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Dancing With the Stars Review: Elimination Shocker!

I’m very upset.

On Dancing With the Stars Season 20 Episode 7, there were several fun performances, a dance off round, and an incredibly shocking elimination.

The “Eras Night” theme offered some great opportunities for entertainment, though in some cases I think those opportunities were lost. Some of the dance styles and music choices weren’t quite as thematic for their respective themes as they could have been.

Rumer and Val’s Jive was my favorite dance this week. I still think there’s a good chance they could win this entire competition. It’s not just that Rumer has proven to be a strong dancer, but she also has a great attitude. She dances with a genuine smile on her face, and it’s obvious how hard she’s working. It also doesn’t hurt that Val is clearly motivated as her coach this season. I’d love to see him finally win that mirror ball trophy.

My second favorite dance came from Nastia and Sasha. There’s was a really fun routine, and I also appreciated the fact that Derek, despite not actually being able to dance with his partner, still participated in the dance as much as he was able.

I love the idea of the top scoring couple receiving immunity. Honestly, I think that’s something that should happen every week. I also love the idea of the dance off. Something about that idea just makes the competition feel fairer, not to mention the fact that it adds an interesting element altogether.

Speaking of fairness… This week’s elimination was definitely a surprise. All of the couples in the bottom this week have been among the best of the competition. Between Rumer and Val, Riker and Allison, and Willow and Mark, there was no good choice for a couple to go home. So who was eliminated?

Willow and Mark were sent home this week, and I have to say, it’s the wrong choice. Period. They have been among the best all season long, with creative routines and really great dance moves. Willow and Mark have gotten strong scores nearly every week, which were always well-deserved.

This is when these sorts of competition shows become frustrating. As much as viewer involvement is a nice touch, I think viewer votes count for too much.

Another option? How about a different kind of dance off? There was at least one season where the couples in the bottom were able to dance off, with the judges choosing based on that who would go home. Granted, all of the couples in the bottom tonight deserved to stay on the show, that option wouldn’t exactly fix the issue.

Other Thoughts:

  • Noah’s pelvic thrust was definitely one of my favorite moments of the night.
  • I find it incredibly fascinating how Twitter chose a different winner for the dance off between Riker and Allison and Willow and Mark. Twitter chose Riker and Allison by a high margin, but the judges were unanimous in choosing Willow and Mark. I guess that also shows why Willow and Mark were sent home. Sigh.
  • How cute are Robert and Kym? There is obviously more going on there than their relationship as dance partners, and it’s adorable.

What did you think of this week’s competition, and how do you feel about that elimination? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Here are this week’s scores!

  • Nastia and Sasha (90s Jive): 38
  • Riker and Allison (20s Quickstep): 37
  • Willow and Mark (Futuristic Jazz): 37 +2 — ELIMINATED
  • Noah and Sharna (70s Jazz): 36 +2
  • Rumer and Val (60s Jive): 35 +2
  • Chris and Witney (40s Foxtrot): 31
  • Robert and Kym (80s Argentine Tango): 31

TV Fanatic
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Bates Motel Season 3 Episode 8 Review: The Pit

Suddenly Bob Paris and the giant pit he’s digging under the guise of a pool seem like the least of Norma’s worries. Of anyone’s worries, really.

On Bates Motel Season 3 Episode 8 just about everything spiraled out of control with the exception of the sweet flirtation of Dylan and Emma (Dylemma for the shippers in the audience), although Dylan’s desire to help her almost got him and Caleb killed.

Scratch the notion that anything was in control by the time the hour was over. Other than the giant pit, Norma’s loss of a trusted ally and friend, and a crazy shootout, Norman grew ever closer to Psycho.

One by one, shall we?

The Pit and Other Oddities. Well, we knew things were going downhill with Bob Paris, but I am curious as to his intention for the pit. Does he plan on filling the bottom with bodies and miscellaneous clues and then building a pool on top? In White Pine Bay, even on a modest highway, nobody would probably look twice.

Bob managed to get information out of therapist James. Apparently there are some lines he will cross when his life is on it. I can’t blame him! What’s difficult to comprehend is why, after everything Romero has done for Norma and knowing fully well the cat is out of the bag, she didn’t take the hint from him when he gave her one last chance to come clean about the death of her husband.

A part of Norma had to know Romero was onto something and he was poking her because he knew what Norman did. Norma is not a stupid woman. She certainly likes to procrastinate the bearing of truth, but she’s not stupid. Now we have to hope Romero will give her another last chance.

Dylemma, Chick and Gun Running Don’t Mix. First of all, if you didn’t catch the outright glee Dylan’s face when he called Emma from the road, then go back and watch it again. He can try to talk himself out of his crush on her, but there’s no taking it back at this point. Gosh, he was adorable. That said, he should have listened to his father about taking anything Chick said at face value.

Caleb wouldn’t let Dylan run drugs alone (even those disguised as “art”), and when they got to their destination, he had a wise cautionary tale on hand to try to talk Dylan out of it again. Nothing could deter Dylan’s determination to try to save the girl.

If only Chick wasn’t such an ass. Even his partners hated his guts. They were just looking forward to blowing his brains out. So there’s no money and now Dylan and Caleb are on the line for…what? Felonies of some sort, however it pans out. This ain’t good.

Compassion and Crazy Town. Norman keeps getting spun in sanity circles. Just when he thinks he’s getting a handle on things, he’s spun into the opposite direction. He was still under the impression he was dating Emma. They had “the talk” right beside the pit. He was thrown right into his bedroom and into some Juno time. 

Thinking things over scared him and he decided to come clean with Norma about what went down with James. Of course, it’s compassion time. It’s impossible to hate Norman when he’s so troubled and trusts his mother enough he’s willing to tell her THE TRUTH about kinda, maybe wanting her sexually. That’s scary stuff. 

Norma handled it well, if Norman had been another kid. But, he’s not. He’s Norman. So there was probably another tactic other than snuggling up face to face in a close embrace that would have worked better. Unfortunately, Norma doesn’t know what it is. Me, either.

When Norma finally ran James down and understood what was OUT THERE, neither she nor Norman took it very well. He blamed her, she blamed him. They screamed, she said he was killing her and when she stormed out (after asking that he protect himself, so there’s that), he pictured imaginary, sultry Norma in her place, and he even tossed her aside. 

Running away from sultry mother resulted in him looking back at her in her WINDOW. Poetic, that, and then Juno got out and I thought to myself, “Carissa, why are you acting upset the dog is out when it’s a stuffed dog?! Get a hold of yourself, you freak.” But, Norman thought it was out, so I played along.

Ultimately, Juno lead Norman straight down the middle street (And I, of course, wondered if Juno would be hit by a car again. Who is crazy, me or Norman?!), where he came upon a car in front of which was standing Bradley Martin. 

Now, in my recollection, Bradley faked her suicide and left town. Norman thinks she’s dead, so whether she is real or not is up for debate. I’m betting she’s real and he’ll think she’s imaginary and he’s going to kill her as a way to clear his mind and he will inadvertently wind up killing Bradley Martin! 

What do you think? That’s so terribly sad, that his mind could play such tricks on him, but it’s not at all unexpected, either. Lies have a way of coming back to haunt in terrible ways. The worst ways. Will Norman be made a murderer because he’s trying to erase his demons?

Hit the comments kids and be sure to watch Bates Motel online right here at TV Fanatic if you need to catch up with all things in White Pine Bay!

TV Fanatic
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On Fast Track: Obama’s Scorn Forces Hillary Clinton’s Hand

On Fast Track: Obama’s Scorn Forces Hillary Clinton’s Hand

Will Hillary Clinton oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the fast track authority designed to ramrod it through the Congress? She’s been noncommittal to date, with many assuming she will eventually support the president who she served as secretary of state. But by calling out his opponents, President Obama has turned the escalating battle over fast track and TPP into an intra-party back-alley knife fight. As someone seeking to lead that party, Hillary can’t remain on the sidelines for long. And, if she adheres to the standards that she put forth for the agreement, she might well end up joining the opposition.

The president has lined up with the Republican congressional leadership, the Chamber of Commerce and the business lobby to pass “fast track” trade authority to ease the passage of the 12-nation TPP. He faces growing opposition from the vast majority of Democratic legislators, the entire labor movement, a broad coalition of environmental, consumer and public interest groups, as well as a growing list of normally pro-trade economists, including the likes of Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz.

Clinton has chosen to remain above the fray, issuing a statement saying she was “closely watching” to see if the treaty meets the standards of protecting workers and serving our national security. “Closely watching” isn’t exactly the expected behavior of a “champion of everyday people,” but it will have to do.

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Did Kalinda Leave ‘The Good Wife’ for Good?

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Last night’s The Good Wife gave us an unexpected twist. In fact, it was one of those episodes that felt so inevitable that it was hard to resist the urge to fast-forward through it because I wasn’t that interested in watching how a “misunderstanding” plotline would resolve itself, because it eventually would, right?

Yes, it would.

And then it would quickly resolve itself. Because Alicia’s return to Florrick, Agos, and Lockhart wasn’t, in fact, inevitable. She’s damaged goods, and as much as Cary and Diane might want her back, it’s no good for the firm. So Alicia is adrift without a job in a law firm or in the state’s attorney’s office. With what is Alicia left? Unless she creates a firm with Finn Polmar next week, the future for Alicia remains uncertain. For those of us who have watched the firm split apart and come back together too many times already, there’s some real excitement in that uncertainty (just as there was in a similar plotline on Mad Men last night).

Meanwhile, Kalinda’s plotline fizzled to a potentially anti-climactic conclusion. It feels like the writers really don’t care for Archie Panjabi, because in limiting her to mostly scenes involving phone calls for most of the season, they finally seemed to write her out of the show. But even in her goodbye, she was relegated to a phone call with Diane and a letter left behind for Alicia. Julianna Margulies and Panjabi haven’t shared a scene together in over two years. Is the tension on the set between those two so thick that they couldn’t even give Kalinda a more satisfying farewell? Could they not put their differences aside for a few moments to share one final scene together?

Maybe. But word is from executive producer Michelle King that Kalinda will make one more appearance in the finale.

“Yes. We will see her.” Whether we’ll see her in a flashback, a flashforward, or the present day, however, remains unknown … “[The finale] answers a lot of questions regarding Kalinda, which I think there will be some mystery about. Has she truly left the show? Or are there still beats to be handled with, or story elements to be handled with her? So [the finale] answers the question of Kalinda for the year.”

I would not hazard to take a guess about what that means, but I’d like to believe that Kalinda is sly enough to avoid Lemond Bishop’s assassins and that when we see her again, it won’t be in a body bag. Hopefully, it won’t be on the other side of a telephone, either.

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