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PureDWTS Season 23, Week 5 – Power Rankings

In a pleasant turn of events from last week’s near-universal Cirque dumpster fire, nearly everyone this week at least did ok-to-great with their dances – I don’t feel like anyone really stepped in it or f*cked up beyond help.  Truth be told, I think I’d rather forego switch week (and judging from the lack of chatter I’ve heard from our sources about the switch, we are probably gonna forego it this season) and let couples have a no-elim week during most memorable year/personal story week.  As I was discussing with some of my Twitter followers, the novelty of the switch has worn off, and it just seems like kind of a drag these days – it’s stressful for all involved, the judges seem inclined to “make an example” and score harshly during switch week, and height differences (a la Kim & Keo last season, and potentially with Calvin & Terra this season) seem like they could potentially screw over some pairings.  Next week is Latin week, and we’ve got confirmation that week 8 is Halloween week (again) – that really only leaves week 7 as a possibility for switch week, and there will only be 8 couples left by then…every time they’ve done the switch, they’ve done it with 9 couples.  Could they do it with only 8 couples? Yes.  Will they? I doubt it.  Can’t say I’m terribly disappointed.

As many of us predicted, there was no elim last night, despite TPTB trying to fake out the couples that there would be.  Seemed like every time I tweeted “I don’t think there will be an elim”, at least one person would tweet back with “But Court, James said they were told there WOULD be an elim!” Guess what: the powers that be LIE. They think they’re slick, the think they’re really pulling a “gotcha!” on both the contestants AND the viewers, and most of the time, those two groups don’t know enough to second guess them.  Thing is, we’ve been watching this show long enough to know that there has never been THREE eliminations based on one set of viewer votes (in this case, last Monday’s viewer votes).  That’s unprecedented, and has the potential to rile up a LOT of viewers – which is why it was kinda easy for me to see that they weren’t going to do it.  But maybe this thought hadn’t even crossed their mind, and they were actually planning on it – until someone actually sat down and thought about it.  Wouldn’t be the first time this show flew by the seat of their pants with plans week to week. If they had actually done it, I would put money on it that we would have seen Jana or Amber fall – and honestly, I wouldn’t have been upset if either left.  But they didn’t, so just keep this in mind: TPTB often fib for the sake of drama, and the other half of the time, they’re just making sh*t up as they go along.

Other random thoughts from last night? Was nice to get a proper pro dance at the top of the show, even if it felt a bit random and out-of-place – but I was glad to get an actual ballroom dance, without hair-flipping, or shirt removal, or low-brow “sexy” choreography.  Did TPTB (or Mandy) actually take a look at social media and see all the complaints about how we’re all just kinda over the “sexy” pro dances? And that we actually want to see the pros DANCING??? Seems like a possibility. I also had to raise my eyebrows at the fact that we currently have a 4-way tie for last place – and that 3 of the 4 in that group are what I would consider to be “on the bubble” and at-risk for being eliminated next week anyway, regardless of score. Keeping the margins awfully close, and throwing it to the fans, it seems… Read more..

October 11, 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 4 – Power Rankings

“Cirque du Soleil Week” turned out to be more like “Cirque du NO WAY” week, I’m afraid – with the exception of maybe 3 couples, pretty much everyone got chewed up and spit out by the theme in some way or another.  This is what happens when you try to force a theme to fit a dance – things tend to get messy, and we end up bereft of a lot of good dancing.  You know it’s overkill when a source at the show last night texts you to tell you he/she is tripping over acrobats while trying to move around backstage 🙂

Also kinda sucks that, on top of the overkill of Cirque week, and the great Julianne vs. Amber “Uncomfortable-gate” non-controversy stealing the show, the bomb also got dropped that tonight is a surprise double elimination.  Had a lot of you on Twitter asking me if I thought this was in the same vein as the Sean Avery elimination – where Sean had butted heads with producers, and they rearranged the elimination schedule to allegedly send him home earlier.  Honestly, the only one I thought MIGHT fit into the same category as Sean might have been Amber, but given how they milked the Amber drama and then lavished praise on her dance last night, I’m not really inclined to think they would pull something like this to get her out.  I’m more inclined to think that they’ve rearranged the schedule in some manner, and need to make sure they have X number of contestants in X week and the easiest way to ensure that is to do a double elim this week.  FWIW, if they do a double elim this week (and a single elim each week from now until Halloween), they end up with even numbers for the team dances – not that they’ve ever really seemed to care about that, but just illustrating that I don’t think there’s anything particularly foul driving this decision, and it could be for some very innocuous reason.  We know there has to be a double elim at some point in the fall season – where it falls is up to TPTB, and maybe this was just the most convenient time to do it.

Kinda rolling my eyes that, for the 3rd week in a row, we have to deal with a 2-hour results show, which is basically a one-hour recap show with a few musical guests built into the 2nd half, in between results.  Anybody know what fall show got cancelled and left a gap in the schedule that they needed DWTS to fill? I’d kinda like my Tuesday nights back, thanks… Read more..

October 4, 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 3 – Power Rankings

Well that was possibly the most breakneck speed episode of DWTS we’ve ever witnessed – trying to watch, tweet, and take notes proved to be pretty difficult when they were moving as quickly as they were, so if these are a tad late, I apologize…I may have had to rewind and rewatch.

As much of a cluster as we predicted the face-off dances to be, on the whole I wasn’t too disappointed – my expectations were set pretty low, and tonight’s show maybe slightly exceeded them.  With the exception of a select few dances, technique seemed to be sacrificed in favor of showmanship across the board, and I really only saw 3 couples who seemed like they were 100% in-the-zone when performing…the rest seemed to eke by with varying degrees of bewilderment. It is what it is – when you’ve gotta cram 12 dances into 1 hour, you’re bound to make sacrifices somewhere.  I will say that I really enjoyed not hearing as much meaningless blathering from the judges 😀

Just to recap how voting/eliminations work this week – those who won their dance-offs are safe from elimination tomorrow; those who lost are at risk of getting eliminated. So the rankings should really only be 6 couples this week – but I do want to at least touch on the ones who won their dance-offs, so I’m gonna do things a bit differently tonight. First set of rankings is for those who are actually eligible to be eliminated – with the #6 position being the one I think  is most likely to get the boot. The second set is just a ranking of how well the winners did.  Also threw in a general ranking of the face-offs and how well/not well I think they worked out. Read more..

September 26, 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 2 – Power Rankings

I really do have kind of a love-hate relationship with TV weeks – and really, theme weeks in general.  They’ve brought us some really good dances, and they’ve brought us some pretty craptastic dances.  And a whole lotta awkward sh*t in between – this is what happens, kids, when you try to force a certain song to fit a certain dance, or try to force certain costuming to fit a certain dance, or a certain dance to fit a certain theme, etc. There was definitely some awkwardness last night that I would blame primarily on this week’s theme – I feel like Amber & Maks, Jake & Jenna, and Rob/Vanilla & Witney kinda got played by their assigned themes, while I commend Calvin & Lindsay and Babyface and Allison for making their theme work for them…particularly the latter, which I’ll get into more later. Also a lot of time wasting at the beginning of several of the dances, which seemed to be a pretty across-the-board thing, so I guess I can’t complain too much – although I will say some pros utilized the time wasting more than others.

And while I think the distraction of the protesters last week may have somewhat blurred any potential agenda by the judges, I felt like we really saw that agenda take shape awfully clearly this week: Laurie is the chosen one, and anyone that poses a threat to Laurie needs to be nitpicked, criticized, and underscored to protect her.  I think the only other celeb that escaped the judges unscathed besides Laurie was Terra, which is also somewhat problematic, which I will get into later; but why give a dance straight 8’s and then don’t explain ways in which it can be improved upon? If it’s truly perfect and you aren’t going to give any negative feedback, give it 10’s.  If you’re not giving it 10’s and you’re not offering up suggestions for improvement…something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.

Not sure if I’ll do another round of power rankings later tonight/early tomorrow or not (for next Monday’s elimination), as I’ve got some other things going on that are going to make the next 24 hours very, very busy for me, but for now…I guess take these as my predictions for who is going home tomorrow night, and I might just do an update tomorrow evening after we boot the first celeb. Read more..

September 20, 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 22 Finale, Night 2 – 24-Hour Fusion Dances Revealed **SPOILERS**

Please forgive the incomplete info – doing the best I can, kids 😛

ETA: George Pennacchio filled in my gaps.  Nyle’s song is a guess on my part, as George only said that their song was called “Summer”.  Now if all of you who like to complain about every tango done to an EDM song “was just a copy of Meryl & Maks'” don’t bitch about Peta & Nyle’s…then YOU, my friends, are hypocrites. 😉

Ginger & Val – Argentine tango/Foxtrot (song: “Just Like Fire” by Pink)

Nyle & Peta – Tango/Cha Cha (song: “Summer” by Calvin Harris(?))

Paige & Mark – Salsa/Jive (song: “Little Bitty Pretty One” by Thurston Harris)

Thoughts? How convenient that Val got Argentine tango again – he can just recycle the last 5 ones he did, which were all just remixes of the previous one he did. Having a hard time remembering Nyle’s tango, but wasn’t that one that he bungled up on? Paige is gonna look so stinkin’ cute doing a salsa/jive. 🙂

Here’s to a fun finale! 😎

 

May 24, 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 22, Week 5 – Power Rankings

The old adage is true: you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and the Maks we saw last night was basically the same hypocritical foot-in-the-mouth bonehead that we saw when he was still a pro – soap-boxing about lack of content, while conveniently forgetting that he himself was known for choreographing full routines of d*cking around and “messin’ about” when he was a pro; and then there was some suspicious scoring…Maks conveniently gave his 3 highest scores of the night to lil bro’s original partner, lil bro’s switch partner, and his fiancee’s original partner…and  also gave an unusually kind critique to his fiancee’s switch partner, despite him not being all that great. Basically, it was a good night to be on the DWM payroll, or paired with someone that was on the DWM payroll – and if you weren’t, watch out…cause Maks was comin’ for you & your “lack of content”. Good luck with the tour, bruh – cause I don’t see them offering you a permanent  spot at the judges’ table anytime soon.

That’s not to say that Maks was the only judge on-notice last night – Len seemed to parrot everything Maks said, and Maks seemed to parrot everything that Len said, and both picked very interesting week to suddenly crack down on “lack of content”. Since some of you seemed to be getting it twisted on Twitter, let me make one thing clear: I’m not saying “it’s ok to not have content”.  Hell, I’ve found myself complaining about it quite a lot this season, read through my previous rankings – it’s been a definite problem. But I do think they picked a lousy week to suddenly be so concerned about it after not batting an eye for 4 weeks – switch week is one week where I think the judges need to keep in mind that all of the couples are working with a handicap: they all only have about 5 days to build a rapport and create a routine for someone that they haven’t already been dancing with for a month and a half, and they’re all somehow expected to crank something out that is every bit as good as something the celeb’s original partner would be able to pull out of them at this phase of the competition. Nobody is really working at 100% capacity. Long story short? Switch week is tough, and is probably NOT the time to suddenly go for the jugular and “make an example” of some pros’ choreography at the expense of their celeb partners. There is a time and a place – and it’s not here or now. I was actually a bit thankful for Carrie Ann & Bruno last night, who seemed to soften the blow a bit by at least throwing out some positive/constructive things with regards to the celebs’ performance when all Len & Maks could do was rant about content and take the pros to task.

As expected, nobody went home last night; but with the scores and votes from last week and this week getting combined in order to determine who gets the boot, we’re to the point where we’re really going to start seeing who’s getting the votes (and who isn’t), and we may be heading into shock elim territory – a lot of the “shocking” (but not really, when you think about it) eliminations from the past always seemed to happen when we got a huge dump of points and multiple weeks of combined scores. It makes the margins smaller, and therefore makes it a lot easier for someone at the bottom of the scoreboard to overcome a deficit – which makes good dancers with good scores (but dubious voting fanbases) a target. Was Maks’ comparison of Jodie to Sabrina a warning? Guess we’ll see.  Other random thoughts? Maks really needs to stop name-dropping Meryl when he wants to make a point – Maksyl was one of the most farcical and disingenuous pairings we’ve seen on the show, and it was 2 years ago.  Get some new material, dude. James Bay sounded breathy and bizarre. Ginger’s hubby? I like that dude’s style 😉 And the Indycar fangirl in me was giddy that James Hinchcliffe was in the audience last night – gives me hope that we might see another driver on the show soon!

NOTE: Just a reminder – these are just like any other power rankings; it’s still a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a couple is to go home (and remember, it’s their original partner that they would get eliminated with).  I will do a separate “switch up post-mortem” like I did last season, where I rank the pros by how well they did or didn’t handle the switch. Read more..

April 19, 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

Learn To Tango Free Online – Dance Videos And More

Would you like to take some free tango lessons online? If so, check out Learn Dance Tango. They have some cool tutorials and dance videos you can learn the tango with.

One of the interesting things about tango is how broad it is. Right now, I’m saying this from a vocabulary perspective. At first glance, it seems limiting because we’re always in the same embrace. And so, you cannot do underarm turns and things like that. But I think tango is like haiku: when you add some rules, you also begin to plumb the depths of the possibilities that remain.

Tango is probably one of the only social dances where it would not be uncommon to have both people sometimes on the same foot and sometimes on the opposite foot for extended periods of time, sometimes leaning towards each other (this video), sometimes leaning away).

April 14, 2016 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Fair warning: if you read the live blog or follow me on Twitter, you might get a tad bored with the power rankings this week – I’ve only filled in on the live blog for Heidi a handful of times, but each time the struggle is kinda the same, with me trying not to repeat the same thoughts over and over again, just worded a bit differently.  I’ve tried to go more in-depth than what I said in the live blog or the snippets I gave on Twitter, but overall, the sentiments are kinda the same.  Sorry guys – blame New Orleans and its tasty cuisine for distracting Heidi 😛

I think this season, more than any other season in recent years that I can think of, the judges are being extra stingy with the points, and seem to be very careful about whom they reward them to and how many they reward.  Is this the true drawback of having so much talent in one season – suddenly dances that would have probably gotten 9’s or even 10’s on another season, are lucky to get straight 8’s? Also a drawback, and one we’ve seen develop a bit more in the past two weeks – it’s harder to determine what your narrative for the season is going to be when you start off thinking certain contestants are going to thrive, and they end up not doing so; likewise, a contestant you had written off as being mediocre and nothing to sneeze at could come out of nowhere and overshadow your “chosen ones”.  I think we witnessed the narrative starting to change last night – I started to see the judges (or at least one of the judges) begin to wean themselves off of certain contestants that weren’t up-to-snuff, and started to gravitate more towards contestants that were really starting to shine. Will be interesting to see if this direction continues, or continues to evolve as the season goes on…

…once again, last night’s elimination was no surprise; but at the very least, Mischa went out on a high note, and looked like she was finally able to let go and have fun.  And midway through the show, while watching Jodie’s package, I had a bit of an epiphany about Mischa: she’s Jodie from five years ago.  She’s in the early stages of sobriety, just trying to find her footing on the shaky ground of recovery, and cautiously just trying to navigate through life at this stage.  What’s to say that if Jodie had done the show five years ago, she wouldn’t have had the same struggles Mischa had this season? Or if Mischa had done DWTS five years from now – maybe her journey would have ended up more like Jodie’s? Just food for thought, and I wish Mischa the best – I just feel like maybe this was not the right time in her life for an experience like this, and it didn’t matter who her partner was…she just wasn’t ready.  But anyway – from here on out is where the eliminations start to get murky and probably painful.  There isn’t really anyone left that I strongly dislike (hell, I wouldn’t even say I strongly disliked Geraldo or Mischa – I just acknowledged that they weren’t right for the show), and with the scores so close together, they really do seem to be tossing it to the fans to decide.  Heidi’s numbers post will be an interesting read later this week… Read more..

April 5, 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 Extra: President Obama Does A Tango In Buenos Aires, Argentina (Video)

President Obama accepted an invitation to do the tango during a state dinner in his honor in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m loving this…

March 24, 2016 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

PureDWTS Season 22, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that this season of DWTS will be won by…a dude. 😛 Yeah, that could be one of six individuals (but more realistically, probably 4), but after tonight, I daresay the bulk of this season’s talent rests with the men – don’t get me wrong, there are a few ladies with skills…but I think the men this season are closer to being the full package of skill, charm, and work ethic that it takes to win that MBT.

That being said – while the major narrative that TPTB seemed to want to push tonight was current NFL player vs. current NFL player, I found myself feeling a bit let-down with our two current football players; could have been the huge preseason hype surrounding them, but I was left feeling surprisingly “meh” by what I actually saw. Instead, I found my eye drawn to two other men that far eclipsed our NFL duo in terms of making a good impression.  As for the ladies – there’s some with real charm, and some with skill, and some that TPTB seem to have a vested interest in keeping around (cue side eye…), but when I’m left thinking about who really stood out in my mind tonight – I’m remembering a lot more guys than gals.

Other observations? The intro was cute, but seemed a little bit hodgepodge and not terribly cohesive; maybe I was just spoiled by how catchy & fun last season’s was. I also tip my hat to Erin tonight, as I think she was just what some of the contestants needed after a rough go of it with the judges – she was kind and gentle with those that maybe didn’t come out with such glowing reviews & scores.

Just a refresher, for those of you just joining us this season: the power rankings are a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a contestant is to get eliminated – it takes into account scores, fanbase, personality, memorability,  and whatever other factors I find that seem to influence voting behavior. It is NOT a ranking of “who danced the best”, so if you’re hear to complain that “so-and-so should be higher than such-and-such because they got a much higher score!” – you’re outta your element, Donnie. Now that we’ve got that outta the way… Read more..

March 22, 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