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Julianne Hough Reflects On DWTS Athletes season and DWTS Past and Present

Former DWTS professional dancer/judge Julianne Hough was interviewed while in NYC, and asked to reflect on this season of DWTS, and you can read the entire article here.  While she admitted that she hadn’t yet had a chance to see the Finale, PopCulture did talk to her about DWTS present and past. “I actually really loved [pro Sasha Farber] and [former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding],” Hough told PopCulture. “I thought they were great. I just felt like she has such a willingness to do well and worked really hard, and I just love Sasha so much and how much effort he puts into his partners and stuff. So just from the outside, I was like, ‘Oh I hope they do well, I hope they make it to the finals and stuff.’”

It’s been 11 years since Julianne won her first season, with Apolo Ohno way back in Season 4. At the time, he was the youngest celebrity to ever do the show, AND he was also training as a speed skater, and I think he was the first celebrity to try to juggle both their career and their dancing. She was all of 18 years old, and still, I don’t know if there’s another professional dancer winner in ANY of the versions of the show, that’s been THAT young (however if I’m wrong, please correct me).

Anyone who has been watching DWTS since nearly the beginning knows, it’s been evolving since the beginning. And they also talked to Julianne about the differences between DWTS:The Early Years and DWTS:The Present Years.

“I can’t believe it’s been 11 years,” she told PopCulture, “That was such a fun time when I was on the show, because it was in the beginning when there wasn’t a lot of production, you weren’t allowed to use props, we didn’t have dancers behind us, it was just the two of us … and it was very technical.”

As to whether she prefers the more basic roots of the dancing show or where it is today, the Grease Live star saw the merit to each style.

“I like both,” she told PopCulture. I think that sometimes performance can outweigh the dancing, and that’s totally fine, but sometimes I feel like you just want to see it stripped down for what it is. I like both things and you know what, we have to keep moving with the times. If you’re not moving with the times you’re going to be left behind.”

She continued: But I think there’s also something to be said for holding onto the importance of why and getting back to basics … and that’s actually connecting people to their bodies so they feel like they know how to dance at the end of the show.”

 

 

 

 

 

May 22, 2018 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dancing with the Stars Season 26, The Finale – LIVE BLOG (SPOILERS)

Plus a few numbers thrown in, since I totally spaced on Dancing by the Number, thanks to my travel schedule. 🙂

Well, advantage Adam, since he has the second “no rules” dance this season while everyone else is doing ballroom. That’s only one reason why I think he’s going to win this season. Another reason is his partnership with Jenna – they’ve really clicked.

He also has an advantage if the numbers spread is similar to what it was at the end of last week. The difference between this week and last week, however, is that there will be two full dances worth 30 points each. That tightens the spread a bit.

I predict that the first dance goes something like this (unless the judges totally cop out, which they could):

Tonya – 26
Josh – 28
Adam – 30

The freestyle? I think Josh and Adam get perfect scores and Tonya gets a 28 or 29. IF that occurs, then Tonya would need 17.4k more votes and 29k more votes per million votes cast to win over Josh and Adam, respectively. I would be surprised if that were to happen. I always thought she had the juice to get to the finale week, but not win. Too much baggage.

For Josh to win, he would need for Tonya not to get that 17.4k more votes and he would need to get 11.6k more votes per million votes cast to win over Adam.

For Adam to win, he just needs for those two dancers to not cover the spread.

If it comes out a three way tie, I think it’s between Josh and Adam and I’m leaning Josh. For that matter, if it’s a two way tie between Adam and Josh – same thing. 🙂

Okay, show time.

What the heck is going on on that stage?? Adam and Jenna are the only ones remotely happy to be there, from all appearances.

Tonya first with V. Waltz.

I saw a little bobble at the beginning of the dance and a possible issue with an underarm pass, but damn she is definitely a ballroom girl. That said, she did fine with latin too, so. I think that color looks good on her.

Len and Bruno are loving it. CAI says she seemed nervous, which I think is a tiny bit of BS.

Nailed that score – she gets a 26 as predicted. Josh is going second – as DWTS often does, I think they are dancing in their reverse order of finish.

So Josh and Tonya get a slower ballroom dance (one favors it, the other – hard to say)…and Adam gets Jazz. Okay.

Josh and Sharna doing a beautiful job…until Sharna steps on her dress and totally lets it show on her face. Girl!!

Judges seem to love it, calling him elegant – although CAI and Len both call out a minor error. That makes it easy to give him all 9s. We’ll see after the commercials.

Josh gets a 27 – I was off by a point.

I have to admit, the Jenna and Adam screaming at each other on the first meeting was what got me. And her choreography has been STELLAR.

This dance is really cute and their sync work seems as stellar as usual. Not sure how CAI is going to feel about lip syncing. Nastia ought to beat her over the head if she doesn’t pick on it. 🙂

Is this dance the closest to actual jazz they’ve had on this show since Derek left?? I think so. Judges seem to love it. Sync not as perfect as in the past, but pretty damn close.

As anticipated, Adam gets a 30. I’m just that damn good. Only off by one point over three dances. 😉

Tonya’s freestyle package is a bit teary. Ohhh…good song….

Holy crap. That was a Derek Hough-style freestyle!! Good job Sasha!! So athletic and so HARD! Damn, color me impressed!! She trailed the music just a teeny tiny bit in a one or two spots cuz it was so damn fast, but she’s not a spring chicken any more!!

Judges are raving…Oh sit down, CAI. 🙂 I predicted a 28 or 29, but I suspect she gets a perfect score. And she does. Not sure this changes anything other than narrowing the margins a bit.

NUMBERS

Or a lot. Tonya needs less that 6k votes to overtake Josh and get second place. To win she would have to get that 6k AND get 23k more votes per million votes cast than Adam. I don’t see that happening, but it’s possible she could move into second place. This is assuming that Josh and Adam both get perfect scores on the freestyle.

For Josh to win, he would need for Tonya to NOT get that 6k votes and he would need 17.4k more votes per million votes cast to get past Adam and win. I don’t see that happening, but I could be wrong. I think right now it’s a battle for second place.

Okay, that was a good freestyle, and danced perfectly, but it seemed that the troupe and Sharna were the ones doing all the dancing. I really like Josh, but I think he gets let down a bit by Sharna’s lack of cross training. Certainly not bad, but it might suffer from going in between Tonya and Adam.

Judges love it – Bruno’s comment “You’re wet.” was probably the best one all night. He gets a perfect score, cuz that’s what we’re doing tonight.

Oh boy, Adam’s hair for his freestyle might be it. Anna Trebunskaya sighting in the audience!!

Holy crap part 2! That’s what cross training does for you – that’s the most unique freestyle we’ve seen in a very long time. That was very cool. I was mesmerized.

And the judges are going to crap all over it. I feel like this dance might have been too SYTYCD for them. The out of sync comment from CAI was bullshit – that’s all she could think of to say, she couldn’t say she didn’t get it. That could change things.

NUMBERS

The freestyle round might have cost Adam and Jenna, but maybe not. We’ll see. Josh now only needs about 6k more votes per million votes cast than Adam and he needs for Tonya to not get the 6k more votes per million votes to get past HIM. If neither Josh (6k votes per million) and Tonya (11.7k votes per million) can cover the spread, Adam wins. Not coincidentally, those numbers are what Tonya needs to win.

I still think Adam pulls it out, but the last minute voting combined with her traditional, high energy freestyle could pull it out for Tonya. Unfortunately, Adam and Jenna made the margins very tiny. I’m not longer certain who wins, although I’m still leaning Adam.

And we’re already at the end.

The WINNER IS….Adam and Jenna!!!!

May 21, 2018 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 26, Week 3 – Power Rankings

In light of the fact that I’m now writing my last power rankings of the season (I think…admittedly, I haven’t been paying close attention to the schedule) and it’s only week 3, safe to say this abbreviated season has been very, very weird. I generally find myself (and the fans that follow me on Twitter) not as invested as I would be on a full 10-week season, and I think I really and truly don’t have any investment in one couple winning over another.  All the pros left have never won before – so we will have a new pro champion, regardless; and that’s really enough for me, since I think their respective celebs have all had very satisfying, fulfilling journeys on the show this season. I’m actually finding myself more and more pumped to get started on DWTS Junior – more on that in the coming weeks 😉

So this week, Grandpa was back as a judge, and while I don’t think he was necessarily as helpful as Shad when it came to judging, I’m glad he was there to be the “nice” judge, and occasionally throw an optimistic bone to the couples that maybe didn’t do so hot (as evidenced by his tendency to dissent on the ballroom battles – bless him). I’ve heard a few people throwing shade in Grandpa & Shad’s direction, claiming that they “weren’t qualified” to judge, and at this point I have to ask “Have you guys actually been watching the show? And comprehending what’s been going on?” Nearly none of the guest judges are “qualified” in the same sense that the Three Stooges are – and for that, I’m glad.  I don’t need another Len getting grumpy about content, or another Carrie Ann incoherently babbling about non-existent lifts, or another Bruno flamboyantly gushing about whatever it is he gushes about – anymore, it’s kind of nice to have someone on the panel that can look at a dance from a non-technical perspective and say “Y’know what? That may not have been technically perfect, but I enjoyed it!” And really, the extra points dump from a 4th judge only makes the margins closer, so it basically gives more power to the viewer vote.  So if you’re bitching & moaning about unqualified judges at this point – you’re out of your element, Donnie.

We also got some pseudo-quasi mentoring from returning celebs Meryl, Nastia, & Von – and in the case of the latter, I’m thinking this was probably all thrown together fairly last-minute, as Von couldn’t even be present to actually mentor his couples in person, and did his mentoring via Skype.  Have to wonder if they had another returning celeb lined up, and they had to cancel at the last minute, necessitating the scramble for another and Von maybe just happened to be (semi)available. The bumpers we got from these returning celebs ranged from rather marginal (Von) to “Ok, but was that the best choreo you could give her?” (Meryl) and “Actually pretty decent, but man was the camera work terrible!” (Nastia), and seemed like a bit of an afterthought overall. I have a love-hate relationship with the random ways they try to bring back former contestants, as it’s usually pretty flimsy, but in the same token, I do love seeing (some) alums of the show back in the ballroom.

Not a whole lot else to add – seems like the writing is on the wall with this one.  Shall we? Read more..

May 15, 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

Dancing with the Stars Season 26, Week 3 – LIVE BLOG (SPOILERS)

Well, we’ll just see how much our “mentors” really contribute – or if they just waste time. 😀

T-minus 15 minutes….

Nice seeing a full out pro dance again on this show. Sorely missed. Although nothing will ever top Derek and Amber’s use of that song. 🙂  I think this was pre-taped thanks to that hard cut to the David Ross section. No biggie, but kinda obvious.

I’m sorry, but a triple elimination is just ridiculous. Why not have fewer couples from the get go??

Mirai up first with her quickstep. Her MVP is her mom.  Where does the mentor come in? During the dance off?

I think that was longer than 10 bars, Alan. Did I look up in time to see a tiny stumble. She is an excellent dancer, though.  Good choreo, although Alan was almost dragging her in one little section.  Love the dress too. Read more..

May 14, 2018 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. :-)

Meryl Davis, Nastia Liukin and Von Miller Return to the Ballroom to Mentor DWTS 26 Contestants

Not really sure why this is necessary other than as a boost to ratings….which probably won’t work since it’s SUMMERTIME. As should be obvious by how long it took us to post this news. 🙂  Anyway, as per usual, the producers find ways to limit the actual dancing and cram as much into two hours as humanly possible.  I mean, jeez, they ran over last week which resulted in the eliminated contestants totally getting hosed.  It’s just sad. Anyway, from Entertainment Tonight – click the link to read the whole thing which includes an interview with Meryl, Nastia and Von.

ET can exclusively reveal that Von Miller (season 22), Meryl Davis (season 18) and Nastia Liukin(season 20) will be returning to the ballroom next Monday, serving as mentors to the remaining six contestants vying for the mirrorball trophy on the shortened, all-athlete season of the dance competition show.

Meryl will mentor fellow Olympic figure skaters Mirai Nigasu and Adam Rippon, while Nastia will help Tonya Harding and Olympic softball pitcher Jennie Finch. Meanwhile, Von will mentor fellow NFL star Josh Norman and Olympic ice luger Chris Mazdzer.

So, is Meryl going to instruct Adam on how to have a fauxmance with his partner??? He’s already a competitor and at the top of the leaderboard and he’s an Olympian just like her…so not sure on how mentoring is going to work. Nastia went through it on the show, with Derek getting hurt and having to switch partners…in addition to getting bad edits by production…so she might have some useful insight anyway.

May 13, 2018 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. :-)

DWTS Season 26, Week 2 – Dancing by the Numbers!

Well, last week’s results certainly seem to indicate that a lack of PR is a killer. Arike was ahead of FOUR people in scores, not counting Kareem and she was eliminated. And that’s a shame because I certainly liked her more than Jennie. Ah well. That’s the way it goes.  Kareem couldn’t cover a small spread to stay over Jennie and Josh, and Arike just wasn’t getting any votes, judging by how many votes those below her needed to stay. Kinda surprising.

So, let’s take a look at where everyone stands on the leader board. Unfortunately, we can only use this as a guess because if they continue to use the show day scores to determine who goes home on that night, then these numbers are essentially meaningless.  It’s only a bit instructive. To top it off, the judges can easily base their scores on who they want to go home – if they know who has the votes. They can take away the public’s power. And that sucks. But it is what it is.

What I will say is that we kind of have to base everything on how people are doing in general and make the assumption that there won’t be any huge changes. And so far, the only changes in trend are that Josh was scored lower due to going first, and Arike jumped in the standings by a good bit. Mirai and  Adam stayed at the top, Tonya dropped a bit to tie with Chris and Jennie is with Josh in the bottom.  I’m sure it’s totally a coincidence that the are three two way ties remaining and the dancers are neatly ranked exactly as you would expect, even though everyone was “randomly” split into teams. I’m sure it wasn’t planned at all. :::rolls eyes:::

Once Arike and Kareem left, Josh and Jennie are the low folks on the leaderboard. It does make you wonder though, if they are really using same day scores – because I just can’t believe that Jennie pulled it off over Arike. Which makes me wonder when the teams were decided and if it was really a schoolyard pick. Doubtful. Totally a coincidence that the two people who didn’t tie with anyone are the ones who went home. I don’t even know what that means, because those judges scores are done, right? It will be this past weeks votes with the coming weeks judges scores to determine who dances in the finale.

So, as I noted above, Josh and Jennie needed roughly 13k more votes per million votes cast to stay over Arike and they apparently got those votes. Chris and Tonya needed 7.5k more votes per million votes cast –  it’s far less surprising that they got those votes than Jennie getting them.  But what’s going to happen this coming week? Who the hell knows.  If I was betting I would say that Mirai and Adam stay at the top of the leader board. I would also bet that the producers prefer Tonya over Josh (ratings! PR!!), hence she might rise on the leaderboard as well – it might also depend on who’s getting the votes. Judges like to be right, after all.

Let’s assume the standings remain relatively the same after the judges score on Monday, the possible exception being Josh rising on the leaderboard – I would bet Jennie or Chris go first, and get the lower score. But let’s use last weeks scores and you can switch Josh with Jennie or Chris to see how he might do if he rises on the board. What do Jennie/Josh need to do to make it to the finale?

Note I removed Kareem and Arike’s scores from the totals to make it more realistic, seeing as how they won’t be scored on Monday night. As you can see, Jennie and Josh theoretically need only 7.4k more votes per million votes cast in order to pass Chris and Tonya – that is not much. But this Monday you need to beat THREE people in order to make it to the finale, so Jennie (for example) would need to get ONE more vote than Josh AND get the 7.4k more votes per million votes cast to beat BOTH Chris and Tonya. One won’t do it – to stay you have to beat all three people. I doubt very much that Jennie beats any of those three (and definitely not all three), regardless of what order they are in.

But, perhaps a better way to look at it is who is most likely to NOT get beaten or who is likely getting the votes. How are Mirai and Adam looking?  If you look again at table 3, you’ll note that if the spreads stay the same and Adam and Mirai remain firmly at the top of the leaderboard, it will take a lot of votes to dislodge them. In second place are Chris and Tonya – I think one of those two might get replaced with Josh.

Anyway, do you think than Jennie can beat out any of Josh, Chris or Tonya? I don’t. I think she’s low woman on the leader board.  That leaves Tonya, Josh and Chris.  Of those three, who is most likely to be the top dog? Depends on the spread, of course, but I think it goes one of two ways. One: Josh regains his standing from week 1 and goes to the finale with Mirai and Adam. Two: I’m not alone in my dislike of Mirai and she’s a shocking elimination, opening the door for both Tonya and Josh to go to the finale with Adam. Of course, the third possibility is that Tonya is killing it and she goes to the finale with Mirai and Adam.

Too much depends on crappy judging – it’s impossible to tell. If they continue true to form, I tend to think that number one is most likely…but I’m hoping for number two. 😉

May 10, 2018 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. :-)

DWTS Season 26, Week 3 – Who’s Dancing What…and When?

Ugh, I hate when they do this – it’s always the judges shot to have more control over who moves on and who is eliminated – and it’s worse this season since they already know who needs the votes. From ABC press release:

In round one, each couple will perform an individual dance inspired by the MVP in each athlete’s life. Each couple will perform a foxtrot, Viennese waltz, quickstep, rumba or contemporary routine. Then in round two of the evening, the athletes will lace up for a Ballroom Battle dance-off with three toe-to-toe performances. Each dance-off pairing will perform a cha cha, jive or salsa. During each dance-off, the public will be allowed to vote for their favorite couple via an online “Passion Meter” at abc.com during the live EDT/CDT airing of the show – and in the event of a tie on the judges’ panel, the couple that wins America’s Vote will be named winner of the dance-off. The couple that wins each dance-off will receive bonus points, which will be combined with their individual dance scores from round one. Those totals will be added to the previous week’s public votes to determine the results of the triple elimination at the end of the night.

ETA: The dancing order per George. Not good for Mirai unless she absolutely kills it.

Mirai Nagasu and Alan – Quickstep (Song: “Bo$$” by Ray Chew Live)
Dancing 1st
1-800-868-3409

Jennie Finch Daigle and Keo – Viennese Waltz (Song: “The Rest of Our Life” by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill)
Dancing 2nd
1-800-868-3405

Chris Mazdzer and Witney – Foxtrot (Song: “I Got Rhythm” by Ray Chew Live)
Dancing 3rd
1-800-868-3403

Tonya Harding and Sasha – Rumba (Song: “See You Again” by Tyler Ward)
Dancing 4th
1-800-868-3410

Adam Rippon and Jenna – Contemporary (Song: “O” by Coldplay)
Dancing 5th
1-800-868-3401

Josh Norman and Sharna – Contemporary (Song: “Stand By Me” by Bootstraps)
Dancing 6th
1-800-868-3407

Also from the Press Release…I don’t get the “alphabetical order” thing. Someone please explain. 🙂

For the Ballroom Battle Dance-Off, the teams are divided up as follows (in alphabetical order):

Adam Rippon & Jenna Johnson and Mirai Nagasu & Alan Bersten – Jive – “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry

Chris Mazdzer & Witney Carson and Josh Norman & Sharna Burgess – Salsa – “WTF (Where They From)” by Missy Elliott featuring Pharrell Williams

Tonya Harding & Sasha Farber and Jennie Finch Daigle & Keo Motsepe – Cha Cha – “Dance” by DNCE

May 9, 2018 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 26, Week 2 – Power Rankings

If it felt weird last week to be 1/4 way through this season, it feels even weirder that we’re at the halfway point this week – and the votes from tonight’s show are determining the finalists. I still feel like I’m getting to know these couples…and some of them are still finding their groove…and already I’m having to pick who the ultimate contenders for the MBT are.  Is this what it felt like back in season 1? Thirteen years has fogged my memory of those simpler times 😛

I hereby nominate Shad Jennings as the gold standard for guest judges on DWTS 🙂 Seriously, the guy could not have done a better job – he somehow managed to give very personal, very relevant critiques to each couple, while remaining encouraging and keeping it brief.  He wasn’t wordy and petty like Donny O., he wasn’t nitpicky & self-aggrandizing like Alfonso, he didn’t try to turn everything into a joke like Kevin Hart, he didn’t ramble on aimlessly like Shania, and he managed to give more than the standard boilerplate “It was great!” responses like Zendaya. Anymore, I couldn’t care less whether the guest judge actually critiques the dance – leave it to three stooges to actually point out the negatives, and let the guest judge be more of a motivator that just happens to score pretty closely to what the stooges do. Shad did just that – and damn, if that man isn’t articulate AF…Shad, if you need a new gig, can you just come narrate my life? Pretty sure you could give an eloquent play-by-play of me flossing my teeth. 😛

Sometimes, I find myself giggling at some of the truly wacky sh*t they make the troupe members do – reminds me of the dumb stuff we made the pledges do back when I was in my sorority, although the fraternities usually far bested us in the “weird stuff to make the pledges do” category.  As the sweetheart of one house, I once had pledges of that particular fraternity walking me to class HOLDING AN UMBRELLA OVER MY HEAD for one entire, rainy week, a la Diddy & his hip-hop manservant, Fonzworth Bentley (anyone remember whatever happened to that guy?).  Watching Brandon running around in a bear suit, or Hayley doing salsa with Lindsay on her shoulders, or watching the rest of the troupe duck through Kareem’s legs like an never-ending clown car last night just drives the point home that they really do kinda haze the troupe members, before they let them become pros 😛

So with last night’s votes basically determining the three couples who make the finals (and contrary to what fans seemed to be saying last week, it is only THREE couples, not four), I’m left feeling a bit wishy-washy about at least two of those couples.  Gun to my head, I think Adam makes it to the finals no matter what, and Jennie doesn’t, no matter what; the other two spots could be any combination of the remaining four couples – my gut says they’re going to do whatever they can to ensure Mirai ends up in the finals, so she’s probably in, too; I think Tonya deserves the third spot in the finals (and I think the producers would absolutely DROOL at the prospect of an all-figure skater finale), but Josh could possibly take it as well if he really does get the NFL vote, and if Chris does well next Monday, he could also be the dark horse, a la Frankie, for that third spot. Really, though – at the rate he’s going, I’d be shocked if anyone other than Adam won this season.  Granted, he could (but probably won’t) have an off-week next week or in the actual finals, and it could make it a tighter race between he & Mirai…but at the end of the day, I think Adam pulls this off, no matter what. Read more..

May 8, 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

Dancing with the Stars Season 26, Week 2 – LIVE BLOG (SPOILERS)

Please don’t make me do numbers at the same time as the live blog. Thank you. 🙂 That was hard, ya’ll.

T-minus 15 minutes….

I like the opening showing the athletes in their comfort zone. That’s a nice bit.

Not a fan of everyone running down the stairs, but I love seeing Rashad again. There was some teasing that he might be dancing with Emma tonight…not that I pay that close of attention. 🙂

I can’t believe we’re at the halfway point either.

Josh and Sharna up first with their Paso Doble.

Okay, that was excellent! Sharna musta heard my comment about choreo and Jenna bringing it last week. 🙂

Dancing by the Numbers commenters told me that the scores from tonight and the votes from last week will determine who’s eliminated, so, if anyone gets a seriously different score from last week I’ll deal with it at the time. Or try. I should say, if the standings are vastly different….

Yeah, four judges is too many.

SEVENS?? What the actual f$#k?? He must be doing well in the votes.

Jennie and Keo up next. Sad to say that number two in the running order combined with her invisibility last week is not  good for her. Unless she pulls ahead in the scores, she’s likely to go home.

Changing the song ON PURPOSE is likely going to kill her. I get where she’s coming from…wait, no I really don’t. Sorry. It’s a song.

I’m not sure how this is better? Did we know what she had before? I really don’t think surrounding her with professionals is a good idea either. She’s too stiff a mover. It didn’t suck, but you could tell she cut down the rehearsal time significantly.

Len being kind with “competent”.  Calling out the lost timing. Bruno being a bit more real. As per usual, I get the feeling that Len knows what’s going to go down and the other two might not.

Tom just confirmed that the elimination is based on tonight’s scores and last weeks votes. :::sigh:::

So, Jennie gets two 7s, same as Josh?? Yeah, she’s going home.

It’s going to be impossible to actually do the numbers with the team dances coming at the end, so I’m going to have to just look at the totals after the dances and see if my original thoughts hold up.

Kareeeeeeem!! Still shocking how freakin’ tall he is.  Holy crap, that is some dancing at the Savoy…

Kareem looks great! Outfit that is. Oh, Lindsay… clever. Hayley’s pretty bad ass as well.

Ya know, they struggle more from his age and his height than they do from actual dancing. I love him. I hope he’s safe tonight. It might be between him and Arike…or him and Jennie.

And he get’s the same score as Jennie – that’s NOT a good thing for Jennie, for sure.

But ya know…the team dances are extremely lopsided – Jennie and Arike are on a team with Adam and Mirai, while Kareem is on a team with Tonya and Josh. That could really screw everything up if they end up scoring as lopsided as they appear.

Recycled troupe costume alert. At least they’re good costumes.

Chris is so cute. Love him. Hmmm….viennese waltz. Hope he kills it.

This is pretty good….eek lift. Probably gonna get called.  Lovely dance though and he handled it well. Plenty in hold, just a bit out of hold.  CAI ignoring the lift – and that’s a good thing because those accidental ones just shouldn’t be called. I agreed with her commentary, honestly. Len says “better than last week” – well, you best give him an 8 then, eh?

LOL!!  Len’s “NO!” to Erin’s silly question about sway/swag.  He looked so disgusted. 🙂

33 out of 40 for Chris!! High score of the night so far. You’ll remember last week he was tied with Jennie – he’s currently 7 points ahead of her. But he’s also on the team that is likely not to do as well. We’ll see.

Tonya and Sasha up next doing a Quickstep to Redneck Woman. Own it girl.

Had a misstep in the beginning but man, she did damn good on that dance!! She got some serious air on those…whatever that move is called. 🙂 The bear was freaking me out though. 🙂

Rashad was glowing. Len seems to like it, says it made him feel good. Worked on me too.  Bruno thinks it’s fun as well. There was an obvious mis step right at the very beginning – did CAI see it? Answer: Nope.

Tonya gets a 33 and is tied at the top of the leaderboard once again. I’m happy for her. I don’t think she’ll win, but I think she’ll come out of it with a good experience.

Mirai up next with a foxtrot…and not doing a lot to endear herself to the audience. Girl was in second place – hush.

I’m liking Alan and his upbeat attitude. Mirai looks VERY beautiful. And she is an excellent dancer, as per usual.  That spin was incredible. Beautiful dance. Beautiful.

Judges seem to love it. And Mirai leaps to the top of the leaderboard. Much deserved.

Okay, putting in some place holder scores, assuming that the Mirai/Adam team does significantly better than the Kareem team – if this happens, it will make it much more likely that Kareem goes home along with Jennie. Let’s see if it works out that way.

Loved Rashad’s dance!! Excellent!!

Arike is a great girl, I wish the NCAA wasn’t hamstringing her so much. Women ARE stronger, Gleb. Props to you for supporting that.

Arike started off a bit awkward but she really came alive as the foxtrot went along. Her frame seemed good and she seemed vulnerable.  Very pretty. I loved it. Seemed a bit short though.

CAI calls her magic.  Arike is very unexpected – very graceful. I don’t expect that from a b-ball woman.

She gets 33! That’s really good…I would have said a 30. I think they may be writing Jennie and Kareem off. Because they are significantly lower than everyone else at this point. Closest competitor is Josh and I don’t see him going anywhere. Team dances could change everything substantially.

Oh Jenna, so disappointed. You learn that time wasting audience crap from the BF and his brother? Sheesh.  You are so much better than that.

When they got around to the quickstep, it was quite good.  Really freakin’ short though. Arguably the biggest ringer of the season and all that time wasting?? Love Adam’s come back to Rashad though – really quick. 🙂

Judges all love it…and Bruno just had the nerve to say “no messing around”??  Um, commercial cocktails must have been strong. He gets a 37 out of 40.

I guess it doesn’t matter…he’s not going anywhere. And I’m fine with that. He was my pick to win last week, I just get disappointed when such a talented pair screw around.

And I check twitter and realize that I didn’t even notice they broke hold more than once – big no-no. So is it pimpage or just easy on the short season.

Team Dance time!! Team 50’s Tennis is up first. And this is the underdog team. But they have great choreographers. Jive/Swing style.  Tonya is a bad ass and I love Kareem’s smile.

This is def. making the best of an unfortunate situation. They found some clever ways to work it out, but it’s got a few issues. Mainly they didn’t give Kareem enough to do. Tonya is doing very well, as is Chris. Casting Kareem as the coach is fairly inspired.

They get a 33 which is one point more than what I predicted an hour ago. If the other team does what I predict, then it almost has to be Kareem and Jennie going home.

Team 70’s Football up next. They picked the right person to lead the choreo. Despite my critique of their individual dance, Jenna is heads above the rest on that team for choreo.

Okay, Jenna went to the Derek Hough school of team dances with the way it was structured, excepting the break where they split into men and women. Pretty well executed for week two – some timing issues, but it is week two. Shut up bruno, we’re out of time!!

Score….37…again, one point more than I guessed.  Which means that I think Jennie and Kareem are going to go home. Kareem could cause a shocker….

Jeopardy: Kareem and Lindsay

Jeopardy: Chris and Witney (nooooo)

Jeopardy: Arike and Gleb (SHOCK)

SAFE: Chris and Witney

Really surprised by Arike and I think it is likely due to the NCAA moratorium on press for Arike. She was ahead of at least four people in terms of points. Just goes to show that a complete lack of press can be a bad, bad thing.

Next week: THREE couples eliminated. I hate this.

May 7, 2018 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. :-)

DWTS Season 26, Week 1 – Dancing by the Numbers!

After the show, I started writing this post and re-looking at the numbers once Jamie and Johnny were eliminated…and realized that I’m going to have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that there are only three more weeks and two more people go home next week. That’s…crazy. There are only 8 couples left and not a ton of low hanging fruit. Interesting.

Well, this show needs a bit of a shake up in any case. 😊

Who’s my favorite thus far?? Well, I have to say, I really love what Jenna did with Adam. That was a ton of fun. I’m not particularly a Sharna fan and…hold on…I need to go actually watch that dance.

Okay…after that I AM a Josh Norman fan!! That was pretty hot. I still think that Mirai is the best dancer and Adam is a close second with a choreographic advantage…but that doesn’t mean either of them will necessarily win this season. Josh is right up there with them and could win this thing. We’ll see!! I also don’t think Tonya should be counted out.

This season is going to be incredibly tough from a numbers standpoint – I don’t feel like many of the typical metrics I use to GUESS who might be going home are actually there this season. I feel like so much of how well people do this season will depend on nearly instantaneous impressions that people have of a given couple. Typically, that impression is aided by their “fame” at some level prior to the show. Athletes who have been on this show in the past have VERY specific fanbases, unlike actors, models and other types of celebs. When it comes to these athletes, Kareem, the ice skaters and the football player have the odds in their favor with the average viewer – largely due to the popularity of their sport and the name recognition. Coincidentally (or not) the ice skaters and the football player also happen to be the best dancers…and Kareem is an icon. So, I suspect that the ice skaters and the football player are more likely to last to the end. Kareem might not due to lower scores.

Anyway, let’s refresh our memories on how everyone did in terms of scores.

 

Now, if I remember this correctly, the live voting during the show plus judges scores were used to eliminate Jamie and Johnny. The judges scores and the voting after the show by phone and online will result in two more people being eliminated this coming week. Who will it be??
Well, I feel reasonably confident that it will be either Kareem, Arike or Jennie. Of course, no one can be sure. Kareem survived week 1, but he didn’t have to do that much to make it.


As you can see above, he only needed 5k and 10k more votes per million votes cast to stay over Johnny and Jamie, respectively. In order to stay this week he needs 14k more than Arike AND nearly 20k more than Chris or Jennie. Two people going home, means he has to beat two people. I don’t think it’s out of the question that he could do that – half the battle is name recognition and he’s got it where Arike, Chris and Jennie don’t really. It will be tough though. And if he manages to do it, I think it will be Arike and Jenny.

So let’s say that Kareem gets past Arike and Jennie. What do they need to do in order to be safe?


Chris is tied with Jennie as you recall. Well, he only needs ONE more vote than her to be safe. And he needs for Arike to not get 4.8k more votes per million votes cast than him. I don’t think that will be a problem. Personally, I think Arike beats Jennie – she was just more memorable. Problem is, she needs to beat TWO people. I don’t think she gets the votes to get past Mirai, Tonya, Adam or Josh, so she needs to beat BOTH Chris and Jennie, or she needs to beat one of them and have Kareem not cover the spread.

And this is where it’s really hard. I hate double eliminations. My gut is kinda telling me that Arike and Jennie are going to be eliminated – mainly because I think that Kareem can beat Arike and that everyone beats Jennie….which would mean that Jennie and Arike are the two who would be eliminated.

What do you all think?? Am I half right like I was week one? Or completely wrong?

May 4, 2018 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. :-)