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PureDWTS DWTS Juniors Season 1 – Court’s Week 2 Post-Mortem

I wasn’t originally planning to do a post-mortem this week, but given the site issues we had last night (which should be fixed now – please let us know if you’re still getting a message about our security certificate being expired) and the fact that last night’s episode moved ridiculously fast, I thought I better sum up my feelings…

Trying to fit (10) dances into (1) hour was perhaps a bit ambitious. I could barely keep up on the live blog – I was trying to verbalize how I felt about a dance, while still keeping my ears peeled for what the judges were saying, and hopefully getting enough of the general gist of it before having to scramble to report the scores.  Last night moved at a breakneck speed – by the end of it, I felt like I had been shot out of a cannon. Made it hard to remember all of the dances…at least last week, the pace was a bit more leisurely, so we got a chance to really get to know the couples. I worry that the shows are going to continue to be rushed for at least the next few weeks – seems like things won’t calm down a bit until they narrow it down to at least six couples.

Judging felt rushed, so not sure anyone really improved. Since the judges were just as rushed as the show was, I’m not sure there was really even room for improvement – Val’s critiques felt even less focused this week (hell, even a passing “work on your technique” would have been better than the rushed “it was good” of this week), Mandy tried to stay on-topic (but she struggled to be concise), and Adam had a couple gems but mainly just a bunch of forgettable “it was great!”-type lines.  Part of me is thinking this is part of the reason why the judges picked feel like such an afterthought: TPTB knew there wouldn’t be a ton of time for them to actually judge, so they just said “F*ck it, let Val have his ‘judging’ position, throw Mandy & Adam in there, and be done with it. They’re only going to have a max of maybe 15 seconds to judge a dance, for the bulk of the season.”

However, judges’ critiques are NOT a time to call out your fellow pros for lack of content. This week, it was Cheryl on the receiving end of Val’s “tsk, tsk”-ing over lack of content.  Which is borderline hilarious, considering Val has become the king of time-wasting non-dancing on the regular show, and Cheryl has far more years of this show under her belt than Val.  But I digress – it’s not of ANY benefit to these kids to have the judges (or really just Val) picking on content, which they have no control over. If it really gets his goat, he can go pull the “offending” pro aside after the show to hash it out. Stick with critiquing the kids – especially since you have such a limited time to judge, anyway.

When you have TINY voting samples, unexpected things can happen. So needless to say, last night’s elim was…shocking. Shocking-ish, but when you consider that the amount of people voting is TINY compared to the regular show, it really puts things in perspective.  The audience capacity of the studio is 838 people; when you take into account that friends/family of the celebs/junior pros/pro mentors cannot vote, that number gets even smaller – it may be only 500 votes total determining who stays and who goes, so it could easily come down to only one vote determining who gets eliminated.  Hudson & Kami had four couples that were below them on the leaderboard, and two couples they were tied with; however, I’d argue that three of the four below them had big personalities that left a lasting impact, as did the two couples they tied with.  Hudson & Kami, while being cute and doing a good dance, seemed to fade into the woodwork a bit – and this microcosm of DWTS Juniors just really re-illustrates what we’ve been saying about the voting on the regular show: you’re better off being memorable, for better or worse, than you are being quiet, compliant, and potentially forgettable. But I think they did a respectable job, as did Hayley as their mentor.

Some of the bigger personalities that aren’t such great dancers seem to be making more of an impact than the better dancers that aren’t as outgoing. The three that come to mind in particular are Alanna, Akash, & Jason – probably the three weakest dancers left, but also EXTREMELY memorable and likeable. Sophia, on the other hand, is actually a great dancer, but is so shy that she’s barely a blip on the radar.  Kenzie has a weird hollowness to her dancing, where she’s doing the moves well, but almost seems robotic in her personality (kind of the same problem I’m currently having with Juan Pablo on regular DWTS).  Sky, Miles, & Mandla are slowly coming out of their shells, and also dancing well; Ariana (and really, Artyon too) is just an absolute firecracker that also is a great dancer. I hear a lot of talk about Alanna, Akash, Jason, and Ariana – not so much about Kenzie or Sophia.  Coincidence?

Any thoughts about last night’s show?

October 15, 2018 I Written By

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

PureDWTS DWTS Juniors, Season 1 – Week 2 Live(ish) Blog!!!

Well we had a pretty good time with the premiere last week, and the general sentiment (at least around here) is that Juniors is turning out far better than many of us thought it would, which makes me happy 🙂

Tonight’s episode was taped on August 2nd, and was the only episode of Juniors to be taped on a Thursday (instead of the Fri/Sat taping schedule of the rest of the season).  Why? Because Kenzie had to perform at another engagement on Saturday the 4th, so they rearranged the taping schedule to accommodate her. Interesting. *sips tea* Theme tonight is “songs from the year the junior celeb was born” – if you want to feel old now, rather than later, go check out the song/dance list here. And if you’re in a spoiler-y mood, you can see who the high scorers tonight will be here.

If you haven’t checked out my premiere post mortem, I recommend doing so…I’m interested to see what, if any, changes we see tonight.  Will Val give more lucid critiques? Will the “Kenzie definitely is not a dancer, pay no attention to the fact that she seems to dance really well right off the bat!” song and dance continue? Will the kids keep doing Fortnite dances? 😛 Read more..

October 14, 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 2 – Who’s Dancing What?

Trying to let the stickied posts breathe a bit, but it looks like this is going to be an ongoing struggle as DWTS27 and DWTSJ1 air concurrently 😛 Here’s the songs and dances for Sunday night’s show, which was taped August 2nd; go here for spoilers on who the high scorers were.

Couples are all dancing to songs from the year the junior celeb was born in.

Akash & Kamri (mentored by Witney) – cha-cha (song: “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz from 2010)

Ariana & Artyon (mentored by Brandon) – jive (song: “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne from 2007)

Alana & Tristan (mentored by Artem) – cha-cha (song: “Don’t Cha” by The Pussycat Dolls from 2005)

Hudson & Kami (mentored by Hayley) – paso doble (song: “4 Minutes” by Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake from 2008)

Jason & Elliana (mentored by Emma) – jive (song: “Shake It” by Metro Station from 2008)

Kenzie & Sage (mentored by Gleb) – quickstep (song: “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” by Jet from 2004)

Mandla & Brightyn (mentored by Cheryl) – salsa (song: “Pump It” by The Black Eyed Peas from 2005)

Miles & Rylee (mentored by Lindsay) – Argentine tango (song: “I Don’t Want To Be” by Gavin DeGraw from 2004)

Sky & JT (mentored by Alan) – cha-cha (song: “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga feat. Colby O’Donis from 2008)

Sophia & Jake (mentored by Sasha) – foxtrot (song: “Love Story” by Taylor Swift from 2008)

 

Thoughts: god I’m old. When I first heard “I Don’t Want to Be” I was playing cornhole on the lawn of Kappa Sigs my freshman year of college. One of my coworkers at my first (shitty) job out of college used to play “Shake It” on repeat in the office break room. And I’m pretty sure I would hear “Dynamite” at least 10X on a Saturday night while bar-hopping in downtown Indy during my “party girl” phase. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my pajamas by 8 PM, washing down my daily dose of ibuprofen with some Earl Grey. 😛

October 12, 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 – Court’s Premiere Post-Mortem

So last night was the premiere of DWTS Juniors – if you didn’t tune in live, you can get a synopsis of sorts from my live blog here. Even though I had an idea of what to expect headed in, there were of course some nuances that didn’t come to light until I actually got to watch the show myself.  So here’s my general impressions after watching last night’s show:

These kids are all giving it 110%. Every single one of those kids was giving it their best shot last night – even the ones that maybe aren’t natural performers. That’s something to be commended, as I can recall more than a few adult celebs on DWTS who clearly were not putting in their best effort during their seasons.  All of the junior celebs, all of the junior pros, and most of the pro mentors are really putting their hearts into this, which I appreciate.  It’s nice to watch a show where everyone’s so invested 🙂

Val is not very good at verbalizing what he wants to see as a judge. I know a lot of fans were insistent that Val would be “a great judge”, because “he’s so good with kids” (is he…?) and “he has competition experience” (so do most of the other pros), but for reals – he was probably the most vague of the three judges, and couldn’t seem to articulate specific critiques for the kids.  These aren’t adults that have enough experience with the subtleties of human language that they’re able to deduce less-than-obvious things that the judges may be trying to tell them – these are kids that need to have things very explicitly stated for them, in concrete, non-abstract terms.  You can’t really tell two 9-year-olds “work on your technique”; be specific: “I want to see more rise and fall and heel leads”, “work on your frame and keeping your posture up”, “I want to see you using your hips more”, etc. Even Len at the very least calls out specific examples when he’s complaining about technique.  Possibly the most confounding comment I heard from him last night: “I want you to embody the dance more.” It was said to Miles, after his salsa. I don’t think Miles knows enough about salsa to really understand what that means and apply it, and I’m guessing he probably thought he was “embodying” the dance because he performed the choreo he was given well. Even Maks, when he was at his pettiest and nitpickiest sitting behind that judges’ table, was more specific and lucid than that. And before anyone tries to pull the “but English isn’t Val’s first language!” bullsh*t: not buying it, have never bought it as a valid excuse for the many jerky things he’s said over the years, he’s been in this country over 20 years, and part of the responsibility of being a judge is being able communicate what it is you want to see – if he can’t do that, he has no business judging. I’ll be waiting to see if he improves as the season wears on…

Mandy is the saving grace of the judges’ panel. I may not always be the biggest fan of Mandy or her choreo, but my god – she was singlehandedly saving the whole panel last night, and was giving really supportive, helpful critiques to the kids. With Val being vague and Adam just kinda showboating and making flimsy analogies, it was nice to have a judge on the panel that both supported the kids AND gave them really clear, relevant tips on how to improve that the kids could understand.  I can’t remember who she said it to, but one of the junior celebs was getting ahead of the music – and Mandy gave him/her a very good tip: “if you feel like you’re getting ahead of the music, make your moves bigger – it will get you back on time.” These are the kinds of things the kids need to be hearing – very simple, concrete examples of what to do/what not to do. And Mandy was phrasing it in such a way that the kids still felt good about themselves, so her critiques were likely to be much better-received.  Also gave her props for being the only judge (and the only person on the show at all, really) to point out that Kenzie does, indeed, have dance experience. Which brings me to my next point…

Nobody is being fooled by the “Kenzie isn’t a dancer” act. Quite possibly the worst example of attempted gaslighting of the audience on this show I’ve seen in quite awhile 😛 The fact that they’re trying to bill Kenzie as a singer, and won’t even cop to her sister being a dancer (Maddie, a dance phenom, was conveniently referred to as “an artist”) is ridiculous to the point of it being almost comical – how far will they go to avoid mentioning that Kenzie has had quite a bit of dance training??? Are they going to come up with euphemisms for dance training? Is Kenzie “well-versed in rhythmic movements performed to music”? I think after she handled that “foxtrot” (in quotes ’cause after about 8 bars, Gleb basically said “f*ck it” and choreographed a Charleston/Lindy) quite easily, nobody was convinced she was a non-dancer that coincidentally managed to nail a dance on the first try. I’m interested to see if they try to keep this song-and-dance act going for the rest of the season – especially since Maddie is due to guest in Kenzie’s samba later on.  How are they going to introduce her? “Kenzie’s artist sister”? 😛

Jordan & Frankie were the right choice to host this show. While Tom & Erin’s more dry, sarcastic tone sits well with the adult version, the kids version needs a softer touch – and I think Jordan & Frankie are perfect. They’re both professional, but also have an exuberance to them that appeals to the kids and makes them not so intimidating. Frankie in particular seemed to be doing a nice job of interviewing the kids up in the box, and bringing some of shyer ones out of their shell. They also play off each other nicely, likely owing to the chemistry they built when they were on the same season AND while on tour together.

Kids sure do love the Fortnite dances. I saw quite a bit of “flossing” and “hyping” – as well as a few other dances that I’m fairly certain are from Fortnite.  It’s annoying when Bobby does it on the adult version, but I’ll give the kids a pass because those moves are likely very familiar and accessible to them 😉

Miles, Kenzie, Ariana, Sky, Sophia, & Akash seem like the ones to watch.  They’re the ones with the biggest personalities or skill sets, and some of them have both. Akash in particular has serious dark horse potential 😎

So what are your overall thoughts after the first episode??? Share ’em below 🙂

October 8, 2018 I Written By

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

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

Ok, so technically, since the show is pre-taped, this isn’t a live blog in the same sense that Heidi’s are for regular DWTS – but I am blogging it as I’m watching it…and we’re all watching it for the first time…so it’s sorta-kinda live 😉

To bring anyone up to speed that’s just joining in and knows nothing about the show: DWTS Juniors was actually pre-taped starting back in July (the episode we’re watching tonight was taped back on July 28), and wrapped on August 25. Yes, the winner has already been crowned; no, I’m not going to tell you who it is 😉 However, we do have a “what to look forward to” spoiler thread where you can find info about what the themes nights are, who the high scorers are for each episode, and other fun tidbits.  WARNING: you might run the risk of being able to deduce outcomes based on info in that post, so if you want to be completely surprised – steer clear.  If you just want a refresher on the cast (junior celebs, junior pros, mentors, judges, hosts, etc.), go here. If you want to know how the show is going to work (particularly with regards to the voting, since there is no phone voting), go here.

Thoughts headed into the show? I just hope these kids have fun and the tears are minimal 🙂 I’ve heard Jordan & Frankie are actually fantastic hosts, and all of the junior pros are adorable AND super-talented – nearly all of them are cross-trained, and the ones that aren’t seem to pick up new styles quickly. I might be a tad partial to Rylee & Artyon 😉 Read more..

October 7, 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 Dancing with the Stars Juniors Season 1 – Meet the Cast! **PROMO PIX**

You may have already seen the list on our spoiler post, but here’s the cast of DWTS Juniors season 1 – and they’re freakin’ adorable. Be sure to tune in on October 7 – I’ll be live blogging (even though the show is pre-taped), and maybe you should whet your appetite with the “What to Look Forward To” spoiler thread 😎


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September 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 Season 27, Week 1, Night 2 – LIVE BLOG!!!

So if you missed last night and are just tuning in, you can catch up with what went down last night here.  As for what’s going down tonight, an audible just got called in the last few hours that only the bottom 6 couples (in combined scores and votes after last night) will actually be dancing tonight, and the top 7 are safe and will not have to do their second dance. Songs and dance styles are here – if I had to guess, I’d say Nikki, Joe, John, Nancy, Danelle, and Evanna will probably be dancing tonight; outside chance of Milo, and long-shot shocker chance of Alexis. Which kinda sucks, because I was really looking forward to seeing Tinashe’s second jive 🙁 I don’t have all the details of how this is going to work, but I would guess the elimination will be based on last night’s scores + votes, plus tonight’s scores (for those who actually dance); either the scores for those that dance tonight get tossed out after the elim, or everyone that doesn’t dance gets a set number of points added to their total so they aren’t at a disadvantage next week (like the winner of the immunity challenges we’ve seen in the past).

Additionally, we’ve got the whole DWTS Juniors cast in the house tonight, for the formal announcement of the junior celebs – if you can’t wait, our spoiler post is here.  I think the cast announcement, six dances, Kenzie singing, and doing an actual elim is enough to fill 2 hours – plus there’s the usual filler (recaps of last night’s dances, Tom plugging whatever’s going on next week, interviews with the couples, etc.). Plenty to blog about 🙂

So who do I think is in danger heading into tonight’s elim? If you didn’t read my power rankings for night 1, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: I think Nikki is unfortunately a goner, with Joe on the bubble and John as the longshot. If Nikki & Joe get called safe pretty early on, all bets are off. I honestly don’t think these 2nd dances are going to do much in the way of changing the outcome of the elimination – if I have time tomorrow (or realistically, later this week), I may run the numbers and do a what-if analysis to see what, if any, impact they would have had.

Here we go, night #2!!!

Kind of a cool, edgy opener – no props, just the pros doing doing tango/paso with lasers. I dig it. Read more..

I Written By

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

PureDWTS DWTS Junior Season 1 – Junior Pros Start Sharing Adorable Pix with Their Mentors

I was told that DWTS was planning on formally announcing the junior pros on their Facebook page sometime today, but it appears as though that’s been scrapped in favor of the junior pros/mentors spilling the beans themselves on Instagram 😛 For anyone skeptical about the junior pro/mentor spoilers we posted – here’s your fact-check.  For everyone else – how stinkin’ cute are these kids??? I think Artyon/Brandon’s pic might be my fave – lil Artyon’s out here looking like a black Evel Knievel Jr. in his yellow jumpsuit, I heart him 🙂 #BlackBoyJoy UPDATE: Below is the video they originally posted on the DWTS Facebook page – until they realized they still had Kami Couch labeled as Makeila Lawrence…wuh wuh WUHHHHH.

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August 1, 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 Junior Season 1 – Partnership Predictions

I know some of you have been waiting on this, and I thank you for your patience – I wanted to do this right and I wanted to research thoroughly, so it took me awhile. Basically, any information you see in the tables I created that is in bold has been confirmed (names of pros/celebs participating, their ages, their heights, etc.); if it’s not in bold (be it a celeb’s name, their age, their height) it’s not confirmed, but it’s my best guess. You’ll notice we have a lot more information about the junior female pros than the male ones – the male ones, I’m flying a bit blind on, so this is me working on some hunches and general gut feelings. I’ve also included some “things to keep in mind” that influenced some of my hunches about pairings.  So with that, let’s get down to it 😎 Read more..

July 24, 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 Junior, Season 1 – Let’s Talk About the Cast (So Far)

Because it was pointed out to me that the comments are no longer open on the original post (which is supposed to happen after a post is over a month old – a nice little feature John added to prevent trolls from stirring up trouble on old, dead posts), and the original post was getting kinda long, I figured I’d move everything to a new post so everyone can discuss the recent developments we’ve posted 🙂 I’m not going to copy/paste everything from the original post, so for other details beyond the cast, go here.  And if you want to be completely surprised by the cast when DWTSJ airs starting in September, PROCEED NO FURTHER – SPOILERS AHEAD!!! Read more..

July 15, 2018 I Written By

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