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Dancing with the Stars Season 27 – Post Elimination Media

Still not happy with last night’s elimination, but what can you do…besides VOTE?

Lindsey!!

Milo, Witney and Riker

October 16, 2018 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. :-)

PureDWTS Season 27, Week 4 – Power Rankings

Oof. For the first time in a looooong time, I am speechless at the results. We lost an extremely talented dancer paired with probably the most promising male pro we’ve had in quite awhile, and for what? To keep some slouch that doesn’t even appear to be trying anymore, just because a niche fanbase has a hard-on for this guy??? There’s more to unpack here than just the fact that folks (inexplicably) seem to love Joe, but that’s probably the most outwardly frustrating part. I think back to Bill Engvall’s season, when so many seemed to complain about him sticking around while better dancers got sent packing.  But at the very least with Bill, I always got the impression that he wanted to be there, he was doing his best, and Emma was putting in 110% each and every week to help him improve.  Wish I could say the same for Joe, but judging from the appallingly bad trio he gave us this week (which he just seemed to laugh about and shrug off), I don’t really think he cares whether he stays or goes.  I think Jenna was praying they got sent packing this week, judging from how mortified she appeared to be when they got called safe. Bachelor Nation, if you’re reading this (and you probably are) – put them out of their misery.  STOP VOTING FOR THEM. This show is already struggling, without your nonsense.

As for other extenuating circumstances that may have lead to Tinashe’s elimination – once again, the “DWTS viewers hate female ringers” argument has popped up again. I still have a hard time believing that one 100%, given that female ringers have gone on to win this show (and make the finals); I absolutely believe that some viewers think that way, but I don’t know that it’s necessarily the majority of voters. However, Heidi did point out that with viewership down, voting might also be down – which gives more power to those that do vote, since the totals are much smaller, and makes the prospect of a “shocking” elim much more likely. I can’t help but draw parallels between voting on DWTS vs. voting in the midterm elections next month – currently, it’s a relatively small but determined demographic dominating the polls (white Baby Boomers); however, if the disenfranchised demographic that isn’t getting to the polls (Millennials & minorities) would make a big push to actually get out and vote, we could upend norms that have persisted for decades. I cannot emphasize the importance of voting – whether its on DWTS or in the midterm elections. I’m hearing a lot of “Tinashe got Sabrina’d!”, but I would actually go with “Tinashe got Hillary’d” – some voters fixated on a fabricated, non-existent problem as justification for not voting for her.  Tinashe’s “emails” were the imaginary “attitude problem” some seemed to have with her – I never saw it, as she always struck me as very calm and just enjoying the ride. But was that same chill demeanor ultimately the problem…? I know I mentioned in my week 2 power rankings that I thought Nancy may be in trouble because she was simply so laid-back that at the end of the night, it was hard to remember her dances.  Did Tinashe suffer the same fate? When you’ve got Bones bouncing around like a lawn dart, Joe being memorably terrible, John being unexpectedly genuine and down-to-earth, Milo dancing surprisingly well and being sheepishly charming, DeMarcus just being an incredibly hard worker, and Alexis showing vulnerability about her past…do you really forget about an otherwise-great dancer that maybe just wasn’t as dramatic as the other celebs? Part of me also wonders if her “Most Memorable Year” dance may have also just not struck as much of a chord with viewers as Alexis’, Bobby’s, DeMarcus’, & John’s did – we’ve often said that if you don’t go the weepy route during MMY week, you run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle, regardless of how well you actually dance. Is it more of a memorability problem than anything else? Or can a season only sustain x number of ringers? We had said over and over that this season probably couldn’t handle both Alexis AND Tinashe for long – I guess I just always assumed that Alexis would be more likely to go first; but who knows, maybe the dance about her mom earned her some votes. I could go on and on about potential contributing factors – but at the end of the day, it comes down to votes: she wasn’t getting them. So if you don’t want to see that happen again, you’ve gotta phone it in and interweb it in – the votes matter.

One factor I don’t blame in any of this: Brandon. He was the one male pro that I was really betting it all on to lead the guys out of this post-Ballas/Hough talent drought.  That tango had serious shades of Derek in it – and Brandon probably got dealt the toughest hand this week: a dance that’s already tough to do as a trio (tango) with a celeb that has some limitations to consider (Amy).  And I think he knocked it out of the park – which is pretty admirable for his first outing as a pro, considering it seems to take the male pros in particular a season or two before they hit a stride (and even then, some of them still don’t quite get it – looking at YOU, Gleb). Producers, he better have a spot for the foreseeable future – ’cause I think he’s gonna pay the dividends in a big way.

So some of you seemed rather perplexed about some of the trios we ended up with – admittedly, I did too. I saw speculation that there was an agenda at play – while I don’t really have any solid tea here, I don’t really think that there was much of an agenda…except maybe for including Maddie, which when taken into account with the fact that her sister is a contestant on Juniors, seems to indicate an attempt to insinuate one or both of the Ziegler girls into DWTS in some capacity. To what end? I’m not sure – part of me wonders if they’re trying to angle to get Maddie employed by DWTS in some capacity (pro? troupe? JUDGE?!) in the future; part of me thinks this could have been part of a quid pro quo for Kenzie doing Juniors (“If you make Kenzie a contestant and give her exposure for her music, I’ll avail myself to you guys in some capacity!”) Kenzie on Juniors just seems very, very strategic – more beneficial for her than for the show itself, I think. But I digress – the rest of the trios just seem like a hodgepodge of former contestants that they managed to convince to come back, with gaps filled in by other randos where appropriate. Shad, Joey, and Melissa seem to avail themselves to the show whenever they’re needed (all-stars, tours, guest judging, hosting, celebrity space filler in the audience, etc.); Nastia, Riker, and Lindsey seem like fan faves they were just fortunate enough to convince to help out for a week.  As for Scarlett and Jordan – the latter just seems like catnip for the Bachelor nation; as for Scarlett, a little bird insinuated to me that she may have been a backup for a former DWTS celeb that had to back out for whatever reason (my knee jerk guess was Jodie – probably the only one of Keo’s former partners worth inviting back, but also a potential conflict of interest, given that her costar is currently a contestant on DWTS). Honestly, I think the decision-making process for who got who in trios probably went something like this: “Ok, who can we convince to come back? Remember, we’ve got Maddie – Maddie needs to fit in one of these trios. So Shad, Melissa, Joey, Riker, Nastia, Lindsey, and Amy all said yes? Ok, now who can we plausibly pair them up with? And what should we do about the remaining two couples that need trio members? Bah, just tell them to invite a friend. What’s the worst that could happen???” Well, I think only one trio truly benefited from having their third person (Milo/Witney/Riker), while the rest were either neutral (Juan Pablo/Cheryl/Melissa, Bobby/Sharna/Lindsey) or were somewhat disadvantaged (pretty much everyone else). Honestly, I think the trios were just the result of the usual flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-planning we’ve come to expect from DWTS 😛 Read more..

I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 27, Week 4: Who’s Dancing What, And When?

So given that  I was getting slammed with tweets about who so-and-so said was in their trio next week, Heidi thought we better start this early.  Below are the trio groups – I am aware that some of you have never heard of some of them and dislike that we have non-DWTS alums dancing in trios.  Preaching to the choir 🙂 Crash course: Jordan is another contestant from Joe’s season of The Bachelorette; Maddie Ziegler is a dancer from Dance Moms whose sister (that is definitely NOT a dancer!) is currently a contestant on DWTS Juniors; Scarlett Byrne is another actress from the Harry Potter series. Will update with more songs and dances when we get the press release.

Early thoughts: DeMarcus/Rashad and Milo/Riker are probably gonna slay.  Everyone else? I go from “probably pretty good” (Mary Lou/Nastia, Alexis/Maddie, Tinashe/Amy) to “Oof…could be trouble” (John/Joey and Joe/Jordan).

Update, 10/11/18, 4:01 PM EST: All songs and dance styles listed. Joe’s salsa trio looks to be a train wreck of epic proportions, not only due to the song, but the fact that as of yesterday, Jordan was only doing choreo by himself on IG. Tinashe & Alexis get the same style again…hmmm.  And it’s probably the hardest to do as a trio, as so much has to be done in hold. Apparently John & Emma won’t get to rehearse with Joey until Saturday, Morgan (from the troupe) has been in Nashville rehearsing with Bobby & Sharna because Lindsey is otherwise occupied, and Melissa only just headed to L.A. today.  The rest of the trios have been doing various degrees of rehearsing – I’d give DeMarcus/Lindsay/Rashad the “most dedicated” award, as they rehearsed together in L.A. the other day, and Shad even accompanied the group to the emergency room after De dislocated his finger before they all headed back to rehearse more; then Shad & Lindsay joined De in Denver last night to rehearse even more. I get the feeling the results of this little trio experiment are going to vary wildly…-Court-

John & Emma – Argentine tango (song: “Torn” by Nathan Lanier)
Trio w/Joey Fatone
1-800-868-3407

DeMarcus & Lindsay – paso doble (song: “Fire” by Barns Courtney)
Trio w/Rashad Jennings
1-800-868-3404

Alexis & Alan – tango (song: “Move Your Body” by Sia)
Trio w/Maddie Ziegler
1-800-868-3401

Joe & Jenna – salsa (song: “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred)
Trio w/Jordan Kimball
1-800-868-3406

Tinashe & Brandon – tango (song: “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” from Rock of Ages)
Trio w/Amy Purdy
1-800-868-3413

Milo & Witney – salsa (song: “Adrenalina” by Wisin feat. Jennifer Lopez & Ricky Martin)
Trio w/Riker Lynch
1-800-868-3410

Mary Lou & Sasha – Charleston (song: “V.E.S.P.A” by Dimie Cat)
Trio w/Nastia Liukin
1-800-868-3409

Juan Pablo & Cheryl – cha-cha (song: “Wavey” by CliQ feat. Alika)
Trio w/Melissa Rycroft
1-800-868-3408

Evanna & Keo – salsa (song: “Black Magic” by Little Mix)
Trio w/Scarlett Byrne
1-800-868-3405

Bobby & Sharna – cha-cha (song: “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer)
Trio w/Lindsay Sterling
1-800-868-3402

 

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Guys I’m really excited for this trio!! 😂😂 @dancingabc

A post shared by Alan Bersten (@alanbersten) on

October 8, 2018 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 27 – Preliminary Thoughts & Predictions

I feel like all I do is apologize for the lack of timeliness in my posts these days 😛 Sorry guys – life got busy for me real fast this season. I thought about doing a preliminary power rankings, but I realized I haven’t been keeping up with enough media about the couples to really do that justice.  So instead, welcome to my random and scattered thoughts about this season, in no particular order 🙂 I tried hit on some of the questions I was getting on Twitter, but if there’s anything else you want my thoughts on, go ahead and leave it in the comments and I’ll try to answer.

This is DeMarcus’ MBT to lose.  Now before anyone assumes I mean “I think DeMarcus will win!”, pump your brakes – what I mean by this is that I feel like DeMarcus has the easiest path to the MBT, from the jump: he’s a former NFL player from possibly the most universally popular team (the Dallas Cowboys – often referred to as “America’s team”, part of the reason why Emmitt was so popular), he’s well-spoken and well-liked, he’s in great shape physically, he’s got one helluva work ethic, and he has a great rapport with his partner, who is also widely well-liked and well-respected.  Basically, as long as he dances decently (not necessarily great – decent should do it) and puts on a good show and has a “journey”, I think the MBT is his – which means the other couples are going to have to work twice as hard to win, even though they might actually be better dancers. DeMarcus is easily the biggest fanbase ringer this season, from where I sit – and sometimes, that can help a decent dancer overtake a fantastic dancer for the MBT. Just ask Donny Osmond.

We could be dealing with season 24, redux.  I can’t help but draw some comparisons between this season and season 24, when there was a preponderance of ringers (particularly female ones) and the last two standing were guys with no previous dance experience (one of which was an NFL player) that were just really likeable and had great chemistry with their partners. I think each season of DWTS can realistically handle 1-2 high-level ability ringers, tops – any more than that and you start to run into some unexpected results, as we saw in season 24 (you could also argue that too many fanbase ringers of the same type yield unexpected results – look at season 22, when all three NFL players got shut out of the finale). And here’s the kicker: you’ve gotta have a pro that actually knows how to choreograph to an ability ringer’s strengths.  One way I think season 24 fell woefully short was handing the two biggest ringers (Normani & Heather) to two pros who couldn’t cut the mustard, choreographically-speaking. Maks’ choreo for Heather that season was absolutely pitiful, and while Val managed a few hits (the Mulan paso, the contemporary, maybe the Argentine tango), towards the end of the season, his choreo kinda petered out (the Viennese waltz and freestyle were both head-scratchers for me). Even Mark seemed to burn out towards the end of season 25 with Lindsey.  I think a big key to the big ability ringers’ (Tinashe, Alexis, Juan Pablo, Mary Lou, and to a lesser degree, Evanna & Milo) longevity this season is how well their partners are able to choreograph to their strengths – and if they’re able to keep up the momentum, all season long.

If any of the pros are going to step up the choreo to become the “new Mark/Derek”, now would be the time to do it. We’re kind of in an odd transition period in the show: with the exception of Cheryl popping in for fall seasons, the OG pros are all gone; even some of the second generation pros (Peta, Val, Sharna, Emma, Sasha) are starting to pursue other opportunities outside of DWTS, and they may move on from the show before long. TPTB continue to try retooling the show to keep up with the times (All-Athletes, Juniors), and the pressure is generally on to keep this show “fresh”. While most of the female pros are actually stellar choreographers, the male pro lineup has been woefully void of great choreography; if one of them wanted to try cementing himself as the new choreographic genius of the male lineup, now would be the time to do it – and I think Brandon may be the ticket.  I have heard tremendous praise for his skills as both a teacher and a choreographer on Juniors, and if you think about it, he’s the first male pro that has come from the same training background that gave us Lindsay, Witney, and Jenna. He’s impressively cross-trained (like the rest of the Utah Squad, and really, Ballas/Hough before them), and doesn’t seem to have any of the same “ballroom purity” hangups that we seem to see with Chmerkovskiy acolytes. I’m thinking Brandon could be the breakout star pro of this season, if he plays his cards right.

I am totally fine with newbs like Brandon & Alan getting ringers. Val’s already been granted his 2 MBT’s, and seems to be transitioning to more of a judging role; Gleb & Keo just can’t seem to get their choreo right; Artem & Sasha are for the most part “hit”, but still sometimes “miss”.  Repeating it again for good measure: the male pro lineup needs a wake-up call.  So if that means handing Brandon & Alan some pretty ringy ability ringers, I’m all for it – let’s see what they’re made of. I actually thought Alan did respectably well with Mirai, and the only issue there had more to do with Mirai’s loose lips and general lack of self-awareness. Seems like these pros really have to hit the ground running in their initial season, anymore, if they want to continue as pros – and that can be kinda hard to do, if they’re always handing the newbs dud partners. Cheryl, Mark, Julianne, and Lacey all got ringers in their first season on the show – and it seemed to keep them in play for awhile. I used to be of the “newbs shouldn’t get ringers” camp – but anymore, I just keep going “Show me something new and different!!!” and “Everyone ends up getting a dud at some point, and everyone ends up getting a ringer at some point. No point getting too hung up on a single season.”

I wouldn’t count on Mary Lou being an early out.  I know some are hoping she’s gone by week 2 or 3, due to her comments about the Nassar case – I don’t blame you.  However, a bit of a reminder about the demographics of this show: the largest chunk of viewers are middle-aged, female, and conservative, and likely have very fond memories of Mary Lou as the Olympic darling who brought home gold back in her youth.  I would also venture a guess that many of them (like some of the conservatives currently trying to get a man of questionable morals elected to the Supreme Court) are “#MeToo skeptics” who are unfortunately more likely to give a pass to an Olympic darling defending her former trainer than to take the word of countless women who bravely came forward to speak about the trauma they endured at Nassar’s hand. It sucks, no doubt – but it’s an unfortunate pattern I’ve noticed, and it makes me think Mary Lou could last at least until the midpoint of the season – especially if she’s a decent dancer, which I think she will be.  I don’t see her winning or making the finals, though…at least not right now.

I think Nikki & Alexis need to turn on the charm, though.  Both come from professions that have yet to really do well on DWTS: comedians, models, and social media influencers. With the exception of conservative-leaning “country boy” comedian Bill Engvall, comedians generally haven’t done very well on this show – I think their biggest struggle is connecting with the audience, particularly if their brand of humor is a bit more high-brow or sarcastic. Or female 🙁 Conservative folk love the somewhat simple-minded humor of Jeff Foxworthy, Rodney Carrington, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engvall – but they tend not to embrace the D.L. Hughley’s, Jeff Ross’, and Margaret Cho’s of the world quite so warmly. Unless Nikki ends up being an Alexis or Tinashe-level dancer (and I don’t think she will be), or ends up finding a way to endear herself to the audience…I see her as an early out. Alexis may be a very trained dancer, but she’s also a model (and they tend not to last long on this show) and a social media personality (the only precedent we have for that being Hayes Grier – who couldn’t manage to get his millions of followers to vote hard enough to get him past week 7). Additionally, Alexis seems more reserved on-camera – so I think she’s really going to have to come out of her shell to endear herself to the audience, if she wants to stick around.

Being an “inspiring backstory” ringer may not be as much of an advantage as it once was.  Not counting Heather McCartney (who despite being an amputee, was also the much-maligned ex-wife of Paul McCartney), Amy was a novelty, since we hadn’t really had anyone disabled on the show in awhile, and Derek managed to mold her into a pretty respectable dancer. Noah had the fanbase boon of being a disabled vet; Nyle was both deaf AND a very likeable guy who could actually dance really well.  I’m not sure anyone really considered Terra’s small stature as a disability, since she was actually a pretty good dancer; and things started to deteriorate once Bonner came along, as he actually was a creep, despite his “inspiring backstory”. Victoria gave it her best shot a year ago, but given that her disability wasn’t as visible as, say, Amy’s or Noah’s, I don’t know that it really carried her as far as it once might have (then again, Val also really phoned it in on the choreo towards the end, so that likely didn’t help either).  I guess the point I’m trying to get at is this: the “inspiring backstory” is becoming less and less of a novelty on this show with each passing season, particularly with contestants whose disabilities aren’t outwardly visible, so Danelle might not get as much support as she would have on an earlier season. Times change – the audience changes.  Things that were once new and novel become commonplace, and voting attitudes change.  I don’t think Danelle will be first, second, third, or even 4th out, but I’ll be interested to see just how far her story takes her, particularly if she’s really struggling with the dancing.

Is Juan Pablo William Levy 2.0? Is Evanna going to be the next Katherine Jenkins? Those are the two former contestants that come to mind when I look at Juan Pablo & Evanna. On the plus side, I already find Juan Pablo quite a bit more likeable and relatable than William, who I always found to be a bit reserved and even borderline awkward in interviews; his dancing was decent, but not as fantastic as the judges would have had you think. Juan Pablo seems like he might have more polish and technique on his side. Evanna seems like she’s got roughly the same level of dance experience as Katherine – they’ve probably dabbled in it at some point, but are more well-known for other things.  I think Evanna will be at least as good as Katherine, ability-wise – question is, will Keo be as good as Mark? I’m gonna go with a big fat “NO” on that one, unless Keo has had some sort of choreographic breakthrough over the summer.  He seemed to hit a small groove with Jodie 2.5 years ago, but that season was a bloodbath and she probably could have gone further on a different, less competitive season. Will his choreo/teaching skills hold up this time? We’ll see.

Early prediction for the final 3: DeMarcus, Juan Pablo, & Tinashe. If they take 4 to the finale – Milo or Bobby join the other 3.

First out: My gut says Nikki.  Outside chance of John. Whichever one doesn’t go in week 1, is probably toast during the double elim in week 2. Having Val will likely keep Nancy around for a bit longer than expected, but I would be surprised if she lasted past the midpoint of the season.

“Shocking” elim potential: Alexis screams “good dancer that will probably get eliminated because she can’t successfully crossover fanbases” to me. I don’t think her millions of IG followers will vote as hard as some think they will, and I don’t know that the general DWTS audience is going to embrace her strongly.

Dark horse: I feel like Bobby is going to surprise a lot of people.  I’m hearing a lot of people say Joe, but Joe strikes me as kinda awkward…especially after I saw this.  What has been seen cannot be unseen. 😛

So there we have it – my thoughts headed into Monday’s premiere.  What do you guys think? Share in the comments, and if you don’t mind, please take 5 minutes to go watch my cousin’s son, Kingston, do his first LEGO unboxing video on YouTube and throw him a like or a comment.  He’s been battling leukemia since March, and he’s officially CANCER FREE now and starting to feel like a regular kid again. Bonus: appearance by his equally adorable brother Lincoln, and they both have the most adorable Tennessee accents 😛

See you all Monday for the live blog!!! 🙂

September 21, 2018 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Lindsay Arnold Plays Basketball For Charity At 50K Charity Challenge Celebrity Game

So last night was the 50K Charity Challenge Celebrity Basketball Game at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, and Lindsay was one of the celebrity players along with Season 24 MBT-holder Rashad Jennings…and Black-ish‘s Miles Brown (this is important – more on that later). Her DWTS Jr. mentee (and younger sister) Rylee, and her mom were there to cheer her on.  More at Just Jared Jr

Lindsay Arnold readies her free throw shot during the 50K Charity Challenge Celebrity Basketball Game at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion on Tuesday night (July 17) in Westwood, Calif.

The 24-year-old DWTS pro joined Rashad Jennings and Miles Brown at the event, and during halftime, Lindsay tied with Colton Underwood and Brittney Elena during the free throw competition.

Each player picked up $5,000 for their chosen charity. Sweet!

Check out Linds’ run at the free throw competition…

July 18, 2018 I Written By

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

PureDWTS Season 25, Week 8 – Power Rankings

So for those of you that don’t know – my Twitter got hacked 🙁 Not quite sure what happened, but I got a new phone on Friday around noon, didn’t really check Twitter all weekend, and then woke up Monday morning with all of my tweets from the past two years just gone, my profile picture/bio deleted, and some new artwork in its place. I’m also apparently from a city that rhymes with a city in Alabama, but starts with a “C”…but that’s neither here nor there. I’ve got a case open to try and get my Twitter back, but not sure how long that’s going to take. Lesson learned, kids: if you trade in your phone, make sure they wipe it clean and don’t leave any of your data vulnerable; change your passwords often; and don’t click on any suspicious links…

…so aside from that obvious setback, I actually had a pretty sh*tty day at work as well, so I think I was totally ready for DWTS to just really be the turd on top of an already craptastic day; however, I actually found myself rather pleasantly surprised, particularly with the trio dances with returning celebs.  Honestly, I think if they’re dead set on bringing former winners/finalists/whatever back to the show, this is the best way to do it – one week of dances, without the long, drawn-out pressure (and potential disappointment) of a full-length all-star season. And I feel like they really lucked on the crop of celebs they were able to get to come back – five champions and one runner-up, and of that, probably the two strongest male contestants this show has seen (Alfonso & Corbin), and probably one of the top five female contestants this show has seen (Kristi). Granted, some trios worked out better than others, and there are two trios I probably would have recast if it were up to me, but on the whole…still a pretty entertaining round.

It pained me to see Terrell go, even though once again, the writing was pretty much on the wall after last week’s show. The man behind the curtain just seems to be showing his hand a bit too much these days, I’m afraid.  But I’ll be damned if Terrell didn’t impress the hell outta me with how much he improved from week 1, and just his personal growth in general – he went from being pretty insufferable in week 2 to being utterly charming in week 8, and his Charleston last night was actually my favorite dance of the individual round. Not too shabby at all, considering he wasn’t even Cheryl’s original partner, and filled in at the last minute.  And big props to Cheryl, for taking another seemingly hopeless partner on paper and turning him into a decent dancer that people actually enjoy watching 🙂

1.) Jordan & Lindsay – I get the impression that the judges are trying to set up their ideal placements for the finale, and based on their comments and scores last night, I think they may be pushing for a Jordan win – but part of me also wonders if Jordan might need the help, as well. A six-point lead over Lindsey & Mark, for dancing that was maybe only slightly better? And then a 13 point difference between them and the bottom of the leader board? Part of me wonders if Jordan might need a bit of insulation, and the fact that they had him bring up the fact that Lindsay has yet to win? Also makes me wonder if they’re trying to increase their pantheon of champion pros by one. At this point, I honestly don’t find myself caring one way or another who wins – I think Jordan, Lindsay, & Frankie have all been tremendous this season, and I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that either Drew nor Victoria is anywhere within striking distance of the MBT. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t think it would be nice to see some of Lindsay’s hard work over these past several seasons rewarded 😉 Can’t say I was wild about the music they were given for their quickstep, but I appreciated what Lindsay did with it – the mod, quirky vibe fit the music well, and as always, Jordan’s technique was unmatched. I found their trio to be the strongest of the night – and I expected it to be, given that I think Corbin & Jordan are two of the top three male contestants (with previous dance experience) we’ve ever had on the show. I thought they had the most interesting transitions and interactions among the three of them, and appeared to be the most confident and precise out on the floor. I expected them to be – but I still enjoyed it, and I still appreciate that Jordan continues to bring a high level of execution each week.  I can always count of them for a showstopping routine, and this week didn’t disappoint 🙂

2.) Lindsey & Mark – If the judges appeared to be giving Jordan a boost and pushing a Jordan win as the narrative last night, I think they maybe did it at a bit of the expense of Lindsey & Mark – because I found a few of the scores they were given to be rather questionable. And if my gut is telling me that Jordan may need a bit of help – it’s also telling me that Lindsey is likely doing just fine in terms of votes.  Which is good, because admittedly, Lindsey’s samba was probably my least favorite of the dances she’s done – I appreciated that Mark went creative again with the choreo, but I found Lindsey to be a bit too bouncy through her upper body (as opposed to keeping the characteristic samba “bounce” in her core) and like many of the female contestants on this show, she wasn’t quite closing her thighs enough as they passed.  Samba’s a difficult beast on this show – so for Lindsey to have one off-dance, that’s still pretty damn good. I LIKED their trio, but I don’t know that I LOVED their trio – I guess I was just hoping that Mark would really go all-out with the creativity, given that they had a pretty open-ended dance and he got one of his most talented partners (Kristi) back to help; but while it was a pleasant trio and there weren’t any huge mistakes (I did see a few points where the staging looked a bit off, though), I just don’t know that I found anything super special about it. Just more of a personal preference, rather than anything grossly wrong, technically-speaking. I do think it was underscored, though, and I found the two 9’s from Len & Bruno puzzling, given that they didn’t seem to have anything bad to say about the dance. But again, I go back to “Make this season a horse race!” along with “Lindsey’s got the votes, but Jordan maybe doesn’t” – sure, it ain’t really fair, but like many unfair things about this show, it’s easy to see why they did it.

3.) Frankie & Witney – Again with Frankie, I go back to “Where do the judges seem to be placing him in the great scheme of things?” If they’re putting Jordan out front, and underscoring Lindsey a bit (but still keeping her in striking distance), I think they’re trying to set Frankie up as the 3rd place finisher this season – they’re keeping him separated enough from Jordan & Lindsey that it would probably be difficult (but not impossible!) for him to break into the top 2, but they’re also keeping him separated enough from the bottom of the leader board (Drew & Victoria) that they most likely can’t catch up. Which I’m fine with – I think I said a few weeks back that I would be happy if Frankie just made the finals, and it looks like that’s probably going to happen after all. I actually really liked his Viennese waltz, and like Drew’s waltz, I was puzzled as to what exactly the judges (mainly Len) were bitching about – I took particular issue with Len bitching about rise and fall, because I saw enough of it, and Len was acting as if Frankie should have been rising & falling to the same extent one would with a regular waltz (I can’t seem to find the post where I mentioned it, but the rise & fall in Viennese waltz isn’t as pronounced as it is with regular waltz – with the faster tempo of the former, you just don’t have time for dramatic rise and fall). I also thought Frankie was extending beautifully through his torso and arms, which is rare for shorter guys on this show.  Thought the trio with Alfonso was great – once again, I got back to my “say what you will about Alfonso, but” speech: he may be a bit insufferable at times, but this dude cares genuinely about the show, and he ALWAYS delivers. I think he was the best returning celeb when it came to tailoring his own energy level to match the current celeb’s – there were definitely moments that I saw him toning his steps down a notch, which I appreciated. I still maintain that he’s the best male celeb we’ve ever had on DWTS, as I think he comes across more organic and is more of a seasoned showman than Corbin or Jordan (if we’re going for “best male celeb without previous dance experience”, I think that goes to either Hinch or Shad). Also loved that the choreo had a sense of humor (the “nope, not gonna do the Carlton!” move made me snicker), and that they didn’t always have Witney in the middle – I think it’s temping to put the odd man out in the middle to give the dance a sense of balance, but I noticed quite a few spots where they actually had Frankie (or is it Malcolm…? ;-)) in the middle as the focal point, which is much riskier to do…but gives much more emphasis on the celeb, as opposed to the others. Great job on both dances, and I’m eager to see what else we get to see from them before the finals.

4.) Drew & Emma – From an objective standpoint, I think Drew & Victoria are the two weakest dancers left in the competition – but unlike Victoria, I think Drew has slightly more potential to be competitive in the finals than Victoria does, plus I think he has more mainstream popularity with the main viewing demographic. So even though Drew ended up low man on the totem pole this week, points-wise – my gut’s telling me he’s going to the finals over Victoria. I think he may have gotten a tad screwed by getting saddled with waltz as his individual dance – this late in the competition, it seems like high-energy, show-stopping dances are what sticks out in viewers’ minds, and they also seem like the dances that are less likely to get nitpicked by the judges; I think Drew was unfortunately a victim of “it’s a lot easier to see mistakes in a very slow dance than a faster one” and caught the full force of the judges’ nitpickery. I actually didn’t think it was as bad as they were saying, though – not sure I was wild about the choreography from start to finish, but I thought Drew handled it well, at least tried to get rise and fall, and his frame looked pretty good. Liked their trio with Shad – if there’s one thing Drew really needed to work on, it was “swag”, and Shad was the man to teach him.  Sure, there were a few slightly fumble-y spots, but overall I liked it – everyone seemed to be having a really good time, and I appreciated that Shad was able to dance in a way that didn’t overshadow Drew. Good energy, very fun. I don’t know that Drew & Emma can hope for any better than 4th place at this point, but given the caliber of the talent we’ve had this season, I think they’ve done a tremendous job.

5.) Victoria & Val – Part of me really feels for Victoria, because like the viewers themselves, I think Victoria has come to the realization that she’s hit a plateau on the show – she’s probably not going to get much better than she already is, and she’s likely to only suffer by comparison to the remaining contestants. She’s just reached her limit – nothing wrong on her part (or even Val’s, really), it’s just the way the cookie crumbles when you’ve got some sort of physically-limiting factor in play. I don’t think she minds too much, just based on what seems to be a really stellar outlook on life; but there were just a few moments last night where the look on her face said “I’m not going to get any better than this…it’s probably the end of the line for me, but I’m going to be okay with it.” Seemed rather unfortunate that they saddled her with not one, but two very footwork-heavy dances this week – I always knew jive would be the biggest struggle for her, given that it’s so dependent on leg and footwork to get executed well (and Victoria can’t feel her legs); Argentine tango has long been labeled the “war of the feet” dance on DWTS, and while Val had a bit of an easier time concealing her shortcomings in that dance by keeping Vic relatively stationary while he did most of the moving around the stage, it still felt like a bit of a watered-down version of many of his other Argentine tangos (namely Ginger & Rumer’s) and seemed to lack the characteristic “punch” you get when you’ve got an actual “war of the feet” going on out on the floor.  The Argentine tango was neither great nor terrible – just a non-event, unfortunately.  The trio…was a bit bizarre, for me. The set-up was a head-scratcher – basically re-living Laurie & Val’s win, and then just awkwardly inviting Victoria to join them.  The dance itself seemed to be the Laurie & Val show, with special guest Victoria – Laurie & Val were doing most of the heavy-duty dancing, while Victoria just bobbed around in the background, with her feet conveniently obscured for most of the dance by the set-up of the stage with the fans crowded around it. And here’s the funny part: I caught a glimpse of Laurie’s feet a few times as well, and she’s still not really pointing them – same problem I had with her on her own season. Probably the weakest trio of the night, and one I would recommend re-casting with another former contestant that would be less likely to overdance – I actually think Danica would have been better at matching Victoria’s energy and not making her look weaker by comparison. But anyway – I’m getting the feeling that Victoria’s come to the end of the road, and the impression I got from the judges’ wishy-washy, I-don’t-really-want-to-say-that-you’ve-plateaued-and-aren’t-going-to-get-any-better-so-I’m-going-to-make-up-some-other-reasons-why-that-wasn’t-great critiques, I think they realize it, too.  She’s had a good run (and as I’ve mentioned before – she’s probably my favorite partner Val has had, personality-wise), but I just think she’s not really able to compete for the MBT with the couples that are left.

So with only two weeks left – what are your thoughts as we head into the semifinals? Who do you see making it to the finale?

November 7, 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

DWTS Season 24 Champ Rashad Jennings Gives Dancing Advice For Terrell Owens And Derek Fisher

Dancing With The Stars Season 24 Champ Rashad Jennings has some advice for fellow athletes Terrell Owens And Derek Fisher…and it was perfect advice. Read below to see what I mean. I love Rashad. From USA Today….

“Yeah, I talked to T.O. and Derek, and I told them both you have to be vulnerable. Allow yourself to go there. Because to tell a story and paint a picture through music and allow it to flow through your body, you have to be vulnerable. You gotta be be comfortable in uncomfortable positions, which most athletes are. Most athletes are also used to gruesome hours of work. I told them it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Trust me. Especially if keep making it week after week; it keeps getting harder and harder.

“So I told them to relax. Not take themselves too seriously. Don’t let the judges get under your skin. Because they’re going to give you criticism. But you have to really buy into the culture of each dance. And you’re going to get to know yourself on a personal level.”

More at USA Today.

September 29, 2017 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

PureDWTS Season 25/SYTYCD 14 Update – Kiki & Jenna Still In, Sydney & Paul Out, Sasha & Emma Choreograph

Figured it was probably worth it to check in on how things were going with our DWTS cross-overs on SYTYCD, especially since speculation has started on whether or not Jenna’s going to be a pro this season…

…Kiki & Jenna are still in the competition as of last night, which seems to be sparking chatter of “Is Jenna going to be a pro on DWTS this season?” While crazier things have happened, the longer Jenna remains on SYTYCD with Kiki, I think her chances at a pro spot on DWTS this season get exponentially smaller with each week that passes – especially since this season’s pros are getting confirmed this week, and it’s possible that Kiki & Jenna could make it to the finals…which would drastically cut into her rehearsal time with a potential celeb partner on DWTS. And given that Nigel seems to have gotten a lot more proprietary with his all-stars as the seasons have gone on, I’m not sure that he’d be willing to share her with DWTS for the few weeks of overlap between DWTS rehearsals and SYTYCD wrapping up.  Last year was a bit of a different situation on SYTYCD, as Jenna was an early out and there wasn’t much in the way of overlap with DWTS – but given that Kiki & Jenna haven’t even landed in the bottom 3 yet, it may be possible they could be there for awhile…leaving less and less time for Jenna to devote to being a pro on DWTS.

In other news, Sydney & Paul were eliminated last night, and Logan & Allison are still in the competition – which means that I think Allison’s chances at a pro spot on DWTS this season are about as good as Jenna’s…in that they’re probably not all that good. Sorry.

But at least we got a piece of Sasha & Emma jive choreography, which they did for Logan & Allison – and Shad even showed up in the audience to support them! Love when contestants remain close with their pros after their season ends 🙂 They also got to see Jake Monreal, Jenna’s partner from last year, whom they had also choreographed for.

As always, be sure to check out Amanda’s detailed review of last night’s show over at Pure SYTYCD.

August 22, 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

2017 Dancing With The Stars ‘Hot Summer Nights’ Tour Photo Gallery By Voguerista

I was so blessed to see the Dancing With The Stars “Hot Summer Nights” Live Tour on Friday, August 4th, at the Bellco Theatre in Denver, Colorado. The show was visually stunning, full of great dancing, and highly entertaining. I have to give huge props to Rashad Jennings. He danced with the best of the pros and then some. He was hilarious and full of charm as well. What’s more, I was blessed to meet a fan and reader to the sites, Ette, and her dear friend as well. What a couple of sweethearts who made the experience that more special. My only disappointment was not being able to see Gleb Savchenko (as most of you know, him and his wife Elena just had their 2nd baby), but, I hope to see him next time. Anyway, what a super show. Below are some photos I took. If you’d like to view a bunch more, see Lisa Kay Photography at this link.

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August 10, 2017 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Hot Summer Nights Tour – Blog And Photos By Cindy

Cindy Krumpet has sent us some beautiful photos of the new Dancing With The Stars “Hot Summer Nights” Tour. You can see them at her FACEBOOK. She included photos from the Meet & Greet as well in the mix. Cindy also sent us her thoughts on the show and her experience which you can read below. I love how she was able to meet Ruby The Creature (Emma and Sasha’s puppie). So cute. THANKS, Cindy! If any of you have a some tour goodies to share, write to our Contact Us link. We’d love to feature whatever you’ve got.

Dancing With The Stars “Hot Summer Nights” Tour
By Cindy

I have been going to the DWTS tour shows since the 1st one which was right after Julianne and Apolo’s win. They are a lot better today. This tour was the first time I was able to see all the pros for photos and even met Ruby she’s tiny. I had a VIP and there were only 7 total, so, there wasn’t any green screen photos, but, they took group photos instead. I thought the VIP was more organized and was run by Sam (Lindsay’s husband) which I didn’t realize. I knew he looked familiar, but, wasn’t expecting that. I had Emma, Lindsay, Gleb and Rashad for the photo. I’m glad I had Emma and Lindsay because I never had them at my m&g for a professional photo. Rashad is very nice and you can’t help to smile and be in a good mood which reminds me of Emma. For my mingle, I had Alan and Britt. I never met Britt before. She is nice.

Now for the show: After being seated it felt a little funny since Val wasn’t there, but, once the show started the pros did an amazing job. I’m not good at naming the dances in order, but, my favorite dances were from Emma and Sasha, Sharna and Gleb (the blindfold dance), and Emma and Rashad. My favorite group dance was the summer dance. Sasha was in his crab outfit. I think this tour was more fun than the others because of the dances and Rashad. The star pro for me was Emma followed by Sasha, Sharna, Gleb and Lindsay. After the show I went to the buses hoping to see Sharna and Haley because they were the only ones I didn’t get to see. Everyone went down the line taking photos as long as everyone remained on the sidewalk. I had the best time. The only thing that went wrong was my camera card filled up right after intermission and I had to change the card.

July 2, 2017 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.