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Stars with Dance Experience

Every season the topic of previous dance experience seems to come up. Most of the people are angry that one of the stars has dance experience. Of course, it’s usually a little bit disingenuous since these angry people are often just fans of one of the other stars/pros. However, I can’t say that I don’t sympathize with their feelings. It is completely unfair for one person to have more dance experience than another. At least when we’re talking about a dance competition. That doesn’t feel right.

What most people don’t realize is that Dancing with the Stars never said that this competition was fair. Plus, is there such a thing as a fair competition? Some people just have more natural dance ability. Who would have guessed that Brooke Burke would have been such a great dancer? I know I wouldn’t have guessed it. Yet, she just had some real natural ability that she was able to bring to the table. Is that fair that she can learn things faster than others? Of course not.

Let’s just get it behind us that this is a fair competition. It’s not a fair competition. It’s a show that’s meant to entertain us. Plus, it’s not like the stars that participate aren’t getting something in return. They’re getting paid to be on the show and they’re getting a ton of exposure. Sure, they like the competition aspect, but there are a lot of other reasons these stars go on DWTS.

Why don’t we take this one step further? Dancing with the Stars really isn’t a dance competition. Yes, it resembles a dance competition, but it’s really not. It’s a popularity contest. Ok, in the beginning it’s more of a dance competition, but once we reach this point in the competition the judges scores are so close that they become irrelevant. That means that the show becomes a popularity contest and not a dance contest.

Using that line of thinking, it’s completely unfair that one star is more popular than another, right? I mean if DWTS is just a popularity contest, then DWTS should make sure that they don’t bring on any stars that are more popular than another star right? That’s basically what people are saying when they say they don’t want people with previous dance experience, no? Of course, both ideas will never happen.

I guess at the end of the day, I don’t get all worked up over it all. The show is about entertaining me and it does that very well. Sure, I love prognosticating on who will go home and what not. However, the fact that one has more dance experience just adds to the fun of guessing what’s going to happen. The more variables to consider the better.

Of course, this isn’t much consolation if it’s your favorite star or pro that’s getting sent home. Don’t worry. Next season it will be your favorite star or pro that’s staying while another “more deserving” star/pro get sent home.

May 18, 2010 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

PureDWTS Season 25, Week 9 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

November 14, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 25, Week 8 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 7, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 25, Week 3 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

October 3, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 10 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

May 23, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

Charo Threatens to Quit Dancing with the Stars – E! News Report

E! is really only half a step above most of the other entertainment outlets, but according to them Charo was threatening to walk this past Monday night. I think perhaps she needs to get real. If this is true…well, STFU. You ain’t all that and I like Mr. T better than you. Excerpt below – read the whole article at E! News:

“She was telling producers that she doesn’t like how they’re underscoring her and she feels like she’s been treated so badly so she was threatening to quit,” our source continued. The producers were ultimately able to walk her back off the ledge, but we hear the threat still stands “unless they started scoring her performances more fairly.”

Our sources tell us that the question of fairness remains a sensitive subject among the cast. Between Heather Morris’ dance background, Len Goodman’s rather harsh critiques during Monday night’s taping, and questions about who else among the stars has previous dance experience, we’re told tensions are high.

March 29, 2017 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 23 – All 24 Olympic Athletes Ever To Do DWTS, Ranked From Worst to Best

So with the Olympics in Rio drawing to a close this coming Sunday (and the pros starting to meet their partners later this week), there’s obviously been speculation that we’re going to see some Olympians on the show this season – seems like Ryan Lochte & Simone Biles are the two most talked-about when it comes to casting rumors.  Which got the Pure Angels thinking about all the previous Olympians we’ve seen on the show, and how well (or not well…) they did.  So why not take a look back at every Olympian (from both the summer AND winter games) that’s ever done DWTS, and see how they stack up?

The main rankings are mine, but Heidi, Vogue, & I all had slightly different rankings when it came to the top 10 – so you can see their individual top 10’s at the bottom.  I’ve included videos of a few of the dances we mention, to jog memories – lord knows ours needed jogging from time to time 😯

Interesting patterns? Gymnasts and skaters seemed to fare the best, and tennis players and boxers tended not to leave much of an impression on any the three of us.  I think we all universally agreed on at least the bottom 2 on the list – they were THAT bad 🙁 …Read more

August 16, 2016 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 22, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that this season of DWTS will be won by…a dude. 😛 Yeah, that could be one of six individuals (but more realistically, probably 4), but after tonight, I daresay the bulk of this season’s talent rests with the men – don’t get me wrong, there are a few ladies with skills…but I think the men this season are closer to being the full package of skill, charm, and work ethic that it takes to win that MBT.

That being said – while the major narrative that TPTB seemed to want to push tonight was current NFL player vs. current NFL player, I found myself feeling a bit let-down with our two current football players; could have been the huge preseason hype surrounding them, but I was left feeling surprisingly “meh” by what I actually saw. Instead, I found my eye drawn to two other men that far eclipsed our NFL duo in terms of making a good impression.  As for the ladies – there’s some with real charm, and some with skill, and some that TPTB seem to have a vested interest in keeping around (cue side eye…), but when I’m left thinking about who really stood out in my mind tonight – I’m remembering a lot more guys than gals.

Other observations? The intro was cute, but seemed a little bit hodgepodge and not terribly cohesive; maybe I was just spoiled by how catchy & fun last season’s was. I also tip my hat to Erin tonight, as I think she was just what some of the contestants needed after a rough go of it with the judges – she was kind and gentle with those that maybe didn’t come out with such glowing reviews & scores.

Just a refresher, for those of you just joining us this season: the power rankings are a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a contestant is to get eliminated – it takes into account scores, fanbase, personality, memorability,  and whatever other factors I find that seem to influence voting behavior. It is NOT a ranking of “who danced the best”, so if you’re hear to complain that “so-and-so should be higher than such-and-such because they got a much higher score!” – you’re outta your element, Donnie. Now that we’ve got that outta the way… …Read more

March 22, 2016 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 22: Court, Heidi, & Vogue’s First Impressions

So we’re still a week away from showtime, and not yet a week out from the cast announcement – and we’ve seen relatively little of the celebs rehearsing so far.  But like you guys, we Angels also get first impressions of the couples that start to shape our opinions over the season – so like so many of you have shared your early assessments, we thought we’d share ours as well 🙂

Courtney:

Who Stood Out At the Cast Announcement: I’ve said it multiple times already, but Wanya & Lindsay.  They were one of the few couples that seemed completely at ease with one another, and came out confident and ready to have fun.  That goes farther than you might think, coming right out of the gate – especially when so many of the other couples seemed very awkward & sedate at the announcement. As for who stood out in a not-so-good way – I’d have to say Mischa.  Could have just been nerves, but the impression I got from her was “I would rather be anywhere else in the world right now.” Artem came across very excited and pleasant, though, so I’m hoping he might be able to bring some of that out in her. …Read more

March 14, 2016 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 21, Week 10 – Power Rankings

Fun fact: you can totally dominate an entire episode of DWTS with your antics, narrowly avoid elimination, and then turn around and withdraw 24 hours later – and somehow STILL get more attention once you’ve been eliminated than some contestants got all season long  😎 Yes, kids, this was the second installment of “The Tamar Show”, with Tom reminding us for nearly the entire first half of the show that we were going to get an update on Tamar – nevermind the fact that we had 4 celebs that were actually still competing on DWTS tonight, the people must know what’s been going on with Tamar!!! Yes, it sucks what happened, and despite my feelings about Tamar this season, I do wish her a speedy recovery – but the constant reminders of her last night? Just kinda did a disservice to Alek, Bindi, Carlos, & Nick.  If next Monday is the same way – so help me god, I just might commit seppuku with a plastic knife.

Also becoming tiresome to me? The fact that Carlos still seems like he’s trying to come up with sob stories each week to compete with Bindi, Nick, & Alek.  And they just sound totally disingenuous, on top of sounding a bit silly compared to the struggles of the other contestants remaining. Carlos says “I was depressed and addicted to weed!”; Nick can easily counter with  “Yeah, I was pretty heavy into alcohol, cocaine, X, and prescription painkillers for awhile…failed at rehab…got a heart condition…did I mention my sister died of a drug overdose a few years ago? But please, tell me more about your crippling weed addiction.” Carlos pulls out “I haven’t spoken to my mom in 4 years!” Bindi can say “How awful! My dad died in a freak accident when I was 8 – I just wish he was still here.” Meanwhile, Nick is over in the corner, waving his hands and going “Hey, anyone want to talk about how my parents only want my money, and how I’ve had to cut ties with them as a result?” Oh wait…Carlos says he “found Jesus!” Wonder what Alek has to say about that…”Gosh, I only just found a terrorist on a train, and beat the tar out of him to protect the lives of the other people said train. Shucks.” I guess my point is this: Carlos may not have a super-compelling story to tell, but that doesn’t mean I want to see him grasp at straws to try and out-sob story everyone else.  I probably would find him more likeable if I didn’t feel like he was constantly trying to one-up everyone else and just let his dancing do the talking.

As for the possible bomb Tom dropped at the end of the show about either Nick or Bindi having the lowest combined total – call me crazy, but I actually think there could have been some truth behind it. I just don’t see them lying about it – they could have very easily just called those two “in jeopardy” and not even mentioned anything about the lowest combined total, and the effect would have been the same.  But they DID actually say “one of you has the lowest combined total, but you’re not going home because Tamar is out.” I don’t believe for a minute that it’s Bindi that got the lowest combined total, considering everywhere I look, people are singing her praises – but Nick? He could be in some legit trouble with votes. Now while his fans assure me that the Backstreet Boys “are HUGE around the world!” and that he is “getting tons of votes”, I feel like this is a good opportunity to remind everyone of a central tenet of being successful on DWTS: international votes aren’t likely to help much if you don’t also win over the main viewing demographic of DWTS – middle-aged, conservative-leaning American women.  There hasn’t been a single DWTS champ that didn’t in some way appeal to that demographic, and in order to win, you HAVE to have them on your side. Is Nick appealing to that demographic? If so, is he making himself more appealing to that demographic than Bindi, Carlos, and Alek? Keep in mind that veterans (think J.R., Noah…and Alek) typically hold a lot of appeal for that demographic, as do those who are openly Christian (Sadie, Candace…and Carlos), and really anyone that is typically just bubbly and likable across the board (Kellie, and Bindi – particularly the latter, who seems to have enchanted just about everyone). Where do boyband members fit in? Only one has managed to win (Drew Lachey), and the rest have done ok-to-well, likely owing to their previous dance experience. One slight problem I see is this: Nick’s fans might still be a tad young to fit into the “middle aged” category – I was 13 when BSB posters covered my walls at the height of their popularity, and I’m 30 now…still 10 years shy of that “middle-aged” label. Part of me thinks his more casual fans might still be a tad young to be tuning into DWTS on the regular and actually voting – I know I’m really more of the exception than the norm.  You also have to take into account what happened last week – Nick kinda got upstaged by Tamar’s drama, and Carlos likely got a bit of a boost (not a huge one, but enough) in votes from Alexa’s fans that kicked their votes over to him.  Nick also dropped back down to getting mostly 9’s last week after getting a perfect score the previous week. When you take all of this into account – is it really all that far-fetched to think that maybe Nick really was the lowest combined total of votes & scores? Did his fans maybe get a bit complacent, thinking that so many people were voting for him that he would be ok if they maybe didn’t vote so hard a certain week? I just think back to Zendaya in season 16 – her fans were so sure that she was getting oodles of votes, yet she still managed to come up short in the end and Kellie took the MBT. Regardless of whether what Tom said last night was truth or a total fabrication, they likely did both Bindi & Nick a huge favor – I can only image the panic that ran through some fans at the revelation that their favorite was in danger, and the increased vigor with which they voted. Heck, even if you think Tom was lying…is that really a bluff you care to call?  😯 …Read more

November 17, 2015 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