SYTYCD s.7: byebye billy!

I was never really a Billy fan until about 2weeks ago – and even then, not a fan, just more appreciative of his work.  Jose was cute the first time he came through with the headspins, but now he looks like more of a one trick pony to me.  I wouldn’t put him with Legacy, Joshua, or Dominic.  At all.  So I’m ok with these choices – goodbye!

the contemporary leap - Billy's specialité

Jose breaks. The only thing he does besides look cute.

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SYTYCD s.7: broken

Lauren 'n' the dudes - rose among thorns

There is a cloud hanging over SYTYCD this season.  In three weeks, 3 dancers have been injured to the point of not dancing.  We’ll see if Billy Bell will leave tomorrow and be the 3rd dancer to leave the show due to injury this season.

I was never into Billy, but I did see him do something with Lauren that was quite good.  I don’t remember much about it, other than the fact that Lauren makes her partners better – incredibly better.  She did it with Jose, too, I think.  Since Alex is gone, I can’t really get into anyone but Lauren.  I think I want her to win just cuz she’s the only girl left.  But also because she’s really awesome.

Having all-stars on this season has served the show well, but I think it’s obvious that dancing with fellow contestants can sometimes make better art, simply because the shared experience develops a camaraderie that shows up in a connection on the stage.  Lauren’s done well with the all-stars she’s worked with, but many of the guys have floundered, in my opinion.

I think I’m figuring out the issues with Tabitha and Napoleon.  They do well choreographing lyrical hip-hop.  So when they take that road, it usually serves everyone well.  But when they try just straight up hip-hop it comes off forced – faked – a poor substitution for the real thing.  It’s really obvious when it’s held up next to decent Dave Scott pieces [SO glad he’s back, but still missing Shane Sparks].  That was completely clear in the Twitch/Lauren number tonight.  The judges don’t know hip-hop from a hole in the ground, so their critiques are meaningless for me when it comes to hip hop.  [Besides, T&N could get up there and pee on the stage and Nigel would just sit and talk about how they have such a knack from bringing the streets to the mainstream in a way people can understand and relate to.]

note – I guess Robert isn’t getting the kick up from Lauren, that he could’ve gotten.  The judges seemed to like it, except for Mia who apparently wants to shoot “ssss!” from her boobs at Lauren.  To me, tho, Robert was too stiff and looked fake through his shimmy.

Adechike and Jose could’ve totally been better if Jose was replaced with some other guy – I SO wanted Jose to leave last week.  I thought Adechike was light years ahead of Jose.  And I’ve never been a fan of Adechike.  He did ok in his piece with Comfort tonight, tho.

::moment of silence please::

First stepping routine on the show is given to Billy Bell and Kent Boyd – the whitest boys on this show since Benji and Neil.  Does this make anyone else nervous?  Since Billy was out of the running due to a funky knee injury, Twitch stepped in. Kent was 100% better than I thought he would be.  I have to give him respect for that.  And Twitch (my man) was completely great.  Tonight’s dancing overall had hits and misses, but it was enjoyable, nonetheless.

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In other news, time is flying by and I have been feeling completely overwhelmed at work  – doing 2 other people’s jobs + my own is stressful enough – my last compadre is out for the rest of the week this week as well.  AACK!  Family sitch’s seems completely up in the air right now, I’m losing two more single friends to engagement and marriage this week, and I’m kind of in a funk.  I was a complete spendthrift last month and paying for it now – literally.  It’s difficult.  I dug a pretty big hole for myself.

Not to mention the world is fastly spinning into the proverbial handbasket, which apparently is signaled by great big racial faux pas in rapid succession [from Hollywood (Mel G) to the White House/Dept. of Ag. – effectively “from sea to shining sea”].  Panicky white folks are calling the NAACP racist because they have the word ‘colored’ in their name, the NAACP is calling black people racist because they saw an edited video some racist white person put together – it’s ridonkulous!

Oh and I’ve been having the CRAZiest dreams.  One night, an old friend decided to take things in a completely different direction – which I was totally into in the dream, but is kinda unsettling when I’m awake.  One night my boss and I were trying to train our new person – something weird was going on – something like – I dunno – the Apocalypse, I think.  One night the old friend who’d been randy the night or two before decided to study the Bible with me instead… And I haven’t even been eating anything weird before bed!

So – maybe the heat is getting to me.  Who knows?

SYTYCD s.7: shedding a tear

Selfishly, I’m sad that I won’t be getting to see Alex dance anymore this season.  Even more, I’m really sad that he’s gotten hurt.  I know the pain must be awful, but more than that – this was really his time.

Saying goodbye to Alex is a hurting thing.  Ever since his first audition two seasons ago, he just captured my heart.  Call me whatever you want, but I have actual tears.

the heart of dance

SYTYCD s.7: the year of the boy

just. beautiful.

Um.  Billy Bell is great in his solo, but actually, I can’t stand him.  Any other genre – there’s this cockiness that comes through.  But I think tonight the dancing has been pretty awesome:

Adechike and Lauren: hip-hop that threw us a nerdy curve and finally got Adechike’s personality on the floor.

Ashley and Ade: contemporary that tugged at my heart.  The connection between these two, made me watch this routine again. [shout-out DVR!]

Robert and Courteney: Sonia Tayeh jazz that totally fits those two – great quirks, great work.

Here’s where things got weird.  The girl I can’t stand – the one I think shouldn’t have even been on this season?  Melinda.  but I thought she actually did pretty well on the salsa.  She and Pasha shook their cares away, and she even extricated herself from her own dress.  And the judges crapped all over her, saying they made a mistake keeping her last week.

Well, duh.  Too late now, though.

And…um..just gotta say…Alex is the only fellow who consistently makes me say wow.  Out loud.  His ending for his solo was the best I’ve ever seen on SYTYCD.  Ever.

Lauren and Neal:  Lauren is a Broadway baby.  She pushed through a wardrobe malfunction and I thought she did well.

And now – I gotta say something about Meanie Michaels.  She’s talking about Melinda’s pigeon toes?  Then she says that Lauren’s gotta work on being more feminine because she’s “so athletic”?  Where do you even get off, Mia?

Billy [Blech] and Kathryn: Stacey Tookey’s concept and choreo were unbelievable.  Billy was obviously the technician in the beginning of the piece, but he got better.  Not great.  But um – what are the judges doing calling him the “most exciting things that’s happened to dance in a long time”?  His ego doesn’t need anymore inflating.

Jose and Anya: OMG.  That’s all I have to say.  The judges really wanna keep him, but wow, this was so ugly to watch.  I couldn’t.  Meanie went ahead and just told him that he wasn’t a good dancer.  This, I disagree with – he’s a good dancer, just not great at ballroom.  WTF?  He was somehow helped by coming from Miami???  I can tell you that living in Miami wouldn’t help me at all…

Kent and Allison:  Jazz by Mandy Moore.  I think Kent did all the moves, but I can’t be sure since I can never take my eyes off of Allison.  The only part that was really believable between the two of them was the very end.  It almost seemed like the choreo was just a joke.  I like Kent, but I think he’s just too green.

my two lovahs - being awesome together

Here I’d just like to take a moment and talk about how homophobic this show is.  Benji and Travis did a 2-dude routine  years ago (Season2) – what is the freakin’ big deal?  Why does every same-sex dance partnership have to be a big miration?  Because Nigel and Mia and Mary [these 3 in particular] have some serious issues with gender roles.  SERIOUS.  Give the dancers [and America] a break!  We’re not all as close-minded as you.

Alex and Twitch: Alex was a little stiff  at the beginning, but man when they got into it, he was straight up awesome.  And then it got even better, to the point where I was actually screaming.  Obviously, he was immensely helped by the hand-holding routine from Napoleon and Tabitha.  They tailored that piece to him, and while it wasn’t anything near ballet, it incorporated his strengths and his story to put him in the best light possible.  He was no slouch though.  He did those moves.  I still love Alex like crazy.  And I see no reason to stop.  I would marry him if it weren’t for that persistent idea that he might be gay.  And of course Twitch might get jealous, since he was my former betrothed.

carnival of me

I’ve been woefully unmotivated to write, recently.  A host of reasons have contributed, not least of which the fact that I didn’t get to talk to my best friend for longer than I ever have since I was about 4 yrs old.  Never underestimate the meaning of friendship.

I’ve been following the various race@school debacles happening at UCSD and now Missouri and I don’t really have much left to say.  Other than the succint: “Post-racial, my eye!”

I actually wasn’t super-concerned about the thing at Missouri, even though they’re pursuing it as a hate crime.  But I realized that may have just been due to my own lack of context.  I spoke with a coworker about it and he was very upset.  He told me that he remembered his mother picking cotton – as her job – when he was a kid.  He also remembered her not being able to go to work one day because the Klan was burning the fields.

It’s kinda crazy to me that this stuff was happening in the last 50 yrs, but I suppose it should be, considering what’s happening today.  We haven’t come as far as we like to think we have.

My work-spouse has been gone for all of one week and I barely know what to do with myself at work.  Besides work.

Having a buddy sure makes a difference.

Speaking of buddies, I found out that a very old friend will be moving away.  Far enough that it’s likely I won’t see him…much, if at all.  We’ve been through all kinds of things together so even though we’re not as close now as we once were, it stings that he’s leaving.  Some more unenlightened acquaintances liked to imagine that we would marry.  This is highly unlikely, but I suppose I should never say never.  One of us could have a stroke and become a different person.  You never know.

Since the olympics have been on [and I’m not into the winter olympics], I’ve watched a bunch of movies.  My recommendations?

Amreeka: a great story about a Palestinian woman and her son who move to America right around the time “shock’n’awe” starts.  Realistic, but still fun, with a great heart.

Mame: Definitely read the book first [Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis], and then enjoy Lucille Ball, Bea Arthur, and Robert Preston in a musical that may have you singing along the first time you watch.  Lucille Ball *makes* this movie – and she’s at her most attractive here, I think.

Dakota Skye: indie rom-com ostensibly about a girl, but also a lot about the boys she likes.  Still, how cool would it be to actually be able to always tell when someone’s lying to you?  This one was right up my alley.

Phoebe in Wonderland: indie with some big names [Felicity Huffman, Bill Pullman, Elle Fanning (Dakota’s lil sis)] plots the story of a family with two precocious little girls.  Phoebe is enamoured with the story of Alice in Wonderland, and as the movie unfolds you begin to understand her.  Excellent!

I loved them all, and wouldn’t rank them…except for maybe Dakota Skye.  That was more of a guilty pleasure for me, but I still really liked it.  Everything else was fantastic!

I love how specific netflix is with me, now that they know me, my #1 recommended category is: Movies Featuring a Strong Female Lead.  =)

Reality TV: all 6th grade, all the time

who ARE these guys? and why Dsquared2? redundant much?

I started watching Launch My Line because of RueLaLa.  They sent an email that I must’ve gotten late because I totally missed Dan Karaty being on the show.  I like him.  And I wonder what his clothes looked like.  I actually think it’s kind of a horrible premise – to just grab a bunch of people who don’t know anything about the nuts and bolts of fashion [i.e. sewing] and pair them with a bunch of people who have the skills and training and are trying to make it in the design world.  THEN, they make the folks who have no clue boss the other ones around.  Oh yes – drama is guaranteed with a formula such as this.  But from the episode I started watching, a particular pairing was incubating a tempest that finally broke on last night’s show.

the CEO

Marilyn Crawford, a lady I’d never heard of until this show [which I’m not totally proud of cuz she seems a little awesome – but just a little], is the CEO of PrimeTime Omnimedia [some kind of marketing company for famous people? I dunno – I didn’t really get it, but the website looks successful.].  She hasn’t gotten where she is by resting on her laurels, and now that she wants to design clothes, she’s definitely going after it.  She is hampered by the fact that she knows absolutely NOTHING about clothing construction.  She’s kinda taking the I Believe I Can Fly Design approach, by deciding that if she can dream it, her seamstress (Coco) can do it.  But it’s also a Nebuchanezzar approach because she has no idea how to really communicate that dream to Coco.  She speaks her mind, but is mostly concerned about the bottom line and getting things done.  She has actually done well in the competition – her clothes generally tend to come out the way she wants them, and as of the beginning of last nights ep, she’s in the top 6 teams.  I believe she is most hampered by her lack of knowledge and lack of time to really soak up the vocabulary and information that would make her more of an asset for her team.

is Kliks her last name? I have no idea.

Coco Kliks is another lady I’d never heard of until this show.  I haven’t seen any of her own work before tonight, but what I see looks cool.  She seems to be a driven artist – so she has become successful in her own right, but her personality is artistic.  Completely NOT CEO-like.  Her fashions convey her personality in girly, trendy, becoming clothes.  Cute is actually the word I’d use for most of what I’ve seen.  From what I’ve seen in Launch My Line, her work is well-done and well-made.  But Coco doesn’t respond well to having a boss who doesn’t know how to communicate what she wants.

Many of the other *actual* designers have problems with their apprentice/boss hybrids, but the dynamic between Coco and Marilyn is particularly special.  On the first ep I watched, Marilyn and Coco got into it because of their communication disconnect, leading Coco to leave the workroom and let Marilyn try to work things out for herself.  Crazily enough, the dynamic duo is still on the show.  Last night’s ep highlights another communication nightmare between the two of them, with Marilyn stating that Coco is uncooperative.  Feelings are hurt, and the ultimate backlash from Coco is “Well, if you wanna go ahead with the project without me – you can.”

Things don’t devolve immediately – but it gets kinda bad.  They resolve the initial issue with very clipped but grown-up tones.  Marilyn doesn’t seem to be able to articulate OR draw what she wants.  Coco can’t sew if she doesn’t have some idea what to make.  Coco makes suggestions that Marilyn’s not happy with – Marilyn makes suggestions that Coco says are “construction nightmares”.  And then:

M – (resigned) Ok.  Why don’t we just do what you suggested.
C – (gesturing to a sketch) This one?
M – (matter-of-fact) Yeah, cuz everything I come up with – you can’t construct it.
C – (sarcastic) Sorry, Marilyn, I so suck, don’t I?
M – (ignoring her) Let’s just do that.
C – (continuing on) Is that the point you wanna make?
M – But it’s no need of me to design if you can’t construct it. (matter of fact, again) It makes no sense.

Oh yeah, btw – Marilyn’s style is business glamour, and Lady Gaga came by to tell everyone to incorporate red vinyl in their outfit.  Whee!  Coco and Marilyn spent an awful amount of time jawing back and forth so they decided to just come back the next day [with 5hrs left to work] and throw something together.  Great idea, right?  Hmmm.  Not quite.  The two of them were eliminated.

I’m not sure if it was the editing or if this is how these ladies really are, but there was a lot of artificial hand-holding and feelings-sharing as they both tried to keep their composure and not call each other names.  It just reminded me of 6th grade.

Guess 6th grade makes good tv.  I’ll miss them.