July 2, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 14 Performances

As I'm always trying to convert followers to any show that I love, I have been trying to get my parents to watch SYTYCD for three seasons. Last night I finally got them started by inviting them to dinner and then basically forcing them to watch it with me. And wouldn't you know, the ep kind of blew. Figures.

The suckitude was mostly due to some pretty shit choreography and then a bit of the judges being obnoxious asshats tossed on top for good measure.

Janette and Brandon - Cha Cha (Jean-Marc and France Genereux)
It was ok. There was a shaky bit right at the beginning but they mostly danced it well. Unfortunately I thought that it was kind of weak sauce choreography. I was absolutely fine with it being only slightly better than mediocre right up until the judges started slobbering all over themselves calling it the "best cha cha we've ever seen on this show" and other such total shite. The favorite-playing up in this bitch is getting to American Idol-levels. They aren't even trying to hide it anymore!
Grade: B-

Kayla and Kupono - Contemporary (Sonya Tayeh)
I've already said that I think Sonya's stuff is either really good or kinda bad so it seems like maybe she did this piece to prove she's just as capable of total mediocrity as anyone else. It was ok. I didn't really get the "he's dragging her toward death and she's desperately trying to pull away" conceit here. I agreed with Mia that the costumes, hair and make-up were particularly great for this one and they danced it well but the choreography was utterly blah for me. Whichever judge said it was Sonya's best piece can kiss the asses of Courtney, Mark and I because the one she did for them last year was FAR better than this.
Grade: B+

Randi and Evan - Broadway (Joey Dowling)
I've just got to get this off my chest up front - Joey Dowling is kind of a bitch and I hope they don't bring her back. She was rude to the dancers and rolled her eyes at the camera several times. I don't think either Evan or Randi danced the routine as well as they should have but I'm going to have to put some of the blame for that on a choreographer who clearly didn't want to give them the time and coaching that they needed. And not to harp but I felt like it was a compilation of a bunch of moves Joey likes to a song they ALMOST went with but with no real regard for what the end result looks like as a whole. On the other hand, Broadway is Evan's style and I did expect a lot more from him here while Randi didn't look comfortable in the number at all. This one was really a let down for me.
Grade: C

Caitlin and Jason - Pop Jazz (Brian Friedman)
The last number Brian Friedman did (for Kayla and Max) I loved but America clearly didn't appreciate, as it landed the couple in the bottom three. This one I didn't get at all and really hated so I guess maybe they'll get more votes than anyone this week. The idea was that she was an alien come to earth to impregnate the last man alive. Her costume was distracting, the movement was silly, the whole thing was like a bad acid trip or something. Brian didn't really give poor Jason much to do but scamper away from Caitlin and he once again played up her annoying "sex pot" personality that has been making me hate her a little more with each passing week. I just didn't like anything about this routine.
Grade: C-

Jeanine and Phillip - Hip Hop (Tabitha and Napoleon)
And here's where I call shenanigans. So it was suspect enough when Janette (a salsa dancer) pulled Latin ballroom (right next-door to her wheelhouse) and then Kayla and Kupono (both contemporary dancers) wound up with a contemporary routine while Evan - our lone Broadway dancer - got Broadway. But then Phillip and Jeanine get hip hop for the second time in 4 weeks. Once again they're with Tab and Nap and it's fairly convenient considering that he's a fan favorite and has been eviscerated by the judges both times he's attempted anything other than hip hop. Not only must this be shenanigans, it isn't fair to the other contestants and it's boring as all hell for the viewers. As if that weren't bad enough, TabbyNaps choreographed a routine wherein the dancers were chained together at the ankle the entire time. So nervous was I that someone was going to trip on that effing chain, all I watched the entire time was the CHAIN. At the very beginning I saw Jeanine hit a couple of chest pumps impressively hard and during a replay I caught Phillip working a nice move or two but other than that, I have no idea how they danced it. At least they didn't trip.
Grade: Choreography: F, Dancing: B (I guess...for the 2 seconds I managed to see)

Melissa and Ade - Pas de Deux (Thordal Christiansen)
Pas de Deux is BALLET people. The only ballerina on the show randomly pulled a ballet number out of the hat? Mmmmmmmmm hmm. Obviously she danced it beautifully, she's a ballerina and ballet is lovely. Once again, I was impressed with Ade's strength and agility and ease of movement though his feet came up short.
Grade: B+

Karla and Vitolio - Quickstep (Jean-Marc and France Genereux)
I suspected all along that Vitolio's lack of personality was actually caused by the black hole of personality that was Asuka - it wasn't that he didn't display one it's that her unparalleled lack of one actually sucked his out of existence during performances. Now that he's paired with Karla, whose personality during performances may be the best thing going for her at this point, he's able to shine. This was my favorite of the night. It had high energy, the choreography was fun and cheeky, they exhibited chemistry and appeared to be enjoying themselves and each other. They were even quite good at the steps. They had particularly good carriage and their feet moved quickly and flicky as they should.
Grade: A

Prediction: Caitlin and Jason, Kayla and Kupono, and...Randi and Evan maybe in the bottom three? I think it should probably be Phillip and Jeanine but I fear he might have too big a following for that to be the case. Caitlin and Jason are going home.

On a side note, Nigel announced the newly formed Dizzy Feet Foundation which was created to give financial aid to under privileged dancers and which Katie Holmes was part of founding. I have nothing snarky to say about anything that helps keep the arts alive because I think they're incredibly important and it's beyond a shame that they're the first things to go when money is tight. It's commendable of Nigel and Adam and Katie and everyone else who is taking part in the program.

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