time of your life: final four chosen

I am actually really happy about the top 6 – even though I was sad to say goodbye to Will.  The opening number [The Rose ~ Mandy Moore, choreographer] was quite nice.

The solos are interesting in that the guys all seemed to really shine: Mark did some fancy work with suspenders (?!?), Joshua worked it out [with newly naked teeth] to an almost chopped and screwed Zapp’s ‘I Can Make You Dance’, and my hunnybunny [TWITCH!] made me smile once again with a lovely ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’.  The girls?  Er.  Um.  Eh.

This lil 6 yr old they’ve got breakin to Planet Rock is adorable.  I couldn’t quite catch his name … Neal, maybe?

I’m kinda weirded out by this Lady GaGa person.  Are the 80s back?  I’ve never heard this song…and I don’t particularly like it.  And the hair is so obviously fake…is it supposed to be funny?

America just couldn’t choose a ballroom girl for the top two.  Not totally surprised.

Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it

I am not going to be good for anything else tonight.  [tho I’m a lil bit sad for Mark]

Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it Twitch made it

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a week away from glory

Unbelievably to me, Mark has impressed me doing the Viennese waltz.  He and Courtney did a good job, but i felt like Mark was the star of this piece.  He looked incredibly professional to me, even with the few moments that weren’t stellar.  I hate to like this piece, because I want him going home tomorrow night.

Chelsea’s the first ballroom dancer to really capture my attention during a solo.

But Twitch still has my heart.  I have to meet this man.  Wish I had a screenshot of Cat wearing the gold fronts.

Katee + Joshua = ♥  + Contemporary + Tyce? ♥  ♥  ♥
It’s like they have only one body.  They’re unbelievable.  [But is Katee wearing a wig? that’s weird.]  I loved this.  LOVED it.

Wow – a bunch of other choreographers are there, too…Paula Abdul, Gillian Lynne.

But I’m terrified that Joshua’s had some secret training.  He’s so awesome.  ::crossing fingers::  hope not.  I hate to second guess his phenomenal skill.

Twitch and Chelsie doing the mambo.  What an unlikely pair.  Chelsie is totally ballroom and awesome in her genre Twitch is swimming in a sea of mambo and just trying to keep his head above water.  He definitely did well – considering.

Katee’s solo was …not-so-much-great.  Gotta vote for her tonight.  Her and Twitch.

Josh’s solo is awesome, in keeping with his awesome-ness.

Courtney and Mark pull jazz, which I think is so much them. Especially with this choreographer: Sonya.  The song is what put it over the top: The Garden by Mirah.  Once again, I’m heartsick, because this is freakin’ awesome.

Paso Doble.  I thought this think was gonna be hard.  But can two people win?  Katee and Joshua both need to win.  This was incredible.  Joshua is testosterone to the 3rd power in this.  Bananas.

Courtney really does have a good solo here, so I’m thinking I’ve really gotta pull it out for Katee and Twitch…and Joshua [just in case].

What kind of dancing does Mark do?  What is that stuff?  Strange.

Another Tabitha and Napoleon number for Twitch and Chelsie and the oddest version of Janet Jackson’s ‘Control’ I have ever heard.  Strange, but good.

****can we just take a moment to talk about how the judges refer to hip-hop and Tabitha and Napoleon’s  choreography?  Every time T&N have a piece on the show the judges talk about how they’ve made hip-hop ‘intelligent’, or ’emotional’, ‘sweet’, ‘touching’…WHATEVER.  Hip-hop is whatever it wants to discuss.  T&N are not groundbreaking.  Hip-hop has been intelligent, emotional, sweet, touching from the beginning.  The dancing interprets the music – whatever it is.  So I am t i r e d of all this hailing of T&N as the folks that have finally made hip-hop “accessible”.  You know what they made it?  Soft.  Contemporary.  Jazz.  But rarely hip-hop.  Let’s bring back Dave Scott.  Better yet – go tackle Shane Sparks and drag his behind back to this show – SYTYCD needs him!****

Gotta go vote.

BiA, BiA

I think that our stories are just as universal as anybody else’s. It’s been a struggle to prove that true.  That the stories of African Americans are universal, and therefore should not be ghetto-ized. [Spike Lee, CNN’s BiA celeb interviews]

I thought I was done.  But I just had to include this quote from Spike Lee.  Funny that his clip directly follows Soledad’s own, in which she says

I think we’re going to answer a lot of questions.  But also, by answering some, raise a lot of hard questions. It’s not the definitive answer.  It’s to really look at issues, and explore why things have turned out the way they’ve turned out for African Americans.  And I hope some people feel a little uncomfortable about things that they see.

And I think people will recognize themselves in a lot of the stories we’ll tell.  And I think people will see the joy of being in a big, connected family that’s struggled through a lot.  And I think people will be taken through the sorrows of people who’ve lost young people to violence.

It’s gonna make people think.  African Americans will get to see sort of where they’ve come from and also the opportunities that lie ahead.  And that many people have achieved. I think all of America will get a good picture of what it’s like to be black in this country.  For good and for bad. [Soledad O’brien]

Yep – that’s what she said.  “Why things have turned out the way they’ve turned out for African Americans” [emphasis mine].  Why is that?  I didn’t catch that part.  Although I was uncomfortable with some of what I saw…I’m not sure that kind of uncomfortable is what she was going for.

Maybe my biggest issue is that I didn’t see myself in the stories she told.  Perhaps the heart of it all is my own narcissism in wanting to be a part of the ‘Black in America’ story.

Maybe it’s the memory of wanting to be ‘black enough’ that got to me.  The stereotype that I was fed that told me that if I didn’t speak with a vocabulary full of slang, if I didn’t wear certain clothes, if I didn’t listen to certain music – I wasn’t black.  And now, this “good picture of what it’s like to be black in this country” has excluded my picture.  I’d say it struck a nerve.

Most of all, I though the piece missed the mark in regards to Spike Lee’s comment in the beginning.  The stories told were not necessarily universal stories [though there are indeed people of every race who can relate to being poor, or affected by violence, etc], but more like stereotypical stories.  ‘Ghetto-ized’.

the racism cliche

I’ve received word-of-mouth reminders and advertisements for CNN’s “Black in America” ‘Special Report’ [billed as the culmination of a year’s worth of research] for the last two months, at least.  Emails from black friends, family, and coworkers were filled with save-the-date type notices telling me to set my dvr for the special.  No one had seen it, but sadly, the intimation that it would be respectful got a whole lotta black people happy: (“We’re gonna be on tv! In a good way!”)  And then of course, the incessant commercials and teaser pieces that landed on CNN itself [which is mercilessly piped into my work cafeteria 24hrs a day].  So I set my dvr.

Then I didn’t watch it.

I guess I started out behind the 8-ball, in terms of being objective, because I tend to not be into email spam.  The host of email I received on the “Special Report” was just enough to belong in that category.  Then there were the commercials on CNN, which seemed to paint the piece as some kind of anthropological expose on an impossible to infiltrate tribe – a white people’s guide to ‘the black experience’, if you will.

Stephen Colbert's fave journalist

Stephen Colbert's fave journalist

A coworker watched a lead-in piece on education last wknd, and shared with me that for some reason, he was almost insulted that Soledad O’Brien was hosting the series.  I’ve never had strong feelings about her either way, and looked up her background to see for myself – and perhaps come to her defense.  Indeed, she is quite multicultural, but she is part black.  She’s even a member of the National Assn. for Black Journalists.  I told my coworker, but it seemed to make no real difference to him.  And yes – I did think about the fact that – other than her, and the Larry Smith guy who covers sports – I couldn’t think of any other black people on CNN.  I don’t watch it except when I’m on break/lunch at work – so I could be missing someone.  [Robin Meade looks sufficiently ambiguous, though.]

While avoiding work, I pulled up a lovely lil article on CNN.com ~ the link cleverly titled to get almost everyone to click on the link [especially my demographic]: The article wasn’t quite what I expected.  It turned out to be another piece on how there are so many single black women in America.  That I could’ve done without.  But I continued, forward – giving CNN the benefit of the doubt. Continue reading

softening the blow

I was gonna be sad mad, no matter which guy left tonight, but it was a nice touch having LL performing on the show.  Is he getting younger?  …and finer?

not young, but same grin

not young, but same grin

Ok.  So, I’m alive, cuz Twitch is still on the show, but I cannot even believe that Will is gone and Mark is still there.  I totally thought Comfort and Mark were going home.

I’m actually pissed.

And I think I’ve nailed it: Twitch looks a lil like a young Common.  I love Common.  And I love his smile.

Twitch’s hat tonight had me all a-twitter.  And then when he broke down for a sec?  Just call me a sucker for a silly grin.

But honestly, I think Twitch is the best choreographer on the show.  His solos are always the best.

————————————————————-
Yay, Twitch is still here!

hey mickey – can you dance?

Toni Basil is guest judge this week, because -apparently- everyone else is on vacation.

Opening with Will and Courtney doing the samba was interesting.  I kinda felt like they weren’t really getting down into it, but it was fun to watch.  Some places, it was almost like they were posing.  But all-in-all, ok.

Comfort’s solo was quite lovely [though I hated her interview piece, beforehand].  I’ve heard rumors of folks saying that Sara [from last season] was better, and I have to pull out my Whitney on that: Hell-to-tha-naw!  Sara was cute, but she didn’t have it like Comfort.  Straight up.

Woo!  Katee and Twitch dancing together to a contemporary Mia Michaels piece.  Well, hush my mouth.  Wow.  Most definitely – as Nigel said – “One of the most entertaining pieces [they’ve] ever had on this show!”  I’m kinda sorry that Katee was sucking face [like – SO hard] with my man, but otherwise, I cannot imagine how any piece could rank higher on my fave list tonight.

Will got started in dance because of ‘Dirty Dancing’.  Seriously?  Seriously.  But the boy is cute.  And that is definitely the most imaginative solo in the history of me watching this show.  Wig and all.

Comfort and Mark are doing a Tabitha and Napoleon hip-hop piece.  Really good song choice with Party People. Choreography was o-kay.  Nigel’s comment about Comfort being better with choreography, I don’t agree.  In fact, I’m getting the impression that the judges don’t understand hip-hop.  As

Katee’s solo was well-executed but boring.  Cute that she started in dance due to a habit of tip-toeing everywhere.

Josh and Chelsie are doing Argentine Tango and Disco.  I am so sorry for them.  Dmitry’s choreographing.  I’m not quite comfortable with the continued references to Joshua’s behind.  But I thought he did an excellent job.  Joshua is translating through every genre with panache.  And the chemistry was there – I didn’t know if it would be.

Mark got into dance because of Phantom of the Opera.  Not surprised.  But his solo was awesome tonight!  Best since his audition, I think.

Courtney and Will.  “slow hip-hop”  by Tabitha and Napoleon.  I didn’t like this.  There were too many moments when they weren’t in sync.  The partnering that the judges are referencing was flat-out ugly to me.  I can’t believe that this is the first time that hip-hop is causing [white] people to “feel something”.  Aaack!  I can’t listen to Toni Basil keep saying ‘street’ anymore, either.

Chelsie’s been doing ballroom forever and she’s really good at it – kinda sux that it’s not one of those genres that translates well to solos.  But it’s cool that she chose ‘Damaged‘ as her song.

Twitch and Katee do Broadway with Tyce – ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’.  I don’t know why, but I love Katee’s idiot dance.  And I loved this routine.  It was fun, energetic, and spoke to the story of the song very well.  Once again – I love Twitch.  Katee’s good, too [but I don’t want to make babies with her].  Wonderful piece, from beginning to end.

—I just got a text from a work friend who asked: How many more times will Toni say organic and street?—

Seriously.

Joshua started by moonwalking down the hall in 3rd grade.  The solo was cute, but generally speaking, I just don’t think there’s enough time to communicate everything.

Courtney took dance since she was a kid and her solo didn’t do anything for me.

Twitch, from Montgomery, Alabama, has been in music videos in South Korea and just won my heart with his solo.  Best solo of the night, IMO.

And now for the requisite scream: BLARGH!  My dvr cut off the rest of the show.  I’m beside myself, and now I’ve gotta go back through to find which numbers to call for Twitch and Joshua.

Let me know what I missed.