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PureDWTS Season 25, Week 3 – Power Rankings

And that, my friends, is an example of how trying to shoehorn certain dances to fit a theme ends up yielding some pretty awkward, inorganic-looking dances. Overall, I would consider this the weakest of the three instances where the show used this theme – the other being in season 12 (halfway decent) and season 15 (chaotic, but okay). It felt like they were reeeealllly stretching to find songs/dances that fit well with the celebs’ (alleged) guilty pleasures, this time around.  And while we’re on the topic – I actually hate the phrase “guilty pleasure”, because really, if it brings you pleasure (and it’s not a detriment to anyone else’s well-being), why should you feel guilty about it? Lord knows society puts enough pressure on people these days to fit into certain norms; this just seems to be another way to shame people into feeling bad about what makes them happy. You love you some pumpkin spice lattes? Drink ‘em up, champ. Do you love doing the Carlton dance at weddings? That’s not unusual, bud. Does watching Superbad make you giggle uncontrollably, no matter how many times you’ve seen it? Well you’re in good company, cause it does me too, and I’m not sorry. Really and truly, unless someone’s “pleasure” involves pedophilia, misogyny, racism, homophobia, animal cruelty, or any other activity that has the potential to hurt someone else in a non-consensual manner, they shouldn’t have to feel ashamed by it in anyway.  Shame the real villains – not the folks staying in their lane and trying to do the things that bring them joy, however small it might be.

Ok, now that I’m off my soapbox, down to the business at hand: so with no elim last night, what does that mean for next week’s elim? Basically, a huge points dump from two dances means the margins are going to get even closer, and with 5 couples clustered in the 39-41 point range at the bottom, it really is going to come down to fanbase – who is getting the votes and who isn’t.  And honestly – I think it could be any one of four different couples, and I’m not at all confident picking which one. I get the feeling it likely won’t be a double elim, as some have been speculating – given that next week is “most memorable year” week, which is typically pretty emotional and usually doesn’t have an elim, I think it’s only going to be a single one, and they’ll likely save the double for later in the season (I’m guessing team dance week, or week 8 or 9, when they can use it as a tool to narrow down their ideal finale). So in light of me feeling so uncertain about next week’s eliminees, I’m putting the four couples I think it will come down to in my “danger zone” – which means that I think it could ostensibly be any one of the four headed home.

Other odds & ends? Opener felt a bit strange & forced to me – it almost seemed like they were saying swimming and science were “guilty pleasures”.  Where was Maks? Dunno, other than the fact that nobody seemed to tell the crew what was up – very hush-hush, and by writing it off as a “personal issue”, it seemed like the show was trying to sweep it under the rug and hope nobody noticed…which of course, left it wide open for fans to speculate on, and People to spin something a bit less flattering. My only opinion on the matter is that we’re not getting the full story, we probably won’t ever get the full story, and that gushing Instagram posts don’t necessarily mean all is right in the world. The invisible hand of TPTB is likely at work here… Read more..

October 3, 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 25, Week 2, Night 2 – Power Rankings

So the bar was set pretty low for the show on night #2 of this week, given that night #1 was, for the most part, a snoozefest. Did Latin Night rise to the occasion? Yes…and no.  Ehhh, sorta…I guess. If nothing else, the energy level seemed higher, though there was still some really, REALLY screwy scoring (sorry to anyone who danced in the first  half of the show – y’all were gonna get hosed, regardless), and the music department still seems to be saddling some couples with some absolutely garbage songs that have an impossibly long intro for a dance that’s already been severely truncated. Bruno seemed to be relishing the opportunity to continue his stint as “good judge” this week, to Carrie Ann & Len’s “bad judge” roles; Erin, who looked stunning on premiere night, looked more like the lead singer in a Florence + The Machine cover band last night in a dress that still has me scratching my head.

Sad to see Debbie go, but can’t really say it was entirely unexpected – I had her in my 4-couple “lost in the shuffle” club after ballroom night, while Terrell, who had an atrocious rehearsal package that I thought for sure would do him in, actually had enough support (from Cheryl’s fans, I guess) to stick around. Better to be a jerk and memorable (or at least paired with a popular pro whose fans can float you) than be polite and forgettable, I guess. I have a feeling Debbie was probably not long for this competition, though – she just looked progressively more exhausted with each dance she did, and something was probably gonna have to give by week 4, at the latest. Alan had an admirable first outing as a pro, as well, and probably earned himself a pro spot next year (side note: it feels totally weird saying “next year” instead of “next season”, when referring to DWTS…gonna take some getting used to.)

NOTE: If you’re looking for the power rankings from Monday night, go here. Read more..

September 27, 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 8 – Power Rankings

Wow…I’m honestly not even sure where to begin. I feel like last night’s show was just 2 hours of the judges/PTB spanking the viewers for not voting how they (the judges/PTB) feel they SHOULD be voting. And the judges reached new lows – between Len telling Bonner “you should have gone home already!” and Carrie Ann deciding that David’s critique was a great time to shade Rashad (disrespectful to both men, really), to every judge giving vague, rambling, directionless critiques based on absolutely nothing, my head was spinning by the end. And my blood was boiling, because I think last night things legitimately got a bit sexist, too – between the judges giving Simone a hard time about smiling too much/not enough, Val & Alan doffing their shirts and shifting focus away from Normani, Sharna & Britt begrudgingly selling their souls in that trio, and watching female pros bite their tongues and try not to show they were upset by the critiques they were getting (while a certain male pro basically acts like a mouthy teenager every week and talks back to Len), I honestly felt sickened. Heidi & I are still gonna write that sexism post I promised you guys – but at this point, I think I need a cooling off period before I’m able to discuss it without absolutely losing my sh*t.

So Bonner went home, to the surprise of basically no one – but I will say that, for awhile there, I was seriously wondering if he was safe, with as cruel as they were being to him. Two unflattering packages, a sleazy trio dance to a terrible song, getting mocked by Val & Alan, two bad scores, and Len basically calling him out to his face on live national television – it seemed to point more to “he’s sticking around, but we want to make sure that he ain’t gonna survive next week’s elim!” But thankfully, he did end up going home – especially since they decided to share a sleazy clip of him during the trio rehearsal.  Yes, he might have gotten a bad edit – but they can’t actually edit you in such a way that you say “maybe I could spank you both on the butt!” if you didn’t actually say it. Or gesture it. Anywho – bye-bye, Bonner. You hopefully freed up Sharna’s schedule so she can fly to Indy and watch Hinch in the Indy Grand Prix this weekend 🙂

And then there were four – and next week’s elim is probably gonna hurt. I think everyone left deserves to be in the finale for different reasons, and would be fine if they ended up deciding to take all four to the finale; but my initial guess that they’re aiming for a Rashad-Simone-Normani finale doesn’t feel so concrete anymore – part of me wonders if they’ve grown accustomed to the new viewers and votes that David has brought to the show, and don’t want that gravy train to end…so I still think there’s at least a slight chance he could edge out one of the three above and make it to the finals. I’m also not entirely positive who he might displace – my gut says Normani, because her voting fanbase is still untested and she seems to be the one that gets the most help in term of gushing critiques and inflated scores; but they seemed to nitpick the life out of Simone & Rashad last night – will America buy it? If some of the comments I’ve been seeing are any indicator, the answer is no – people seem especially pissed about how Simone was treated. So I guess I’m still leaning towards a Simone-Rashad-Normani finale, with David potentially playing spoiler to Normani. Read more..

May 9, 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 24, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Anyone else missing Derek & Mark (and their choreography) something fierce right about now??? Because my god – if last night wasn’t an exercise in choreographic futility for some of our pros, then I don’t know what the hell it was. On top of that, the judges seemed eerily kind to just about everyone (except Nick, which we’ll get into later), which left me with this unpleasant sense of foreboding for most of the show – like I was waiting for something bad to happen, but I wasn’t sure what.  Basically, the same feeling I had while watching the first 20 minutes of last season’s Game of Thrones finale – but thankfully, when it all played out, I felt less like Margaery & more like Cersei, because something that Heidi & I had be predicting would happen eventually, happened: Heather got outsted in a “shocking” (but not really, if you actually think about it) elimination. We had been saying she was the most likely candidate for the token “shock” elim this season, but I don’t think we were anticipating it happening this early on – I myself had her making it to at least week 7, I think. But when you take into account the turd of a routine her pro foist upon her last week, and the fact that most of the general viewing audience couldn’t really get past her basically being a professional dancer herself, she followed the basic formula for getting “Sabrina’d”: the minute a skilled dancer dips below a certain score threshold, they get sent home because they Just. Aren’t. Getting. The. Votes. If you want to see a breakdown of just how few votes Heather was getting (or rather, just how much better than Heather everyone else was doing), go reread Heidi’s Dancing By the Numbers. I wish I could say I was disappointed by a good dancer getting sent home before some less-skilled ones, but I made no secret of it that I never really found myself enjoying Heather’s performances – and it was a combination of lack of connection to the audience on her part, and just plain subpar choreography from Maks on the other. Add in the fact that Maks managed to find TWO ways to proverbially spit in Alan’s face last night, and I’m left saying “Toodles, Heather & Maks – don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!” Not gonna lie, though: part of me would love to see Alan as a pro next season, and have Maks left out in the cold – karma could be such a perfect bitch 😎

Which brings me to a few notes on demographics.  I think I warned everyone a month ago that Chris, Erika, Heather, & Normani were the four most likely to struggle with fanbase issues this season – three of them are now gone. You Harmonizers still feeling so confident about Normani’s voting fanbase? I saw quite a few folks wringing hands after it was announced that everyone on the girls’ team was in jeopardy, and many of them seemed convinced that Nancy was the one headed home.  You guys do realize that she aligns almost perfectly with the main viewing demographic of the show, right? A middle-aged Olympian with an inspiring backstory? Please help me understand why you thought a C-list-at-best, 30-something professional dancer from a 2-years-defunct teen tv show that was being given highly mediocre choreo by her partner was somehow going to outlast that Olympian, who so far has thrived and been given solid routines by her partner? It’s important to remember that sometimes, this show is about everything EXCEPT the dancing – in this case, the fact that Heather was already a great dancer didn’t matter to a lot of folks. If anything, it seemed to turn them off. They seemed to prefer Nancy’s journey to Heather’s already-professional polish. I also think Nancy has come off far more relatable and down-to-earth than Heather ever did on the show – and trust me when I say that can make a bigger difference than a few points, sometimes.

As for the rest of the show – Nick was an ok guest judge; seemed excited to be there and tried to give insightful critiques, but I think he came across a tad disingenuous at times. He also seemed like a bit of a yes-man, and had been fed a list of instructions on what to say and to whom (“Make sure you mention that Normani could win this whole thing! And don’t go easy on Nick V.!”) But I was pleased to see he gave Rashad a “10” when the other judges were whipping out 9’s – seemed to make up for Carrie Ann’s uncalled-for “7” last week. Opener seemed bland, like it was an afterthought – “Crap, what are we gonna do for the opener this week??? IDK, just…line everyone up or something…” Can’t say I missed Julianne too much – guess the Move Beyond tour didn’t leave any time for the “Ballroom is soooo different than what Heather does!” apology tour this week…and now Heather’s gone. Wuh wuh wuhhhhh. Read more..

April 25, 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 5 – Power Rankings

Well, thank god that’s over – yes, kids, I actually hate Disney week. Sue me. The first time they did it (in season 18), it was cool; but each successive season got progressively less…magical, and more…of a chore to watch. I find that, out of all the theme weeks, it’s the one most likely to force the songs to fit the wrong dances, and to get so caught up in production value that the dance becomes a bit of an afterthought, and the costumes/sets/animations/etc. dominate. Much like my general opinion of Disney these days – just overwrought with commercialization. And I kinda felt that commercial aspect last night more than previous Disney nights – some of the dances felt more like advertisements for upcoming Disney movies, or promotion for lesser-known musicians. I guess when Disney owns ABC, this is to be expected – if it don’t make dollas, it don’t make sense, kids. But I did like the intro, because it was something different – and say what you will about Alfonso, but he has ALWAYS been there for the show when they need him, whether it’s filling in for Tom when his dad died, actually giving insightful critiques as a guest judge, or just being supportive and being in the audience week after week.  I feel like he really gets a bum rap sometimes, as well as the unfair label of being the biggest male ringer the show has ever had – but that’s a discussion for another place…

And now we move onto the “stay woke” segment of the rankings – because there was some serious manipulation going on last night, and you didn’t exactly have to be a rocket scientist to see it. There was gross underscoring, gross overscoring, vague criticism not really rooted in anything substantial, vague praise not really rooted in anything substantial, and strategic placement of people in jeopardy and in safety. The funny thing is, you can really tell that there’s new EP’s at the helm – Conrad & Rob were both a lot stealthier with this kinda stuff; with Joe & Ashley, it’s amateur hour. They’re the B-squad puppeteers that were thrust into lead roles as Muppets, but we can totally see their hands up the asses of some of the contestants.  If you haven’t yet read Heidi’s post about manipulation, you totally should – it’s eye-opening. So what do I make of all of it? I think David, Rashad, & Simone are probably running away with the bulk of the votes, Heather & Normani may not be getting as many as TPTB had anticipated they would, I don’t think they’ve decided what to do about Nancy yet, and Bonner & Nick are pretty disposable to them at this point. Will their machinations work? Not to the degree they’re hoping, I don’t think. Time will tell, and I get the impression that the viewers may be wisening up to the funny business – I know a lot of the readers here have.

So Erika left us…and I’m left without a ton to say other than “oh well…it is what it is.” Her elimination has been the LEAST disappointing one to me so far this season, mostly because I tended to forget her week after week – that kind of thing tends to happen when you basically do the same dance each week, with just a few tweaks. I enjoyed her Viennese waltz last night, and was glad we FINALLY got to see a different side of her (and she even showed vulnerability!) – but it was unfortunately too little, too late. Really hoping we don’t get another “look at how rich & sexy I am!” dance at the finale. Interesting to note: her exit left us with perfectly even numbers of men & women left for the girl groups vs. boy bands team dance next week.  Coincidental or intentional? You decide. Read more..

April 18, 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 2 – Power Rankings

To begin, here is a list of things I’m totally over seeing/hearing about on DWTS this season:

1.) Explanations of how Heather doesn’t have an advantage due to being a professional dancer.
2.) Production/the judges trying to angle for a showmance between Bonner & Sharna.
3.) Len generally being cranky about anything that doesn’t fit a rigid set of standards, and scoring to “make a point” as a result.
4.) How tired Normani is/how jet-lagged she & Val are.
5.) Charo generally being unruly.

It’s only week 2, and already, all of the above items have been beaten like a dead horse. Time to find some new material, production.

Beyond all those low points, I’d rate last night about a 6/10 – not bad, per se, but still kinda bland in terms of what I’ve come to expect from DWTS.  Front half of the show was a pretty big snooze, and they seem to load the back hour with the stronger performances. One pleasant surprise: Rupaul himself in the audience, out of drag, and rooting for Charo. I daresay he’s probably wayyyy too big a get for DWTS (and given my recent talk about demographics, probably not someone who would be extraordinarily popular with the main viewing audience), but one can dream 🙂

Part of me is a tad sad to see Chris go – no, he wasn’t a great dancer, but he wanted to be there, and I had no idea he had such a serious injury.  Definitely explains a lot about why he disappeared from the public eye for awhile, and Witney sympathizing with him showed me a new, more mature side of her. At the very least, he went out on a high note, with a fun dance that he did decently well with. Maybe we can look forward to a more in-depth Night at the Roxbury-themed dance from him at the finale 😛 Read more..

March 28, 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 23, Week 10 – Power Rankings

It’s nights like last night that make me seriously question why I continue to watch DWTS, let alone write about it – because there was some seriously skeezy, very manipulative stuff going on, and the agenda could not have been more clear.  Someone on Twitter asked me last week how we get our predictions about who’s going home/how the judges are going to score/who’s going to get pimped or hosed correct so often – and last night I found myself seriously questioning whether it’s the fact that we’ve been doing this for 7 years now, and just sharpen our skills each season…or if the show has just gotten more and more obvious with their agenda, thereby just making it that much easier to predict what’s going to happen.  It’s a very disconcerting thought to be having…

…so while we’re on the topic of disconcerting things we saw last night, I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way and leave it up to you whether you continue to read after this point or not: I was very, very disappointed (and kinda disgusted) with how Laurie’s package about her grandmother’s death was handled. And before some of you turn your moral outrage to a fever pitch, know this: BEING DISAPPOINTED IN LAURIE’S PACKAGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW LAURIE HANDLED HER GRIEF, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HOW THE PRODUCERS EXPLOITED IT. The very fact that I have to even preface this commentary with that makes me seriously weary of how emotionally unintelligent some DWTS fans have become, as I witnessed on Twitter last night, and does not give me a whole lot of hope for continued intelligent discussion in future seasons. But I found the way they chose to hone in on Laurie crying, lamenting the fact that she didn’t get one more trip home to see her grandma, and then playing the clip of her grandmother wishing her good luck at the end seemed like “emotion porn” – taking Laurie’s genuine grief and cobbling it together in such a way that it seemed extra devastating, and only seemed to rub Laurie’s face in her own sorrow.  It looked like Val didn’t warn her not to watch the package before their foxtrot, because she did seem very thrown-off by it, and a little choked up during her dance.  So many people feel the need to remind me each week that Laurie “is only 16”; so yes – given that, maybe it wasn’t in the best taste of the producers to create a package that could very easily have compounded the poor girl’s guilt about not getting to see her grandmother one more time. Also saw a lot of folks on Twitter justifying it with “well they did the same thing to Bindi” –  sorry, but Bindi’s father had been gone for 9 years when she did her season; Laurie’s grandmother passed away just a few days ago.  Big difference in the way one interprets grief immediately after a death and then several years after a death, and Derek at least had the forethought to warn Bindi not to listen to her packages, lest they affect her performance. Laurie kinda got thrown headlong into it – she handled it well, but am I alone in thinking that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t in the best taste to create a package that hinged upon Laurie’s guilt about not getting more time with her grandmother…and then kinda ambushing her with it? It is possible to create a package with a theme of remembrance that doesn’t victimize those grieving – we’ve seen this show do it. And given that I’ve had people forwarding me links to interviews this morning where Val has said that he actually knew about Laurie’s grandmother dying BEFORE she did and that the interview with her grandmother happened 10 weeks ago (and not last week, as the package led us to believe), makes me all the more weary of how the show handled the whole thing.  It stinks…bad.

Moving right along to another bone of contention from last night’s show – wonky/inconsistent/agenda-filled scoring/judging that was clearly meant to shield some while disadvantaging others.  James got nitpicked, so as to justify not tying Laurie with a perfect score; Calvin got severely low-balled, so as to keep him from getting too close to Jana; Laurie got treated with kid gloves; Jana got overly kind scores & critiques.  The judges copped out and gave everyone the same score on their trio, which basically just made the margins a bit smaller – something that I don’t think would have happened if Len had been there, and needless to say I cannot WAIT to have him back next week…although I have to wonder if he will just follow the company line and only award 9’s & 10’s.  We had already kinda gotten the feeling that Terra was a goner headed into this week, and the fact that they gave her a perfect 60 for the night was the final nail in the coffin, I’m afraid – Rob Wade got his ideal finale, which did not include a little person who was actually more technically proficient than at least one of the finalists.  Sad to see Terra go, because she was a good dancer and I got the impression she really was having fun on the show – but as with many sh*ttastic things that happen on this show these days, not entirely unexpected. Read more..

November 15, 2016 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 23, Week 9 – Power Rankings

As we head into what promises to be a very historic and contentious election day, I think we witnessed something relatively historic and contentious last night on DWTS: I think we might have just seen Derek bid farewell to the show, once and for all.  Because history does repeat itself: Marilu got Nastia’d.  Got the same “bad edit” treatment that they gave Nastia a year and a half ago, which resulted in her elimination from a season that on paper, she probably could have easily won, had there not been an agenda at work. And Derek was uncharacteristically vocal about how unhappy he was with the edit they were given – so was his partner.  If there are still any concern trolls lurking here that want to comment on the “tension” or “awkwardness” or “frustration” in Marilu & Derek’s package last week, do yourselves a favor and go read the two posts I just linked to first. Then go watch season 1 of UNReal on Hulu Plus. Let it sink in.  Start to question things.  Because I’m starting to think the line between reality and script is getting dangerously blurry for some of you…

…for what it’s worth, though, I thought Marilu went out on a high note.  I think her samba was the most relaxed and in-the-zone we’ve seen her since “Most Memorable Year” week.  I think she & Derek should be really proud of how they did – and both of them can leave with their heads held high.  I think Marilu left with a bit fewer stars in her eyes about DWTS (but with a much more grounded view), and I think Derek finally got the push he needed to leave a relationship that he has outgrown and has become toxic for him (the one he has with DWTS, NOT the one he has from Marilu – I’ve noticed the Marilu detractors are big fans of deliberately misinterpreting and twisting my words).  Onto bigger and better things for both of them. And I thought Mark did a spectacular Frankie Valli vocal.  🙂

As for those that remain – I found myself rolling my eyes and yawning more than usual last night, and the bulk of the eye-rolls and yawns involved the Jana & Laurie love-fest that we were subjected to.  Make no mistake – there was an agenda behind those perfect scores.  It all but guaranteed both would make the finals, although I’m having some pretty serious doubts about Jana – this is how many times we’ve seen her as one of the last two standing up there at the end of the night? Heidi would have to remind me, but the last time we saw consecutive repeat appearances of a couple in the last two standing was Apolo & Karina during all-stars, I believe  – and they were eliminated just shy of the finale.  With last night’s theme appearing to be “history repeating itself”, I don’t think it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility that Jana could be in some pretty deep sh*t, votes-wise.  Since all that was handed out last night was 9’s & 10’s, I’m going to venture a guess that the margins are actually going to end up being rather small – meaning it’s pretty much going to be up to the fans who advances to the finals and who doesn’t.  And there could be some surprises. Read more..

November 8, 2016 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 23, Week 6 – Power Rankings

DISCLAIMER: As I write this, I am currently under the influence of some new migraine meds that have the unfortunate side effect of making me very, very foggy – if my struggle to find the word “paint can opener” the other day at Sherwin Williams was any indicator, I’m definitely experiencing some aphasia; additionally, the fact that I put a carton of coconut milk in my purse and put my iPhone in the refrigerator while putting away groceries yesterday probably points to some general absentmindedness.  So forgive me if the words don’t come as easily today as they usually do – I’m told this passes after about the two week mark, so fingers crossed…

…and perhaps it is the effects of the medication, or perhaps not, but I’m left feeling a bit unsure of what to make of last night’s show.  I guess I should have known by about the 20 minute mark that things had already gone completely off the rails – we had Pitbull prematurely scoring (and then being completely late scoring the rest of the night, and having a suspiciously hard time with those paddles), Erin making painfully obvious double entendres about Ryan’s “facials”, and Ryan trying to make black light paint a thing, but having it look more like sunburn art. Then there was that pinata that Erin was curiously insistent that everyone hit, but only appeared to be filled with glitter.  Go fig…but perhaps more peculiar was the scoring, which at times left me wondering what exactly the agenda really was.  Part of me thinks TPTB may be falling out of love with Laurie (or may at least be seeing that she may not actually be a sure thing for the win), they seem suddenly obsessed with Jana (after appearing to be rather lukewarm about her thus far this season), they seemed to very slightly ease up on their “underscore Calvin at all costs” edict of the past several weeks, they seemed to finally drop the hammer on Terra (after heaping sometimes over-the-top praise on her the first few weeks of the season), and they seem to kick their praise of James into overdrive (which even I, as a James fan, can agree was a bit too much).  Are they trying to shape their ideal finale? Or are they even taking it a step further, and shifting gears from gunning for a Laurie win…to gunning for a James win? I think it will be very, very interesting to see how things go once Len is back on the panel next week…when daddy’s away, the other three stooges seem to play; but when he’s back, they seem to get back to business.

Wish I could say I was sad to see Amber leave, but I got the impression that she really wasn’t having much fun anymore, and that she never really got comfortable being on the show – so I don’t think she was all that disappointed to go, either. I think Maks collected his paycheck and is happy to be back to being a stay-at-home-dad-to-be. I didn’t see too many fans outrageously upset, either – Amber’s exit was minimally disruptive. I’ll admit – at one point in the show, I told myself I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed if Jana left instead of Amber, but in the end, I guess I’m partially glad the former stayed, because I think Gleb is more of an asset to Marilu’s team dance than Maks ever would have been.  Speaking of which – if you haven’t yet, check out our team dance spoiler post, if for no other reason than to justify my waking up at 2 AM to reveal the teams 😛 Read more..

October 18, 2016 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