SYTYCD – Top 4 Reviews

OK Friends… Quick blog today about last night’s SYTYCD, before the big revelation tonight.

First of all, I’d like to point out the major changes to the competition this year. This year’s top dancers did solos every night. Even on the vote off shows, they often had the dancers do solos. This made things even harder for the ballroom/partner dancers and gave great advantage to the beat boys and hip hoppers. Also, the finals are between 4 people, and up until that time a guy and girl was kicked off every week. This was to increase the chances that a girl could win the competition, since it is so clearly skewed toward the guys.

OK. Let’s get down to business.

Danny – your strengths are your technique and your beautiful lines. You are tall with potentially awkward lankiness, yet you seem to know what to do with every inch of your body in order to make it look great!

The waltz was my favorite last night. So beautiful and flowing. Those smooth waltzes take me to another world.

You’re solo was FREAKING awesome. It was certainly your best this season, and gave me a real reason to want to pick up the phone to vote for you.

Lacie – you are at a slight disadvantage here. If you win, everyone will say it’s because of your brother. Your instant popularity has been because of him, but you have proved yourself week after week. You are consistent, and actually very good at what you do. The latin styles are great, and you’ve held your own in the other styles.

What was up with your solo outfit tonight? It was super-ugly . Looked like tin foil wrapped over underwear.

Neil – I would not have placed you in the top 4 at the beginning of this competition. You lacked confidence that somewhere along the line you found. You are the most improved/developed dancer in this competition. I think the reason we like you is that you’re not too dancie. You have a good mix of gymnast/dancer/actor. Something weird happens to guys when they get too dancy (like Ben from last year and Danny this year). You are just dancy enough, but still seem like a great guy.

I really liked the Mia Michaels routine with you and Danny. I thought it was so NOT mia michaels style. It was so athletic and rough. She is usually so much more internal to external.

I hated the hip hop routine. You both felt so unnatural.

Sabra – Based on your total performance this season, you are my pick to win this year. You truly dance with your whole heart, and you seem like a really great person. It is time for a girl to win this competition, and I would prefer it not be a Schwimmer. You didn’t only dance all the styles, you brought it in all the styles. I almost died when I saw the video of Dominic dropping you during You Can’t Stop the Beat. I can’t believe that happened and you didn’t have a concussion.

I really didn’t like many of your dances last night. The Fox idea was underdeveloped, i thought. Not badly danced, just not fully thought through choreography.

I liked your solo, but I thought you had done better solos earlier in the season.

Well America… It’s up to you now, but I made my pick.

SYTYCD – Top 6 Reviews

I am deeply sorry for not posting after last week’s So You Think You Can Dance. Let me just summarize my thoughts with the following… WOW Mia Michaels, and yes, the right people went home.

First, I just have to say that Mia did a phenomenal thing with that contemporary routine, the one she dedicated to her father and said symbolized a reunion with him. She has a way of making this creations that are just simply transcendent. They are simple, connecting, and expressive. They are very emotionally available, and easy for anyone to ‘get.’ This is another DEFINITE emmy nomination for next year. I enjoyed it so much, I will include it here:

Also, I was not sad to see Sarah and Dominic go. I will say, though, that I am so impressed and surprised that they lasted that long. They both significantly out performed the expectations on them. Many weeks we simply forgot that Sarah was a b-girl.

Ok. Now to this week. I have to say, first off, that this is perhaps the highest caliber episode to date. The choreography and dancing was top notch, best it has ever been in one episode.

Sabra is emerging as my favorite girl. As Nigel pointed out, she dances with her whole heart and soul. The most stand out performance of hers for me was her solo, followed by the red dress number… umm… paso double, I think. Neil was a great partner for her, although I thought he might have pushed it a little too hard in the Paso Double. He was walking a fine line for me. The coolest move of the night came at the end of that dance, when Sabra fell from her lift down Neil’s body like a man going through the center of the donut, then as if that wasn’t enough he drug her (as a cape, as the dance calls for) to the judges for judging. I thought it was a brilliant finish!

Neil was good this week. He has had a run of good luck in getting the best choreographers and best partners in the last two weeks. I think that combination, coupled with taking his shirt off last week, will secure him a place in the finale. The table dance was one of the most interesting dances I’ve seen in a long time. It brought the foreign world of dirty business into the creativity/free-thinking dance realm. Really they are two opposing ideologies, and it was really cool to see it tackled in dance.

Next has to be Pasha and Lacie. Their first mannequin dance was really quite amazing and creative, and the smooth waltz was exquisite. I think Lacie has lost a bit of the drive to win this thing. She is just not quite attacking it as she was in the beginning. Not quite the ‘force’ to be reckoned with as I thought she would be. She certainly is technically proficient, but I’m not sure she is “America’s Favorite Dancer”.

I fear for Pasha because he has less of a chance in the solo arena. All of his solos are weak, and this week he strangely chose to dance onstage with a real mannequin and dress. It certainly increased the level of his performance, but it would have seemed a lot less odd (and we still would have gotten it) if he would have simply envisioned the dress and mannequin and danced without it onstage. Having it there was just a little creepy… Good rehearsal technique, really strange performance choice.

Now, Danny and Lauren. Their dances were great. Danny is incredible and prolific. I’ve never seen anyone spin like he can. Their Mia Michaels routine, while it was a slight let down after last week’s incredible routine, was still amazing and awe inspiring. HOWEVER, I think (in this competition) they are America’s least favorite dancers. Lauren did excellent solo work.

Lauren is at the most risk for the girls and it’s sort of a toss up between Danny and Pasha.

Danny still has a slight barrier between him and the audience, and while he is certainly talented and prolific, he will NOT be America’s Favorite Dancer for the simple fact that after a whole summer of watching him dance, we still have not been let into who he is. I’m a little surprised that Mia hasn’t ‘broken him down’ as she has a history of doing to several dancers.

SYTYCD – Top 10 Reviews

Happy Top Ten everyone! What a crew of dancers we have this year. It is really quite amazing that no ones dies from this show. The stress, the anxiety, the physical demands… and that’s just for us the viewers…

I have yet to make a proper homage to Cat Deely yet. Let me just say that every week she has another cute little dress that is just a little bit shorter and involves less and less fabric. Her legs are SO long! I don’t think i’ve seen legs that long since I used to play with the water skeeters in the ditch in front of the house… Anyway.. the point is… the legs are hot, but kind of distracting in an “other worldly” sense. It’s just TOO much for me. I like legs. I like long legs, but I fear that at any moment a slight draft will move up her sundress in such a way that will leave no more anatomical secrets for America. Also, I like how she is now very self-counscious about how she says the word “Judges”… it’s more like “jiddggez”. The last few episodes she hasn’t’ even said it, she makes the audience do it. Maybe she could hear me laughing and taunting her through the TV screen… I don’t know.

OK. Lets get right down to it.

The big winner tonight was Lauren. Her solo was RIGHT on, while others seemed to slosh through the movements. Tonight was her MAJOR coming out party. Her solo was spot on, and her partner dance was fabulous. I loved the little “transformer” (as Nigel called it) character. It was so fun and creative. The hip hop was pretty good, in spite of the russian partner. Major night for her.

Danny was my top guy tonight. His solo was amazing as well, but quite different from Lauren’s. He kind of flowed and melded through the movement, but everything was specific and fluid. That’s what I like about watching him dance… it’s not “control” like tense control, it’s specificity in every muscle and movement in his body. His partnering with Lacie was just OK, and that was a little disappointing for me because he has had a rough time with other partners and I was excited to see what the two most capable dancers of this competition might come up with together.

I have never seen a woman move like Lacie in that Samba! Whoa! We needed a fire hose to come soak down all the men in the audience, and well what the hey… soak her down as well. She was HOT! Of course, latin is her thing, and you can tell why. The footwork was incredible, and she was a little less skanky than last week, which I can appreciate.

Let’s talk about Dominic. Major step backward this week. His commitment to his choreography which essentially brought him to this point in the competition was his liability last night. You can tell how much a good guy he is by the way he kept apologizing to Jamie though, like it was all his fault that the choreography didn’t work, the costuming wasn’t very good, he can’t dance, and all of that was sort of exposed (the mia michaels word of the week) last night.

Speaking of exposed… Kenneth… Kevin… no… Kameron. That’s your name. I thought you were OK. You seem to be just OK at everything. Not great. If it weren’t for your mohawk, I would have no earthly idea who you are. I think you are in real danger in the next couple of weeks. The judges were really hard on you, and Lacie isn’t there to draw the votes your way. Your duet with Sabra was OK, but I thought the amazing grace music didn’t make much sense, and the choreography was kind of one dimensional. At the end of the day, Sabra showed what an inept dancer you are.

Sabra, once again, another major coming out party. You were already creeping up there, but I think we saw this week that you were the one who made Dominic so successful in week’s past. I’m not sure exactly what you did, or why it came apart after you left, but I think you are starting to come into your own. And for Mia Michaels to say you are her favorite dancer, is no little thing.

Pasha. You really brought it in that wicked hip hop routine with Lauren. It was perhaps my favorite routine of the night. But your solo stunk bad.

Neil and Sara really hit it with both their solos and their duet. I think they are kind of the underdogs of this year, but yet they are solid. What was up with that HUGE tumbling split leg thing Neil did. WOW! How does he tumble with all that height!!! Sara, remember, is our little break dancer chick, but boy does she look good in that little Disco dress.

So my favorite routines tonight… tie between the disco and the samba with the hip hop in a close second.

My favorite solos: Lauren, Sabra, Danny.

SYTYCD – Top 12 Reviews

So You Think You Can… make stupid dances? That was the theme of last night’s competition anyways. I really didn’t like any of the choreographed routines. Even my perennial favorite Mia Michaels came up short of my expectations. Sad… I guess we can’t all be as BRILLIANT as the guest judge last night. WOW. Can you say, “I’m ramblin’, I’m ramblin’ Yeah?” Whats up with Mary Murphy? I liked her better when she was just a little on the drunken wild side. Lately she’s suddenly decided she wants to get all authoritative and judge-ie. Doesn’t she know her job as the one in the middle is to just be sugar and spice and everything nice… like PAULA!

OK. But now to the dancers.

Sabra and Dominic are still my favorite couple. I have to remind myself every time I see him that he came into this competition as a beat boy. He’s not a brilliant technician like Danny, but his heart is in every dance he does, and he’s 100% committed to it. That’s not to say they weren’t good technicians… look at their synchronization on soem of the moves. It is right on.

Pacha and Anya – I HATED the dance. I hated the costumes. I hated the music. I’m sure mitch thorougly enjoyed the return to his boyhood 80’s love child, but BLAH! Dumb boring. The best part of this dance were the the little Fosse bits. I like Pacha. He’s in my top 3. Anya, bottom 3.

Danny and whoever. Danny you’re brilliant. The leaps are like magic. Some dancers have this amazing ability to almost stall in mid air when doing leaps, jumps, and turns. The only other person I knew who could do it was Troy Edward Bowles… but I digress. You have that amazing quality. The problem is you have no personality and your face is shiny and sweaty. People don’t like sweat.

Neal and Whoever… you guys were good. I didn’t love the routine, but you have improved. Your on the proverbial fence with me. Neal has shown great improvement going from mr dancer/acrobat/actor to a full fledged dancer. Plus, his hair always looks like some different incarnation of an ocean wave. That’s worth something.

Hok and Curly Haird Chick: Hok… you’re going home dude. You’ve been too weak and got a slew of bad style choices in a row. I never thought I’d see the day when Dominic would kick your tush all over the stage, but he has. Curly haired chick, you were actually really good, and I hope you stay in. But you’ve got to show a little personality.

Lacie and What’s your face: Ok. Time for a “come to Jesus” talk. Lacie, you are a brilliant dancer which you’ve proven time and time again. You lack the spark that Benji had and you come off as very full of yourself, which he didn’t. Sorry you have to be compared, but you’re the one who brought him into this thing. Whats your face… you are gone. You have been like (as Tracie puts it) the little pole she’s been dancing around for several weeks. You are in my bottom 3. Lacie… you are scraping by, but in the top 3.

It will be odd to see who gets voted off. I can’t put any girl up… If i had to it would be Anya, but she really doesn’t deserve to go home yet. I would give up Hok or Lacie’s partner easily.

See you in the top 10!

SYTYCD – Top 14 Reviews

Stop your panic! I apologize for the recent quietness of this blog, but don’t worry. I am back with more stinging commentary on America’s favorite (and not so favorite) dancers.

Let me start by saying that I really don’t feel like I’ve spent enough time talking smack about Lacie’s partner’s pink highlighted mohawk. What is going on in our society? Are mohawks really coming back in? I am truly not ready for that. Apparently they are all the rage in LA. I’m just not ready for Mr. T and all things 80’s to be back yet. I’m not old enough for that kind of resurgence. I’m moving to Zimbabwe when hammer pants come back in!!!

Lacie looked great… oh yeah and she danced good too. She isn’t Benji though, and she isn’t as likable as he is. I think she is getting far on being his sister, not necessarily on her own personality. I wonder when the honeymoon will be over and she’ll have to stand on her own two feet?!

It is now official… I HAVE MADE MY PICK! My pick for this year’s winner is Dominic. Yes, I’m picking a b-boy, and this is why. I thought he would last about 10 seconds in the big competition, and that he would never be able to dance other styles. Well, he has totally proven me wrong. He is shining in every style he tries, and is not afraid to wear the funny looking clothes and shoes that go with. Oh yeah, and the “french accent” comment totally sealed the deal for me. He is a great dancer, young, charming, funny, humble. a great personality. And also… a boy. It is near impossible for a girl to win this competition given its overwhelming majority of female viewers.

Let me also say that Dominic and Sabra’s dance last night was my absolute fav. It was rockin’ hip hop, but wasn’t all about guns, drugs, and hoes. It was softer and beautiful. I would watch it again.

Can I say that I disagreed with the judges? I though Pasha and Anya were not that great. I thought it was fun, but not great. I thought it was really kind of cool and weird that Benji and Heidi choreographed it though. They looked off balance and just frenetic the whole time. Maybe I just misjudged West Coast Swing, but it did not look like it does when Benji and Heidi do it!

Can I also say that Cedric is horrible. He’s terrible. He is quickly becoming the Sanjaya of this competition; the elephant in the room. That is a mambo that Jerome Robbins would be so appalled by. Certainly not worthy of West Side Story!!! I hope the judges take their final opportunity tonight and let him go before they put America fully in charge.

Let me just say that I’m pulling for Neil. And this is for no other reason than he is the only white dude in this competition. Enough said. (I know there are other white boys… but he is a WHITE boy… if you know what I mean.)

Sarah is totally surprising me too. She is a total renaissance woman. She can do it all. I wouldn’t be surprised if she went far given her broad appeal.

I hated the waltz that Hok and whats her face did too. Hok just looks so unnatural and nervous. He isn’t handling all these styles very well. But they do get the award for funnest little video package where they won’t admit they have a little crush going on between them. Definitely in the bottom 3 this week. I think she has a real chance of going home soon. She is just not very memorable.

I think Shauna might be in the bottom 3 today. Its sad because she is a good contemporary dancer. I think Danny might be in there again too. I think the hairspray guy had a point there. I think he knows how good he is and while he isn’t arrogant about it, per se, he does expect a pass. Like, “hey I’m so good, so why wouldn’t everyone want to vote for me, duh… I was teachers pet for all my dance teachers.”

All in all, a good top 7. But Cedric, you gotta go.

SYTYCD – Top 18 Reviews

Top 18… and for the record, I called it. The awkward long haired sweaty guy was kicked off last week! ha ha. I don’t know why Mia Michaels liked him so much…

But anyway, lets let bygones be bygones.

Lets start with the best this week:

The viennese waltz with Danny and Anya.. wow. That was nice! The music was perfect and the dancing was beautiful. The twirly thing they did made me a little sick, though. But if you watch it close, they are like totally in sync.

My 2nd favorite, was the bird dance, with Russian dude and totally hot chick. Wow… that was way fun, and he is a good dancer. Not just one of those silly one trick ponies.

Close third is the breaker dude and the poofy hair afro chick. Mostly I really liked the choreography… they did it OK, and I guess it was a huge breakthrough for him, but it would have looked better with some real contemporary dancer dude.

Now lets talk about music. The paso double was a wreck with “We Will Rock You”. What an awful choice.

Ok… now on to weird crap…

Why is it that Mia Michaels takes like 23.6 minutes to actually get out a coherent sentence. She is the very definition of babbling to make a point. She often has one, and it’s often valid, but it just takes her a while to get there. Favorite quote, “I love birds… and you guys are my favorite birds.”

And what is up with Benji’s sister and her sluttyness. She is like all over mr spiky hair dude, and they really pushed the All That Jazz number to the absolute most skanky it could be. That’s the thing… they pushed sexy to skanky.

Losers tonight… hauk… he sucked. If he doesn’t get more chances to show off his freestyling, he won’t last much longer.

Cedric… I just don’t like him. He looks awkward at everything… so is his partner Faina. Go home.

I really haven’t picked a clear favorite yet in this competition. My vote is still up in the air.

SYTYCD – Top 20 Reviews

Hello American Idol Whiteeyebrows fans. Summer is here, the air is clear, and months of pointless reality television is at our fingertips. Yeah, don’t be banking on any new exciting programming this year. Don’t worry… “Big Brother” is on for season number EIGHT! It’s true, we will never get sick of network sanctioned voyeurism.

Well, since there are no great new series on until the fall, I am happy to bring you the So You Think You Can Dance blog this summer!!

Let me preface by saying that I got hooked on this show last season. I wasn’t incredibly excited by it at first, but by the end I was hooked. Why? The main reason is that the choreography is top notch! I don’t know how these guys do it, but week after week they come up with the most incredible dances. If you enjoy american idol, and you enjoy dance, you will enjoy this show. It is young, fresh and hip.

And this season started with a BANG!

My favorite dance of the night was Mia Michaels’ contemporary routine for Lacey and what’s his name. I say Lacey and what’s his name because that dance was all about her. She had the coolest jumps and leaps, and the story of the dance was beautiful and sad. It was something I definitely wanted to keep watching. If he wasn’t so good, she would have looked bad, so I do have to give what’s his name credit, but the beauty of the emotion of that dance was clearly focused on her. Nice work Benji’s sister. You have an automatic following in Benji’s fans. Just be as endearing as he was. Don’t get all cocky flaunting around your titles. Just bring it.

My biggest disappointment in the choreography was from Shane Sparks. Neither of his hip hop routines really got me out of my seat. They were good, but not great. He could have utilized Hauk’s unique abilities more.

Oh, wow. And lets talk about the smooth waltz. I forgot who did it. I think it was the russian dude, but DANG… it was beautiful! And the chick’s dress was absolutely gorgeous! Mary was right, there wasn’t a girl in the room who didn’t wish that was her up there.

Now, let’s talk about the theme for this year’s top 20. Lanky, lanky, lanky dudes. What is up with these ambiguously raced men who are like 7 feet tall with ape arms. It just looks a little out of proportion. Their extensions (and no, I don’t mean hair extensions…) are generally nice (cause they are so huge, you can’t help but notice them), but i just keep waiting for someone to lose an eye. I pretty much want them all to go, and to go fast. There are at least 3 of them, but if you line them up arm to arm they could probably span the entire LA area.

Hauk is probably the coolest dancer on the show this year. He already gets my cool award. He will definitely bring it in the hip hop and pop styles, but i worry about his Viennese Waltz. 🙂 We’ll see how long he can last against some of the more versatile dancers.

One other plus, is that many of the female dancers are very nice to look at. The chick who quit her job, especially. Wow. That is just natural beauty. I think I’d quit my job just to go salivate over her full time.

I’m excited to see what the beat boys (and girl) will do this year. I think they are some of the strongest they have ever had. It’s always really funny to watch them learn latin dancing though, and falling on their rear ends. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of that with Cedric and Dominic (doo rag boy).

In conclusion, here are the people I am already sick of. You know there is something dreadfully wrong with them if they’ve only had like 5 total minutes of camera time and I’m already throwing the tomatoes… in any case: Ricky, you gotta go. The whole sweaty greasy long hair weirdness is just messed up. You are really strange and say even stranger things. You looked so awkward with your partner (she was like 12 inches taller than you), and you just don’t seem like you can handle this. Secondly, Faina. Yeah, you’re the one who faked a collapse during vegas week, and who looked like you were suffering through a root canal yesterday during your dance. It just wasn’t good, and I’m already sick of you.

Well… that’s about all, dance fans. See you next week!