bad idea, and could avoid giving the impression that the judges have ultimate control.  Clearly this new system for eliminations isn’t perfect – it  was created to help prevent another Bobby Bones, and yet it allowed one of the worst dancers this season to advance all the way to the quarterfinals; could be worth taking a closer look and see if certain aspects of the system needs tweaking. Read more..

November 13, 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.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 8: Power Rankings

He’s still here, y’all. 🙁

We’re only three weeks away from the finale, and we’ve eliminated half of this season’s cast. Assuming they eliminate one couple next week and another the following week, we’re looking at a four-person finale – and given that the judges seem disinclined to really do anything to help the situation, I think we need to start coming terms with the fact that’s he’s more than likely going to end up in the finals, barring any sort of extreme interference from production. As I predicted last week, this week’s bottom two was just a recycling of previous bottom 2 survivors, which makes me think it’s going to continue being such (sorry Ally, and possibly sorry Kel) until he finally ends up pitted against contestants that have also been able to steer clear of it thus far (read: Hannah, James, Lauren). I’ve seen some folks worried that he might win – while I’m not ruling it out completely, I’m also thinking (hoping) that his continued presence is lighting a fire underneath some viewers to vote for all the other couples, and with each week that passes there’s fewer and fewer people to spread the votes around to…so those that haven’t fallen into the bottom 2 yet are likely amassing bigger and bigger shares of the voting pie, which creates more pressure for his voters to pick up the slack. I’ve given up on the judges actually scoring him fairly – he should be getting 4’s, and not the overly-kind 6’s and 7’s that the judges are still throwing out.  Got blocked by Carrie Ann (again) for telling her that she has no room to be “irritated” with the fans, when she’s actively contributing to him sticking around by copping out with her little 7 paddle. So we clearly can’t rely on the judges to actually drop the hammer. But if it’s any consolation, we confirmed this week that you can vote ten times per couple, per account online, so if you aren’t doing so already – go through and add ten votes for each couple EXCEPT HIM, then submit your votes, log out, and repeat with your other accounts. If we ride this hard, it could result in him falling into the bottom 2, where he can finally be flushed out…

So with this continued clownery, the question on everyone’s lips seems to be “Is the show going to be cancelled?” If you’re just asking for my opinion, I say if this is the type of nonsense we can look forward to for seasons to come, the show SHOULD be cancelled; however, the actual answer is quite a bit more complicated than that. Ratings are at their lowest; however, if ABC is going to cancel DWTS, they’re going to have to come up with something else to put in its time slot that can hold its own against The Voice, which airs concurrently on NBC. I don’t know that it’s going to be very easy for ABC to track down a new show to replace DWTS, but I could see them swapping it out – and I think the most likely candidate is American Idol. It’s currently airing on Sundays (which is actually considered a more competitive time slot than Mondays) and is pulling in roughly the same ratings as The Voice on Monday nights. Why ABC has such confidence in an outdated reality competition format is beyond me, but I could see them giving DWTS’ Monday night slot to Idol and either putting DWTS on Sundays or scrapping it altogether. I mean, they’ve got all manner of fluffy stuff they can pad Sunday night out with – America’s Funniest Home Videos, Kids Say the Darndest Things, Shark Tank, etc. However, AI has been airing in the spring, and is already greenlit for a spring 2020 season; will ABC take the risk of doing two seasons of AI in a year and over-saturating viewers? Can they even AFFORD to do so, given Katy Perry’s bloated salary? There’s a lot of variables to consider when it comes to cancelling DWTS, and while I can’t in good conscience condone several continued seasons of the shenanigans currently happening, I can’t say confidently that this show will be toast after this one. Will be interesting to see what (if anything) gets said about another season on finale night…if they don’t say anything, up-fronts in May of next year will be a key time to watch…

So we lost Kate & Pasha, which, while not unexpected, was still disappointing. I actually thought her jive was her strongest Latin dance, and was impressed and how bouncy and clean the legwork was – which made it all the more annoying when the judges seemed to downplay how well she did, and she ended up with the same score as Lauren for a dance that I thought was actually better. But boy am I glad that they were on this season, and that Pasha was a pro – as Len mentioned last week (I think), Pasha has forced all the other pros to up their game in terms of content, and it’s benefited just about everyone. You could tell Len was sad to see them go when he did press line after Monday’s show, so I guess that’s something… Read more..

November 6, 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.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 7: Power Rankings

Well I guess it goes without saying that Halloween Night brought some bad juju with it that I’m struggling to shake. My girl crush Kate (and male pro messiah, Pasha) fell into the bottom two, while you-know-who somehow dodged the bottom two altogether (again). And I’m noticing a disturbing pattern with his supporters: with each week that passes with him sticking around, they seem to take on more aggressive, offensive posturing; they’re likely heartened by witnessing human garbage like former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus antagonizing Erin on Twitter, over a perceived “sad face” that she apparently had when you-know-who was announced as safe.  He did this completely unprovoked, I might add – and that’s what’s really disturbing to me. Bones’ fans may have been annoying, but I don’t recall them going out of their way to pick fights with his detractors (until finale night, when they all apparently decided to flood my mentions). Supporters of Lindsay’s partner seem to have started searching the #dwts hashtag, and start pig piling on anyone that dares to say anything negative about him – or nothing at all about him (I legit saw one poor fan inundated with “Funny how you’ve left S*** out of your list of favorites” and “You’re gonna feel so stupid when S*** wins this whole season!” tweets from the #MAGA faction).  I don’t even think half these people voting for him even like him as a person or a dancer – I think they just like thinking they’ve somehow “stuck it to the liberals” by keeping him on the show. This is why I refuse to say his name – not only does it give him power in social media algorithms, but it just allows the bad juju of the people that support him to find its way into my timeline. I DO NOT ACCEPT THIS ENERGY. But unfortunately, this show did, and when you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas…

I’ve inevitably had a few fans asking me “What can we do to stop this??? How do we get rid of him????” and I wish I had an easy answer for you. The fool’s errand this season has left us with is to basically vote for EVERY SINGLE OTHER COUPLE, in the hope that they all eventually surpass him in combined scores and votes. However, my gut feeling (one I share with Heidi) is that it’s not necessarily that he’s getting a ton of votes – it’s that there’s not very many votes being cast, TOTAL, and thus it’s giving a small-but-determined fanbase more voting power than they’d normally have. If that’s the case, then every vote that is not for him should help – and it seems like there’s some debate over whether the online accounts will allow you (10) votes total (to distribute among the couples as you see fit, as it’s always been), or whether they will allow you to vote ten times apiece for each couple (like the text voting, which allows you a max of (10) votes per couple). If you truly can vote ten times per couple per account, then y’all, I recommend you ride that till the wheels fall off – that could be the key to finally ousting this festering boil of a contestant. If it’s not the case, then I hope you guys are still voting nonetheless – if you wanted to vote more strategically, I would suggest throwing votes to James, Lauren, and/or Hannah, as I think those are the three that ol’ Frankenstein is going to struggle to surpass in votes (they’ve never been in the bottom 2, while Kate, Ally, and Kel all have). All I know is that if this show ends up with another bullsh*t winner, we can probably kiss it goodbye…hell, we might still kiss it goodbye, even if he doesn’t win. But I’ll be damned if I don’t put up a fight first…

So as I had generally been thinking for the past several weeks, we inevitably lost Karamo – half of the bottom two from last night had no business being there, and I think Karamo had plateaued with his dancing and wasn’t likely to improve much more this season. If you-know-who had gone home last night (or last week…or the week before…) like he ought to, I think Karamo would have probably been in the bottom two with him, and probably would have been the next one eliminated, anyway. I still love the story and the energy he brought with him, though, and if nothing else, I now have a quite fetching “OMG BEEEEYOOOOONNNNNCCCEEEE!” pterodactyl screeching Karamo sound byte as my text tone, graciously created for me by reader Rob 😉 Read more..

October 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.