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PureDWTS Season 29, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Well, I guess I’m glad they at least mixed things up a bit for Halloween this year – rather than the standard fare of vampires, monsters, ghosts, etc. and horrifically overused songs like the themes from Ghostbusters and The Addams Family, we at least got some new material to work with; the downside of it appeared to be taking some creative license and shoehorning some songs/styles to fit themes. Seems like they had a handful of random songs that they somehow paired (with mixed results) to a list of villains they had cleared, and then picked a dance style that the couple hadn’t done that (sort of) fit the song. I found it somewhat interesting that all but two couples ended up with tango or paso doble as their style; the two who didn’t happened to be the only two couples who had ever been in the bottom two. Not sure if they were banking on those two being in the bottom two again or what, but it was just a bit of a strange coincidence to me.

As of last week, I was unsure as to what to expect as we edged closer to the finale; this week, I’m still not 100% sure, but at the very least the judges weren’t afraid to drop the hammer on some of those who weren’t up-to-snuff. I’m still wondering if we end up with a six-couple finale or an 11-week season – we still have (9) couples left now, with an impending double-elim this coming week; there’s been no mention of an additional double elimination in week 9, so I tend to think that will just be a single. That would leave us with a six-couple finale; however, given the current fluid state of affairs in pandemic tv scheduling, I think it’s possible the network might give us an extra week (since the show would still wrap before Thanksgiving), in which case another elimination (or a double) in week 10 could leave us with a five or four-couple finale, which seems a bit more manageable. Who should be in the finale? In terms of consistency, I think Kaitlyn, Nev, Johnny, & Justine deserve to be there; however, I think Nelly, Skai, and/or AJ could all potentially play spoiler to one of the four I mentioned making the finale. If the judges are still on their bullish*t, Chrishell could probably be in the mix as well…god, I hope she isn’t, but the bar is on the floor in terms of anything in 2020 turning out like it should.

So after what felt like an eternity of the judges gushing disingenuously over just-ok performances, they did a complete 180 and decided to go all in critiquing Monica’s dance this week – and honestly, I don’t think it was undeserved. As I’ve repeated ad infinitum since probably week 2 (and as some uppity Monica fans seem to forget when they accuse me of “hating” on Monica), Monica’s problem has never been her dancing; it’s in her performance-quality, or lack thereof. She can technically nail the steps, but completely fail on selling it to the point where I just tune out because it’s so dreadfully boring. I also felt like the tone of her performance this week was just totally wrong (although I tend to blame Val/TPTB for that): Nurse Ratched is a cold authoritarian, not a seductress. For someone that had no prior knowledge of source material, one might assume from Monica’s performance that the character is a femme fatale of sorts; but sex appeal is not part of Nurse Ratched’s arsenal – psychological manipulation and general bullying are more her forte. Then there was the matter of her costume giving me more Britney Spears’ naughty flight attendant in the “Toxic” video vibes than nurse vibes, and we’ve got a performance that just kinda fizzled, unfortunately. I guess the judges finally decided this week that they couldn’t protect Monica forever, and needed to focus on saving the really strong dancers (like Johnny, who fell into the bottom 2 last week) for the finale – so Monica got the chop. And I think Monica was cool with it – her comfort zone is behind the mat, directing her squad on their performance; I don’t think she ever quite got used to being the one actually performing.

Read more..

October 28, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 6 – Power Rankings

Just for the record – I really have no idea what I’m doing anymore 😛

I mean, I obviously know how to write, and I know how to look at dances and determine whether they are decent or not; I guess I mean the conclusions I’m drawing are basically a roll of the dice these days, because the results of this show aren’t really making much sense to me anymore. In what universe does an Olympic figure skater somehow tumble into the bottom two with a Superbowl champ, while reality stars with marginal dance skills end up safe??? Last night’s results would have been unheard of ten years ago on this show – hell, even three years ago on this show. Granted, Vernon was not as adept as the majority of the NFL players we’ve had on this show, and Johnny got RIDICULOUSLY low-balled on his score this week – but I guess the only conclusion I can reasonably draw is that not many people are actually voting (or voting consistently), and it’s causing the results to become unpredictable from time to time. There’s also the fact that you can now vote ten times PER COUPLE, per voting method, which I think is muddling things – where people used to have to put all their eggs in one basket, they can now put the same amount of eggs in multiple baskets; this only adds to the total number of points (and thus diminishes the power of each vote) and just seems to result in the needle not moving as much when you combine scores and votes. Add to this the fact that TPTB seem intent on keeping Monica (or Val) around despite a mediocre performance thus far, and I’m not sure what to make of things anymore. I feel like the “perpetual present” that the pandemic has left us all stuck in is seeping into every aspect of my life: it’s hard to think about what’s going to happen in the future, when each day just seems like an interminable NOW with no end in sight. Christ, this pandemic has made me nihilistic.

So we’re past the halfway point of the season, and we’ve eliminated 1/3 of the cast – so what type of narrative seems to be taking shape for the finale? Hard to say. For once, I don’t feel confident claiming any one person will for sure win – I tend to think Kaitlyn (and probably AJ, too – unless they fall into the bottom together) are likely going to get saved by the judges no matter what, but when it comes to winning…all bets are off. Will Nev make the finals? Maybe…maybe not. Nelly, Justina, and Jeannie are all big question marks for me, too – I think it’s equally possible that any of them make the finals or get eliminated just short of them. My gut says they can’t protect Monica forever, and if Skai keeps having off-weeks, I don’t think she sticks around, either. No idea what to make of Chrishell anymore, as it feels like Gleb could walk center stage and take a dump and still get glowing reviews for their routine. And is Johnny being set up as a shock elim in the coming weeks??? Could be…or last night could have been an anomaly. And despite Derek usually making the right call, my confidence in the judges this season choosing the correct couple when saving from the bottom two has waned – I tend to think they may be getting instructed to “make things interesting” from the control room, and may vote in a way that they wouldn’t normally. Hence, Carrie Ann’s (downright idiotic) choice to save Vernon & Peta over Johnny & Britt.

So Derek graced the DWTS stage for the first time in 3 years, and I daresay that was probably the only glimmer of hope DWTS has for a possible choreo Emmy nomination next summer – and given that perennial heavy-hitter SYTYCD did not air this year, it’s possible DWTS could eke out a nod along with some of the routines from World of Dance. Or who knows, maybe they won’t even bother to nominate anyone in that category – seems like a very 2020 outcome 😉 Loved this paso, and it felt like the culmination of all the years Derek spent using DWTS and the MOVE tours as a “test kitchen” for some of his wilder choreography ideas. Paso was always his favorite dance to choreograph, so the choice made sense; it was also nice to see how far Hayley has come in her ballroom and Latin technique, as some of her early days dabbling in it were a bit…shaky. I daresay her Latin technique bests Allison’s now, though, so if they ever went shopping for female pros again in the future (if there is one…), I think she’s a logical choice.

As most of us had predicted, Vernon left us this week – and while it was disappointing, I caught a bit of his GMA appearance this morning, and he seemed to have a very upbeat attitude about his elim, and was generally grateful for the experience. I think he had plateaued in terms of his dancing, too, so I don’t know that he would have fared well when they would have started doing 2+ dances per week. Glad he got to go out on a positive note, though – his cha-cha was a fun tribute to his grandpa and I think he had a lot of fun. Read more..

October 21, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 5 – Power Rankings

Soooo…I can’t be the only one who wonders what the Russian pros (minus Artem, he’s an angel) did to piss off the hair department this week, right? 😛 What in the name of Party City Clearance Bin was on Gleb & Val’s heads??? I think the conclusion Mama Spence and I came to was some unholy abomination born of Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride, the owner of the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, and this man looking for love in an 80’s dating service video:

 

Alan only got off marginally better than the other two, with what looks to be a discount version of Vicki Lawrence’s wig from Mama’s Family:

I don’t know if Tyrant is becoming more tolerable, or if everything else in this year is such a flaming dumpster fire by comparison and I’m just getting used to her particular brand of annoyance, but I found her MILDLY less annoying this week. MILDLY. But I will say I found it super-duper sketch when she brought up the whole elimination gaffe from last week again, and it makes me wonder if there’s more to it than simply being a control room “whoops”. Sis seemed awfully defensive about it, and eager to “set the record straight” – to which I say “Sure, Jan.” And so far, everyone that has fallen into the bottom two and been saved has ended up in the bottom two again and gotten flushed out the following week. But this week, Monica manages to avoid it altogether, owing to some awfully generous scoring for what I would consider a fairly weak tango? Just makes my brain itch. I don’t know to what end strings are being pulled, but it just adds to the stench of this season for me.

Well, in the aforementioned unexpected twist, Monica managed to stay completely safe this week, and it was Vernon and Jesse who took a tumble into the “Danger Zone” (seriously – of all the songs they could have resurrected for 80’s week, why not this one???).  Jesse was ultimately flushed out in a unanimous vote by the judges, and while I feel like he had plateaued (and even backslid) in the past two weeks, I am still a skosh disappointed that we lost him, because I do feel like he was trying; I feel like the one thing that gave Vernon a leg up over him, though, is that Vernon seems to take criticism from the judges and let it fuel him, while Jesse only seemed drained by it. Maybe it was for the best that he left sooner rather than later, as the weekly criticism seemed to be taking its toll on Jesse; but it still irks me that he and Sharna got screwed with music at least half the time, and I feel like that did play a major role in some of their dances being a bit lackluster. Their song this week had some really strange tempo changes that even Mama Spence noticed (and she will be the first to tell you she lacks all rhythm), so I’m inclined to cut them a bit of a break for some of their more awkward routines.

Given that it was a theme week, we of course had some songs that weren’t ideal for the dance that was being done to them, and most of the pros had to sacrifice a bit of content in favor of upholding the “spirit” of 80’s week…so I’m being a bit more lenient on filler/time wasters this week. I also have beaucoup gifs this week, so bear with me 😉 Read more..

October 13, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 4 – Power Rankings

So what are we gonna call last night? “Special Dance That is Meaningful to Some of the Contestants” night, sponsored by The Backstreet Boys(TM)?

Honestly, without a unifying theme (and with Tyrant just repeating “special and emotional dances”), it felt a bit aimless last night – you had contestants like Skai and Anne giving very emotionally charged stories and performances, and then you had Monica and Nelly half-heartedly dancing along to songs they didn’t even seem to like. Should have just called it “Most Memorable Year” or “Personal Story” week and let that guide things.

So that aimlessness spilled over into the elimination, which we had plenty of time for, but which somehow still got royally FUBAR’d. While I agree with Heidi’s sentiment that Tyrant was marginally less annoying last night than in previous weeks, all that went out the window for me the minute she started screeching “My cards were wrong! It’s the control room’s fault!” when the big elimination gaffe was revealed. All I could think was “Bergeron would have never thrown the crew under the bus like that.” He would have made some cool, off-the-cuff quip about live television that made us all chuckle, and then moved right along with adjusting course to correct the error. And then once it was made clear that the correct bottom two were Anne and Keo and Monica and Val, she barked at the judges to hurry up an render a verdict, so she had more time to yap about 80s night as the credits rolled. If it wasn’t clear before, it’s abundantly clear now: Tyrant is only ever looking out for number 1.

So we lost Anne and Keo, and that was the first elimination this season that left me feeling disappointed. There was something so refreshing about Anne’s performances – she always seemed to commit fully, and just let her flag fly out on the floor. And she always hyped up Keo, which I appreciate 🙂 And while her story about getting blackballed for dating Ellen back in the day is absolutely heartbreaking, there’s another infuriating layer to the story that didn’t get mentioned: Weinstein actually exposed himself to her and demanded sex around the same time, and then blackballed her further when she rejected him. That poor woman couldn’t get a decent job in Hollywood for YEARS as a result of the one-two punch of the Ellen relationship fallout and Weinstein being Weinstein, unchecked. Overall, I’m glad she was on this season (and I’m glad she got to tell her story), but there were other couples I would have gladly sent home first…it is what it is. Read more..

October 6, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 3 – Power Rankings

What can I say about Disney night that I haven’t already said in season 28, season 27, season 25, etc.? Not much. It’s the same 2-hour long Disney commercial that it has always been, with dances (usually poorly) shoehorned to fit (overused) songs, and costumes that feel like plagiarized essays – “yeah, you can copy mine from last season, but change a few things so it’s not so obvious.” That much I kind of expected – but I’m also dealing with the added complication this season of still having TOO. DAMN. MANY. COUPLES. It’s enough of a mental load to remember them all at the end of the night, and on top of that, we’re still getting really truncated dances – which is beneficial to some (marginal dancers like Chrishell) while detrimental to others (decent dancers like Skai, who seems to take a few bars to really hit a stride). With 13 couples remaining, next week will basically feel like a regular premiere night, and we’re already in week 4. We’re gonna have to start trimming some fat (and quickly) if we want to get whittled down to a 4-couple finale before Thanksgiving.

Tyrant was still up to her usual “look at meeeeee!” claptrap with her Minnie Mouse ballgown and absurdly long wig, but dare I say she may have dialed things back a just teensy bit this week? At the very least, the judges seemed to get more time to critique, while we seemingly only had to endure one dumb Tyrant question posed to each couple instead of multiple, increasingly painful ones that the celebs struggled to answer eloquently (or diplomatically). Don’t get it twisted – this show is still much harder to endure than necessary, owing to Tyrant’s presence (and Bergeron’s absence); but this week felt fractionally less painful.  Think someone pulled rank and told her to pipe down after last week’s sh*tshow?

So “that b***h Carole Baskin” got sent packing this week, and I hope that means I don’t have to hear any more bitching about how upset some of you were that “Derek saved her!” last week. You guys do realize the judges collude on who to save/ditch, right? So even though it appeared that Derek “got the deciding vote”, the three of them had already decided who was staying and who was going, and it was just a matter of what order they revealed their votes in to maximize suspense. And Carole had to have more than one vote to stay, yet nobody seemed as upset with Carrie Ann as they were with Derek.  My god, I worry about the intelligence quotient of the voting public these days *facepalm*. Anywho, it was her time to go – and I think that’s why they handed her samba as her style this week to ensure it, as nearly no one nails that dance and even the good ones usually just barely flirt with proper technique.  Carole basically tiptoed carefully through her dance – no bounce, not much rhythm, but I will credit her with generally keeping in step with Pasha. And I think Carole may have been saved from complete embarassment when Tyrant hit her with this gem of a question: “So how does Pasha compare with the cats?” That’s like someone asking me how Mama Spence compares to the spreadsheets I use to make budgets at my 9-5. I dunno – I worry about both of them making dollars and sense? Da fuq. Is anyone rehearsing these questions with Tyrant before the show, or is she just improvising them on the fly???

Read more..

September 30, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 2 – Power Rankings

Welcome to “Dancing with Tyra Banks! And 15 Other Famous People But Mainly TYRA BANKS!!! Did We Mention TYRA BANKS??? WE ARE CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED TO SAY HER NAME AT LEAST 50 TIMES PER SHOW, SEND HELP!”

For anyone still able to hold onto the notion that Tyra “is doing better than we thought she would”, I admire your optimism, but I’m completely over her after only 2 weeks. Every time she asks an awkward (and usually frivolous) question after a couple gets their judges’ critiques (which are cut woefully short), or we have to hear her make every interaction about herself in some way, or we’re forced to witness her awkward attempt at humor in the “smizing” cold open, I just think to myself “Tom Bergeron would have never stooped to this level, and he could have gracefully hosted this show with a blindfold on and his hands tied behind his back…and it would still be better than this drivel!” Erin would have been worlds better than this as well…and Samantha Harris…and even one-and-done host Lisa Canning. About the only previous host Tyra has beat is Brooke Burke-Charvet, owing to the fact that Brooke wasn’t much more than a barely-sentient (but very pretty) potato. At least Tyra has a certain trainwreck appeal that makes her somewhat entertaining to watch…

…so with the new(ish) voting format, as Heidi mentioned, we’ve kind of discovered that it may actually be more beneficial for a couple to dance in the first hour of the show (as opposed to the second); I don’t think it was a coincidence that they seemed to front-load the show this week with most of the good dancers (Nev, Skai, Johnny, Justina, AJ) and left more of the weaker dancers in the back half (Charles, Carol, Chrishell, Vernon, Anne). And I don’t think the order in which the couples were called “safe” from elimination was a coincidence, either, despite Tyra insisting that the couples were “in no particular order”; the earliest ones called safe (Kaitlyn, Justina, AJ, Johnny) are the ones I think the majority of us assumed would be the safest, and the last three standing (Chrishell, Carol, and Charles) were the three most of us had in the danger zone.  I find the fact that Skai was one of the last four standing to possibly be a bit of a warning shot – I’m wondering if she’s dealing with Disney Kid Syndrome(TM) and is struggling with votes.

Other noteworthy stuff? On the negative end, I’m not sure the cameras panning to the couples sitting in their socially-distanced balconies after watching another couple dance is a good thing – more often than not, the couples were either making strange (potentially shady?) faces, or were messing with their phones; at least once, the camera panned to an empty balcony for a few beats. On the positive end, we are getting to experience the saucy troll side of Derek – the passive aggressive “Good job! That’s all I have time to say!” to Jesse after being rushed along from giving a critique by Tyrant (I’ve decided it’s her new name, y’all, since she’s the airtime hoarder) was SENDING me, as was this Carrie-Ann trolling TiK ToK he posted the other day that has inspired me to resurrect my long-marinating “lift policing” post for later this week 😉 Seriously, I cannot wait to see what other sassy comedic GOLD this arrangement sends our way – this is what happens when you hire the most decorated former pro in DWTS history to judge, after he’s had a successful run judging another more high-profile show on a rival network and he has absolutely NOTHING to lose by being a bit of a little shit 😉

@derekhoughShe’s a stickler for lifts @dancingabc♬ original sound – Tucky

So we lost Charles & Emma, which wasn’t terribly surprising – I think most of us had Carole and Charles as our bottom two; really and truly, as much as everyone seems to want Carole gone, I do think the right decision was made – I thought Carole was slightly better than Charles both weeks. Charles, bless him, I just don’t think he was going to improve much more this season. Sweet man, sweet partnership with Emma…but just not meant to go the distance. Read more..

September 23, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 29, Week 1 – Power Rankings

As I find myself saying more and more often in this god forsaken year – this episode of Black Mirror sucks 😛

Granted, my bar for this season of DWTS was set lower than ever; I was expecting a certain degree of shenanigans that inevitably comes with COVID-19 precautions. The lack of audience meant the couples seemed to just get swallowed up by the stage (and lighting), and the walls constructed on both sides of the dance floor to obscure the lack of audience seemed to evoke a sort of post-apocalyptic robot obelisk. Then there was the dystopian (and highly unnerving, at times) pre-recorded applause, booing, and cheering noises that were piped in, often at the wrong time (and wayyyy too loud). The intro of the celebs at the beginning of the show seemed to be some sort of bastardized version of the “choose your player” screen at the beginning of video games, with each character pulsing awkwardly in some sort of characteristic movement – or a preview of the 2020 version of The Sims, who knows. While I enjoyed the intro of the pros walking to the stage one by one and striking a pose, they all seemed to look a bit sad – I like to think it was because they missed Tom. I certainly did.

I just can’t with Tyra, guys. I know it was her first night, but sis was just trying wayyyy too hard, and it came across disingenuous and awkward at times; I just found myself going “We let go of the ease and aplomb of Tom and Erin FOR THIS???” And this is DWTS, not the Met Gala – so the ginormous “look at meeeeeee!” ballgown made me roll my eyes, as did the costume change. I can’t recall Tom or Erin ever changing costumes during the show, or wearing anything that was so over-the-top as to shift focus from the contestants. Nor did they feel the need to stunt in a Ferrari… Read more..

September 15, 2020 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.

PureDWTS Season 28, Week 1: Power Rankings

So we wrapped up the premiere of the “new, improved!” DWTS a little over 24 hours ago, and I’ve got some mixed feelings. My main concern: in the wake of the disastrous year the show had in 2018, they’re currently trying to reinvent/rebrand the show to give ratings a boost and maintain a hope and a prayer of this show surviving into 2020.  The only problem? I feel like the rebranding involves just turning DWTS into Strictly Come Dancing 2.0.

Yes, they’re essentially the same show, in terms of the concept, aesthetic, etc. But Heidi and I have long been reminding people that comparing DWTS and SCD is a bit like apples and oranges, because the fact that the two shows air in completely different markets makes each take on slightly different flavors. Americans and Brits are two different cultures that have different tastes when it comes to television – I have yet to meet an American that understands the appeal of British soap operas (I can’t tell you how many times I fell asleep trying to watch the same god-forsaken episode of EastEnders in college because a girl in my dorm was from London and swore up and down that it was the greatest TV show ever), while I’ve heard more than one Brit puzzle about why American television is so violence-driven (same girl in my dorm was CONVINCED we all carried guns on our person because she had watched 24 before coming to college). And there’s obvious differences between our humor, with British humor being quite a bit drier and high brow than more crass, slapstick American humor. Given all those differences – would it be a stretch to assume that  Americans expect different things out of DWTS than Brits do out of SCD?

With respect to DWTS and what I’ve observed in my 10 years of blogging, I tend to think Americans care less about how many syllabus steps a routine has and care more about being entertained and wowed by a memorable dance. I know SCD is more driven by syllabus content and correct execution of the steps, and low-scoring of non-compliant routine is more commonplace than it is here in the US, where it’s unusual to see any paddle lower than a “6” taken out after week 1. So for things to shift rather suddenly from the DWTS focus on entertaining and memorable dance numbers to a more content-driven approach from the judges, I have to wonder: is this sh*t gonna fly…? Some of the best choreographers we’ve seen on DWTS are the ones that really thrive when they’re unfettered by syllabus  requirements – think Derek, Mark, and Julianne, who all ended up Emmy nominated at some point as a result. We’ve still got a few pros in the current stable that I think choreograph best in a more out-of-the-box setting – namely Jenna, and possibly Brandon. Then again, with the prospect of an Emmy nom a distant memory since the departure of Derek and the onslaught of more competition in the Outstanding Choreograhy category…maybe it’s time to start focusing more on content? I honestly don’t know – but I’m not sure the answer to all of DWTS’ problems is just tweaking everything to match SCD. Time will tell, especially after we hear about this new elimination twist next week…

One good thing to come out of the “let’s do it like SCD!” gambit? The delayed reveal of the partnerships left us more  likely to get unexpectedly WOWED by some of the contestants – and I daresay with all the chatter about Hannah, Karamo, Kel, and Sailor, I did NOT see James coming at all. I was genuinely and delightedly surprised, which was nice. I also didn’t head into this season with a favorite – there were a few contestants/partnerships I found intriguing, but nobody that I knew from the jump I’d be voting for…so I felt like I was seeing everything with fresh eyes. But shall we get on with the rankings?  🙂 Read more..

September 17, 2019 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.

PureDWTS Season 27, Week 8 – Power Rankings, Who Will Win?

Y’all, it’s been a week…hell, it’s been a season.  And if I’m being honest, this is one season that has felt like it has absolutely DRAGGGGGGED on – I’m not sure I’ve wanted a season to be over this badly since maybe season 11, when Bristol was sticking around like a bad rash. Strike that – season 14 was pretty bad, too, when William Levy was getting jammed down my throat every week. Season 20 wasn’t much better, given that it had been predetermined it was “Val’s season” from week 1 and it got monotonous pretty quickly. To put it plainly: I’m just plain ready for this season to be over, and have my life back for the next 5ish months. I’ve got plans in the pipeline 😉

So in the penultimate elim of the season (which was a double, thank goodness – a 5-person finale on a season where the finale is only 1 night is a bit much), we finally shook Grocery Joe loose (yassssssss) and also lost Juan-Note Pablo in the second “shocking” elim of the season.  Can’t say I was terribly upset about either one leaving us – Joe should have been gone in week 1, and was little more than a glorified weightlifting spotter in his dances on Monday night; Juan Pablo, while probably deserving of a spot in the finale, just never resonated with me as a person – and I apparently wasn’t alone, as he clearly wasn’t getting the votes to stay. I think it says something when we ALMOST get a rare show of vulnerability from Juan Pablo (talking about his mother beating cancer in his rehearsal package, and dedicating his dance to her), and then it was like “JK, I’mma still serve you macho Latin lover realness!” and he performed a dance that, while technically quite good, was little different than every other dance we got from him this season: all smolder and sexiness, and no vulnerability or emotion.  I will credit him for being (to my knowledge) the first and only real-live Argentinean to perform an Argentine tango on DWTS, but at the end of the day, I think he & Cheryl probably missed the mark a bit in the grand scheme of things – you have to be a good dancer to succeed on this show, but people also have to like you and care about you; and if you’re constantly serving the same bravado week after week, dance after dance, and not taking the time to show the viewers that you’re also human and have feelings, they’re probably going to tune you out after awhile, no matter how great your dancing is.

I’ve been getting quite a few questions about what I think the future of this show looks like, given the three-ring circus that this season has been. Unfortunately, I think it looks grim – can’t remember where I had this conversation, but Heidi, John, & I were talking recently about the future of the show, and either Heidi or John said “At this point, they’ve gotten what they wanted out of the show – they probably don’t really care what happens now, and will let the show continue its steady demise until they find something better to take its place.” Let’s face it: getting 25+ seasons out of a show where it stays a ratings juggernaut is not just good – it’s great.  Almost unheard of…so for DWTS to be taking a dive in season 27, it’s more than likely just the show running its course. Sure, there’s been some wonky stuff going on this season, but I’d chalk a lot of that up to overall viewership being down and less of a normalizing influence in the voting as a result; I don’t think it’s so much that the SHOW has changed, it’s the AUDIENCE moving on.  I have often found myself saying “I just want to see something I haven’t seen before!” for several seasons now – be it a new pro, some more “out there” choreographic risks, an unexpected celeb, etc. I can’t imagine I’m alone in that desire.  Given that the show has basically already called several audibles this season (rearranging the elimination schedule, changing the original plan for a 5-couple finale, and cutting the finale down to 1 night), I don’t think ABC would have any qualms cancelling a prospective spring season if it came down to it – really, the only evidence we have of a spring season in 2019 is an interview (which I haven’t seen myself) where Sharna apparently said she had “signed on for several more seasons, including the spring one”; given that the pros contracts are pretty open-ended, and being “on contract” just means you must avail yourself if they need you, I don’t think we can safely assume there’s going to be a spring season, just that Sharna is available for it if there is one. And someone also pointed out to me that the winter tour has now been extended through early March – if there was going to be a regular-length spring season, the cast would have already been announced at that point, and the couples rehearsing. At this point, I’m dubious that there’s going to be a spring season at all, but if there is, I think the best we can hope for is a shortened one, a la season 26. I’d personally be just fine with no spring season, as I’m going to be tripled up on my classes by that point and also job hunting out west. DWTS can come back in the fall, when I’m done with school, hopefully settled into my new digs in Denver, and with a lot more free time on my hands 😉 Read more..

November 16, 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.

PureDWTS Season 27, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Welcome to season 27, where the decent dancers are in perpetual danger, and the more mediocre you are, the greater the likelihood you’ll stick around. Guys – this is not the dance show I fell in love with 13 years ago. This season is a strange, bastardized caricature of it – and that’s why this post has been hard to write.  It’s also been hard to try and make sense of the nonsense of this season in general, and I feel worthless when some of you come to me asking what to make of [insert nonsense here] or [insert wonky scoring here], and I’m not able to give you an intelligent explanation for it…because I don’t have one. It still tickles me that so many of you give a damn about what I write,  after all these years, and value my thoughts on this show. But this time around, I just don’t know what to tell you, other than “Yep, this season sucks.” I fear we’re possibly witnessing the death throes of DWTS – all good things must come to an end, I guess, and this show has paid the dividends for 13 years now, which is impressive and quite a bit longer than I thought it would be on the air. Just stinks that it’s going out in such an inauspicious way 🙁

It’s beyond me why reality competition shows even bother doing “country night” as a theme anymore – it only seems to appeal to a small subset of the audience, the music is often pretty cringe-y, and the attire is…questionable. Monday night’s show was no different – the opener was pretty sloppy, and even the guest singers seemed a bit bewildered and not quite sure what to do.  Additionally, I feel like the couples that got saddled dancing to songs performed live by the artists took a bit of a hit, as their choreography had to accommodate intermittent pans to the singer for their obligatory face time.  At the end of the night, I remembered very little, and cared even less about “country night”. Put it to bed, ABC.

As for who we lost this – John & DeMarcus were 2/3 of my favorite guys this season, and them getting taken out in one sweep was gutting. I would have GLADLY traded Joe, Bobby, Alexis, AND Juan Pablo if it meant keeping the two of them in the competition. I ended up enjoying John far more than I thought I would – he was actually a decent dancer, had great musicality, got along great with Emma, was excited to be there, had a nice journey, and was generally a likable, humble guy.  Unfortunately, I think the writing was on the wall where he was concerned – we saw it coming last week, and TPTB seemed to have decided his time was up. Then there’s DeMarcus – someone I thought for sure we’d see in the in the finale.  Not entirely sure what happened here – he was always one of the better male contestants, and was never a bad dancer in the same way that both Bobby & Joe are; he was also extremely likable and genuine, and vibed well with Lindsay.   Part of me thinks he just got lost in the shuffle between the general (but memorable) stink of Joe & Bobby, the three-ring circus of the Alanis/Alexan (have they decided on their ship name yet?) showmance, the gushing over Juan Pablo, and both Milo & Evanna having memorable journeys; part of the blame for that lies with the judges and their more middle-of-the-road scoring and critiques, which were usually unnecessarily tough on De. Then there’s also the small matter of his finger injury back in week 3 – as minor as it may have seemed in the grand scheme of things, it was as if the moment DeMarcus realized his finger was injured, sh*t got real.  I mentioned to someone on Twitter, but if you re-watch the video of it happening, there was a noticeable shift in his demeanor – he went from “Oh hell yeah!!!” to “Oh sh*t, this is bad!” in .3 seconds.  And part of me thinks he was never really able to shake it off totally – every dance from that moment on seemed a tad cautious and tentative. Who knows – regardless, I don’t think he or Lindsay deserved to go home, and on any other season, he probably would have had a free pass to the finale.  And the finale has suffered in quality with the lost off both John AND DeMarcus 🙁 Read more..

November 9, 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.