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PureDWTS Season 25, Week 6 – Power Rankings

I’m not exactly sure who at DWTS this should be directed towards (Mandy? The producers? Val/Maks/the male pros as a whole?), but here goes:

Exactly how high and out-of-touch with reality were you when you decided on the concept for the opening pro dance for movie week???

Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve witnessed such a gauche, tactless move on this show since…well, ever. And this show has had its fair share of snafus over the years. In the past two weeks, Hollywood has basically had roof blown off of it with 20+ years of Harvey Weinstein’s misogynism and sexual misconduct coming to light, and 30+ women have  come forward with stories of his unwelcome advances in exchange for “furthering their career”; it has really brought the issue of men basically ruling Hollywood to the forefront, and illustrated just how so many women in the industry live constantly under the boot of the patriarchy and have to really fight for representation. So what does DWTS do? Choreographs an opening dance that paints Val as a bright, new, MALE screenwriter, auditioning for a room full of MALE directors, producers, and studio heads, before being given the job and commanding a bevy of doe-eyed ingenues that swoon over his every move. The dance was 3/4 the male pros showing off how awesome it was to be men in Hollywood, and 1/4 the female pros looking pretty swaying in the background and stroking the mens’ egos – and it was yet another insult to the talent of our female pros, just like most of the hair-flipping, sex kitten routines Mandy Moore subjects them to on the regular. And it basically glorified the very culture that women in Hollywood are trying so hard to fight right now – with spectacularly poor timing. I don’t want to hear justifications from anyone that this “was just how old Hollywood was, and that’s what was being depicted” – as far as I’m concerned, the time for reliving and romanticizing those days is LONG past, and for the love of all things good and pure, WAS IT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO DO THAT PARTICULAR ROUTINE THIS SEASON, OF ALL SEASONS?! So help me god, I hope people drag the hell out of Mandy for this one – there were so many other routes she could have gone, and she went with this festering turd instead.  *rings bell like Septa Unella* SHAME… *ring*… SHAME… *ring* …SHAME…

And another item to file under “really bad ideas for DWTS” – who the hell thought it would be smart to bring Shania Twain in as a guest judge??? Aside from her being neither an authority on dance nor particularly relevant to the movie theme, she functioned mainly as a random word and number generator, that spat out incoherent critiques and puzzling scores, and didn’t even sing live when she performed the song she did for a recent movie. I got shades of Idol-era Paula Abdul, trying to make sense of some of what she was saying – it was not a good look.  Just brings me back to “Why do we even need guest judges, anyway?” All the extra scores do is just make the margins smaller for next week’s elimination…which may explain why they felt the need to include a guest judge at all this week: anyone want to place bets that the double elim may come next week? And they’re basically trying to distill it down to who is getting the votes…and who isn’t? Then again, the decision to bring her in may be as simple (and dumb) as somebody high-up at DWTS losing a hand in poker and having to agree to have Shania on to pay their debt 😛

So Nick finally hit the road, and not a moment too soon – that samba was pretty cringe-y, and Nick’s “feign disappointment about getting a low score and being in jeopardy” face was getting progressively less believable with each passing week. Dude was practically halfway to the parking lot before Tom finished saying “And the couple leaving us tonight is…Nick and Peta!” I think Peta was also lightweight relieved to be done, as she seemed to be trying to keep a low profile with all of the Chmerlachey drama – and I think she’s just tired and probably very much in need of the 11-month break she’s going to get before she has to be a pro again. A baby and a marriage in the same year are big life-changers, and we saw how much a year-long break benefited Mark… Read more..

October 24, 2017 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 24, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Y’know, if I felt so inclined, I’m thinking I could probably set up some phony-baloney psychic hotline and bilk people out of hundreds of dollars an hour, because predicting this season and its manipulation has gotten SO EASY that I could probably convince some of the less-bright viewers that I’m the second coming of Miss Cleo.  Who da fathah of de bebe? 😛

But in all seriousness – my god, was last night a shitshow. The powers that be didn’t even seem to be trying to hide their hand – from the moment they started mentioning the immunity and perfect scores, you just knew they were setting it up to serve Normani on a silver platter. Poor Simone & Shad, who both had fantastic nights and were every bit (if not more) as deserving as Normani, never even stood a chance of coming near that immunity. But the fact that TPTB went out of their way to keep Normani safe does give me hope – because it seems to point to her not being able to stay safe on her own. Think about it: for the past three weeks, she’s either gotten perfect or near-perfect scores, regardless of the actual quality (or content) of her dances – and this started happening after all of our low-hanging fruit (Chris, Charo, & Mr. T) was gone.  The judges turned on the gushing, and Normani has had a decent points cushion ever since. She has never really been in a position of imminent danger of getting sent home, by virtue of her scores (and the relative underscoring of others). But now that we’re getting down to the wire, and all that’s left are people who can hang in terms of votes – it’s going to take more and more drastic measures in order to keep Normani safe.  And during a precarious week with a *gasp!* double elim, what better way to ensure her safety than granting her immunity to this week’s elim? Just food for thought – it’s entirely possible that Normani could have been one of the two headed home when you added up last week’s scores and votes. But if they handed her immunity, the next person up on the roster would have gotten sent home in her place – and I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that the most likely person she would have bumped is Nancy, who probably has more support in the main viewing demographic than Normani does. So for those of you trying to make sense of this week’s elim – I honestly think that’s a valid theory of what may have happened.  Nancy could have been the sacrificial lamb because someone else had to stay. Or hell – Normani could have actually had the lowest combined total of scores and votes, but got saved by the immunity. Don’t think it’s possible that such an awesome and “popular” contestant could have gotten sent home? How quickly some are likely to forget Heather. Just a warning: don’t assume Normani is raking in votes because she’s been sticking around. She has yet to really have her fanbase tested on this show…

…as for our two eliminees, I think Nick & Nancy both did an extremely respectable job this season, and will be missed. As I’ve said before, I found myself liking Nick & his self-deprecating sense of humor way more than I thought I would, and he was actually a pretty decent dancer, too – but I think he was understandably beginning to tire of being berated week after week for dances that weren’t really all that bad, and I think Peta is just tired, period, and needs a nap. I could not have asked for more from Nancy & Artem – she was really finding her footing and starting to take shape as a contender, and I just LOVED seeing how grateful she was for the experience; and Artem absolutely blossomed this season as a pro – it was nice to see him so supportive and connected with his partner (after a chain of iffy partnerships), and his choreo took a turn for the better. As I said before, I think they may simply have been the victim of the machinations to keep Normani around, and I do believe Nancy actually had more support within the main viewing demo of the show than Normani did; I think Nancy & Artem may just have been at a bit of a disadvantage by quietly improving week after week, rather than swinging wildly from high-highs to low-lows like some other couples did.  Their journey may not have been dramatic, but it certainly was memorable and fun to watch 🙂

And now we move on to the elephant in the room: Bonner. Saw a lot of questions of “Who the hell is voting for Bonner????” floating around, and I’ll admit, it baffled me initially, too.  But once I got to thinking about it, it started to make more sense – I’m not sure that people are so much voting for Bonner as they are Sharna.  And this, kids, could be a bit of an unforeseen side of effect of multiple seasons of screwing Sharna out of a win – more and more fans seem to be adopting the “it’s [insert pro here]’s turn to win!!!!” philosophy, and I still see quite a bit of talk from fans who thought last season should have been Hinch & Sharna’s (hell, I’m one of them). It’s possible Sharna’s still experiencing a ground swell from last season, that’s carrying she & Bonner further than expected; they also had a comparatively decent week last week, with a pretty kind score and a rumba that wasn’t altogether terrible (along with being part of a really, really fun team dance). And to reiterate a point Heidi brought up to me earlier – when you’ve got the same 2-3 people getting the lion’s share of the votes each week (likely Rashad, Simone, & David), the situation at the bottom of the leader board can vacillate from week to week. If the same 3 couples are getting the most votes week after week, and the rest of the couples are each getting roughly the same fraction of votes as one another each week, then actual rankings can vary quite a bit based on their dances.  Bonner happened to have a relatively “up” week last week, while Nick got dragged and Nancy slipped a bit. Those little fluctuations, no matter how small, have the potential to shake things up quite a bit if those further down the leaderboard are all fighting for the same fraction of votes.

Other than the obvious stuff? Mandy was an ok judge, but seemed to be just another “yes” woman and was following instructions from the control booth on how to score; I did kinda like how she seemed to frequently give a point more than the other judges, though, especially for those dances were the judges were being particularly nitpicky/stingy. I thought the opener was kinda lazy, though – was Mandy too busy getting debriefed on the responses she was to be giving each of the couples as a judge to choreograph something more interesting? Seemed like everyone got caught up a bit in some time-wasting in their dances, just by virtue of the theme, so I guess I’m giving everyone a bit of a free pass this week. The dance-offs were kind of a non-event, and seemed to be very much predetermined, down to who would win each one. Is it too much to ask to let things unfold at least a little bit organically on this show??? Read more..

May 2, 2017 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well, I guess the euphoria of having my dream contestant on DWTS would finally wear off – and this was the week that it happened.  What a three-ring circus of nitpicking, wonky scoring, and overall chaos.  From what I saw from the judges – crack is whack, and so is meth, heroin, and bath salts, apparently.  Julianne wins the “twatwaffle of the night” award, for generally just being a bit of a cranky b*tch – so in other words, she was filling in for Len.  Hooray.

Sorry, but the wrong person went home – Randy may not have been the best dancer, but he was not nearly as bad as the score he got last week OR this week…but hey, the judges need their scores & critiques justified, so they had to screw him somehow.  Absolutely no reason that he should have been forced to go first TWO weeks in a row, basically making a mad dash from the opening  number to the quickchange; and to add insult to injury, this week he had to do it after being told he was in jeopardy.  Classy, Wade. I just might have to spoil a bunch of sh*t early to get back at you…

…as for Kevin, I actually think he turned out being a pretty decent judge.  I liked that he didn’t seem like he was out to really critique anyone, and tried to see the positive in everyone’s routines.  Also enjoyed his humor, and thought it was kinda cool how he seemed genuinely moved by Bethany & Derek’s dance.  He can come back anytime and enthusiastically yell out scores 😉

1.) TIE: Bethany & Derek and Janel & Val – So the first two perfect 40’s of the season.  I feel one was deserved; the other? Meh. Felt like an awful lot of emphasis was placed on Janel & Val’s struggles with switching the routine, there was a lot of futzing around at the beginning of the routine, and then the score was almost given as a consolation prize for putting up with the crap.  Sure, Janel handled what she was given decently well – she should, given her background – but a 40? For wiping Val’s abs with a towel? Sorry, not buying it.  But hey, they seem bound & determined to make Vajanel happen, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  As for Bethany – I had been worried, after hearing that her ankle injury was still very much an issue; but thank the lord Derek was able to choreograph something that was true to Singin’ in the Rain while being feasible for her to execute.  God bless umbrella work that doesn’t go awry 🙂 And Bethany kept up, and for the first time, she really seemed 100% invested in the routine, which is what I’ve been wanting from her since the first week. I don’t see either going anywhere for awhile, but it should be interesting to see who fares better next week… Read more..

September 30, 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 19, Week 3 – A Brief Rant on “Movie Week” Issues

Since Heidi’s “Who’s Dancing What?” post is getting a tad long, I thought I had better move this over to its own post and open the floor a bit more for discussion 🙂 So as of yesterday, we received intel that Janel & Val had switched songs – they were no longer dancing to “I Feel Pretty”, and had been seen rehearsing to “America” instead.  At the time, we didn’t have an explanation as to why; but now, with some additional intel, I feel as though a bit of a rant is in order…

…but first, an explanation of what I like to call West Side Storygate.  As of Monday, we had heard that SOMEONE was dancing a Viennese waltz to “I Feel Pretty”; based on hints Derek gave during the show, we assumed it was Bethany & Derek.  However, Val actually confirmed in a post-show interview that it was he & Janel, and that he had requested the dance style be changed from Viennese waltz to jazz “in order to do the movie justice”.  Apparently he actually choreographed a pretty cool routine that was reminiscent of the big dance at the gym in the movie – the troupe was involved, they were going to have a big dance set, the works.  However, apparently later in the week (I guess Tuesday or Wednesday), the studio that owns the rights to the movie allegedly said “Whoa, hey, time out there, chief – you can use ‘I Feel Pretty’, but the dance can’t look anything like the movie!” So basically, kind of the same thing that happened to Derek in season 15, when he & Shawn were tasked with doing a Knightrider-themed bhangra…but were not legally allowed to use any elements from Knightrider.  A tough row to hoe for any pro, methinks.  So Val basically had to redo the entire thing – they switched songs, changed the set, omitted the troupe, and redid most of the choreography.  Janel picks up choreography quickly and should PROBABLY be ok in time for the show, but Val was (understandably) upset.  Which brings me to my rant…

…WHY WEREN’T ALL THE RIGHTS TO THE SONGS AND MOVIES BEING USED CLEARED PRIOR TO THIS WEEK???!!! Seems like several couples were still waiting to see what their music and dance styles would be as of Monday evening – that’s gotta be a tad stressful for the pros, who then have to scramble to adapt to themes, music, and dance styles thrown at them at the last minute.  Seems like they haven’t had this problem so much in previous season that have done a “movie week” theme – maybe we just didn’t hear about them, but I’m wondering if perhaps Rob  & Co. have tried to be a bit too accommodating to the celebs this season, and let them suggest the movies they want to dance to….and that’s resulted in some time crunches & movie/music clearance issues.  Remember, the added complication of “movie week” clearances is that you have to clear both the song AND the theme rights to the movie – and the latter category is where we encounter most of the issues.  So anywho – what are you guys’ thoughts as viewers? Would you mind seeing a dance using a song from a certain movie that really wasn’t at all reminiscent of that particular movie? Is there any benefit to letting the celebs pick what movies they want? Do we really need movie week at all? Let’s hear it 🙂

And because I’m not a total Crabby McCrabberpants…here’s a pic of Witney holding Alfonso’s adorable son.  Because ADORABLE BABIES, dammit. 😉

September 27, 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