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PureDWTS DWTS Juniors Season 1 – Court’s Season 1 Post-Mortem: What Worked, What Needs Work, Some Tea, and Final Thoughts

So here it is – my high-level thoughts on the season as a whole.  Some of you have been asking for “more tea”, which is kinda tough because there’s not really so much to be had on Juniors 😛 But I did the best I could…

Some tea:

There was no bonus or cash prize for the winner. You heard right: Sky & JT didn’t receive any additional cash bonus or other compensation for winning Juniors.  The prize was literally just the trophy and bragging rights – all the kids got paid by the episode, and were paid the same fee per episode they appeared on. It’s a rather refreshing, egalitarian take that we don’t really see on the main show, where winners & finalists get bonuses for winning or just sticking around longer, and celebs play hardball with contracts so bigger names can negotiate more money for appearing on the show. And I think the lack of cash motivation allowed the kids to do the show for the right reasons – they weren’t in it for the money, but for the experience.

If there had been an elimination in the semifinals, it was allegedly Ariana & Artyon that would have gotten sent home. Part of me wonders if they opted to do a 4-couple finale because Ariana & Artyon were such firecrackers – of the 4 finalists, they were probably the most energetic, and offered a nice balance with Sky & JT being adorable and Kenzie & Sage and Miles & Rylee being more mature and subdued.

Tripp apparently had no idea he was even doing DWTS Juniors until the day of the first rehearsal. Contrary to what some rogue Palin fans have tried to claim, Tripp allegedly had no idea he was doing the show until the morning of his first rehearsal with Hailey & Jenna, per source who saw the first rehearsal tape.  Talk about an awkward (and potentially traumatic) introduction.  I guess Mama Bristol made all the arrangements for him to be on the show and then just didn’t tell him until it was too late to back out. So the permanent bewildered expression the poor kid had on his face the whole time he was on screen? It makes sense now, given the context.

Source isn’t 100% sure the voting clickers the audience used to vote were even working properly for most of the season. Apparently the handy-dandy “clicker remotes” the eligible audience members were given to vote with at the end of each show were a crapshoot most of the time – on premiere night, the crew ended up frantically handing out pencils and paper to about half the audience because they couldn’t get the clickers to work (confirmed by someone who was in the audience the night they taped the premiere).  The issues apparently continued for most of the season – source “was not entirely sure” the voting was even working properly in the finals, as the remotes were pretty low-tech (those of you who’ve been in college in the last 20-odd years – think of the remote controls you used to record attendance for your big lectures). Now before any of you start crying foul, some perspective: given that there was no cash prize involved, TPTB were not bound by the same laws that prevent the regular version of DWTS (which DOES have a cash prize) from “rigging the votes”. And per the source, the audience support for Sky was overwhelming – even if all the clickers stopped working, I think it would have been obvious based on applause and cheers who the favorite was. It might have caused problems with determining how the other three placed, though, which could explain why it wasn’t announced.  With that in mind…

Who finished 2nd, 3rd, & 4th? Per source, they were never told how everyone placed in the finals, aside from Sky & JT winning – and I’m fine with that, as I don’t really see the value in knowing how they ranked otherwise.  They all made the finals; that’s something to be commended, and if I were one of those kids and I ended up in 4th place, I’d feel pretty bummed. THAT BEING SAID – many of you have asked how I think they placed, so here’s my take: given that Ariana allegedly was low-kid on the totem pole and in danger of elimination during the semis, and given that she & Artyon were arguably the weakest performance-wise on finale night, I’m going to venture a guess that she would have probably ended up in 4th place. Source said audience support for Kenzie & Miles at the finale seemed neck-and-neck, but I’d give Miles a slight edge given that he danced later in the show and had probably the two strongest routines, choreography and performance-wise – so I’d put him in 2nd place; I think Kenzie probably ended up 3rd, as the favorite dance with Gleb seemed to fall a bit flat and going first never seems to bode well for those in the finals.

What worked:

Having the regular pros as mentors. It gave me some serious warm fuzzies seeing how into coaching the pros got, and how extraordinarily proud they were of their teams. Loved seeing moments where they were genuinely moved by their junior teams, and seeing how their junior teams idolized them. It also gave the pros a chance to show off their choreography chops in a new way (choreographing for kids is a different ballgame than choreographing for adults!) without having to worry about performing it themselves. This is closer to how it works in the “real life” ballroom world: competing couples don’t usually choreograph themselves – they hire an outside choreographer for that part, and they just perform it. With the exception of one pro (Gleb, who I think is a lazy, self-interested choreographer that needs to seek outside help more often), I think all the pros handled the whole experience beautifully. Stand-outs for me personally were Lindsay (who I felt was the most consistent in delivering appropriate-yet-inspired choreo that suited her juniors), Brandon (who got to show us what he’s capable of, choreography-wise, and what he can do when given an energetic pair to coach), Alan (who seemed to really bond with his pair, and show us a nuturing “Papa Bear” side), Artem (who took a junior pairing that, on paper, looked hopeless, and turned them into a respectable team), and Emma (whose choreo was both creative and really suited her pair well).

The junior pros. I think every last one of them was brilliant, in terms of skill – I’ve talked with Justin about this a few times, but the group they chose is really reflective of the next generation of professional dancers: they’re all impressively cross-trained, and seem to pick up new styles with incredible ease.  They’re also all born performers, and seem to have never encountered stage fright in their life. Ones to watch: Kamri (who I think could be the next Maddie Ziegler – perhaps even eclipsing her in talent and charisma) and Artyon (he came into this season with no ballroom experience, picked it up impressively well, and made up for any other shortcomings with a strong sense of showmanship).

The theme nights. While this is usually something I complain about on the regular version, I thought the themes were well-chosen and offered a decent framework for the kids to work their routines around – and there’s something to be said for watching kids throw themselves headlong into Disney and holiday-themed routines 🙂 The themes were appropriate and they were ones the kids seemed to really get into – so I’m good with it.

Mandy as a judge. At times, it felt like Mandy was the only one on the judging panel that could come up with a concise, coherent, and pertinent critique for the teams – while I didn’t always agree with her 100%, I thought she was at the very least trying to be constructive (and specific enough for the kids to actually understand) and supportive of the kids at the same time. It’s a delicate balance, and I think she’s the only judge on the panel that carried it off consistently.

Frankie & Jordan as hosts. I think Frankie handled the main hosting role with incredible ease, while still being approachable to the kids and having a fun-loving vibe about him.  I know some of you thought Frankie came off as “awkward”, but I thought his vibe was perfect for the show – the kids aren’t terribly articulate or polished, why should Frankie be? 🙂 And I love the way Frankie & Jordan vibed off of each other – there was a definite synergy there, likely formed during their own season and their time out on tour together.

 

What needs work:

Adam as a judge. Sorry, Adam fans – while I adore him as a person, I just don’t know that I think he’s well-suited to the judging panel of this show.  I felt at times that he was more interested in showboating and coming up with gif-worthy phrases than he was giving more concrete, useful critiques. Or maybe he actually gave them, and they were just edited out for time.  Who knows – but if he was just hired to be less relevant, more flamboyant version of Bruno, and they didn’t much care about him actually legitimately judging, then why not just change that third judge’s chair into a rotating guest judging position? It would at the very least offer up some variety – I’d love to see Rashad step in to judge the kids, maybe Kenny Ortega…there’s tons of possibilities.

The length of the show.  I doubt there’s much that can be done about this one, but I feel like even extending the show by a half hour could go a long way in slowing down the sometimes breakneck pace at which the episodes seemed to move. Or, if they can’t increase the show to 90 minutes, at least decrease the number of couples or turn the episodes in multi-part ones – maybe when they’re in the early weeks with a lot of couples, let six of them dance one week, and the other six the following week? At least until they whittle down to a more manageable number.

The voting process.  As mentioned above – the clickers need work. I don’t think a live, public vote is necessary in this instance (a la the main show), but at the very least, invest in some more reliable technology.

Kenzie as a contestant. I feel bad putting this one here, because it’s not necessarily Kenzie’s fault per se, but I felt like she (and Sage) stuck out like a sore thumb among the contestants: they looked far older, more mature, and more professional than the rest of the couples.  And I always felt like Kenzie was performing as if this was a job, rather than an opportunity; while all the other kids were out there really letting loose and having fun, Kenzie felt more controlled and detached, as if she was dancing to collect a paycheck rather than to have a good time.  I think part of what appealed to a lot of us was just how down-to-earth and genuine Juniors was compared to the regular show: there wasn’t an agenda, there wasn’t the usual pretense and posturing and ulterior motives from both the judges and celebs; it was just good clean fun. And Kenzie’s presence on Juniors felt a bit more like a calculated career move, like something we’d see on the regular show – that, and the fact that the show as a whole seemed to be trying to downplay her dance experience. The whole thing just seemed to be a bit at odds with the tone of the show, in general.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think Juniors ended up being a real feather in DWTS’s cap – and I think it hearkened back to a simpler, more wholesome era of DWTS for many of us, when the show didn’t feel so blatantly manipulated and commercial. Kids don’t understand (or care) how to manipulate a viewing audience – they were all there to just have fun, and they threw themselves headlong into it without hesitation.  What I wouldn’t give to see some more of that unbridled, genuine zeal on the adult version of the show! I don’t think Juniors has been fast-tracked to cancellation yet – while ratings may not have been as impressive as the ones the main version pulls in (or did at one time…), it may be perfect for a Friday time slot, when expectations are low and they might be able to grab a larger cross-section of that coveted 18-34 demo, since it’s not a school night. I think it’s also good to keep in mind that it’s a much cheaper show to produce than the original – pre-taping everything over the course of a month and not offering huge cash bonuses goes a long way in keeping overhead costs down (and the show around longer).  Remember: if they’re gonna cancel Juniors, they’ve first gotta come up with something better/cheaper to take its place.

Anyone else have any final thoughts they’d like to share? Recommendations for how to improve the show?

December 14, 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

Dancing with the Stars Season 27, THE FINALE – LIVE BLOG!

Here we are at the finale already!!  If you want to see what it takes to win, and who we think will win, see Courtney’s Power Rankings and my Dancing by the Numbers posts from this past weekend.

Well, if history is any indication, it’s Evanna or Milo, eh?

VOTING IS OPEN NOW – ONLINE ONLY!!

Heh, Bruno doesn’t know where his camera is. 😀

This opening is kinda fun….taped yesterday or Saturday. Can’t remember.

Alexis up first with her Argentine Tango. Talking about something other than her showmance. Ooops. Spoke too soon. Sounded like the Bachelorette there for a moment.

I do love this music, but it’s still not great for an AT….and her feet are STILL wrong, in week 9. Other than her feet which annoy, she moves very well.

Len says congrats to all the finalists. Says Alan pulled off a terrific dance, nice lyrical feel. Says he’s concerned with the footwork (agreed). Bruno says she’s gained poise and elegance, loves the classical touches, the connection works. He felt it. Noted a little stumble on the landing, then says he didn’t see it. CAI says she’s opened up but her pointe wasn’t as strong (that’s what I was seeing).

Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27. For those keeping track, I was a point too high on my guess for her score.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in a commercial for Mary Poppins. :::swoon:::

Did you all know that Bobby has never danced before? 😀 Should probably warn the audience if you’re going to high five them. Looks dumb otherwise.

I’m sure bobby is doing a better job at this dance because the bar was so low….but it’s still so stiff in the actual dance parts. Even his hammer part is too wild.

Bruno…can’t tell if he likes it or now. I think not, because he then says he understands why he’s there at the finale. CAI says he defies the law of ballroom and latin dancing, but his hard work pays off. Blah Blah. Len says he put the ham in hammer, but he has to say that he doesn’t have the good feet, blah blah, but he makes so much fun out there than Len has so much fun.

And he gets a 24 out of 30. I think I nailed that one.

Female pros killing it – Witney, the master of the hair whip out in front.

Must we really see the retrospective?? Surely that time is used better elsewhere.

Oh god, a Bachelor dance. So Joe, Eric, Nick, Val and Wells (my favorite). Wells is dating the little girl from Modern Family, so don’t get to excited seeing her in the audience. 🙂

OMG…too much virginity talk. All the rest of it is typical Bachelor fun stuff. I should live blog my thoughts on that show if you think I can be harsh regarding this one. 🙂

Evanna up next!! If you didn’t see, check the PDH twitter feed to see a video of nearly every potter star wishing her luck only one I didn’t see was Daniel Radcliffe.

Her Halloween tango I think puts Alexis to shame. I miss the cat ears though. 🙂 She’s doing great. Not seeing any issues yet. Well done!! Yikes, a near perfect score the first time around??

CAI says congrats to Keo and says Evanna is the most improved dancer, and this dance was even better this time. Len says he gave her a challenge last time and she accomplished it. Bruno remembers the kitty ears too. Says she adds something every week.

And she gets a 30! I believe I was on target with that score as well.

The male pros without shirts! How new, exciting and different. :::yawn::: This show had more class when Derek and Mark were on it. Oh, Demarcus? Well, that helps.

Milo up next! My wine tastes…funny. Not bad. Just different. Anyway….what dance is he doing again?? Something with Robin Thicke? Okay Charleston. He’s still awesome, that hasn’t changed. Lift was a little awkward. I think live performance throws them off a bit, but that was still an excellent dance.

Len is annoyed – he has underpants older than Milo. 🙂 He didn’t like the charleston as much…last time. This time he had the Charleston swivel. Bruno says it was even more exciting and sharper than ever. Out of this world. CAI says he is ridiculously amazing, says he’s the one to beat. STFU, CAI. I don’t think she’s forecasting, just hoping. But it wouldn’t surprise me if she was trying to appear omniscient.

And they get a 30 as anticipated.

Yeah, let’s pimp the tour…with shit camera work. And that’s two total fuckups by camera men. Good thing we didn’t call it a drinking game…

All the male celebs are going on tour. Oh boy. Biggest surprise elimination in 27 seasons, Tom? Really? I don’t think so, but whatever. Ad why does he get to dance again? You realize there is only 50 minutes left and you’re going to screw the winner out of their moment yet again?

Tinashe looks and sounds great…but so bored of these male pros and their Magic Mike moves. Come on, get some real choreo here gang.

For those wondering about the numbers, they are extremely similar to what I forecast yesterday. The numbers for the freestyles that haven’t been danced yet are, of course, guesses.

Dancer Re-do Dance Freestyle Total % of total points awarded
Milo 30.00 30.00 60.00 26.20%
Evanna 30.00 30.00 60.00 26.20%
Bobby 24.00 28.00 52.00 22.71%
Alexis 27.00 30.00 57.00 24.89%
Total Points Awarded 229.00 1.00

If these numbers hold, here’s what Bobby and Alexis would need to do to win. And they’d have to beat both Milo AND Evanna.

Bobby vs. Alexis 2.18% 21,834
Bobby vs. Evanna/Milo 3.49% 34,934
Alexis vs. Evanna/Milo 1.31% 13,100

 

Alexis is up first with her freestyle, talking about how this was her mom’s favorite show.

I don’t know that Alexis is good enough a dancer for this kind of freestyle.  She looks stunning though. The staging is getting in her way as well.  There isn’t much to this so far.  I think she’s kinda hosed by having a live performer.  Yeah, that was an awkward ending and the dance was much too simple for her and what I think she’s capable of. Not that great, IMO.

Len seems to love it. I suspect that everyone gets a 30 except for Bobby. Bruno says it was a big risk and that the level of difficulty (emotionally) was high and she was on top of it.  CAI says it started out with a struggle, but once she hit the floor she earned it back and it was her best dancing to date. I don’t agree with that, but it is the freestyle.

Oh god, more showmancing. Whatever it takes, I guess.

And they get a 30 as expected.

Bobby’s freestyle is up next.  The one advantage he has is with people who wait to see the freestyles before they vote. This is where Evanna and Milo are hampered. If you’re going to vote, VOTE NOW.

There’s no talking during freestyles!! But it’s who he is…he needs to flap his gums.  Took a long time to get to the dancing. And he’s off time. So many dancers I lost him several times. I thought that dance was short…and he’s talking again.  Okay, the best part was Tom ACTUALLY flossing. LOL. That was clever.  And they throw in some more shit camera work.

Bruno seemed to love it, says Sharna did a fantastic job. CAI is confused (she stole my wine!!) – she seems to love it too although she comments on his counting out loud.  Len says he’s not always been the judges champion – he’s Len’s champion tonight though.

Score: 30??  I hope like hell the judges know what they’re doing. :::runs off to do the numbers:::

NUMBERS UPDATE:  If all four couples get a 30 on their freestyle, here is how the numbers end up.

Bobby vs. Alexis 1.30% 12,987
Bobby vs. Evanna/Milo 2.60% 25,974
Alexis vs. Evanna/Milo 1.30% 12,987

I think Bobby beats Alexis, but can’t beat either Evanna or Milo.  After that, it comes down to who gets the most votes – Evanna or Milo. It all might actually hinge on the freestyle – but I might give the edge to Milo since he’s not going last.  Evanna based on actual dancing.

Milo and Witney up next with their freestyle.  The umbrellas are dangerous, but if they pull it off it could be amazing.

Oh Milo! Looking all grown up there. Starts off very well.  Lots of actual dancing.  It’s going to piss me off that Alexis and Bobby each got 30’s when you stack their dances up with this one.  Yep. Pretty cool. Vastly superior to the two that went before it.

That look on CAI’s face should be her thinking why did I give Alexis and Bobby 30s??  Usual freestyle hyperbole comparing to other seasons BS. Len is raving also.  Bruno…also raving.  I’m tired of typing, can you tell? 🙂

Score: 30, as expected.

Hurry up and get Evanna out here!! Jesus, cutting it kinds close once again.

Is Keo going to throw up? Dancing to Evanna’s favorite dance in the world. Keo says he’s going to go big. I hope he doesn’t go too big – sometimes less is more.  Keo talking about how he made family/friend with Keo. Evanna getting weepy.  She says this was one of her happiest times.

Clever staging and I love this song too.  Wow. Nice lift. Love the fast/slow components.  Damn, I loved that. It just made me happy. It was such a happy, joyful dance. Fantastic!

Len is talking about the evening and the dance.  Calls this dance the cherry on the cake, he loves the mix of styles. Len congratulates Keo. Bruno raves. CAI says she did a great job, she made it her own. Says there is something very special about her – agreed.

Scores: 30 – well deserved. Still pissed that Bobby and Alexis also got 30s – it lessens the scores for Evanna and Milo.

VOTE VOTE VOTE!!

Looks like we’re getting some results right now.  Oh first we have to have some kind of emotional song while we look at shots of the contestants. Why do we keep doing this same thing every season?? Find another way, kids.  Have a killer pro number (with shirts on the men for a switch) while we wait for the producers to count all the votes.

Okay, here we go….

Going straight to the winner….

The Winner is….Bobby and Sharna.

This show is dead.  You heard it here first. The day DWTS died.

November 19, 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. :-)

Dancing with the Stars Season 27, Week EIGHT – LIVE BLOG!

For my thoughts on who might go home and how, see the DBTN Retrospective….and for Courtney’s thoughts you can see the power rankings for this week.

Wow. Alexis looks smokin’. Hell, all the women do, although not crazy about Cheryl’s outfit – that fringe is…weird.

Bobby up first with his tribute dance. :::rolls eyes:::  To his fans. Not rolling his eyes at his fans, but at this theme. Using dances from week 1, how can it really be a tribute??

Way too many people. Whose idea was this?  Oddly, Bobby does better rolling his pelvis than he does walking on time. That wasn’t horrid, but it still had some weird spots. Read more..

November 12, 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. :-)

Dancing with the Stars Season 27, Week SEVEN – LIVE BLOG!

Thanks to Monday night football, I’m watching on a stream tonight – one that could go out at any time. So…fingers crossed. 🙂

T-minus 15 minutes to Country night!!

Great. My stream has an out of sync audio…

Oh lord, I just saw where the showmance gets even worse tonight. There’s kissing involved. :::rolls eyes:::

Liking all the costumes so far, although I did look and Jenna’s and try to figure out what was going on there. 🙂

Is that five live performances?? Geez.

Tonight’s a double elimination – no surprise there. You knew one was coming, if you’ve been paying attention at all.

John up first! Dancing to “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”. He’s in TN…which is looking as lovely as usual. 🙂 He’s making me misty talking about his kids.

I think he’s doing a great job, he’s keeping up with the pros….or they’re doing a good job of marking him. Probably both. Emma keeps the choreo relatively simple, and he handles it very well. I like it! Read more..

November 5, 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. :-)

Dancing with the Stars Season 27, Week SIX – LIVE BLOG!

So, will they do a double tonight to make up for the lack of an elimination last week?? That would be a trick…or a treat, depending on who it is that goes home. 🙂

T-minus 15 minutes.

This is a pretty cute opening number, I must say. Very long though – wonder how many takes it took. 🙂

Going right into the show with Milo and Witney…he’s cute. Is Witney’s hair gray?   Looks like it in spots. Looks good though.

Funny story about ghost hunter shows.  Me and my sis watched a couple a couple christmases ago. We spent the next several days going “Did ya hear that??” every time we saw each other 🙂

Milo looks creepy. Wasn’t sure about the choreo at first, too frantic, but it improved after he broke her back.  All in all, an excellent dance. Read more..

October 29, 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. :-)

Dancing with the Stars Season 27, Week FIVE – LIVE BLOG!

Well, I have to say that I’ve never been a huge fan of Disney night – or theme nights in general. Always seems like we end up with dance styles which are no where close to the music handed out. For a current example, look at Sophia’s samba last night on DWTS Juniors. That was the most egregious dance/song combo in quite some time. Poor kid.

T-minus 15 minutes…

So, I guess CAI said on IG stories that five couples will go into finale night and there will be a double elimination, sending three couples to night two?? If she’s correct, that means no double before finale night. If my math is good. And it HAS been a long day at work….

Cute opening with some DWTS Jr kids along with Jordan. Nice dance…hey Val, you’re in Derek’s spot front and center! That spot has to be earned! 🙂

Jordan is a pretty good singer. The pros are looking nice and sharp. Oh, there’s all the kids!! Cute. Okay, we’re getting a little busy now…

Alexis up first and she looks beautiful, as per usual. Oh boy, shipper bait. I want Minnie ears….oh geez, going right to the question about feelings. :::rolls eyes:::

Lovely dance, although her feet came off the floor. If she makes it though without tripping on the too long skirt it will be a miracle…Gorgeous dress, gorgeous dance. Didn’t see too much wrong with it. We’ll see what the judges have to say.

Len says No stressing no messing…and he comments on their chemistry, then says the footwork could have been cleaner but that she’s above her plateau. Bruno says Disney magic stronger than ever…and more shipper commentary. These people know their audience and the rabidity of shippers…so why not feed them. CAI says Disney can be challenging and that her dance made her believe in fairy tales. Agreed.

Again, that dress is stunning. Love it! Scores: 10, 9, 10.  Hmmm…I sure hope she’s not going home. Don’t know if that was a 10 dance – nines for sure.

Up next is JP and Cheryl with a V. Waltz.  He wanted to be a disney animator? That’s interesting. I don’t buy that Beauty and the Beast is his favorite though. I smell a script. With the pony tail too. And wasn’t Gaston a bad guy?? Another reason not to like theme weeks – way too much group and extra dancers. Hard to focus on the dancing. Looks pretty good, though. I predict he grabs the…oh, too late. He already did it.

All in all I think that was a very good dance but there was too much troupe and production. And Tom says it’s one of his favorites?? Getting in on the producer manipulation?? Bruno says he was spot on on every level. CAI asks whose hair is longer, says he has flair and he leads cheryl, every detail is perfect. I smell 10s – again, unearned. Len says he was full of gusto and zest, he’s fantastic. Says he would have liked a fleckle. 🙂  He’ll tie with Alexis.

DeMarcus in the 3rd position?? Not good. Of course he got totally hosed last week. So they’re doing a charleston to Hercules.  Don’t go too lift heavy, Lindsay.

Like the staging. Oh boy, not moving his feet in that first section. Great lift and flip!He’s having some foot problems – he doesn’t need to give them an excuse. About half way through the dance he really got it together and I love the windmills. I’m afraid that they talk him down so much that it will start to become reality.

CAI is cheering him and really talking him up. Now I’m confused – I think this was his least good dance and she’s raving. Are they going to give everyone tens to try and get rid of Joe?? Len says it was a wonderful job. Not a lot of charleston going on. Bruno says he’s becoming a theater man, charleston was pretty good, light-footed, didn’t miss a beat (disagree). Yeah, He was way better than this the last few weeks and people wonder why the celebs get confused.

Scores: 9, 8 and 9 for a 26.  That’s pretty good. I would have handed out all 8s (and would have given them this at least last week).

Well, hell. They’ve got Evanna in historically one of the worst running order positions for this point in the season. :::sigh:::

Heh. I like the bumpers with the little kids and the big kids.

Evanna up next! With a Tangled Jazz.  I think Luna Lovegood is like a disney princess. 🙂 Keo scared of rollercoasters? That wasn’t even a big one!

Again I love the staging. Cute. She is too cute. This dance suits her. And she’s executing very well. She looks like a natural. Not crazy about the song, actually.  She might actually be expecting better than Keo…okay, loved it. Very cute.

Len liked the light and shade, lovely feel to it. Says it wasn’t spectacular but it was well danced and well done. He’s on crack. Bruno thinks she has found her stride, confident and self assured. Says her impetus says she chases the music a bit. He might be right on that. CAI says she did the Disney name proud.  Keep her chest open. She says she has the talent.

Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a 24.  Not good. I hope they didn’t hose her.

That bumper with all the men was just soooo frantic.

Oh joe. You think that was better than before?? You’re wrong. And you’re not growing. A jive might kill me.

Neither Joe nor Jenna are good at reading lines. 🙂

I love this little kid.  Oh my, Joe had a few steps that weren’t half bad there, and then he got all off time. Are they allowed to do a lift in the dance?? He’s not totally sucking so far. But he doesn’t have much rhythm. That whole bridge? He didn’t move.  He was pretty stationary for the last half of the dance. Let’s see if it worked.

Bruno – I can sense a very faint glimmer of hope. The timing is slightly better, but still in three different time zones, but at least you tried. He says he needs to work on the quality. CAI says Go Joe! Says it was a vast improvement, he didn’t miss a step and it was loaded. Okay – no one is going home tonight. They’re being too kind.  Len says he liked and admires that he gets knocked but he gets back up and give it his all. Len’s advice – there wasn’t enough Jive in the Jive (true). He wants him to come back, get in there and give it some welly.

Jason is a little star, for sure – but is he in every shot because he’s so freakin’ cute?

Scores for Joe and Jenna: 6, 5, 6 – a bit better than last week.

Numbers UPDATE:  So far, Joe still has a long row to hoe to stick around, compared to those who have already dances. He needs 28.4k more votes per million votes cast to beat Evanna, 36.5k more votes per million votes cast to beat DeMarcus, and 48.6k more votes per million votes cast to beat either JP or Alexis.  I don’t think he’s beating Evanna or DeMarcus. I think JP beats Alexis (not with me) which would make him safe. Alexis could be at risk, but for her to be eliminated, Joe would have to clear a bigger margin than last week.

Mary lou is up next and she’s kinda fading into the woodwork for me. I wonder if they will continue to pump her up. She’s doing contemporary so she should do very well. This is right in her well house.

I find the beginning of this dance to be very awkward, stilted. She needs Sasha there, IMO. And still she has some hesitation.  It’s pretty, but nothing really special, I don’t think.  But she cried so she’ll get tens. I think she seems kinda fake. Maybe that’s mean, but I’m not feeling her.

CAI says the show lives for this moment, but she got a little tight and then something happened, she opened and the tears flowed. Len liked that it was gentle and fluid, the musicality was good, didn’t like Sasha’s rolly poly. Says it was competent. Bruno loves her determination, believes in what she does, she’s getting stronger and her performance is getting better.

Why is Tom editorializing so much? Is the show running short?

Scores: 9, 8, 8 for a 25 out of 30.  I think Evanna was better but Mary Lou may not be getting the votes.

My Keurig appears to be dying. :::sob:::

I think that was a great dance from John and Emma. The choreo was clever as per usual and he did a really good job!!

Len says it was full of content, and full energy but he lost  a bit toward the end but it is his best dance yet. Bruno says he brought sparkle to the jungle and it was a recognizable content. CAI says it was his best performance over all, despite a few snafus. Yeah, I saw his weird legs in one spot so I can’t get too mad at that.

I love that song too, John!  And he gets a 24! A high for them.

Numbers UPDATE!  Joe needs the following votes per million votes cast in order to stay:

John/Evanna – 31.4k
Mary Lou – 35.9k
DeMarcus – 40.4k
Alexis/JP – 53.9k

Bobby Bones up next! Sharna finally gets to be little mermaid.  She wants elegance. Good luck.

Ever notice when a pro has someone who really can’t dance they stress growth? And then, when they have a ringer they tell a whole different story.

Sharna looks amazing, although the weave is a bit harsh. Bobby is a bit stilted in his movements to begin with . But he’s not horrendous and he’s certainly trying very hard. As the dance goes along he get into and gets a lot better.  This might be my favorite dance from him. It’s the first time he’s seemed genuine to me.

Bruno says he got the catch of the day, it was a bit slippery at times but he got back on it, it was a brave effort. CAI says he’s still holding the pose and she noticed it the most, he’s got the posture down.  He’s got so much joy, she says. Len says he was outside his comfort zone and he’s doing a Waltz, Len likes that he played it straight and it was pretty well done.

Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a 21. I might have given him one 8. Maybe. 🙂

Lin Manuel Miranda!!!!  :::swoon::: Dick Van Dyke! My heart….google Dick Van Dyke, Derek Hough and Travis Wall to see a dance I watched literally 50 times.

NUMBERS: There are only 17.9k votes between Joe and Bobby.

Milo up next with a quickstep!

Love Tom in jail! Are his legs too far apart in spots?  And I think he missed a step there at one point. But he recovered quickly. He did great when the tempo kicked up.  Not his best dance but he did very, very well. I’d give him three nines probably.

Running out of time?? CAI loved it. Len says it had plenty of Zippidy doo dah – he doesn’t want to be a party pooper but there wasn’t enough body contact. Agreed. Bruno doesn’t have any complaints, it was a blockbuster.

Scores: 27 with a 10 from Bruno after an 8 from Len – Bruno, the great equalizer. 🙂

Jeopardy: DeMarcus and Lindsay

Jeopardy: Alexis and Alan

Everyone else is safe.

Elimination: No one is going home.  So, were those the real jeopardy or were they the people who needed votes?? Or the people they wanted to give more votes to?

Next week it will be two weeks of votes, this weeks scores and next weeks scores.

October 22, 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. :-)

Dancing with the Stars Season 27, Week FOUR – LIVE BLOG!

Hi all!! You’ll note that I didn’t do a “dancing by the numbers” this week, mainly because they’re using this weeks scores with last weeks votes and that means the DBTN post doesn’t reflect any large changes in scores. So, I’ll be keeping an eye on the numbers during the show and let you know where I think it’s going. Then, I’ll do a retrospective post as it’s needed if any weirdness happens. Cool?

That said, I think it could be any of Courtney’s bottom three to go home this week – I’m leaning more toward Mary Lou, but it’s really critical to see how badly Joe scores. If he’s low enough relative to everyone else, it could be him. All three of them will depend heavily on the scoring differences between them. We’ll see!

Ugh. Too much Val. Love how they introduced the couples with their trio partner. Very good to see some of them again…Nastia, Amy and Rashad….and Riker, to name a few.

Juan Pablo is up first. Will they horrendously over score him once again?? Is it him or is it Cheryl?? I seem to recall this is not the first time they ridiculously shoved one of her partners down our throat….he was a latino as well, I recall. Read more..

October 15, 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 DWTS Juniors Season 1 – Court’s Week 2 Post-Mortem

I wasn’t originally planning to do a post-mortem this week, but given the site issues we had last night (which should be fixed now – please let us know if you’re still getting a message about our security certificate being expired) and the fact that last night’s episode moved ridiculously fast, I thought I better sum up my feelings…

Trying to fit (10) dances into (1) hour was perhaps a bit ambitious. I could barely keep up on the live blog – I was trying to verbalize how I felt about a dance, while still keeping my ears peeled for what the judges were saying, and hopefully getting enough of the general gist of it before having to scramble to report the scores.  Last night moved at a breakneck speed – by the end of it, I felt like I had been shot out of a cannon. Made it hard to remember all of the dances…at least last week, the pace was a bit more leisurely, so we got a chance to really get to know the couples. I worry that the shows are going to continue to be rushed for at least the next few weeks – seems like things won’t calm down a bit until they narrow it down to at least six couples.

Judging felt rushed, so not sure anyone really improved. Since the judges were just as rushed as the show was, I’m not sure there was really even room for improvement – Val’s critiques felt even less focused this week (hell, even a passing “work on your technique” would have been better than the rushed “it was good” of this week), Mandy tried to stay on-topic (but she struggled to be concise), and Adam had a couple gems but mainly just a bunch of forgettable “it was great!”-type lines.  Part of me is thinking this is part of the reason why the judges picked feel like such an afterthought: TPTB knew there wouldn’t be a ton of time for them to actually judge, so they just said “F*ck it, let Val have his ‘judging’ position, throw Mandy & Adam in there, and be done with it. They’re only going to have a max of maybe 15 seconds to judge a dance, for the bulk of the season.”

However, judges’ critiques are NOT a time to call out your fellow pros for lack of content. This week, it was Cheryl on the receiving end of Val’s “tsk, tsk”-ing over lack of content.  Which is borderline hilarious, considering Val has become the king of time-wasting non-dancing on the regular show, and Cheryl has far more years of this show under her belt than Val.  But I digress – it’s not of ANY benefit to these kids to have the judges (or really just Val) picking on content, which they have no control over. If it really gets his goat, he can go pull the “offending” pro aside after the show to hash it out. Stick with critiquing the kids – especially since you have such a limited time to judge, anyway.

When you have TINY voting samples, unexpected things can happen. So needless to say, last night’s elim was…shocking. Shocking-ish, but when you consider that the amount of people voting is TINY compared to the regular show, it really puts things in perspective.  The audience capacity of the studio is 838 people; when you take into account that friends/family of the celebs/junior pros/pro mentors cannot vote, that number gets even smaller – it may be only 500 votes total determining who stays and who goes, so it could easily come down to only one vote determining who gets eliminated.  Hudson & Kami had four couples that were below them on the leaderboard, and two couples they were tied with; however, I’d argue that three of the four below them had big personalities that left a lasting impact, as did the two couples they tied with.  Hudson & Kami, while being cute and doing a good dance, seemed to fade into the woodwork a bit – and this microcosm of DWTS Juniors just really re-illustrates what we’ve been saying about the voting on the regular show: you’re better off being memorable, for better or worse, than you are being quiet, compliant, and potentially forgettable. But I think they did a respectable job, as did Hayley as their mentor.

Some of the bigger personalities that aren’t such great dancers seem to be making more of an impact than the better dancers that aren’t as outgoing. The three that come to mind in particular are Alanna, Akash, & Jason – probably the three weakest dancers left, but also EXTREMELY memorable and likeable. Sophia, on the other hand, is actually a great dancer, but is so shy that she’s barely a blip on the radar.  Kenzie has a weird hollowness to her dancing, where she’s doing the moves well, but almost seems robotic in her personality (kind of the same problem I’m currently having with Juan Pablo on regular DWTS).  Sky, Miles, & Mandla are slowly coming out of their shells, and also dancing well; Ariana (and really, Artyon too) is just an absolute firecracker that also is a great dancer. I hear a lot of talk about Alanna, Akash, Jason, and Ariana – not so much about Kenzie or Sophia.  Coincidence?

Any thoughts about last night’s show?

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 3 – Power Rankings

Welp…so much for the agenda-free season. Judges’ scores and critiques were a bit of a mess Monday night, as some okay dances were hyped and overscored while some very good dances were nitpicked and underscored. To what end? I think there’s certain individuals that are getting oodles of votes and possibly running away with the competition, and the judges have no qualms pointing out the faults in their dances and docking points as they see fit, and “leveling the playing field”, so to speak; others seem to be struggling to connect and resonate with the audience, so I think they’re the ones the judges are reluctant to really score and critique realistically, lest the individual get eliminated “before their time”.

File under the category of “bad ideas that should be scrapped and never mentioned again”: that damn camera on the celebs they had inset over their rehearsal package, so we could voyeuristically enjoy watching the celebs reliving the traumas they had picked for their “most memorable year” packages. Things like this are what I like to refer to as “grief porn” – exploiting the contestants emotionally for a dramatic edit, a la poor Laurie’s grief over her grandma’s death.  It’s gross, it’s sneaky, and it’s a cheap stunt. Just when I think TPTB have hit rock bottom with their tactics, they find a sub-basement. 🙁

So, we lost Nancy this week, a development that both Heidi and I saw coming – and I’m a tad disappointed, because I feel like Nancy was actually a really cool person and was not a bad dancer at all.  But it brings me to my next point: why do the female celebs seem to be dropping like flies, while the male celebrities are doing just fine? We’ve lost three ladies so far – and all of the guys are still standing. Some seem to want to blame the show, claiming that “female celebs, especially ringers, get treated so poorly – none of them will ever win again and it’s not fair, WAHHHHH!” but I go back to this point I made in my preseason “Why Hayley Didn’t Get a Pro Spot This Season” post: the male pros, as a whole, are not serving their celebs well. Since the departure of Derek (and to a lesser degree, Mark), we’ve been left with a crop of male pros that just don’t seem to know how to  harness the talent of their female celebs – or cultivate some talent in celebs that have not danced before. It’s not that people dislike the female celebs or have a specific type of disdain for female ringers; it’s that the male pros just don’t know how to present their partners in a way that makes viewers care.  It’s possible to win with a female ringer or a female non-ringer – just ask Derek; it’s also possible to lose with a female ringer (Val’s done it a few times) or lose with a female non-ringer (basically every male pro at some point) if you don’t present them properly. It took TPTB doing some heavy-duty interfering to ensure the Chmerkovskiy boys each got their first MBT (and both brothers had ringers to begin with!), since Derek & Sharna turning amputee non-ringers into contenders during those respective seasons posted too grave a threat to Maks & Val’s trophies. Then you look at Emma, who has become an expert at turning turd partners into gold; and Lindsay, who seems to build such a successful working relationship with all of her partners anymore that she’s become a finale mainstay; or even Witney, who has blossomed as a choreographer these past few seasons and is developing a knack for pulling surprising stuff out of partners that didn’t seem like anything to sneeze at on the surface. Really and truly, the current lineup of female pros has paid their dues and really proven that they’ve got the juice to make their partners succeed; the current male pros (with the exception of Brandon, and to a lesser degree, Alan) seem to just be coasting, and hoping for ringers season after season so they can get a free pass to the finale (except that sometimes that doesn’t even happen – hello, season 24). The male pros are holding out for their window of opportunity to open; the female ones aren’t waiting for it to open – they’re grabbing a sledgehammer and making their own damn window. The three male pros we’ve lost this season suffered from a failure to make their partners stand out – even if their partner was demographically screwed regardless, there are ways to at least make them memorable…and that’s where the failure lies. So if you’re whining about not ever getting a female winner again, don’t whine at us – go whine at the male pros letting them down. Read more..

October 10, 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

Dancing with the Stars Season 27 – Post Week 3 Media

Here are a few things I ran across while surfing. Please don’t complain about what I post – if your favorite has a video that you don’t see here, tweet it to me at the PDH account. Happy to post it, I just don’t have time to go hunting for a lot of stuff.

Here’s Milo and Witney on ET talking Kardashians, Salsa and Riker Lynch.

DeMarcus and Lindsay talking about his injury and their scores.

Bobby Bones and Sharna

Jenna blogs about Weeks 3 and 4 and Jordan Kimball – who is an actual nut bar that grew on me after a while. An excerpt is below…click the link to read the whole thing.

I think adding in the trio next week is an awesome opportunity for Joe especially since our partner is Jordan Kimball. He exudes confidence and charisma, and they are great friends. I think it will be awesome to have another male figure in the rehearsal room. He’s gonna bring this masculine energy out of Joe. I think Joe’s going to feel safe out there and he’s going to be super pumped to do our salsa.

October 9, 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. :-)