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PureDWTS Season 29, Week 10 – Power Rankings

I apologize for the atrocious lateness of these rankings – while I’ve been working remote at my 9-5 since mid-March, I actually had to go into my office this week for what’s called an “action workout”; for those not familiar with lean production practices, it’s basically utilizing employees as a sort of think tank to solve in-house problems. The problem being addressed: how we’re going to free up 25K sq feet of space for a new production line in our roughly 75K sq foot building. The upside? I am now going to be working remote permanently, owing to the fact that they need to annex quite a bit of office space on site 😉 The downside? A week’s worth of long, contentious discussions, me pretending to know how to work in CAD, countless Powerpoint presentations, and one very sh*tty cardboard and styrofoam 3D model 😛 But it was totally worth it for the knowledge that I won’t have a morning commute, I won’t have to get all dressed up every morning, I will have a lot more flexibility in my schedule, and when I scream into the void in frustration, nobody will complain (except maybe the dog and the cat) 🙂 Has anyone else’s employer had a peculiar change of heart about remote work since the pandemic hit? A colleague asked my boss back in January (before anyone was really taking COVID seriously) if she could work a few days per week from home, and he said (with a straight face) “No, we need you here, it’s impossible for your job to be done remotely!!!” Fast forward to March 16, when we all got pulled into a conference room and were told that any of us that had the means to do so should start working from home immediately due to COVID, but we should be cleared to return to the office by June; June comes and goes, and in July we’re told that we won’t be coming back to the office before October (at the earliest).  Then 2 weeks ago, suddenly the discussion turned to “So, how would you feel about working from home permanently? You’re cool with it? AWESOME! When can you come clean out your desk??? The subcontractors will be here Monday to start planning out the remodel!” Amazing how it took a pandemic to make my very old-fashioned employer see that working remote can be beneficial to both employer and employee. Read more..

November 21, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 9 – Power Rankings

Soooo…I can’t be the only one who went “Whoomp…there it is!” when they heard about Gleb’s divorce over the weekend 😛 It would not shock me to see Chrishell & Gleb getting papped together at some point in the near future, and I’m wondering if that’s part of the reason the show kept them around so long this season – perhaps the fleeting hope that they might get the chance to go public with a showmance? Who knows. Gleb’s divorce clearly wasn’t the biggest news this weekend, but I got a chuckle nonetheless 😉

So the face-offs went about like they have every other season: each face-off seemed to have one couple that went for technique while the other went for performance. And like most other seasons, the judges seemed to reward their points to the couple that needed them more (with the exception of whichever couple they were trying to oust – in this case, Nelly & Daniella). Also found it interesting that they seemed to make the celeb’s face-off costumes to match their first dances – not sure if this was done as a cost-saving measure or a time-saving one (or both), but I don’t know that we’ve seen anything like that before. Just curious.

In a move I don’t think most of us saw coming quite this soon, we lost AJ and Cheryl – a couple that many of us had predicted would win this season in our preseason poll. I think they were unfortunately just a sacrificial lamb – Nelly seemed to be the intended target for elimination this week, but when it became clear that he wasn’t going anywhere (and dancers that belong in the finale were falling into the bottom 2), the judges had to pivot; AJ just happened to have a bad day at the office when his Viennese waltz went off the rails, so I think he was the only logical choice. I’ll admit that I found myself a skosh disappointed with AJ this season – maybe my expectations were too high, maybe he just didn’t get the right choreo, maybe he got screwed with song and dance assignments, who knows. But I guess I just thought he would be someone who easily bested Nick Carter’s often-erratic performances, and instead I think he ended up only slightly better than Nick when you netted out all of his dances. Read more..

November 11, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Well, I guess I’m glad they at least mixed things up a bit for Halloween this year – rather than the standard fare of vampires, monsters, ghosts, etc. and horrifically overused songs like the themes from Ghostbusters and The Addams Family, we at least got some new material to work with; the downside of it appeared to be taking some creative license and shoehorning some songs/styles to fit themes. Seems like they had a handful of random songs that they somehow paired (with mixed results) to a list of villains they had cleared, and then picked a dance style that the couple hadn’t done that (sort of) fit the song. I found it somewhat interesting that all but two couples ended up with tango or paso doble as their style; the two who didn’t happened to be the only two couples who had ever been in the bottom two. Not sure if they were banking on those two being in the bottom two again or what, but it was just a bit of a strange coincidence to me.

As of last week, I was unsure as to what to expect as we edged closer to the finale; this week, I’m still not 100% sure, but at the very least the judges weren’t afraid to drop the hammer on some of those who weren’t up-to-snuff. I’m still wondering if we end up with a six-couple finale or an 11-week season – we still have (9) couples left now, with an impending double-elim this coming week; there’s been no mention of an additional double elimination in week 9, so I tend to think that will just be a single. That would leave us with a six-couple finale; however, given the current fluid state of affairs in pandemic tv scheduling, I think it’s possible the network might give us an extra week (since the show would still wrap before Thanksgiving), in which case another elimination (or a double) in week 10 could leave us with a five or four-couple finale, which seems a bit more manageable. Who should be in the finale? In terms of consistency, I think Kaitlyn, Nev, Johnny, & Justine deserve to be there; however, I think Nelly, Skai, and/or AJ could all potentially play spoiler to one of the four I mentioned making the finale. If the judges are still on their bullish*t, Chrishell could probably be in the mix as well…god, I hope she isn’t, but the bar is on the floor in terms of anything in 2020 turning out like it should.

So after what felt like an eternity of the judges gushing disingenuously over just-ok performances, they did a complete 180 and decided to go all in critiquing Monica’s dance this week – and honestly, I don’t think it was undeserved. As I’ve repeated ad infinitum since probably week 2 (and as some uppity Monica fans seem to forget when they accuse me of “hating” on Monica), Monica’s problem has never been her dancing; it’s in her performance-quality, or lack thereof. She can technically nail the steps, but completely fail on selling it to the point where I just tune out because it’s so dreadfully boring. I also felt like the tone of her performance this week was just totally wrong (although I tend to blame Val/TPTB for that): Nurse Ratched is a cold authoritarian, not a seductress. For someone that had no prior knowledge of source material, one might assume from Monica’s performance that the character is a femme fatale of sorts; but sex appeal is not part of Nurse Ratched’s arsenal – psychological manipulation and general bullying are more her forte. Then there was the matter of her costume giving me more Britney Spears’ naughty flight attendant in the “Toxic” video vibes than nurse vibes, and we’ve got a performance that just kinda fizzled, unfortunately. I guess the judges finally decided this week that they couldn’t protect Monica forever, and needed to focus on saving the really strong dancers (like Johnny, who fell into the bottom 2 last week) for the finale – so Monica got the chop. And I think Monica was cool with it – her comfort zone is behind the mat, directing her squad on their performance; I don’t think she ever quite got used to being the one actually performing.

Read more..

October 28, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Just for the record – I really have no idea what I’m doing anymore 😛

I mean, I obviously know how to write, and I know how to look at dances and determine whether they are decent or not; I guess I mean the conclusions I’m drawing are basically a roll of the dice these days, because the results of this show aren’t really making much sense to me anymore. In what universe does an Olympic figure skater somehow tumble into the bottom two with a Superbowl champ, while reality stars with marginal dance skills end up safe??? Last night’s results would have been unheard of ten years ago on this show – hell, even three years ago on this show. Granted, Vernon was not as adept as the majority of the NFL players we’ve had on this show, and Johnny got RIDICULOUSLY low-balled on his score this week – but I guess the only conclusion I can reasonably draw is that not many people are actually voting (or voting consistently), and it’s causing the results to become unpredictable from time to time. There’s also the fact that you can now vote ten times PER COUPLE, per voting method, which I think is muddling things – where people used to have to put all their eggs in one basket, they can now put the same amount of eggs in multiple baskets; this only adds to the total number of points (and thus diminishes the power of each vote) and just seems to result in the needle not moving as much when you combine scores and votes. Add to this the fact that TPTB seem intent on keeping Monica (or Val) around despite a mediocre performance thus far, and I’m not sure what to make of things anymore. I feel like the “perpetual present” that the pandemic has left us all stuck in is seeping into every aspect of my life: it’s hard to think about what’s going to happen in the future, when each day just seems like an interminable NOW with no end in sight. Christ, this pandemic has made me nihilistic.

So we’re past the halfway point of the season, and we’ve eliminated 1/3 of the cast – so what type of narrative seems to be taking shape for the finale? Hard to say. For once, I don’t feel confident claiming any one person will for sure win – I tend to think Kaitlyn (and probably AJ, too – unless they fall into the bottom together) are likely going to get saved by the judges no matter what, but when it comes to winning…all bets are off. Will Nev make the finals? Maybe…maybe not. Nelly, Justina, and Jeannie are all big question marks for me, too – I think it’s equally possible that any of them make the finals or get eliminated just short of them. My gut says they can’t protect Monica forever, and if Skai keeps having off-weeks, I don’t think she sticks around, either. No idea what to make of Chrishell anymore, as it feels like Gleb could walk center stage and take a dump and still get glowing reviews for their routine. And is Johnny being set up as a shock elim in the coming weeks??? Could be…or last night could have been an anomaly. And despite Derek usually making the right call, my confidence in the judges this season choosing the correct couple when saving from the bottom two has waned – I tend to think they may be getting instructed to “make things interesting” from the control room, and may vote in a way that they wouldn’t normally. Hence, Carrie Ann’s (downright idiotic) choice to save Vernon & Peta over Johnny & Britt.

So Derek graced the DWTS stage for the first time in 3 years, and I daresay that was probably the only glimmer of hope DWTS has for a possible choreo Emmy nomination next summer – and given that perennial heavy-hitter SYTYCD did not air this year, it’s possible DWTS could eke out a nod along with some of the routines from World of Dance. Or who knows, maybe they won’t even bother to nominate anyone in that category – seems like a very 2020 outcome 😉 Loved this paso, and it felt like the culmination of all the years Derek spent using DWTS and the MOVE tours as a “test kitchen” for some of his wilder choreography ideas. Paso was always his favorite dance to choreograph, so the choice made sense; it was also nice to see how far Hayley has come in her ballroom and Latin technique, as some of her early days dabbling in it were a bit…shaky. I daresay her Latin technique bests Allison’s now, though, so if they ever went shopping for female pros again in the future (if there is one…), I think she’s a logical choice.

As most of us had predicted, Vernon left us this week – and while it was disappointing, I caught a bit of his GMA appearance this morning, and he seemed to have a very upbeat attitude about his elim, and was generally grateful for the experience. I think he had plateaued in terms of his dancing, too, so I don’t know that he would have fared well when they would have started doing 2+ dances per week. Glad he got to go out on a positive note, though – his cha-cha was a fun tribute to his grandpa and I think he had a lot of fun. Read more..

October 21, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 5 – Power Rankings

Soooo…I can’t be the only one who wonders what the Russian pros (minus Artem, he’s an angel) did to piss off the hair department this week, right? 😛 What in the name of Party City Clearance Bin was on Gleb & Val’s heads??? I think the conclusion Mama Spence and I came to was some unholy abomination born of Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride, the owner of the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, and this man looking for love in an 80’s dating service video:

 

Alan only got off marginally better than the other two, with what looks to be a discount version of Vicki Lawrence’s wig from Mama’s Family:

I don’t know if Tyrant is becoming more tolerable, or if everything else in this year is such a flaming dumpster fire by comparison and I’m just getting used to her particular brand of annoyance, but I found her MILDLY less annoying this week. MILDLY. But I will say I found it super-duper sketch when she brought up the whole elimination gaffe from last week again, and it makes me wonder if there’s more to it than simply being a control room “whoops”. Sis seemed awfully defensive about it, and eager to “set the record straight” – to which I say “Sure, Jan.” And so far, everyone that has fallen into the bottom two and been saved has ended up in the bottom two again and gotten flushed out the following week. But this week, Monica manages to avoid it altogether, owing to some awfully generous scoring for what I would consider a fairly weak tango? Just makes my brain itch. I don’t know to what end strings are being pulled, but it just adds to the stench of this season for me.

Well, in the aforementioned unexpected twist, Monica managed to stay completely safe this week, and it was Vernon and Jesse who took a tumble into the “Danger Zone” (seriously – of all the songs they could have resurrected for 80’s week, why not this one???).  Jesse was ultimately flushed out in a unanimous vote by the judges, and while I feel like he had plateaued (and even backslid) in the past two weeks, I am still a skosh disappointed that we lost him, because I do feel like he was trying; I feel like the one thing that gave Vernon a leg up over him, though, is that Vernon seems to take criticism from the judges and let it fuel him, while Jesse only seemed drained by it. Maybe it was for the best that he left sooner rather than later, as the weekly criticism seemed to be taking its toll on Jesse; but it still irks me that he and Sharna got screwed with music at least half the time, and I feel like that did play a major role in some of their dances being a bit lackluster. Their song this week had some really strange tempo changes that even Mama Spence noticed (and she will be the first to tell you she lacks all rhythm), so I’m inclined to cut them a bit of a break for some of their more awkward routines.

Given that it was a theme week, we of course had some songs that weren’t ideal for the dance that was being done to them, and most of the pros had to sacrifice a bit of content in favor of upholding the “spirit” of 80’s week…so I’m being a bit more lenient on filler/time wasters this week. I also have beaucoup gifs this week, so bear with me 😉 Read more..

October 13, 2020 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.

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.

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.

PureDWTS DWTS Juniors, Season 1 – Week 8 Live(ish) Blog!!!

So we’re already on the penultimate episode of our inaugural season of DWTS Juniors. As of right now, no word on whether it’s been renewed for a second season yet; while part of me hopes some news drops next week concurrent with the finale, I think it’s going to be awhile before we hear anything. Source seems to think spring season of DWTS/second season of DWTS Juniors is going to hinge upon whether or not they can find a suitable replacement for the two shows – if not, then they get greenlit. So if you want more – start putting vibes out into the universe that ABC can’t find anything better.

So the four remaining couples are doing two dances this week, for the first time this season; spoilers here. If I remember the notes I was given correctly, the taping of this episode turned into a bit of a Kenzie lovefest, as a good chunk of the audience were Dance Moms/Ziegler girl fans. Will be interesting to see how that gets edited this week, as the judges seemed a bit “meh” on her last week.

I love Jordan & Frankie as a hosting duo. Don’t @ me.

Love Sky’s tango dress.  And Miles just makes me SMILE. 🙂

Kenzie wants a standing ovation from all 3 judges.  She’s probably gonna get one, as this is one style that actually suits her hard-hitting movements.

Still not wowed by Kenzie in general, but she did well with the paso – actually handled it better than Sage, I think.  Too many high kicks, though…GLEB.

I agree with Mandy that Kenzie was “driving the car” on that one – Sage was a bit of an afterthought, I’m afraid.  Adam isn’t crying, but giving her a “WOOOOOOO!!!” Val is proud of her, and says “it’s important to break the rules in art”…this coming from the guy that touts ballroom purity as a measure of superiority.  Just sayin’…

Frankie setting them up for 10’s…and they get 10, 10, 10.  Meh.

Sky & JT up after the break!

Still loving the junior troupe, BTW.

I hate “Thunder” but I think Sky & JT are probably going to deliver a solid tango.  They’re getting flustered and tired in rehearsal, and Sky is in tears, but Alan is handling it beautifully.

I thought they killed that – Sky in particular really seemed to nail the legwork.  Lifts went off without a hitch.

Adam thinks they have “the best chemistry of any couple”.  Val says it was a “really tough routine”, and Mandy commends them for “diving 100% into whatever style they’re given each week”.  She mentions Sky’s “biscuit” feet but says they’re getting better. Sky being adorable apologizing for “being little but really heavy”.

They get 10, 9, 10 – I probably would have given it three 10’s, but generally probably about right.

Miles & Rylee are up.  They’re dancing to DWTS fixture Pitbull, who sucks. 🙂

Miles is filming Black-ish while also rehearsing, so it’s created some stress for them.

He never ceases to impress me – he paid such close attention to the technique, and seemed to really get the leg action well. There were a few bits that looked a bit frantic, but overall, another great dance.

Val says that cha-cha “had the most power I’ve ever seen in a cha-cha”. Mandy loves watching him because he “loves to dance” and has “such joy”. Adam says Miles brings “an energy to every performance” and Miles “is born to perform”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miles becoming a triple-threat and start singing within the next few years…

They get 9, 10, 9 – I probably would have thrown in another ten, but whatevs.

Ariana & Artyon after the ‘mercial break!

Side note: I get irrationally irritated by the High School Musical soundtrack, because I had to listen to it for hours at a time when I worked at Claire’s like, 10 years ago.

Brandon laying down the law in rehearsal!

Gotta be honest: not my favorite routine from these two.  Song wasn’t ideal, and they seemed like they were struggling with the beat a bit.

Mandy, however, thought it was “gorgeous”. Adam says Ariana “blew it out of the water”. Val wishes his middle school looked like that. I’mma be a tad irked if they score higher than Miles & Rylee, who I think were low-balled.

They get 9, 9, 10 – eh, aight. Funny that they had “last day of school” written on the chalkboard for their dance, as two days after this episode was taped, it was the first day of school for some of the junior pros, who had to work with a tutor at the rehearsal studio 😛

Miles/Rylee and Kenzie/Sage duo after the break!

Ariana & Sky shaking the fringe on their dresses is adorbs 😛

Sage gives us another short sentence.  HE SPEAKS! They are happy to get paired with Miles & Rylee, but Miles can’t be there so it’s a bit hard. Looks like Gleb is trying to call the shots – hope Lindsay is shutting that sh*t down.  Linds & Rylee go to the Black-ish set to teach Miles the dance.  Kenzie is “nervous for him”. Psssh.

Poor Miles is at least three inches shorter than the other three but he’s still selling the hell out of the dance 😛 Kenzie hitting harder than Rylee – calm down, girl.  Overall, a cute samba/jazz, though.

Mandy loved it.  Adam says Kenzie “is having a heck of a night!” and that this routine is his favorite of the season so far. Val agrees.  It was  good…but “best of the season”? Hmmm.

They get 10, 10, 10.  I’m ok with it.

Brandon/Alan bromance >>> Alexis/Alan showmance. No contest.

Ariana/Artyon and Sky/JT are doing a jive/foxtrot fusion. Probably more tricky than the samba/jazz fusion the other team got. Lots of screeching.  Kids are ‘cited to dance together 🙂

Extremely cute routine, but not quite as cohesive as Miles & Kenzie’s, I don’t think.  Definitely harder, though.

Adam says the dance was “all about teamwork”. Val think the girls are “a hit show in the making”. Mandy says it was “full of wow moments”, but did say that there were a few timing issues.  But she loved the complexity of the choreo.

They get 10, 9, 9 – probably about right, if you take into account the cleanliness issue.

And heading home is…

…nobody! They’re all going to the finale 🙂

Sky and Ariana crying tears of joy.  All the kids thrilled.  These are the reactions that make me LOVE this show so very much 😀

December 2, 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.

PureDWTS DWTS Juniors, Season 1 – Week 7 Live(ish) Blog!!!

It’s “Time Machine” week, which is basically the Juniors equivalent of “decades” week on regular DWTS.  Songs and dances here, spoilers here. Sorta-spoiler: this is basically the semifinals, because everyone who makes it through tonight goes to the finale.  No elim next week.

Thoughts headed into tonight: I think the right bunch of kids are left, based on their performances so far this season. As little as Kenzie does for me, she’s one of the better dancers. Not sure I agree with preponderance of Dance Moms fans that think she’s a shoo-in to win, though.  If the results of this season of regular DWTS are any indicator, there are factors at play beyond dance skill that determine who wins…

Nice little opener from the pros.  Cute how they did a segment with each couple that corresponded to their decade. Too bad that song has been grossly overused within the context of this show.

Miles & Rylee up first. Miles actually seems to have a pretty good idea of what the ’50s was like.  And he’s probably gonna kill this jive…though he does look a bit winded in rehearsals, bless him. Miles is now rattling off facts about Disney, frozen dinners, etc.

WOWWWWWW. Lindsay did not go easy on them with that choreo, and they nailed EVERY. LAST. STEP. And they made it look easy! Miles is extraordinary. Technique was SPOT ON.

Mandy thinks Miles “is here for the win”. Adam says it’s “down to the wire, and [Miles] seized the moment”. Val says “Miles Brown” funny, and thinks Miles has “soul”. He also praises Rylee for being a strong partner, and says “you can’t teach that soul” re: Miles.

Miles talking about the Lakers being in Minnesota in the ’50s, and color tv being invented.  They get 9, 9, 10 – for once, Adam gets it right and the other two judges miss the mark.  That was ABSOLUTELY a 30-worthy routine. I’mma be pissed if another, less technically-perfect routine gets higher than that.

Junior troupe appreciation moment: why do these kids seem ten times more charismatic than the current adult troupe? 😛

Still not sure how “Call Me Maybe” fits with an 80’s theme. Something about the way Kenzie talks reminds me of Nan, Jamie Brewer’s character on American Horror Story: Coven.  Like she’s got some sort of secret that she’s trying not let slip.

This is taking awhile to get going. And too prop-heavy. Kenzie & Sage are handling it well, but this choreo looks like Gleb went on YouTube and searched “80’s jazz”.  Feels a tad formulaic at times.

Adam thinks Kenzie’s “giving it 100%, but isn’t letting go”.  I kinda agree – feel like she’s always in performance mode, while the other kids are LIVING their dances. Val thinks she’s “an amazing dancer, period” but implies that Kenzie didn’t seem “inspired” by her performance.  Mandy thought it had great jazz content, and makes Val demonstrate a hitch kick, but thought there were a few “bobbles” on the turns.

Sage talking about having to learn how to use a pay phone is maybe the most I’ve heard him talk all season.  They get 9, 8, 9 – probably about right.

Mandla & Brightyn up next.  Mandla is so sweet & soft-spoken, but lights up on the floor.  Wish he got more love from the judges.

Something about wormholes…

That was actually really dramatic, and Mandla had some pretty impressive shaping.  Maybe got a tad wishy-washy on some of the sharper arm actions, though.

Val notes the same – some areas where he hit the paso hard, and others where he didn’t so much.  Mandy reminding everyone that Mandla has “no previous dance experience”.  Which implies that others do 😉 She loved the shaping  and thought it was great. Adam thinks what Mandla’s done “with no dance experience” is “absolutely incredible”.  Really hard-selling the “no dance experience” angle this week…hmmm…

They get 8, 8, 8 – I probably would have thrown a 9 in there, but probably about right in the grand scheme of things.  Funny how the Juniors judges have no qualms scoring tough when a routine doesn’t cut the mustard, but the adult version judges cop out and give 9’s & 10’s when 7’s & 8’s are deserved…

Alanna makes a cameo with the troupe! Jordan and Frankie join in doing the Macarena. Glad she’s such a good sport 🙂

Ariana & Artyon up next. This should be interesting, considering they haven’t done a ballroom dance yet. Ariana tells Artyon he smells like popcorn.  And Brandon can’t get them into frame. Ohhh buddy…

Song’s a skosh slow for a quickstep and there’s little to no body contact, but beyond that – it’s actually a very cute dance with a lot of quickstep content.  Dare I say that Artyon actually may be a bit better at ballroom than Latin, technique-wise…?

Mandy loved it.  Adam knows quickstep can be challenging, but praises them staying on-time. Val says quickstep is tough, Ariana is a star, yadda yadda…might have Frankenstein’d his critique together in post, it seems ramble-y.

Ariana & Artyon’s costumes might be my fave.  You can tell they’re feelin’ themselves in their 40’s gear 🙂

They get 9, 9, 9 – and I agree. Not quite as solid as Miles & Rylee, but definitely better than Mandla & Brightyn and Kenzie & Sage.

Sky & JT are closing the show.  I have a feeling they’re probably going to slay this…

Love how plucky Sky is: “Our dance is in the 1920’s, so it’s gonna be really cool!” Interviewer: “What do you know about the 1920’s, Sky?” Sky: *blank stare & grin* 😛

It was a fun dance and they sold it well, but not sure there was a ton of actual Charleston in it.  Miles & Rylee still the best dance of the night for me.

Adam says Sky should be proud of how she’s become a “role model” on this show. Val believes in Sky and thinks Sky has “it”. Mandy says the Charleston is her favorite, but wants Sky to focus on being ON the beat, rather than in front or behind it. Sky gushing and being thankful and making my house dusty again…need to change the furnace filter…

They get 9, 9, 9 – I would have thrown an 8 in there, because I felt like Ariana & Artyon were better, but otherwise…score’s about right.  Elim after the break 🙁

Frankie’s mic cuts out…or they edited out sound.  Hmmm…we have no sound.

Leaving us tonight: Mandla & Brightyn 🙁

Still can’t hear Frankie, Jordan, or anyone but the crowd.  Poor Mandla doesn’t even get a decent send-off. Sky is bawling, but Mandla seems to be handling it very gracefully.

See you next week for TWO dances from each couple!

November 25, 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.

PureDWTS DWTS Juniors, Season 1 – Week 6 Live(ish) Blog!!!

It’s “Giving Thanks” week, and the junior celebs are paying tribute to those they’re thankful for – get ready for appearances from Stevie Wonder and Maddie Ziegler, as I believe they’re joining Mandla & Brightyn and Kenzie & Sage, respectively, for their performances tonight. Looks like a dark horse might emerge tonight, and we say goodbye to yet another beloved couple.  Although Jason’s relatively composed elimination last week gives me hope that maybe the remaining kids will be able to keep their composure from here on out…prolly not. Oh well…at least the rest of the show is pleasant to watch 🙂 Far more so than its adult counterpart these days…

Pretty cute opener, seeing the junior celebs, junior pros, and mentors all dancing together – reminds you of how young these kids are 😛 Once again, Kenzie & Sage look more like mentors than juniors.

Ariana’s dedicating her routine to her family and is doing a salsa.  Ariana’s abelo & abuela come to visit at rehearsal 🙂

It’s fun and energetic, and they both are selling it well – though I don’t know that it’s necessarily their strongest performance.  Tuck that tush under, Artyon!

Mandy is “thankful for that salsa!” and commends Artyon on the lift.  Adam wants to know if Artyon can lift him next.  Val says it was “spicy” and “authentic” and thinks Puerto Rico is proud of Ariana.

They get 9, 9, 9 – they seem happy.

As an aside: you start to notice some of the editing if you know where to look.  Case in point: the voiceover from Jordan talking about the DWTS finale tomorrow night. Clearly filmed later on, and you notice the only thing you actually saw Jordan saying was “Frankie!”

Mandla is giving thanks for his dad – and he’s dancing to “Isn’t She Lovely”, his favorite song his dad has written. Stevie seems touched 🙂

It’s a lovely foxtrot – no pun intended 😉 What I love about how Mandla moves is just how organic he is – he may lack the polish of some of the kids with previous experience, but there’s something so genuine about his dancing.

Adam thinks it was his best dance.  Val thanks Stevie for being there, and Stevie says the dance “looked good to him!” Hehe. Brightyn is crying, and saying how she’s so touched by Mandla’s relationship with his dad.  Mandy says it was beautiful.  They get 9, 9, 9 – looks like tonight’s episode of Sesame Street may be brought to you by the number “9”.

Akash & Kamri up next – and I’m told this Bollywood jazz is TOTES ADORBS.

Akash is thankful for his parents, and they love “Jai Ho”.  They’re visiting rehearsal and they’re every bit as darling as he is 🙂

I think that may have been his best dance – he was nailing all of the arm and leg movements.  And he looked so proud!!!

Val thought it was his best dance.  Mandy praises him for “cleaning up” his movements.  Adam agrees with both.

Akash’s favorite move was the “pump-up move” and he’s trying to teach Frankie 😛 He gets 8, 8, 7 – and they’re shrieking with joy.  Adam’s weird.

Miles & Rylee up next!

Like everyone thus far, Miles is thankful for his family.  He’s dancing to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.  I remember his mom & Dad from when he was on AGT 🙂

Miles is like a mini-Jordan – he just moves so confidently.  I loved it.

Mandy name drops La-La Land and praises Miles “genuine sense of joy”.  Adam is mad he didn’t get any flowers from Miles 😛 Val thinks it was one of his best dances and praises the footwork and technique, and appreciates that he’s a short guy that “dances big”. His critiques have improved from week 1, I’ll give him that.

Miles says his family has both chicken & turkey for Thanksgiving.  They get 9, 9, 8 –  seriously, WTF, Adam.  You’re my least favorite judge.

Sky is thankful for her family, too.  Her brother looks like he could be her twin.

It’s a pretty foxtrot and Sky seems so chuffed to being doing it the whole dance.  I still feel like both Miles & Mandla were better, thought.

Adam is getting choked up.  Val says it was “so special” and had “emotional range”.  Mandy says it was excellent and praises Alan for Sky & JT looking “coached”.

Ocean (Sky’s brother) is waiting in the skybox and making me cry.  Sky & JT get 9, 10, 10 – ok, it was good, but I still feel like Mandla & Miles were just as good.  And dammit, these kids are making it dusty in my house…

Obvi, Kenzie is thankful for her sister, Maddie.  So clearly, we need to invoke Sia again.

It’s good, but Kenzie still seems to exaggerate her movements – contemporary dancer having trouble transitioning to ballroom?

Val praises the sisters’ relationship.  Mandy talks about “dancing big” and “full-out”.  Adam wants to be the 3rd Ziegler sister.

Frankie sarcastically saying that Maddie has “never danced before” is unintentionally hilarious, given the song-and-dance of this season. 😛

They get 9, 9, 9 – I’m getting a tad tired of the “9” paddle tonight.

And now its time to say goodbye…

…to Akash & Kamri.  🙁

Akash was such a bright spot this season – just so exuberant and happy to be  there.  My god, Akash is so mature and articulate.  I’mma miss this one…

November 18, 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.