July 22, 2010

Six Of One, Five Of The Other

I think I might need to change the format of these So You Think You Can Dance recaps to include a section for injuries before I get to the dances. Every damn week with these hobbled kids! This week it’s Billy Bell who’s been benched with a knee injury. The docs say he’s ok to play but he knows his body better than anyone and has decided what he needs is a day of rest. I can’t fault him for that but this puts him in the bottom three automatically so he better effing bring it in his “save me” solo tomorrow because I’d really hate to lose him before Jose because of a throbbing knee.

Anyway, we also have a fourth judge this week – Kenny Ortega. Of course Cat makes a little bit of a deal about how Kenny brought us High School Musical (directed, choreographed and produced) but I’d like to gloss over that in favor of telling you that he also directed 12 episodes of Gilmore Girls and choreographed several of my all-time favorite movies including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dirty Dancing, and, most especially, my beloved Shag. He’s got chops even the non-HSM lovers should be able to appreciate.

Ok, now on with the dancing.

Contestant: Lauren
All-Star: Twitch
Dance: Hip Hop, Tabitha and Napoleon
The Wild Wild West. Tumbleweed jokes. The routine was ok, it was fairly typical NappyTabs, gimmicky hip hop-lite but it was by no means their worst. Lauren danced it well and the judges thought she was great (though Adam had the nerve to try and re-write history by claiming that her previous hip-hop – the abuse routine with Dom – was kind of weak which angered me because that is not true but also because that was not the feedback he gave her at the time, but whatever). I was a little distracted by the stupid bullet belt that looked like it could puncture her stomach at any moment and how they had Twitch dressed like an usher at a gay rodeo. And right after they mentioned that the wardrobe mistress just won the Emmy for her efforts on the show last year. Ugh!
Grade – Contestant: A
Grade – All-Star: A
Grade – Choreography: B

Contestant: Jose
All-Star: Allison
Dance: Contemporary, Sonya Tayeh
Hold onto your hats, kids because you’re never going to believe what this dance is about. A relationship! That ENDS! I know! So this is a routine danced almost entirely right on the edge of the stage and tells the story of a couple’s relationship from their first meeting to the breakup. And it does so to the simple plink, plink, plink of the theme from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I enjoyed both the concept and the dance though I think the former a bit more than the latter because to be honest, it was the tiniest bit boring to watch given the lack of any real breathtaking movement. And I’m quite sure that the lack of “wow” in the movement was a calculated move by Sonya to mask Jose’s weaknesses which it did do, but leaving out “wow” moves ensures that the dance isn’t going to wow us, you know?
Grade – Contestant: B
Grade – All-Star: A
Grade – Choreography: A

Contestant: Robert
All-Star: Lauren
Dance: Jazz, Tyce DiOrio

Tyce claimed in the rehearsal package that this piece was about seduction and that footage was edited to make it seem like the dance was going to be steamy but it really wasn’t. I mean, they danced it well but I didn’t get any hint of “seduction” in that choreography. And, to be honest, I didn’t get a whole lot of “interesting” from the choreography either. But like I said, they danced it well. Jesus, Nigel, give Tyce a week or 5 off would you? Let’s get some better fucking choreography up in this motha’!
Grade – Contestant: A
Grade – All-Star: A
Grade – Chorography: B-

Contestant: Kent
All-Star: Kathryn
Dance: Jazz, Sonya Tayeh

I thought this number was sufficiently fun and jazzy and I was a little glad it didn’t tell a story so much as have a “theme” which was just “not caring about the approval of others.” Anyway, it was fun and summery and Kent and Kathryn had good chemistry. I’ll agree with Mia that Kent pulled a couple of faces though she once again implied that his Kentness was too Kenty and I think you all know I disagree with that assessment on the grounds that there is no such thing as “too Kenty.” Oh, and also that pulling a face or two is not the same thing as over-doing Kentness anyway. He has terrific energy and beautiful lines and I never stop being amazed at how strong he is for his minute size.
Grade – Contestant: A
Grade – All-Star: A
Grade – Choreography: A

Contestant: AdeChike
All-Star: Comfort
Dance: Lyrical Hip Hop, Tabitha and Napoleon

Two words: Oy. Vey! The story is that AdeChike is a lying sack of poo and Comfort finds out so she’s leaving him but while she’s trying to kick his ass to the curb, it’s hard for her to walk away because she still loves him and he’s begging her to stay. The song is Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’” and so you know that this is going to be played for all the over-wrought emotion they can wring out of it. It was an ok dance with ok choreography and AdeChike danced it ok but I didn’t think it was anything to write home about. And in particular I was really taken out of it by Comfort because, as has always been my main beef with her, she dances too much like a dude. She holds her arms away from her body, she hunches her shoulders up and forward, and when she “walks” she keeps her legs apart and stomps. It’s not a problem in dances where she is not playing the “girl” but here it took me completely out of the story in the same way that it does for Nigel when the dudes don’t dance manly enough. Apparently neither AdeChike or Comfort had the same problem I did because when the routine was over they were both crying like they really broke up. And I feel like the judges maybe went a bit easy on him because he was so emotionally invested in the piece. Either that or they are just a lot easier to please than I am, because they all professed to love it.
Grade – Contestant: A-
Grade – All-Star: B-
Grade – Choreography: B+

Contestants: Lauren and Robert
Dance: Samba, Dmitry Chaplain

Dmitry, WOO! Ahem. I usually really love Dmitry’s sambas but this one was a little rocky for me. Not the choreography, the dancers. Here is where I think the All-Star format is backfiring because while both of these dancers have done ballroom routines before, they’ve done them with expert partners who were able to provide them constant coaching through the steps of the routine even after the choreographer packed up his shoes and went home. Dancing with a pro made them 100% confident that their partner’s skills could and would over-compensate for any portion of the routine where they fell short. Now, when they have to dance a ballroom number with another novice and they don’t get their hands just right when going in for a hold, there is noticeable fumbling and awkwardness. That was pretty obvious in this routine. Robert’s shoulders were tucked in and up by his ears, his arms and hands didn’t extend quite far enough and his feet and legs seemed tight. Lauren was a little better than Robert for me but she appeared wobbly in her partner work, her feet were a bit sluggish, and she wasn’t as loose as I’d have liked in her hips.
Grade – Lauren: B+
Grade – Robert: B-
Grade – Choreography: A

Contestants: Jose and AdeChike
Dance: Paso Doble, Dmitry Chaplain

Fuck yeah, we want to see more of Dmitry! Oh, sorry. So right off the bat I was not sure about this. For starters, I hate the Paso Doble. And danced by two guys? Who would be the cape? I was further befuddled when I saw that Dmitry’s assistant in this venture was Legacy. I mean, really? His Paso was pretty good last year but that hardly makes him an expert or anything. Anyway, because he had to choreograph a ballroom number for two men, Dmitry switched it up and had the dance be about two matadors instead of a matador and his cape. Alright, we totally could have seen that coming. The men are fighting to the death or something. It’s all very aggressive and powerful and filled with testosterone. As it started the guys were standing at opposite ends of the stage twirling their capes like crazy and Jose was definitely working his cape better than AdeChike was. But then as the dancing started AdeChike did better than Jose (duh). Jose’s legs, feet and lines were a hot mess. AdeChike’s carriage and shoulders were not strong enough. I was just about to say that the choreography was maybe a little less than enjoyable too when the words “but maybe if Dmitry and Pasha danced it…” popped out of my mouth practically before my brain even had a chance to think the thought. The second they were out there I broke into a sweat of “holy SHIT would I like to see THAT!” and then I lost the ability to pay attention to what the judges were saying because none of it was nearly as good as “Dmitry and Pasha should totally dance that routine on the results show.”
Grade – Jose: C
Grade – AdeChike: B-
Grade – Choreography: A
(but only once I pictured Dmitry and Pasha doing it)

Contestants: Kent
All-Star Sub: Twitch
Dance: Stepping, Chuck Maldonado

Cat kept insisting this was the first stepping routine the show has ever had and I had to call bullshit because Season 3, week 2 Shauna and Jimmy had a Dave Scott hip hop routine that was 1/3 stepping and the step portion was a’cappella even. And then Nigel noted that his “5 Guys Named Moe” routine in the fourth season also featured stepping which was choreographed by Chuck Maldonado himself, in fact. So whoever is giving Cat these facts should really be fired. Anyway, the rehearsal package seems to show that Billy picked it all up ok but Kent had a hard time with it. And then Billy hurt himself and now Kent is doing it with Twitch after what I’m guessing was one or two rehearsals at most. Twitch stepped in admirably (he did not look like he just learned that routine the same day!) and Kent was great at every part of the dance that was not stomping his feet or slapping himself. But when the routine went into straight stepping, Kent didn’t hit the floor or himself hard enough to make noise and that’s kind of a problem when that’s the whole point of stepping.
Grade – Kent: B
Grade – Twitch: A
Grade – Choreography: A

Bottom Three: Billy, Jose, and AdeChike. Unless I really am the only person who found that hip hop sub par in which case poor Robert is going to be in the bottom again for no comprehensible reason.
Should Go Home: Jose
Will Go Home: Jose

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I almost forgot to mention that the title of this post is an homage to my step-mom who once asked why people always say "six of one, half a dozen of the other" and not "six of one, five of the other." Her reasoning was that 6 was half of 12 and 5 was half of 10 so wasn't that getting the same point across?

Please do not get the impression that she is dumb because she isn't, just adorably dippy from time to time.

Anyway, it was the first thing that popped into my head when I was trying to think of a title for the week when there are 6 finalists but only 5 of them danced.

I know, explaining it to you didn't make it any funnier for you did it? Ok, this one is just going to have to be something that amuses only me. I'm ok with that.