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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: More of Sharna Burgess, Terra Jole, & Amy Purdy Attending the Indy 500

It was basically a DWTS reunion this past weekend here in Indy – Sharna & Terra both attended to support Hinch, and Amy was a special guest of Firestone/Bridgestone. Sharna got to ride in the 500 Festival Parade on Saturday (she & Pierson were right behind Hinch & Becky), and all three ladies walked the red carpet at the actual race on Sunday. Admittedly, it gave my cold, cold heart some serious warm fuzzies seeing Team Stop & Go reunited again, and I love that Terra has also remained close with Hinch after their season 🙂 Check out odd & assorted pix and video below – sorry for the poor quality of the video of parade telecast, all I had was my TV & my phone 😛 Read more..

May 30, 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

Photos Of DWTS Sharna Burgess And Alumni Amy Purdy, James Hinchcliffe, Helio Castroneves At 2017 Indianapolis 500

This past weekend, Dancing With The Stars Sharna Burgess made an appearance at the Indianapolis 500. Season 18’s Amy Purdy was there too. They met up with INDYCAR stars and Dancing With The Stars alumni James Hinchcliffe and Helio Castroneves. Below are some photos from Getty Images and Amy and Sharna’s instagram. It’s so good to see them all. Stay tuned. Courtney has a report she’s working on with James and Sharna at the parade.

I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

DWTS Allison Holker And Stephen “tWitch” Boss Host ‘Dance For Kids Holiday Party’ To Benefit Children’s Miracle Network

This past weekend, Dancing With The Stars Allison Holker and hubby Stephen “tWitch” Boss hosted a ‘Dance For Kids Holiday Party’ to benefit patients at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Allison’s Dancing With The Stars partner from season 23, Babyface Edmonds, and Dancing With The Stars season 18 2nd runner up Amy Purdy was in attendance as well. Below are some fun photos and videos. Krystin Burtt was there too. You can read her report here. So awesome. If you’d like to help the Children’s Miracle Network, you can do so here.

December 21, 2016 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Amy Purdy Fighting Rhabdomyolysis, Sending Thoughts And Prayers

Copy and pasted from Pure Derek Hough:
Keep your thoughts and prayers with Amy Purdy. She has been in the hospital for the last four days. According to her recent Instagram post on Wednesday, she’s has been trying to recover from rhabdomyolysis (a condition that can cause kidney and liver failure). Amy, we’re with you all the way. Please get better soon, our Dancing Angel.

Hey Friends! I'd like to fill you in on the last few days of my life. I am going on day 4 in the hospital after developing a very serious condition called Rhabdomyolysis. You should google it and read about it, its crazy. It basically can occur when you overwork a muscle group and the muscle begins to breakdown into your blood stream. It can severely damage kidneys pretty quickly and as most of you know I have a kidney transplant which was a big concern. I have been training as I prepare for the snowboard season and 1 day last week I pushed myself too hard. It seemed to happen so innocently, I did a series of Pull-ups and simply pushed too hard to complete the set. My muscles were a bit sore for a day, nothing bad but then I noticed a bit of swelling in my arm and having a friend in the hospital with this condition last year, I rushed to the ER where they confirmed I had it too. It's been a very intense week hooked up to machines supporting my kidney through this process. It's so crazy to be so healthy and to think you are doing good for your body, then to suddenly have a life threatening condition occur. As scary and serious as this has been, I have been very blessed that my Kidney has stayed strong. I'm also lucky I came in when I did, had I of waited a few more hours before going to the ER my situation could have easily been critical. That being said, my numbers are moving in the right direction, it's just going to take some time to recover. I wanted to share this with all of you because for 1, I believe social media should give insight into our lives, and life doesn't always have a pretty filter. Also, I want to inform you about this disorder that can happen to anyone. You have to listen to your body.. when it is telling you to stop.. Stop! My Dr said "we all have a breaking point, and you found yours " . I will share regular updates through my recovery. Thanks for the love and support friends. :)️

A photo posted by Amy Purdy (@amypurdygurl) on

Thank you for all your prayers and kind messages! I didn't think I could be more grateful to be alive then I already was but here I am beyond grateful for my life and health. I almost didn't come to the hospital when I did because my symptoms were so mild, had I of decided to sleep it off l most likely would have had major kidney failure or even gone into shock by the next morning. Intuition, knowing my body and knowledge about this condition saved my kidney and my life. The scary part about Rhabdo is there isn't anything the Dr's can do to stop it once it begins and they don't know how bad it will get. They can only support your body with constant IV fluids to try to buffer the effects, but your muscles continue to swell and breakdown and your kidneys are still forced to filter the massive amount of toxins. Luckily my kidney has held up like a champ! Thanks Dad! And my numbers have dropped significantly today which is a good thing. This condition is so scary, please pay attention to your body. If you have overworked your muscles, if you are sore and you can see some swelling even the slightest amount like I had, don't hesitate to go to the ER, it can save your life. I'm so grateful for my husband @dang_ale who's been by my side, cooking meals at home and bringing them to me each day, for my family and all of your love and support! ️

A photo posted by Amy Purdy (@amypurdygurl) on

October 27, 2016 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Amy Purdy Dances In The Opening Of The Rio 2016 Paralympics – Videos

As you might know from a previous report, Dancing With The Stars Season 18 Runner-up Amy Purdy is dancing solo in the opening of the 2016 Rio Paralympics. We’ll post a video of it soon, but, first here is the set up courtesy of @Idolxfactor1….

ETA: And here is Amy! Omg, I have no words. She once again showed the world that you can dance no matter what circumstances and that you can do anything you want if you work hard. So beautiful, fun, and passionate. Thank you, Amy!!! And thanks to Al for recording. This video will work internationally too…

September 7, 2016 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Private Members Area – Do You Have Questions For Amy Purdy For A New Interview?

Hey All, as you know from a previous report, Dancing With The Stars Season 18’s Runner-Up Amy Purdy is dancing a solo dance at he Opening Of The Rio 2016 Paralympics on September 7th on NBC. Do you have some questions you’d like to ask her about it? You can also ask her questions on other subjects ….including Dancing With The Stars or anything else in catching up with her. If so, let us know in comments and then we’ll select some questions to send to her for a new interview. Have fun and don’t forget to watch her dance Read more..

September 4, 2016 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Season 18 Runner Up Amy Purdy To Dance Solo In The Opening Of The Rio 2016 Paralympics

Just a heads up. Dancing With The Stars Season 18 Runner-up Amy Purdy will not only be reporting for the 2016 Paralympics In Rio, Brazil, she’s also dancing solo in the opening on September 7th. Below is part of an interview with the Summit Daily that I thought was such an interesting read being there are lots of mentions on Dancing With The Stars and how her solo dance is being put together. I’m so so proud of this Girl….

Summit Daily News: You two just returned from Rio a few weeks ago. What were you doing down there?

Amy Purdy: To choreograph this dance for the opening ceremony at the Paralympic Games. We were working with an incredible choreographer, Cassie (Abranches), and she came out in March to see if I was a good fit for the performance the producers wanted for the opening ceremony. I realized that if I’m going to do this, I’m going to need help. I reached out to Jessica, who’s in Summit, and she helped choreograph my wedding dance I did with my husband last year. He found her because he wanted some dance lessons before our wedding and she was willing to help with that first dance.

SDN: What kind of dance are you doing for the opening ceremony?

AP: It’s pretty spectacular, I’ll say. It’s a contemporary dance, and it’s pretty scary for me because it’s really outside of my comfort zone. I did “Dancing with the Stars,” but I always had a partner, and if you forget the dance for a split second they can pick you back up. They’re also great for balance.

They were also very short dances — like a minute and a half — and this one is about four minutes long. It’s very long, very complicated, and I actually switch legs a few times during the dance. It’s built into the choreography.

SDN: What type of feet are you using?

AP: I’m in running blades, which aren’t made for dancing, and also feet that are made for swimming. There really aren’t any feet made for dancing, but if I can pull it off it will be a very powerful performance. They’ve composed music for it — this theatrical, powerful music that is just perfect for an opening ceremony. They put so much time into creating new music for this dance, and, even though I can’t talk about all the details, it’s about the relationship between the human spirit — the human body — and technology. That’s what the Paralympics is all about: how technology and the human spirit connect.

SDN: How does a dance performance compare to Olympic competition? You’re no stranger to the spotlight on the snow, but this is your first solo dance performance.

AP: It’s very similar. When you’re at the Paralympics, you know that this is your one shot. Everything leads up to that one moment. The world is watching, and that was the most pressure I’d ever been in.

Then I went to “Dancing with the Stars” and it was like the Paralympics every week. You have to nail a single minute of performance every week. The pressure is huge, but, like everything else I’ve done, you can’t focus on everyone else. You have to shut off everything else, and if you make a mistake you pull yourself together. I do my best to shut out the unnecessary chatter in my brain: how stressful this is, how scary this is, how many people are watching. It’s the purpose, and that purpose is to show what the possibilities can be with these legs. That’s really what it’s all about.

That’s not to say it’s not scary…

SDN: Did you ever think you’d have the chance to dance at an opening ceremony?

AP: No, not once. We had up to 18 million people watching “Dancing with the Stars,” but this is an international stage. Maybe not every country is tuning in, but just about the whole world is tuning in. It takes what I’ve done in the past and takes it to a whole new level. It’s a solo dance, again, and this I my opportunity to show people that, yes, I can do this on my own for a solid four minutes. It’s a challenge, but it’s nothing I’m not used to.

To read more and see photos and video of her rehearsing, see Summit Daily. Go for it, Amy. We’ll be watching!

August 21, 2016 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

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: Questions We’re Tired of Answering, Volume II: The Emmy Edition

I wasn’t planning on writing another edition of “Questions We’re Tired of Answering” so soon after the first edition, but after the sh*tstorm I witnessed on Twitter in the past 36 hours since Derek & Julianne won an Emmy for their “Elastic Heart” routine with Tessandra Chavez, I felt it necessary to field some of the questions I’m seeing over and over again about the Emmy’s.

Before I get into it, though, let me just say this: I think a lot of these questions are stemming from the increase in “entitlement mentality” I’m seeing from a lot of the pros – and some of the fans are starting to buy into it.  Contrary to what some seem to believe, not every pro deserves a MBT, an Emmy nomination, an Emmy win, movie roles, Broadway gigs, book deals, endorsements, etc., simply by showing up and being a pro on DWTS.  That, in itself, is a privilege; things like MBT’s, Emmy’s, etc. are rewards for merit and hard work – not entitlements.  If a pro wants these things, to quote Britney Spears, “you better work, b*tch!”. Let’s try to keep that in mind…

Why does SYTYCD get so many more nominations than DWTS?

To understand this, you have to understand that there’s two components for success in the “Outstanding Choreography” category at the Emmys: the strength of the choreographic content, and the strength of how it was performed.  Therefore, you’re much more likely to get nominated if a) your choreography is strong, creative, and innovative, and b) you’ve got a skilled dancer performing it. Thus, it’s kind of easy to tell why it’s easier for SYTYCD routines to get nominated: all of them are performed by professional dancers, and because the choreographers (usually) aren’t limited to tailoring their choreography to the skills of their dancers, they can take more risks and do more off-the-wall stuff.  Choreography for DWTS, on the other hand, tends to be limited by the skill set of the celebrity – which affects what exactly the pros can include in the routine, and how well it gets performed on show night.  On top of those two factors, the Academy voters tend to be more from the contemporary style than from ballroom – and thus have a bit of a bias towards contemporary routines (of which there is usually quite a few on SYTYCD) and a bit of a bias against ballroom (which is the bulk of what we see on DWTS).  Most years, the best that DWTS can hope for is (1) nomination, against usually 4-5 from SYTYCD.  So for me to see some people complaining about [insert pro here] and [insert another pro here] not getting nominated as well, I feel like puking – cause the fact that DWTS was actually able to get TWO nominations this year is HUGE…whining about them not getting more is a tad greedy, I’m afraid.

Why wasn’t Sharna nominated for an Emmy for her choreography for Noah? It was awesome!!!

The explanation above kinda explains this one, too – Sharna likely didn’t get nominated because the routines she created for Noah were rather limited in their choreographic scope, and were not performed by a skilled dancer.  Let me repeat for good measure: it is incredibly hard to get nominated for a routine that isn’t performed by a dancer with a high level of skill.  It’s not impossible – Derek did get nominated last year for some of his choreography for Amy, who wasn’t quite as physically limited as Noah – but it’s certainly not probable. While the choreography Sharna did for Noah was great for someone as physically limited as him, I’m not sure it would stand up as great choreography for someone that was completely able-bodied.  Would you still be as wowed by choreography if, say, Alfonso danced the same routine? I doubt it.  Remember, when DWTS is up against dynamic routines danced by professional dancers on SYTYCD, they’ve gotta bring their A-game – solid routines danced by skilled dancers.  This explanation in particular seems to be one that Sharna & Noah fans just can’t seem to wrap their brain around – I’ve gone blue in the face explaining this one, only to have the people asking say “Well, I still think she should have been nominated. That choreography was incredible!” That’s great – their routines were awesome and Sharna did an incredible job showing what Noah could do.  No one can take that away from her. But just understand that it was incredible choreography FOR NOAH – not necessarily incredible choreography, period.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Why wasn’t Mark nominated for his choreography with Sadie and/or Willow?

IMO, because he focused a bit too much on production value…at the expense of choreographic content.  These past two seasons, Mark has choreographed a LOT of routines that were very set and costume-heavy…and it seemed to dominate those performances, to the detriment of the actual dancing being done.  His Halloween paso doble with Sadie kinda sticks out in my mind as a good example – I enjoyed it, but even I can admit that the OTT costuming and set kinda distracted from the actual dancing.  The set and costumes OVERWHELMED the dancing, rather than working with it.  Derek’s “Walking on Air” routine with Jamie Goodwin is a good example of the set working WITH the dance – the set itself was almost like a 3rd dancer, with all of the moves choreographed with it in mind.  Ditto for “Elastic Heart” – the set itself was actually choreographed into the dance.  I think if Mark would focus more on the choreography itself instead of the set & costumes, we might see more nominations for him in the future – especially if SYTYCD kicks the bucket after this season, which is looking evermore likely from their dismal ratings.

Why was Witney nominated??? IT WASN’T EVEN HER CHOREOGRAPHY!!!

This is me emphatically rolling my eyes.  To those of you still repeating this tripe started by a few disgruntled pros (and one rather scheisty-seeming outside choreographer) on Twitter/Instagram, please stop – we’ve already talked about it at-length here, but here it is again, once more, with feeling: if you don’t have a formally-written contract with an outside choreographer to help with a certain routine, the Academy will not give them co-choreographer credit in the event of a potential nomination.  Academy rules, fools. And judging from what SYTYCD choreographer Spencer Liff said in the link I posted above, ghost choreographers are well aware of this rule – so for this Alan dude (and most of “The Fam”) to suddenly be crying foul is kinda…d*ck.  If you’re of the camp that is trying to claim that she shouldn’t have been nominated because the choreography “just wasn’t that good”, hehe…ok.  Whatever you say.  Nevermind that it was choreographed for possibly the most skilled male celebrity that we’ve ever had on DWTS, and he KILLED IT – and the Academy agrees that the choreography was outstanding.  And then it gets even weirder – I’ve had more than a couple people try to write off the Carlton jazz routine because “it was derived from a dance that Witney didn’t choreograph”.  The fact that people are (probably pretending to be) genuinely upset that about 15 seconds of a nonsensical dance with TWO STEPS was used in the routine makes me not want to live on this planet anymore.  So, were you guys expecting her to give Alfonso credit for “the Carlton dance” or something? It ain’t even really his dance, either – he cites Courteney Cox & Eddie Murphy as his inspiration for it.  Should they have been given credit? Do you people now see how ridiculous you sound?  At this point, you may as well just admit that you just don’t like Witney…cause this is really reaching, kids.

Why wasn’t Allison nominated???

I have to kinda eye roll at this one, too, because it seems like some are drinking the “Allison was awesome on SYTYCD; therefore, by default, she is also awesome on DWTS” Kool-Aid.  For as stellar as Allison is as a contemporary dancer/choreographer, she is still a mediocre-at-best ballroom choreographer.  And again – the bulk of the routines on DWTS are still hardcore ballroom.  On top of that, her first season with Jonathan didn’t really have any standout routines, and some of her strongest routines with Ryker were a bit derivative (i.e. their paso – it was good, but how many Pirates of the Caribbean routines do you think the Academy has seen in the last 10 years?).  Maybe we’ll see some nominations for her once she steps up her ballroom game, but right now? Just not cutting the mustard as a ballroom choreographer yet, though she is improving.  She’s probably more likely to get nominated for any pro-dance collaborations she does – particularly if she does them with Derek.

September 14, 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