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PureDWTS Season 27 – Preliminary Thoughts & Predictions

I feel like all I do is apologize for the lack of timeliness in my posts these days 😛 Sorry guys – life got busy for me real fast this season. I thought about doing a preliminary power rankings, but I realized I haven’t been keeping up with enough media about the couples to really do that justice.  So instead, welcome to my random and scattered thoughts about this season, in no particular order 🙂 I tried hit on some of the questions I was getting on Twitter, but if there’s anything else you want my thoughts on, go ahead and leave it in the comments and I’ll try to answer.

This is DeMarcus’ MBT to lose.  Now before anyone assumes I mean “I think DeMarcus will win!”, pump your brakes – what I mean by this is that I feel like DeMarcus has the easiest path to the MBT, from the jump: he’s a former NFL player from possibly the most universally popular team (the Dallas Cowboys – often referred to as “America’s team”, part of the reason why Emmitt was so popular), he’s well-spoken and well-liked, he’s in great shape physically, he’s got one helluva work ethic, and he has a great rapport with his partner, who is also widely well-liked and well-respected.  Basically, as long as he dances decently (not necessarily great – decent should do it) and puts on a good show and has a “journey”, I think the MBT is his – which means the other couples are going to have to work twice as hard to win, even though they might actually be better dancers. DeMarcus is easily the biggest fanbase ringer this season, from where I sit – and sometimes, that can help a decent dancer overtake a fantastic dancer for the MBT. Just ask Donny Osmond.

We could be dealing with season 24, redux.  I can’t help but draw some comparisons between this season and season 24, when there was a preponderance of ringers (particularly female ones) and the last two standing were guys with no previous dance experience (one of which was an NFL player) that were just really likeable and had great chemistry with their partners. I think each season of DWTS can realistically handle 1-2 high-level ability ringers, tops – any more than that and you start to run into some unexpected results, as we saw in season 24 (you could also argue that too many fanbase ringers of the same type yield unexpected results – look at season 22, when all three NFL players got shut out of the finale). And here’s the kicker: you’ve gotta have a pro that actually knows how to choreograph to an ability ringer’s strengths.  One way I think season 24 fell woefully short was handing the two biggest ringers (Normani & Heather) to two pros who couldn’t cut the mustard, choreographically-speaking. Maks’ choreo for Heather that season was absolutely pitiful, and while Val managed a few hits (the Mulan paso, the contemporary, maybe the Argentine tango), towards the end of the season, his choreo kinda petered out (the Viennese waltz and freestyle were both head-scratchers for me). Even Mark seemed to burn out towards the end of season 25 with Lindsey.  I think a big key to the big ability ringers’ (Tinashe, Alexis, Juan Pablo, Mary Lou, and to a lesser degree, Evanna & Milo) longevity this season is how well their partners are able to choreograph to their strengths – and if they’re able to keep up the momentum, all season long.

If any of the pros are going to step up the choreo to become the “new Mark/Derek”, now would be the time to do it. We’re kind of in an odd transition period in the show: with the exception of Cheryl popping in for fall seasons, the OG pros are all gone; even some of the second generation pros (Peta, Val, Sharna, Emma, Sasha) are starting to pursue other opportunities outside of DWTS, and they may move on from the show before long. TPTB continue to try retooling the show to keep up with the times (All-Athletes, Juniors), and the pressure is generally on to keep this show “fresh”. While most of the female pros are actually stellar choreographers, the male pro lineup has been woefully void of great choreography; if one of them wanted to try cementing himself as the new choreographic genius of the male lineup, now would be the time to do it – and I think Brandon may be the ticket.  I have heard tremendous praise for his skills as both a teacher and a choreographer on Juniors, and if you think about it, he’s the first male pro that has come from the same training background that gave us Lindsay, Witney, and Jenna. He’s impressively cross-trained (like the rest of the Utah Squad, and really, Ballas/Hough before them), and doesn’t seem to have any of the same “ballroom purity” hangups that we seem to see with Chmerkovskiy acolytes. I’m thinking Brandon could be the breakout star pro of this season, if he plays his cards right.

I am totally fine with newbs like Brandon & Alan getting ringers. Val’s already been granted his 2 MBT’s, and seems to be transitioning to more of a judging role; Gleb & Keo just can’t seem to get their choreo right; Artem & Sasha are for the most part “hit”, but still sometimes “miss”.  Repeating it again for good measure: the male pro lineup needs a wake-up call.  So if that means handing Brandon & Alan some pretty ringy ability ringers, I’m all for it – let’s see what they’re made of. I actually thought Alan did respectably well with Mirai, and the only issue there had more to do with Mirai’s loose lips and general lack of self-awareness. Seems like these pros really have to hit the ground running in their initial season, anymore, if they want to continue as pros – and that can be kinda hard to do, if they’re always handing the newbs dud partners. Cheryl, Mark, Julianne, and Lacey all got ringers in their first season on the show – and it seemed to keep them in play for awhile. I used to be of the “newbs shouldn’t get ringers” camp – but anymore, I just keep going “Show me something new and different!!!” and “Everyone ends up getting a dud at some point, and everyone ends up getting a ringer at some point. No point getting too hung up on a single season.”

I wouldn’t count on Mary Lou being an early out.  I know some are hoping she’s gone by week 2 or 3, due to her comments about the Nassar case – I don’t blame you.  However, a bit of a reminder about the demographics of this show: the largest chunk of viewers are middle-aged, female, and conservative, and likely have very fond memories of Mary Lou as the Olympic darling who brought home gold back in her youth.  I would also venture a guess that many of them (like some of the conservatives currently trying to get a man of questionable morals elected to the Supreme Court) are “#MeToo skeptics” who are unfortunately more likely to give a pass to an Olympic darling defending her former trainer than to take the word of countless women who bravely came forward to speak about the trauma they endured at Nassar’s hand. It sucks, no doubt – but it’s an unfortunate pattern I’ve noticed, and it makes me think Mary Lou could last at least until the midpoint of the season – especially if she’s a decent dancer, which I think she will be.  I don’t see her winning or making the finals, though…at least not right now.

I think Nikki & Alexis need to turn on the charm, though.  Both come from professions that have yet to really do well on DWTS: comedians, models, and social media influencers. With the exception of conservative-leaning “country boy” comedian Bill Engvall, comedians generally haven’t done very well on this show – I think their biggest struggle is connecting with the audience, particularly if their brand of humor is a bit more high-brow or sarcastic. Or female 🙁 Conservative folk love the somewhat simple-minded humor of Jeff Foxworthy, Rodney Carrington, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engvall – but they tend not to embrace the D.L. Hughley’s, Jeff Ross’, and Margaret Cho’s of the world quite so warmly. Unless Nikki ends up being an Alexis or Tinashe-level dancer (and I don’t think she will be), or ends up finding a way to endear herself to the audience…I see her as an early out. Alexis may be a very trained dancer, but she’s also a model (and they tend not to last long on this show) and a social media personality (the only precedent we have for that being Hayes Grier – who couldn’t manage to get his millions of followers to vote hard enough to get him past week 7). Additionally, Alexis seems more reserved on-camera – so I think she’s really going to have to come out of her shell to endear herself to the audience, if she wants to stick around.

Being an “inspiring backstory” ringer may not be as much of an advantage as it once was.  Not counting Heather McCartney (who despite being an amputee, was also the much-maligned ex-wife of Paul McCartney), Amy was a novelty, since we hadn’t really had anyone disabled on the show in awhile, and Derek managed to mold her into a pretty respectable dancer. Noah had the fanbase boon of being a disabled vet; Nyle was both deaf AND a very likeable guy who could actually dance really well.  I’m not sure anyone really considered Terra’s small stature as a disability, since she was actually a pretty good dancer; and things started to deteriorate once Bonner came along, as he actually was a creep, despite his “inspiring backstory”. Victoria gave it her best shot a year ago, but given that her disability wasn’t as visible as, say, Amy’s or Noah’s, I don’t know that it really carried her as far as it once might have (then again, Val also really phoned it in on the choreo towards the end, so that likely didn’t help either).  I guess the point I’m trying to get at is this: the “inspiring backstory” is becoming less and less of a novelty on this show with each passing season, particularly with contestants whose disabilities aren’t outwardly visible, so Danelle might not get as much support as she would have on an earlier season. Times change – the audience changes.  Things that were once new and novel become commonplace, and voting attitudes change.  I don’t think Danelle will be first, second, third, or even 4th out, but I’ll be interested to see just how far her story takes her, particularly if she’s really struggling with the dancing.

Is Juan Pablo William Levy 2.0? Is Evanna going to be the next Katherine Jenkins? Those are the two former contestants that come to mind when I look at Juan Pablo & Evanna. On the plus side, I already find Juan Pablo quite a bit more likeable and relatable than William, who I always found to be a bit reserved and even borderline awkward in interviews; his dancing was decent, but not as fantastic as the judges would have had you think. Juan Pablo seems like he might have more polish and technique on his side. Evanna seems like she’s got roughly the same level of dance experience as Katherine – they’ve probably dabbled in it at some point, but are more well-known for other things.  I think Evanna will be at least as good as Katherine, ability-wise – question is, will Keo be as good as Mark? I’m gonna go with a big fat “NO” on that one, unless Keo has had some sort of choreographic breakthrough over the summer.  He seemed to hit a small groove with Jodie 2.5 years ago, but that season was a bloodbath and she probably could have gone further on a different, less competitive season. Will his choreo/teaching skills hold up this time? We’ll see.

Early prediction for the final 3: DeMarcus, Juan Pablo, & Tinashe. If they take 4 to the finale – Milo or Bobby join the other 3.

First out: My gut says Nikki.  Outside chance of John. Whichever one doesn’t go in week 1, is probably toast during the double elim in week 2. Having Val will likely keep Nancy around for a bit longer than expected, but I would be surprised if she lasted past the midpoint of the season.

“Shocking” elim potential: Alexis screams “good dancer that will probably get eliminated because she can’t successfully crossover fanbases” to me. I don’t think her millions of IG followers will vote as hard as some think they will, and I don’t know that the general DWTS audience is going to embrace her strongly.

Dark horse: I feel like Bobby is going to surprise a lot of people.  I’m hearing a lot of people say Joe, but Joe strikes me as kinda awkward…especially after I saw this.  What has been seen cannot be unseen. 😛

So there we have it – my thoughts headed into Monday’s premiere.  What do you guys think? Share in the comments, and if you don’t mind, please take 5 minutes to go watch my cousin’s son, Kingston, do his first LEGO unboxing video on YouTube and throw him a like or a comment.  He’s been battling leukemia since March, and he’s officially CANCER FREE now and starting to feel like a regular kid again. Bonus: appearance by his equally adorable brother Lincoln, and they both have the most adorable Tennessee accents 😛

See you all Monday for the live blog!!! 🙂

September 21, 2018 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 27 – Sharna on The Bobby Bones Show, Reveals Details About Weeks 1 & 2

So Sharna was on Bobby’s show this morning – go here to listen to the whole thing. Some nuggets worth mentioning: the couples are going to be doing (2) dances in week 1, both week 1 and week 2 will have shows on both Monday & Tuesday, one couple gets eliminated on Tuesday of week 1 (Sept. 25), and two couples get eliminated on Tuesday of week 2 (Oct. 2).  That’s…tough.  Looks like they’re going to be separating the men and women from the boys and girls fairly quickly, with a schedule that rigorous.

Bobby’s coworkers also seem to be unusually fixated on Bobby having a showmance, which is kind of weird, but go off, I guess:

September 13, 2018 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 27 – IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Watch the Cast Announcement on GMA/the Pros on GMA Day

So admittedly, Heidi & I’s coverage of the cast announcement this morning kind of fell apart – so thanks to those who stuck with us 🙂 I was tied up in meetings all day, but I wanted to make sure these got posted.

My overall thoughts? Milo just seems like a great kid: down to earth, easygoing, and upbeat. DeMarcus & Lindsay have a good energy about them.  I didn’t know anything about Evanna prior to this morning, but after watching this, I’d love to have a girl’s night with her. Mary Lou grated on my nerves. Alexis & Danelle seem a bit subdued. Juan Pablo looks like a contender, and Tinashe as well, as long as she can connect with the audience.

The actual announcement. Evanna, Juan Pablo, Tinashe, & DeMarcus all looking pretty good.

I think we’re missing a section where they talked to some of the cast (they showed video of DeMarcus and a cute video the Facts of Life girls made for Nancy), but here’s where they talked to the second half of the cast. Cameos by Dierks Bentley (wishing Bobby well) and Candace & Jodie (cheering on Juan Pablo), some inspirational stories from Danelle & Alexis, and kind of an awkward line of questing with Jenna that had me wondering for a second if she was preggers:

Then they had the celebs play just kind of a weird “13 questions” game that saw everything from Milo juggling to Juan Pablo’s worst dance move to Evanna’s Spongebob phobia:

Later in the day, the pros appeared on the new GMA Day show, which is taking the place of The Chew.

September 12, 2018 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

DWTS Season 27 Cast Announcement LIVE BLOG!!

Okay, kids, I’m back…for a couple days before I fly off to Italy!!  I will miss the premiere by a couple days, but I’ll hopefully catch up quick and get Dancing by the Numbers out in a timely fashion. 🙂

I’ve only been partially paying attention to all of Courtney’s hard work so far this season. Let’s just say that I have a very large client at work that is taking ALL of my time. Hopefully, my schedule will normalize now that we’ve hired some more people. Working weekends gets old very fast.

Anyway, Grocery Story Joe was confirmed last night during Bachelor in Paradise – I watch the Bachelor Franchise largely to make fun of shallow people who are rather pathetic…but I do like him A LOT. He’s cute and he’s funny.   Chris Harrison – give me a BREAK! I’m sure you’re totally responsible for getting Joe a spot on DWTS like you claimed. :::rolls eyes::: Courtney is speculating he’s with Jenna – this would be a hot couple. I sure hope he has some ability, cuz girlfriend can choreograph and I want to see some good dances.

In addition to Joe, we have Milo Manheim dancing with Witney – no clue who he is but he’s cute, so hopefully they will be fun. They were apparently announced on GMA yesterday morning. Also announced on GMA was Val dancing with Nancy McKeon from Facts of Life – she seems cool. Let’s hope that being engaged has softened Val – tempered the extreme arrogance. I ask a lot, I know. 🙂

Our source says that Keo is dancing with Evanna Lynch from Harry Potter (in which she was awesome). If you are a HP fan and you’re having trouble with the name, think Luna Lovegood. 🙂

We’ll be getting underway soon – if you want to kill some time, you can check out Courtney’s prediction post to see what she thinks is going to happen.

Okay…sheepish update. I totally overslept and everything you see above was written last night.  :::sigh:::  I’ve been working too hard.

Did we have this one?? I don’t remember hearing this name before….

Oh, this dude is hot…

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 Season 27: Partnership Predictions/Confirmations

So given all the intel that’s fallen in our laps as of late, it’s only natural that we want to start speculating on which celebs are with which pros.  Below are my best guesses, based on what we’ve seen/heard – partnerships in BOLD have been confirmed (either by the pros themselves or a source), and I’ve tried to include links to posts that contain the information I used to match up the partnerships.  I think Brandon’s partner is the only one that we haven’t figured out yet. Thanks to @ptxdwts on Twitter for helping me stay on top of these! 🙂

1.) Nancy McKeon & Val (confirmed on GMA)

2.) Bobby Bones & Sharna (Bobby lives in Nashville – Sharna’s been there all week, and pix put them in the same rehearsal studio)

3.) Danelle Umstead & Artem (Danelle lives in Park City – Artem was spotted there)

4.) DeMarcus Ware & Lindsay (DeMarcus lives in Southlake, TX – Lindsay has been there all week)

5.) Juan Pablo Di Pace & Cheryl (Juan followed Cheryl & DWTS, then unfollowed)

6.) Mary Lou Retton & Sasha (due to height constraints – MLR is 4’9″)

7.) “Grocery” Joe Amabile & Jenna (just a hunch)

8.) John Schneider & Emma (John’s a country singer, so it makes sense that he would be in Nashville – where Emma is, by process of elimination)

9.) Alexis Ren & Alan (Alan was the last to meet his partner, and Alexis had been in Japan until earlier this week; Alan’s “clue” in his IG story looked like he was at a photo shoot)

10.) Nikki Glaser & Gleb (nails, general build, and clue seem to match in Gleb’s IG hint)

11.) Milo Manheim & Witney (Someone has a “Disney guy” – by POE, it has to be Jenna or Witney, and Witney’s partners’ legs look like Milo’s)

12.) Tammin Sursok Evanna Lynch & Keo (nothing really matches up, but source says Evanna is in and with Keo)

13.) Tinashe & Brandon (process of elimination)

UPDATE 9/10/18 6:26 PM EST: First of all, some of you seriously need to chill with all the hand wringing about Tinashe’s legs – I do have a life outside of this site, and some of you commenting repeatedly and demanding answers has the opposite of the intended effect: it makes me want to block you, not bend over backwards to get answers for you.  Secondly, it seems like we might have a case of erroneous intel – I trust my source, but I’m not sure US Weekly should trust theirs.  Evanna is the one contestant that doesn’t seem to fit in here. Tammin is the only one that hasn’t been confirmed by another outlet, but unless Keo is just flat out lying about where his partner is from (and Tammin’s post about “things coming up in September” is just a coincidence, and the clue on Keo’s partner is bogus), I really think Tammin is in. The clue about Gleb’s partner and the build/look seem to be consistent with Nikki, and Tinashe seems like she’s in (and by POE, with Brandon).  My only thought is that maybe someone who was previously confirmed dropped out (maybe Danelle?) and Evanna was a replacement…? I honestly don’t know.

UPDATE #2, 9/10/18, 7:00 PM EST: I’m told Evanna is, indeed, in, and partnered with Keo…despite all the clues pointing to Tammin.  *shrug* I’ve got nothing.

Thoughts? 🙂

September 7, 2018 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 27 – And the New Troupe Member Is…

Vladislav “Vlad” Kvartin! Filling in the slot left by Brandon getting promoted to pro 🙂

Some of you might remember him as part of the cast of Maks/Val/Peta’s “Confidential” tour.  He’s also an instructor at Dance with Me in New Jersey, and appears to do some modeling on the side (bookmark that for future questions about height!) Is it just me, or do he and Artur look like they could be brothers…?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

2️⃣2️⃣ grateful, inspired, excited. Stay tuned…

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Follow Vlad on social media:

Vlad’s Instagram
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September 6, 2018 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 27 Cast Rumors & Watchout: Interesting Things on Social Media

In the absence of any solid intel at the moment, it’s time for the usual “interesting things” on social media post, where we speculate on peculiar things we see the pros/possible celebs doing on social media that might suggest they’re a part of this season of DWTS. There were so many people that hit me up with messages on Twitter and IG, so I apologize if your name’s not mentioned…I kinda just want to get this post up, and I didn’t have the energy to sort through my @ mentions and DM’s and try to credit each item individually.  Just know that if you helped point any of this out to me, I am grateful! 🙂 Read more..

September 1, 2018 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 Court Rants: Why Hayley Didn’t Get A Pro Spot on Season 27

Ok, so when the pro lineup was announced earlier this week on GMA, I saw a lot of folks thrilled for Brandon – and even more that were sad about Hayley not getting promoted to pro. I was honestly kind of shocked that so many people were incredulous about her not getting a pro spot – to me, it was pretty easy to see why…they just ran out of spots.  But in light of me getting some genuinely curious questions from fans who wondered why Hayley was passed over for a pro role, here’s my honest opinion.

But first, let’s get this main point straight: there is not an unlimited number of pro slots.

THERE IS NO MORE ROOM AT THE INN.  I REPEAT – NO. ROOM. AT. THE. INN!

Fall season traditionally has had (13) couples (we won’t talk about the chaos of season 9).  It’s a nice number, and usually fits pretty nicely with the (usual) 10 week schedule.  Since (13) is an odd number, we’re either going to end up with (6) female pros and (7) male ones, or vice versa. Which we get more of is solely dependent upon who gets cast – if they happen to get (7) female celebs to sign on, then it’s your lucky day, boys – one more male pro slot just opened up.  Sorry, ladies – we only need (6) of you this season. Just the way the cookie crumbles, I’m afraid.  Due to the budget and schedule, it’s simply not feasible to “add” another couple, particularly if it’s only so one of the pros can have a shot.  NONE of the pros are that important.

But why couldn’t they have sat one of the other female pros out, so Hayley could get a turn?

Ok, let’s take a look at who we’re working with here: of the 6 female pros this season, 5 are MBT holders.  Right off the bat, I don’t think any MBT-holder is going to get benched in favor of a pro that isn’t battle-tested. One of them is a 2-time MBT winner, and the sole OG pro from the formative years of the show – and Cheryl is still really popular, so as far as I’m concerned, she probably has an open spot waiting for her whenever she wants. Jenna is the current MBT-holder, and just came off a strong season with Adam and an impressive first choreographic outing on SYTYCD – regardless of how you feel about Jenna as a person, the girl’s got choreo chops, and that’s what this show needs right now…so I don’t see the sense in cutting her in favor of Hayley. Lindsay is another choreo heavyweight and a recent MBT winner – plus she seems to get along fantastically with all of her partners, so it’s beneficial to keep her on as well.  Witney’s MBT win wasn’t as recent, but she is a choreographer that has started blossoming these past few seasons…so it makes sense to keep her as well. That leaves us with Emma & Sharna.  Emma’s a fairly recent MBT-winner as well, and is extremely good at turning partners that are not much to sneeze at on paper into competent contestants – plus she’s married to another pro, which TPTB need now that their token married couple has flown the coop. Sharna’s MBT-less, but has more than proven herself as a skilled choreographer – and she’s popular. I’m not sure who we’re supposed to be cutting here…

But it’s not fair that Hayley’s been in the troupe for 7 seasons, and Brandon’s only been in it for 3 seasons and he got a pro spot first!

First, you need to let go of the notion that this show somehow has to be “fair”. It seldom is, particularly to the female pros; and then there’s the small matter of Val basically being handed ringer after ringer, season after season. But I digress. Secondly, you’re comparing apples & oranges – Hayley is a contemporary dancer that only started dancing ballroom within the last 3-4 years; Brandon is a ballroom dancer that is cross-trained in contemporary and other styles, and has been doing it for quite a bit longer than Hayley.  On paper, Brandon is a much safer bet – especially when you look at some of the other contemporary-dancers-who-got-a-crash-course-in-ballroom pros we’ve had: Tyne (who had one short, unmemorable season and we never saw her again) and Allison (great at contemporary, but not-so-great at ballroom/Latin, and was cut after 4 seasons).  Right now, the ballroom dancers cross-trained in other styles have a lot easier row to hoe on DWTS than do the contemporary dancers who have only taken up ballroom in the last few years. Brandon also won the junior pro competition on DWTS back in 2007. And once again, THEY NEEDED MORE MALE PROS THIS SEASON. It’s not as if Hayley would have gotten a spot if Brandon didn’t – she can’t partner a female celeb. Also, tenure in the troupe isn’t everything – we’ve seen enough troupe members do a handful of seasons and then get let go, and Sasha seems to get shuffled back to the troupe every so often as well, despite being promoted to pro awhile back.

But why do the men seem to get promoted from troupe more often than the women?

I’m not sure this is really true, as the last few promotions from the troupe (prior to Brandon) that we’ve seen are Alan, Jenna, Lindsay (although she was a pro to begin with, went to the troupe, then went back to pro) and Witney – statistically, you’re more likely to get promoted to pro if you’re a female in the troupe than a male, as the female pro lineup seems to vary quite a bit more these days due to marriages/pregnancies.  But as a side note, I’ll say this: the current female pros, on the whole, are FAR more skilled as teachers and choreographers than the male pros.  Every single female pro in the lineup this season is both a stellar choreographer and a stellar teacher – I can’t say the same for the men.  I honestly feel like the male pros as a whole need all the help they can get – with the departure of Mark & Derek, there is little hope in terms of strong male choreographers.  Sasha & Artem seem to really try, and seem to do pretty well about 60% of the time; I think Alan is still pretty green and trying to figure out his choreographic identity; Gleb & Keo, bless them, are not great choreographers. You know how I feel about Val’s choreography – it’d be pretty good, if he would just stop with all the props/time-wasting/troupe-overutilization.  We need a dynamite male choreographer – and I think it could be Brandon. I heard tremendous praise for his choreography skills during Juniors, and since he’s coming from the same school/era that gave us Lindsay, Witney, & Jenna, I think he’s got some serious chops. I tend to think of it more as a compliment to the women that they seem to be keeping the ladies the same while shaking up the male pro lineup more and more these days – the women are killing it, so why mess with something that works? The men need work – so they keep tweaking the lineup.

But…but…will Hayley ever got a shot at being a pro???

I’m sure she’ll get her shot, probably within the next year or so.  I think it helped that Sharna sat out Juniors, as that created a mentor vacancy for Hayley to fill and somewhat prove herself.  I think Peta’s out for the foreseeable future (if not permanently), as she’s expressed a desire for more kids; additionally, Sasha & Emma have said they want to start trying for kids next year, so depending on their success in that arena (hehe), we could see a female pro slot opening up in the spring (if there’s a spring season) or fall (more likely). There’s also the fact that both Lindsay & Witney have been married a few years now – what’s to say they might not start thinking about kids soon? Or even Jenna? And then there’s Sharna, who seems to be blossoming professionally – she may find herself occupied with other gigs before long, and might decide that she’s outgrown DWTS. There’s not a single pro that has been on every single season of DWTS – the pro lineup isn’t static, and if you’re patient, long-running troupe members do eventually get promoted. Relax – I’m sure Hayley will get her moment, when a slot opens up.

Just start praying for a DWTS baby boom, I guess 😉

August 30, 2018 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 27 – Jenna Choreographs for SYTYCD; Jensen Arnold Advances to the Finale!

Jenna got to choreograph for SYTYCD for the first time this week – and she did a cha-cha for Jensen and All-Star (and Jenna’s partner from last year) Kiki.  And I think it was actually phenomenal:

Granted, it was the only ballroom dance we’ve had this season that was danced by two actual ballroom dancers, so it was well-executed; but I feel like Jenna actually struck a nice balance between creativity and content, and the routine was entertaining.  THIS is why she deserves her pro spot on DWTS – we need this kind of choreo.

Jensen & Jay Jay also did a pretty neat Tahitian dance:

I think voting has already closed for the finale, but I threw 20 votes Jensen’s way.  I’d love to see a ballroom dancer finally win this thing!

August 28, 2018 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 27 – VIDEO: GMA Announces Pros for This Season

If you’re like me and missed this (and didn’t even know they were going to do this), here’s the video of the pro announcement on GMA.  I found parts of it pretty eyeroll-worthy (you’ll know which ones), but overall no huge revelations. Please GMA, stop asking Ginger for the “inside scoop” – and Ginger, lemme pick up that name you dropped…

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