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Private Members Area – DWTS Season 28 Week 7 Discussion

It’s time again for Dancing with the Stars chatter! Share your thoughts and insights as we lead into the next season of Dancing with the Stars from the comfort of the Pure DWTS Private Members Area. If you’re not a Pure DWTS Insider yet, you can do so here. If you are, then I look forward to the discussion in the comments.
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October 29, 2019 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 6: Power Rankings

Oof, dear LAWD – what a mess this show has become. To be clear: while Ally and Sailor may not be the best dancers this season, they’re far from the worst, and neither should have been in the bottom Monday night.  And yet, here we are, trying to make sense of the fact that Lindsay’s partner (who, despite her best efforts, is still by and far the worst dancer remaining this season) hasn’t even been in the bottom two yet this season, while those actually unfortunate enough to land there seemed like a revolving door of people of color with far more talent and charm than him. Clearly the other cast members were just as gobsmacked as we were, as the looks on their faces as the credits rolled just seemed like a stunned collective countenance of “WTF”. And when I ruminate on how far this show has fallen, it makes me think back to an op-ed from The Cut that Heidi shared back before the season began, which looks at Lindsay’s partner’s participation on the show as symptomatic of a bigger problem we seem to have as a society at the moment: the disdain held for the educated, trained, and competent in favor of the spectacle of rank amateurs taking up space instead. Heck, we see it in the current administration – men and women holding positions they have neither the experience nor the general intelligence necessary to adequately fulfill their duties, while those with the credentials and education to actually do these jobs well are treated with general contempt and are branded “elitists”. And when our damn reigning champion is trying to apply this same narrative to the show and rally his fans to vote for Lauren instead of “those Hollywood types” (you mean the ones that can actually dance, Bones?) much in the same way he constantly reminded us on his season that he “was from a town of 800 people, never danced before in my life, all those other people have dance experience, but vote for me cause I make a great story!!!” Whether it’s Bones trying to convince middle America that he’s “just like them” or you-know-who putting up straw men about being persecuted on the show “because [he’s] a Christian”, it’s all just wagging the dog to divert attention from the fact that THEY CAN’T DANCE but feel entitled to a win nonetheless.

All that being said, I think another big problem the show is struggling with now is the fact that we just don’t have as many viewers invested enough to tune in and vote; and when the total number of votes gets smaller, the potential for shenanigans increases, as it gives fringe voting groups (like Bones’ fans) more leverage. I’ve had a few people on Twitter asking me if I think the new voting format (only Eastern and Central time zones are able to vote while actually watching the show; Mountain and Pacific can vote, but they have to do so blindly) is to blame for some of the weirdness we’ve seen so far this season – and honestly, while I don’t think it’s helping, I think the bigger problem is just that viewership is down and viewers aren’t impassioned enough to vote anymore. To put it in perspective, during the show’s heyday, it was commanding anywhere from 15 to upwards of 22 million viewers per episode (back in season 10 – keep in mind, this was pre-The Voice, which didn’t start airing concurrent with DWTS until 2011); it trended down once it had to go head-to-head with The Voice, though it was still averaging 8-12 million viewers per episode as recently as season 25. Then 2018 came along, and we got a truncated spring season that topped out at 8.77 million for the finale, followed by Bones’ season, which couldn’t muster any better than 7.9 million. And this season, aside from the premiere, we’ve been hovering in the 6 million range. Maybe Heidi could do a numbers post that illustrates the differences that happen when you’ve got 22 million, 12 million, and 6 million viewers voting to give you an idea of how much more power a fringe voting group has when the vote totals are lower, but trust me: Lindsay’s partner doesn’t need a ton of votes (boasting from his fans notwithstanding) to stick around when a) there’s just not as many people voting, total and b) when the judges are being far, FAR too kind with their scoring of him, which proves they’ve learned absolutely nothing in their 14 years judging this show.

So all that aside, we ended up with Ally and Sailor in the bottom 2 (and I had kind of wondered about Ally as recently as 2 weeks ago – I also said we would need to have a “come to Jesus” meeting if she ended up in the bottom two…), and one of them had to go – and I think the judges made the right call in keeping Ally. While Sailor did seem to be improving (and again – DID NOT BELONG IN THE BOTTOM 2), I thought Ally had an overall better command of all the dance styles she had done, while Sailor only seemed to really shine in certain styles (tango and Viennese waltz). I will say I found it a tad peculiar that Sailor took her elimination so hard – you could begin to the see the panic on her face when she was one of the last five still waiting to get called safe, and it was downhill from there; she was absolutely incoherent and inconsolable by the time it was just her and Ally standing there. For someone that stepped in at the last minute for her mother and apparently hadn’t planned to do this show until three days before the premiere, she seemed pretty devastated at the prospect of getting eliminated – while Ally, who I think had far more to prove in doing DWTS and had been signed on from the get-go, seemed far more composed. Everyone processes emotion differently, so who knows – but there were kids on Juniors that accepted their elimination more gracefully than Sailor did. Perhaps my curiosity was just piqued by a blind item someone on Twitter told me about, which implied something to the extent of “it was always the plan for Sailor to be on the show, Christie just agreed to do the show and faked the injury so Sailor could take her place and it was in Sailor’s contract that she had to make it to the semifinals!” Clearly the last part wasn’t true, but the whole Sailor replacing Christie situation still struck me as odd, as there had been rumors before Christie had even been announced as a celeb that she had already dropped out – and then we had Sailor just utterly devastated at being eliminated, and I had to kinda go “Hmmmm.” I saw a few comments on Twitter asking “Wow, where did all of Val’s fans go??? Eliminated early two seasons in a row now!!!”, to which I refer back to my point above that there just aren’t as many people watching and voting, period – additionally, they finally stopped handing him serial ringers after Normani, and so he’s had to really work to get decent dancing out of the three partners he’s had since then…with mixed results. Read more..

October 23, 2019 I Written By

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

Private Members Area – DWTS Season 28 Week 6 Discussion

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

October 21, 2019 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 5: Power Rankings

Monday night summed up: shut up and make those sweet Disney dolla$, kids. I’ve mentioned it more than once in past seasons, but almost all of the joy from Disney night has gotten sucked out by the relentless capitalist drive to turn the whole show into one giant, two-hour long commercial for Disney – and this season seemed to turn the sales pitch to a fever pitch.  Promos for the new Disney streaming service, rehearsal packages consisting of the couples puttering about Disneyland, and a massive opening number shot on location at the park – it was all a bit much, especially when you take into account that the songs/dances/dance styles seemed like such an afterthought at times. Off the top of my head (and I’m sure you guys will correct me if I’m wrong or missed any), at least six of the nine songs/dance styles/themes on Monday night were recycles from previous seasons – which seemed to be a bit of a detriment to some of the couples, as comparisons to previous dances done to the same song/theme were bound to be made. Not sure what can realistically be done about it, though – heard some folks suggesting that the show “retire” certain Disney songs, but I just don’t see it happening, given that there are already seemingly few Disney songs that actually fit into the dance styles we see on the show without resorting to a bunch of jazz & contemporary routines. One thing done right on Monday night? Having the “extra dancers” do the obligatory promo dance to a newly-released song from a Disney movie nobody has seen yet – it’s always been a bit of an albatross for the couples that have had to do it in previous seasons (Jodie & Keo with Zootopia, Nikki & Artem with Coco, David & Lindsay with Cars 3), so it was nice that they released the couples from that burden and allowed Daniella & Co. to dazzle us 🙂

As expected on feel-good/make money Disney night, nobody was eliminated, and we didn’t even get a bottom 2 – which was halfway disappointing, but also halfway curious, as they could have used that bottom 2 to potentially rally votes for couples that maybe didn’t belong there. But they didn’t – so they either a) ran out of time, or b) have people in the bottom 2 that belong there, and they don’t dare upset the balance by revealing their hand. Given that the President took time out of his busy schedule of inciting conflict to tweet about voting for his former press secretary on DWTS this week, perhaps I’m a tad skeptical that Lindsay’s partner might be down there – but it could be possible, especially since we are now combining scores and votes from two nights to determine who goes next Monday, and more total points = smaller margins to overcome = more unexpected results.  At this point, he’s the weakest dancer left, and he should be gone; but will he get sent packing…? I really don’t know what to expect from week to week on this show anymore…we’re 5 weeks in and have only ditched three couples, so my gut thinks we’re probably getting a double elim next week; a double elim increases the likelihood of a certain someone getting booted, as he would have to get past not one, but TWO other couples in order to stick around.

So we’re (probably) at the halfway point in the competition, and we’re starting to see a narrative take shape. I think there’s definitely contestants that the judges have decided to champion for the win (or at least a place in the finale) and there’s ones that they’ve decided are expendable.  While my initial feeling was that it was Hannah that was going to get pushed for the win, I’m now thinking they may be focusing on Lauren instead – the latter has a Kelly Pickler-esque, folksy charm and down-to-earth nature that isn’t as apparent in the more reserved Hannah, and my gut’s telling me that the viewers are just eating Lauren up…while they’re a bit more hesitant to embrace Hannah, whose dancing has not popped in the way I had initially hoped, and who I think viewers may actually be a bit burnt out on (more on that later). While I don’t have any beef with Lauren – she seems like a girl I’d love to hang out with it – here’s one problem I see right now with a Lauren win: it just extends Bones’ control of this show. I could see him gloating for months on his show about how he “broke the system”, and now he’s the puppet master and can get all his friends on the show and guarantee them a win simply by plugging them on his radio show. A Lauren (and *cringe* Gleb) win would simply be a slightly more palatable version of Bobby winning – particularly if Gleb continues with some of the choreographic nonsense we’ve seen that doesn’t showcase Lauren well. If the show is trying to distance itself from the stink of season 27, then someone that can legitimately dance needs to win – and I’m hoping James can run interference, because right now, it seems like the judges are going with the “let’s pretend Lauren’s dancing is phenomenal, so when she wins, we keep our street cred!” narrative. Lauren doesn’t suck – but I don’t think she’s anywhere near James, Hannah, or even Ally in terms of her dance skills, and Gleb’s choreography is utterly insulting compared to the chock-full-o’-content dances that nearly all the other pros are churning out (even Val). So do the judges continue handling Lauren’s routines with kid gloves, or do they start backing another contestant FTW? Do they choose to acknowledge that James is probably the best dancer this season? Do they keep trying to make Hannah happen? Or do they start backing a dark horse like Ally, Kel, or even Kate? Hell, at this point, I think there’s even an outside (really outside) chance that Sailor could be the dark horse. Makes one wonder how things are going to pan out in the next 4-6 weeks… Read more..

October 17, 2019 I Written By

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

Private Members Area – DWTS Season 28 Week 5 Discussion

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

October 15, 2019 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 4: Power Rankings

Anyone else lightweight disappointed that we didn’t get to see Leah & Len come to complete fisticuffs on live national television? 😉 They were getting close there in the end, critiquing Karamo’s dance – and Leah (deservedly) called out Len’s suspicious nitpickery and also Carrie Ann’s sham lift policing, and I was generally kind of glad to have her on board last night – there were times when the judges needed reminding that some of these contestants are NOT dancers, they’re all working hard, and there’s no need to be mean or make things personal. Sure, some could argue that she was over-the-top and stole focus from time to time (which, to be fair, is kind of her brand), but given that it was usually when Len was talking, I’m not too upset – that man could use a bit of humbling these days, particularly when he’s going in on men of color for no good reason…

…and speaking of people of color, consider this me raising my eyebrows at bit at the bottom 2’s we’ve had so far. Mary, Ray, Lamar, Kel, Karamo…if Ally ends up there next week, we may need to have a “come to Jesus” (or whatever deity of your choice) meeting. I can understand Ray and Lamar – neither were very good dancers, and Ray had the added stench of a potentially murderous past. But Mary, Kel, and Karamo – they don’t suck, guys.  I partially blame some of the shenanigans from the judges, but is the viewing audience just far more besotted with snowy-white southern girls Hannah and Lauren, a certain conservative firebrand partnered with Lindsay, and family man/former teen idol James? Jury’s still out on Kate – she’s snowy white too, and from a popular TV show, but this show doesn’t tend to hold on long to women over the age of 40 (unless they’re paired with Derek). Just food for thought, y’all…

Anyway, scoring was all over the place last night, and it seemed like some of the viewers on my Twitter timeline were starting to buy into some of the poppycock that the judges were trying to pass off as fair and informed judging.  One thing I want to get very clear: just because the judges rip a dance to shreds does not necessarily mean it’s inherently bad, and just because the judges praise a dance to high heaven does not mean it’s a great dance that’s above reproach.  I would think by now, most viewers would realize that the judges’ job isn’t necessarily to honestly judge the dance they saw – we’ve seen plenty of instances over the years where they were clearly carrying out some sort of agenda, and their comments and scores didn’t align with what we actually saw on the floor. I recall ridiculous nitpicking of fantastic dancers (and eventual champs) like Jordan and Nicole, and over-the-top praise of generally-okay dancers like William Levy, who just so happened to be inking a deal with Univision (an ABC affiliate) around the time he was on the show. To quote Bing Crosby’s character in White Christmas, “Everybody’s working an angle.” When in doubt, remember this: the judges are getting paid to say what the producers want them to. Sometimes that aligns nicely with the truth; other times it’s nothing resembling it. Sometimes, they seem like they actually know what they’re talking about; other times, they seem about as credible as an Instagram model endorsing the Fyre Festival for a fat paycheck 😛

I would say I was sad to see Lamar go, but I’m generally happy that he went out on a high note – that Viennese waltz was his best dance yet, and he really did improve incrementally each week (even if the judges’ scores didn’t really reflect it). I think he was likely ready to go – it was hard for him to remember the choreography, and I got the impression that the judges’ critiques and scores never really stopped cutting him to the quick each week. Was glad Leah was there to throw him a bone with that “7” paddle, and to shame Len and Bruno for throwing up the “4” paddles for the third week in a row. But with Lamar now gone, there’s really only one obvious bit of “low-hanging fruit” still in the competition – and my gut says he’s still got at least a few weeks left in him, unless the judges decide to get really real and start whipping out the “4” paddles again. So that means we’re likely to start losing better dancers starting next week – how will the viewers react to a potential rehashing of last season’s three-ring circus of persistent mediocrity, starring Bones and Grocery Joe? I’d say next week is when we start getting a feel for whether this show even deserves another season… Read more..

October 9, 2019 I Written By

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

Private Members Area – DWTS Season 28 Week 4 Discussion

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

October 7, 2019 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 3: Power Rankings

Well I obviously didn’t get to watch the show in real time (had a 3-hour delay in Montrose on my way back from sis’ wedding Monday night, and did a mad dash through the Dallas airport to make my connection back to Indy), and due to 500+ emails I had from 1 week away from the office, I didn’t even get to watch the show until Wednesday evening – and then I was dealing with a freshly cortisone’d wrist on Thursday evening, so typing up the power rankings wasn’t really in the cards until the weekend.  Forgive me? 🙂 I promise the week 4 rankings will be done in a far more timely fashion…

…so I’d say week was generally an improvement over week 2, and I’d credit that to the judges (Len in particular) taking a much softer tack than they have the first two weeks of the season.  At times, judging from what the three of them were saying, it was almost as if they had read my rankings last week…right down to some of the word usage (more on that later). Anywho, it seemed like just about everyone (even Lamar!) had fun this week, which made for a much easier-to-digest show – however, I feel like the show’s still stuck in a bit of an identity crisis. Soooo, do we have a troupe or nah? ‘Cause there seemed to be quite a few extra dancers this week (more than we ever had in the troupe) getting pretty regularly utilized, and a few of them even were former troupe members (I definitely saw Morgan and Vlad in the mix…did I miss anyone else?) Oh, and the fact that these extra dancers brought about more “mucking about” in most of the routines they were in makes me question just how strictly the whole “content, content, content” edict is being emphasized and enforced. Sure, it was Movie Night, which tends to give a bit more leeway for extraneous stuff…but are we focusing on content, or focusing on production value? Do we have a troupe or not have a troupe? Show’s still a bit wishy-washy on what it wants to be, methinks…

…and then there was the whole matter of Ray’s withdrawal from the competition.  Sure, we already saw it coming before Monday night, but still…*sigh* they (controversially) saved Ray over Mary last week, only for Ray to withdraw anyway this week. No, there’s nothing technically illegal/against the rules about it, but like Tamar dipping out of season 21 the day after Alexa (who reeeeeally wanted to be there) got eliminated, it was just a bit of a d*ck move. Seems to me like Ray’s foot problems were not a recent thing, and I highly doubt they only just started giving him a lot of trouble in week 3.  Sure, one could probably argue that Ray would have probably ended up in the bottom 2 again this week (assuming he had actually danced), and probably wouldn’t have been saved over anyone except Lamar (and maybe a certain other marginal male celeb), but still…as much as I love Shad and getting to see glimpses of his progress in his dancing pursuits post-DWTS, I would have much rather seen a third week of Mary over two mediocre weeks of Ray and a week 3 dance performed by the champ from 4 seasons ago. Read more..

October 5, 2019 I Written By

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

Private Members Area – DWTS Season 28 Week 3 Discussion

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

September 30, 2019 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

Ray Lewis to Withdraw from DWTS Season 28 Due to Injury

Many thanks to our commentors who pointed me in the direction of this Entertainment Tonight article which claims Ray and Cheryl are dropping out tonight due to an injury:

Looks like Ray Lewis and Cheryl Burke won’t be competing on Dancing With the Stars Monday night.

A source tells ET that the two plan to withdraw from the dance competition show tonight due to an injury that the former NFL star has sustained.

ET has reached out to ABC for comment.

Over the weekend, Lewis shared a lengthy post to Instagram about “finding balance between work, family and rest.”

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The news comes a week after Lewis and Burke found themselves in danger of elimination. After being announced as one of the two bottom couples, the dancing duo was saved by the judges, who sent Mary Wilson and pro Brandon Armstrong home.

Yeah, I’m kinda ticked they sent Mary home only for Ray to get injured. Judges screwed up on that. In regards to the questions people are asking, No, I have no idea if they will still eliminate someone. If they do, they almost certainly will pull a stupid fake out elimination scare because they can’t help themselves. They think it’s so “exciting”. Ha!

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. :-)