Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

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 21, Week 9 – Power Rankings

So I thought the show had hit a new low with the whole Nick baby shower mess last week – but as it seems lately, the  universe has a funny way of calling my bluff when I say “It can’t possibly get any worse.” Enter what I like to call “The DWTS Drama Porn 2-Hour Extravaganza” – will Tamar dance??? Will half of the married couple leave us tonight??? Are Bindi & Derek at odds??! OH THE HUMANITY!!! Seriously, tonight felt exploitative and disgusting. I don’t think TPTB had any clue what was going on with Tamar (and neither did Val – he seemed genuinely unsure of what was happening), but the minute they thought they could run with the drama on it??? My god, it turned into the Tamar show. “Tamar’s on the phone, she’s in a race against time to make it back here!” “We’ve just received word that Tamar is in the building!” “Tamar, darling, just sit down, we wouldn’t want you to swoon like Aunt Pittypat when getting your scores!” I rolled my eyes at how they were milking that footage for all its worth. And then there was Bindi & Derek’s rehearsal package – I just love (and by love I mean “rolled my eyes emphatically”) that they decided that this was the week to hone in Derek’s struggles as a choreographer and teacher. Gotta keep things interesting, eh? Sure, we never get to see packages from the pros that outsource their choreography to Alan and then have these easy, breezy rehearsals because they don’t have to worry about actually choreographing, but let’s really harp on Derek getting choreography block, and fabricate some drama between he & Bindi. And then there was the nonsense with Carlos & Alexa – if there’s one thing Carlos said this season that I actually agreed with, it was that having he & Alexa up there in jeopardy together was “what they wanted”…”they” being TPTB, who were also slick enough to turn the audio on when Alexa & Carlos were hugging and trying to calm down. Tacky, guys  – BEYOND tacky.

As for Tamar, I’ll just say this: I do believe she is really and truly sick, and has been for several weeks now – her voice sounds awful.  But I do find the timing of the hospital trip very convenient – she’s been sick all week and then suddenly needs a doctor midway through dress rehearsal, but manages to return with only moments to spare before she would have been disqualified for not dancing in the duet? Part of me wonders if she was intending to quit, but changed her mind – and if she really and truly does have pneumonia, quitting would have been the prudent course of action here, to look out for her health and to allow someone else who is able-bodied (read: Alexa) to continue in the competition another week.  Pneumonia is nothing to mess with – my manager came down with it earlier this year, and was in the hospital for two weeks and out of work for a month. At one point, his breathing became so laborious (he suffers from COPD) that they put him on a ventilator. You can DIE from pneumonia, if you don’t treat it promptly and properly.  It is serious business, and should be treated as such – so while I commend Tamar’s commitment to dancing, I also think she’s kind of a moron for not saying “I need to slow down and rest.” A $40 trophy cobbled together with parts from the craft store is not worth dying over – go home and rest with your family. I will say this, though: I don’t think we’ve gotten the full story, and I would be interested to see what TMZ is able to dig up in the coming days. I’m keeping my eyes peeled…

As for Alexa – my heart broke for her tonight, and it doesn’t do that for very many people these days. After such a heartfelt and personal performance like her contemporary, and then such a fun number with Bindi, it seemed like such a waste to send her home. She finally found her groove, and she got sent packing…while her husband got to stay.  Please, DWTS – never, ever have a married couple on the show again.  Or if you do, make sure they’re secure enough that the husband doesn’t say sh*t like *cringe* “I want to beat my wife” in one breath, then claim he wishes he could trade places with her and go home instead. Cry me a river of Jaleel White tears, Carlos. Read more..

November 10, 2015 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