Saturday, May 17, 2014

DWTS Season 18 - Week 9. Looky here.

I am putting together the DWTs recap post from last Monday, which, so far, mainly means I'm procrastinating about looking at Meryl's "dances". That recap will be here in this post.

Meantime, I came upon a video of Derek Hough and Amy Purdy rehearsing for the finals. Here's a gif.

Whaddya know.

Meryl Davis fans might protest that Derek is stealing Meryl Davis's lift entrance, but I have a suspicion this is Derek's lift. I suspect he's the one who taught the counter-motion entrance to Davis White while working with them on whatever his contribution might have been to their short dance. Derek is prolific, and no doubt not everything they tried made it into the short dance. Something they got from Derek might have made it into the free.

Amazing a 34 year old woman with no feet can get this counter-motion awesomeness in - what? A day. Didn't it take Davis White three years?

Or so we were told.

Here we go. Meryl's jive.

The thing that kills me with Meryl, on ice, and on this show, is she will actually stop and just stand for a beat to catch up or re-set. It's self-indulgent.There is nobody, no dancer, no skater, in a judged competition, who will do that as nakedly as she does it. Meryl's been enabled, so she's fallen into the habit. She has all kinds of bad habits she doesn't put in check because it's never called out.
The dancing may not be anything to write home
about, but at least Maks knows how to costume his
partners to look their best.

It's exactly like her skating. Lip service (meaning,
two beats)
towards the dance, then filler.

I don't know how this is going. It appears as if Meryl is in the Ricky Lake slot of presumptive trophy winner, only, at the last minute, the audience favorite, the lowballed celeb, surges to win. At times, as in the season when it appeared to be J.R. Martinez versus Ricky Lake, the storyline was transparent. Here, it's difficult to tell if it's J.R. v. Ricky Lake - i.e. Meryl being tossed tens no matter what, because her job is to be the presumptive winner until the likes of Amy takes the mirror ball - or if it's about hustling Maks to the win.

Ironically, Maks has complained for years that he, Maks, doesn't get ringers. Derek does, whinges Maks, and you need a ringer to win.This season, Maks got a presumptive ringer. Derek got a partner who doesn't even have fucking legs.The unacknowledged irony is that Maks' partner is actually a severely handicapped mover who has been, and needs to be, enabled, via corruption, to win. Maks has no way of knowing, or, alternatively, admitting, that he doesn't have a ringer. She's bad.

Ah, karma.

Meanwhile, Derek, in Amy, has an Olympic-fit athlete, who, it turns out, has the mind-body awareness/intelligence of a Tessa Virtue/Tatiana Volosozhar, and looks to match. Amy Purdy is someone who can recruit *this* part of her body to compensate for what *that* part of her body can't do. Furthermore, she's somebody with infinite musicality. As someone who has survived bacterial meningitis, the loss of both kidneys, the loss of her legs below the knee, and the threat of losing her arms and hands as well, Amy Purdy is, naturally, nerveless when it comes to a reality show competition. It's hilarious. Derek has the ringer, Maks has the ball and chain, but it's impermissible to acknowledge this.

There's another whole dance to go - the Viennese waltz. Where, I understand, the costuming was special. Bear with me.

Here's Meryl and Maks' "Viennese Waltz":

And gifs:

Look at what she's wearing. The judges have no idea what she did.

I was really looking for animatronics or mechanical dolls to gif as counterpoint, but you-tube search produces too much trash to be able to grab something quickly. I figured South Park would do just as well, same principles.

Tonight's the final. My suspicion is that Amy Purdy will win and they've just thrown tens at Meryl without caring what she does in order to set her up as the presumptive winner, as they did with Ricky Lake versus J.R. Martinez. But there's also the Maks saga, and the drama of the poor Chmerkovskiy who has never won the mirror ball, and the fact that if Amy won, it would be Derek Hough's sixth mirror ball. I'm not sure that's much of a deterrent for the show. Who knew he'd get to win five of them?

Friday, May 16, 2014

I intended the newest post to be a DWTS re-cap, chronicling Charlie's exit, along with the position of DW fans - who henceforth should be called "Meryl Davis fans" - that Amy Purdy only sat on a table and kicked during her jazz routine with Derek Hough. A recap requires looking at all of the dances and cutting them up, and I haven't yet been up to the challenge this week. I hope to get it done tonight or tomorrow.

Until then, these observations: Meryl Davis fans on fsu were bright-siding Charlie's departure by saying at least now they don't have to split their votes. Right, because they weren't voting for only Meryl this entire time. What they mean is, "At least now I can vote for only Meryl with a clear conscience." and "Charlie would want me to vote for Meryl. Even when he was still on the show, you know he'd have wanted us voting for Meryl."

They think he's Scott Moir with this. Along those lines, one of the reasons Charlie didn't get enough votes was that he was unable to form the white hot, seething chemistry with his partner that Meryl enjoys with Maks, that Meryl enjoys with him, and with every other man who crosses Meryl's path. Charlie, poor thing, just doesn't work with anyone but Meryl.

I guess we kind of already knew that Davis White's following was actually a following for Meryl And The Guy Who Validates Her, but now it's confirmed. To be fair, for quite a long time, fsu's VM fans seemed to really be fans of Scott Moir and Whatever Girl Helps Him Get Gold, if It's Tessa, Okay, Even Though Her Style Is too White Bread, But We Have Other Candidates if Tessa's Shins Don't Improve. Many of those VM fans did later came to appreciate Tessa as a skating talent in her own right, even if it took something as out-of-its mind brilliant as Carmen to achieve this realization. It shouldn't have taken Carmen.

That's my DWTS two cents until I look at the actual dances. For now, it seems that St. Louis Rams draftee Michael Sam is doing a reality show, and writer Drew Magary of says this:
They can call it a "documentary" series even though it's a dirty little secret that even acclaimed documentary filmmakers will coach subjects and have them do multiple takes. They can do all that and it still won't scrub away the fact that reality shows are fucking beat and no one worth a shit bothers to do them.

This isn't a football issue, or even a matter of distraction. This is me just saying that a reality show is always a transparent and pathetic exercise in self-branding.
My only quibble is "dirty little secret." It's not a secret.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

DWTS Week 8

Better late than never, I guess.

So, apparently Meryl's fans are having ten shit fits these week. They're crying foul because they believe Amy Purdy was overscored, and because Amy Purdy sat on a stool for part of the AT Tango. This is what we've come to. Meryl Davis fans crying "unfair" over a girl with no feet.

I bet Meryl could do this. Her butt wouldn't slide off the stool, her alignment would remain long, strong, open and stable, there would be no weight shift/center-of-gravity collapse to knock the legs of the stool out from under her. This move? It's nothing.

Perhaps if Derek and Amy had just stood around for fourteen seconds pretending they were about to kiss, Meryl's fans would have been okay with it.

Here's Purdy's full Argentine Tango, so we can see just how much she's overscored:

Since Meryl's fans are losing it over Amy Purdy, why not also see Purdy's Celebrity Duel jive for ourselves. The woman needs extra stability/resistance (i.e. some point of contact with another dancer) because of the no-feet thing, but she doesn't need external resistance for her WHOLE FREAKING BODY AND EVERY JOINT.  More importantly, she doesn't need it for her core, her hips, her knees. She needs it to orient her prosthetic feet to the floor. Seeing as her actual body ends just below her knees.

Amy Purdy, Derek Hough, Peta Murgatroyd and James Maslow four-way jive:

Fake feet or real feet, which, of these two athletes, Meryl or Amy, is actually dancing on this show? Who has better technique, musicality, rhythm, performance, precision? Which athlete/celeb dance contestant dances better? The one who stood on the top of the ice dance platform in Sochi after seventeen years of training, or the one with no legs below the knee who has to dial herself into her snowboard?

Here's Meryl's "rumba".

We can all agree; no damn stool sitting in that rumba.

Let's look at the rumba content:

There's one part.

That's the other part.

While the leg kick/swing saved itself for Meryl's celebrity duel with Danica McKellar,

 this essential element of any authentic rumba had to be included in Meryl and Maks' rumba:

My second favorite part of the entire evening was this:

That's not a choreophed bump; it's Meryl coming out of a spin.

My absolute favorite part of the evening was this:
"So don't grab onto me."
Look at Charlie White.

It's almost as if Charlie's going through a little PTSD, or maybe de-programming. Grabbing? You don't do no grabbing in lifts!

Charlie, you and Meryl are still hedging about retirement. Until you're an eligible alumni, deal with it. You're a grabee.

Here's embeds from the rest of Meryl and Charlie's performances:

Charlie's contemporary with Candace Bure, Sharna Burgess and Mark Ballas:

Meryl, Danica McKellar, Val Chmerkovskiy, Maksim Chmerkovskiy samba:

Charlie and Sharna's quickstep:

It's not the best celeb/pro quickstep ever on DWTs, but it's one of the rare quicksteps where the upper bodies remain in contact for almost all of it.

For what it's worth, and it's OT, here's an article on Amy Purdy in the Theatre & Dance section of The Washington PostAmy Purdy and The Washington Post.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Intermediates Feng and Ponomarenko back in 2012. A bit out of sync, but as that's now the established criteria for +3 in twizzles, it shouldn't hold them back. Nitpick: the "dance jump" entrance should jerk more. These two appear to enter it on a nice, smooth, forward outside edge, which will only hurt them.

The dance jump above resembles the entrance to an axel jump. Jumps rotate. Nevertheless, this entrance doesn't create angular momentum. If it did, it would actually be an easier way to do twizzles, and not merit Level 4. Besides, very low level adult skaters on find they have trouble staying on their feet after a hop.What further proof do we need?


I thought the blog may as well take a look at this article:

To start, here's something about the author of the article, Amanda Sage:  Remember when Scott and Tessa were interviewed by that green journalist who live-tweeted while conducting the interview, and who linked to the subsequent article from his twitter about a bazillion times? Amanda Sage is also a free lancer. She's also done SEO copywriting. This article on Tessa & Scott is straight up SEO, larded with key words.

These are the people Virtue Moir recruit. People who need the credential.

The Scott & Tessa narrative is that the public has a consuming interest in their personal life. They've been putting that out for years. But when the fans want to discuss the skating, nobody, including Scott and Tessa, want fans to discuss the skating. Look at P.J. Kwong, who, on her twitter, had to fend off questions about Scott and Tessa's p.r., deflect questions about their social media behavior, and wax disingenuous about photos that popped up on instagram. She should be happy when fans want to talk skating. But, when fans started questioning the results in Sochi, Kwong tried to shame them into shutting up. Icenetwork's Lynn Rutherford also doesn't want to discuss the actual skating. Only the protocols. Don't even think of using the skating to audit the protocols. That's a sign of hysteria.

Those who write for mainstream media outlets direct us to think of the skaters as personalities and storylines. Then they scapegoat fans for their own choice to cover the skaters only as personalities and storylines.

I'm happy, though, that, more and more, fans aren't shutting up about the skating.

Here's the article's headline:
Scott Moir & Tessa Virtue, figure-skaters-champions-icons-great people

From Scott:

“People feel like they’ve been part of our journey, which is really special and we’re really grateful for that support.”
Scott often tries to be clever in the framing of his comments, with mixed results. Here, I wonder if saying, "people feel like" they've been part of his and Tessa's journey is deliberate. People have that impression, even though they really haven't been part of the journey, because we've lied, and promoted a fake story.
When they were interviewed by the Russian fans, Tessa said that what you did or said isn't remembered. How you made people feel is remembered. Under that umbrella, we can include, I guess, making people feel they're part of your story, even though you've really just lied to them, while instructing them about how honest you're being. How will people feel, though, when they become aware Virtue and Moir lied?
I recall that when Scott had his fan facebook page, he made people feel just great. Right from the start, when he announced that he was shutting down his "personal" facebook because he didn't want to leave anybody out, and proceeded to kick people off his personal facebook while keeping it going, in plain view of everyone he'd deleted.Then, on his fan page, making a rare appearance in order to solicit fan feedback about a profile photo, only to make a spectacle of how little their time and energy mattered.

Scott's lecturing fans on not friending a fake facebook account was also one for the memory books.