So You Think You Can Dance Season 11: Top 18 Perform, 2 Go Home

17 07 2014

Opening Number

Song: “How It’s Done” by District 78
Choreographers: Christopher “Pharside” Jennings and Krystal “Phoenix” Meraz (From Academy of Villains dance crew)

I loved it!

Judges

Mary, Nigel and Misty. Mary and Nigel changed chair places tonight.

Bottom 3 Guys and Gals

Bridget, Emilio, Emily, Stanley, Jourdan, Teddy

Routines

Dancers: Jacque and Zack
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Keone and Mari
Song: “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

Me: Goosebumps! Totally out of their genre and it was lovely. I believe their chemistry.

Judges: Mary was feeling it. Nigel loved when it went around the stage and wasn’t so tight. Misty thinks they make a great partnership. They are not tapper and ballerina; they are dancers!

Dancers: Jourdan and Marcquet
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: “Disappear (Demo Version)” by Mikky Ekko

Me: Jourdan did a better job than Marcquet. You could tell he was not completely comfortable in this genre.

Judges: Nigel thought it was good. He said that they were an interesting couple because he was not personally connecting with either of them. OUCH. He said that there was a slight lack of discipline in Marcquet’s work. Misty said she saw Marcquet this week in his partnership versus last week. She thinks there is something missing in his partnering technical wise. Jourdan is strong, has the lines, the energy but her face needs to match what her body is doing. She wants the audience to feel the passion she is giving through her body. Nigel added that he is not sure if there is a lack of vulnerability with Jourdan; he can’t put his finger on it. Mary said the first stance as magical. She agrees with everyone. Jourdan’s execution is amazing but there is some magic that isn’t there. She likes how Marcquet it leading her in his partnering but he has to watch his technique.

Dancers: Jessica and Stanley
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter” by Nikka Costa

Me: It was fun but I didn’t feel any connection to it otherwise.

Judges: Misty mentions her face again and Stanley too (both overdid it). Their bodies are doing enough. Stanley has to carry the “wow” extensions to other parts of the routine. Mary loved the whole piece. She encouraged Jessica not to oversell. Nigel worried about the overreaction with her face. Stanley needs to save some of his strength for his core.

Dancers: Bridget and Emilio
Style: Jive
Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis
Song: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Me: That made me happy (pun intended). Technically I have no idea if they did well or not.

Judges: It made Mary happy too. They were jiving it. She loved every second of it. Bridget picked up the technique better but Emilio’s energy made up for it. So impressive. Nigel reminded Emilio that Fik-Shun never pointed his toes once last year and he did really well. He does not understand why they are in the bottom 6 this week. Misty said this is the perfect example of not overdoing it in the face. Bridget was perfection tonight. She was light, precise and beautiful. They made her happy too.

Dancers: Emily and Teddy
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Nina Simone

Me: I felt the pain and desperation but no goosebumps. I think Emily did a better job than Teddy (better lines, extensions and emotion).

Judges: Nigel liked these “ugly” lifts Tyce put in there because love is not all beauty. He thought it was great. Misty said Emily’s body was speaking French. She was singing with her body. Misty is. Fan of Teddy. He transcends to every genre. Mary thinks there isn’t anything Emily can’t do. This is the first time she has been mesmerized by Teddy.

Dancers: Casey and Brooklyn
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Bonnie Story
Song: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Michael Buble

Me: That was fun. I think they took Bonnie’s criticisms during rehearsal to heart.

Judges: Misty was impressed. However she did see some technique-face in there sometimes during things she was not comfortable with. She just needs to get comfortable with movement outside of ballroom. Casey was so fabulous. Mary thought it was a fun number. She loved every second of it. She thought Casey was on fire. Nigel told Brooklyn she needs to mature very quickly.

Dancers: Valerie and Ricky
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographer: Lacey Schwimmer
Song: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz

Me: Immediate goosebumps. I expect perfection from Ricky (because he is going to win this year) but I am so impressed with Valerie. They have fantastic chemistry and they are my favorite couple. The dance was so joyful. LOVED IT!

Judges: Mary was crying. Nigel was on his feet. Mary said it was magical and dream-like. Ricky’s top line was so amazing. However he has to work on that leg action. Valerie’s feeling was so perfect and she is so beautiful up there. She has to watch her top line. Nigel won’t talk about their technique but their performance was beyond reproach. Misty said tonight was Valerie’s night. Ricky is beyond what they are used to seeing.

Dancers: Carly and Serge
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Senile” by Young Money featuring Tyga, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne

Me: I really enjoyed it most particularly when they were standing more still in that middle section. Carly did a better job than Serge. Serge was too straight.

Judges: Nigel thought it was a tough one for him. He knew how hard they had both worked but he does not think it is going to drive people to go vote. Misty somewhat disagrees. She thinks it is important to educate the audience in how difficult it is to switch genres. Serge continues to impress her. She thought Carly was great tonight. She loved it. Mary loved it too. Carly was a beast in this. She felt serge worked so hard too.

Dancers: Tanisha and Rudy
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Warren Carlyle
Song: “Sing Sing Sing (Part 2) by Fosse (original Broadway Cast)

Me: Wonderful. I think Rudy needs to be careful of his facial expressions.

Judges: On their feet. Misty felt they embodied everything they needed to be. They were the closers! Mary said it was a show stopper. She will remember that number at the end of the season. Nigel gave warren a trophy 30 years ago for tap dancing. Tanisha had the technique and what Rudy lacked in technique he made up for in personality.

Artist Performance

A Great Big World performed “Say Something” with the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir. Very lovely. Not the same emotion as it has with Christina Aguilera but it was sweet.

Going Home

Based on tonight, my guesses were Jourdan and Stanley. They decided to go this week with America’s vote. And Stanley and Jourdan are leaving. I think Marcquet is in danger of being in the bottom next week. Possibly Serge. Jessica might be in the bottom for the girls.





So You Think You Can Dance Season 11: Top 20 Perform; 2 Go Home

14 07 2014

Opening Number

Song: “New York, New York” by On The Town (2014 Broadway Cast)
Choreographer: Josh Bergasse

As I watched it I was thinking, “I wonder if Tyce did this?” And I would be wrong. It is Josh Bergasse. He is choreographing the Broadway show and the winner will be in the show. Very cool.

The Judges

Joining Mary and Nigel is Misty Copeland (an American ballet dancer).

Bottom 3 Girls and Guys

Brooklyn, Casey, Jourdan, Nick, Marlene, Serge

Routines

Dancers: Tanisha and Rudy
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “You Need” by Bengsons

My thoughts: Gritty, powerful, sexy. I love Sonya’s dances and this is no exception. Well done!

The judges: Mary felt it was a strong performance. Misty thought Tanisha was fierce. Their movements were fluid. They gave her all the different types of sexy faces. As for tips to improve she wants Rudy to ground himself in his partnering. Nigel agrees with both.

Dancers: Valerie and Ricky
Style:  Contemporary
Choreographer:  Travis Wall
Song: “Oh Darling” by Gossling

A song about the one who got away. She is a bit of a mess without him.

My thoughts: I didn’t see most of this because there was local breaking news. The little bit I saw at the end gave my goosebumps in a major way. He is my favorite male dancer this season. I think he is the winner. Postnote: I watched this after-the-fact on You Tube, and this was my absolutely favorite routine of the evening. Valerie crushed it (considering she is a tapper, too). That back bend near the end was phenomenal.

The judges: Misty thought they were fabulous together. She cannot get enough of Ricky (neither can I!). Nigel likes their chemistry. Nigel wanted to see more emotion from Valerie. He was proud of her pointing her toes and straightening her legs. Mary thought it was magnificent.

Dancers: Bridget and Emilio
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Work” by Iggy Azalea

Backstory is they were friends. She was a nerd and hadn’t seen him in a long time.

My thoughts: That was fun.

The judges: Nigel thought there was great chemistry between them too. Nigel poked fun at his outfit and likened it to making him look like a dancing Hobbit. He complimented Emilio. He told Bridget he thought she was going to be terrible at this and he was so wrong. Mary said Bridget went in and out for her, but there really isn’t anything she looks bad doing. Emilio ate the whole thing for dinner and he spit out fabulousness. Misty thought Emilio was amazing as he was in his element. She encouraged Bridget to own it. She can be a fierce sexy woman.

Dancers: Jessica and Nick
Style: West Coast Swing
Choreographer: Benji Schwimmer
Song: “Respect (Live Feb 5 1971)” by Aretha Franklin

My thoughts: Fantastic. That was sooooo fast. Nice to see Benji on as a choreographer.

The judges: Mary was exhausted. She thought Jessica needed to be more grounded. Misty found it entertaining. Misty told Jessica that she needs to be aware of her neck, that her chin was almost touching. Nigel thinks Benji was a bit mean on the pair of them because he was asking a great deal. He gave pointers to them to improve. He felt Jessica over-exaggerated, her face was doing too much tonight.

Dancers: Carly and Serge
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Latch (Acoustic) by Sam Smith

Story is about unbreakable love.

My thoughts: A few goosebumps. I am not sure what it was. It was beautifully danced, but there was something missing there I can’t seem to place my finger.

The judges: Misty thought it was wow. It was a moving performance. Nigel said it was the first time tonight he has felt an emotional connection between the dance partners. That was the best he has seen Serge dance outside of his genre. Mary was crying. She was not expecting that from Serge and it just got her.

Dancers: Emily and Teddy
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran

My thoughts: I thought Emily was looking too much out at the audience and not enough at Teddy especially since this was supposed to be a flirtatious dance. She was not getting down–too stiff in her upper body and not bent enough in her lower.

Judges: Nigel said Teddy’s body moved more than his eyebrows tonight which was incredible. Nigel points out what I was seeing about Emily. She needs to get that chemistry with her partner before performing for us. Mary thought it was cute. She did not care for the ticking at the end. Misty enjoyed it. She felt Emily was committed and she will get more comfortable doing different genres. She thought Teddy was awesome.

Dancers: Malene and Stanley
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “I’ve Got Your Number” by Nancy Wilson

My thoughts: It was good but oddly my eyes were going towards Stanley who was doing the better job. After seeing all the routines through the end of the evening, this one was my least favorite.

Judges: Mary loved the concept. She adored the first 20 seconds of it but halfway through she wanted them to throw the phones down. Misty thought Stanley needed to think about the big picture and not about himself. She didn’t see much of a partnership going on. Nigel felt that they both got the wrong number. There was no chemistry between the two of them.

Dancers: Jourdan and Marcquet
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: “Work Work” by Britney Spears

Sexy interrogation between interrogator and her agent.

My thoughts: That was some interrogation!

Judges: Misty thought it was fun but had some pointers for Marcquet. She told Jourdan she made her proud as a ballerina. She was fierce and she loved it. Nigel agrees. He pointed out that Jourdan was smiling and he does not know many interrogators that smile. Mary said it was nice to see Jourdan out of her comfort zone and loving it.

Dancers: Brooklyn and Casey
Style: Argentine tango
Choreographer: Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo
Song: “Gallo Ciego” by Luis Bravo’s Forever Tango

My thoughts: Loved it. Mary can comment about technique better than I can.

Judges: Nigel thought they were tremendous. Mary said she was surprised at her maturity during this routine. Casey nailed it. Misty thought he was committed and she was sexy. She would like to see more assertiveness in where her weight is, between her hips versus one leg or the other.

Dancers: Jacque and Zack
Style: African jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: “Dibiza (Kick *** Mix) by Danny Tenaglia

Warriors that come to life out of ancient art.

My thoughts: Was it fun? Yes. Did I believe they were warriors? No. Their face may have read “I am fierce” but the dancing said no. I felt like it needed to be more hard hitting–that it required them to absolutely lose control. I could tell they were tired. It must require so much energy to dance with that intensity for any length of time.

Judges: Mary was on her feet. She thought Jacque was animalistic and down into it. She thought Zack was a beast. She puts them on the hot tamale train. Misty thought Jacque made the right choices when it came to her body. She pointed out that she needed to do less with her mouth (being fierce). Zack impressed her. Nigel said it was one of his favorite routines tonight.

Dance Crews

Syncopated Ladies danced to “***Flawless” by Beyonce featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie . I liked it.

Going Home

Malene and Nick are going home. I think that is fair based on how they danced this evening.  I worry that Stanley will be in the bottom 3 next week because of the feedback from the judges and the routine.





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Performance Finale Show

5 09 2013

Tonight was the last performance show that would count for voting before next week’s announcement of the top girl and top guy winners. It was a terrific season with such wonderful dancers. There were highs and lows but overall the quality level of the performers continues to improve each year. At the end of 10 seasons, this show has not lost its appeal. I think part of that is because other networks are not producing dance shows that are causing us to fatigue of them unlike perhaps American Idol. Although I have a special place in my heart for Aaron and Jasmine, Amy and Fik-Shun had a terrific night as well. I think they will have wonderful careers ahead of them regardless of whether they win the big prize. Every dancer had the opportunity to work with some of the best choreographers in the business and provided a wonderful education for them. Let’s review tonight’s show.

The Judges

Gabby Douglas, Paula Abdul, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy.

The Dances

Dancers: Aaron and Amy
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: “Primitive” by Richard Vission vs Luciana

Rawr! Rawr! Rawr! It is nice to see Aaron always connecting with his partners whoever they may be. It was high energy. They both extended themselves with each stretch. I think Aaron kept his shoulders down, too. I think there may have been a time or two when I think Aaron’s leg should have been extended more if I was comparing it to Amy’s legs. I liked the mixed tempo of the song, too because it allowed for a mixture of dance styles which I guess is why Ray was calling it jazz fusion.

The judges: Nigel said it was a great way to open the show. He loved the costumes. They laid down the gauntlet. Mary said they knocked it out of the park again. They had so much strength said they attacked it ferociously. Their strength as dancers blows her mind. Gabby said it had spunk and attitude. She loved the costumes. Paula said Amy’s center is ridiculous and stunning. She felt Aaron is a generous partner. He does not steal focus from Amy. He breathes character into each one he portrays. He takes her breath away watching him. The two of them are fantastic–great opening.

Dancers: Jasmine and Fik-Shun
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Spiegel Im Spiegel” by Angela Yoffe and Vadim Gluzman

Couple growing apart floating away from each other (imagine under the ocean). I thought it was lovely how they were already into character before the song even started. I am very impressed with Fik-Shun and how much he has grown. There were definite issues with height here though. At times it was clumsy because of it but there were times when I felt myself breathing in their ebb and flow. Jasmine always stole my eye but Fik-Shun rose to the occasion. It embodied a great sense of sadness. Not quite goosebumps but right on e edge for me.

The judges: Mary was standing. She thought Travis was brilliant. It was such beautiful movement. They looked beautiful together. Jasmine is captivating to watch. Fik-Shun throws her off all the time. His emotion and his tenderness and his partnering to her is so magnificent to watch. The beat hit in the chest got her. Gabby had goosebumps. Jasmine’s lines are phenomenal. Paula admires Jasmine. She has been exquisite this entire season. She bought that they were underwater. Every time she sees him on stage, she is increasingly aware of the incredible journey he has made on this show. Nigel thinks that Jasmine’s lines were just perfect. Nigel said Paula nailed it in her critique. In Vegas he was like Bambi on ice and now seeing him now extending himself, and this routine did not allow for him to show his personality–it forced him to dance. Both did really well.

Dancers: Aaron and all-star Melinda Sullivan
Style: Tap
Choreographer: Anthony Morigerato
Song: “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars

I have not had opportunities to see a lot of tap done to modern music. Next time I have an argument with my husband I will suggest tapping it out. So nice seeing Melinda back. The depth of emotion was there as well. I really enjoyed it. Go Aaron!

The judges: The panel was standing. Gabby thought it was just incredible performance. She loves tap. They nailed it, they killed it, were on fire, and wow–just incredible. She was in awe. Paula is excited that there was a tap routine. She thinks Aaron is the ultimate storyteller of this season. Nigel thought who could have thought of doing so much in a couple of step pickups. He thanked Aaron for being the first tap dancer in the finale. It was a great concept that you can have a conversation tap dancing. It was well danced. Mary LOVED IT!!!! She thought it was spectacular and the complex rhythms that they brought to the dance right now was music to her ears.

Dancers: Jasmine and all-star Comfort Fedoke
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo
Song: “Run The World (Girls) (Nappytabs Remix) by Beyonce

Bikes! Girl power! That was fabulous. I know exactly why she picked this–strategy. She knew Amy was going to choose contemporary. She wanted to show us she can handle anything, and she can. She kept up with the fabulous Comfort. That was so fast and hard-hitting, I am amazed these finale dancers have the energy and strength to do so many dances tonight. The audience was crazy excited, too.

The judges: Paula said wow, unbelievable. If these two girls ran the world life would be really fun. She was ferocious on this stage. Nigel said Jasmine is showing us that she is better than just contemporary. She is “in it to win it” tonight. She is fighting to win. Mary said Jasmine danced it like she choreographed it. She is a bad ass in the best possible sense. Gabby said she should get a call from Beyonce–that routine was the bomb. She is looking for a new floor routine for 2014 and maybe that was it.

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Style: Argentine Tango
Choreographer: Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici
Song: “Hazardous/Zero Signs” by PP Music (UK)

I think this music was on Battlestar Galactica (the newer version). I thought she was leading. He tried hard and did his absolute best but Amy did a better job. I really do admire his spirit.

The judges: Nigel thought this was Fik-Shun’s toughest challenge yet. It was a brave attempt but was not strong enough for him. He felt Amy was really strong in this. The competition begins now between Jasmine and Amy. Mary said he was there for her as a partner but pointed out some weaknesses in technique. Amy is one of the most dominating dancers on all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. Gabby loved it and the emotion and chemistry. Paula thought Fik-Shun was handling Amy pretty darn well and Amy was perfection.

Dancers: Jasmine’s solo
Song: “Ready For Love” by India.Arie

I could watch her all day and get goosebumps all day long. I also now want her haircut. New news–Cat Deeley fought for her to be in the top 20. So Aaron and Jasmine were both not supposed to be here and here they are, poised to take it all. I love you Cat Deeley!

Dancers: Jasmine and Aaron
Style: Samba
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Song: “Can’t Touch It (Radio Edit) by Ricki-Lee

That was soooo entertaining! But where were the samba hips? Felt it was danced more like a jazz or Broadway dance versus a samba. Wardrobe malfunction but in this case the costume would not come off Jasmine. Aaron’s arm positioning is a bit sloppy.

The judges: Mary said it was not danced very well. Jasmine fared a little bit better. This was not the best thing for both of them but not bad. Gabby loved it. It was not their strongest one. Paula said they have been one of her favorite couples of all time. The energy and the synergy are beautiful. Nigel said every single thing you do tonight has to be outstanding. He wanted more from them. The chemistry was not there tonight. He felt they were not comfortable with the routine tonight.

Dancer: Fik-Shun’s solo
Song: “Gangham Style” by Psy

I like what he said in his montage. He may not be America’s best dancer, but he could be America’s favorite dancer. I had my doubts about how this would turn out with such an iconic song. I loved that he pulled some of Psy’s dancing and made it his own. I enjoyed it so much.

Dancer: Amy’s solo
Song: “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers

We’ll never forget your dance with Travis either. Amy has such passion and such beautiful technique. I have said it before and I will say it again. She reminds me of Melanie Moore.

Dancers: Fik-Shun and all-star tWitch
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Hello Good Morning (Remix) by Diddy-Dirty Money featuring Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross

Wow! Fik-Shun is short! They looked like a father and son dancing together. That was a fun routine. I was watching tWitch, however. I could not help myself. I thoroughly enjoyed that.

The judges: Gabby thought it was fantastic and she loved it with the spark and attitude she loved. Paula wants to dance with Nigel. Nigel thought it was tWitch and tWitch Jr. It was fantastic. He gave Fik-Shun some career advice that tWitch kept growing after the show was over and that is what he needs to do, too. Mary loved it. She thought he is going to be very proud when he sees it play back later.

Dancer: Aaron’s solo
Song: “You & I (Acoustic) by Jason Mraz

He truly has made me fall in love with contemporary tap. The height on that jump! Nigel said it–Fate has brought you to us for a reason. I believe it.

Dancers: Amy and all-star Robert Roldan
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Say Something” by A Great Big World

It is a story about courage and bad timing. Best friends; he’s been in love with her for years. She realizes that she loves him back. She has to find the courage to tell him before he goes. Goosebumps! Oh my God. That was my favorite routine of the night. I held my breath when he lifted her up in the air and held her for a second before coming down. It was so powerful and vulnerable at the same time. I felt every part of the story as they danced. And the story did not have a happy ending. Maybe there will be a part 2 of this story. I love Robert.

The judges: Paula said this was her favorite routine of the night. The pairing of the two of them was a symphony up there. Her raw emotion–she just steals her heart every time. Nigel said this was terrible choreography–why did he leave her? They were getting along very well (he was kidding). The combination of emotion, performance, technique from the pair of them was intoxicating. She stepped into his lead tonight. Mary loved it. Amy gives every single part of herself. The energy comes from her soul and radiates outward across that stage. Gabby said it was one of her favorites this evening. Everything was on-point.

Dancers: Fik-Shun and Aaron
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “The Jitter” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Enjoyable. They both did a good job but it is not quite my style. They complimented each other well.

The judges: Nigel said it reminded him of a Michael Kidd routine. It gave them fun stuff. They did not stop dancing since the music began and they must be exhausted. Mary said that absolutely was the cutest thing ever. Aaron was back on top again with this number and Fik-Shun just charms the pants off everyone. Gabby loved the energy. They were fantastic, phenomenal. Paula said both of them were in their element completely. The two top showmen of the season. She also reminded the audience that Tyce was paper of her dance crew a long time ago.

Dancers: Amy and Jasmine
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Mark Kanemura
Song: “The Diva Dance” by Eric Serra

Mark has been hanging out with Lady Gaga too long. Siamese twins from the fierce jungles of Saturn? The music reminded me of The Fifth Element. Wait! It is the same music–when the blue diva who has the stones inside of her and she sings opera and gets shot and dies but not before Bruce Willis does a c-section and delivers wind, fire, water, and earth stones. I am not really sure about this one. It was different and creative. The ladies did a wonderful job. It will be something I never forget and that is a good thing.

The judges: Mary said she has a bit of clown in her soul too and that was crazy and creative and quirky and she loved it. If Mary could vote them both into first place she would. Gabby thought it was a great way to end. It was crazy and fun and had humor to it. Paula said she finally felt like she was home. E.T phone home. She loved it. Nigel said it was a zany routine. It was loopy which is why he understands why Paula felt at home. It was fun. He felt this year the girls have stolen the show for him. If they were both in competition with the boys this year, he felt they would both would have won. They are some of the best dancers they have ever, ever had.

I will have to agree with Nigel here. Both Amy and Jasmine overall did the best job tonight.





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 18 to 16

11 07 2013

Group number

Song: “Pretty Face (Nathan Lanier Remix)” by Soley
Choreographers: Sonya Tayeh and Christopher Scott

I got goosebumps. It did not surprise me that it was in part choreographed by warrior woman Sonya.

Group

The judges

Paula Abdul and Erin Andrews joined Happy Birthday boy Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy to judge tonight’s group of dancers. Cat says that last week’s format was not received well so they are changing it back to reveal the dancer who is going home at the end of the show. Jade has to have surgery (so I am guessing he is the male competitor going home).

The Bottom 3

Jasmine Mason, BluPrint, Jenna, Curtis, Alexis, and Jade. Nigel informs them that with Jade being unable to continue in the competition, BluPrint and Curtis can continue and do not have to dance for their lives. They, however, are going to ask all 3 ladies to dance for their lives in routines in their style. The decision will be made at the end of the show. Alexis is up first, tapping to “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding. I loved it. My ankles hurt for her. Jasmine danced to “10 Seconds” by Jazmine Sullivan (Jasmine dances to Jazmine–that’s kind of cute!). Here is the thing I have issues with. They come on the show and get exposed to all these terrific choreographers and I never see what they have learned incorporated into their solos. They revert back to what the judges call self-worship and rolling on the floor. Finally Jenna dances ballroom to “Wild” by Jessie J featuring Big Sean. This routine had life. I appreciated that she did not do the self-worship stuff in a Latin routine. Clearly I feel that Jasmine’s was not the best one.

Couples

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Style: Paso Doble
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Genereux
Song: “Tactical Dominance (Orch Hybrid Version) by Jack Trammell

Ten seconds in and I completely loved it and got chills. They had my complete attention. I am not a ballroom expert and usually I yawn through a lot of them, but not this. Fik-Shun had a few moments when his lines were not perfectly straight, but for this not being his genre, he did a tremendous job. I still cannot get over how much Amy could pass as a cousin of Melanie Moore especially when she is smiling.

The judges: Mary loved his passion. Technically it needed a bit of work but it seemed like her enjoyment overall is going to let those issues slide. She felt that Amy is a warrior princess. Erin said it is the chemistry and connection they have together. She felt they set the tone for this evening. Paula felt they committed to the feeling that was necessary for the routine and made them believe in it. Paula said she would have had Amy in the front center if she was around during the days Paula did choreography. Fik-Shun was apparently on Paula’s show when he was 16 (that’s interesting). She is so proud of him. He has studied and grown and done his homework. Nigel said they demand attention when they come in stage, a hallmark of a great performer. Nigel suggested to Fik-Shun that he relax his shoulders.

AmyFikshun

Dancers: Jasmine H. And Aaron
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “They Just Keep Moving The Line (SMASH Cast Version) by Smash Cast featuring Megan Hilty

Broadway always seems to get the dancers in trouble on this show. I think the young voters appreciate contemporary and hip-hop more. The story is that Aaron is a detective on a case and Jasmine is the victim whose spirit appears. This played to both their strengths. It reminded me of a soft-shoe style and Aaron excelled in that. I believed Jasmine was a spirit reconciling the fact that she was dead. They are another power couple who have fantastic chemistry together. There was a lot of shouting going on from the audience in favor of the style they delivered. I think this was a winner.

The judges: Erin thought it was fantastic. She thought that during rehearsal Aaron was overshadowing Jasmine but not tonight. She thought Aaron made the dance effortless. Paula felt like it reminded her of the dancers of the past who were under MGM contract during that era. He was grounded yet graceful. She thought both did an amazing job. She added that Jasmine reminded her of Cyd Charisse. Nigel said they could have graced the streets of Broadway with every bit of elegance in which the pros are now dancing. Mary said this week it was all about the legs. It was about style and class. They gave 100% and captured what Spencer wanted.

JasmineAaron

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Lindsay Nelko
Song: “No Day But Today (Live from Soundstage)” by Idina Menzel

The story of the dance is that Makenzie is dying and Paul has to come to terms with that. They immediately got into character before the music even started and it moved me. Wow this is a tough night! Everyone is bringing their “A” game. I sobbed. It is an amazing thing to witness when the dying are always the ones to console us when it should be the other way around. I always love Idina Menzel singing. I have adored her since I heard her in “Wicked”. Lindsey is going to be a great addition to the choreographers on the show.

The judges: Paula thought it was a beautiful dance. Poor Paula called him Alan. Nigel felt they kept the technical ability to the piece and brought in the “something else” that is necessary to do their routines. Mary loved it and she was crying. She said Makenzie was liquid gold. Paul surprised her–he finally gave an honest performance. Erin thought it was fantastic was well.

MakenziePaul

Dancers: Jasmine M and Alan
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Shawn Cheesman
Song: “Veins” by Charlotte Martin

This is about the mundane life of being a royal. It was very quirky with some tricks. I enjoyed it. Jasmine performed much better here than in her solo but I still think she is going home.

The judges: Nigel thought it was very “Prince William and Katie.” Nigel steals my word “quirky.” He wished they were more quirky with it. Mary loved the beginning and end. Mary agreed with Nigel. Erin agreed with them. Paula loved the routine and thought it was a lot of fun. She also agreed with Nigel and Mary.

JasmineMAlan

Dancers: Jenna and Tucker
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Keone and Mariel Madrid
Songs: “Dangerous (Immortal Version)” by Michael Jackson

Femme fatale meets average guy. I am looking to see if Tucker can let go of his posture and get down with the song. It was lacking the intense hitting you see in this type dance and both were too straight in their posture although they get some points for effort. I disagree with the judges who lavishly praised it. It was okay; it was not the best performance of the night. I am really not connecting emotionally with Jenna or Tucker even though they are technically great dancers in their genres.

The judges: Mary thought it was less hip-hop and more jazz but thought it was great. Erin complimented them. Paula thought it was a hipster kind of jazz and loved it. Nigel thought Jenna reminded her of Audrey Hepburn in a movie with Fred Astaire. It was one of his favorite routines tonight.

JennaTucker

Dancers: Malece and substitute dancer Marko Germar
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “In The Embers” by Sleeping At Last

My guess is that Marko is going to elevate her dancing tonight. Before tonight, Sonya said in the rehearsal she was going to have to help Jade but since he has an injury, he withdrew from the competition. Marko saved her for another week. I had not been too pleased with her dancing this season but she did a superb job with Marko. I got goosebumps.

The judges: They were on their feet. Erin thinks Malece is a Tinkerbell. Paula loved it. Nigel said that Sonya said Jade was doing really well this week. Nigel saw the same thing I saw. Marko brought something out in Malece he has never seen before–the woman in her. Mary agrees with Nigel, but she knew Malece would have this moment at some point in the show.

MarkoMalece

Dancers: Hayley and Curtis
Style: Samba
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Genereux
Song: “Straight to Memphis” by Club des Belugas

Curtis posture was terrible. His lack of experience was grossly evident. He has a wonderful personality though and it carries him through sometimes in these routines. Hayley did a great job. The song was fun and lively. It was not, however, up there on the top of my list of favorites for this evening. Hayley’s lipstick was smeared on her tooth (when they judges were critiquing them).

The judges: Paula thought Hayley nailed the samba hips. She brought fire and ferocity. She gives Curtis a lot of credit being a tap dancer in this, but he needs to work on being a little more grounded and not to be afraid to move her and control her. Nigel said he needed to be the dominant role in this dance, unlike last week when it was right that Hayley was, and he did not achieve that. He looked a little immature. Hayley’s footwork looked good to him. Mary gave Curtis tips about his technique and how to improve that. Hayley was on fire. Erin encouraged Curtis to take the critique and work on it. Hayley was fabulous, a vixen that keeps getting better.

HayleyCurtis

Dancers: Alexis and Nico
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “I Put A Spell On You” by Nina Simone

The story is that Alexis is hypnotizing Nico. Kissing during a routine always gets votes. There were times I felt Alexis was in the dominant role but then sometimes it felt like she slipped out and Nico was in control. I was thinking during this song what it might have been like if Nico put the spell on Alexis but then I laughed that would not be accepted as well. It is okay when a woman puts a spell on a man because she is the seductress, but if a man were to do that to a woman, he is taking advantage of her. For a tap dancer, Alexis did a great job. I think the choreography limited Nico being able to shine completely.

The judges: Nigel liked it. Paula jumped in that Alexis has come back into the forefront for her. Nigel felt Nico was really good. Mary pretended to be hypnotized. Nico was brilliant. Alexis surprised her. Erin was checking on Nigel after Paula play-attacked him. She felt Alexis did well at adapting to a style of dance that is not her strong area. She thought they were more in sync than they were in dress rehearsals, and there was no sleeping about Nico tonight.

AlexisNico

Dancers: Mariah and BluPrint
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Bring The Noize” by M.I.A.

Two hip-hop artists doing hip-hop? They better bring it (they do have the pimp spot on the show tonight). The synchronicity suffered in a few places especially in the beginning. I loved it and was laughing so hard when BluPrint pulled his shirt up and the ladies went wild. They are definitely safe this week. It was full of energy. I felt bad for BluPrint after the judges gave their critique. He looked defeated.

The judges: Mary thought Luther did well with all the choreography in there, but she is dying for more of BluPrint’s performance. She thought it was sick tonight (which is one step down from ill. Mariah was just “livin’ it out there.” Erin loved it. She wants Luther to come out with the next work-out video. She agrees with Mary that BluPrint needs to loosen up. She felt it when he lifted his shirt, but they need to see more moments like that. She enjoyed his abs but want to see that from his face. Paula thought they were in sync. There were static moments in the routine when they could breathe, but they have to keep in character. She feels BluPrint is holding back. Mariah’s personality was times 10 and covered for BluPrint sometimes. Nigel agreed with Paula. He added that personality holds a lot of weight sometimes even over great dancers and gave him examples of people who won in the past. It is in his hands what he wants to do. If he does not show his personality soon, he will be going home soon.

BluPrintMariah

The results

Jade by default of his injury will be going home this week. He said the judges and the choreographers are unanimous in their decision that Jenna will be staying. To Jasmine he said that the choreographers feel that there is a lot of self-doubt with her. The judges too feel that at times with her (but not so much tonight). He asked her to try to lose that. The choreographers feel that with Alexis they give her a note but 5 minutes later it is gone. However, Jasmine will be the one leaving this evening.

My predictions for next week

So who are in my bottom 2 for guys and girls? Girls: Jenna. Although I enjoyed Alexis’ dancing tonight, I have a feeling if she winds up in the bottom 3 next week and she does not improve on this issue the choreographers have with her, she will be sent home. For the guys, Tucker and maybe BluPrint if he is not making a connection with the audience but in technique he did well whereas Curtis had a difficult time and this is what Nigel was talking about–personality will carry you far.





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Top 20 Revealed

23 06 2013

I could not believe it when I came home on Tuesday, June 11, and found my DVR did not record So You Think You Can Dance because of a glitch. I missed Vegas Hell Week. I tried to find it elsewhere but apparently my satellite company does not interact with Fox on-line for on-demand programming (although I can see it 30 days after the air date–what good is that going to do me. I also was not going to pay Hulu Plus for the chance to see it. I did watch the first 40 minutes live before I had to leave, but I took no notes. I do remember someone liking my #TruthInFikshun hash tag on Twitter, which I promptly claimed ownership and bragging rights.

This week’s episode announced the Top 20 and allowed us the opportunity to see them dance for the first time. Thirty-three contestants awaited their fate.

Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall and Mariah Spears made it through to the top 20. However, Emilio “Millie” Dosal, Phillip Cheeeb’s friend, made it, but had an injury and had to withdraw. Markus Shields who auditioned in season 4 and got to the green mile only to receive a “no”, received a “no” for a second time.

Fikshun

Du-Shant “Fik-Shun” Stegall

MariahSpears

Mariah Spears

 

Dance: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Ball” by T.I. featuring Lil Wayne

It was wonderful seeing a female hip-hop dancer this year. There was nice chemistry and synchronicity to their movements. Mariah was the stronger dancer her. As Cat was making introductions you could see Fik-Shun was a little sad that he didn’t get lavish praise from the judges. He seemed to take it in and sighed. It’s okay Fik-Shun–next week raise your game.

FikShunMariah

Mariah & Fik-Shun

Makenzie Dustman (The contestant I thought rolled too much on the floor for her audition) is a yes. Jasmine Harper, Cyrus ex-girlfriend), gets a yes. A surprise yes was given to both Tucker Knox and Nico Greetham who went into the judges together. Ryan Johnson, who auditioned in Memphis, received a no for this season. There were several other contestants I did not recognize (whose names were not said) that also were turned down for this season.

MakenzieDustman

Makenzie Dustman

JasmineHarper

Jasmine Harper

TuckerKnox

Tucker Knox

NicoGreetham

Nico Greetham

 

Dance: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Goes On and On” by Sleeping At Last

This was a very strong performance by all 4 and I got them–yes GOOSEBUMPS! The judges felt the magic too and gave them a standing ovation.

MakenzieTuckerNicoJasmine

Makenzie, Tucker, Nico and Jasmine

Tappers Alexis Juliano and Curtis Holland both received a yes. Aaron Turner was an initially a “no” but when Emilio withdrew from the competition, Aaron was guy #11 so he was back in.

AlexisJuliano

Alexis Juliano

CurtisHolland

Curtis Holland

AaronTurner

Aaron Turner

Dance: Tap
Choreographer: Anthony Morigerato
Song: “You Really Did It” (Live) by Jason Mraz

That was so enjoyable. Curtis had some balance issues at the end there, but the judges were also gave them a standing ovation.

AlexisCurtisAaron

Aaron, Alexis and Curtis

Animators Jade Zuberi and Dragon House’s Dorian “BluPrint” Hector were both in the top 20.

JadeZuberi

Jade Zuberi

BluPrint

Dorian “BluPrint” Hector

Dance: Animation
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Trigger” (Original Mix) by Kezwik featuring Mel Presson

That ROCKED! There were a few spots that should have been synchronized but were a bit off but it’s only week one. The mannequins moving freaked me out. The judges once again were on their feet.

JadeBluPrint

Jade and BluPrint

While David Lorenzo was sent home, Carlos Garland, Hayley Erbert and Malece Miller were moving to the top 20.

CarlosGarland

Carlos Garland

HayleyErbert

Hayley Erbert

MaleceMiller

Malece Miller

Dance: Contemporary
Choreographer:  Mia Michaels
Song: “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko

I thought Carlos had some great partnering skills, catching Malece especially when she fell backwards. After being dropped on her head in Vegas, I bet she was scared. I LOVE Mia Michaels. Goosebumps again.

MaleceHayleyCarlos

Malece, Hayley and Carlos

Brittany Cherry, Jenna Johnson and Paul Karmiryan were moved into the top 20, but Serge (?) from the Los Angeles auditions was a no. Two brothers, Alan and Gene Bersten, were pitted against each other and Alan was moving forward.

BrittanyCherry

Brittany Cherry

JennaJohnson

Jenna Johnson

PaulKarmiryan

Paul Karmiryan

AlanBersten

Alan Bersten

 

Dance: Ballroom
Choreographer: Louis Van Amstel
Song: “Wings” by Little Mix

They had two challenges–Dancing with their partners and trying to synchronize with each other. The first was fine, the latter needs work. I think Jenna was the better girl.

BrittanyJennaPaulAlan

Paul, Jenna, Alan and Brittany

There were many “no” responses for the next group of individuals including Marissa Milele, Tessa, and Gabby Marquez. Amy Yakima from the Detroit auditions received a yes. They brought back Megan and Jasmine. This year, Jasmine Mason made it through.

AmyYakima

Amy Yakima (was called The Beast by Nigel; she does look a little like Melanie Moore’s cousin, doesn’t she?

JasmineMason

Jasmine Mason, not she is not related to Jeanine Mason

Dance: Jazz
Choreographer:  Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Enjoy” by Bjork

Loved it and Goosebumps. The judges also loved it.

AmyJasmine

Amy and Jasmine M.

 

Top 10 guys dance
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Sand” by Nathan Lanier featuring Karen Whipple

Like a sandstorm happening. It is difficult to watch all 10 and say who stood out. I adored it. When Christopher Scott first joined the show, I did not quite understand his perspective. Either he has gotten better or I finally GOT it.

———

Top 10 girls dance
Choreographer: Ray Lepper
Song: “Let’s Have a Kiki (Guwremix) by Fanny Pak and District 78

I adore Ray for getting sweaty during rehearsals with his group. It was a fun routine.

——–

Top 20
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Ghost of the Sky” (Epic Dub) by Steed Lord

Wow! How talented is Sonya that she created such a vehicle for such a diverse group of dancers to show off their strengths! I love warrior mama.

I am looking forward to seeing them perform next week for voting.

Top20

SYTYCD Season 10 Top 20 — Good luck everyone!