So You Think You Can Dance S11 Los Angeles Day 2 and Philadelphia Auditions

18 06 2014

Los Angeles Day 2

SoYouThinkYouCanDanceChristina Applegate joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe for day 2 of the LA auditions.

Serge Onik (age 25 from Upper Saddle River, NJ) made it to the green mile last season. He has a new partner this year, Alla Kocherga, a 24-year-old woman from Los Angeles. Five seconds in and I loved it. Goosebumps! Rarely does ballroom give me goosebumps. That had a sizzle finish. Mary loved it. They are through.

Timothy Joseph is a 24-year-old, B-boy dancer from Sacramento, California who specializes in “suicides.” He is fantastic. He reminds me of Legacy. Mary thinks he is fearless. He was flipping too much for this. They send him to choreography; however he hurt himself during the solo so he has a decision to make. He was in too much pain to continue.

Casey Askew, 19 years of age, a contemporary dancer from Seattle, Washington. Goosebumps! I loved watching him. He had such great emotion. I got more impressed the more he dances. They stop the music and give him a ticket.

After a montage of successes J4 might have a problem with his height. But he IS only 9. He wants to show him hip hop “for the experience.” Fik-shun and Cyrus join him on stage. This kid is fabulous! What a joy and talent he is. Everyone is on their feet. He was able to meet his idol Stephen ‘Twitch’ Boss. According to him, it was the best day of his life.

Her dance is for her brother who was struggling with addiction who is now sober and healthy. Jourdan Epstein, age 24, from Plymouth, Minnesota is fabulous. I again had goosebumps. She gave Christina chills. Mary puts her on the hot tamale train. She is through.

Johnny “Waackd” Gibson, age 22, from New York City. I think he had improved from his audition 2 years ago. It is a “yes” to choreography and from there he is through to the next round.

Armen Way is a 28-year-old from Glendale, California, who tried out in season 10. I was turned off by him last year. His dance appeared to be all about himself. He seemed to objectify women from this rap video they showed in his audition packet. Last year he was sent home because he dropped Malece Miller on her head. I LIKE this version of Armen better. This year he had a new partner, Malene Ostergaard, a 25-year-old from Studio City, California. She reminded me of Mila Kunis. That dance was hot and sexy. I felt that Armen’s attention was on his partner this time and the dynamic between them sizzled. Yep, I like this version of Armen much better. Mary Murphy talked the entire way through the dance about how impressed she was. What a dynamic couple they are. She felt Malene ran the hot tamale train straight off the tracks. Christina said people would love them both. They are through to the next round.

Philadelphia Day 1

Prima ballerina Misty Copeland joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe during this audition.

Bridget Whitman, age 19, from Tempe, Arizona was up first. Her back-story was making me cry. One of her last memories of her dad before a tragic car accident killed him was her telling him that she wanted to be on the show. He told her that she could get there through a lot of hard work. I was sobbing. Mary Murphy was crying, too. Is she the best contemporary dancer I have seen during the auditions? No. But she does deserve a shot in the next round. Misty thinks she is a beautiful dancer. Mary can feel everything she is going through. She gets her ticket.

They then showed a montage of really fantastic male dancers.

Amir Sanders, age 21, is a self-described funky ballerina from Baltimore, Maryland. She is interesting from her look to her style of dance. It did not give me goosebumps, but I enjoyed it. Misty thinks her technique and lines are beautiful, but there were small moments she needs to focus on to improve. Mary thought for a moment it was like watching Diana Ross striking a pose. They sent her to choreography, which shocked both the audience and me. However, she does make it through to the next round after choreography.

Last year’s Jenna Johnson had a partner last season who was too young to audition. Landon Anderson, age 18, from Springville, Utah came back to audition (along with Jenna). He had some nice foot work but is he as strong as some of the other guys on the show? I don’t know about that. Mary thought he was a great partner. Misty said that he became someone else for dancing–like a little boy in speaking but a man in dancing. He gets a ticket to move to the next round. Jenna gets a surprise as well when Nigel extends to her an invitation to come back this season to be an all-star, something they don’t usually do when they were just contestants the prior year.

The last contestant for day 1 was Shafeek Westbrook. In season 9, he left with a really bad attitude. His words were “not coming back ever.” He hails from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania and is 24 years old. I loved his moves, but I was not sure why he felt the need to take his shirt off. Mary wanted more “wow” moments. Misty felt like he was trying to sell them his body versus his dancing. Nigel says yes to choreography. He makes it through to the next round after the choreography sessions.

Philadelphia Day 2

Billy Porter joins the judging panel for this round of auditions.

First up is Stanley Glover. His mother died when he was 4 years old while he was sleeping next to her; she had a heart attack in her sleep and they found her dead in the morning. Both sides of his family failed to go to the court date that would decide guardianship of him. His mother’s friend, Margaret Chamberlain, stepped up and brought him into their home. He is a 19-year-old from Chicago, Illinois. His choreography was genius and for a moment the words “Shelob’s mate” popped into my mind. Or at least a creature from the show on the CW called “The 100.”

Krumper James “Banks” Davis was shot twice in his knee four years ago. They were about to amputate his leg but his pulse came back. He is from Brooklyn, New York, age 24. This gave me goosebumps. It was such a unique style of krumping. Way to represent Brooklyn (I was born there). Billy felt like he was a true storyteller and it was fantastic. He gets to go to choreography, but he does not get to the next round.

Dance Crews

This was a tough choice. It was between a Bollywood/Hip-Hop Dance Crew called Wanted Ashiqz versus a group of hip-hop street style called Mix’d Elements. I’m really torn between them.  As of right now, we do not know the results of the vote.





So You Think You Can Dance S10: The Winners!

13 09 2013

Wednesday night was a celebration of the best dances of the season. It was also announced that So You Think You Can Dance will be back for Season 11. As Mary Murphy would say, “WOOOOOOOOOOOO- HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Put THAT on the hot tamale train.

Logo

We were also treated to new dances. Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval from season 3 is now part of the new movie, “Battle of the Year” which showcases unscripted live acts. Dominic’s crew, choreographed by Dave Scott, served up an extraordinary dance routine to the song, “Fast Man (Z-Trip Remix)/Know The Ledge” by The PC’s Ltd./Eric B. and Rakim. It was like a mixture of dance and martial arts especially with those kicks.

Napoleon and Tabitha D’Umo had the top 20 dancers, Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and some of the other choreographers dancing to “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

Mary and Nigel also danced alone to “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye, when Adam Shankman crashing the party.

But we get down to the winners: Congratulations to Amy and Fik-Shun for winning.

Winners

Amy and Fik-Shun

To Aaron and Jasmine and all the other contestants: Remember that not everyone can take the prize home. It is what you do with the opportunities that present themselves from this point forward that truly will determine your life-long success in dance. There are so many contestants who did not win on the show, who have had extraordinary success: Travis Wall, Dominic Sandoval, Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, Alex Wong, Robert Roldan, Lacey Schwimmer, Mark Kanemura, Kathryn McCormick just to name a few. Just BE AWESOME.





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Top 8 Perform

21 08 2013

Don’t faint. I actually was able to write this up within 24 hours after the show.

Opening Number

Song: “Move To The Ocean (Baauer Remix) by Brick & Mortar
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

That was just weird. I am not sure how I feel about that. I usually love the choreography of Mia too. Oh well. That is why it is art. Some people will love it, some people won’t, and some people will scratch their heads.

Judges Tonight

Classically trained Jenna Elfman joined Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy to judge tonight’s special event where the all-stars from previous seasons will not only dance but also choreograph their routines.

Bottom 2

Fik-Shun, Jenna, Hayley and–Tucker???? That is just so wrong on so many levels. All four will do solos. Fik-Shun is up first dancing to “If You Crump Stand Up” by edIT. I forgot that he is an animator. That was fun! Hayley chose “Skin & Bones” by David J Roch. That was great–goosebumps. Jenna danced to “Greyhound” by Swedish House Mafia. It is so difficult to do a Latin ballroom solo, but it did get my attention. Tucker danced to “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright. That was delightful.

Couples

Dancer: Aaron and all-star Chelsie Hightower
Style: Jive
Song: “Great Balls of Fire” by Million Dollar Quartet (Broadway Cast Recording)

That was a lot of fun! High energy, great chemistry, good leading by Aaron indeed! Top 2–here you come.

The judges: Mary picked out some areas for Aaron that were weak so he can learn and apply to future opportunities. Jenna thought it was awesome. She has been so impressed with his journey. Nigel thought he would have done better being a tapper but reminds America to take everything into account across the season in casting their vote tonight.

 

Dancers: Fik-Shun and all-star Allison Holker
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Skinny Love” by Birdy

A dance about discrimination. That was beautiful and gave me goosebumps and I got a bit teary-eyed. Allison really brought out things in him we have not seen before, but his partnering skills are still an issue where he messed up in a lift move but the pro Allison recovered so she did not fall. He may need to try some weightlifting to build up those necessary muscles.

The judges: Jenna said that Fik-Shun can do no wrong. He is already an all-star and is pure life force. Nigel pointed out that her routine must have been inspired with her relationship with tWitch (and they are getting married later this year). He said, in short, that while Fik-Shun lacks in a lot of technique, his quality that cannot be ignored. Mary agrees with everything being said.

 

Dancers: Tucker and all-star Courtney Galiano
Style: Jazz
Song: “Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes

Romeo and Juliet. I had goosebumps! I LOVED that!

The judges: Nigel told us that Courtney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and she has lost half the vision of her left eye. (Courtney–my business is a sponsor of our local MS Walk in October!). Mary was teary-eyed as was I and she loves Courtney and Tucker and Tucker’s dad (they showed a clip about how supportive his father has been, which many times does not happen from a dad whose son wants to dance). Jenna said Tucker is so special and he moves her every time she sees him.

 

Dancers: Paul and all-star Comfort Fedoke
Style: Hip hop
Song: “Dum Dum” by Tedashii featuring Lecrae

Paul just had an Alex Wong moment (when he danced with tWitch). Latin ballroom dancer can get down!!!

The judges: Mary said he is one of the most versatile dancers on the show. She thinks he is going full steam ahead on the hot tamale train. Jenna is so inspired by him. Nigel said Paul got down and dirty.

 

Dancers: Hayley and all-star Dmitry Chaplin
Style: Rumba
Song: “Meant” by Elizaveta

They are an engaged couple. She finds out he cheated on her. That dance sizzled. I felt like I was watching a very private moment between the two. You could feel the angst. This is the kind of ballroom dancing I love.

The judges: Jenna thinks there is not anything Hayley can’t do. Nigel says that there is not anything she has done wrong in this competition. She has grown week after week. Mary said Hayley got it right tonight. It was phenomenal.

 

Dancers: Jenna and all-star Mark Kanemura
Style: Jazz
Song: “I Am The Best” by 2NE1

This is a fusion of styles. I saw elements of Bollywood and hip hop. That was so different and so quirky. I loved it.

The judges: Nigel thought it was phenomenal and fantastic. He thinks she is a brilliant dancer. Mary thought it was great and had some Bollywood and African and Middle Eastern and New Age Funk to it. Jenna said it was marvelous. Jenna loves Jenna’s name. She is a beautiful technician who has a long career ahead of her.

 

Dancers: Jasmine and all-star tWitch
Style: Hip hop
Song: “The Power” by District 78 featuring Cheesa

Superheroes! The fact that Jasmine can hold her own with tWitch speaks volumes to her talent. That was indeed on the level of superhero dancers!

The judges: Mary said she could have been intimidated by him but she was not. She is the superhero and conquered this routine tonight. Jenna thought Jasmine owned it. She thinks there is something so beautiful about her, unique and wonderful. Nigel agrees with Jenna. She thinks she out-tWitched tWitch. She has stolen his heart.

 

Dancers: Amy and all-star Travis Wall
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Wicked Game (Live at Killkenny Arts Festival, Ireland/2011” by James Vincent McMorrow

This is going to be good and I don’t know the whole story yet. The story is about the games that are played when first entering a relationship. This is the very best I have seen Amy dance. I really believe that partnering her with Fik-Shun was a disadvantage. Her dancing like this reminded me why I fell in love with Amy during the auditions. Travis Wall–you’ve done it again. Amy made it look effortless.

The judges: Were standing. Jenna said Amy is perfect, so full of heart and soul and technique. She thinks the world is such a better place because of both of them. Nigel thinks we saw something very special there. He thinks Travis is a genius. Mary agrees. She thinks it was mature and sophisticated.

 

Going Home

Jenna and Tucker go home. Tucker going home is SO wrong.

 

My picks

It is so difficult to choose at this time. I think Fik-Shun should be going home next week. Paul and Aaron should and deserve to be the top 2 guys. As far as the girls, Jasmine and Amy did the best job tonight, so that would leave Hayley going home.

I really enjoyed seeing the all-stars do choreography. The show should keep that aspect for next year.

Who are you favorites?  Leave a comment!  Let’s talk about it, but please keep the discussion civil. 





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Top 10 Perform

18 08 2013

Its all-star pairing tonight!

Opening Number

Song: “The Gravel Road” by The Village (Score from the motion picture)
Choreographer: Christopher Scott

Dancing with props is so difficult but that was so beautifully done. I felt the angst and raw emotion of the piece. I don’t know the story behind it, but I felt it was possibly that the couples just lost a baby and the pain of that loss. Of course that feeling comes from my own experience with that.

Judges

Legendary Debbie Allen joins Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy.

Bottom 2

Tucker is automatically in the bottom because of his inability to perform because of his injury. Joining him are Makenzie, Nico, Jenna. Nigel is going to skip seeing them do their solos and go straight to the all-stars. I like that idea very much.

All-Star Couples

Dancers: Amy and All-Star Brandon Bryant
Style: Disco
Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
Song: “I Will Always Love You (Hex Hector Radio Mix) by Whitney Houston

Doriana has created a brand new move called the disco location. Amy looked like she was having a blast out there. I would be throwing up on stage with all those spins. Brandon has some major guns on those arms and the moves are effortless. The death drop at the end where she was just inches from the ground made me gasp. I don’t know how dancers do that. Brandon has his back turned to her so he is death-dropping her from behind so how does he know when she is close enough but her face is not smashing the floor?

The judges: Mary is not crazy about the song but is crazy about Amy. Debbie loved it. She thought they were paired well in their energy and size and spirit. Nigel thinks Amy is vivacious. She stood out more than the disco ball did.

Dancers: Fik-Shun and all-star Melanie Moore
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: “Feeling Good” by Jennifer Hudson

Ex-lover of a performer returns to town and things get steamy. Melanie looks stunning. It was a great number, but after seeing Aaron perform, it was a little novice. I did not buy into the chemistry. It felt fake. The dance moves were fun. He did wreak attitude and that was well done.

The judges: Also on their feet. Nigel thought it was fantastic. He is proud of Fik-Shun. He well he kept up. Mary thinks he is growing every week. Debbie said that they can say his name is Fik-Shun but that was real tonight.

Dancers: Aaron and all-star Kathryn McCormick
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “I ‘m Kissing You” by Des’ree

It is about unconditional love. About 15 seconds into the song I got goosebumps. The damn goosebumps stayed the entire song. As Stacey said it is not about the moves but the emotion in the moves. Their connection for just having met was amazing. It was as if they were dancing together their entire lives. There was love and passion and depth. Aaron–YOU ROCK! There was a little mess up at the end when he had to pick her up that should have been a fluid move but I am nitpicking at this point. I think he might wind up being the top 2 dancers in the finale. Then he was talking about how much he had learned from her and that she took him to a whole new place in his dancing and that made me start crying. He is so humble and so filled with joy. I think that is why I like his energy so much. And to think, he was not going to be on the show until that other person left because of an injury. It’s destiny baby! Fate is calling.

The judges: The judges were standing. Debbie said call the fire department because there is fire going on on this stage right now. She thought it was a magical pairing. Aaron has grown so much over the weeks tonight he has raised the bar in the competition. Nigel felt it too that it was like they were dancing forever. He said that the look in Kathryn’s eyes at the end said that she knew he was something special. Mary agrees with everything that has been said. She thinks Aaron is one of the most captivating dancers ever on the show.

Dancers: Paul and all-star Witney Carson
Style: Cha-cha
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Généreux
Song: “Live It Up” by Jennifer Lopez

It was a fun routine that sizzled at times, but I think there were some misses in the moved, like missing her hand. Was she supposed to be in the floor? Maybe but I thought the move was going to be a drop to just above the ground. Happy birthday Paul! He turns 22.

The judges: On their feet again. Mary said he can dance his patootie off. His foot work is clean and precise. He is on the hot tamale train. Debbie said this was his element and they expected him to soar. It was beautiful and seamless. Nigel thought they were born for each other. He has personality and technique.

Dancers: Hayley and all-star Stephen “tWitch” Boss
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Locked Out of Heaven (District 9 Remix) by Bruno Mars

Bank loan applicant meets loan officer Hayley. Her hip-hop is not good but you tend to overlook it during her sexy-loan-officer moves. I was watching tWitch more. Christopher Scott made up for her lack of being able to loosen up with these staccato-like movements.

The judges: Debbie felt when she pulled her hair out, she rose to the occasion. Debbie was watching tWitch, too, more. Nigel said it was great fun and calls her a dark horse. Mary thinks she is following in tWitch’s tracks and agrees with Nigel. She loves her.

Dancers: Jenna and all-star Neil Haskell
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Mark Masri

A story about breaking up. The lift and turn was great. The acrobatics were great. Jenna and Neil were both filled with emotion but I did not believe they were in a relationship, not in the way I believed in Aaron and Kathryn earlier. I think Jenna was trying to make it happen but Neil was not reciprocating. No goosebumps.

The judges: They were on their feet again. Nigel loved the fluidity in the movement. Mary agrees; the movement was perfect. Debbie says that she sees someone who is one of the most gifted dancers.

Dancers: Jasmine and all-star Marko Germar
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell

Ray said they had to look like one person but their movements were not (microseconds but not exact). It got better as the song went on though. I love this song. That was a barrel of fun.

Judges: They were on their feet again. Mary was drawn to Jasmine in the performance. The only thing missing from the video of the song of the summer was them dancing in it. Debbie could not keep her eyes off Jasmine. Nigel thought at some points he was reminded of Michael Jackson and sometimes other people back in history. He did not know if he was actually looking at two all-stars.

Dancers: Makenzie and all-star Jakob Karr
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “Too Darn Hot (RAC Mix)” by Ella Fitzgerald

This was a dance about attitude versus tricks. Makenzie did a great job. It is going to be hard to decide who goes home between her and Jenna.

The judges: They were on their feet again. Debbie loved it so much and compared her to Cyd Charisse Nigel said they have the best pair o feet he has ever seen. Mary said it was so darn hot. Nigel chimed in that it was more Rita Hayworth than Cyd.

Dancers: Nico and all-star Comfort Fedoke
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo (Nappytabs)
Song: “Get UR Freak On (Amended LP Version)” by Missy Elliott

This was reptiles on the prowl. Nico looked like a white boy trying to find attitude and dance moves in the hip-hop style. It was fun, but there have been so many other dances so much better than this tonight.

The judges: Finally, they are not giving them a standing ovation. Nigel things the audience loved the routine a little more than he did. He complimented him on getting into character. Mary thought he got his freak on. Debbie enjoyed it. She felt like she was in Jurassic Park.

Dancers: Tucker and all-star Robert Roldan
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Medicine” by Daughter

Two brothers–one hits rock bottom and the other helps. It was done with a nod to his brother Danny Tidwell, but Tucker was in a car accident where he was paralyzed for awhile and Robert apparently had a brush with death from a serious fall. In fact, back in June of 2012. In September of 2012, Robert tweeted this: The Reason I Will Not Be An All Star: This past June my life was almost ended. One night I had a major accident that changed my life. I injured myself very badly and to the extent where I had to be rushed to the hospital immediately. This accident has caused me to be unable to dance which is why I’m writing this letter. Every doctor that I have been to since has said “wow…you’re lucky you are alive..” or “people with kind of accident are usually are pronounced dead on the spot..” Therefore I just want to tell everyone single one of you how much your support and encouragement means to me. It makes me fight through this bump in the road. The kind things you have said to me and things you have done for me truly mean the world. One day I will be back on my feet and dancing and doing the things I love to do. In the mean time I am so lucky to be living breathing and opening my eyes every day. I will never take anyone of you and your support for granted because every single one of you are important weather I know you or not. You have made my journey from SYTYCD to now more than a dream and I can’t thank you enough for it. Always cherish the things that you have, even if they are the smallest things because it can all be taken away in the snap of a finger. My heart goes out to each and every one of you with so much thanks! This is not the end. God has a plan. I won’t give up till I’m on that stage again. Much love and thanks, Robert.”

I was welling up in tears within a few seconds. What an amazing idea pairing them together. There was a spot in the middle where they were supposed to be in-sync that they weren’t, but you know what? It just doesn’t matter. That was so beautiful, so exquisite, and so emotional. What a brilliant job. Travis Wall–you ALWAYS get to me.

The judges: Standing as they should be. I think Nico is going home. Mary was crying. She talked about their amazing journeys and triumphs and gave it over to Debbie because she could not speak anymore. Debbie said she did not know how he could be on the bottom but he was on top now. Nigel said all the stars were aligned and it created this piece that will always be remembered on the show.

Going Home

Makenzie and Nico will leave the show tonight.

My Top Picks

For the guys, it’s quite easy: Tucker and Aaron. For the girls, definitely Jasmine, but I’m torn between Amy and Jenna.





So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 — Top 10 Revealed

8 08 2013

Opening Number

Song: “Pandeyjee Seeti” by Dabangg 2 (Original Soundtrack)
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan

Group Bollywood opening number! I think someone had to super-size their energy drink before coming on stage. How in the world do they keep up that level of energy? Nico and Alan’s hands were not as sharp as the other guys. I enjoyed it very much, however.

Judges Tonight

Kenny Ortega joined Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the judges’ panel tonight. Cat delivers more bad news about the dancers. Tucker had an infection in his knee and cannot perform tonight. If he survives the cuts on this evening’s show, he will automatically be in the bottom next week. What does Cat mean about Mary and “retiring?”

In The Bottom

Tonight’s cut is important because the top 10 dancers remaining will be the ones going on tour. Jenna, Alan, Malece, Nico, Amy, Tucker. I am surprised about Amy. It could be that she needs a new dance partner (even though Fik-Shun made it through). Nigel sends Nico and Jenna into the top 10. Amy is NOT going home so I suspect it is Malece’s time to leave. Tucker is dancing? I am confused. Cat said he was not dancing tonight. Hoping to secure his place, Tucker dances to “Maestro” from The Holiday (Original Soundtrack). Now there is the Tucker I remember from the auditions that I loved. So fluid and beautiful. Amy danced to “Je Suis Malade” by Lara Fabian. I got goosebumps! The audience was rooting for her too. Now THAT is dancing for your life. Malece dances to “Patient Love” by Passenger. It was nice but Amy was better. Alan danced to “Mas Que Nada” by Sergio mended featuring The Black Eyed Peas. Sergio Mendes is a name I have not heard for quite awhile. His timing seemed off to the music.

Couples Dance

Dancers: Hayley and Nico
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: “Kiss Of The Spider Woman” by Jeffrey Huard & Chita Rivera (Kiss Of The Spider Woman Cast Recording).

Whoa! I was vacillating between wondering whether or not I liked it or if it was boring, but the flip he did made me pause to rewind. She stands back-to-back with him. She has one leg in the arm (so it looks like a split standing up) he starts bending forward. She starts bending backward (with that right leg straight up now bending backward as her left knee bends. The motion continues and her left leg leaves the floor and he flips her over and she lands facing him, then falls backward onto the stage with that right leg still up in the air and she does a backward tumblesault and then stands up as he does a round-off, back spring, backward somersault. And then a kiss. Wow!

The judges: On their feet! Nigel says it was one of the best Broadway routines they have ever had on the series (Tyce will be sad to hear this). He said it was magnificently danced. Mary thought it was outrageous. Mary loved the passion and the power that Nico brought to the character. Mary thought Hayley was a little temptress. Kenny thought Sean created a courageous piece. Hayley and Nico handled it with bravery and passion.

Dancers: Malece and Alan
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: “Come Dance With Me” by Michael Bublé

He should go home just on the fact that he is a dancer who has never seen Gene Kelly dance. (LOL). She should go home because apparently she is not environmentally friendly (never wears the same thing twice and shops all the time?). Annoying. I think Alan did a better job than Malece. His hips moved better than hers did. It was okay.

The judges: Kenny made sure Alan went onto You Tube to see a Gene Kelly film. Malece has the sparkle of a young Judie Holiday or Goldie Hawn. He wished they would have found that melding point better between their two styles (missing chemistry, not technical dancing). Nigel thought it was uncomfortable to watch. The style and chemistry were not there. Mary thought it was fun and entertaining but there were some issues with the technical part. She is on the fence about it overall.

Dancers: Jenna and Alex Wong (standing in for Tucker)
Style: Paso Doble
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Généreux
Song: “He’s A Pirate (Ship Ahoy Tribal Remix) by Chris Joss and Klaus Badelt

This makes me very excited to see the top 10 paired with the all-stars next week. Remember when I said it takes a lot to get me excited about ballroom dancing? This is what I am talking about. I wonder if she now likes a new pirate other than Orlando Bloom.

The judges: Mary loved it. She wishes she could trade places with Jenna. Kenny complimented her on dancing with someone she had never danced with before with such passion and confidence. She is now at the top of the list for him. Nigel made it known that Alex had never done ballroom on the show before (due to his early leave because of his injury in his season). He also made a comment about the all-stars.

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: “The Edge of Glory” (Live From “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving”) by Lady Gaga

Unlikely lovers. He’s a boy from the wrong side of the tracks (depends on your perspective I imagine–perhaps he is the RIGHT side of the tracks). That sizzled. I got goosebumps! The lines were exquisite. The chemistry exploded. The judges were standing.

The judges: Nigel talked about all the wonderful moments in their movement. Mary said it was done beautifully. They melted together and oozed. Kenny said they are two of his favorite dancers in this competition and have been for awhile.

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Style: Viennese waltz
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Généreux
Song: “A Thousand Years, Part 2” by Christina Perri featuring Steve Kazee

This is not going to be pretty. People who dance this usually find themselves in the bottom. The Twilight fans might like it. Fik-Shun’s foot work was sloppy. He gave a good effort with his posture. There was something I had difficulty putting my finger on and I think it is in this dance I felt like more “boy” than “man” came through. His partnering was better this week and he was there for all the lifts and tricks and nothing on the floor she might have tripped on.

The judges: Mary said they were precious together. There were definitely technical issues but something special Happens between them. Kenny praised Jean Marc on being a great teacher. He thought if a choreographer asked Fik-Shun to fly he would find a way to do it. Amy is like the dancer in a music box. Nigel acknowledged the problem this dance has getting votes. He feels like Fik-Shun is learning week after week.

Dancers: Jasmine and Aaron
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo
Song: “Gold Rush” by Clinton Sparks featuring 2 Chainz, Macklemore & D.A.

Stagecoach robber meets gold-digging saloon girl. They truly are my favorite couple. It was fun, playful, sexy, and entertaining. I liked it so much I had to watch it again (and again and again). My favorite routine of the night. Here–You should watch it, too.

The judges–were on their feet! Kenny said after SYTYCD choreographers will have to form a lottery to see who gets to work with them first. Nigel felt that Aaron was right about height but he would have been right had it not been for Jasmine. He did not know the pelvic girdle could move like that (on Jasmine). Mary felt Jasmine’s hip and torso isolations were crazy tonight. Aaron did great too.

Dancers: Nico, Paul, Fik-Shun, Alan
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo
Song: “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World (American Idol Performance) by Joshua Ledet

The guys have to pull their own weight in a relationship. It was a great routine. The girls went NUTS in the audience.

The judges: Mary and Kenny were standing. Nigel thought it was really good. Mary picked out Paul and Aaron to compliment. Kenny gave Alan a compliment for throwing his all into the dance. He also complimented Paul and Aaron (although I think he mistakenly said Alan instead of Aaron).

Dancers: Jenna, Hayley, Malece, Makenzie, Amy, Jasmine
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Young and Beautiful” (DH Orchestral Version) by Lana Del Rey (The Great Gatsby Soundtrack)

At the fountain of youth, the ladies ultimately find that what matters most is on the inside. It was haunting and celebrated their sisterhood.

The judges: Also standing again. Mary said they are the best 6 girls that they have had in 10 seasons. Kenny said their commitment to dance is evident in every movement they make. Nigel thought it was beautiful.

Going Home

Malece and Alan. But Nigel said he would try his best to get them on the tour in some capacity.

My picks for next week

I can’t pick the bottom this week. Everyone was so good. My favorites though were Aaron and Jasmine and Paul and Makenzie. But Nico and Hayley get props for the complicated moves in their dance. Well, okay, maybe I do have picks for the bottom seeing who is then left. We know Tucker automatically goes into the bottom 2, but the other should be Fik-Shun. Jenna should be the next one to leave. Amy needs a chance to shine with an all-star next week and that leaves only Jenna.





So You Think You Can Dance — S10 — Top 14 to 12

1 08 2013

Opening Number

Song: “Dimman Kryper Sakta In” by District 78
Choreographers: Sonya Tayeh and Dmitry Chaplin

That is a unique pairing of styles! I enjoyed it. It wasn’t my absolute favorite but it was different.

Judges For Tonight

Cat has bad news. Curtis injured his shoulder and the doctors said he cannot perform this week. Nigel, Mary and guest judge Anna Kendrick.

Bottom 6

Jasmine, Alan, Alexis, Curtis, Makenzie, and Nico. Jasmine? Are you friggin’ kidding me America? This is a GROSS injustice. She is one of the top 3 girl dancers! The judges do not want to see any of the guys dance a solo. Makenzie is going back to safety. Jasmine and Alexis are dancing solos. Jasmine is phenomenal, so you know at this point Alexis is going home.

Alexis dances a wonderful tap routine to the song, “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. She is a wonderful tap dancer. Jasmine dances to “Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves. She is a force of nature. She is safe. If she is not, then I question the wisdom of the judges.

Couples Dance

Dancers: Jenna & Tucker
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Slight Work” by Wale featuring Big Sean

Jenna did a better job than Tucker but I did not like the routine. Personal taste issues. Tucker was too stiff. Jenna was less so but still needed more. The bendover-bottom move will get some votes. Also dance moves that Tucker needed to be tighter and more hard-hitting in fell flat. I was bored. My interest was re-ignited when they went to the platform, but it was short-lived.

The judges: Nigel thought it was unconvincing. Mary agreed but paid them some compliments. Anna thought it was not their strongest but it was a little cute.

Dancers: Alexis and Nico
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Ashes” by The Bengsons

The story is it is at the point of a relationship where it all falls apart. it was fantastic. Alexis really channeled some intense emotions. I always love Sonya’s routines but it did not elicit goosebumps. I found my eye drawn more to Alexis this time than Nico.

The judges: Mary gave specifics about what she loved and thought it was spectacular. Anna said it was lovely. Nigel felt that Sonya gave them a vehicle to show emotion this week.

Dancers: Hayley and Curtis
Style: Tango
Choreographer: Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Song: “Estes Es El Rey” by Juan D’Arienzo

The story is that they meet for the first time on the dance floor. Leonardo is subbing for the injured Curtis. And THAT is what it looks like when dancing with the real deal. It was fabulous. Still did not give me goosebumps but I think Curtis really would have had trouble with the lifts even without a shoulder injury.

The judges: Mary was on her feet. Anna felt if she had Hayley’s body just for one day she would be invincible. Nigel felt she nailed it and it was stunning. Mary said it was impressive and gave the more technical descriptions of the dance. Mary wants to be her today too so she could dance with Leonardo.

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “You’ll Find a Way (Switch & Sinden Remix) by Santigold

I loved it 5 seconds into the song. I knew then it was going to ooze sexy and sultry and heat and passion. I got my goosebumps on.

The judges: Nigel said they were brilliant. Mary feels the same. She enjoyed every second of it. Anna felt Paul was pulling an MVP and Makenzie was powerful in this.

Dancers: Jasmine and Aaron
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Justin Giles
Song: “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by Birdy

A piece based on The Giving Tree.” I already have goosebumps and I haven’t even seen the dance yet. I am already welling up with tears in my eyes and they have not started dancing. It is without a doubt my favorite book of all time. It is even more special in that I got to read this book to my niece’s classroom on one of my trips up to New Jersey, a special honor I will cherish forever. Because of the severity of my son’s autism and my first child dying I never got to experience many things that parents with neurotypical children get to do in regular classrooms. My damn mascara is running and I now have raccoon eyes. Ugh. Okay, let’s get past the first 5 seconds or their practice. Deep breath. My goosebumps runneth over. That was my favorite routine of the night.

The judges: Mary gives props to the prop and to them for making it look effortless. The dance was endearing and she loves watching them dance. Anna believed the emotions. She loves Jasmine’s grace. She told Aaron that she roots for him. And she wants a piggyback ride on Aaron’s back. Nigel tells them the story. He feels that as partners they have unconditional love for each other just as the tree had for the boy. He loves them as a couple (and so do I).

Dancers: Fik-Shun and Amy
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

Fik-Shun orders the catch of the day at a restaurant (which is Amy). This was fun and quirky and flirty.

The judges: Anna thinks they are cute. Amy is her favorite dancer on the show. Nigel felt it was tremendous. He worries that they are playing similar characters each week. Mary agrees with Nigel and Anna. She did not want it to be over.

Dancers: Malece and Alan
Style: Salsa
Choreographer: Jonathan Platero (season 5 contestant)
Song: “Pa’ Los Rumberos” by Tito Puente and His Orchestra

This dance had a lot of acrobatics and tricks but I was bored. Sorry I am just not excited by ballroom most of the time. It’s like country music for me–every now and then I pay attention but it takes a phenomenal song (or in this case dance).

The judges: Nigel thought it was well choreographed and danced. Mary said the routine was insane. Anna said it made her want to take lessons or have an affair on a tropical island. She wants them to make a baby.

Dancers: Malece, Curtis, Alan, Jenna, Nico, Hayley, Makenzie
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “Come Together” by Joe Cocker (Across The Universe Soundtrack)

Spencer substituted for the injured Curtis. I enjoyed that. I never heard that version of the song before. Very sexy. I don’t know why Mad Men was springing to mind because I have never watched the show, only promos. Spencer looked like he really enjoyed doing that.

The judges: Anna wanted to give a shout-out to the steady-cam operators. She also gives the group kudos. Nigel said his eye was on Spencer. He thought the girls were tremendous. Mary thought Spencer was great. She thought the girls killed it.

Dancers: Aaron, Amy, Paul, Jasmine, Tucker, Fik-Shun, Alexis
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Bonnie Story
Song: “Tears of an Angel” by Ryandan

A story about being bullied and people walking by and ignoring it. No words, only tears. That was so beautiful. It was SO powerful.

The judges: They were all on their feet. Mary thought it was a beautiful piece. Anna thanked all of them and thought it was fantastic. Nigel called attention to cyber bullying (Oh gosh Nigel if you only knew, and some of those bullies pretend to be victims in a sick, twisted way to control people insidiously).

Who goes home

Curtis and Alexis are going home.

Who is in the bottom this week/my picks

I hate to keep picking on Alan, but–fooled you. This week Tucker is on the bottom and that may be just because Alan got a dance in his own style this week. Nico might also be in the bottom 2. For the bottom girls, I am going to have to say this week Malece and Jenna and only because the other girls were just a little bit better.





So You Think You Can Dance Top 16 to 14

24 07 2013

Opening Number

Song: “New World” by The Irrepressibles
Choreographers: Stacey Tookey and Peter Chu

Once again, I adored the opening number. It was very cool when they changed wardrobe from red to white. It was like a snake shedding its skin. Although I don’t like snakes, I do love this.

Panel of judges

Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Grammys! Seven nominations. Congratulations! Woo-hoo!

The Bottom 6/Solos

Mariah, Alan, Makenzie, BluPrint, Jenna, and Curtis are all in danger, but they quickly send Jenna back to safety. The rest have to dance solos to help the judges make their decision about who is staying and who is going.

Makenzie starts the solos. She dances to “Claire de Lune” by Laura Sullivan. That was lovely. I liked how the audience kept quiet until the last 2 seconds to count. If they were like me, they were holding their breath and breathing with the dancer. Alan took the floor next and danced to “Return Of The King” by X-Ray Dog. It was a little strange. Like a Russian matador. I have not seen him dance like that since the auditions. The cape work was outstanding. Curtis danced to “Used To Love U” by John Legend. It was a nice reminder about how great a tap dancer he is. Dancing to “Set It Off” by Kardinal Offishall featuring The Clipse, Mariah showed us why it is important to keep a female krumper in the mix. The last person to strut their stuff was animator BluPrint to “Illusion of Choice” by Gramatik. I never tire watching him perform in his native style. Wow. That is going to be a tough call and I am glad I don’t have to make it!

Couples

Dancers: Alexis and Nico
Style: Jive
Choreographer: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: “Mayhem” by Imelda May

Before I talk about the dance, I really like Tony’s longer hairdo. The song was fun. Tapper Alexis stepped up. The jive and the quickstep are dances that the audience has a very difficult time connecting.

The judges: Nigel felt they lost the bopping step halfway through the routine. Mary enjoyed the routine. She offered advice on how to make it better. Carly enjoyed it and liked Alexis’ dress and Nico’s facial expressions.

Dancers: Jenna and Tucker
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Hangin’ By A Thread” by Jann Arden

You had me at Travis. Love this dude’s choreography. The story is Jenna has lost all control and is a puppet on a string. Tucker brings her back to life. Once again Travis makes me cry and Jenna and Tucker rocked this. I think it put them back in e forefront in my mind.

The judges: Mary was in tears. She believed they had that moment they were needing. Carly thought it was beautiful. Nigel thought they were both brilliant.

Dancers: Mariah and BluPrint
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Brian Friedman
Song: “Fall Into The Sky” by Zedd & Lucky Date featuring Ellie Goulding

Did BluPrint find personality within his dance is week? He was better for sure but he really needs to let it GO. I enjoyed the routine so much. It is something I will remember tomorrow. The fact that it reminded me of Stargate with their outfits hooked me in as well. It was good to see him smile at the end of the routine.

The judges: Carly thought it was fun and energetic. Nigel felt they carried off the routine pretty well. Mary loved three-quarters of it.

Dancers: Malece and Alan
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: “Bassline” by Chris Brown

Aliens bring us hip-hop. They should have spaced this dance out more from the last routine because there were a lot of similar features. Alan was too stiff. Their synchronicity was off. The pants were distracting to me. Sometimes my 17-year-old with disabilities defecates in his pants and it will look like that. Malece did a better job with the overall steps. By the end of the song I had lost interest (sorry guys)!

The judges: Nigel felt Alan did not have swagger and noticed the stiffness too. Mary thought Malece was on fire and Alan was not. At this point, I think Alan is going home tonight. Carly preferred Malece over Alan.

Dancers: Hayley and Curtis
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: “Don’t Let Go Yet (Radio Edit) by David J. Roch

The story of the song is that they are two people going in different directions, in this case, up and down. I love seeing the unique use of props. When they talked about a ladder in the rehearsals, I thought it was a metaphorical ladder. Hayley is a fiery powerhouse. Curtis continues to make progress but there is something I cannot put my finger on–it looks very amateurish. But when his inexperience fails him, his winning smile compensates. Eventually though, his luck will not hold out. I think Hayley also elevates him as we often see with contestants dancing with the all-stars.

The judges: Mary enjoyed the creativity. She reminded Curtis to drop his shoulders. He had great partnering. She adores Hayley. Carly saw great partnering and chemistry. To work on that, it was revealed that Curtis took her out for sushi. Will they be the new tWitch and Allison? People love romance! That will bring in some votes. Nigel was disappointed that Curtis is not working on dropping his shoulders. The whole routine was ruined for him by his shoulders (well I wouldn’t go that far!). He also was disappointed with his solo; however he thought Hayley was magnificent.

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Style: Hobo jazz? What the hell is hobo jazz?
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Under The Bridge (Sous le pont) by The Triplets of Belleville (Soundtrack)

They showed a picture of a younger Amy with a golden retriever puppy. Another brownie point goes to her in my fandom. That dance was adorably quirky. I gasped when she jumped up in his arms and then fearlessly went backwards. If Fik-Shun was not doing great partnering, she would have smashed the floor with her head with great force (like the kind in traumatic brain injuries). Wow! That is a lesson in trust now, isn’t it? I liked this routine even more than the alien routine with BluPrint and Mariah.

The judges: Mary and Carly were on their feet. Carly said it was perfect. Nigel thought Tyce gave them one of the best pieces of choreography he has ever done, and Fik-shun has grown enormously this week. He felt they were the couple to beat. Mary thought the routine was as sweet as a Twinkie. They are on the hot tamale train.

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: “Pretty Lil’ Heart” by Robin Thicke featuring Lil’ Wayne

The story is about a photographer and a 1930’s model. He is trying to get the sexy out of her. I was worried when the song first started that it would be boring but it was smoldering HOT. MERCY! Paul was a bit more hard-hitting than Makenzie by just a smidgen.

The judges: All three of them were on their feet. Nigel felt it was the sexiest routine of the evening. They are on HIS hot tamale train. Mary says he is 100% right–for once. Carly was on the edge of her seat the entire time.

Dancers: Aaron and Jasmine
Style: Quick Step
Choreographer: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: “Pencil Full of Lead” by Paolo Nutini

Oh God help them! Having the final spot is strategic in either it is just mediocre but it will be the last thing in people’s minds OR the pimp spot was given because it was potentially the winning dance of the night. #AsTheJasTurns. Apparently Aaron sings. Wouldn’t that be cool to see Aaron try out for American Idol or The X-Factor or….(says quietly)…The Voice? I think tapping will be an asset to Aaron in his dancing of the quick step. I was worried about Jasmine’s costume for a wardrobe malfunction. I am not sure why but he looks like Michael Ealy’s cousin the way he is stylized (which is a good thing–love Michael Ealy). There were moments when I think Aaron was too stiff and moments when it felt perfect. Jasmine is perfect. She may be in my top 3 girls. That ending lifts were spectacular. When they were listening to the judges, it struck me that she could pass as Michelle Obama’s cousin. Yes, I have this thing about saying who people look like.

The judges: Mary loved it! She had some nitpicky things that needed fixing but she thought it rocked. She puts Aaron and Jasmine on the hot tamale train (third couple this evening). Carly thought it was fun and sexy. Nigel thought it was great.

The results

BluPrint will be the male contestant leaving tonight. Mariah will be leaving too. It’s always sad to say goodbye to people when they are really all so wonderful, but they do have careers in front of them. I’ve said it many times: One of the reasons why I love this show is that all these young people will have jobs when they leave the show. You’ll see them on other television shows (especially on Fox) or award show or movies.

My picks for the bottom this week

Alan for the guys and maybe Nico? For the girls, it is much more difficult for me. Alexis perhaps? At this time it is a matter of splitting hairs.

Who are your bottom picks? Let’s talk about it!