SYTYCD Season 9 Top 20

19 07 2012

The All-New format of SYTYCD Season 9 made it’s debut last night.

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you’ll know that I have very little patience for ‘Elimination Shows’. The results could be read in 2 minutes, yet at times, we are forced to sit through a full HOUR of ‘fluff’ – yes, shameless movie and upcoming TV show promotions, oh look whose in the audience, D- list performances by people who are coincidentally releasing a new album or going on tour, commercial breaks, video montages, recaps of what we JUST saw the night before… DWTS has this inane format down to a Japanese war torturous tee.

Results shows are useless – and SYTYCD has just proven, that the performances and the results (plus a few shameless plugs for SYTYCD: The Movie… errr, Step Up something) can all fit together in a neatly compact, 2-hour package. Ground breaking television.

So all the dancers performed in pairs again this week – and the bottom 6 from last wee’s performances were picked from the bunch to face elimination at the hands of the judges. Democracy is overrated. America always makes the wrong decision in these situations, I’m perfectly happy to give that power back to the hands of the Sovereign judging panel.

Let’s talk about last night’s performances:

Cole/Lindsey – a Jazzy/Hip Hop number about a nerd going to the dentist. Who knew there would be a perfect song for that scenario. It was a SYTYCD kinda dance. Good characters, high energy, kinda goofy but technically very sound – great way to start the show! Um, you’ve heard of Twi-hards? Cole is a little bit of a ‘TRY-hard’, and I think he needs to snap out of it. Getting into character is one thing, pretending you are NOT in character, but that the character has embodied you is an entirely different and awkward viewing situation. I did not connect with him AFTER the dance, which means I wouldn’t necessary vote for him. The dance was good, his odd personality may have been a turn off.

Amelia and Will – performed the first Sonya Tayeh routine of the evening to perfection. Both dancers were salivating at the chance to work with such a unique and quirky choreographer (Mia Michaels who?) and they embraced that opportunity with every fibre. This pair is an early favourite. They both received a lot of help from the editing crew, giving them camera time during audition stages. They also have the ability to scale up or scale down their individual oddities. When the dance calls for it (like in last weeks performance) they can be borderline kooky… but when the dance calls for honesty and true technique, both can deliver.

Amber/Nick – Tango. Who drew the short straw? To make matters worse, Amber admitted in her pre-dance video that she was having trouble ‘connecting’ with her partner “Like oil and bubblegum”. Guess what? it showed. Amber out-danced her partner, and the routine was seriously lacking the tension or sizzle of a sexy tango. One last kick in the teeth? This was Nick’s genre. Ouch.

Time for another Sonya Tayeh routine…

Audrey and Matthew were human robots in love… or something. Anyways they were wearing a lot of make up, and the style of the dance was hard-hitting and less fluid than Sonya’s previous effort. If I have to be honest, I enjoyed her first piece far better. I didn’t really see the story line (if there was any) in this routine, and the dancers did not attack each move the way ti was probably intended. The judges liked it, but then, you should hear them talk about Step Up 4 (or whatever). I wasn’t a huge fan of this piece, I don’t know if it was the dancers or the choreography.

Janelle and Dareian- danced a lyrical Hip Hop routine to ‘My Girl’. It had SO much potential to be another SYTYCD classic. The clothes, the song, the characters. The judges were BANG on in my opinion. This routine lacked material. It was too simple, too academic… a let down for the dancers. There’s not much you can do to augment poor choreography. In fact, I think they knew it was sub-par, and tried to make the number more interesting by adding a smooch at the end. This would not have been a bad performance… on season 1. The level of dance has risen exponentially each season, and this dance didn’t cut it. BUT… I still enjoyed the refreshing simplicity of a cute song, cue clothes, and a cute story.

Janaya and Brandon – picked my favourite dance style from the board… Broadway! This Sean Cheeseman routine was EVERYTHING you want to see in a Broadway performance. A perfect blend of character, story and dance. These two danced this routine to perfection – both were strong in character and pulled off some tough choreography without breaking the illusion. This was the dance I wanted ‘My Girl’ to be.

Eliana and Glitch – were put to the test with a high-tempo Jive… a style Glitch has never encountered or studied. Shocker! It was not very quick, it was not very precise or snappy (the way I like to see my Jives). He has the capacity for it, I just think a week was not long enough to build confidence in his abilities, or to work his own style into the dance. The choreographers had Eliana dance AROUND him for the majority of the time, and gave him plenty of lifts to showcase strength over technique. Good move… he did not come across as completely out of his league.

Daniel and Alexa – Can I just make an observation about this couple? They look like the dance version of Emily and Sean on the Bachelorette. Non? C’mon, you totally see it now, right? In terms of a critique, I had a few issue with this piece. First, I think choreographers need to tone down the hair flipping, body flinging back and forth style that has become standard in contemporary routines. It gives me motion sickness… and in this piece, it went a little over board for me. Also, I had never warmed to Alexa, and I feel that she was once again a little bit ‘in her  head’ and not connecting with her partner or the audience.

Tiffany and George – Drew the shortest straw and were left with the Foxtrot. The dreaded foxtrot. how can you compete with kicks and flips and “genius” contemporary pieces with an out-dated, simple ballroom routine? Well, it is slightly novelty, which can help. Also, the judges will give out HIGH praise for a decent Foxtrot. If you can be successful in channeling Astaire/Rogers , and you look good in ballgowns and tails… you might just have a winner. Last night the judges gave ‘mad props’ to this pair for pulling off a classic ballroom routine. I was slightly underwhelmed.

Witney and Chehon – were given a very difficult task. Master Bollywood in a week. Give them a lot of credit, they both put in extra hours of research and practice to ensure accuracy. And they NAILED it! There is nothing better than watching a high energy, artfully crafted Bollywood routine. It has become one of my favourite styles. Russian dancing didn’t ‘catch’, but I hope Bollywood is here to stay! What a great way to end the show…

Oh wait! Shows not over…

Results!

Nigel assures us this is all about love, not war. Or something. Dancers are not ‘eliminated’ they are just not America’s favourite. Dancers aren’t voted ‘off’ they are voted to be kept ‘on’. Get it?

So the bottom 6 vote getters…

Girls: Janaya , Alexa  and Whitney 

Boys:  Chehon, Nick and Daniel.

Based on a collaboration between the choreographers and the judges, they chose to SAVE (love not war):

Whitney and Chehon

thoughts?

 





SYTYCD Top 6 Results

5 08 2011

Last night, it was time for the SYTYCD Top 6 to become the Top 4 – the 4 remaining to dance in the finale!

So last night was a big deal. Anything can happen in the finale, you just have to make it there. The dancers that went home alst night, so close, but no cigar.

I think it was pretty clear who we all THOUGHT would be going home last night. In my mind, the final 4 was determined long ago based on ability.

So it was NOT a shocker (thank goodness) that we saw Ricky and Caitlynn eliminated last night.

The Final 4 are:

  1. Sasha
  2. Melanie
  3. Marko
  4. Tadd

The first question is, will it be a boy or a girl? If it’s a girl, you’ve got to think Melanie has the upper hand in terms of pure dancing ability, but Sasha my have the bigger appeal. If it’s a guy, Marko has been the strongest male contestant all season, but Tadd is…so cool!

Thoughts?

 





SYTCD Top 8 Results: July 28

29 07 2011

I was dreading the SYTCD Top 8 Results show last night.

At this point, I have invested so much time with each performer, and I look forward to seeing them rise above every week.

Last night, I knew I was going to be disappointed, no matter what happened!

The Bottom Two girls were Caitlyn and Jordan.

The Bottom Two guys were Tadd and Jesse.

The two dancers eliminated were: Jordan and Jesse.

So,  those of you who have been following my blog know that I wasnt a huge fan of Jordan, but I was infact, a huge fan of Jesse.

 I felt like he was dealt a bit of an unfair hand last night – he didnt get a dance style that particularly suited him as much as some of the others. His contemporary was good, but not the most memorable contemporary dance of the night. His rhumba was totally out of his element, and not a particularly well choreographed piece.

Jordan was a surprise to me, because I felt that she outdanced Caitlyn last night, and she has been a judges favourite from the start. So, although i wasn’t her biggest fan, I felt that the decision was a bit of a headscratcher.

Thoughts?





SYTYCD: Top 10 results

22 07 2011

The first elimination came for the  Top 10 on SYTYCD last night.

A Ballerina and Snoop Dog performed. sigh. Who makes these bookings? The Ballerina, I get. And I loved it. But in my opinion, the Blush/SnoopDog performance was more painful than any i’ve seen on this show. Sooo unnecessary.

Here were the results:

Bottom 4: Clarice, Jordan, Ricky and Mitchell

Kind of what I expected – I think I mentioned that both Ricky and Mitchell had performances that didnt stand out, and that Jordan although strong last night, has not been connecting with the audience. Clarice had the misfortune of a Bollywood dance, which as I say, is hard to judge and compare to other dances.

In the end, Nigel pulled the bandaid off quickly – sending Clarice and Mitchell home.

Thoughts?





SYTYCD Top 12 Results: July 14

15 07 2011

I am usually a fan of SYTYCD results shows, then I realized, I’m a fan of brevity and connected entertainment. Last night on SYTYCD, the entertainment did not connect with the results or the show in general. Jesse Tyler Ferguson was back on the panel (…?) and Nicole Sherzinger who is neither a great singer, nor a great dancer shook her booty and sexy walked all over the stage. This is not what I want to see on a dance show that prides itself on talent, talent, talent. “The future of dance” even. I like seeing the profession ballet, dance schools or the Tap routine they had on last night’s show…but cut out the pop singers pushing their new albums in our faces. Enough. And by the way, did you catch the Pussy Cat Girl connection again? There’s something I’m missing…

Now that I’m finished my rant… let’s get to the results shall we?

Kind of a big night – those who make it through, are part of the Top 10 and their lives will change forever. (Think tours, all-stars of the future, roles in Adam Shankman movies)

In the Bottom 3 were Mitchell and Caitlynn, Ryan and Ricky and Sasha and Alexander.

Not surprising.

The judges decided that after 3 stints in the bottom, Ryan was the girl to leave the competition. An obvious choice I think.

For the boys, the judges took their oppotunity to boot out the weaker dancer in a strong pair…. Alexander.

Thoughts?

Anyone else tired of the hour show packed with useless enterainment? How about the results, anyone surprised about the outcome?





SYTYCD: Top 14 Results July 7

8 07 2011

SYTYCD has the BEST results shows. Not that I ever want to see people face elimination, with such incredible talent I’m often torn. But rather, they get to the meat of the evening quickl, they add in some relevant entertainment, and the judges (experts) maske the final call.

That’s the way it should be.

I was also pleased with the Carmen Electra No-Show. There was no discussion, she just wasnt there. Fine. She was the odd one out anyways.

Last night, the Top 14 eliminations took place.

Some obvious pairs landed in the bottom, such as AShley and Chris, Jordan and Tadd…and then the perrennial bottom dwellers, Ricky and Ryan. What is it about this pair that is disconnected with the voting public? Both are exceptionally talented, what are they missing?

Each performed solos, proving why they are part of this elite group.

Then the axe fell.

Nigel sent Chris and Ashley home.

Not surprising, neither had a great showing last night…and there are other dancers in their genres who are stepping up more than they are. Simple as that.

Thoughts?

Are you happy with the decision? Who are your favourites heading into the Top 12?





SYTYCD Top 16: June 29

30 06 2011

Last night I was treated to my other favourite Summer indulgence show, SYTYCD.

The performances are heating up, reaching new levels of greatness, and this week filling the extra judges chair was the talented Kristin Chenoweth. Finally, a good fit for that extra seat (although, she may have needed a booster!) I kid I kid, if she did need a booster, she didnt need a microphone. OKay, I’m done with the short n’ shrill jokes.

On to the night of performances….

Sasha and Alexander danced a particularly interesting contemporary centred aound a piano and a ghost. It was beautiful, I love the partnership, I loved the story and the executionw as flawless. I thought Iwas seeing another classic…. but the judges were not raving as much as I was. Perhaps because it was the first dance of the night and they knew what was yet to come…but honestly, I thought it was a winner!

Caitlynn and Mitchell teamed up with Jean Marc Generoux for a samba. There was alot of hip action, there was some seriosuly fancy footwork and the judges went nuts. Both looked completely comfortable with the dance and brought sexy back to the dancefloor.

Miranda and Robert took on broadway with the queen of broadway in the house. Of course, they nailed it…hard. The judges were impressed mostly by Mirands’s legs (who can blame ’em?) and Roberts transformation as a hip hop dancer.

Melanie and Marko (the power couple) teamed up with ‘NappyTabs’ for a hip hop lyrical. And honestly, this team can do no wrong. They are strong, they are personable, they hit every piece bang on. Yes, they are defintely a power couple. NOt that NappyTabs doesnt produce great work, but often it is overshadowed by over-emotive contemporary pieces. Tonight, this pair made that dance rise to the top.

Ashley and Chris got jazz, and Chris didnt want to work with Sonja. Ouch. Like her hair or not, this woman is SO cool. Her dances are always inspired and tell a quirky, twisted story (and the costumes always rock!). In this case, the dancers were half zombie half human…Beetlesjuice inspired. I am waiting for Ashley to really break out and have a marquee performance, I’m not saying Chris is pulling her down…but that might just be the case.

Clarice and Jess are another couple I love to watch. This week, they picked a FoxTrot out of the hat, and I’m sure they werent overly excited. But they were able to make a charismatic, perfectly executed foxtrot that may have just stole the night. It certainly went over well with the judges! Jess dances with such personality, and his footwork is SO precise and Clarice is the perfect partner for him.

Ryan and Rickey were all tied up in thier contemporary. Literally. They were attached by a line, trying to break free. The idea was interesting, and the dance was very strong. I feel like contemporary pieces tend to get…stale. I don’t mean that I don’t like to watch them, just that I often forget them at the end of the night. Both are solid dancer, but both have been in the bottom for 2 weeks. I wonder…

Jordan and Tad had a naughty college inspired hip hop by Nappy Tabs. Again, very fun, very tongue-in-cheek…not sure it was the dance of the night. Jordan surprises me a bit – she dances with such sexuality, but when you listen to her speak she is very ‘young’ in her maturity. Tad has star potential, and I think we have yet to see the best from him.








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