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!

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.

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.

SYTYCD s.7: the Alex’s

The new format of SYTYCD is pretty great.  All Stars + contestants means that there is always someone who knows what they’re doing on the floor.  So it’s awesome for the viewers.  My faves this season?  The two Alex’s.

Alex Wong - my fave boy since s.5

Alexie Agdeppa - my fave girl

IMO, it was totally unfair to start off with 6 guys and 5 girls in the beginning.  And then ousting Alexie on the first elimination night.  She didn’t really dance for her life, tho.

But she didn’t get good reviews last night due to crappyTab and crappy judging.  Not fair.  Especially after trying out 4 times for the show!

As for Alex Wong?  I love him, but wasn’t as impressed with his performance last night as the judges were.  I’m ready to see him be truly awesome this season, though.

sytycd: all tapped out

Like me.

Right now at work, I am pretty much drained, every day.

And the folks in the bottom 6 on the results show tonight seemed the same way.  Nobody had a good solo.  Nobody.

But I’m cool with who they kicked out.

***********************This Just In*************************

I know I broke up with Heroes.  But.  I didn’t delete it from my DVR yet.

So I skimmed through this week’s episode tonight and lo and behold!  The Haitian has a name!

René

Nonchalantly uttered by Claire, as though we all should’ve known his name.  Whatever, Heroes.

too little, too late.

sytycd s.6: feel the spirit?

top 18Hum.  Um.  A Tyce piece taken from The Color Purple isn’t really sitting well with me.  Apparently we’re supposed to be watching a church/dancing piece taken from the stereotypical Southern Black church tradition.  And Nigel suggested that Bianca has actually danced like this in church.  That’s something.  Cuz having lived in the South for most of my life, I don’t know…um…anyone who dances like that in church.

Not that it doesn’t happen.  I know that it does.  Maybe not so much that style…but it happens.

The problem was…that…it was FULL of problems.  Church dancing with pirouettes needs to go a lil more Polly.

But the church thing wasn’t the only moment made of some FAIL tonight.

The Bollywood number was so haphazard for that fellow.  (I’m not totally getting to know them yet, since there are still so many.)  He looked kinda crazy from start to finish, really.  And his leaps toward the end were bizarre.  But Mollee surprised me in the beginning of that one, her turns were so strong, she stole the stage IMO.

Phillip Atmore is an excellent tap dancer.  He’s an excellent tap dancer.  An excellent tap dancer.   REALLY bad at the samba.

Ellenore’s dress for the tango was AWFUL!!!AWFUL!!!AWFUL!!!  And then got stuck on her heel, besides being uggamugga.  And while I was watching that dance – I started to wonder, is the dress supposed to be attached to the shoe?

But I LOVED Legacy and Kathryn’s work with Stacy Tookey.  Best dance of the night, bar none.  Amazing, really, considering that I’ve hated Legacy from day one.

Two tappers are in the bottom tonight, and it’s hurting.  Because “there’s not enough time” (according to Nigel) to teach the dancers tap, so they will never get to perform their own styles.  Why is tap the only dance form that can’t possible be learned in the short time required for all the other dance styles?   Bianca’s going home and I”m super sad about this, but kind of saw this coming.  Wah wah wah.  I hope she gets some real big opportunities from this.  But I’m still pissed.  Both tappers are gone.  Too bad we couldn’t have voted.

 

sytycd notes: season 6 gets down to bidness

My work life has been hell lately, and so, I’m thankfully home – instead of at work, like I was last night [until 11:50].  But I am catching up on SYTYCD and ooh, wee!  It’s the good, the bad, and the U-G-L-Y.

Russell

Russell

the good
With three tappers this season, I’m happy, but apprehensive – I don’t think the show is really equipped to showcase tap.  They haven’t really proved themselves, yet.

I’ve been loving this krumper, Russell since his very first audition.  He somewhat reminds me of Joshua – just in his untrained ability to wow me with his take on every style.  And I want him to win, win, win!

Seeing Dave Scott back on the show is loverly, and I’m hoping for more from him this season.

Mary Murphy is as crazy as ever and, while she’s still weirding me out, all I can say is – Yabba Dabba Doo!  Is she on pills?

Travis Wall’s choreo has me all twitterpated.  I was never a real fan, cuz I got this hint of attitude during his season, and I’ve always been a Benji fan…but my, oh, my. Bianca and Victor really turned it out IMO.  I”m not sure why Bianca didn’t get as much love from the judges but I thought the piece they did was incredible, romantic, and beautiful – and her part was lovely, all the way around.

the bad
Well, Mollee and Nathan’s disco was cute, but not nearly deserving of such rave reviews when the transitions were as herky-jerky as they were.  I really like them as a couple – but let’s be real, please.  Doriana Sanchez’s choreo is always 90mph, but they still looked like they were counting steps!

NappyTab are still on the show.  Period.

Injuries/Illness.  What’s up, y’all?  Everybody’s getting hurt this season.  And apparently, it’s not the kind of thing you can dance through [a la Donyelle and everyone else who soldiered on in past seasons].  Noelle needs an MRI, Billy left due to illness [whenever I hear this, my first thought is always mono] – what is up?!

the U-G-L-Y
The fact that ANYone, ANYwhere thought it might be a good idea to use the Glee version of Push It, for a ChaCha number.  I got the dry heaves.

The fact that Russell was in the bottom 4 dancers.  Um…what?  These judges are crazy.  I still don’t get that, cuz Nigel was right when he said that Fred Astaire would NOT be krumping up there on that stage.

So – I’ll be watching this season.  And I can’t wait to see Paula Abdul choreograph a piece on this show.

And here’s a reminder of what 80s ladies rap was all about:

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*

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.