SYTYCD: season 5 – last chance

I cannot even believe we’ve been through this season with not real breakout stars.  Here are the top 4:

top 4The Kodak Theater is packed with 3000 fans for the finale of this competition.  This is bigger than other years – even though the dancers aren’t near my fave from past years.

But Wade Robson’s idea for their top 4 dance looks cool though.  I love cheerleaders.  Love watching cheerleading.  And this is probably my fave look for Jeanine.  Nice piece, even though I’m not into Lady Gaga at all…

Jeanine and Evan work with Sonya and get a pretty high energy piece that I’m not really into.  This piece totally spotlights for me that I’m not really into either one of these dancers.  I’ve been on the fence with Jeanine all season really – and I’m still not sold on her.  Evan is fun to watch in solos and in his genre, but I wasn’t so much into this.  Nigel is right that they’ve got to live up to this stage.

I so much miss Janette.  Brandon is really a great dancer, and he’s super-strong.  And I could see him winning…but I have no idea.  This year’s a complete toss-up for me.  As for his solo: it was strong, but suffered from an extremely poor choice in music.  Wooo – stinky music.  I agree with Adam that it felt a lil bit frantic.  (In non sequitur news, I’d really like to see the rest of Mary’s dress, cuz I think it might be really pretty.)  I feel that his solo last week was actually better, but wev.

Now it’s Brandon and Kayla with TyceD and Bye Bye Love from ‘All That Jazz’.  I love Tyce and I love Broadway – I’m hoping for good things.  And I noticed that Kayla’s legs definitely get higher than Brandon’s…so I’m thinking it’s possible that a girl could win.  Funnily enough, Adam didn’t see Jeanine or Evan in the finale at all – but everyone saw Brandon and Kayla in the finale from week 1.  Well, well.  High praise for Evan and Jeanine, through-the-roof praise for Kayla and Brandon.  Not surprising who the judges want to win.

Ooooh…I forgot how hot that dance was with Jason.  He was really great!  Miss him, too.  But you know what?  Jeanine needs help with her solos.  She’s only had one this summer that I actually wanted to keep going.  I agree with Adam that her pirouettes were awesome, but the rest…not enough.  Nigel shocked me with the comment about top 2 – we haven’t even seen the other two solos yet.

Now Laurieann Gibson gets to choreograph the two guys in a pop-jazz number.  I love how she uses what’s actually going on in the dancers lives for the inspiration.  And I LOVE that she is using Nasty for this piece.  Janet’s music is SO danceable.  Even if it’s old – it should get used more, I think.  But wow – Evan got outdanced from the very first moment on this one.  In fact, it’s not until the very last moments that I’m even drawn to look at him on the stage.  This piece did *NOT* play to his strengths, and he just couldn’t raise his game.  He’s obviously outmatched in Brandon, and I might have almost rathered to have seen them do a Broadway number together, to see if Brandon could live up to Evan’s style.  Is Mary high?  “What’s the nastiest thing you’ve ever done?”  Evan began his answer with “That’s a toughie..”  If you say the word ‘toughie’, you don’t do ‘nasty’.

Kayla and Jeanine work with Mia Michaels for a contemporary journey of shedded encumbrances.  It was beautiful.  Both girls were great – there was no standout.  Noone was outperformed, and they were completely in sync.  Brilliantly done, really.  These girls are very well matched.  Nigel’s a tad creepy sometimes.  But I can’t see a frontrunner between these two – not from this dance anyway.

Evan’s interview reminded me that I actually liked his brother more than I liked him.  I still can’t believe he’s in the top 4!  He definitely does entertaining solos – and this one is no exception.  I just wanted it to keep going.  And I think that’s part of the deal with solos – I think we *should* want the solos to continue.  If it’s ugly, or repetitive – if the music stinks – blech.  I understand and agree with the comments about the strength of his dancing – the growth of him as a dancer – he’s NOT the best, NOT the strongest.  But he does good solos.  And who knows – maybe he wanted to take it easy before his dance with Kayla.

So Tony and Melanie are working with Kayla and Evan on the jive, and i think I’m seeing a method in Evan’s madness.  T.R.O.U.B.L.E. is a big number for them.  Very fun.  And I think Evan was definitely there for Kayla throughout that piece.  I thought his kicks were great, but the arms definitely could’ve been better.  Evan’s gotten trashed by Mary on this piece, but Nigel pulls it back by commenting on the personality – for both of them.  And really, each of them did well on this, but not as good as they should have.

Kayla’s grandparents are so cute.  The addiction piece was definitely awesome.  I love Kayla’s lines, but I dunno.  And the solo is more of the same, blah.  There was no heart for me – no personality.  I don’t get anything from her.  But that’s just me.

Louis van Amstel does a paso doble for Brandon and Jeanine.  And that is positively the B E S T paso doble I have ever seen.  Ever ever.  EVER.  They *killed* this.  The routine was on it, the choreo unbelievable, and I truly don’t believe that Kayla could have carried this piece the way Jeanine did.  And Nigel is really freakin’ me out, now.  I think he’s officially crossed the line into dirty-old-man category.

Jeanine and Brandon deserve the top two spots.  Kayla was close, but she just doesn’t cut it for me.  And Evan is tired.  He hasn’t been able to grow outside his genre and while sad, that is the truth.  From Nigel’s mouth to our ears: the winner = Brandon or Jeanine.

*fingers crossed*

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SYTYCD: where has the time gone?

already?

already?

Top 6 already?  Did I fall asleep this season?  Guess not – though there have been some snore-worthy moments.  Nigel is definitely right that there haven’t been any breakout stars this season, and so people are voting for choreography.  In fact, I think they’ve been doing it all season.  This is why I definitely agree with Myles, that

…there comes a point in the competition where such starkly emotional pieces may be too unbalanced for the competition to handle. There’s no piece that could possibly compare to what Melissa and Ade did in terms of emotional value, and I don’t necessarily think that it’s fair at this point in the competition, when the decision is entirely in America’s hands, for them to give a team essentially a free pass from any sort of legitimate critique.

Last week’s results show/100th ep celebration wasn’t all that great for me.  Katie Holmes was all hype, no substance.   (Can you really call it singing and dancing when you stroll around on stage, kick a couple times, and lip-synch the entire performance?)  And Janette went home.  So, no.  Not great.

Now, as I look at the top 6, and see Evan – but no Jason?  I’m stymied.  Is America on coke?  Evan’s fun, yeah…but can he do much outside his genre?  It’s mostly hit/miss with him.  Sometimes he’s great, but there isn’t a lot of strength or consistency except for in his solos.

Ade, Brandon, and Evan get to work with Sonya, and she gave them an interesting piece.  I was impressed that Evan could mostly keep up, but overall this wasn’t a favorite of mine.  Also, 5minutes into the show, I’ve already heard enough from Lil C.  He’s starting to remind me of Damon Wayans’ jailbird character Oswald Bates.  [No, he’s not that bad, but he’s turned into kind of a caricature, don’tcha think?]

Jeanine and Ade are partnering tonight and first up is the samba with Louis van Amstel.  It’s supposed to be h-o-t and it’s …almost.  The style wasn’t great for them, but they did hit a lot of the footwork together.  So, I’m not hating on them, cuz I can’t judge ballroom.  At all.

Kayla does her solo and I remember that she’s the other girl, besides Melissa and Jeanine.  Somebody besides Janette should’ve gone home last week.  Truly, any one of them.  The solo is leaping, lines, and twirling – surprise!  Yeah – she does well, but, uh…is there anything else there?

Tyce is choreographing Evan and Melissa in Get Me to the Church on Time from My Fair Lady.  Finally, Evan gets to do his style.  And while I thought this was super-cute, I didn’t like Melissa in this.  Lil C is talking crap about Evan not stepping up in this – and then he says he doesn’t quite know what was missing.  It was easy to see the clunkyness between the two of them [due in part to their height differences, but also to Melissa’s dearth of personality].

Ade’s solo is nice.  More of the same lines and leaping.  And I’m beginning to understand why these solos aren’t speaking to me.

  • First, cuz I need story/personality.  If you don’t get to tell me the premise of what you’re going for, then do something that coincides with the ideas in the music.  Since the solos are short, they’ve got to be more than just a bunch of jumping around.
  • Second, cuz there are no hip-hop dancers this season.  No one with any really different moves or styles.  Who wants to watch 5 contemporary solos and a ballerina?  Really?  No hip-hop?  I’m still mad about that.

Brandon and Kayla work with Stacey Tookey on a contemporary story of the mistress and the married man.  All I can think of is our illustrious governor.  Please don’t let this thing be set in Argentina!  Ooooooh, wee!  Now that was H-O-T!  Hot and delicious.  This is why I like *story*.  It brings you in.  And I was all in on this one – all in.

Melissa’s solo was a little bit interesting because she chose Nina Simone’s I Put a Spell on You for her music.  The dancing was pretty boring [to me], but I give her mad kudos for not doing any obnoxious bouncing when the SYTYCD music came back on to end the solo – I hate that crap.  So yay Melissa for self-respect!

Jeanine and Ade are doing  a hip-hop eviction by NappyTab.  There were moments.  But the last few seconds when they put their feet in the boxes, the moves looked straight up stupid.  And then ending with frowny face boxes on their heads?  WACK!  Mary pays penance for her comments about the samba, and joins Lil C in high praise.  For me, the beginning of this routine was the best.  You could see more of the personality of the dancers then.  The middle and end

Brandon’s solo was straight up craziness!  Is he just one big muscle?  That crawl across the stage was pure strength. PURE.  Wow.  Anyone who can end a solo by just standing there is definitely strong.  But even he couldn’t resist twitching when the SYTYCD music came back on.

Oh, boy.  Quickstep for Melissa and Evan.  They’re clothes look nice…And they made it through the dance without falling down.  But this dance does not speak to me.  At all.  Oh, and Melissa looked taller than Evan the whole time.  We saw much better quicksteps in season 2, definitely.  It’s sad to see folks pull this dance when the voting is so crucial.

Jeanine’s solo is ok.  Better than some she’s done this season, but not nearly as good as last week’s solo.

Evan’s solo is cute, but you can tell his energy has been impacted by that quickstep menace he just finished.  Still love his personality, but I’m not sure he should still be there.

Doriana Sanchez is doing a disco circus for Brandon and Kayla and it worked.  All the way.  Lil C took us down this winding road, but we finally found out that he approves.  I do agree that Kayla and Brandon are very evenly matched.  Whoa.  Someone help Mary.  She just had a connipition.  Her pitch went to a new octave.  And so we see that Brandon and Kayla are favorites for the finale.  I have to agree, because they’ve had

Now the girls get to work with Sonya and be superheroes.  That sounds fun.  Kayla is Storm?  Jeanine is Wonder Woman.  Melissa is Buttercup.  [from PowerPuff Girls?  I dunno.]  The closing pose was nice, but mostly I didn’t like that.  I thought there was so much more that could’ve been done with the cartoon hero idea.  And there was no standout for this piece.  I agree with Lil C that the girls could’ve gone a little harder at each other, but wasn’t pleased with Nigel’s comment about not being able to “tie down talent” in reference to Jeanine’s curves.  Tacky and uncalled for.

My choices to go home?  Jeanine and Evan.  But I wouldn’t hate it if Ade went home either.

SYTYCD: because Ellen is awesome

top 8I love Ellen.  Always have.  And now I love her hair.  I love her dancing – because it’s completely full of life, and fun.  Mia Michaels is on tonight, too, and with all her Emmy nominations, I think her head will take over the stage.  Travis is back to choreograph the group number, a…”banana extravaganza”.

To me, this group number is interesting, but not my favorite.  There seemed to be a lot of moments where they were “almost” together.  That kinda got me.  The judges are gushing over Travis, but this wasn’t a standout for me.

Evan and Janette get to work together with Sonia, and they’re cute together.  They’re definitely height compatible, but you never know with Sonia routines.  For me, the choreo didn’t go far enough.  There wasn’t enough mmmph.  But at least Mia gave Janette some love as her fave girl on the show this year.  Wonder about how Ellen’s going to like being between Nigel and Mary for the whole show.

Kayla’s solo was nice, but more of the same – great lines.  Whee.

Hunter Johnson is doing the waltz for Brandon and Jeanine, and they look beautiful together our there on the floor.  I can’t judge technicality on this stuff, but I thought the dress was beautiful and made the dance beautiful.  Mary says that was respectable, Mia expounds and it’s all blah blah blah to me.

Jason’s solo, lovely.  Lots of leaping, great lines…is this deja vu?

Melissa and Ade are working with Tony and Melanie on the cha cha.  And they dance to a Spanish version of Yeah?  You can definitely see that Ade is really stiff all the way through this dance.  This has got to be the biggest opposite for his style.  I didn’t really like it.  This was not a good night for them.  Mia’s right when she says this was Ade’s worst performance.  Hope their next dance is better.

Janette’s solo was much more interesting than Kayla’s or Jason’s.  I love her.

Kayla and Jason are doing Broadway with TyceD.  I really love Tyce’s choreo, generally, and tonight’s piece is no exception.  And Kayla nd Jason are excellent in their interpretation.  Definitely the best of the first set of performances.  Mary got herself a train whistle – that’s crazy.  Mia’s critique of Jason was kinda freaky and scary.  There are just too many times I want her to shut up.

Ade’s solo was cool – fun with lots of leaping.

Rumba.  Evan and Janette with Melanie and Tony.  How does Evan have an inner Latino stallion?  And now they’re dancing to Kris Allen’s version of Heartless?  The music ruined it for me.  The dance seemed a little slow, so I just didn’t really get it.  [Oooh – Shane is there!  Please let there be a Shane Sparks number!!!]  Oh – and I think Evan’s got serious cuteface, but Nigel’s comment about his eyelids almost made me hate nigel.

Oh, ew.  That’s got to be the worst solo I’ve seen from Melissa.  Awful.  I don’t even get that one.  Ugh.

Jeanine and Brandon are working with Laurieann?  Laurieann is on SYTYCD?  What what?  Pop-jazz, y’all.  And there were some really strong moments in this one.  I loved the choreo, definitely.  And the song was excellent.  I saw Jeanine struggling, but she worked it out.  And Laurieann was right about making this sans story – this was just about them – as fighters.  I have to say, tho, that sometimes Jeanine’s hair was distracting me.  It almost made them look out of sync, sometimes.  But this was great.

Evan’s solo was just as fun as always, even with the hat-drop.  He’s so dynamic in his solos that I sometimes forget his lack of versatility.  I could watch him alone every day.

Jeanine’s back up for her solo, adn this is definitely the first solo from her that I’ve actually enjoyed.  I wanted that to keep going, actually.  I feel like she wasn’t really trying in her other/previous solos.  She didn’t really look like she was – but tonight, she dug that sucker out.

TyceD’s piece is about breast cancer.  And I think Melissa and Ade can do this.  And they did.  I’ve got tears.  Big time.  This was unbelievable, and beautiful and heartbreaking.  I’m just a bawling mess.  I don’t have anything else to say.

I’m just barely recovering with Brandon’s solo which is incredibly strong.  But it’s great.  Tumbling that defies gravity.

And yeah – Shane is choreographing Kayla and Jason – zombie people.  And that’s how great this show is.  I went from crying to smiling in minutes.  This was SO fun.  I’m super happy to have Shane back on the show, and I’m totally with Nigel – hip-hop has been crappy this season…til now.  Yay for Shane and Jason and Kayla!  Creepy and lovely and excellent.

I don’t know who should go home this week, but this was a great night, and I’m all ready for tomorrow’s 100th episode!  I think I’ve gotta rewatch a couple routines.

SYTYCD: Tyce D in the house!

top 12Tonight, Tyce is our guest judge.  Nice – finally a cool Broadway choreographer as a judge.  And we’ve got two dances from everybody tonight, so buckle up!

::Now before things get started, I’d just like to address the idea of ranking the seasons  according to greatness.  Some people are trying to say this season is the best/has the best talent.  Stop the madness!

What is true is that this season is much more evenly matched than previous seasons.  We’re at the top 12 now, and it will be hard from now on to see who should be out, because there aren’t many shining stars.  Ade and Melissa have captured everyone’s hearts, but not as much as last year’s team to beat: Katee and Joshua [they were HOT!].  But everyone else this season has been…good.  Not stellar.

Something else that’s true: this season has a wider range of genres represented by the dancers.  Melissa’s the first classical ballerina on the show, and Evan is (I think) the first Broadway baby.  But we’re still left with an abundance of contemporary and only one hip-hopper and…one (?) ballroom/latin dance person in the top 12.  I’m still rooting for a tapper to make it to the top 20.

Anyway, please don’t give me any “this-is-the-best-season-ever!” stuff.  Cuz it falls flat in comparison to Donyelle and Benji.::

Now let’s get back into the present –

Melissa and Ade are up first with a disco number from Doriana Sanchez.  Cross your fingers, cuz disco can go either way.  As Ade said “It could go really good, or really bad”.   And boy.  That was hard on Melissa.  Ade didn’t struggle as much as Melissa, and I think the judges bias shines through for these two in their responses.  Yeah the lifts were awesome, but the floor work?  Not so much.  But yeah, since she’s a ballerina, I can give her a pass.

Kupono and Kayla get to work with Mia Michaels on a piece that was all about addiction.  It was unbelievable.  Very strong.  Almost hurtful.  But exactly what it was supposed to be.  Kupono was definitely in character.  I don’t know how to descibe Kayla’s performance, but she was very into it.  Almost faceless though.  Truly, her part didn’t stick with me as much because – as Nigel said – we couldn’t see her face because of her hair.  Maybe it was a good thing, cuz it seemed to fit the piece…

Caitlin and Jason do Foxtrot with the Meredith.   I don’t love this couple.  I don’t love the Foxtrot.  And after a piece that struck us with emotion, and an action packed piece before that, this one is falling flat for me.   Mary called it tremendous.  I think maybe the judges are hyping them cuz Foxtrot is boring.  They look elegant, but…it was.not.fun.

Jeanine and Phillip will do the Kalinka choreographed by Youri Nelzie and Lilia Babenko.  This is going to be hard.  Russian folkdancing, though – will definitely be cool to watch.  And it was hard.  And it was cool to watch.  It was…cute.  I think the difficulty level was there in parts, so, some moments were…different.

Randi and Evan! [Love them!] tabitha and napoleon. blah.  But I like this routine.  LOVE it.  It was the soft hip-hop that this couple can do.  They were super-adorable!  I just love them.  I agree with TyceD, tho, Evan has more that he can bring.  And Randi?  I just love her.  Am I gushing?  Aw – who cares.  Share the love, y’all.

Brandon and Janette are doing the Mark Sanford soulmate dance Argentine Tango by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.  There was a really nice lift at the beginning that caught me by surprise, and then some cool footwork…but..I thought the music chosen hurt the cause of the dancers.  I didn’t get the heat that I think you’re meant to get with the Tango.  But Nigel gave them a standing O, Mary put them on the hot-tamale train, TyceD said something about juicing an orange that got kinda weird…

Dance #2 coming up.  And NewsFlash! Next week is a big partner switchup!  No more Melissa and Ade? Awwww.

A Waltz from Ron Montez is their last dance.  Beautiful.  Perfect harmony of song and choreo.  And Mary just called Nigel an English muffin.  That was hilarious.  Tyce gave some good advice.

Broadway from Joey Dowling = K&K’s last dance.  Love at first sight.  From The Dance at the Gym [West Side Story].  That didn’t get me at all.   After having actually seen West Side Story, I don’t see the choreo playing well with the idea of  first love…I definitely felt like they could’ve gone into the floor a bit more.

Lyrical Jazz by Mandy Moore is the C&K sendoff.  I’m happy with that.  I hope they do as well and they think they will.  I do think they did well.  Much of it felt effortless for them, though there were some moments I felt could’ve been better.  Agreeing with Mary, I didn’t get the *magic* that can sometimes come to the pieces.

***is it the job of the guest choreo judge to thank the choreographer of each piece?  sometimes that gets old***

Jive from Tony Meredith is gonna be rough on P&J.  But I think that’s the best I’ve ever seen Phillip do on his footwork.  Nigel noticed, too.  Phillip really has improved.  Jeanine was great, and she’s been a real trooper with Phillip all this time.  Her faces were great, too.

To me, Evan and Randi are the best couple as far as a pair.  Now they’re doing a samba from Pascha and Anya.  What a dance to draw.  This is one of those dances that I think height might make a difference in.  I dunno.  Definitely, the choreographers could’ve done it better.  But then, that’s cuz it’s their style.  I don’t think Randi carried this.  I think she looked as ridiculous as Evan.

Janette = fun. loud. Cuban.  How can you not love that?  So J&B are doing jazz by Wade Robson.  What a superfun piece!   Great way to end the show.  Janette has been freakin’ awesome, really.  And Brandon – of course.  I am sad about the end of that partnership, cuz they’re great together.  Excellence.

Who do I think will be in the bottom tomorrow night?  Caitlin and Jason.  Jeanine and Phillip.  Randi and Evan.  (sniff)