Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

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

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

PureDWTS Season 25, The Finale Power Rankings – Who Will Win?

And just like that, there’s only one show left this season – and then we have to wait a whole 9 months for a regular season of DWTS to kick back up again.  Lord knows what this spinoff, mini-season we’re getting in the spring is going to be like.

In what has become a regular struggle for me these days, I found myself not really wowed by the freestyles as a whole – it’s been several seasons since I last felt truly “blown away” by a freestyle, and the last time they really felt “special” or potentially game-changing was probably way back in season 11, prior to the days when you could include all manner of props/extra dancers/set pieces/etc in your regular weekly dances. I think at this point, a lot of the couples simply struggle to find a theme/tone for their freestyle that sets them apart from the other freestyles on a particular season – and I think each of the four couples last night achieved that distinction, to some degree, even if they maybe didn’t do it perfectly.  The trend seemed to be upbeat vs. edgy – I think upbeat maybe had a slight leg up on edgy, as viewers seem to always enjoy a happy freestyle, while they only sometimes like an edgy or dark one.

As predicted, Drew came out in 4th place – probably quite a bit better than most of us predicted initially, and an admirable effort by both he & Emma this season.  As has been the case pretty much all season long, they couldn’t really compete with the other three remaining couples on skill level, so they went with their usual brand of quirk – thought the pause in the middle of their freestyle was totally in-character, and I’ll credit Emma with throwing in something that has truly never been done before in a freestyle 😛 Paso was only marginally better than their first one (which I still maintain was not as bad as it was scored) – shaping got a bit better, but there were still bungled steps, and I didn’t see all this “vast improvement” the judges were gushing about.  It was about that time that I got the feeling that Drew was for sure getting the goodbye kiss last night, so I didn’t fret too much over the scores with which he was being gifted.

3rd place: Frankie & Witney

My god, it’s sure been nice seeing a sparkle back in Witney’s eye that we haven’t really seen since Alfonso’s season.  She seems like she’s genuinely having a great time with Frankie, and it’s even inspiring her choreographically. That foxtrot was some Bindi & Derek-esque magic – loved the theme, loved Frankie’s solo, loved the costumes, and loved how well they both sold it. Frankie really has come a long way since the premiere, and has become a confident, fully-realized version of his earlier-in-the-season self – and I adore how much he has enjoyed this experience, so I’m lightweight hoping he ends up being the tour celeb…guess we’ll find out tonight. As for their freestyle – as with all of the others, I appreciated what they were trying to do, even if it maybe missed the mark a bit.  For those that didn’t get the backstory from me on Twitter – Frankie & Witney actually lost a full day of rehearsal time for their freestyle, because they were waffling back & forth over the music (“Run Boy Run” vs. “Yeah 3X” by Chris Brown).  Production was really pressuring them to go with the latter, and Frankie thought that it might resonate better with fans – but Witney felt strongly that “Run Boy Run” inspired her more, so Frankie opted to defer to her (as we saw in the rehearsal package). I think the risk paid off, to a degree – it was definitely different than the other freestyles we saw, and there was some pretty cool choreo in there that I applaud Witney for. Part of me thinks it might have read better if it were treated as a paso doble/tango fusion, as opposed to a freestyle, but generally, I think it was enjoyable.  It didn’t really get me out of my seat and clapping like Jordan’s did, but I appreciated it.  I think that these two are probably resigned to taking 3rd, though, especially since the two powerhouse couples managed to get perfect scores for the evening, while Frankie came up 4 points short. But I’m happy that they got to make it to the finals, and have had a fun journey together 🙂

2nd place: Lindsey & Mark

Unpopular opinion: I’m not sure what’s happened to Mark these past two weeks, but the choreography we’ve seen is not up-to-snuff with the renaissance he gave us for the bulk of this season – I heard someone on Twitter mention “being on tour”? Not sure if they meant Lindsey’s tour (or Alexander Jean’s?), but both of Lindsey’s dances last night struck me as odd and out of character for different reasons.  I actually thought their quickstep was uncharacteristically stiff – not actually all that bouncy, compared to their first quickstep, and the bit at the beginning with Lindsey talking was just odd. The dance wasn’t bad, on the whole, and Lindsey didn’t mess up, but it just felt…low-energy. And like neither one of them really wanted to be doing that dance. Especially following Jordan’s Charleston. As for the freestyle – here’s the thing: if you’re gonna go edgy, go full-on edgy, like Frankie & Witney did. The weirdest part about it for me was that it seemed to dance with being edgy, while at the same time being kind of…goofy? I know they were going for the whole “mad conductor” theme, but I think some of the steps bordered on silly/cheesy – Mark playing Lindsey’s leg like a violin? Lifting Lindsey up to the heavens for what seemed like forever, and her grinning the whole time? I may have audibly groaned and said “Mark, you’re better than this.” There were good parts – good reuse of their jive choreo, and incorporating her violin playing worked for the most part (there were a few spots where it looked a bit strained). I appreciate the fact that they were trying to go for a unique theme that still fit Lindsey – but I’m not sure all the pieces came together perfectly. I think Mark may have spoiled us in the front half of the season, what with the robot Argentine tango, the gorgeous Disney foxtrot, that jive…so many genius dances, and this one just felt…decent, but not fully-realized. And then there were a few more troubling things said during their packages – and I know I’m gonna catch flak for this, but it needs to be said. Once again, Lindsey brought up the fact that she’s the only female left that’s “not a professional dancer” – whether she meant it to shade Jordan, or just meant she’s the only female left in the competition that’s not one of the pros, or whether she even said it of her own volition, I don’t care – it just came across as desperate & unnecessary…like it did the few times it got said last week. And the whole “Mark’s been on this show 19 seasons and only won twice!” read to me as equating seniority with entitlement, on a show that already heavily favors male pros over female ones from the jump – so to basically hear “Mark needs a 3rd MBT because he’s been here a long time!” while some of the female pros (like Lindsay) have been busting their ass and doing amazing work and are always coming up just short of the MBT, doesn’t exactly make me sympathetic towards his plight. And that was really the tipping point for me with regards to who I voted for last night – don’t know if Lindsey herself said it, was baited into saying it, or said it without thinking, but it shed a light on one of my biggest issues with this show: despite what some of you think, the male and female pros are not afforded the same opportunities on this show.

Winners: Jordan & Lindsay

Unfounded claims of Jordan “being cocky” or “needing humble pie” notwithstanding, he won the night for me with both of his routines, and I think he’s been consistently fantastic all season – and Lindsay’s been consistently giving him great choreography (WHICH SHE HAS BEEN DOING HERSELF FOR THE PAST THREE SEASONS…the fact that I have to repeat this and still get people sticking their noses in the air and saying “Nuh-uh, she used Alan for their contemporary!” is just another way this show and its fandom sh*ts on female pros). That Charleston was proof that Lindsay is the go-to pro for fantastic Charleston choreography – it was chock full of content, was high-energy, and made good use of the floor.  And as always – Jordan was flawless.  Their freestyle was my favorite of the night – it fit Jordan’s journey well, and he and Lindsay both seemed to be having the time of their life out there. The flips and falls and catches actually reminded me a lot of the minstrel number from White Christmas – one of my favorites; and there were nice little homages to his jive, his salsa, his Charleston, and a few other dances. And when it comes to fully completing each movement and getting as much out of it as you can – Jordan can’t be beat. And I’m hoping that’s the case with the MBT, because my mind keeps going back to last season’s finale, with Emma tearfully confessing in a finale rehearsal package “I may never get this chance again!” with regards to having a shot at the MBT.  And it’s a sad truth on this show: any given male pro will likely get at least 3-4 partners in his tenure as a pro that stand a decent shot of making the finals, right off the bat (unless you’re Keo, which is another problematic discussion); the average female pro is lucky to get 1-2 in her tenure that she could potentially make it to the finals with. Why? Because you’re more likely to find female celebs with previous dance experience to do the show than male ones, and the bulk of the predominantly-female audience of DWTS tends to fiercely support their favorite male pros (think about who the “big fanbases” have been the past 7 or so years – Derek, Mark, Maks, Val) while being passively-supportive to indifferent to most of the current female pros (until last season, the predominant opinion of Emma seemed to be “Awww, yeah, Emma’s great…with the old, bad dancers”.) And when the agenda of the season requires giving a certain pro (usually male) a boost, it’s often a female pro and her partner paying the price: in season 12, it was Ralph & Karina getting screwed to ensure Chelsea & Mark advanced; in season 18, it was Charlie & Sharna getting screwed to ensure that Meryl & Maks won without issue; in season 22, it was Wanya & Lindsay getting bumped out of the finale to make room for Ginger & Val.  So with all that in mind – sorry, but I don’t feel as gung-ho about Mark getting a 3rd MBT as I do about Lindsay getting her first; and I’m not saying she only deserves it because she hasn’t won – because she has been nothing short of phenomenal this season (and so has Jordan!), and she’s been phenomenal ever since her return as a pro 2 years ago. “But Mark hasn’t won in a while!!!” is the excuse I keep hearing – to which I say “But he’s already won twice, which is better than most of the female pros can hope for during their time on this show.” I don’t know that the stars are ever going to align in this way again for Lindsay – so yeah, I’m hoping she & Jordan pull this off.  Not sorry.

So how do you think things will shake out tonight? What do you think about the live voting? What returning couples are you excited to see?

November 21, 2017 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 10 – Power Rankings

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

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

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

May 23, 2017 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 6 – The Team Dances: What We Know So Far & POLL

Let’s get right to it, shall we? 🙂

Team Boy Band:

Rashad & Emma
David & Lindsay
Nick & Peta
Bonner & Sharna

Team Girl Group:

Normani & Val
Simone & Sasha
Heather & Maks
Nancy & Artem

The dances: Freestyles again.

The songs: Medleys again – Team Boy Band has a medley of the Jackson 5, New Kids on the Block (“The Right Stuff”), and One Direction; Team Girl Group has “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels, “No Scrubs” by TLC, and something by Fifth Harmony (of course).

The captains: No captains this time.

Source says: The female pros weren’t all that jazzed about the music at first, but it started to grow on them as they started to choreograph; the male celebs, however, were psyched and getting really into coming up with boy band moves to try out.  To quote Deep Throat, “I’ve never seen a group of celebs so enthusiastic about the team dance!” Team Girl Group seemed a bit more subdued, and seemed to be letting the pros choreograph.  To my knowledge, no – Heather was not helping choreograph.

Court’s thoughts: I think the men will probably take this one just based on enthusiasm alone – I tend to find if the group really LIKES their dance, they’re going to perform it better; just look at the differences from the team dances last season. I think team Girl Group’s choreo will likely be more difficult, but I don’t know that that’s necessarily a good thing if they aren’t all that jazzed about the dances they’re doing.

UPDATE: Added pictures…so far, @DancingABC has only posted pix of Team Boy Band. But I’ll be damned if this doesn’t look like a fun group…Peta looks the most excited we’ve seen her all season 🙂

UPDATE2: Vogue here and below are a few more photos and some of Team Girl Band too.

Ladies unite! This is one epic Girl Group. #DWTS

A post shared by Dancing with the Stars (@dancingabc) on


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

Dancing with the Stars Season 23, The Finale – Dancing by the Numbers! The MBT Goes to…

I’m somewhat happy to say that I don’t really know what’s going to happen. 🙂  Not sure where to start on this one.

Well, I think my favorite freestyle was Calvin’s. But I think he’s going to get third place. Love the dude…and I really find any man who gets emotional seeing his (extremely gorgeous) son exceptionally attractive. But I think he should be happy with third place, considering the competition. Read more..

November 22, 2016 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 23, Final Power Rankings – Who Will Win?

And so we wrap up another season of this show – and I’ll be honest: I’m pretty ready for it to be over.  On top of the general fatigue of writing each season, I’ve also been dealing with some medical issues (namely, trying to find a suitable form of prophylaxis for my migraines), additional stress at my 9-5 (the FDA just loves to make my job harder!), dating (something I haven’t done in quite awhile), the election and its fallout (just…ugh), and just a general uptick in the level of aggression and vitriol from some fans of the show…which is not quite as balanced-out by some awesome discussion with very intelligent, engaging fans of the show as it used to be.  I used to be able to say “Yeah, there’s assholes, but they’re far outnumbered by the number of really awesome people that I interact with as part of the show!” But at the rate the show is going, what with alienating core demographics with their manipulations and machinations in favor of pursuing more “desirable” demographics, they’re losing more and more of those really intelligent fans…and they’re gaining thin-skinned, entitled twatwaffles that label anything they don’t agree with as “bullying” and have a tendency to deliberately misinterpret things they either don’t like or aren’t quite smart enough to full comprehend.  The quality of discussion has really gone downhill…and I’m left in a similar position to how I was post-All-Stars: should I still be blogging this show? Or is it time to move on? It will be food for thought for me in the off-season, no doubt.

But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this season – most of this season’s cast (minus maybe one celeb and one pro – not necessarily paired together) has been awesome to watch, and I even found myself liking Rick, Vanilla, Terra and Ryan far more than I thought I would! For what it’s worth, they found themselves a pretty likeable crop of celebs this season – people I could really pull for.  And a wicked little part of me got a kick tonight out of seeing basically everyone taking the mickey out of Carrie Ann’s inane lift-policing on live TV tonight 😛 It’s actually extra-funny to me, considering that I now find myself blocked on Twitter by Carrie Ann for asking if the lift police were off-duty last week (and admittedly, it was one of my tamer tweets!). Also nice having Len back, although I’m not sure his presence made a ton of difference in critiques & scoring – it was maybe SLIGHTLY less off-the-wall than normal, and things do get a little gushy & hyperbolic in the finals, anyway.  Train’s performance was weird and basically sampled “Heart & Soul” the same way that Pitbull samples pretty much every song popular in the 80s: poorly. Also found myself scratching my head at the La-La-Land performance. Erin, honey, you need to brush up on your A Christmas Story references – Randy can’t put his arms DOWN in the snowsuit, not up.  Pssssh, next thing you know, she’ll be mispronouncing “fragile” – it’s “fra-gee-lay”.  Which, of course, means it’s from Italy 😉 Can you tell I’m a fan?

Perhaps most satisfying was FINALLY seeing Jana given the boot, even if we were forced to endure yet another whiny, pity-party rehearsal package where she & Gleb bemoaned the various crap hands they’ve been dealt this season, from her rib injury to his flu virus, before witnessing two pretty gimmicky dances that didn’t leave a lasting impression. Her tango looked like just about every other dance she and Gleb did this season – too rushed, too trick-laden, too time-waste-y, too dramatic, and too bereft of solid, basic steps or good use of the floor (that damn platform needs to go).  Gleb, honey, your body of work this season has got me very, very worried for the future of this show if you really and truly are supposed to be the “new Derek” – you’ve been a one-trick pony, and you’re gonna have to be a jack-of-all-trades if you want to fill D’s shoes.  I’ll just say that Jana’s freestyle felt like the dance equivalent of a pumpkin spice latte: something pretty cliched that the average basic bitch probably loved, but wasn’t refined enough to realize is actually utter crap. It was a garden-variety contemporary, complete with over-the-top, angsty expressions and wild, flailing gestures, and with a gimmicky prop thrown in with a questionable degree of success.  Those two wrapping each other up in that diaphonous piece of fabric kinda reminded me of playing that Halloween party game where you wrap your friends up in toilet paper to look like mummies – it made me laugh but I couldn’t take it seriously 😛 Kinda like some of the lifts, where Jana got so much of a running start that I thought for sure she was gonna go for a full-on star lift or even the famous Dirty Dancing lift…and then she went for something…not very dramatic.  ‘Twas weird.  But anyway – I think it may have clearly illustrated to viewers that Jana really didn’t belong in the finale in the first place, and was a bit out of her element…the other 3 finalists danced circles around her last night.  I tend to think both Marilu and Terra could have given us more entertaining finale dances than Jana did.  But I will applaud her for how complimentary she was to the other 3 finalists when she got eliminated – I think she even knew that she was a bit in over her head, making it to the finals. Read more..

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, The Finale – Power Rankings

Man, I miss the good ol’ days, when the Monday nights on finale week were just jam-packed full of great dancing and everyone truly brought their A-game.  I think the last finale that really fit that bill for me was season 17 – when (pun intended) even Bill Engvall really shone.  Tonight was cumulatively one of the weakest we’ve ever had – I feel like 2/3 couples kinda hit a flat note.  And also, even more disappointingly, the judges’ & PTB’s agenda was in high gear tonight – some got the kid glove treatment, others were scrutinized a bit more.  And while I think that there is an obvious winner in this bunch, based on tonight’s performances – I think it could go either way amongst two finalists, given some of the propaganda we saw tonight.

Part of me thinks that we may lose Mark after this season, which is a crying shame, because he & Lindsay are the only pros left that even come close to Derek in terms of choreographic skill and are capable of possibly grabbing an Emmy nod for the show. But the vibe I got from Mark after he & Paige’s freestyle makes me wonder if we just witnessed his swan song – he’s never struck me as a terribly sentimental pro, but he got seriously weepy tonight. Is he maybe finally bidding farewell to DWTS to focus on his marriage & his music after this season? Ack…I don’t want to think about it.  He’s been one of the few bright spots of this season.

Not much else to add – thought Erin looked pretty matronly in that dress they threw her in, and I raised an eyebrow at how much time was spent emphasizing that ABC Golden Girl Ginger was suffering from back spasms.  *yawn* Gonna do things in reverse tonight, starting with 3rd place and ending with the winner… Read more..

May 23, 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 7 – The Team Dances!!!

Well, as it was announced on the show last night, for the first time ever, they’ve opted to pit the guys vs. the gals – and to clarify, that is the male celebs and their female pros vs. the female celebs and their male pros.  Everyone is still with their partner, guys – it wasn’t all the male pros & male celebs vs. all the female pros and female celebs, as someone on Twitter was claiming.  Nice try guys…thanks for playing. 🙂

So in case you need any further clarification, here are the teams:

Team Guys: Wanya & Lindsay, Nyle & Peta, Antonio & Sharna, Von & Witney

Team Gals: Paige & Mark, Ginger & Val, Jodie & Keo, Kim & Sasha

As Antonio announced on Instagram, the guys have James Brown as their icon – and source says the teams are actually dancing to a medley of songs from their icon, so I’m guessing it’s going to be 2-3 of the artist’s big hits.  The gals have Beyonce as their icon – be prepared for a lot of hair-flipping, I think. I’m sure “Crazy In Love” will be part of the girls’ medley…as for the guys, I’m thinking “Sexmachine” will work its way in 😛

Also the dances are freestyles, so pretty much anything goes – I was told that Mark and Val were cracking up while samba rolling each other during rehearsal last night.  Boys will be boys, I guess 😛

My thoughts? I have a feeling things are going to tip slightly in the favor of Team James Brown, because I think the guys on that team are probably going to have an easier time embodying James’ style than the girls on Team Beyonce will have emulating hers.  Plus I think Lindsay, Peta, Sharna, & Witney are probably cumulatively slightly better than Mark, Val, Keo, & Sasha.  But that’s just me – and I actually wouldn’t be at all shocked if the teams tied.  Hell, this is the first time in 5 years that Derek hasn’t been part of the team dance…wonder if that means the pressure’s kinda off for the remaining pros?

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 21, Week 11 – Final Power Rankings!!! Who Will Win?

At the risk of sounding cliched – where has this season gone? Seems like only yesterday, I was catching flak from Keo fans for predicting that Chaka would be an early out, hoping & praying that Victor would last longer than a week, and was actually enjoying Tamar putting Val through the paces 🙂 It’s been a wild season with multiple curveballs thrown into it, and I’ll be honest – I’ll be glad to get my Monday nights back for a little while. But it’s been a fun ride 🙂

Last night…was a bit underwhelming for me, I’m afraid, save for maybe 2 dances. I think I’ve said this before, but I’m kinda over the “judges’ choice redo” dance – even if the couples don’t improve, I feel like they get lavished with praise, and the dance almost never feels 100% fresh, new, and exciting. On top of that, I feel like some couples get dances that there is really not a ton of room for improvement on (Bindi & Carlos), while others get to redo ones that they completely f’d up the first time around (Nick), and others get saddled redoing dances that so well-remembered for other reasons that their redo dance is bound to be a bit of a letdown (Alek, trying to best his rumba with Emma).  I feel like the only one that really benefited significantly from the redo was Nick – the rest either did slightly better or stayed about the same. I would have rather seen the couples either re-dance their favorite dance, or redo their favorite dance with new choreography and a new song.

Something else I’m a bit tired of as well? Hearing about how the freestyle is “the most important dance of the season” or how it is the “make it or break it” dance for the couples.  As I think Heidi has said before – the freestyle is not nearly as special as it once was, and hasn’t been nearly as important in affecting the outcome of the show in recent seasons as it has in the past.  Ever since season 15, when they started making the team dances a freestyle, and starting allowing the couples to use massive sets and lots of extra dancers in their regular dances, the actual freestyle in the finale has felt considerably less special – to the point where it can end up looking pretty similar to something the couple has already done (Nick), or is something that doesn’t even seem to fit a couple well, because they’re trying so hard to be “out-of-the-box” (Carlos). And sorry, but if America isn’t already voting for you BEFORE the freestyle round – I highly doubt they’re going to suddenly throw some votes your way because of it. You’re actually probably better off treating it as “just another dance” than trying to outdo yourself – because in all honesty, it’s likely not going to make much of a difference in whether you win or not, unless you completely f*ck it up.

As for Carlos – I doubt anyone was super shocked that the Toker 4 Jesus left us last night (credit to @sally_braden for that gem!), and I started getting an inkling that he was toast after the judges’ OTT gushing about that bizarre foxtrot of his, which felt stiff and awkward, on top of having a lack of…well, actual foxtrot in it. Lawd Jesus, somebody PLEASE reinstate Witney’s outside choreographer privileges, because these last few dances have just been painful to watch. I found their freestyle to be the weakest of the 4 we saw last night, simply because they seemed to throw in several elements that neither fit together cohesively nor really fit Carlos, just for the sake of doing something that had “never been done before”.  The bit with the lights on the hands at the beginning? Looked like they were directing ground traffic at an airport, and also – already been done before (Shawn & Derek’s bhangra in season 15). Including Paula, Hayes, & Alexa? Ok, it hadn’t been done, but did it really improve the routine? We only saw about 5 seconds of each one moving kinda awkwardly. The lift? He seemed to struggle with it, and it was the same one Alek did in his freestyle – only Alek did it better. The one credit I will give Carlos & Witney, though, is that the hip-hop steps they did seemed more impressive than the ones we saw in Nick’s freestyle. But more on that in a bit… Read more..

November 24, 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