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PureDWTS Season 27, Week 1, Night 1 – Power Rankings

I can’t remember the last time we had a premiere night where nobody really and truly sucked – so last night was rather refreshing.  Even Joe, who bungled up the middle of his dance pretty badly, was still pretty impressive during the sections he did do right.  I find it interesting that as the seasons roll on, we end up with even better dancing, and more ringers; part of me wonders if this is the “new normal” on DWTS: more ringers, better overall quality of dancing, and more effort from the pros.  As skeptical as I may have been about the cast at first, last night was actually kind of awesome 🙂

As for the dance styles – I keep finding myself thinking that they should stick to (2) dances styles on night #1: cha-cha or foxtrot.  Both are fairly easy for newbs to do, and aren’t unnecessarily taxing on the celebs. Quickstep and jive are too vigorous for complete non-dancers.  I’m also really believing now that the song can make or break your performance – even a skilled dancer (in this case, Tinashe) can get thrown off their game by an less-than-ideal song choice.

So as for this wack-a-doo “hey, let’s make them dance the same dance style TWICE in one week!” nonsense – I’m having a love-hate relationship with it.  For those that maybe only slightly missed the mark with their dances last night (i.e. Tinashe, Alexis, Juan Pablo, Evanna), it’s an opportunity to give it another shot, often with a better (or at least different) song; for those that didn’t do so hot, though (I’m thinking Nikki & Joe), it’s probably a bit dreadful, as you have to give another shot to a dance you didn’t particularly excel in the first time around. And for everyone else, I think it’s a bit of a crapshoot – they might do better, they might do worse, or they might do just about the same, just to different music. I could just slap Len for throwing in the “well foxtrot ain’t a great dance to get in week 1” line he threw at Evanna, because guess what, bud: she’s gotta do it again tonight. At times, it seemed like the judges had even forgotten that these celebs have got to dance again tonight, doing the same dance – just a testament to how silly it all is. But let’s get on with it, shall we? T minus 9 hours till we do it all again… 😛 …Read more

September 25, 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

Private Members Area – DWTS Season 27 Premiere

It’s time again for Dancing with the Stars chatter! Share your thoughts and insights on this week’s episode of Dancing with the Stars from the comfort of the Pure DWTS Private Members Area. If you’re not a Pure DWTS Insider yet, you can do so here. If you are, then I look forward to the discussion in the comments.
Read more..

September 24, 2018 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

PureDWTS Season 27, Week 1, Night 1 – LIVE BLOG!!!

And just like that, it’s premiere night of a new season again 🙂 Heidi’s still on vacay (I think she’ll be back for week 2), so you’ve got me for both the live blog and power rankings this week – I’m going to try not to be too repetitive, but given the current frazzled state of my brain, I make no guarantees 😉

Running order, dances, songs, and voting numbers are here – right off the bat, I think Mary Lou, Juan Pablo, and DeMarcus are probably going to be good, by virtue of their running order position. My preliminary thoughts about this season are here – any thoughts from you guys headed into tonight’s show?

And here we go…

Kind of cute opener, though nothing really new. Lotta randos in that number, though – did I see Robert Roldan from SYTYCD???

I notice Erin made a point of saying it’s a “full season”.  Trying to shake off the stink of the poorly-rated All-Athletes season, maybe?

Respectable first outing by Mary Lou – she’s definitely better than most women her age, but she has a bit of a punchy, hoppy quality to her movement.  Good energy, though – great way to start the show.

Mary Lou gets 6, 7, 6, for 19/30.  Seems about right, but I could change my mind once I see how they’re scoring everyone else.

KIMMIE GIBBLER IS IN THE AUDIENCE!!! Standing next to her is Jana.

Milo just seems like such a good kid. Wish they didn’t have this nonsense line of zombie questions with Witney.

UM, WOW. Milo can MOVE – I had a feeling he’d be pretty good, but his movement quality is pretty damn good, y’all.  And it’s made even more impressive by the fact that he’s tall, and doesn’t move small like so many other tall guys we have. One to watch, for sure.

Milo gets 7, 6, 7 for 20/30.  Hmmm…I feel like he was better than Mary Lou by more than 1 point.  I’d give him at least three 7’s. Makes me wonder if they’re being stingy with the points because they know Tinashe, Alexis, Juan Pablo, and DeMarcus are even better…

I didn’t realize Evanna had actually applied to three different colleges for dance.  She may be ringier than we initially thought.

Pretty damn good foxtrot from Evanna – she seems confident, on-time, and had great energy.  Keo’s choreo has improved, for sure – just wish he wasn’t quite so punchy, since it looked like he almost toppled her a few times.  I think the height difference is going to be a continuing issue.

I’m a bit puzzled as to why the judges seem so nitpicky with Evanna – did we watch the same dance? I thought it was actually pretty nice.

7, 5, 6 for Evanna – a pretty mixed bag, for 18/20.  Wish Len hadn’t tossed in the bit about foxtrot “not being a good dance for the first week”.  She’s gotta do it again tomorrow night, bruh – great job probably giving her a complex.

Anyone else flashing back to season 10 when typing “Evanna”? 🙂 Just me?

Erin still can’t say Artem’s name right. 😛

God that dog is adorbs 😛 I’m honestly really interested to see how Artem adapts his teaching to accomodate Danelle – that’s a challenge, for sure.

I’m kind of over this song, but wow – valiant first effort by both Danelle & Artem.  He kept the choreo simple, and stayed with her every step of the way.  This may be his defining season as a pro.

6, 6, 6 for Danelle – I think that’s fair, but I think by comparison, Evanna deserved a point or two more.

So far, everyone has been very good – there have been no Kattan’s or Hughley’s. Maybe that’s why the judges are being so critical – is this cast just pretty good, on the whole?

Not sure I’m loving the blunt bob on Sharna.  Looks a bit too wig-like.  I like her with a bit more texture.

Ok, it was a bit wacky at times, but that was pretty impressive for a jive, in week 1, by a guy with ZERO dance experience.  Definite room for improvement, but Bobby could be the underdog everyone roots for this season.

Bobby has serious “Willard from Footloose” vibes 😛 He gets 7, 6, 7 for a total of 20 – probably about right, if you throw in a handicap for having to do a tough dance like jive in week 1.

Here comes Juan Pablo – if what I’ve been hearing is true, get ready for the judges to whip out the “8” paddle…

I love that Andrea Barber is just going apesh*t for Juan Pablo 😛

Does Juan Pablo remind anyone else of Tony? Can’t say I adored the choreo of that salsa, but Juan Pablo danced the hell out of what he was given – he’s SMOOTH.  That routine took me back to everything that William & Cheryl’s cha cha in season 14 should have been.

Oh hay Shad!!! Glad to see he’s going to be on the show in a more permanent capacity – he’s hosting the online behind-the-scenes series.  🙂

Well I was partially right – Bruno whipped out the 8, while Carrie Ann & Len settled for 7’s.  Probably about right.

Poor Nikki has to follow that salsa with one of her own – and she’s apparently injured.  Hope she can pull something out.

On any other season, that would have probably been a decent-to-good salsa – unfortunately, on tonight’s show, it’s probably the weakest dance we’ve had so far.  But it was a good effort from Nikki – she stayed on time, and she sold it, even if it wasn’t technically strong. Is she taller than Gleb…? Why the hell didn’t they give her to Keo, who is currently towering over his partner???

Nikki gets 6, 5, 6, and has the lowest score of the night so far – 17.  I think that may be the kiss of death for Nikki, unfortunately – even though she seems like a cool gal I’d love to hang out with 🙁

Len trying to make it rain and failing.  Story of his life 😛

Loving Alexis & Alan’s costumes.  WTF happened with the camera??? Nipple shot???

Alexis is really good – if not a bit too “soft” in her movement.  Would have liked something a bit more hard-hitting for the jive.

Alexis gets 7, 7, 7 – for 21/30.  I could have sworn I heard Len scream “8” when he threw up his paddle.  I think that deserved at least a 23 – she was doing more than Juan Pablo.

Just putting this out there: I think Artur’s my favorite troupe member.  He just always looks so excited to be there, it’s darling 🙂

Nice Southern accent, Emma 😛

Actually quite a nice little quickstep from John – it wasn’t spectacular, but it was cute and he stayed on-time.  And he looked like he was having fun! 🙂

John gets 7, 5, 6 and contrary to what many believed, is not the lowest score of the night at 18.  He’s in a 3-way tie for the 2nd lowest score with Evanna & Danelle. I think he’s probably safe this week.

Here comes Tinashe – get ready for 8’s. Wow, she is stunning.

Ok, Tinashe gave me the impact I didn’t get from Alexis, but she did seem to get a bit off-balance at times.  Wasn’t wild about the song – wonder if that impacted the dance.  She ought to knock everyone’s socks off tomorrow night, since tomorrow they’ve got the better song.

Next week: New York night on Monday, Las Vegas night on Tuesday.  Guest performers include Boyz II Men, Blue Man Group, and…?

Tinashe gets 8, 7, 8 and is now the high score of the night at 23.  I think the only couple remaining that might give them a run for their money is DeMarcus & Lindsay.

Here’s Nancy, and my god – her skin is enviable.  And she’s got great hair, too.

Nancy actually looked really good in rehearsal, but I think nerves got to her a bit when she actually hit the stage.  Still – another unusually strong dance for week 1! The raw materials are there.

I don’t necessarily see Nancy as a finalist this season, but she seems cool – she could stick around for awhile.

Nancy gets three 6’s and is now in a 4-way tie second from the bottom.  This could get a bit dangerous, the way they’re bunching together scores.

Joe gives me Fred Savage vibes.  Something about him is just easy to like.  Thought by his accent, I would have said New York, not Chicago…hmm.

Poor Joe – that got kinda rough there in the middle, but the parts he did stay on-time on were actually pretty good.  He’s got work to do, but that was yet another admirable effort for the first week.

BE NICE, LEN – Joe is a complete non-dancer.

Oof – 5, 4, 5.  So he’s now pretty comfortably in the bottom with 14.  I still think he’s safe, though – Joe seems pretty popular and will probably get the votes to save him from elimination.

Now here comes DeMarcus, who I’m told OOZES charisma and is “a natural”.  Let’s see if he can make it happen.

VERY nice cha-cha from DeMarcus – he seems like a slightly more rough-around-the-edges Rashad, but he seems to have more of Donald’s enthusiasm.  He’s got a great foundation, and I think he might have a good journey this season and peak at the right time.

DeMarcus gets 8, 7, 8 and ties Tinashe for the high score of the night.  Told y’all he was one to watch 😉 I just love his smile.

Look for the power rankings at some point tomorrow.  I *might* try to crank out a numbers post, but no guarantees – running Pure by myself while trying to close out the quarter at work AND stay on top of school work is proving to be a challenging balancing act 😛 But thanks for hanging in there with me!!!

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 – Las Vegas Odds Headed Into the Premiere

The Vegas odds…usually make me chuckle.  Bovada has posted their odds headed into week 1, and as I usually do, I find myself wondering just who they put in charge of making these odds…and how much (or how little) they know about how this show works. I tend to think they go more off of how well they think the contestants will dance, and don’t pay as much attention to the voting demographics of the show, or even the popularity of the pros the celebs are dancing with.  So here are the odds at the moment, with the “most likely to win” at the top and the “least likely to win” at the bottom:

1.) Tinashe – 11/4
2.) Mary Lou Retton – 10/3
3.) Evanna Lynch – 7/1
4.) Juan Pablo Di Pace – 8/1
5.) Alexis Ren – 8/1
6.) Milo Manheim – 9/1
7.) Nancy McKeon – 10/1
8.) DeMarcus Ware – 12/1
9.) Joe Amabile – 12/1
10.) Nikki Glaser – 12/1
11.) Danelle Umstead – 14/1
12.) Bobby Bones – 25/1
13.) John Schneider – 26/1

So right off the bat, I think they have VASTLY underestimated DeMarcus.  They really think Nancy, a middle-aged actress who’s been out of the limelight for awhile, has got a better chance of winning this than a recently retired Superbowl champ that spent most of his career with “America’s team”??? 😯 Oof…do you, Bovada. If I were the betting kind, I’d go put some money on DeMarcus right now, while his odds are low. I think they’re vastly OVERESTIMATING Mary Lou – sure, she’s a former Olympic gymnast, but she’s no spring chicken anymore, and likely can’t do the same stuff she was doing at 16; she’s also kind of splitting the nostalgia fanbase with John and Nancy.  I don’t think she even makes it to the finale. I think Bobby has a better shot at winning that John, Nikki, Danelle, and Joe, since he fits in well with the main voting demographic; I would probably drop Alexis a bit, as I’m not convinced her Instagram followers are really going to come through for her.

Thoughts?

September 23, 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 DWTS Jr. Pro Profile – Hailey Bills

Age: 12
Height: 5’0″(Court’s best guess)
Hometown: Dallas, TX/Orem, UT (moved last year)
Home studio: Prodigy Dance and Performing Arts/Center Stage Performing Arts
Dance styles: ballroom/Latin, contemporary, hip-hop, ballet, jazz, tap
How you might know her: She’s Jenna’s niece.
Other accolades: 2017 Female Mini Best Dancer at The Dance Awards
Pro mentor: Jenna Johnson
Celeb partner: Tripp Palin

Competing in Latin with her partner, Blake Fox:

Doing an edgy, contemporary/jazz/Latin fusion to “Billie Jean” at The Dance Awards earlier this year:

Edgy contemporary duet with Joziah German last year:

Doing some hip-hop with Rylee & Brightyn:

And the contemporary routine that won her Mini Best Dancer at TDA last year:

Court’s thoughts: I think Hailey might be the best technician of the junior pro girls – she seems to have a really good understanding of what her body’s supposed to be doing when she’s dancing, and she does it precisely. The one thing I think she hasn’t quite honed perfectly yet is her stage presence – she’s a great dancer, but I do see my attention wandering from time to time when I’m watching her as her presence in each dance seems to waver. She reminds me a bit of SYTYCD-era Lindsay: extremely strong technician, but maybe not quite as charismatic as some of her contemporaries (for Lindsay, it was Witney; for Hailey, I think it’s Brightyn & Rylee).  But the good news is that she’s only 12, and already a great dancer – the stage presence will come with time.

Follow Hailey on social media:

Hailey’s Instagram

September 22, 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 – 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, Week 1: Who’s Dancing What, And When?

Sorry I’ve been lax, guys – with Heidi currently on vacay, and me just trying to stay on top of work-work and schoolwork, it’s getting hard to keep up. Here’s the songs and dances, per the press release – and here’s our seasonal disclaimer: these are just in alphabetical order unless otherwise indicated, and we probably won’t start hearing about running order until after camera blocking on Sunday. Will also post the voting numbers if they happen to get posted somewhere between now and the show.

So I apparently missed this part in my initial post: the couples are doing the same dance both Monday AND Tuesday night, but to different songs…? No idea if it’s literally the same choreography, just done to different songs, or what – but this kooky.

Other deets from the press release? The whole cast of DWTS Juniors will be there live for the announcement on Tuesday (Sept. 25), which we already knew; and Kenzie Ziegler (Juniors contestant and now an apparent pop star…?) is going to be singing.

Thoughts: seems like they might be pitting the two biggest ability ringers (Tinashe & Alexis) against each other early on, giving them the same dance; I probably would have switched Bobby & Evanna’s dances for week one – given her jive and him foxtrot; seems like the older/less-skilled set got ballroom dances in week one. Juan Pablo getting salsa seems strategic.

Update #1, 9/23/18, 5:30 PM EST: Thanks to Zoe for pointing this out – someone caught a glimpse of the running order for tomorrow night in the background of somebody’s Instagram story. No clue if they’re going off the same running order on Tuesday night or not. In the three key positions, we have Mary Lou & Sasha (first), Juan & Cheryl (top of the 2nd hour), and DeMarcus & Lindsay (last) – that leads me to believe all three have very crowd-pleasing routines that viewers will remember. They seem to have loaded the back half of the show with good dancers (Alexis, Tinashe) and demographic favorites (John, Nancy, Joe, DeMarcus). I don’t think running order has done Nikki any favors, as she is both injured and now has to dance after someone doing the same dance she is, and he’s apparently very, very good. The potentially-worrisome spots are 2nd-5th, and I find it interesting that they’ve stuck two of the contestants that are likely to appeal more towards younger viewers there – Milo & Evanna.  I think they ought to be ok this week, but if they continue to show up there, I think it’s going to be a problem. I think putting Nancy & Joe back-to-back and doing the same dance is only to play up the Val vs. Jenna “rivalry”, which is already making me roll my eyes. 

Update #2, 9/23/18, 7:02 PM EST: Was able to deduce the voting numbers once Bobby & Milo posted theirs – looks like it’s just straight alphabetical order again.  Source also confirmed that the dances on night #2 are completely new: same style of dance, but different choreo and different song.  Now call me crazy, but I actually prefer this to having them do two completely different styles in week 1 – at the very least, they don’t have to learn new timing or technique, and the dances will likely be similar; and if they maybe don’t do so hot on night #1, they can polish whatever issues they might have had and give it another shot on night #2. Still a bit nuts to have them doing 2 dances in week 1, but it’s better than two completely different dance styles…

Monday night:

Mary Lou & Sasha – Cha-Cha (song: “Treasure” by Bruno Mars)
Dancing 1st
1-800-868-3409

Milo & Witney – Cha Cha (song: “Free Free Free” by Pitbull feat. Theron Theron)
Dancing 2nd
1-800-868-3410

Evanna & Keo – Foxtrot (song: “Do You Believe in Magic” by Aly & AJ)
Dancing 3rd
1-800-868-3405

Danelle & Artem – Foxtrot (song: “Rise Up” by Andra Day)
Dancing 4th
1-800-868-3403

Bobby & Sharna – Jive (song: “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” by Travis Tritt)
Dancing 5th
1-800-868-3402

Juan Pablo & Cheryl – Salsa (song: “Dinero” by Jennifer Lopez feat. DJ Khaled & Cardi B)
Dancing 6th
1-800-868-3408

Nikki & Gleb – Salsa (“YES” by Louisa feat. 2 Chainz)
Dancing 7th
1-800-868-3412

Alexis & Alan – Jive (song: “Good Golly Miss Molly” by Little Richard)
Dancing 8th
1-800-868-3401

John & Emma – Foxtrot (song: “Good Ol’ Boys (Theme from Dukes of Hazzard)” by Waylon Jennings)
Dancing 9th
1-800-868-3407

Tinashe & Brandon – Jive (“I’m a Lady” by Meghan Trainor)
Dancing 10th
1-800-868-3413

Nancy & Val – Quickstep (song: “It Don’t Mean a Thing” by Club Des Belugas)
Dancing 11th
1-800-868-3411

Joe & Jenna – Quickstep (song: “Fish Out of Water” by Leo Soul)
Dancing 12th
1-800-868-3406

DeMarcus & Lindsay – Cha-Cha (song: “Sweet Sensation” by Flo Rida)
Dancing 13th
1-800-868-3404

 

Tuesday night:

Alexis & Alan – Jive (song: “Shake the Room” by Gamu)
1-800-868-3401

Bobby & Sharna – Jive (song: “Gimme Some Lovin’” by The Spencer Davis Group)
1-800-868-3402

Danelle & Artem – Foxtrot (song: “Strong Ones” by Armin van Buuren feat. Cimo Frankel)
1-800-868-3403

DeMarcus & Lindsay – Cha-Cha (song: “I Like it Like That” by The Blackout Allstars)
1-800-868-3404

Evanna & Keo – Foxtrot (song: “Rewrite the Stars” by Zac Efron & Zendaya)
1-800-868-3405

Joe & Jenna – Quickstep (song: “Check it Out” by Oh the Larceny)
1-800-868-3406

John & Emma – Foxtrot (song: “Orange Colored Sky” by Nat King Cole)
1-800-868-3407

Juan Pablo & Cheryl – Salsa (song: “Tu Sonrisa” by Elvis Crespo)
1-800-868-3408

Mary Lou & Sasha – Cha-Cha (song: “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer)
1-800-868-3409

Milo & Witney – Cha Cha (song: “Good Feeling” by Austin French)
1-800-868-3410

Nancy & Val – Quickstep (song: “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves)
1-800-868-3411

Nikki & Gleb – Salsa (“Tres Deseos” by Gloria Estefan)
1-800-868-3412

Tinashe & Brandon – Jive (“Yes” by Merry Clayton)
1-800-868-3413

September 20, 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 – DWTS Juniors Couples Announced on Sept. 25 Show

We had kinda guessed that this is how the cast announcement for Juniors would go down, but Rylee’s latest Instagram post confirmed it:

Not sure yet if all of the couples will be there to perform on the show (quite a few of the junior pros/celebs aren’t L.A. locals, so it could be a bit of a mess logistically to have them all there), but they will all get announced that day.  Of course, if you don’t want to wait, you can always check out our spoiler posts – cast list here and other spoiler-y things here 😉

UPDATE, 9/14/2018, 11:19 AM EST: Source confirms that the entire Juniors cast will be present for the announcement during the Sept. 25 show. Sounds like they might be performing. 

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 – 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:

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