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PureDWTS DWTS Juniors, Season 1 – THE FINALE: Week 9 Live(ish) Blog!!!

And just like that, the inaugural season of Juniors comes to a close tonight.  Granted, tonight’s episode was already taped wayyyyy back on August 25, but I’ll be honest: I’m surprised that I’ve been able to avoid inadvertently spoiling the winner for over 3 months 😛 According to one outlet, I apparently “strongly insinuated that Kenzie won” (I did?) and someone else on Twitter was claiming that I told him Ariana won (again – I did?), but the only real spoiler I offered about the winner was their gender – you can find that spoiler at the bottom of the master spoiler thread I’ve been linking to all season. Who are your guesses for who wins? I will say this: after the taping of the week 8 show, source told me that they thought that “any of the four remaining couples could win it”. So the outcome of the show was truly surprise for the contestants as well, since they all saw it as anyone’s game.  Except Gleb, apparently, but that’s a story for another time…

Songs & dances here. Bound to be a jam-packed show tonight – each couple is redoing their favorite dance with their pro included this time, and doing a Christmas freestyle. I am so ready to see Brandon doing “Rolex” with Ariana & Artyon 🙂

Say what you will about Alana – but she was always a showman, even if her technique wasn’t great. She delivered in that opener.

Artyon looks like a mini-Keo 😛

Kenzie/Sage/Gleb up first.  Gleb thinks the dance is special “because I’m in it.” May seem innocuous on the surface, but given Gleb’s narcissistic tendencies, it just grates.

I’m thinking Kenzie picking this dance was probably a bit of a strategic career move (since it’s her song), but I don’t know that it’s a particularly memorable dance. The addition of Gleb just made it weirder.

Mandy loves that she got to see that dance a second time. Adam says she’s “a different girl” and “taking no prisoners”. Val thinks she “shined” and then seems to throw a slight dig in at Gleb saying that Kenzie “came in with potential” so she “did great things”. Scores are 9, 9, 10.

Brandon looks exhausted in the package.  I can imagine chasing those two around all season was no easy task 😛

Some nice little flourishes added to the dance with Brandon joining them.  Pretty cute.

Val says “Iconic.” Adam can’t wait to see what they do in the next round. Mandy is complimentary of all three team members and generally fulfills the supportive mom role she has all season.

Tens, tens, TENS ACROSS THE BOARD!

Miles/Rylee/Lindsay redoing the salsa, dalmatian outfits and all. And I gotta hand it to Lindsay – that felt like a cohesive routine, with some nice double-leading by Miles, rather than a retooling with Lindsay just shoehorned in.

Val is glad he redid this dance, since he was so hard on Miles the first time.  Mandy gives Lindsay props for being a great coach.  Adam thinks Miles has “grown so much”. 10, 9, 9 – ok, I thought that was better than Kenzie, but whatevs.

Sky warns Alan that he “better kill it” in this salsa they’re redoing 😛

Alan skateboards in with Sky and bungles it almost immediately, hehe. It’s cute overall, but feels a tad shoehorned. I thought Miles won the “favorite dance” round.

Mandy commends Alan for “diving into” the whole mentor role. Adam thinks Sky has grown the most of the finalists. Val says Sky “emobodies what this competition is about”.

Sky being Tony Robbins again 😛

10, 10, 10 – I thought Miles & Rylee were better, but again…whatevs.

Kenzie up first in the freestyle round. Sage says ten more words for a grand total of MAYBE 50 words spoken this season.

It’s pretty hard-hitting hip-hop with a little bit of stepping and Charleston thrown in.  It’s good…maybe my favorite dance she’s done.

Mandy thought it was incredible, and hopes this show has brought back Kenzie’s “love of dance”. Adam just stands  up and shrieks. Val thinks that is what a freestyle should look like.

Worth mentioning: Gleb did enlist the services of an outside choreographer for this freestyle…which I think shows.

10, 10, 10.  I’m guessing freestyle round is probably gonna go the same way it does on the regular show – unless somebody really bungles stuff up, they’re all getting perfect scores.

Per Zoe (@ptxdwts) on Twitter: Ebonee Arielle choreographed Kenzie’s freestyle.

Ariana & Artyon up next, serving you Grinch & Cindy Lou Who realness 😛

It’s a very theatrical, Broadway-esque dance.  Artyon did two pretty impressive lifts with Ariana.

Adam thinks they had “so much to be proud of”. Val says he thinks they’re going to be “big stars”.  Mandy says Ariana is  “a star”.

9, 10, 9 –  soooo…what was the issue there, Val & Adam?

Miles & Rylee are next.  Loving the snow white costumes 🙂

It’s mainly hip-hop, but I saw blurbs of their jive, Charleston, and even a bit of Carlton Banks 😛 I thought it was excellent. Anthony Anderson in the audience cheering for Miles.

Val thinks Miles has made it “cool” for boys to dance.  Mandy says he’s been such a joy to watch this season.  Miles tearing up a bit (awww).  Adam says he’s “a superstar”.

Lindsay is full on weeping with pride.  Goddamn, my house is dusty.

10, 10, 10 – I would have called foul on anything less.

Sky & JT last…and it looks like a surfer Christmas theme.

It’s a cute routine, and energetic – but it feel like there was a lot of posing and non-dancing moments. I think Miles’ freestyle had the best content.

All three judges generally commenting on Sky being an “inspiration”.  Sorry guys – things are moving so fast and the judges are kinda being repetitive anyway.

Three 10’s – and I believe their score of a perfect 60 leaves them at the top of the leaderboard as the audience votes for the winner…

And the winner is…

…SKY & JT!!!

Alan is full-on bawling. Alexis who? This is what real emotion looks like from this man.

And that concludes my blogging for the first (and hopefully not last) season of Juniors…thanks for joining me! We’ll keep posting news in the off-season, and we may see you back in the spring (depending on whether we’re getting a spring season or not). HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY!!!

December 9, 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 DWTS Juniors, Season 1, Week 9 – Who’s Dancing What for the Finale?

Hard to believe we’re already down to the finale! This week is gonna probably gonna feel like a mad dash – they’ve gotta fit (8) dances into one hour, with the inevitable filler you get from a finale (returning couples, bumpers, pro dances, etc.).

I think the only “favorite dance” pick that DOESN’T surprise me is Ariana & Artyon; the rest I just kinda go “Really? That dance? Ooooookay then.” I don’t know about you guys, but I cannot WAIT to see Brandon join Ariana & Artyon in that number 😛 As for the freestyles, I kinda like that they gave everyone the same theme (Christmas, which all kids can relate to), as it levels the playing field. Most kids probably wouldn’t be able to handle something really edgy or “out there” for a freestyle, or some overwrought contemporary-tinged freestyle.  Keep it simple, keep it familiar.  I like 🙂

Ariana & Artyon (mentored by Brandon)
Favorite dance (with Brandon): jazz (song: “Rolex” by Ayo & Teo)
Christmas Freestyle (song: “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Lindsey Stirling feat. Sabrina Carpenter)

Kenzie & Sage (mentored by Gleb)
Favorite dance (with Gleb): cha-cha (song: “What If” by Johnny Orlando & Mackenzie Ziegler)
Christmas Freestyle (song: “Drummer Boy” by Justin Bieber feat. Busta Rhymes)

Miles & Rylee (mentored by Lindsay)
Favorite dance (with Lindsay): salsa (song: “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men)
Christmas Freestyle (song: “Sleigh Ride” by District 78)

Sky & JT (mentored by Alan)
Favorite dance (with Alan): salsa (song: “Light it Up” by Major Lazer feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG)
Christmas Freestyle (song: “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson)

 

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If @milesbrown can find the time to dance, anyone can. #TeamLindsay’s in it to win it! 🙌 #DWTSJuniors

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December 3, 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 27, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Welcome to season 27, where the decent dancers are in perpetual danger, and the more mediocre you are, the greater the likelihood you’ll stick around. Guys – this is not the dance show I fell in love with 13 years ago. This season is a strange, bastardized caricature of it – and that’s why this post has been hard to write.  It’s also been hard to try and make sense of the nonsense of this season in general, and I feel worthless when some of you come to me asking what to make of [insert nonsense here] or [insert wonky scoring here], and I’m not able to give you an intelligent explanation for it…because I don’t have one. It still tickles me that so many of you give a damn about what I write,  after all these years, and value my thoughts on this show. But this time around, I just don’t know what to tell you, other than “Yep, this season sucks.” I fear we’re possibly witnessing the death throes of DWTS – all good things must come to an end, I guess, and this show has paid the dividends for 13 years now, which is impressive and quite a bit longer than I thought it would be on the air. Just stinks that it’s going out in such an inauspicious way 🙁

It’s beyond me why reality competition shows even bother doing “country night” as a theme anymore – it only seems to appeal to a small subset of the audience, the music is often pretty cringe-y, and the attire is…questionable. Monday night’s show was no different – the opener was pretty sloppy, and even the guest singers seemed a bit bewildered and not quite sure what to do.  Additionally, I feel like the couples that got saddled dancing to songs performed live by the artists took a bit of a hit, as their choreography had to accommodate intermittent pans to the singer for their obligatory face time.  At the end of the night, I remembered very little, and cared even less about “country night”. Put it to bed, ABC.

As for who we lost this – John & DeMarcus were 2/3 of my favorite guys this season, and them getting taken out in one sweep was gutting. I would have GLADLY traded Joe, Bobby, Alexis, AND Juan Pablo if it meant keeping the two of them in the competition. I ended up enjoying John far more than I thought I would – he was actually a decent dancer, had great musicality, got along great with Emma, was excited to be there, had a nice journey, and was generally a likable, humble guy.  Unfortunately, I think the writing was on the wall where he was concerned – we saw it coming last week, and TPTB seemed to have decided his time was up. Then there’s DeMarcus – someone I thought for sure we’d see in the in the finale.  Not entirely sure what happened here – he was always one of the better male contestants, and was never a bad dancer in the same way that both Bobby & Joe are; he was also extremely likable and genuine, and vibed well with Lindsay.   Part of me thinks he just got lost in the shuffle between the general (but memorable) stink of Joe & Bobby, the three-ring circus of the Alanis/Alexan (have they decided on their ship name yet?) showmance, the gushing over Juan Pablo, and both Milo & Evanna having memorable journeys; part of the blame for that lies with the judges and their more middle-of-the-road scoring and critiques, which were usually unnecessarily tough on De. Then there’s also the small matter of his finger injury back in week 3 – as minor as it may have seemed in the grand scheme of things, it was as if the moment DeMarcus realized his finger was injured, sh*t got real.  I mentioned to someone on Twitter, but if you re-watch the video of it happening, there was a noticeable shift in his demeanor – he went from “Oh hell yeah!!!” to “Oh sh*t, this is bad!” in .3 seconds.  And part of me thinks he was never really able to shake it off totally – every dance from that moment on seemed a tad cautious and tentative. Who knows – regardless, I don’t think he or Lindsay deserved to go home, and on any other season, he probably would have had a free pass to the finale.  And the finale has suffered in quality with the lost off both John AND DeMarcus 🙁 Read more..

November 9, 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 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