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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 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

PureDWTS Season 27, Week 8 – Power Rankings, Who Will Win?

Y’all, it’s been a week…hell, it’s been a season.  And if I’m being honest, this is one season that has felt like it has absolutely DRAGGGGGGED on – I’m not sure I’ve wanted a season to be over this badly since maybe season 11, when Bristol was sticking around like a bad rash. Strike that – season 14 was pretty bad, too, when William Levy was getting jammed down my throat every week. Season 20 wasn’t much better, given that it had been predetermined it was “Val’s season” from week 1 and it got monotonous pretty quickly. To put it plainly: I’m just plain ready for this season to be over, and have my life back for the next 5ish months. I’ve got plans in the pipeline 😉

So in the penultimate elim of the season (which was a double, thank goodness – a 5-person finale on a season where the finale is only 1 night is a bit much), we finally shook Grocery Joe loose (yassssssss) and also lost Juan-Note Pablo in the second “shocking” elim of the season.  Can’t say I was terribly upset about either one leaving us – Joe should have been gone in week 1, and was little more than a glorified weightlifting spotter in his dances on Monday night; Juan Pablo, while probably deserving of a spot in the finale, just never resonated with me as a person – and I apparently wasn’t alone, as he clearly wasn’t getting the votes to stay. I think it says something when we ALMOST get a rare show of vulnerability from Juan Pablo (talking about his mother beating cancer in his rehearsal package, and dedicating his dance to her), and then it was like “JK, I’mma still serve you macho Latin lover realness!” and he performed a dance that, while technically quite good, was little different than every other dance we got from him this season: all smolder and sexiness, and no vulnerability or emotion.  I will credit him for being (to my knowledge) the first and only real-live Argentinean to perform an Argentine tango on DWTS, but at the end of the day, I think he & Cheryl probably missed the mark a bit in the grand scheme of things – you have to be a good dancer to succeed on this show, but people also have to like you and care about you; and if you’re constantly serving the same bravado week after week, dance after dance, and not taking the time to show the viewers that you’re also human and have feelings, they’re probably going to tune you out after awhile, no matter how great your dancing is.

I’ve been getting quite a few questions about what I think the future of this show looks like, given the three-ring circus that this season has been. Unfortunately, I think it looks grim – can’t remember where I had this conversation, but Heidi, John, & I were talking recently about the future of the show, and either Heidi or John said “At this point, they’ve gotten what they wanted out of the show – they probably don’t really care what happens now, and will let the show continue its steady demise until they find something better to take its place.” Let’s face it: getting 25+ seasons out of a show where it stays a ratings juggernaut is not just good – it’s great.  Almost unheard of…so for DWTS to be taking a dive in season 27, it’s more than likely just the show running its course. Sure, there’s been some wonky stuff going on this season, but I’d chalk a lot of that up to overall viewership being down and less of a normalizing influence in the voting as a result; I don’t think it’s so much that the SHOW has changed, it’s the AUDIENCE moving on.  I have often found myself saying “I just want to see something I haven’t seen before!” for several seasons now – be it a new pro, some more “out there” choreographic risks, an unexpected celeb, etc. I can’t imagine I’m alone in that desire.  Given that the show has basically already called several audibles this season (rearranging the elimination schedule, changing the original plan for a 5-couple finale, and cutting the finale down to 1 night), I don’t think ABC would have any qualms cancelling a prospective spring season if it came down to it – really, the only evidence we have of a spring season in 2019 is an interview (which I haven’t seen myself) where Sharna apparently said she had “signed on for several more seasons, including the spring one”; given that the pros contracts are pretty open-ended, and being “on contract” just means you must avail yourself if they need you, I don’t think we can safely assume there’s going to be a spring season, just that Sharna is available for it if there is one. And someone also pointed out to me that the winter tour has now been extended through early March – if there was going to be a regular-length spring season, the cast would have already been announced at that point, and the couples rehearsing. At this point, I’m dubious that there’s going to be a spring season at all, but if there is, I think the best we can hope for is a shortened one, a la season 26. I’d personally be just fine with no spring season, as I’m going to be tripled up on my classes by that point and also job hunting out west. DWTS can come back in the fall, when I’m done with school, hopefully settled into my new digs in Denver, and with a lot more free time on my hands 😉 Read more..

November 16, 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 5 Live(ish) Blog!!!

After a hiatus last week (owing to some Disney anniversary nonsense), we’re back in business this week – and thank god, cause last week’s regular DWTS has left me in need of a palate cleanser…and Juniors is the perfect salve for disillusioned wounds 🙂

Tonight is “Juniors Choice” night – and the kids are dancing to songs picked by the Junior celebs. Missed the boat on a “Who’s Dancing What” post this week, but the press release is here. Oh look, all of the kids have picked fun and well-known songs – except Kenzie, who is dancing to her own song.  Sorry y’all, I just find her entire presence on Juniors to be a carefully-crafted PR op, while the other junior celebs seem to be having very organic journeys. Maddie’s due to make an appearance next week…

Spoiler alert! We’ll see the “10” paddle for the first time tonight 🙂 A few more spoilers here.

Costumes look fun.

Miles is doing the theme from “Space Jam”.  I’ve never actually seen Space Jam, but I know everyone seems to love  it. They’re trying to work some basketball moves into the dance. Miles is tied up filming Black-ish and trying to balance both shows.

Very high-energy and fun routine, with a TON of content. Might have been a section where Miles forgot choreo, but overall, IMPRESSIVE.

Adam making some basketball analogy. Val going on about how he loved Space Jam and thought it was incredible. 9’s across the board, which seems fair.

Kenzie’s crying in her package and I’m not really following why…

She’s keeping up and the song is ok, but she’s doing that same hard-hitting thing she did with her jive in Halloween week and it’s making everything feel jerky.

Adam praises her “giving herself” and says the song’s “really good”.  Val praises her for having “never done cha-cha before”. Mandy says she’s a performer and has star-quality, and encourages them to continue working on partnering.  Scores after the break…

Ok, I may have to watch that Prince-themed episode of Black-ish 🙂

Kenzie & Sage get 9, 9, 9 – I don’t think it was as good as Miles & Rylee’s dance, but go off, I guess.

Jason & Elliana up next.  My god, this kid is such a character – he’s got the Run DMC chains, glasses, tracksuit, and hat on 😛

It was a fun routine and Jason sold it well, even if he wasn’t always hitting the moves quite right. I feel like he’s going places.

Val says it had swag X 1000.  Elliana says Jason is “an 80-year-old trapped in an 11-year-old’s body”.  Mandy praises him for dancing “out” of  his body. Adam says he was “the leader of that dance crew”.

9, 8, 8 – probably fair.  Jason looks THRILLED.

Akash & Kamri up after the break!

Akash wants to spell a word for a his dance.  Ooo…kay. Let’s see how this works…

It’s a tad messy, but a very fun Charleston.

Mandy was impressed with how fast he switched gears from spelling to dancing, and says he’s the first one in DWTS history to do a “one-legged leapfrog over his partner”. Val says Akash “makes intelligence look charming”. Akash thanks the judges for their comments, and tells all the kids at home that “you’re never too young to do big things”. Awwww.

7, 7, 6 – Akash & Kamri seem a little disappointed.

Sky & JT doing samba after the break!

Idol, go away.

Sky riding Alan as he does push-ups. 😛 She likes this song because it pumps her up before skateboarding.

Sky handles samba hip action and rhythm better than many of the adults on the show. I loved it.

Adam says Sky’s still not pointing her toes at times, but she’s “out there kickin’ biscuits and taking names”. Val praises the content and Alan for “making the right choices”. Mandy loves “the slingshot move” and praises the execution. Sky thanks Maddie Ziegler (who was in the video for “The Greatest”) for inspiring her.

Sky & JT get 8, 8, 7 – I’m not sure what’s with Adam tonight, but that deserved at least straight 8’s.

Mandla & Brightyn up after the break, with Ariana & Artyon closing the show. Feels like a bajillion commercial breaks tonight…

I see they’re advertising a “final 4” for the finale on DWTS…guess this week is a double elim, Heidi.

Mandla wants to do “Perm” by Bruno Mars.  I really hope the judges go easier on him this week – he seems to get a raw deal with scores.

It was a fun, energetic cha-cha, but I bet the judges call out lack of content…

Val praises Mandla being his own man outside of his dad’s shadow. Mandy says she “can’t stop watching” when Mandla dances. Adam praises the creativity.

They get 8, 9, 8 – seems about right.

Frankie feels extra awkward tonight.

Why do I have to explain the difference between Frankie Muniz and Carlos Munoz to Mama Spence? 😛

Ariana & Artyon felt like they let Brandon down after Halloween week.  Brandon did a good job of coaching and encouraging them to keep trying.

The kids requested a Rolex and a camel.  Oh boy. lol

As predicted, it brought the house down. Both of them hit it hard and sold the hell out of it.

Mandy praises the jazz content which they “swagged out”. Adam says they were tough in their last critique, but she came out and showed them what makes a champion. Val hands them his “rolly-rolly-rolly”.

Ariana says she was channeling Cardi B.  Artyon yells “Beyonce!!!”

9, 9, 10 – Ariana & Artyon both in tears. Awww.  Time to watch another cry for a not-so-happy reason 🙁

Leaving us tonight: Jason/Elliana/Emma.  This was tough, cause I think that kid’s got character in spades.

Jason’s not crying! He says he’s really sad, but “thank you for the opportunity”. He’s actually handling this really, really maturely.  I’m impressed as hell…this kid’s got a bright future 🙂

November 11, 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 27, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Last night’s episode of Nightmare on Sesame Street was brought to you by the morbid/nonsensical theme and that “fake-like-you-broke their neck” move that everyone seemed to be doing.  Second week in a row I’m left feeling pretty “meh” on the whole – I think the kids on Juniors put on a far better Halloween show this week, and they taped theirs way back in August. Themes were a bit of a mess, and the only routines I felt knocked it out of the park were Milo & Witney’s contemporary and the pro teaser dance for the tour. Then again, I think there’s only two Halloween week routines in DWTS history that have really wowed me: Hinch & Jenna’s Suicide Squad Viennese waltz, and Frankie & Witney’s stalker-themed contemporary. No worries – not the last time you’ll hear me hold those two dances up for comparison in these rankings 😉

Seeing a lot of comments/concerns about the running order the past two weeks in particular, and I’ll say this: I think TPTB may have finally gotten hip to the fact that the viewers have totally figured out the patterns in running order, and can predict things pretty well based on that; thus, I think they’re scrambling things up a bit more this season, hence some pretty nonsensical running order positions. Funny how DeMarcus went from dancing last, middle of the show, and first (all the key positions) within the first few weeks of the show, but has gotten stuck in doom positions for the past two weeks; Milo also went from dancing in the doom spots the first few weeks, to either opening or closing the show the past two weeks. And I tend not to think their voting numbers have changed drastically in those times, so I doubt it’s necessarily and indicator of their success, and is more just TPTB throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks.  Likewise, Alexis’ running order has been all over the place, too, and she still seems to end up in jeopardy every week. Long story short: I don’t think the running order means much this season. Read more..

October 30, 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 4 Live(ish) Blog!!!

It’s the second week in a row where the Juniors theme has matched the theme on the adult version – tonight they’re doing Halloween, and like Disney last week, I have a feeling the kids are gonna outdo the adults again. High score spoilers here, songs and dances here. Tonight’s episode was taped on August 10.

Gonna try to type as fast as I can, but I’m also trying to eat a bánh mì and sorta-kinda read my accounting textbook.  It’s been a busy weekend, to say the least 😛

Cute opener with monster/zombie choreography.  Sage & Kenzie still look like the kids that got held back a grade or two and tower over the rest of the class.

Akash & Kamri going with a mad scientist theme. Kind of perfect for Akash 😛

It’s pretty stinking cute.  Akash has his hair gelled up and does the entire dance with goggles on.  He seems to be getting bolder on the floor and also more articulate and less nervous when he talks.

Mandy thinks its some of his best dancing so far. Adam praises him for working through the goggle issues.  Val starts down some track about chemistry, but kind of abandons it and instead tells them it was great.  They get 7, 7, 7.

Mandla & Brightyn up next.  Apparently there’s a cauldron in their dance.

Mandla seems rather shy & soft-spoken in interviews, but seems to come alive on the floor.

It’s cute and very fast, but seemed to lose a bit of steam in the middle.

Milo was in the audience that week! They must have booked him early.

Val says he’s usually hard on Mandla for content (even though Mandla has NO SAY in it) but it was great this week, and makes some reference to South Carolina.  Mandy says this was as good as his week 1 performance. Scores after the commercial. Then Kenzie & Sage dance. Aren’t they just wearing their costumes from week 2, just…zombiefied?

Mandla & Brightyn get 8, 8, 7 – not sure why Adam was the lone dissenter.

Yes, Kenzie & Sage are wearing the same costumes from week 2 – Kenzie even says they’re “monsterfied”.

I can’t be the only one that has a compulsive desire to karate chop Gleb in the throat like Miss Piggy whenever he speaks…

It was a good jive, but I’m not sure how to describe Kenzie’s technique…almost TOO sharp? It was almost too aggressive & sharp, as opposed to bouncy.

Mandy says there’s something missing, and mentions Kenzie losing focus when doing tricks. Val enjoyed it. Adam says it’s excellent and says “You look terrible, but I love it!” They get 8, 8, 9.

Troupe in fox costumes dancing to “What Does the Fox Say?” We can leave that song back in 2013, thanks.

Jason & Elliana up next doing Argentine tango.  Jason is playing a vampire and Elliana says she’s playing “an innocent girl named Patti.” Jason: “Like a secretary?” Dying.

Ok, that may have been my favorite dance so far.  Jason sold the hell out of it, and there were a bunch of subtle little movements that have become so characteristic of Emma’s choreo.  She knocked it out of the park AGAIN, despite having a weaker couple and a less-than-ideal song.

All three judges blown away and very positive about the performance. Jason does an old-school vampire impression.

8, 9, 8 – I agree.  Jason says he’s still in a dream and he cannot wake up.

Alana & Tristan up after the break…

Correction, Ariana & Artyon up next, doing paso.

Ariana can’t say paso doble, so she calls it a “Picasso”.  Artyon doesn’t know what a Picasso is. 😛

Brandon laying down the law in rehearsal!

It’s a pretty good paso. They both sell it well. Kenny Ortega in the house!

Adam says the dancing is very good, but wants to see “a greater range of emotion”.  Val agrees with Adam.  Just how are they expecting a 10 & 11-year-old to emote? Mandy makes sense of it, saying that there was a lot of “hard-hitting moves” and they want to see more than that.

They get 7, 8, 7 – boys, you’re being stingy. Cut it out.  Should have had at least another 8.

Alana & Tristan up next, doing jazz to Ghostbusters. Cameo by apparition of Len in their rehearsal package 😛

I am beyond tired of “Ghostbusters” used in Halloween week, but Alana & Tristan made the most of it.  Very simple, but Alana kept up and sold it well. And they get slimed at the end 😛

Val commends the body roll.  Mandy says she did everything necessary for a jazz.  Adam continues his mall analogy from the past two weeks – in week 2, it “looked like she was walking at a mall”; last week, “the mall was closed”; this week, “if there were any ghosts at the mall, I’d definitely call you.” They get their scores after the commercial.

Artem trying like hell not to get slimed by getting hugs from Alanna & Tristan.  They get 7, 7, 7 – probably a bit kind, given the other scores they’ve given out tonight.

Sky & JT doing jive to “Little Shop of Horrors”.  God these two are beyond cute. Sky struggling a bit with the choreo.

Alan so proud of his kids.  Daaaaaawwww.

It’s actually super cute, and they sell it 110%.  Take note, Gleb – that weak ass “jizz” you choreographed for Jana just got bested by two minors. Loved the back bend walk.

Judges all very complimentary. Sky thanking Alan & JT for “being so patient with me.  I just love these people.” They get 9, 9, 8  and are squealing for joy.

Miles & Rylee closing the show after the break…

They’re in a candy haze prepping for their samba.  Miles has an orange tootsie roll up his nose. 😛

WOW.  Miles actually really nailed the samba technique – perhaps better than Artyon, a junior pro, did last week.  TONS of content. He & really out of breath.

Judges all very positive.  Mandy says we’re witnessing a transformation.

No Juniors next Sunday, y’all.

They get 9, 9, 9 – high score of the night.  I think it’s fair.  His & Jason’s dances were my faves this week.

Heading home: Alana & Tristan

Poor thing is in tears and seems shocked. This never gets easier 🙁 Interesting to note that the only kid so far that HASN’T cried when they were eliminated was Tripp.

October 28, 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