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PureDWTS Season 18 End-of-Season Awards – Which Guest Judge Was the Best?

So now that the voting is closed on our biannual end-of-season awards, it’s time to reveal the results – and for me and my fellow mods to weigh in 🙂 So let’s get to it…


Courtney: As I think most of us suspected, Kenny ran away with this one – he seemed to be the one guest judge this season that everyone seemed to universally agree was both qualified to judge and would actually give good feedback.  And he did – my only complaint is that they held off until week 9 to have him judge, and I think by that point the feedback the judges give is almost universally positive and you rarely hear much actual criticism…so I think I would have liked him a bit earlier in the competition when he could have given some really good advice, and I wish they would have saved one of the softer judges (like Robin) for the week 9 gushing and parade of 10’s.  I actually voted for Ricky on this one, because I kinda dug that he seemed to refuse to conform to the judges’ predetermined rhetoric for each couple – the judges may have been raking Charlie & Sharna across the coals for their paso, but Ricky wasn’t afraid to say “I see what you’re saying, but I totally loved it! TEN!!!!” Not at all surprised at who ended up at the bottom of the list – although I do find it a bit funny that Redfoo beat out Donny 😛

Heidi: I’m guessing the Donny fans have learned their lesson about this site and aren’t darkening our doors anymore. Although, congrats to them, they are no longer the worst fan group to bug the shit out of us. 🙂 Kenny Ortega has CRED. Even the pros were thrilled to be dancing in front of him…and he has the ability to give them jobs, if they play their cards right. Hey, maybe he’ll make a Meryl and Maks movie. :::snort::: Although, I will say…the acting was decent. 😉

Vogue: I may be nuts (well, this you already know. lol), but, I threw my vote to Redfoo. Technically, Julianne and Kenny were the best judges, but, Redfoo was so entertaining. He game me some “moments” I won’t soon forget. He brought that “Wooooooo”‘s home and especially for Amy and Derek’s dance for just what I was feeling. What a crack up. I also enjoyed Ricky Martin. He gave Charlie and Sharna a deserving 10 despite whatever the other judges were going on about. So huge kudos to him.



June 4, 2014 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 18, Week 7 – POLL: Who’s Got the Edge in the Team Dances?

My first team dance post was getting a bit lengthy…so I decided to carry on the discussion here 🙂 I thought I’d take a look at several factors that may affect the outcome of the team dances – things that may affect scores and overall success on each of the teams.  Join me, won’t you? 🙂 And be sure to vote in the poll at the bottom!

Just as a reminder, the teams are:

Team Loca: Meryl & Maks, Danica & Val, Amy & Derek, Candace & Mark

Team Vida: Charlie & Sharna, James & Peta, NeNe & Tony


Pro Team Dance Experience:

Derek: 10 wins, 0 ties, 0 losses; average team dance score: 27.65
Mark: 2 wins, 2 losses, 1 tie; average team dance score: 24.6
Peta: 2 wins, 2 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 27
Maks: 2 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie; average team dance score: 25.5
Sharna: 1 win, 0 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 25
Tony: 1 win, 3 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 25.38
Val: 0 wins, 3 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 25.33

The writing is kinda on the wall with this one – Derek wins team dances, so he’s a real asset if he’s on your team.  Peta may not have as many wins, but the teams she’s been on have pulled in high enough scores that her average team dance score is pretty high.  Mark’s average team dance score may be a bit artificially low – it was hard to account for the 4th judges’ score in season 12, so I just removed it – that ended up throwing things off a bit.

Who’s got the edge: Team Loca

Number of couples:

Team Loca: 4 couples
Team Vida: 3 couples

We only have two precedents for this one – season 9 and season 14, and there are pros and cons for both.  In season 9, Team Paso had 4 couples and Team Tango had 3; Team Tango beat Team Paso by 4 points, with Louis citing that having fewer couples was easier because there were “fewer egos” and it’s easier to get a smaller number of couples in synch.  In season 14, Team Tango had 4 couples while Team Paso had 3 – Team Tango beat Team Paso by 1 point, and Derek said that having more couples allowed them to “create more cool patterns on the floor”.  From what I’ve heard from Deep Throat so far, both teams are looking great – but it seems like Team Vida might be having an easier time with the synchronized group sections.

Who’s got the edge: Team Vida

Dance Style:

This gets a bit tricky, as the team dances are freestyles once more and obviously, none of the current celebs have any experience with the freestyle yet.  So which pros have experience with the freestyle?

Derek: 7 individual freestyles; 2 team freestyles
Mark: 5 individual freestyles; 0 team freestyles
Maks: 4 individual freestyles; 1 team freestyle
Tony: 3 individual freestyles; 2 team freestyles
Val: 2 individual freestyles; 2 team freestyles
Peta: 1 individual freestyle; 2 team freestyles
Sharna: 0 individual freestyles; 0 team freestyles

Even if they haven’t necessarily WON with every single freestyle they’ve done, I think it’s good for every pro to at least have some experience with the freestyle – and Team Loca has Team Vida beat in that respect.

Who’s got the edge: Team Loca


Team Loca: “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin
Team Vida: “The Cup of Life (La Copa de la Vida)” by Ricky Martin

This one is rather subjective, as it’s just a matter of opinion who got the “better” song.  “Livin’ La Vida Loca” has been used once before, as Kendra & Louis’ samba in season 12; “The Cup of Life” has been used twice before – once as Melissa & Tony’s salsa in season 8, once as Maria & Derek’s salsa in season 14.  Both songs are conducive to both a samba and a salsa beat; there are also certain sections of each that might work with paso doble & cha-cha.  Personally, I think all of Ricky Martin’s stuff kinda starts to sound the same after awhile – so I don’t really think either one is better than the other.

Who’s got the edge: TIE

Average individual score:

Team Loca: 25.63
Team Vida: 25.11

This is kinda reaching, but since everyone on the same team gets the same score, it might be worthwhile to look at what their average individual score is as a team.  Not a vast difference between them – I would not be surprised if whoever won this team dance won it by only 1 point.

Who’s got the edge: Slight edge to Team Loca…but not by much

COURT’S OVERALL THOUGHTS: On paper, everything seems to be stacked in Team Loca’s favor: they’ve got great choreographers, great dancers, and are getting along well.  Apparently Val is even refreshed at how good it feels to work as a team 🙂 But I just can’t shake the feeling that Team Loca is being set up to lose – seems like a lot of emphasis is being placed on the fact that Derek has NEVER lost, and according to our sources, Team Vida is looking really good.  We’re also at the point in the season where any potential dark horses (namely James, and to a lesser degree, Charlie) could have a bit of a growth arc and surge into the lead.  Gotta love storyboarding.  If they aren’t deliberately setting Team Loca up to lose, I would imagine the teams are going to be very, very close in score.

So what are your thoughts? Who do you think has the edge…and who do you think will actually end up winning?

April 24, 2014 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 18, Week 6/7 – Let’s Talk Team Dance Picks

So if my spidey sense is correct, the teams for the team dances next week will probably get picked immediately after the show tonight, and they’ll head directly into rehearsal immediately after that – and there are a number of ways the teams could get divided up.  Since so many of you were chomping at the bit to start discussing it in detail after my “What Left to Dance?” post – here’s a place to do just that.  🙂

First, a bit of an overview: the team captains have always been the two celebs who have the highest cumulative point total for the season, and they usually flip a coin to see who gets first pick (or, whoever wins the toss gets a choice between picking first or picking their song/dance first).  Because the cumulative point total will ultimately determine the team captains, pay close attention to how Meryl, Charlie, & James are scored tonight – as of right now, Meryl is in the lead with 134 points; Charlie trails by 3 points at 131, and James is a mere 2 points behind him at 129.  Based on how they’ve been scoring Meryl, I don’t see her getting bumped out of that top spot, so I would venture a guess that she will definitely be one of the team captains; however, if Charlie has an off-night (and James kills his quickstep), we could potentially see James bumping Charlie out of the #2 spot in order to go up against Meryl as the other team captain.  Hell, I would even say there’s an outside chance (wayyyy outside chance) that Amy or Danica (particularly Danica) could swoop in and knock both Charlie & James down a notch and take that #2 spot, since they’re both tied at 128.  But my gut tells me that TPTB are too in love with the idea of Meryl vs. Charlie, and so they’ll probably go out of their way to ensure that Charlie stays at #2…which may mean low-balling James and giving Charlie a pretty cushy score. Read more..

April 21, 2014 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 17, Week 2 – Power Rankings

I’m in a bit of a strange position this season – I find myself liking just about everyone, and I think it’s making it hard for me to predict who’s next on the chopping block 😛 I probably rewrote my list of rankings 4 times before deciding on this…and I’m not even 100% confident in this list! So take it with a grain of salt…because things are just kinda murky right now 😛

I think Keyshawn going home was for the best – I just don’t think he had the necessary time to devote to the show this season, and I wonder if things would have been different if he had been on the spring season instead of the fall one.  I do get the feeling now that he was really trying – but just wasn’t sure how to connect to the audience. Oh well – I wish him the best, and hope we still get to see Sharna from time to time this season. Glad I got to keep Bill E. though 🙂

1.) Corbin & Karina – A very cute, clean, energetic jive, made good by the fact that Corbin just seems so enthusiastic about every dance he does.  I thought the song was a little odd (an opinion shared by Chelsie, who also tweeted “weird song to jive to”), but the overall presentation & theme were cute – probably a good idea to play off of Corbin’s HSM background.  My only complaint? In an odd twist, Corbin actually actually seemed a bit too sharp on some of the flicks & kicks – I’m usually complaining about the celebs being a little lazy on their kicking & flicking, so this was actually a pleasant change of pace! Will be interesting to see how Corbin handles a ballroom dance next week – I’m wondering if he might be someone that just KILLS it in the Latin, but stumbles a bit in the ballroom.

2.) Amber & Derek – A bit of a backslide for these two this week, which I still partially blame on their overscoring last week.  While I wished Amber’s technique was a bit better in this jive (and that she had worn ballroom shoes, which probably would have helped her kick & flick more easily), once again she had great energy and really sold the performance – and she actually stayed pretty well on-time, which is more than I can say for some of the other couples tonight.  I have a feeling she & Corbin will be taking turns at the top from week to week, so it will be interesting to see who fares better with a ballroom dance – I have a feeling she’ll be doing ballroom as well next week.  Read more..

September 24, 2013 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

DWTS 16, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Well that was a craptastic (and trippy, and nonsensical) evening.

Seriously, powers that be, trash the Latin night theme, because it just feels clichéd and ridiculous now.  And dammit, if tonight were a poker game, TPTB would have been the poker rookie that was giggling and smirking like the cat that ate the canary, betting too high, too soon, and then falling out of your chair and inadvertently showing me your royal flush as you flailed – yeah, it was pretty obvious who you wanted to stay and who you wanted to backdoor.  And the immunity dance? We already knew that was a turd wrapped in tinfoil, but thank you for actually confirming it.  Let’s get down to it so I can take an Ambien and forget today ever happened…

1.) Kellie & Derek – A bit of a gimme, considering they won immunity and can’t be sent home tomorrow – and to be honest, that samba was not Kellie’s best dance, nor do I think it was 10-worthy (but then again, I don’t think any of the 10’s we saw tonight were truly deserved).  The technique was there – she handled the samba runs, stationary walks, and rolls without any issues, and she stayed on-time.  But I’m guessing that Derek was maybe feeling the weight of having to practice 4 dances with Kellie this week, because it probably wasn’t his most inspired piece of choreography – aside from the clever little slo-mo section in the middle, it got a bit repetitive…Derek sure does love those counter-clockwise torso gyrations, side-by-side 😛 Tonight may as well have been “Pssst…your tic is showing” night for some of the pros…but we’ll get to that later.  As for Kellie – she kept up, but I do agree that she wasn’t quite “there” for the whole dance…maybe it was nerves, or just trying too hard to remember her steps.  But if this was her “off” week and she still got the high score AND immunity, I doubt she or Derek is losing sleep over it 😉

2.) Zendaya & Val – Get ready, because pigs may start flying: I actually think Zendaya was underscored, especially given that Jacoby got the same score for a dance that was, by comparison, rather messy.  HOWEVER, that’s not to say it was 10-worthy, either – I guess if they were gonna give Zendaya a 27, then Jacoby should have gotten a 25.  And tonight, I think Val’s “tic” was also on display: as I mentioned last week, he has a real affinity for what I call “dead space” – pauses in the dance that are meant to add dramatic effect, but inadvertently end up looking like the dancers just standing there doing nothing, and it kind of slows down the momentum of a dance and gets a bit…boring.  There also seemed to be quite a lot of separate flamenco-style moves, as opposed to them moving as a couple, which was odd – I think he had the right music & the right set-up, and the right partner for a really dynamic, dramatic dance…but he may have blown it a bit on the choreography.  Not sure what judge said it, but the only real problem Zendaya had was kind of over-tucking (?) her chin in an effort to look dramatic – it’s kind of a rookie paso mistake, just like freakishly looking at the ceiling in tango is a rookie mistake. Val was probably wise to obscure her legs, which continue to be a problem, as evidenced by her jive tonight…and what was with the sneakers??? She didn’t wear sneakers for her first jive…why wear them now? As for them picking Jacoby & Karina for the immunity challenge – I have two theories: one, they were out to prove something; or two, they were told who to pick by someone higher up, which actually wouldn’t surprise me, given how much funny business there was tonight.  I daresay their jive matchup with Jacoby & Karina was the only exciting one tonight.  I don’t see them going home this week, but I’m curious to see what the next few weeks leading up to the finale bring – especially since Zen has already burned through every Latin dance except the one most obviously awkward for her: the rumba. 

3.) Aly & Mark – Did Aly go for it in her salsa? Yes.  Was it fun? Sure.  Was it 10-worthy? Hell no.  If we’re going to call Jacoby out for a  salsa that was basically fluff, and just a bunch of gyrating, then we’ve got to call Aly & Mark (or mainly just Mark) out for it, too.  Hell, for the first 20 seconds or so, I thought I had just heard wrong, because it felt more like a merengue or a samba than a salsa – awful lot of bouncing going on.  A lot of shimmying, too – and the crawling on the floor? Errr…I guess it was…cute? I’m not even sure how to describe it.  Lots of fun, yes, but it was a salsa only in name, really.  Then here they come, picking the obvious “gimme” in the immunity dance – Andy.  In Mark’s defense, though, I think anyone picking Andy probably would have looked like a bit of an asshole – I love the guy, but I have no disillusions about him being the weakest dancer left.  That said – I still think they could have picked either Sean or Ingo and still won their matchup, and left the remainder to go up against Andy.  But here’s the strange thing about their immunity cha-cha: was it just me, or was Mark obscuring our view of Aly for quite a bit of it? Yes, we’ve long said there are Muppets running the show, but this even looked like a pretty rookie mistake for the cameramen to make.  I still doubt Andy would have won even if our view of her was unobscured, but it just bugs.  Anyway, I doubt they’re going anywhere, since they topped the leaderboard in a week where the bottom is pretty damn far away…

4.) Jacoby & Karina – Yes, I acknowledge that a 27 was probably a point or two too high for this salsa – while it was very fun and Jacoby actually handles some of the more intricate steps pretty well, the overall feel was a bit chaotic.  Side effect of losing a full day of practice? Who knows – but Jacoby does best all of the other guys still left when it comes to doing lifts.  As for the immunity dance – Heidi tweeted and asked “Why the hell did Jacoby chose jive??? He could have won with rumba!!!” and the only good answer I have is that Jacoby just really, really loves his jive…and loves the audience response he gets from it 😛 I’m starting to get the feeling that he is not as hungry for the MBT, so much as he is hungry for just a lot of fun (and there’s nothing wrong with that!)…and while I would love to see him walk away with that trophy on finale night, I’m beginning to wonder if he’s determined enough to really put in the effort to get up to Kellie & Zendaya’s level, technically.  Time will tell 🙂

5.) Sean & Peta – All I really remember from both of the rumbas he did tonight was Peta’s choreography tic: slow, slow, FLAIL!, slow, kick your leg up, FLAIL! FLAIL! FLAIL! Aaaaand slow, dramatic arm extension.  Seriously, watch her rumbas (and Sean’s Viennese waltz) – she will do 3-4 sections of slow moves, punctuated by 2-3 really fast, choppy, overdramatic moves.  I guess you can call it “guerrilla rumba” – just when you least expect it, BLAM! Dramatic arm in your face 😛 I will say this, though – I think Sean did a better job of actually moving around than Ingo did, and while Peta did do a lot of dancing around him, it wasn’t quite as obvious as it was with Ingo & Kym.  But calm down there, killer – Sean about flung Peta into the audience on that spin-turned-lift.  I would say his immunity rumba with Ingo was probably the most evenly-matched of the night, but it wasn’t particularly exciting – wasn’t terribly invested in either guy.  But I was a bit surprised that they gave that one to Ingo – was sure they would fall for the drama & faux-passion of Sean’s rumba AGAIN.  Which kind of begs the question for me: did they deliberately leave things pretty even between the two ABC guys? I think it could be almost a toss-up between the two of them in the bottom 2, but my gut is telling me Sean might be safe this week (blech).  I’d love to be wrong, and I’d love for him to go home – because as someone here put it, he’s like Willard from Footloose – except he’s not really that charming. 

6.) Ingo & Kym – Well, I give props to Kym for looking hotter tonight than she has all season – I think she was probably wise to pull out the blood red fabric and show some leg…and abs…and awesome boobage tonight, on a night where Ingo’s rumba just kind of fell flat.  I feel like I say this every week: Ingo seems to try really, really hard, but it just never seems to translate into significant results on the dance floor…especially in the Latin dances, where he just has super-stiff hips.  But in contrast to Sean, who seems to benefit from a lot of smoke & mirrors and flash & trash from Peta’s choreography, I do feel like Ingo actually TRIES to get the right technique…so I have to applaud that.  His rumba, while awkward, thankfully didn’t feel as contrived and phony as Sean & Peta’s.  But again – why switch gears and give the immunity dance to Ingo & Kym, when both guys basically did the same routine again, and Sean scored higher the first time around??? I’m not particularly invested in either guy, but it’s just yet another thing that happened tonight that seemed…off.  But anyway – I’m thinking Ingo might take a spill into the bottom 2 tomorrow night, although I’d love for it to be Sean instead.  He hasn’t been there – yet – but I have to wonder if his jeopardy appearance a few weeks back was a warning.

7.) Andy & Sharna – First of all, can I just say how much it gave me warm fuzzies to see some of the Kellie fans throwing their votes to Andy after it was announced that Kellie got immunity? 😀 Restores my faith in humanity a bit, which I really needed after a sh*t day at work, and an even sh*ttier time watching tonight’s show – I’m not a particularly vengeful person, but I’m getting to the point where I’m hoping karma bites the judges in the ass.  Carrie Ann’s weave gets horribly knotted & the paps get a pic of it looking nasty, Bruno’s Maserati gets a BIIIIG ol’ scratch right down the side of it, Len gets a bad batch of Marmite and ends up with food poisoning – because these three stooges have reached a whole new level of LOW with some of the comments they threw at Andy.  We get it, judges, Andy’s the weakest dancer left and he gots ta go – but jeez, way to rub both lemon juice & salt in the poor guy’s wounds.  As non-technical as this rumba may have been, it was clever, and it played to Andy’s strengths as a performer – and you can’t deny that it was kinda cute and fun to watch.  So there was no need for comments like Bruno’s, where he wished he “could forget that dance”.  Pssssh…I wish I could forget your leathery-ass face, Bruno, but I don’t say it out loud…until now.  😉 And I have to wonder if Andy may have been better off picking the jive as their immunity dance, because while his rumba wasn’t good – his first cha-cha wasn’t, either.  But anyway – I think they got pretty hosed with their score, and didn’t manage to scoop up any points in the immunity round, so barring a miracle (and I like to believe in miracles!), I think Andy is toast tomorrow – but once again, I’d love to be wrong.  Andy just makes me smile so much 😀

 So were you guys as disenchanted with Latin night as I was? And what did you think of the immunity dances?

April 29, 2013 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

DWTS Season 16, Week 7 – Latin Night or Survivor (Washington Times Blog)

Dang, that’s a great title. I SO wish I had thought of it. 🙂  Gayle Falkenthal at the Times has many of the same questions about tonight that we do – and thanks for the props, Gayle. We appreciate it.  Click the link to read the whole article – I’ve put a small excerpt below:

This week, DWTS fans assumed they would get a gimmick free week of nothing but classic Latin ballroom dancing from the competitors. All the couples have danced at least one Latin style so far, but they will get to explore something new this week and work hard to master the specific style assigned to them.

Not so fast, twinkle toes.

According to ABC’s news release, the remaining seven couples will perform their assigned Latin dances. The top couple based on the judges’ scores will be safe from elimination for the week (i.e., the couple gets immunity). The remaining six couples will then participate in a Dance Off. They will compete against another couple doing either the Cha Cha Cha, Jive, or Rumba. The judges will pick a winner from each pair, and the winner will add three points to his or her score.

The couples scoring second through fourth get to pick their opponents. How will they choose? It would make sense to pick off the competitor you think will score lowest. For example, if Kellie comes in second, she’s likely to pick Andy Dick as her opponent. How the dance style gets assigned isn’t clear. Perhaps the couple who gets picked to compete gets to choose the dance style.

I Written By

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

Dancing with the Stars 2012 Latin Week Music

Dancing with the Stars season 2012 latin week music is here!! Time again for the list of Dancing with the Stars Music. Here’s the list of DWTS music from tonight’s show:

Jaleel & Kym danced a Samba to the song “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” Rhythm Is Gonna Get You - Greatest Hits—Gloria Estefan
Melissa & Maks danced a Salsa to the song “Aguanilé” Aguanile - El Cantante (Music from and Inspired by the Original Motion Picture)—Marc Anthony
Maria & Derek danced a Salsa to the song “The Cup of Life” Rave Intro / Drop It On Me / Lola Lola / The Cup of Life Medley - Ricky Martin... Live Black & White Tour—Ricky Martin
Katherine & Mark danced an Argentine Tango to the song “Tanguedia II” Tanguedia II - The Soul of Tango - Greatest Hits—Astor Piazzolla
Gavin & Karina danced a Samba to the song “Sweetheart from Venezuela” Sweetheart from Venezuela - Pure Gold—Harry Belafonte
William & Cheryl danced an Argentine Tango to the song “Buttons” Buttons - PCD—The Pussycat Dolls
Gladys & Tristan danced a Samba to the song “Fiebre” Fiebre - Puro Teatro - A Lady and Her Music—La Lupe
Roshon & Chelsie danced a Salsa to the song “Bumpy Ride” Bumpy Ride - Bumpy Ride - Single—Mohombi
Donald & Peta danced an Argentine Tango to the song “Sin Rumbo” Sin Rumbo - Vivo en Otros Aires—Otros Aires

April 16, 2012 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

Pure DWTS Cookbook – Season 14, Week 5 Edition!

It’s a little late, but as promised, here is our first installment of our “PureDWTS Cookbook” series.  This week, in honor of Latin Week, I opted to go with some Latin-themed recipes.  The first comes to us courtesy of Deidre, and it’s for Cuban Pork – which is what I bet Cheryl is hoping for before season’s end (Did I go too far? nah ;-)).  This one requires a bit of advanced preparation, so you might wanna start this one today in order to have it ready for the results show tomorrow 🙂

Slow-Cooked Cuban Pork


(1) 8-10 lb bone-in pork shoulder (make sure it fits into your slow cooker!)

1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

1/3 cup lime juice + 2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp olive oil

(8) whole, peeled garlic cloves (or 1 tbsp dried garlic)

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp dried oregano leaves

1 tbsp or more fresh ground pepper

(2) tsp kosher or sea salt

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional) + 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (not optional)

2 stems (no  leaves!) fresh cilantro (optional)

2 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar

1/2 tsp dried mustard powder

2 drops liquid smoke (optional)


Drizzle olive oil in slow cooker bowl.  Rinse pork with cold water; place in bowl and coat on all sides with olive oil.

Sprinkle fat side-up shoulder with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, &1 tsp  red pepper flakes.  Spoon the orange juice concentrate on top, and pour 1/3 cup lime juice around the edges of the roast.  Throw garlic cloves in around the roast, and add the cilantro stems (if you’re using them).  Cover the cooker and let the roast cook on high heat for 1 hour; after that, turn to low heat and cook for an additional 12 hours, or until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork.  Turn off slow cooker and transfer covered bowl to the fridge.  Let meat rest in fridge overnight.

Use a spoon to scrape the congealed fat out of the slow cooker bowl.  Transfer pork shoulder to cutting board, and reserve the juices remaining in the bowl.  Pour juices over fine mesher strainer over a saucepan; discard any solids left in strainer. Add the (2) tsp lime juice, white vinegar, minced garlic, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, mustard powder, and liquid smoke to the juices.  Bring to boil over medium high heat and allow to boil until reduced to 1/4 the starting volume.  Set aside.

Pull bone out of pork shoulder and discard. Scrape as much fat as you can from the outside of the pork shoulder, and as remove as much fat as you can from the roast itself without wasting meat.  Using your hands or two forks, shred the meat into small pieces.  When fully shredded, transfer to 9″ X 13″ baking dish.  Pour reduced juices over meat; tightly cover pan with foil and bake at 325 F for 25 minutes, or until heated through.  Serve on hot flour tortillas, with mango salsa and black beans (if desired).

For the mango salsa or black bean recipes (and great step-by-step pictures of how to make the pork!), visit Foodie with Family 🙂

I’m still hunting for a good Latin drink or dessert recipe…if you guys send me one at, I might add it here before showtime tomorrow 😉

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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