November 4, 2009

SYTYCD, Season 6 - Top 18

Well Fox, 19 Entertainment, Nigel Lythgoe and Major League Baseball continue in their quest to ruin everything good about television with another week of the American people having no say whatsoever in who stays or who goes on So You Think You Can Dance.

Fortunately the night was salvaged by Adam Shankman who continued being hilarious and awesome and also finally called out choreographers for being something less than perfect. Of course, he didn't point that finger at all of the choreographers whose dances were less than decent last night but something is better than the metaphorical tongue bath they get every week from Nigel!

Oh also, there were some really good routines and some really good dancers within them so that was pretty good too.

Until I can vote on it, I won't go to the trouble of writing them up dance by dance, but here's a summary:

Both hip hop numbers were totally blah. Russell and Noelle were saddled with a routine from first-time SYTYCD choreographer Jamal Simms that included tennis rackets. Kevin and Karen had a NappyTabs routine where he was a mechanic and she was a chick who distracted him. Neither included any particularly interesting movement and both were kind of muddled messes that anyone with a capful of rhythm could have pulled off just fine.

Tyce continued his reign of terror with a Broadway routine for Bianca and Victor that was boring and a total mess. She was moving pretty fast while he was practically in slow motion. There was no cohesive flow to it and it made no sense with the music ("Maybe God Is Tryin' To Tell You Somethin'" from The Colour Purple) which should have been done only for a group as the whole point is that it's a church choir.

All problems with the above mentioned routines were 100% choreography. The dancers did fine with what they were given.

Not so for Phillip and Channing who had a samba that made me cringe the whole way through. He had no samba movement whatsoever and struggled visibly with every lift. She also struggled with the lifts and while her hip action was ok, there was something terrible going on with her arms that was beyond distracting. Her face was like a deer in the headlights the whole way through. And most regrettably, the ill-advised move at the end bounced her head of the floor in such a way I wanted to cry for her the whole way through judging.

Fortunately there was some good stuff. I thought Wade's Starry Night piece was bat-shit awesome in the way that only Wade can truly pull off. And Peter, to my great surprise danced and PERFORMED the eff out of it. Pauline on the other hand danced it ok (not spectacularly) and didn't bother to perform it at all. I'm beginning to think she's like Wonder Bread dipped in milk and she just doesn't have any "performance" in her.

Ashleigh and Jakob had a bride and groom Viennese Waltz that knocked my socks off. I still don't like her and Adam was totally right about the choreo being way too lifty and that mid-air split not being necessary, but neither of those took away from the fact that the dance was just about perfect.

Ryan and Ellenore got Argentine Tango so I was expecting the judges to slobber all over Ryan but instead Ellenore got most of praise and holy crap were they well-deserved! About 20 seconds into the routine her dress got caught on the heel of her shoe and not for one millisecond did that phase her. She held character and danced that routine like she'd been tangoing her whole life! Bravo, Ellenore!

I have not disagreed with the judges when they've given Mollee's immaturity some digs because there have definitely been times when her dancing just seemed unfocused. I also don't necessarily think Nathan is quite the wunderkind that many people (Jay, Kelly) do. Naturally I was especially worried when they pulled Bollywood which I don't usually care for much anyway but man did they ever knock it out of the park! Mollee especially turned her usual manic-exuberance inward and was so focused and intense in the stillnesses. They were both great and Nakul's choreography was terrific as well - with a story that I usually miss in Bollywood routines as well as a slower pace that was just more pleasing to watch.

Finally, though it physically pains me to say this, my favorite routine of the night was Katheryn and Legacy dancing a Stacey Tookey number where he was her fear. The choreography was off-the-charts amazing and, I'm not sure if she tailored it this way, or if they brought themselves up to the choreo, but the movement fit them so well that the whole thing was practically intoxicating.

The judges put Phillip, Noelle, Victor and Bianca in the bottom 4. I agreed with Phillip and I guess Victor was the fall-back since his routine was such a fucking dud, but thought that Pauline and Channing should have been the girls. I would have liked to see Phillip and Channing both sent packing but instead the judges saw fit to send Phillip and Bianca home.

In a million years, I never would have guessed that Peter would be the tapper to make it the furthest in the competition but he's consistently doing well with the styles he's given and he's lucked out not to have gotten the shit choreo that Bianca was saddled with this week.

Let's just see how things shake out next week when America finally gets a say in it!

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