sytycd ’11: Sasha [is] Fierce

see? Fierce. Always.

I haven’t really had much to say about this season, even though there are very good dancers on this season.  The judges have been kind of hit-or-miss on hip-hop, as per usual.  Tonight, Neil Patrick Harris guest judges, and I normally love him.  But I couldn’t help getting pissed at all the judges when they said that Tadd outdanced Comfort in a hip hop piece.  It was a complete lie.  They danced to Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now”, which is completely hard-hitting, as we all know.  Comfort hit everything just the way she should, with clean lines, and sharp movements.  Tadd, on the other hand, didn’t finish anything.  He smoothed things out when they should’ve been sharper, and generally did not impress.  How anyone could possibly think he had outdanced Comfort is simply beyond me.  Except that I remember the judges have always been harder on her than any other excellent dancer on the show.

But the moment that made the whole season worth it for me was watching Sasha and Twitch.  Christopher Scott of LXD  fame choreographed a hip hop piece about relationship passion to Misty Blue sung by Dorothy Moore.  Sasha stayed incredibly in sync with Twitch to the point that it seemed as though we all were just looking into a personal moment between the two of them.  Everything was tight & crisp where it needed to be, and smooth and sexy at just the right places.  It was so good, even the judges couldn’t miss it.

Sasha has moved into fave position for me now.  Previously my fave was Melanie – who is still quite awesome and did incredibly well with Pasha tonight.  I still really like her.  But Sasha shines.  She’s a contemporary dancer, and -fyi- being black does not mean you can automatically do hiphop.  But she’s done it well a couple times.  And she’s amazing at her solos and other genres as well.  Not to mention how close she is with her sister.  That gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies.  Having a sister as a best friend, I love to see other girls getting along so well with their own sisters.

The top ten for this season, in order of my preference to win, are:
Sasha
Melanie
Mitchell
Jess
Marko
Jordan
Ricky
Clarice
Caitlynn
Tadd

Clarice also came out very well with Robert for the Bollywood number.  I didn’t even really remember her being on the show, honestly.  Tonight she finally made her mark.

So Please folks – vote Sasha!

BET Awards ’11: This Time Mary can Sing!

I am SO happy Mary J took singing lessons, or whatever she did to be able to perform live.  The first time I saw her singing well on stage was about…. 4 yrs ago now?  Y’all remember how she used to be: pure studio artist.  Now she’s singing with Anita Baker – who has always been the real deal.  Her voice is still like butter.  I love Sweet Love. (“With all my heart I love you baby..”)  Anyway, Mary did a lovely opening, and she looks good.  An all-white, skin-tight catsuit with not a hint of anything out of place – 40 is SO the new 30.

Kevin Hart being the host seems apropos of nothing to me, since I’m not a fan and I have no idea if he’s even doing anything right now.  I must say though that his entrance to ‘6 Foot, 7 Foot’ with a group of child steppers is the most impressive things I’ve ever seen him do.  He kept up with those awesome kids.  (He was also about 6inches taller than them…)  He’s right about Ne-Yo though, he needs to leave the hat on.  Hart hit Busta, Jamie, and Puff in all the right places.

Taraji presents Best Male R&B Artist to Chris Brown.  That remake of MJ’s Human Nature straight up sucks.  I like some of his music, but he’s about to go in the R. Kelly stack of musicians that I cannot financially support do to poor life choices.

PS – note to ALL tv shows: I don’t care about what people are live-tweeting.  I don’t Twitter.  I don’t care about what people are saying on FB unless they’re my own friends. (sometimes, not even then)  But if I’m watching your show, I don’t need internet updates.  wtf?

Wait. WHAT?!? “Reed Between the Lines” with Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm Jamal Warner looks like it could actually be good.  Like a “Cosby Show” for the 21st c.  I only worry because it’s on BET.  This is the kind of show that should be on network tv. Continue reading

all the single ladies?

how come only Stacey is smiling?

Apparently I’ll watch anything with Stacey Dash in it.  Even if Lisa Ray is in it too.  I am watching Single Ladies, y’all.  It’s also probably because it’s summer, there nothing else on, and I live in the South so it’s still 80 degrees at 11pm and NObody wants to be outside in this weather.

I DVR it, because there’s too much I have to fast forward through to watch it live.  Basically I only care about Val (Dash) and her store.  I don’t like Lisa Ray on GP so that was already a hit against her.  Then her character is a former video…vixen…with no appreciable skills, looking for a rich man to keep her in the lifestyle to which she wants to become accustomed.  IMO, her only redeeming trait is being friends with Chilli.  I didn’t have anything against the girl who plays April.  You know I actually thought she was black for a second?  Yeah.  I was fooled.  Then it just started seeming to me as though she was trying to be the stereotype.  And I can’t tell if it’s the actress or the character.  But I still tried to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Until she said she was cheating on her husband.  Her husband spends much of his time singing her praises and talking about how much he loves her, and she’s cheating?  So now I ffwd through all the scenes between them.

Val is ok, though.  She’s the center of the show, but not always the center of attention.  She makes some bad decisions, but at least she’s a designer and into fashion and pretty awesome in that way.  So far, she doesn’t spend every episode centering the world around herself, or doing highly embarrassing things.  So I like her.  She is sometimes a little willy-nilly with the cookie, but that’s fine for VH1.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

No one will ever make a show about my life (unless it’s a sitcom – my life could actually totally be a sitcom),  and I don’t expect tv people to really be trying to…That said, who are these people that they’re making shows about?  Is this real on any level or pure fiction?  Cuz it feels like PURE fiction.  And if so, that’s fine.  But then we can all be clear.

The drama seems so stereotypical and forced at some points, with the obligatory gay friend there to give some tough love with a snap.  I guess I’m just disappointed because Queen La is producing the show, and this sucker is no Living Single.  Not in the least.

Is this one of those times where you support the crap so that next time they make something better?

new seasons

So.  In the last 6 weeks, my workgroup went from 7 people, to 8 people, to 5 people.  So.  Yeah.

I’ve got a lot more going on now, and in the last 2 days, I’ve completely taken apart the inlet system of our GC trying to figure out why we’ve got a 4 minute later retention time shift on two different columns, using two different methods/samples…  But it’s most likely a pressure controller issue that has actually been causing problems for a while.  It’s just been misdiagnosed.  /techspeak

Actually, one guy who resigned from our group would like to come back.  And I really want him to.  But HR is making things difficult.  And he’s only been gone a week.  Stress is definitely present in my life – even though I don’t feel really stressed, I know that I am.   I’m figure I’ll just get more grey white (my hair doesn’t do grey – it goes straight to white) hair out of this.

But it’s fall here in South Kak, and things are starting to look up in other ways.  A friend of mine just emerged victorious from her doctoral defense, a god-daughter of mine will turn 2 this week, and next week I’ll use up my last 2 vaca days before I get 3wks.  Nice.  [I just hafta keep reminding myself not to think of those folks in our European sister company that start with 6 wks of vaca.]

Of course, fall also means new shows to be watching for.  Several have intrigued me enough to watch, with varying results.
Nikita ~ I watched the Peta Wilson show on USA, so the story has a soft-spot with me.  I like Maggie Q and am overall digging the show – although I’m not sure if it really shoulda been called “Nikita”.
Undercovers
~ Hello, Kodjoe.  And a lady lead with hair like mine?  So far, so good.  Or maybe so far, so super-sweet.  I like this show, but I’d like a little more from it.
No Ordinary Family
~ Live-action Incredibles.  Why didn’t Disney think of this sooner?  Heroes has been crappy for three seasons!  And where is the sequel to the first movie already???
The Event
~ Seriously.  Does everything Blair Underwood is in have to suck SO bad??  Maybe the Losties are filling their void with this, but I have to pass.  I don’t have the patience to wait for it to get good.  This is no MSCL.  Or even Firefly.  Or even Dollhouse.  (I might watch Mike and Molly now that I won’t be wasting my time on this…)
Running Wilde
~ I have waited this long to see Felicity again, and she’s a mom now?  With a daughter named Puddle??  Even though I have to suspend all disbelief to watch this show, I like it.  Or maybe I just liked Felicity.  But I’m still watching. 
Hawaii Five-0
~ I skipped this at first, just cuz I’m tired of sequels.  But when I saw Mick St. John (isn’t that the coolest name?  Moonlight was hotter than anyone gave them credit for – and ahead of its time) I had to go ahead and check it out.  Good action, nice Daniel Dae Kim.  Really bad choice on the Caan boy though, IMO.  He’s ugga-mugga in my book.  Gives me the skeevy heebie-jeebies.  And there’s not enough pidgin for me to wax nostalgic about the island.
Hellcats
~ Now.  I lurve cheer.  I can listen to cheerified words – a la cheer-tocracy, cheer-ific, cheer-tastic, etc.  I have seen (and most likely will see) every Bring It On movie ever made.  Some more than twice.  I even like Sharpay from HSM.  I’m a freaking fan of interracial relationships on TV!  And I can’t watch this show.  Sad.  Really.

You're slippin, NBC. ABC's all over ya.

So my newly acquired shows will join the standbys of Bones, Castle, and the Mentalist.  But mostly Bones.  Because I love the Deschanels.  And Angel.  In the next few weeks we’ll see if I stick with any of the newbies, or kick them all to the curb when i get tired of them.  Right now, I’m just tired.

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.