So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 Top 18 Perform, 2 Eliminated

1 08 2015

The opening number is Justin Timberlake’s “Let The Groove Get In.” Edson and Virgil were the ones who caught my eye tonight. I enjoyed that a lot. One of the better openers. It was choreographed by Reina Hidalgo and Asiel Hardison. Cat shared the results from last week’s show. Team Street had 48% of the vote and Team Stage got 52% of the vote.

Alexia and Derek and JaJa were paired with Stacey Tookey to perform a contemporary routine. The story is about bravery and how it takes on different forms. Derek is a war veteran; JaJa is a woman leaving an abusive situation; Alexia is a single mom. The song is “All Waters” by Perfume Genius. OH MY GOD. GOOSEBUMPS!!!! The entire song—goosebumps. I was almost near tears. Each one of them did a wonderful job, but JaJa and Derek affected me the most. Nigel said Alexia did a tremendous job. Seeing Derek relying on the girls and the girls on him was terrific. JaJa said she just started a new show for him—“Guess who is the street krumper”—because he would have never known. He said someone in his life told him to bloom wherever you are planted and that is exactly what she is doing. Paula said it always starts with choreography and she gets it right. She takes 3 separate unique dancers and blend them beautifully. They all danced beautifully tonight. Regarding Derek, she felt he really fell into the character and tonight so far was his best night. Regarding Alexia, she understands the height challenges and she is always going to have to stretch to be seen and she IS being seen. Regarding JaJa, each and every week she is morphing into a very accomplished dancer and because of that she is always going to have them in the palm of their hands rooting for her. Jason thought said it was beautiful. He felt like our country needed to see that. It was more than a competition—they were living up there. He agrees that tonight by far was Derek’s best routine. He felt like it was about the story and they delivered that tonight. The votes, based on last week’s dances: Alexia and JaJa and Derek are all safe.

Megz, Moises and Jim were paired together for a Team Street hip-hop routine choreographed by JaQuel Knight (who choreographed “All The Single Ladies” for Beyoncé). This dancer, however, is about standing up to the haters saying “whatever.” And appropriately the song choice is “Whuteva” by Remy Ma. Megz was the star of this. Moises was probably next best and Jim still struggled with being straight. Overall I enjoyed the routine quite a bit, and I have a feeling this might be my new anthem. I thought, too, it was clever that the song lyrics cued them in on what the choreography should be with the arms. Paula felt the routine they were given wasn’t necessarily technically challenging so the dance really relies on them filling in the spaces, committing to being in character and being over the top with the vibe and feel. She felt Megz did well but could even give more. Moises really needs to drop down into it like tWitch was saying. She felt the same with Jim but he was giving it his all. Jason thought it was cool. He said the first 75% she was giving it to him, but the last 25% she kind of dropped off. The guys were kind of like the brother back-up dancers. He felt this was not the guys’ best number and they struggled. Nigel agrees with Paula that it was more about the attitude than the steps. Nigel said it didn’t work. Megz gave it everything she had. He didn’t think Moises could be mean or cruel if anyone was kicking him about the stage, but he has to find that attitude. He didn’t comment on Jim. Cat shares the results from last week’s show: Jim and Megz are safe; Moises is in danger again this week.

Edson, JJ and Yorelis were next up to do a jazz routine with choreographer Tovaris Wilson. The song is about the push and pull of relationships. The song is “Restart” by Sam Smith. Edson owned the sexiness. The girls had no worries about their sexiness. They did a terrific job. Jason thought it was good and entertaining. Jason demonstrated to Edson what he was looking for—that he could be into the ladies at any time and not worrying about looking at one or the other. He encouraged him to be more free. Nigel said the girls were two of his favorite street kids this year. This was a nice way to bring the street kids into jazz with the groove. Edson needs to start using his sensuality into it now. Jason is right—keep your options open. Paula said this routine was all about the vibe. The two girls are little bright lights but they have to look at their techniques. We have to see pointed toes and arms with intention. Yorelis was more comfortable in this zone than JJ but they are both wonderful to watch. Edson was the dude; he was the stud; nothing more can be said. The results for last week’s dance puts Edson is in danger; Yorelis and JJ are safe.

Asaf and Marissa got together for a club cha-cha with Jean Marc Genereux. This is about the rock star coming into the room and the groupie fan. Twitch jokes with him that this week he doesn’t have to take him outside to talk to him and that is amazing. The song is “+1” by Martin Solveig featuring Sam White. Marissa was fantastic. You could really see Asaf struggling. He could see him thinking in his head about what he had to do and where he had to be to be a good partner that he totally left his hotness in the closet. This is a routine where he could have used his flirty nature to turn up the heat and if he had accomplished that all the little mistakes with arm positioning and many other things would have been overlooked. He had this little firecracker on his arm! Such a shame. I am glad he didn’t complain about the routine, now he needs to stretch himself. I have no idea why the audience gave them a standing ovation. Perhaps it was because of Marissa. Nigel said he didn’t know what club cha-cha was but it didn’t feel much like a cha-cha to him. I have to agree with Nigel. Towards the end there, I was thinking modern-day disco perhaps. He felt Marissa did everything that was required of her but instead of using him throughout the performance, she used the audience and she was supposed to be the “groupie” of Asaf (who he jabbed with that he looks like a rock star but doesn’t dance like one). Nigel complimented Asaf on how hard he did work this week. It is a journey. This was not a good routine for Asaf (comparing him to a caterpillar that will someday bloom into a butterfly). Paula said she could tell him about the cha-cha about not turning his hips in, not to be pigeon-toed with his feet, but forget all that. She looks at where he started and you can’t help but to feel completely changed to where he is now. It didn’t work for her either but he gets an “A” for effort. Regarding Marissa, the selflessness she saw in rehearsal didn’t come through in the final product and she agrees with Nigel. Jason said it is all about the connection. She didn’t have the same connection with him as she did with the audience and him; it came off as being fake. Regarding Asaf, he has to flex his muscles some to get some votes because he is going to have a hard time. Cat told them that Marissa is safe this week and Asaf is in danger this week.

Sean Cheesman choreographs Gaby, Burim and Ariana for an African jazz number that is what Sean calls the “Dance of the Blood Moon.” He says they are mystical creatures, like creepy animals. Indeed they looked like creepy spiders when the dance began to the song “Gorilla” by Lord Kraven. I would say Ariana was the star of that dance followed very closely by Gaby, but props to Burmin who held his own. He was worried about not getting it, but I think he got it. I loved the standing back rolls the ladies did. Did it give me goosebumps? No. But I think so far it was my second favorite dance of the night. Paula said it was a very strong routine. Paula said to Burim “I loved watching your package.” And Nigel interrupted and Paula realized what she said. She said the show is also about overcoming adversity as it is about getting constant praise. She loves to see the struggle and then they get to sit back with a smile on their face and say, “wow, you pulled through.” That’s charming, that’s exciting, and it makes them proud. Regarding the ladies, she said she knew they were strong but seeing them lift each other and throw each other—those two were fierce. The precision of dancing together was very well done. Jason said if Burim can’t find the foot, don’t let it not happen, just look down for it, because the audience doesn’t know that he isn’t supposed to look down. All in all Jason thought it was a really good performance. Conceptually it was one of the best numbers for him. Nigel said it was one of the best numbers for him tonight. Regarding Ariana, she looked comfortable in it. She was great and powerful in it. He can’t believe that Gaby is really a tap dancer. He is so proud of her. Nigel gave him some dancing pointers. Cat said Ariana and Burim are in danger this week and Gaby is safe.

Neptune and Kate teamed up with Justin Giles for a contemporary routine. It’s about a husband and wife saying goodbye not knowing if the husband will return from a dangerous job. The song is “Promise” by Ben Howard. I had such wonderful goosebumps. Kate improved with her emotional connection and Neptune—wow! He really dug deep. That was beautiful. Jason said that piece was beautiful. Choreography these days are a million steps, but this was not and they had to fill in the pieces and they did that beautifully. The chemistry was chilling. He felt like they were item and still feel that (just putting it out there). That was a grade-A performance. He felt Kate really came out of her shell. It was his performance from her. Neptune surprises him every single week. He doesn’t know who his favorite is this week but Neptune is kind of taking that spot. Nigel said he found it interesting and challenging. It was static in its movements but expansive in what it was trying to say as well. I was shocked when Nigel said that 10 years ago he would get complaints about a black person dancing with a white person (WOW—shocking). But he feels that so much was said in that routine and both portrayed it beautifully and complimented Kate on her performance. He has complained about her not releasing but she did this week. Paula said it was such a simple, beautiful concept yet so complex with emotions and both were able to deliver beautifully. Paula told Kate she was worried about Kate letting go and being vulnerable and she was just right. Neptune is one of the favorites. He is really showing the breadth of a dancer that he really is. Cat said that Neptune is safe. Kate is in danger.

Virgil and Hailee take on a hip-hop routine with Pharside and Phoenix number. They are robots from outer space. The song is “Runnin’” by Noahplause. WOW!!!!! I would have said Hailee was on Team Street. The moves were fantastic. I was blown away. Now, it didn’t give my goosebumps, but I think it was my favorite non-goosebumped-song. The judges were on their feet. Nigel said these two were the best two characters they have this year. Their personalities shine out beyond the little lights on their chest. Even though Hailee’s light has gone out she still….and Virgil came in and turned her light back on, still in character. That was a memorable routine. He thinks when they have a season 20 anniversary special, this routine would be on there. Paula said if they represent what aliens are, sign her up—she’ll go there. It was fantastic. It was crazy fun. Jason said he always knew Virgil was crazy, but he didn’t know Hailee was that crazy. If she is this good in street, he is anxious to see how far she will go. He had no idea. Cat tells them both of them are safe.

The group number for Team Stage was choreographed by Jaci Royal and it is about when you need help from people to overcome obstacles. The song chosen was “For My Help” by Hayden Calnin. OH MY GOD!!!! I’m in love. It looked like everything was timed perfectly and at times it took my breath away. I like that new choreographers are on board this year. It has added a different layer of depth to the show. The judges were on their feet.

Team Street is up next. Choreographed by Marty Kudelka (who was a nominee for best choreography in a music video and the 2007 winner VMA for best choreography in Justin Timberlake’s “My Love” video. Twitch said they have to be cooler than a polar bear’s toenails. The song is “Break Ya Neck” by Busta Rhymes. I enjoyed that, but liked Team Stage better.

The Twitter save goes to Ariana from Team Street and Kate from Team Stage. The judges save Asaf from Team Street (that is a mistake—Burim is a much better dancer). From Team Street, the judges save Edson. I think that was the right decision. Moises is a great dancer but Edson is the better of the two.





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: 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 4 Revealed

29 08 2013

Opening Number

Song: “Hlohonolofatsa” by Soweto Gospel Choir
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman

Goosebumps! What a joyous dance. It is wonderful, too, to celebrate African-American roots with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

Judges

Jesse Tyler Ferguson joined Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy for tonight’s performances. I really enjoy the judging panel with him as a guest.

Couples

Dancers: Paul and all-star Kathryn McCormick
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Tied Up” by Yello

Need for control and power between a woman and a man. I smiled the whole way through. It sizzled. Tyce was smart to choreograph this to Paul’s strengths.

The judges: Not standing. Nigel thought it was a great routine. He said week after week he has shown he can do anything. Mary said Paul has charisma and talent, and it was a great way to get the show started tonight. Jesse is happy that they bypassed who might be in the bottom and went straight to the dancing. He thinks this top 6 is an insanely talented group of people (I agree). He has been so pleased seeing him grow since his audition. He also will now wear leather pants more (Jesse is a riot–love him on the judges’ panel).

Dancers: Hayley and all-star Joshua Allen
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo
Song: “Work Hard, Play Hard” by Wiz Khalifa

Ex-champ coming back to train the new kid. I was distracted by her facial movements but she did pretty well. I liked the slow-motion moves. I just don’t buy into her tough angry face because right behind it you can tell she is smiling. I prefer a smiling Hayley and the contemporary-dance-serious Hayley.

The judges: Not standing. I was a little worried we would see a standing ovation for every dance tonight. Mary said what a way to fight to stay in this game. Mary said Ali said it took skill and will and Hayley definitely has the will. She was as strong as she had ever seen anyone doing hip-hop. Jesse said that was the greatest work-out video of all time. She has been consistently awesome this entire season. Nigel said Hayley reminded him of Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby.”

Dancers: Aaron and all-star Melanie Moore
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “Faith” by George Michael

A couple totally in love but they know how to push each other’s buttons. I love Melanie’s straightened hair! Aaron rocks. He is my choice to win for the guys. OH NO!!!!!!! Dropping your partner can’t happen! I was so worried she hit her head.

The judges: I love Melanie for sticking up for him. Jesse said you dropped her and she got even more mad at you. He looks forward to the day when everyone on the show is forced to do tap or ballet. He thinks he has risen more tonight with Melanie. Nigel likes Melanie’s hair too. What a great idea for a routine, not that it happens in real life with people dancing and arguing like this (which he thinks is why now he has an ex-wife) and Jesse chimes in, “Did you drop her on her head?” He wants Aaron to lower his shoulders. Mary brought up his injury and he did not want to use that as an excuse and Nigel thinks holding his shoulders up might not be helping. If Mary had to partner with dance during the entire show it would be him. (MARY–how about during the finale results show?).

Dancers: Fik-Shun and all-star Witney Carson
Style: Foxtrot
Choreographer: Jonathan Roberts
Song: “Sexy Silk” by Jessie J

Good thing there is no voting tonight because the foxtrot would not be popular. He gets an A for effort and an A for personality. I like how the choreographer put a Fik-Shun footprint in it with that sidestepping.

The judges: Again not standing. This pleases me. Mary pointed out he had some rough spots but also pointed out the good points as well. Jesse thought Witney was doing more leading but so was Mary at his wedding. He also was doing the “white man’s overbite.” He thinks he is amazing. Nigel said this was not particularly strong and said the vote from last week will carry over to next week (did he just give it away that he makes it into the top 4?). He gave him pointers of where he can improve. He complimented him on his solo tonight.

Dancers: Jasmine and all-star Neil Haskell
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Unfaithful” from Unfaithful (Soundtrack)

People’s lives being wiped away by natural disaster. I got goosebumps watching the rehearsals (deep breath). Definitely the biggest goosebumps I have gotten all season and then came the tears. We are coming up upon the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Ike here and I have loved ones who were affected by Hurricane Sandy in the northeast. That hooking-foot move was impressive because it is counterintuitive.

The judges: Rightfully on their feet. Nigel said she continues to steal his heart. He can see her signing up with a company as soon as the tour is over. Mary is crying. She said it was seeing rainbows in your soul when you have tears. She thinks Jasmine is spectacular and has been amazed by her whole journey. She said the history books will tell the stories about what happened, but dance will tell us how we feel. Jesse said it is easy to get behind a piece that has social relevance but you also have to have the heart and humanity behind it and they both had it. She has become his favorite dancer this year.

Dancers: Amy and all-star Alex Wong
Style: Bollywood
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: “Munni Badnaam Hui Darling” from Dabangg (Soundtrack)

The girl is a Bollywood bombshell diva. Alex is her servant. They are in love and in their world it is unacceptable. They too missed a connection early on that did not have potential disastrous results. Those knee turns made my knees hurt. Was it as well as Melanie Moore could have turned up adult diva? No, but it was still fun and she did a great job.

The judges: On their feet. Mary said it was crazy. It had great athleticism. The knee spins were nuts. Jesse said good golly Miss Bollywood (and cringed at his own corny comment). He needs a massage after watching that. It was insane. Nigel said all these routines (Bollywood) always make him smile. He reminded us that this is the style of dance on which Alex tore his Achilles heel. It was incredible and he had never seen a Bollywood routine that was so demanding.

Dancers: Hayley and Paul
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by Sleeping At Last

A man reassuring a woman that he will be there for her. Goosebumps! You would never know that they have never danced together before if you were not told. That was so beautiful. Paul–you did not look like you were out of your element at all!

The judges: Jesse and Mary were standing. Dee looked like this was very personal to him as I saw tears in his eyes after they were finished. Jesse said he is so stressed out that people have to leave tonight. He thought it was amazing. The love and trust that they have for each other from this shared experience on the show was evident. He was going to keep this Carly-Rae-Jepson short–it was amazing. Nigel loved the flow of the movement. He said it validated for him that they are complete dancers. Mary is hoping they become a real life couple because they are so cute together! Their connection together was so friggin’ amazing. She commented on the contrast from Hayley’s other number tonight.

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: “Lemme See” by Usher featuring Rick Ross

The woman shopping and showing off what she got. I think Amy channeled the sexy better in this dance versus the Bollywood number. I really enjoyed that.

The judges: Nigel said they have this wonderful chemistry brings out the best in both of them. He took a swipe at Miley Cyrus saying that this just proves you don’t have to put it in someone’s face to be sexy. Twerking! Mary said it is fabulous to have the dream team back together. The body rippling was so right on it was ridiculous. They have the ability to make us feel the movement. Jesse said he was heartbroken when the all-stars came in and broke them apart but happy to see them reunited tonight. Fik-Shun is a mega star. His solo erased the image of Miley twerking in his mind. The two of them together is so special and so spectacular. He thinks Amy is small enough to go into his pocket and he just loves that.

Dancers: Aaron and Jasmine
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: “Mirror Mirror” by Lord KraVen

A man who appears to be vain but is mesmerized by this woman in a mirror only he can see. The woman is so obsessed with herself that her essence got trapped in the mirror. In rehearsals Aaron had trouble flipping Jasmine over his head; I bet that move disappears on the final product. Aaron is wearing GUYLINER! The mirror reflection of this dance was the co-star with these two. Aaron needs to refrain from singing the lyrics, although I love him so I am just teasing. (So inquiring minds want to know if he’ll be trying out for Idol or X-Factor or???) That leg move that Jasmine had where it went 120 degrees over was sick. I was right–they got rid of that move and it wasn’t really necessary. I think in the end, Jasmine chewed up his essence and spit him back out again.

The judges: Standing. Mary thought it was a phenomenal concept. The two of them have such a deep conviction dancing together. She touched on Jasmine’s beautiful solo and how there is a class and artistry in everything she does. Aaron was such a strong partner. The synchronization part on the mirror was just out of this world. Jesse agreed with all that. He called her a protractor. She is just a crazy robot and he hates her and loves her and hates that he can’t be her. To Aaron he said last time he got so tongue-tied because he is such a fan and then gushed and blurted out that he has a crush on him. Cat said it was the guyliner. Jesse was turning all sorts of shades of red. Jesse said Aaron looks like his husband. Aaron could not stop laughing. Nigel said like Amy and Fik-Shun they complement each other so well. Nigel complimented him on his tap solo. He noticed that Aaron kept his shoulders down in this routine with Jasmine and Aaron was excited he noticed. Nigel could not believe what Jasmine did with her legs. He remembered doing that to his sister’s dolls right before yanking their heads off. He thought it threw the gauntlet down to others in the competition saying “Beat that!”

Solos

Amy danced to “Anna’s Theme” from The Red Violin (Soundtrack). Breathtaking! Major goosebumps! Her extensions and lines were exquisite. Fik-Shun danced to “Look At Me Now” by Chris Brown featuring L’il Wayne and Busta Rhymes. Fantastic animation and I thought I was double-jointed! Jasmine danced to “Outro (Amazing Grace…Dedicated to Andretta Tillman) by Destiny’s Child. Goosebumps!!!! Jasmine for the win! Paul danced to “Mamba Negra” by Huecco. You know what I love about apart? He makes you smile because he just loves to dance. Hayley danced to “Be Mine (Acoustic) [Live At The Cherrytree House] by Robyn. She dances beautifully but I do have one criticism–they always look the same and too much of it is usually rolling on the ground. I really like to see things that they have learned on the show incorporated into their solos. Aaron tapped to “Use Me” by Bill Withers. Whoa! Superb. Aaron for the win!  I cannot even begin to know how difficult that must have been (and the judges gave him the only standing ovation during solos).

Top Four Revealed

Aaron, Jasmine, Amy and (sad face) Fik-Shun. That ruined my almost perfect record of picking who was leaving. I like Fik-Shun, I do, but Paul is the better dancer. What? It is only going to be one winner this season and not favorite girl and favorite guy? Don’t make me pick between Aaron and Jasmine. That is just not fair.

 

8/29/2013 Update:  I just saw a commercial for the show on Tuesday and it is favorite guy and favorite girl, so I won’t have to pick between them.  Phew!





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 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 Top 18

3 07 2013

Yes it happened again. My DVR did not record the show last week. I think I finally got it fixed though. I still do not like the way we are getting the results. All 20 have to put their best efforts forward even though only 18 will remain by the end of the show. But it is what it is.

Tonight joining resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy was Christina Applegate.

Opening number

Song: “The Heroic Weather-Conditions Of The Universe, part 1: A Veiled Mist” by Moonrise Kingdom (Original Soundtrack)
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio

That was fabulous. They look like a real dance troupe that have been working together for years. It is one of those odd dances–like a circus with so much going on you are not quite sure where to look and when you do look you do look out of the corner of your eye you find you are missing a lot.

Group

Yikes! Cat Deeley is already announcing the bottom 3 guys and girls. That is going to either dampen their psyche, or make them dance better in their couples’ routines. Bottom 3 girls: Mariah. Makenzie, Brittany. Bottom 3 guys: Alan, Jade, Carlos.

This season the judges get to save 2 contestants right away. This week it is Alan and Makenzie are saved.

Solos

Mariah danced to “Hard In da Paint” by Waka Flocka Flame. I adore a female hip-hop dancer. Carlos danced a solo to “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons which I just knew would show up on this season’s show somehow when I heard it. It is the ringtone of my timer on my IPhone. I thought it was a fabulous solo outside of a little but too much rolling on the ground. Brittany danced to “Hacksaw” by Ooah. Was that Ballroom or Jazz? Hard to tell, but there was a lot of self-worship with her hands on her body a lot–something I know the judges dislike from previous seasons’ auditions. Jade danced to “De Novo Adagio (Intro) by Alicia Keys. He is an amazing animator. I felt like he was a maestro pulling on our strings, but in a way it was very smooth like the water. It is very hard to describe.

Oh GEEZ! They are actually telling us who is going home before the couples dance? That is not right at all. I do not like this format. Nigel said he was disappointed in their solos. He did not feel they were dancing for their lives at all. The decision is made by the choreographers’ input as well as what they saw in Vegas and how they feel the contestants would grow. Carlos and Brittany will be leaving the show.

Couples

Dancers: Hayley and Curtis
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Style: Jazz
Song: “Mama Knows Best” By Jessie J

I loved it when she was pushing him down. What back control and strength. Some of Curtis’ lines need work. I also think he needs to emote more, like Hayley does. It seemed like he was trying to remember the steps too much.

The judges: Nigel could not take his eyes off Hayley but felt Curtis was a good partner. Mary loved it and felt Hayley was a force to be reckoned with on the show. Christina forgot Curtis was a tapper. She felt like maybe everyone should leave to give them some privacy. She gave some helpful points they could take away and put into their work the next time around.

HayleyCurtis

Dancers: Aaron and Jasmine H. (who I affectionately have named #JasTurns)
Choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo (NappyTabs)
Style: Lyrical hip-hop
Song: “Tears Always Win” by Alicia Keys

The story is he is a man going in and out of her life. He expects her to be there for him when he does. For a tapper, Aaron does a great job with hip hop. I am so glad he was #11 and someone dropped out because of an injury. There is a lot of chemistry between these dancers. Jasmine conveyed the feelings of being upset with him yet longing for him at the same time. I LOVED it. When he flipped her over into a backbend it was so fluid. It was beautiful.

The judges: Mary loved it. Jasmine is a star. Aaron was sexy. Christina had notes written from the dress rehearsal that she tossed away. She thinks they are the couple to beat at this point. Nigel felt an honesty in the routine. He feels that Aaron is a major asset to the series this year.

AaronJasmine

Dancers: Malece and Jade
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Style: Bollywood
Song: “Radha” by Student Of The Year (Original Soundtrack)

The girl plays hard to get and the guy woos her back in. I know that every movement had purpose including positioning. Would I know if they made a mistake? Nope! I love Bollywood because it is always interesting and full of energy. It makes me want to get up and move. You have to be in superb physical shape to survive those songs.

The Judges: Christina gave Jade some words of encouragement. Nigel is shocked that Jade picked up the choreography as well as he did. He thought Malece is like a little pixie. Mary felt Jade was having fun and Malece did a really great job.

MaleceJade

Dancers: Alexis and Nico
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Old Skin” by Olafur Arnalds & Arnor Dan

This piece is a sequel to Robert Roldan and Kathryn McCormick’s dance from season 7. Kathryn’s character left to go to war; in this piece, she (Alexis) is coming home. These are big shoes to fill. In a sense you can say she had returned from war a changed person quite literally. I cried. I tried to imagine the joy of what real families go through when their loved ones return from war. I think Alexis and Nico found the joy.

The judges: Nigel thinks Nico gets better every week. He felt that Alexis had the hardest job this week because as a tapper they don’t straighten their legs. He felt she did very well but she is going to have to work harder. Mary said they let the music take them some place. She felt Nico was fabulous and Alexis’ performance was so honest. Christina thought it was great and that Alexis has “it.”

AlexisNico

Dancers: Brittany and BluPrint
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Style: Broadway
Song: “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Ice Princess (Original Soundtrack)

Two students in a late-night cram session and they fall in love. The vulnerabilities of BluPrint’s dancing are obvious, but he does get an “A” for trying and being a good partner.

The Judges: Mary adored this piece. She felt like BluPrint was really going to have to make sure the lines get hit. Christina gave BluPrint advice if he gets Broadway again. Nigel agreed with Christina.

BrittanyBluPrint

Dancers: Jasmine M and Alan
Choreographers: Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Style: Tango
Song: “Escape From Slavery” by PP Music (UK)

Innocent girl wooed by an evil man. Alan had a powerful male presence but I felt like it was overacting a bit. I believe he did not believe he was evil. The footwork looked good. He did a great job on the lifts.

The Judges: Mary gave them a standing ovation. Christina joined her. Christina thought they had a “moment” like they did last week. Nigel agreed. Mary said it is all about passion and they spilled it all over the stage.

JasmineAlan

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Style: Jazz
Song: “‘Mannequin (Skeet & Tito Remix) by Trish

Mad scientist Paul creates Makenzie. Paul has some good moves there, but he also had some awkward ones, too. His face doesn’t seem to match the story. He looks angry–has that weird pouty face. He also looked out at the audience like you would do in ballroom which I kind of felt was out of place. Mackenzie was doing a great job.

The judges: Nigel loved the routine. He thought they both did fantastic. Mary loved it. She called Makenzie a dance diva without the attitude (hmmm…in order to be a diva you must have attitude). Christina loved it. She urged Paul to get of his carriage in these kinds of numbers.

MackenziePaul

Dancers: Mariah and Carlos
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Dead In The Water” by Ellie Goulding

Carlos has been in an accident and lost his memory. Carlos is supposed to have this glazed-over look and with the emotion of having to go home tonight, that has to be so very hard to do, but does speak volumes to his professionalism. I could feel the pain in Mariah’s movements. I would never think she was a hip-hop dancer. I got goosebumps! This was so beautiful!

The judges: They were on their feet. Mary told Mariah if she kept dancing like that she will make it to the other side of the rainbow. Christina thought it was like they had an umbilical cord between the two of them. The chemistry was the best she had seen tonight. Nigel said Mariah did a brilliant job at emoting.

MariahCarlos

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo
Style: Hip-hop (ratchet?)
Song: “After Party” by Dorrough Music

The story is about two bellhops who love their job. For a contemporary dancer, she did a great job. The audience loved booty dances, too. That will definitely bring in the votes. And what I can I say. There is still #TruthInFikshun! (Yes, I first said that on Twitter).

The Judges: Christina loved that so much. She thought Fik-Shun is something special. She thinks Amy brings him up, too. Nigel said he knew that he was going to love this routine. Both of them light up the entire studio when they dance. He predicted if they kept dancing like that this and they would be in the finale. Mary said they were the pre-party, party-party and after-party.

AmyFikshun

Dancers: Jenna and Tucker
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Style: Cha-cha
Song: “I Like It Like That (Aaron Jerome Remix) by Pete Rodriguez

Story about a guy who knows everyone in a nightclub and thinks he owns the place; Jenna’s job is to put him in his place. It was very good. It didn’t blow me away but it was respectable. They both played their parts well. It seemed they had the right posture for Latin dancing. It sizzled in spots but it did. It move me emotionally in any direction.

Judges: Mary thinks Jenna is a chameleon. She missed rhythmical action from Tucker. She thought he had it in moments. Christina was thoroughly entertain and loved the story and the characters they portrayed. Nigel felt Jenna did not give enough cha-cha and she was in heroin genre. He actually wanted it to look more like “Dancing With The Stars.” He blames Dmitry.

TuckerJenna

It is hard to predict who might be in the bottom two. I would say for the guys Tucker and BluPrint. For the girls, Jenna and maybe Malece? Picking out the girls is a bit more difficult.





So You Think You Can Dance Mia Michaels’ Night

21 08 2012

This is my 100th blog post since moving to this site. Exciting, yes? I had a fabulous trip to New York and will have some blogs, including my moving trip to the 9/11 Memorial Site.

I know. I’m very late with this review. I was behind before I went on vacation and I’m even further behind now that I am back. Tonight the top 14 faced a third elimination. The dancers had two weeks off. The Olympics gave my DVR a break from exploding from overuse. Tonight two very special judges were in town after performing for the Dizzyfeet Foundation’s National Dance Day gala, Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt of The BalletBoyz from the UK. While the show was away, Tabitha and Napoleon welcomed their son, London Riley D’Umo, into the world.  Of note, someone on Facebook has been pretending to be them, but this is the legitimate Facebook page for them, and you can see pictures of the baby on there.  Congratulations!

Tonight’s show would see the return of our favorite Mia Michaels’ routines. Mia Michaels and Travis Wall are my favorite contemporary choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance. They seem to be able to tap into the emotional center of my brain that leaves the deepest, long-lasting impressions. Whether it be chills or tears, I have never forgotten the original dances.

Mary and Nigel will be bringing bias to the table tonight since they were present for the original Mia choreography where Billy and Michael would be bringing a fresh perspective, judging the dances on tonight’s performances alone.

The opening group number showed us a new dance from Mia. The song was “Hanging On” by Active Child. Was this the first group CPR by our dancers? I could feel the power of the fine line between life and death, although I could see where it could also be the symbolism of the life and death of a relationship on a more simple level. I also hoped those roses were de-thorned.

Dancers: Cyrus and Eliana
Inspired Dances: Cyrus had been inspired by Brian Gaynor’s audition. Brian is now one of Cyrus’ roommates at Dragon House. Eliana’s inspiration was Wade Robson’s Peace Dance with 10 dancers interpreting the same movement.
Mia’s Dance: The Door Dance originally performed by tWitch and Katee Shean
Song: “Mercy” by Duffy

My thoughts: Cyrus’ and Eliana’s kiss looked “icky” and not full of hot passion. Cyrus was able to ignite his own locking/popping style that made it stand apart from tWitch. I would never believe that Eliana is a ballet dancer because she was that awesome at contemporary.

The judges: Nigel pointed out Cyrus bringing out his own flair but also that he needs to drop the tension in his shoulders. Eliana showed us that she is great at creating these characters because ballet dancers usually focus on technique first and character second. Mary said Eliana was “swagger-welcious” and that Cyrus brought his own swagger to the group. Michael said they were strong performers. Eliana would have him begging for mercy for sure and there was a good use of props. Billy said that something that should not have worked did work fantastically.

Next we saw some clips of National Dance Day and how much it was spreading globally.

Dancers: George and Tiffany
Inspired Dances: For George it was Wade Robinson’s Ramalama group dance from season 2. For Tiffany it was when Ellen was on the other side of the door on Mia’s door dance and moving into the tWitch/Alex Wong “Out of Your Mind” dance. She hopes to be on The Ellen Show.
Mia’s Dance: The Hometown Glory dance originally performed by Katee Shean and Joshua Allen in Season 4.
Song: “Hometown Glory” by Adele

My thoughts: I had chills from the beginning. It was phenomenal. I know it was only two dances so far tonight, but this one became my favorite of the night (until the last routine).

The judges: Mary felt like we needed to call 911 because we witnessed a murder this evening on stage. She thought it was phenomenal, that Tiffany was soft when she needed to be and powerful when that was needed. The assisted lift was perfect (my note–did she mean the assisted run?) She said George elevated the role today. Michael felt like it had fantastic energy. It was a great match up to each other. Tiffany got so into character, but maybe too much because she didn’t look like she needed any help whatsoever from George in the assisted run and that was the point (she needed to be lifted). He felt like she needed to pull it back a bit. Nigel felt like we finally saw the best from George this evening. Tiffany over-egged the pudding, but would prefer that and trying to calm it down, versus not giving enough energy and having to ramp it up.

Dancers: Will and Amelia
Inspired Dances: For Will it was the group routine where Nigel got kidnapped in season 4. For Amelia it was Melanie and Neal’s routine “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
Mia’s Dance: The Butt Dance made famous by Evan Kasprzak and Randy Evans. Interestingly, Amelia seemed surprised, but there is a French feel for it and her audition was French-inspired. Mia was probably remembering that when this routine was assigned. Amelia looked like she might feel uncomfortable with everyone looking at her butt for the evening.
Song: “Koop Island Blues” by Koop

My thoughts: While it might be technically challenging and does elicit an emotional response from me, it was not goosebumps. I could feel Amelia’s discomfort at the thought of everyone looking at her butt. There was a height difference, too. Evan and Randy were shorter. Also Evan’s Broadway experience allowed him to shine the character more than Will’s contemporary background. Please also see my notes after hearing what Nigel had to say. George and Tiffany’s routine still my favorite at this point.

The judges: Nigel felt that Will was trying to bring the character out. He said Amelia needed to bring more character. He noticed that she was looking at the floor much of the routine. At this point, that comment from Nigel made me feel like, “Yeah, do you think so?” Perhaps knowing everyone was looking at her butt made her a little self-conscious and perhaps psyched her out a bit. The first thing Nigel said was that he had Randy’s butt in his mind for the last 3 years! I like Nigel but that is a little creepy. Even the most seasoned dancer would have felt weird hearing that. Mary liked it. Felt it was too big and maybe the character needed to be pulled back more. Was Will entranced by Amelia’s butt? Absolutely. She also felt that Amelia maybe looking down at the floor was her attempt at being coy. Having nothing to compare it to, Billy felt it was very strong, musical, and endearing. Both dancers were wonderfully in character. There were moments when subtlety would have been good, but it overall was great.

Dancers: Janelle and Dareian
Inspired Dances: For Janelle, it was the Mark Kanemura and Chelsie Hightower’s “Bleeding Love” routine. For Dareian, it was Kent and Neal’s Season 7 routine by Travis Wall “In The End” routine.
Mia’s Routine: The “bed” routine done by tWitch and Kherington Payne
Song: “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” by John Mayer

My thoughts: This might be their strongest routine yet, but I did not have chills, the kind I got seeing the original. They might be bringing their A-game too late.

The judges: Michael thought it was “wow!” The choreography and the ideas about it were wonderful. He was worried about Dareian’s lines. If he gets over that hurdle, he’s got it. Janelle had a great performance but he found himself looking at her hair oddly rather than the choreography. He did not know why but he just did. Billy said that it was difficult or Janelle because the movement is all about Dareian and not her, but they did well. Nigel said this was Mia Michaels at her best. For Dareian it was the first time he felt personality out of him and Nigel felt what Dareian was feeling. Janelle is at her best when he can see Janelle’s eyes smiling and her hips moving. She did not stand out tonight. Dareian’s technique was stronger than the original done by tWitch. Mary agrees with the comment on technique. There was no passion and at the end felt that it was overacted by Janelle. Dareian needs to fix his feet.

Dancers: Audrey and Matthew
Inspired Dances: For Audrey it was season 1’s Brian Friedman’s disco routine performed by Melody Lacayanga and Nick Lazzarini. (I did not watch season 1 of this show). For Matthew it was the 80’s jazz piece in season 7 by Ade Torbert and Lauren Froderman.
Mia’s Dance: The loss of Mia’s father and the reunion in heaven originally performed By Lacey Schwimmer and Neil Haskell.
Song: “Time” by Billy Porter

My thoughts: I thought Matthew was the star in this piece. Just watching the “making of/behind the scenes practice” brought tears to my eyes, but watching Mathew at the beginning where he smiles at first seeing his daughter (Audrey) and then the breath he took was he first caught sight of her had me in tears. Audrey was great, too, but I was watching Matthew more. They were able to make the transition I thought between the chemistry of a couple in love from previous weeks to the energy of a father and daughter. My new favorite of the night. I was a little shocked at what the judges had to say about Matthew, so after hearing their comments I watched it again and I could see some of what they were saying that he could have been more playful, but I think their comments were a bit too harsh.

The judges: Mary was very emotional, sharing that when Mia originally choreographed the song that Mary’s father had been diagnosed with lung cancer and the song gave her courage to take leave from her business to go be with her father in those final times. Mary, however, did not feel the passion or truth in this piece tonight from Matthew. She thought Audrey was the shining star. Billy said there were amazing things from Audrey and the first pirouette was flawless. He felt Matthew needed to disguise the effort of the dancing that weighed into it. Nigel felt that when Neil did the dance, it showed the playful man that Mia’s father was, that Matthew needed to bring fun into Audrey’s life. He felt Matthew was a little too focused on the dance steps rather than being a dad joined up with his daughter. That character that was needed did not come across.

Dancers: Witney and Chehon
Inspired Dances: For Chehon it was Melanie Moore’s Atlanta audition. For Witney it was “Danielle’s” audition in S4 (that turned out to be Travis Wall in drag).
Mia’s Dance: The bench routine performed by Season 2 Travis Wall and Heidi Groskreutz
Song: “Calling You” by Celine Dion

My thoughts: It was hard for a ballet dancer like Chehon to move into a contemporary style that requires him to loosening up a little. Regardless I still got chills when Chehon was lying on the bench with Witney under it. Not as good as Heidi and Travis’ routine, but that is some hard competition to live up to. They did a good job, but this dance is so iconic and it was TRAVIS WALL.

The judges: Nigel was pleased. He felt the passion came across. He also explained what the dance was about. Apparently Mia was in love with a gay man who was not going to be able to return the same kind of love to her. Mary felt they pulled it off. She wants Chehon to let go a bit more. She thought Witney was “wow” and was remarkable tonight. Michael asked Witney is she was a Salt Lake City girl, and said that Salt Lake is a fantastic place for dance (without really commenting on Witney’s dance tonight). He told Chehon he always had a job with The BalletBoyz if he ever wanted one.

Dancers: Lindsay and Cole
Inspired Dances: For Cole, it was Mark Kanemura in Season 4. They are friends and are from the same dance studio. Lindsay was inspired was Travis Wall and Benji Schwimmer’s nerd dance on the finale of season 2.
Mia’s Dance: The “Addiction” routine originally performed by Kupono Aweau and Kayla Radomski in season 5.
Song: “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles

My thoughts: Cole was spectacular. This was indeed my favorite routine of the night. When he ran his lips up her leg in a gesture of him “the addiction” consuming the whole of her, I got chills. Lindsay did a great job, too, but Cole was mesmerizing in his robotic-like movements.

The judges: Billy was impressed. Both have versatility in bucket loads, something that is needed for the business. Mary said this was the best performance from both of them. Kupono was a bit more sinister, but Cole was a quirky kind of demented, but it worked. Lindsay was amazing. Nigel said they came out on top tonight of everyone. Cole’s performance was quite chilling.

Eliminations

George, Dareian and Matthew are in the bottom 3 for the guys and Amelia, Janelle and Lindsay are in the bottom 3 for the girls. The judges wanted to see all of them perform solos before they made their decisions.

Amelia danced to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. I prefer Kris Allen’s version. It does not look like she is dancing for her life. Janelle did a belly dance routine to “Inta Omri” by Elie Attieh and she, too, does not look like she wants it. It was fun but there was nothing remarkable or stand-out about it. Lindsay did a dance to “Hip Hip Chin Chin” by Club des Belugas. I felt like out of the three girls she wanted it more and I think her routine with Cole tonight is likely to save her.

The guys looked more poised to fight for their spots. George danced to “So Long, Lonesome” by Exploding in the Sky. He really wants it. There is something about George that reminds me of the painter Thomas Kinkade. When George dances, he lights up the stage. Dareian came out fighting, dancing to “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by Joshua Ledet. Unfortunately he has underperformed his peers most of the season and has not made a real connection with the audience. Matthew danced to “Delicate” by Damien Rice. Out of the three guys, I was not so sure he wanted that spot so badly, like he had written it off that it would not be his. But out of the three guys, I think they’ll put George through.

Nigel said the judges would save Lindsay mostly because of her performance in tonight’s routines. For the boys, they would save George. Dareian really needed to fix his feet and they felt Matthew was not connecting with the audience (I would disagree with them on that).

As a personal note, I think that Cyrus, as much as I adore him, should have been up there instead of Matthew because he has been getting by without a great technique, but it is about America’s favorite dancers, not the “best” technical dancer. Next week the couples will be broken up and they will be paired with all-stars from previous seasons.

Who will go home this week based on their performances on Wednesday? I think Cyrus should be in the bottom 2 and maybe Will is in trouble. Witney and Audrey might be in the bottom 2 for the girls. The voting is going to get more difficult. I am looking forward to seeing Eliana paired with an all-star. She, I think, is the most underappreciated dancer in the show. It’s time for her to have a moment in the sun.





So You Think You Can Dance — Top 20 Dance Again & First Elimination

22 07 2012

So You Think You Can Dance — Top 20 Dance for a Third Time

I don’t know about you, but this entire format this year has me very confused. Why the change? The first week traditionally has been for us to meet the Top 20 and get a chance to see them dance. Then the second week, traditionally the top 20 dance, we vote, and then the next day, the 3 people with the lowest votes in the girls and the guys get to dance for their lives and the judges choose who is going home. However, the second week, the top 20 danced, and then there was no show the next day. When I heard they would tell who was going home the next week, I thought to myself, okay, so they are going to make us vote again, give the Top 20 a third week to dance so we could thoroughly enjoy them, get to know them, etc., and then on the next-day show, they will add the two weeks’ votes together, and continue on. However, that was not the case. The top 20 danced, but based on the votes, based on what they saw this week and last week, and with additional input from the choreographers from this week and last week decided who was leaving tonight. Nigel reminded us that they were not “voting people” off, but rather sending home the people who did not receive the most votes. Personally it is a game of semantics–like is the cup half empty or half full. I inquired with my OFFICIALFOXVIP contacts if this was just a one-time thing because of scheduling difficulty with the other shows and apparently this is the way they are doing it this year. On one hand, it makes it better for me because trying to type up a blog on Wednesday night before the Thursday show is very difficult. On the other hand, it seems kind of cruel to the dancers. They do not know if their previous week’s dance is going to put them in the bottom 3, and that will translate in the dances they perform on Wednesday night, which in turn will turn into the votes they get for that dance and whether or not they are in the bottom 3 the following week. It sounds like a mind game. I know Nigel Lythgoe is not like that, and I do not know if it was a demand of the network, but I do not like it.

Having said, that, let’s get on with the performances this week. We had Adam Shankman, guest judge, on tonight and the barrage of funny plugs for “Step-Up Revolution.” The group dance was choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo to the song: “The Beautiful People (District 78 Remix) by Marilyn Manson. I started having déjà vu. Didn’t we see a song choreographed to this song before? I looked it up and turns out I was right. Comfort Fedoke and Chris Jarosz performed to it, choreographed by Tyce Diorio, in week 3 of season 4, in 2008. See a YouTube clip from the episode.

Even though it was a repeat, the dance was slightly different and it was zombie-esque (I like the word “esque” lately) and had hints of the Thriller dance.

The show opens and Adam thinks Cat is like a big sexy tomato. Cat invites him to take a bite. I love when Adam Shankman is on. He has the BEST lines.

Dancers: Cole and Lindsay
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Teeth” by Lady Gaga

My thoughts: It was a lot of fun. Cole was great and definitely played the nerd wonderfully, keeping in character throughout the judges’ critique. Was Lindsay a nerd’s dream or did the nitrous oxide do things to Cole’s head? What a happy gaseous delusion! Christopher Scott’s routines are kind of hit or miss for me. There are either brilliant, or seemingly hastily put together.

The judges: Adam thought the American Dental Association should adopt the routine. Cole was freaking him out (in a good way). He thought Lindsay was holding her sex kitten in and needed to really attack it. Nigel certainly thought it was incentive for Great Britain to go to the dentist. He felt it was a bit immature. He thought Lindsay was playing to the audience and not to Cole. Mary said the routine put a smile on her face. She felt Lindsay needed to be vampier. Part of the show is acting and she will need to bring that. Cole is a lean, mean dancing machine.

Dancers: Amelia and Will
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “3326” by Olafor Arnalds
Story: Two souls are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are searching for the light at the end of the tunnel.

My thoughts: I could feel that weight and the oppression of their souls. I had goosebumps, the first tonight. They had stunning lines. Amelia and Will have great chemistry. In this dance, they moved as one. WOW! It was my favorite routine of the night.

The judges: Mary screamed: “OOOOOOOO!” Sonya was right on top tonight with this beautiful routine. Will and Amelia brought it to life. Will was rising to the occasion. They have gone another floor up in her eyes. Adam gave them a standing ovation. Of Amelia, he said he was completely lost in the piece and it took him on a journey. Will 1,000,000% “Stepped it up” (movie plug). It was brilliant. Nigel said that not only had Travis grown, but Sonya, too, has show tremendous growth on the show since she joined. She said Amelia was great a great, quirky dancer. Both Will and Amelia were absolutely brilliant dancers.

Dancers: Amber and Nick
Choreographers: Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Style: Tango
Song: “Tanguera” by Sexteto Mayor

My thoughts: My eyes were drawn to Amber immediately and not because of her red dress. There is one spot where she almost looked at the audience and lost her character. There was a lot of hard footwork being performed by both Nick and Amber. It was intense.

The judges: Adam thought it was hot. Amber was spectacular, a fire-breathing dragon. Nick was a brilliant partner but he vanished a bit. Nigel thought Amber made herself look good, a cobra ready to pounce. Nick was very strong and it showed. Mary said it was a difficult routine. Nick and Amber made it not look like work. Amber was a fire out there and she was in awe. She gave a “hats-off” to Nick; he did great.

Dancers: Audrey and Matt
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Hear Me Now” (Dri, Lind and Lukka Mix) by Steed Lord
Story: The robotic struggle between men and women

My thoughts: It was hard hitting and angry. You could feel the struggle. It was my second favorite routine of the evening. These two have great chemistry together and are superior dancers.

The judges: Nigel loves the “stank steps.” They were incredible and are one of America’s favorite couples. Mary said they, too, were one of her favorite couples, and quite the dynamic duo. They maximized everything. One of her favorite routines tonight. Adam said tonight belongs to Sonya. Audrey was “friggin brilliant.” He told Matt if he kept it up like that, it was his competition to lose. It was amazing and for them to stay in the zone.

Dancers: Dareian and Janelle
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “My Girl” by The Temptations
Story: A wedding proposal

My thoughts: It was the first kiss of the season, which promptly some fun from the judges, more fun than this routine unfortunately. Mary said she was not getting into this kissing thing this season, so Adam fake-kissed Nigel. It was fantastic. This routine did nothing for me. Dareian was the stronger dancer of the two, however. I think Christopher Scott did not do such a great job tonight with his choreography. Maybe he is the type that needs awhile to prepare, to think things out. He needs to learn how to Twitter-up his dance routines. Less than 140 characters but strong thoughts that resonate with people.

The judges: Adam felt Dareian was more invested than Janelle. Nigel said that so much depends on the choreography and it was a little uninspiring. Both are better dancers but they have to bring it, too, as Adam pointed out. Mary said the routine was sweet and it was just okay.

Dancers: Brandon and Janaya
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: “Bring On The Men (From Jekyll & Hyde: The Gothic Musical Thriller) by Linda Eder
Style: Broadway — Hot romance book gets the girl frisky

My thoughts: It was a very fun routine with high energy. Some of the moves were great. Sean Cheesman is another “hit or miss” choreographer for me, but this one, I liked.

The judges: He felt like Brandon “stepped it up” (movie plug). Janaya’s lines were great and she played the crowd. Nigel thought it was brilliant Broadway and agreed with Adam. Janaya brought something this week that she did not have last week. Mary thought it was the most entertaining routine of the night. The stepper (Brandon) was “stepping it up” tonight with energy. Great acting from Brandon and Janaya was amazing. Cat thought it was fearless.

Dancers: Cyrus and Eliana
Choreographers: Melaine LaPatin and Tony Meredith
Song: “I’m Shakin'” by Jack White
Style: Jive

My thoughts: I am a huge fan of Cyrus. He brings his personality and enthusiasm to every dance; however, his lack of technique is beginning to show in a big way. Eliana is always wonderful. The routine was lively. Cyrus tries so hard and I am so proud of him.

The judges: Mary said Cyrus’ feet were not quite right, that his posture goes in and out. He is doing great partnership. Her star is still showing for Eliana. She is a phenomenal dancer. She was cookin’. Adam said that he was amazed Cyrus got through it. Eliana was the hardest working woman tonight. Nigel said that at some time Cyrus will hit a brick wall. Cyrus has to connect the dots and needs to fill in the blank spaces. Eliana has a tough job with Cyrus. She has to compensate a great deal for Cyrus’ lack of knowledge.

Dancers: Alexa and Daniel
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: “So Long My Friend” by Yanni
Additional info: The bath tub is the water drowning the words.

My thoughts: They are good technical dancers. They did much better this week, but I really hated last week’s piece. However, by the end of the song, I realize the chemistry really is not there. I don’t know what exactly it is. Is Alexa shutting off her heart again to protect it like she did in Vegas because she does not want to fail, thus really fulfilling her own destiny with her thoughts? Do she and Daniel not have any chemistry off screen? I hoped the title of the song was not going to be their ironic fate. I loved the blue outfit that resembled the water. It was beautiful.

The judges: Adam complimented Dee on a beautiful routine. He told Alexa and Daniel although it was beautiful it was a bit chilly. He is not sure exactly what was missing. It was missing the passion. They were not connecting. Mary agreed with Adam. There is no chemistry between the two of them. Nigel said it was danced brilliantly but there is no chemistry.

Dancers: Tiffany and George
Choreographers: Melanie LaPatin and Tony Meredith
Style: Foxtrot
Song: “I Want To Be Loved by You” by Sinead O’Connor

My thoughts: Sinead O’Connor? Really? That was the biggest surprise to me. I suppose I have not kept up on her career. It was my third favorite routine this evening. My eyes were drawn to George, but they did a tremendous job. I love George’s energy; it is always happy and calm. He is such a smooth operator. I also loved her costume.

The judges: Mary thought Tiffany did everything perfectly. Adam was madly in love with it. It reminded him of Fred and Ginger. They “stepped up” (movie plug) to a whole new level. It was “in-freaking-credible.” Nigel they could be the “Opening Act” for anybody. They should be a lesson to every couple on the show.

Dancers: Witney and Chehon
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: “Tandav Music” by Aatish Kapadia
Style: Bollywood of course

My thoughts: It was high energy. Bollywood has to be one of the toughest dances out there, especially because of the hand moves, but also it requires a great deal of stamina and strength. Chehon did the better job of the two. Nakul looked so proud of them. I would not have known Chehon was a ballet dancer tonight. He took the constructive criticism he received last week and applied it.

The judges: Adam said it was the first time he saw joy in Chehon. Witney needed to extend her neck. He still felt chemistry between them even though they were apart during the dance. Mary said it was so much better this week for Chehon and that he was on fire tonight. Nigel thought Chehon was fantastic. He cannot believe that Witney was doing knee turns. He also noticed with khattak in the dance routine.

The Results From Last Week

Based on last week’s votes, Janaya, Alexa, and Witney were in the bottom 3 for the girls. When the camera flashed to Alexa, she knows she is leaving. She looks down and cannot smile. Janaya and Witney are there with their chins up and smiles on their faces. The bottom 3 guys were Nick, Daniel and Chehon. Nigel said that the votes were for people America liked, but they have to stay unemotional about their decision. They were the best 20 dancers across this season. After talking to the choreographers, seeing them dance this week and last, they were saving Chehon and Witney. I imagine the Bollywood routine helped to save them.

Extra Bonuses

There was a great segment about the movie “Step-Up Revolution” coming out. Jamal Sims is the choreographer, but so are Travis Wall and Mia Michaels, Mia also playing the role of “Olivia” in the movie. Adam Shankman is the producer. It features several SYTYCD alumni including Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Tony Bellissimo, Phillip Chbeeb, and Kathryn McCormick.

Speak Out and Step Up (movie plug): What do you think of the decisions this week? What do you think of this new format? Let us know!

Note: I’m headed to New York on Thursday. Since it takes me about 4-6 hours to get this blog done, I do not think I’ll be able to do a detailed blog and pack Wednesday night. I’ll try to get something up, although it likely will not be in this regular format. I appreciate your support for this blog. I’d love to get more comments on it and have a discussion.





So You Think You Can Dance — Let the Voting Begin

12 07 2012

So You Think You Can Dance — Top 20 Voting Begins

The evening started out well with a Mad-Men-ish dance, choreographed by Christopher Scott, to the song, “Architect of the Mind” by Kerry Muzzey. The judges for this evening were our resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy with the guest judge the fabulous Kenny Ortega. Many goosebump moments happened for me this evening.

What We Learned in 7 Seconds About Our Contestants

Witney Carson is 18, plays guitar and the drums, likes to golf, has over 100 relatives and is afraid of crickets. Chehon Wespi-Tschopp is 23. He was born in Chicago, but grew up in Switzerland. He is a ballet dancer, thinks in 2 languages and finds it hard to talk really fast. Tiffany Maher is 19. Her nickname is T-Maher-Starr, has “baby hands”, had a pet duck, and likes going to the beach. George Lawrence II is 19 and loves the color green. He loves collard greens, hates being outside, is camera shy and had a pet frog (want to bet he named it Kermit?). Janaya French is 20, wants to meet Shamu, loves fuzzy socks, hates orange candy and thinks Chucky is her worst nightmare. Brandon Mitchell is 27, from Kansas City, Kansas, is allergic to cats and dogs. His brother broke the world’s record for the long jump for 8 year olds. Alexa Anderson is 19, loves red lipstick, being outside, watermelon and puppies. She can eat frozen yogurt for every meal and her favorite topping is sprinkles. Daniel Baker humored things up by playing up America’s stereotypical idea of an Aussie. He is 24, puts shrimp on the barbie, throws boomerangs, has a pet kangaroo, is related to Crocodile Dundee and owns vegemite. Right. Amber Jackson is 21. She loves track, bunnies, and skating. She hates sausage and sleeps with stuffed animals. Nick Bloxson-Carter is 20, just took 23 credits and does not advise anyone else to be quite that insane. He loves movies, hanging out with friends, laughing, and the beach. His dad works at the Playboy mansion. Amelia Lowe is 18. Her dad is a tattoo artist. She was named after Amelia Earhart because her dad loves to fly planes. Her mom is a Pilates instructor.  Will Thomas is 19. Orange is his favorite color. He believes he is Simba. Janelle Issis is 24 and from Birmingham, Alabama. She likes the movie, “The Color Purple”. She can cook. She loves roller coasters. Dareian Kujawa is 20. He left home to join the circus. He used to play hockey. He hates spiders. He loves the color blue and can mimic Donald Duck. Eliana Girard is 21. She hates raisins, is addicted to “True Blood” and loves the word “Alfred.” Cyrus Spencer is also known as Glitch, is age 22, a Pisces (I knew I liked him for some reason!), has a dozen pair of gauges (earrings), is addicted to shoes and loves basketball. Audrey Case is 18 and is from Oklahoma. She reminded us that she can make fart noises with her neck. She collects elephants and loves Taylor Lautner. Matthew Kazmierczak is 21. He loves hiking, is definitely a cat person, is terrified of sharks, has 6 tattoos and is terrified of the mannequin that was in the room with him at the time of the interview. Cole Horibe is 26 and is a walking cliché. He is an Asian male who is a ninja martial artist. He liked math when he was “young” (oh please, like 26 is old?), and is part of the descendent line of the 47 Ronin Samurai. Lindsay Arnold is 18, likes food, hates spiders and tomatoes, cannot cook and gave someone stitches once.

Couples Dances

Dancers: Witney Carson and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Choreographer: Louis Van Amstel
Dance: Samba
Song: “Jump” by The Cube Guys and Lucinana

My opinion: I loved Witney’s pink dress. Chehon did well being a ballet dancer and worked the audience well during one of the moves, but he is too straight in his posture. Witney did a great job.

The Judges: Nigel thought Witney was a star. Chehon needed to relax more and enjoy the music. Mary pointed out Chehon’s foot work, but moved his body well across the floor. Witney got a 1st class ticket on the hot-tamale train. Kenny thought Witney was like Marilyn Munroe in “Some Like It Hot” but hotter. He told Chehon to surrender to the music and agrees pretty much with Nigel.

Dancers: Tiffany Maher and George Lawrence II
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh (Dance is about the stars being aligned for a couple and they realize each other and who they are.)
Dance: Contemporary
Song: “Turning Page” by Sleeping At Last

My opinion: Goosebumps. I had them when Sonya was just describing the dance, the emotion that the feel towards each other (I am a hopeful romantic at heart) and goosebumps while it was being performed. I have always rooted for George and hoped that his dad could see that he really is a fantastic dancer.

The Judges: Mary said it left her breathless. She said that George is one of the best dancers in the competition. She commented how connected the two of them were. Kenny said they both surrendered, and it reminded him of youth. “You spilled it.” Nigel thought it was superb and loved the arabesque in the lift.

Dancers: Janaya French and Brandon Mitchell
Choreographer: Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo (who looks radiant and like she is going to give birth at any moment). The story is about addiction and the choice between it and love.
Dance: Hip-Hop
Song: “Take Care” by Drake featuring Rihanna

My thoughts: It was average. Brandon got the feelings of anger across well but I did not feel the struggle. Not exactly sure why.

The Judges: Kenny believed the story and thought they did a great job. Nigel thought Nappytabs was very clever to hide some of their flaws through this dance. Mary believed Brandon but felt Janaya needed to be more gritty.

Dancers: Alexa Anderson and Daniel Baker
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Dance: Jazz (it is supposed to be sexy, quirky).
Song: “Hey, Hey (DF’s Attention Vocal Mix) by Dennis Ferrer

My opinion: I felt absolutely no chemistry between these two. It was intricate, but sexy and quirky? No. Their faces showed that there were really thinking about all the movements and not really feeling the dance. And they had that one face (smiling) the entire dance. I have had a problem with Alexa’s facial expressions in the past (smiling during a song whose lyrics were sad, for example). Is that the dancers’ issue or the choreographer by making the routine technically difficult? Not sure. Maybe a bit of both. It was my least favorite dance of the evening.

The judges: Nigel hopes the audience can appreciate the level of difficulty. He did not see the chemistry either. Mary said that Daniel looked like he was enjoying himself. Kenny thought it was a demanding piece. He thought they were invested in the exercise but not in the performance.

Dancers: Amber Jackson and Nick Bloxsom-Carter
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Dance: Viennese waltz
Song: “Nights in White Satin” by Tina Arena

My opinion: This dance is something you see on Dancing With The Stars. For the audience of So You Think You Can Dance, it usually is the dance of death or at least puts people in the bottom 3. I thought it was beautiful and flowed very well.

The judges: Mary said it was dreamy. Kenny thought it was fluid and flowing and loved it. Nigel told Nick to watch his facial movements.

Dancers: Amelia Lowe and Will Thomas
Choreographers: Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo
Dance: “Unconventional hip-hop” — Character pop. Sophisticated kitty meets alley cat (may explain why Will thinks he is Simba)
Song: “The Lovecats” by The Cure

My opinion: I liked this a great deal. It was upbeat and playful. It made me smile. One of my favorite dances of the evening.

The judges: Kenny thought it was fun and charming and loved it. Nigel thought they were “smitten kittens.” He thought it was terrific and memorable. Mary thought it was “purrrfect.” She commented that it made you happy.

Dancers: Janelle Issis and Dareian Kujawa
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Dance: African Jazz
Song: “Jungle” by Hilight Tribe

My opinion: They did a great job. I’d have a headache after dancing like that.

The judges: Nigel loved it. Mary said it was exciting. It was like a jungle dance-off and they both came out as winners. Kenny thought it was universal and was like watching 2 flames dancing across the stage.

Dancers: Eliana Girard and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Dance: Broadway
Song: “Run And Tell That” by Hairspray (Original Broadway Cast)

My opinion: I am such a fan of Cyrus. Ballet meets the animator and it worked! It was fabulous and so much fun to watch. Tyce was so proud of them. Another one of my favorites this evening.

The judges: Mary said she had never seen Tyce worked up that much before in her life. This will be “googled up”, i.e., watched over and over again. She said, “Winners are ordinary people with extraordinary hearts” and Cyrus lays his heart out on that stage. Eliana was a ballerina who could get down. Kenny felt like it was watching a Broadway performance right on a New York stage. Their personalities were on fire. Nigel said Cyrus is not the best dancer but he always gives 100% of himself. Eliana is the benchmark for the other girls in this competition.

Dancers: Audrey Case and Matthew Kazmierczak
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Dance: Contemporary (story is on the Titanic after the sketch scene)
Song: “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers

My opinion: I did not think the song was going to work because we associate that song with “Ghost” and not the movie The Titanic, but it worked. I had goosebumps. For someone who was joking around during the interview and rehearsal, Matt turned on the hot factor. It looked like they were totally and completely in love with each other. It was on fire. I think my favorite dance of the evening.

The judges: On their feet! Kenny thought it was an exquisite choice and was brilliantly danced. Nigel thought it was his favorite of the night and it was a very special moment. Mary loved it.

Dancers: Lindsay Arnold and Cole Horibe
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Dance: Paso Doble (instead of a bull and matador, Lindsay’s character was going to be like poison to the warrior).
Song: “Unstoppable” by E. S. Posthumus

My opinion: I normally do not like these dances but they pulled it off. I figured they were going to do something big having the pimp spot of the evening. I had goosebumps. My goosebumps never lie. It was hot.

The judges: They were standing once again. Cat made a comment that Cole had the “blue steel” look (from Zoolander). Kenny thought it was electrifying, mesmerizing and the most fantastic dance he has seen on this show. Mary thought it was the best paso doble Jason has ever choreographed on the show. Lindsay was fabulous and fiery. Cole was “oh my God.” She said it was a beautiful paso doble. Nigel said it was the best paso doble ever done on this show.

After tonight, here is my list of favorites in some semblance of order. It is hard to rate them because they really are so good.

Guys: Cole, George, Matt, Cyrus, Will, Brandon, Nick, Dareian, Chehon, Daniel (sorry Daniel fans; it was this particular dance that put him in the bottom for me.

Girls: Audrey, Amelia, Lindsay, Eliana, Janelle, Amber, Tiffany, Witney, Janaya, Alexa (again, the dance was what put her on the bottom of this particular list).

Who are your favorites? Who is your top 3 and bottom 3?