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PureDWTS Season 25, Week 5 – Power Rankings

I’ve said it before, but here it goes again: I actually usually hate Disney night, and it’s not because I “hate Disney” or “had an upsetting childhood” (Twitter sure is full of recreational psychologists these days) – it’s because, like many a theme week, it tends to force the pros to shoehorn their choreo to fit songs that aren’t all appropriate for the dance they’ve been assigned, and the end result is usually…painful to behold, and a detriment to the celeb partner’s scores. However, I will say this: maybe my personal bar was set pretty low, but I actually found myself enjoying last night’s show, on the whole. Most of the pros (with the exception of maybe three) seemed to bring their A-game and actually churn out some respectable and entertaining dances, that still managed to stay true to the Disney movie they were assigned; granted, there were still some eyebrow-raising scoring issues and the general ick of Chmerlachey in its death throes, trying wayyyy too hard to stay on our radar, but all in all, I found the show enjoyable…even with having to watch it on a dodgy live stream on my iPad due to Monday Night Football.  For the first time in PureDWTS history, Heidi’s Titans were playing my Colts on MNF – so we both were on the live stream struggle bus, but thankfully, our server issues here at Pure seem to have been fixed by our latest update, so we hope more of you will stick around to chat with us now 🙂

Another issue I’ve found myself having with Disney night in more recent seasons? Just how commercial it has become – I know that Disney night on DWTS has always served as a bit of free promo for its latest ventures, but it seems like they’re being less and less subtle about it; it also seems like there’s always one couple that gets saddled with the “new movie promo dance” and has to contend with a film that isn’t popular yet, and they are probably contractually obligated to portray certain aspects of the movie within the routine, which only serves to limit them further.  It was Jodie & Keo with Zootopia in season 22; it was David & Lindsay and Cars 3 last season; and this season, it was Nikki & Artem that had to do the promo dance this time, with Coco. Gotta plug those new films, Disney – it’s all about those Benjamins. Anymore, Disney seems to embody a sort of greed that just makes my blood boil – look deep enough and you’ll find many a story of how they’ve screwed people over for the sake of the almighty dollar. If you want an eye-opener, Google Adriana Caselotti – she was the voice of Snow White, and an opera singer that probably could have been the next Maria Callas…if Disney hadn’t contractually screwed her out of a career doing anything other than voicing Snow White. Or don’t, if you want to retain the “magic” of Disney – it’s just hard for me to feel childlike wonder when I see such a big corporate entity shitting on the lil guy, again and again.

Can’t say that too many of us (save for the legions of PLL fans that like to brag about how big they are, and the ones who like to creep my Twitter and pounce whenever I say anything remotely not glowing about Sasha) were all that shocked to see Sasha go – and I think we’re in fairly uniform agreement that most of the fault for her elim lies with Gleb and his absurdly bland choreography, rather than anything Sasha herself did wrong. Really and truly, Gleb had multiple advantages coming into the competition with Sasha – she came from a fanbase that typically serves its stars well on DWTS, she had a backstory that viewers could connect to (her weight struggles), and she actually had at least some dance background.  There is NO REASON why she shouldn’t have made it to at least week 6 based on that alone, especially given that there are still some duds left (Nick in terms of skill, and Vanessa in terms of partnerships that are uncomfortable to watch) that should have been gone before she was; all Gleb really had to do was give her decent and memorable choreography – and he failed her, in that respect. Part of me thinks Sasha saw it coming, to a certain degree, judging from her facial expressions as they stood on the stage. I applaud her for accepting her elimination with poise – she may have been upset, but she remained gracious and calm.  But this is becoming a bit of a disturbing pattern for Gleb, who for the 3rd season in a row has served some very mediocre choreography – I know Strictly fans keep telling me how “awesome” his choreo was on that show, but at this point, something’s gotta give; he either needs to adapt to this show or get out. With Mark & Artem being the only male pros that I think are really putting in the work with their choreo (and the bulk of the female pros being very smart about their choreo), we need more male pros serving their partners well…it’s shit or get off the pot time, Gleb.

So with half the season now over, where do things stand, in terms of the narrative? I still think Lindsey & Jordan will end up being the last two standing – I go back and forth on who I think will actually win, but I’m fairly confident it’s one of those two.  So assuming it’s going to be a 4-person finale again, that leaves 2 other spots to be filled – and if it were up to me, those two other spots would be filled by Frankie & Witney and Drew and Emma; both couples seem to be improving week to week, on top of being very likeable. I worry, though, that TPTB are going to do everything they can to squeeze at least one Chmerkovskiy into that finale (my money’s on Victoria & Val), at the expense of one of those two couples…and I worry that it might be Frankie & Witney. Then again, part of me wonders if Frankie might actually be the prime candidate for the winter tour celeb – he’s a good dancer, he’s likeable, he’s enthusiastic, and from what I can tell, his schedule is open.  I don’t think Lindsey is going to be available, due to her own tour schedule; Jordan seems like he’s blowing up big right now and probably has projects lined up as soon as DWTS is over; and Drew, while WILDLY popular and probably would be a huge draw with the main demo, seems like he’s all tied up with Property Brothers stuff, his book, and his upcoming nuptials. So Frankie’s a bit of a wild card for me right now, despite ending up in jeopardy last night – he could be there because he isn’t getting the votes, or he could be there to start generating buzz because he may be going on tour. I think Nikki is unfortunately expendable in the eyes of TPTB, so she and Artem are likely on their own in terms of fighting to stick around; I think we may have witnessed the swan song of Chmerlachey, and TPTB may let that gambit finally drop (and not a moment too soon) once one of them gets eliminated – hopefully next week.  The one couple I don’t really have a solid feel for? Terrell & Cheryl – I think they may have started out as an “expendable” pairing in the eyes of TPTB, but given Terrell’s breakthrough these past few weeks and the fact he’s actually turning out halfway decent (and isn’t being a complete bonehead), they may be starting to see him as an asset. …Read more

October 17, 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 6 – Power Rankings

Anyone else missing Derek & Mark (and their choreography) something fierce right about now??? Because my god – if last night wasn’t an exercise in choreographic futility for some of our pros, then I don’t know what the hell it was. On top of that, the judges seemed eerily kind to just about everyone (except Nick, which we’ll get into later), which left me with this unpleasant sense of foreboding for most of the show – like I was waiting for something bad to happen, but I wasn’t sure what.  Basically, the same feeling I had while watching the first 20 minutes of last season’s Game of Thrones finale – but thankfully, when it all played out, I felt less like Margaery & more like Cersei, because something that Heidi & I had be predicting would happen eventually, happened: Heather got outsted in a “shocking” (but not really, if you actually think about it) elimination. We had been saying she was the most likely candidate for the token “shock” elim this season, but I don’t think we were anticipating it happening this early on – I myself had her making it to at least week 7, I think. But when you take into account the turd of a routine her pro foist upon her last week, and the fact that most of the general viewing audience couldn’t really get past her basically being a professional dancer herself, she followed the basic formula for getting “Sabrina’d”: the minute a skilled dancer dips below a certain score threshold, they get sent home because they Just. Aren’t. Getting. The. Votes. If you want to see a breakdown of just how few votes Heather was getting (or rather, just how much better than Heather everyone else was doing), go reread Heidi’s Dancing By the Numbers. I wish I could say I was disappointed by a good dancer getting sent home before some less-skilled ones, but I made no secret of it that I never really found myself enjoying Heather’s performances – and it was a combination of lack of connection to the audience on her part, and just plain subpar choreography from Maks on the other. Add in the fact that Maks managed to find TWO ways to proverbially spit in Alan’s face last night, and I’m left saying “Toodles, Heather & Maks – don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!” Not gonna lie, though: part of me would love to see Alan as a pro next season, and have Maks left out in the cold – karma could be such a perfect bitch 😎

Which brings me to a few notes on demographics.  I think I warned everyone a month ago that Chris, Erika, Heather, & Normani were the four most likely to struggle with fanbase issues this season – three of them are now gone. You Harmonizers still feeling so confident about Normani’s voting fanbase? I saw quite a few folks wringing hands after it was announced that everyone on the girls’ team was in jeopardy, and many of them seemed convinced that Nancy was the one headed home.  You guys do realize that she aligns almost perfectly with the main viewing demographic of the show, right? A middle-aged Olympian with an inspiring backstory? Please help me understand why you thought a C-list-at-best, 30-something professional dancer from a 2-years-defunct teen tv show that was being given highly mediocre choreo by her partner was somehow going to outlast that Olympian, who so far has thrived and been given solid routines by her partner? It’s important to remember that sometimes, this show is about everything EXCEPT the dancing – in this case, the fact that Heather was already a great dancer didn’t matter to a lot of folks. If anything, it seemed to turn them off. They seemed to prefer Nancy’s journey to Heather’s already-professional polish. I also think Nancy has come off far more relatable and down-to-earth than Heather ever did on the show – and trust me when I say that can make a bigger difference than a few points, sometimes.

As for the rest of the show – Nick was an ok guest judge; seemed excited to be there and tried to give insightful critiques, but I think he came across a tad disingenuous at times. He also seemed like a bit of a yes-man, and had been fed a list of instructions on what to say and to whom (“Make sure you mention that Normani could win this whole thing! And don’t go easy on Nick V.!”) But I was pleased to see he gave Rashad a “10” when the other judges were whipping out 9’s – seemed to make up for Carrie Ann’s uncalled-for “7” last week. Opener seemed bland, like it was an afterthought – “Crap, what are we gonna do for the opener this week??? IDK, just…line everyone up or something…” Can’t say I missed Julianne too much – guess the Move Beyond tour didn’t leave any time for the “Ballroom is soooo different than what Heather does!” apology tour this week…and now Heather’s gone. Wuh wuh wuhhhhh. Read more..

April 25, 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 5 – Power Rankings

Well, thank god that’s over – yes, kids, I actually hate Disney week. Sue me. The first time they did it (in season 18), it was cool; but each successive season got progressively less…magical, and more…of a chore to watch. I find that, out of all the theme weeks, it’s the one most likely to force the songs to fit the wrong dances, and to get so caught up in production value that the dance becomes a bit of an afterthought, and the costumes/sets/animations/etc. dominate. Much like my general opinion of Disney these days – just overwrought with commercialization. And I kinda felt that commercial aspect last night more than previous Disney nights – some of the dances felt more like advertisements for upcoming Disney movies, or promotion for lesser-known musicians. I guess when Disney owns ABC, this is to be expected – if it don’t make dollas, it don’t make sense, kids. But I did like the intro, because it was something different – and say what you will about Alfonso, but he has ALWAYS been there for the show when they need him, whether it’s filling in for Tom when his dad died, actually giving insightful critiques as a guest judge, or just being supportive and being in the audience week after week.  I feel like he really gets a bum rap sometimes, as well as the unfair label of being the biggest male ringer the show has ever had – but that’s a discussion for another place…

And now we move onto the “stay woke” segment of the rankings – because there was some serious manipulation going on last night, and you didn’t exactly have to be a rocket scientist to see it. There was gross underscoring, gross overscoring, vague criticism not really rooted in anything substantial, vague praise not really rooted in anything substantial, and strategic placement of people in jeopardy and in safety. The funny thing is, you can really tell that there’s new EP’s at the helm – Conrad & Rob were both a lot stealthier with this kinda stuff; with Joe & Ashley, it’s amateur hour. They’re the B-squad puppeteers that were thrust into lead roles as Muppets, but we can totally see their hands up the asses of some of the contestants.  If you haven’t yet read Heidi’s post about manipulation, you totally should – it’s eye-opening. So what do I make of all of it? I think David, Rashad, & Simone are probably running away with the bulk of the votes, Heather & Normani may not be getting as many as TPTB had anticipated they would, I don’t think they’ve decided what to do about Nancy yet, and Bonner & Nick are pretty disposable to them at this point. Will their machinations work? Not to the degree they’re hoping, I don’t think. Time will tell, and I get the impression that the viewers may be wisening up to the funny business – I know a lot of the readers here have.

So Erika left us…and I’m left without a ton to say other than “oh well…it is what it is.” Her elimination has been the LEAST disappointing one to me so far this season, mostly because I tended to forget her week after week – that kind of thing tends to happen when you basically do the same dance each week, with just a few tweaks. I enjoyed her Viennese waltz last night, and was glad we FINALLY got to see a different side of her (and she even showed vulnerability!) – but it was unfortunately too little, too late. Really hoping we don’t get another “look at how rich & sexy I am!” dance at the finale. Interesting to note: her exit left us with perfectly even numbers of men & women left for the girl groups vs. boy bands team dance next week.  Coincidental or intentional? You decide. Read more..

April 18, 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 22, Week 9 – Power Rankings

Five years ago, I sat on my couch, slack-jawed and speechless over the fact that TPTB had managed to oust a season-long fan favorite and great dancer from the finale in favor of a member of the ABC family advancing.   I didn’t think it was possible that anyone on this show could have gotten more screwed-over than Ralph Macchio was in season 12, in order to allow Chelsea Kane into the finals. I’ll be damned if history didn’t repeat itself last night with Wanya Morris, quite possibly one of the most hard-working, consistent, passionate, and entertaining contestants this show has ever seen, being sacrificed in favor of the decent-but-unmemorable ABC family member, Ginger Zee. And it seems to sting even more this time, because I feel like it all came down to the “hanky slip heard ’round the world” – a relatively minor snafu that the judges decided to make a molehill of, and brutally underscored Wanya last week, while sheltering Ginger with some very cushy scores on some pretty ho-hum dances. Had that underscoring (and overscoring) not happened last week, I have decent reason to believe we’d be looking at a different finale lineup.  But when it comes down to it, I guess it’s more important to ensure the company gal advances over the popular guy that isn’t part of the family, no matter how talented he may be. Good luck defending this decision, ABC – judging from the shock and dismay I saw on Twitter, you may get quite a bit of backlash for this one.

As for the good news about last night – I did manage to get 2/3 of my dream finale, with Nyle & Paige advancing, and with Antonio, the weak link in this competition since Doug left, finally getting ousted. To the Steelers Nation – guess y’all aren’t as mighty as you claimed to be, huh? I daresay with all the outrage about Wanya getting ousted, I barely heard a peep from those disappointed about Antonio going home. And FWIW, Wanya put on one helluva show – dude was 100% in the zone last night, and didn’t have a single stumble.  Just makes it all the more of a glaring omission for him to not make the finale.

So for the first time, this week’s scores are being rolled into the totals for the finale – I invite you all to contemplate why that might be.  Given that we’ll see the freestyles next Monday before the final set of votes, these power rankings are somewhat moot, as I’ll do another set next Monday. But given that they’ll actually be using the judges’ scores from this week, I do think it’s possible to predict who might have the advantage headed into the finale…and who might struggle a bit more.  So take these rankings as who I think would win/be the runner-up/come in 3rd if the winner were to be decided tomorrow. Read more..

May 17, 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 8 – Power Rankings

*shaking head* Still trying to reconcile the fact that Ginger is getting heaped with praise and given perfect scores, when her dances are about as exciting to me as watching paint dry/water boil/grass grow/British Parliamentary proceedings/etc. Yes, I know she’s a company gal; but I still don’t really understand what the benefit would be to DWTS to push her as hard as they have been. Are they changing narratives in the 11th hour, and gunning for a 2nd MBT for Val after all? Are they trying to keep the GMA casting pool fruitful for future seasons? Is this image rehab for Val the social media sociopath? Or was last night just part of the ruse – that maybe Ginger isn’t finale bound after all, and they were just giving her a nice send-off? My head spins trying to make sense of it. The grim reality is, though, that tonight’s tongue bath of Ginger may have dashed our hopes of a Nyle/Wanya/Paige finale – and we may see one of those three heading home in next week’s double elim instead of advancing to the finale, despite the fact that those 3 have been the most consistent and entertaining this season.  Buckle in, kids – next week is probably going to hurt.

I love how they touted the Judge’s Challenge (or whatever the hell they were calling it) as a “brand new dance” – bitch please, that was just a combo of the dance duels from season 18, the judge’s challenge from season 20, and the “America scores” fiasco from season 21. Three shitshows rolled into one, for your viewing pleasure.  The scores ended up being a complete cop-out, though, with each dance receiving the same score – and while I saw a lot of folks up in arms about it, I have to say I was a tad relieved; I don’t think any of the 3 dances really passed muster, and each had their own set of faults to contend with.  But giving them all the same score does two things: it makes the margins much closer, so it’s easier for someone at the bottom of the leaderboard (read: WANYA) to claw their way outta the bottom two; and it basically just throws it back to the fans…he or she with the most votes, advances, with slightly less power given to potentially skewed judges’ scores.  The judges’ dance didn’t really help anyone (except maybe Wanya, in a roundabout kinda way), but it also didn’t really hurt anyone, either. It’s pretty much all on the fans, at this point – the second dance just leveled the playing field a bit.

As for Jodie – she had a good run, and she went out on a high note; Keo probably grew more in this season than he has in all 3 of his previous seasons combined.  I’d call that a win for both, and for what it’s worth, Jodie actually seemed a tad relieved to be heading home.  I think she had wanted to do the show for quite some time, and unfortunately she got cast on a season where the competition was unusually fierce.  On a more “normal” season, I think she would have EASILY made the finale; but I think the pressure really got to her this season, both in terms of trying to do well and trying to emotionally support her partner.  And hey, it dovetailed nicely into her starting filming for season 2 of Fuller House today 🙂 And also for what it’s worth – I think Keo ended up being the right kind of partner for her.  I think she was too emotionally fragile to deal with a critic like Val or an Artem week after week, she was too tall for Sasha, and I can’t imagine anyone else partnering Paige than Mark.  It worked out, and hopefully Keo can come back next season as a more seasoned pro. Read more..

May 10, 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 6 – Power Rankings

I feel as though now is a good time to remind everyone of a very important thing to heed when watching the rehearsal packages: BEWARE THE EDIT. Last night, we saw two packages that very clearly illustrated how the tone of a package can get skewed with the right editing – they made Nyle, the well-loved, down-to-earth frontrunner seem like a self-absorbed egomaniac; and they took Antonio, the lazy narcissist who has only put in an average of 10 hours of rehearsal time for the first 5 weeks of the season, appear to be a hard-working, misunderstood victim of his pro’s apathy.  That latter in particular made me wanna toss my cookies, because as we reported (and as it’s been parroted all over Twitter) – Antonio has done nothing but make excuses for his lateness/lack of rehearsal time, and then apparently spent 45 minutes ranting to the confessional camera about how Sharna has checked out of their partnership and he’s “putting her on notice”.  He failed to assume any responsibility whatsoever for their partnership failing to “boom”, cast all the blame onto her, and came across as chillingly aggressive – and yet, because of the edit he was given (and the subsequent falling into line that the judges did), he appeared to be the uber-dedicated “comeback kid” this week, and managed to skate by with nary a negative word uttered about a routine that would probably gotten torn to pieces if it had been performed by Nyle, Wanya, Paige, or even Von. On the other side of the coin, I’m fairly certain poor Nyle got baited into one of the many loaded questions production loves to ask the celebs in order to illicit some of the juicier sound bytes we hear in packages – I’m guessing it was something like “Who is your biggest competition this season? Do you think you’re sexier than anyone in the cast? Who do you see yourself beating in a wet t-shirt contest?” Given that I’ve heard nothing but praise for how Nyle was on ANTM (“the nicest guy EVER” is a phrase that gets tossed out a lot), I find it hard to believe that he’d suddenly decide to start seriously throwing shade and bragging about himself.  He was JOKING, guys – but because of the edit he was given, it was made to appear serious.  I’m guessing Tamar was also somewhat joking last season when she got baited into saying “I’m the best”, and I’m sure Nastia didn’t set out to come across as the icy bitch they painted her as during the infamous bad edit of season 20. Just something to keep in mind when things start feeling…off.

God bless Doug – I do think he really gave it his all this season, and for what it’s worth, I actually found myself really enjoying his Bollywood routine tonight.  Karina was smart to keep it simple, and Doug kept up surprisingly well.  But I do feel like he had reached a point where he wasn’t really having fun anymore, and the stress was maybe wearing on him – so I didn’t get the impression that he was all that broken up about leaving tonight. He was thankful for the experience – but he seemed ready for the ride to stop. But with Doug gone, that leaves us in an very sticky situation: there are really no more “bad” dancers left – everyone remaining ranges from decent (when he’s trying) to great.  Which means the eliminations are gonna get painful from here on out, particularly this double one we’ve got coming up next week.  Given who we saw in jeopardy last night, it’s entirely possible we could lose one of the stronger dancers – and that those just skating by may end up outlasting the better dancers, if people don’t start voting.  Hope you did! Otherwise things could get pretty heartbreaking, pretty fast…

Can someone please explain to me the strange fixation Val has with being half-naked for no real reason at least once in every show? More often than not, multiple times? Twice last night, we saw him shirtless (once when he was also in his underwear) – and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why and how that fit choreographically with the dances he was doing at the time.  I’m all ears if someone has an intelligent explanation… Read more..

April 26, 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 5 – Power Rankings

The old adage is true: you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and the Maks we saw last night was basically the same hypocritical foot-in-the-mouth bonehead that we saw when he was still a pro – soap-boxing about lack of content, while conveniently forgetting that he himself was known for choreographing full routines of d*cking around and “messin’ about” when he was a pro; and then there was some suspicious scoring…Maks conveniently gave his 3 highest scores of the night to lil bro’s original partner, lil bro’s switch partner, and his fiancee’s original partner…and  also gave an unusually kind critique to his fiancee’s switch partner, despite him not being all that great. Basically, it was a good night to be on the DWM payroll, or paired with someone that was on the DWM payroll – and if you weren’t, watch out…cause Maks was comin’ for you & your “lack of content”. Good luck with the tour, bruh – cause I don’t see them offering you a permanent  spot at the judges’ table anytime soon.

That’s not to say that Maks was the only judge on-notice last night – Len seemed to parrot everything Maks said, and Maks seemed to parrot everything that Len said, and both picked very interesting week to suddenly crack down on “lack of content”. Since some of you seemed to be getting it twisted on Twitter, let me make one thing clear: I’m not saying “it’s ok to not have content”.  Hell, I’ve found myself complaining about it quite a lot this season, read through my previous rankings – it’s been a definite problem. But I do think they picked a lousy week to suddenly be so concerned about it after not batting an eye for 4 weeks – switch week is one week where I think the judges need to keep in mind that all of the couples are working with a handicap: they all only have about 5 days to build a rapport and create a routine for someone that they haven’t already been dancing with for a month and a half, and they’re all somehow expected to crank something out that is every bit as good as something the celeb’s original partner would be able to pull out of them at this phase of the competition. Nobody is really working at 100% capacity. Long story short? Switch week is tough, and is probably NOT the time to suddenly go for the jugular and “make an example” of some pros’ choreography at the expense of their celeb partners. There is a time and a place – and it’s not here or now. I was actually a bit thankful for Carrie Ann & Bruno last night, who seemed to soften the blow a bit by at least throwing out some positive/constructive things with regards to the celebs’ performance when all Len & Maks could do was rant about content and take the pros to task.

As expected, nobody went home last night; but with the scores and votes from last week and this week getting combined in order to determine who gets the boot, we’re to the point where we’re really going to start seeing who’s getting the votes (and who isn’t), and we may be heading into shock elim territory – a lot of the “shocking” (but not really, when you think about it) eliminations from the past always seemed to happen when we got a huge dump of points and multiple weeks of combined scores. It makes the margins smaller, and therefore makes it a lot easier for someone at the bottom of the scoreboard to overcome a deficit – which makes good dancers with good scores (but dubious voting fanbases) a target. Was Maks’ comparison of Jodie to Sabrina a warning? Guess we’ll see.  Other random thoughts? Maks really needs to stop name-dropping Meryl when he wants to make a point – Maksyl was one of the most farcical and disingenuous pairings we’ve seen on the show, and it was 2 years ago.  Get some new material, dude. James Bay sounded breathy and bizarre. Ginger’s hubby? I like that dude’s style 😉 And the Indycar fangirl in me was giddy that James Hinchcliffe was in the audience last night – gives me hope that we might see another driver on the show soon!

NOTE: Just a reminder – these are just like any other power rankings; it’s still a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a couple is to go home (and remember, it’s their original partner that they would get eliminated with).  I will do a separate “switch up post-mortem” like I did last season, where I rank the pros by how well they did or didn’t handle the switch. Read more..

April 19, 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 4 – Power Rankings

Full disclosure: I’m actually not all that excited when Disney week rolls around.  I know everyone gets so caught up in the magic and the wonder and the childlike joy, but I often find myself distracted by songs that don’t really fit the dance styles they’re meant to have, loud costumes, sets that seem to draw attention away from the couple, and the copious use of the troupe. I actually much prefer theme weeks like acoustic week or classical week, where things are stripped down – or better yet, no theme at all.  Just let them DANCE.

Unfortunately, while I would normally have menial things like I mentioned above to gripe about, last night I found myself just absolutely floored at the disparity in judging & scoring that was going on.  I wasn’t even terribly concerned with Zendaya – overall, she did a good job and didn’t rock the boat too far, which is all I can really ask for – I found myself particularly peeved at Carrie Ann, who picked very convenient times to really crack down on certain couples and conveniently overlook the shortcomings of others.  And while last week gave me hope that TPTB might give up on the preseason narrative of pimping the football players and ABC darling Ginger and just let the chips fall where they may, this week the narrative is back with a vengeance – the only change made is that they seem to have decided to to put all their eggs in Antonio’s basket and drop Von, which is probably the most asinine thing I saw all night, given what I’ve seen and heard of the former’s work ethic (or lack thereof). Things are not nearly as rosy as they were made out to be in his package, kids – when you only manage to put in roughly 10 hours of rehearsal time in an entire week (most couples put in 6-8 PER DAY) and you’re apparently late to rehearsal because you’re too busy “always closing” and “getting the job done” and “blessing up” by posting pix of your shoes/house/car/workouts on Snapchat, I’m gonna go ahead and assume that your heart ain’t in this…in which case, you can GTFO. There are too many people on this season that are busting their asses week after week, and putting in the hours in the studio and giving us fantastic performances and heaps of gratitude for the experience, for this show to keep carrying the dead weight of someone that isn’t giving 100%.  I only want to see people who clearly want to be there – and TPTB aren’t helping, with some of the f*ckery we saw with the packages tonight.  I know we often complain about some getting a “bad edit” – keep this in mind: there is also such a thing as an overly-kind edit…

Makes me a bit sad to see Marla go, simply because I found her endless optimism and zen attitude refreshing – plus, while her dances maybe didn’t always excite me, I did find them pleasing and soothing, in a weird way…I found myself kind of hypnotized by her waltz last night.  Glad to see Dougie staying, though, because I do think he’s go more to show us – thankfully, I don’t see anyone going home next week (as is usually the pattern for switch week), so we’ll get at least two more dances out of him.  Getting a lot of questions about who I want to see in the switch – honestly, I have given up on the switch, and I’m just trying to be at peace with whatever pairings we end up seeing, and just hope that some of my more fragile babies (namely Nyle, Doug, & Jodie – and to a lesser degree, Von – I’ll explain later) get partners that are able to be patient and nurture them. I don’t worry as much about Wanya or Paige – I think they’ll thrive no matter what partner they get in the switch. Kim ought to be fine, too, and I don’t really have any investment in who Ginger or Antonio gets.  I guess I’m just hoping that the switch isn’t just another tool to further the agenda we saw this week – I know that’s wishful thinking… Read more..

April 12, 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 20, Week 5 – Disney Week Song Predictions 2.0

And Disney week is upon us once again 🙂 Since so many of us (myself included) are chomping at the bit to start speculating about what we might hear, I thought we’d resurrect the season 18 Disney week song prediction post to start the discussion!

First, a little bit of intel: allegedly, there have been some issues with song clearance, AGAIN – which is no surprise, considering there were clearance issues with some of the season 18 Disney week songs (“Be Our Guest” got approved in the nick of time; “Hakuna Matata”, however, did not) and Disney is notorious for closely guarding their copyrights.  Knowing that – I would not be at all surprised if some of the season 18 Disney week songs got reused.  Disappointing? Maybe. Avoidable? Doubt it.  Also, knowing this show’s penchant for reusing songs, I would not be surprised to see if some other Disney songs used before on other seasons of the show crop up again. So to start the predicting off, here’s a recap of the songs we saw during the last Disney week, and songs we’ve seen on the show before – then I’ll share my Disney week wishlist, and you guys can share yours 🙂 Read more..

April 3, 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

PureDWTS Season 18 End-of-Season Awards – Which Guest Judge Was the Best?

So now that the voting is closed on our biannual end-of-season awards, it’s time to reveal the results – and for me and my fellow mods to weigh in 🙂 So let’s get to it…


Courtney: As I think most of us suspected, Kenny ran away with this one – he seemed to be the one guest judge this season that everyone seemed to universally agree was both qualified to judge and would actually give good feedback.  And he did – my only complaint is that they held off until week 9 to have him judge, and I think by that point the feedback the judges give is almost universally positive and you rarely hear much actual criticism…so I think I would have liked him a bit earlier in the competition when he could have given some really good advice, and I wish they would have saved one of the softer judges (like Robin) for the week 9 gushing and parade of 10’s.  I actually voted for Ricky on this one, because I kinda dug that he seemed to refuse to conform to the judges’ predetermined rhetoric for each couple – the judges may have been raking Charlie & Sharna across the coals for their paso, but Ricky wasn’t afraid to say “I see what you’re saying, but I totally loved it! TEN!!!!” Not at all surprised at who ended up at the bottom of the list – although I do find it a bit funny that Redfoo beat out Donny 😛

Heidi: I’m guessing the Donny fans have learned their lesson about this site and aren’t darkening our doors anymore. Although, congrats to them, they are no longer the worst fan group to bug the shit out of us. 🙂 Kenny Ortega has CRED. Even the pros were thrilled to be dancing in front of him…and he has the ability to give them jobs, if they play their cards right. Hey, maybe he’ll make a Meryl and Maks movie. :::snort::: Although, I will say…the acting was decent. 😉

Vogue: I may be nuts (well, this you already know. lol), but, I threw my vote to Redfoo. Technically, Julianne and Kenny were the best judges, but, Redfoo was so entertaining. He game me some “moments” I won’t soon forget. He brought that “Wooooooo”‘s home and especially for Amy and Derek’s dance for just what I was feeling. What a crack up. I also enjoyed Ricky Martin. He gave Charlie and Sharna a deserving 10 despite whatever the other judges were going on about. So huge kudos to him.



June 4, 2014 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