July 1, 2010

Third Week's The Charm?

I know the judges didn’t want to admit they were being dicks last week on So You Think You Can Dance, but they seemed to have (mostly) addressed the issues this week. There was a ton to love last night about the show and only a little not to love.

Contestant: Adechike
All-Star: Lauren
Dance: Hip Hop, Dave Scott

Well I love Dave Scott. He’s not immune to the occasional lack-luster routine but I thought this one was fun and energetic and really gave Adeckike an opportunity to exhibit some personality when he dances. He’s been a great dancer all along but his performances have been less than stellar. This week was a different Adechike entirely. Partly benefitting from Lauren’s greatness, and partly from a routine that was completely about fun, he grinned and mugged and did absolutely everything asked of him both as a dancer and as a performer and I really enjoyed the performance. He and Lauren were perfectly in sync the entire time and both were having a lot of fun with the dance and with each other.
Grade – Contestant: A
Grade – All-Star: A
Grade – Choreography: A

Contestant: Ashley
All-Star: Ade
Dance: Contemporary, Dee Caspary
Dee is new and I don’t think this’ll be the last time we see him because that routine was awesome. Ashley danced it so perfectly and so beautifully. They’ve ragged on her before for not putting enough emotion into her performances and I have not agreed with that feedback at all so I was thrilled to hear the judges finally give her such a rave. Awesome as she was though, I don’t think that dance would have been anything without Ade. He is so incredibly strong both physically and as a partner that it almost takes my breath away.
Grade – Contestant: A
Grade – All-Star: A+
Grade – Choreography: A

Contestant: Robert
All-Star: Courtney
Dance: Jazz, Sonya Tayeh

A very Sonya-esque routine with a lot of kicking and freezing and weird posing and it wasn’t bad it was just kind of boring for me. It felt a little repetitive, as if there were a series of movements they were cycling through in order. Both dancers did just what they were asked to do and they did it well enough but this is nothing that I’ll remember past this post.
Grade – Contestant: A
Grade – All-Star: A
Grade – Choreography: B

Contestant: Melinda
All-Star: Pasha
Dance: Salsa, Fabian Sanchez

Melinda is of Columbian decent and says she’s been doing salsa at home with her family her whole life. I think her family must live on the ground floor because she is the clompy-stompiest person I’ve ever seen on this show. She’s so heavy when she dances – as if her legs are made of cement – and she doesn’t help her partner in the least. Every time Pasha had to lift her it was like he was hefting a dead body. It’s awkward to watch and even Mia and Adam admitted that they were wrong to have kept her around last week. All this time they kept insisting that her lines were so great and she was so great, but upon playback Adam has apparently changed his mind. It’s about time.
Grade – Contestant: C-
Grade – All-Star: A-
Grade – Choreography: A-

Contestant: Lauren
All-Star: Neil
Dance: Broadway, Joey Dowling

My general boredom with Broadway routines continues. It isn’t that this one was bad and it certainly wasn’t as luster-free as most of what Tyce gives us, but it was a middle-of-the-road, traditional Broadway piece that was just kind of boring. I thought she danced it really well and performed it pretty well (she really could smile less and act more). The number didn’t give Neil all that much to do, which was fine because it isn’t about him but when he really swung into action was during her wardrobe malfunction. When her strap broke nearly flashing the entire world her left breast, she kept dancing like a pro and Neil slyly did all he could to help protect her modesty while staying completely in character and in the dance.
Grade – Contestant: A-
Grade – All-Star: A-
Grade – Choreography: A-

Contestant: Billy
All-Star: Kathryn
Dance: Contemporary, Stacey Tookey

The judges seem to have decided that they are not Billy’s biggest fans. They seem to feel that he’s pretty spectacular when he dances in his own style but his ability to adapt to other styles is lacking and his performance level is less than stellar. I feel just about the opposite. I think when he dances in his own style it all looks just the same and it’s not interesting anymore. I think he’s been terrific in all of the routines he’s had so far and I thought this piece with Kathryn was great as well. I loved the routine and I loved Billy in it. The judges picked nits that may or may not have been there and continued to gut-punch him until it looked like he would either cry or vomit or both before Cat managed to throw to commercial.
Grade – Contestant: A
Grade – All-Star: A
Grade – Choreography: A

Contestant: Jose
All-Star: Anya
Dance: Samba, Dmitry Chaplin

Well having Dmitry back is always a treat and his Sambas are the shit so that’s a big yay all the way around. I don’t know if I said it before but even so, I’ll say it again, the male contestants are at a bit of a disadvantage this season when it comes to ballroom routines because while they not only have to come to some mastery of the steps as they always have on the show, this time they’re dancing with a pro who is so damn good that it’s beyond ridiculous rather than a partner who is also learning the dance for the first time. That means they have to worry almost more about their confidence and their performance than about the steps so that they can realistically look like they’re leading Anya and not the other way around. I expected Jose to be terrible at the Samba. He wasn’t. Dmitry slyly gave Jose the bare minimum of Samba steps so it wasn’t so glaring that he wasn’t nailing them and as usual he performed the shit out of it so it was a ton of fun to watch. And while his feet and legs were kind of a mess, his topline seemed pretty good and he was leading her.
Grade – Contestant: B
Grade – All-Star: A
Grade – Choreography: A

Contestant: Kent
All-Star: Allison
Dance: Jazz, Mandy Moore

The choreography was boring and neither dancer was particularly great. My biggest impression with this dance was the wardrobe. Mandy told Kent that he needed to be manly in the dance and that he needed to not seem like a dorky little boy. But wardrobe dressed him in this jacket-less tux ensemble with suspenders askew to one side in the front that ended up making him look like a little boy playing dress-up in his dad’s closet. It worked in direct opposition to the direction that he keeps getting from the choreographers and the judges and I think it got in the way of what his dancing actually looked like. This number was in that same vein as the Broadway and Sonya routines – it was just boring and while the dancers were fine, I feel ambivalent about it as a whole.
Grade – Contestant: A-
Grade – All-Star: A-
Grade – Choreography: B+

Contestant: Alex
All-Star: Twitch
Dance: Hip Hop, Tabitha and Napoleon

I was braced for an out-right disaster. Not only did I think there was no way in hell that Alex would be able to convincingly dance hip hop, I was sure that his usually too-level personality would be an even bigger liability next to Twitch who’s greatest strength is his personality. Also, I’m beyond sick of NappyTabs’ watered-down, derivative, uninspired routines. In every way, on every level, I was WRONG! This was awesome. Alex danced it awesomely, his personality and performance were spot-on and equal to Twitch and the choreography was pretty genius. It played on the premise of Alex being a ballet dancer and not being able to dance hip hop and then turned that mofo on it’s head because he rocked the hip hop moves so hard my head actually spun! The crowd roared, the judges gushed, and it was all 100% deserved. AWE. SOME.
Grade – Contestant: A+
Grade – All-Star: A+
Grade – Choreography: A+

Bottom three should be:
Melinda, Jose, Kent
Bottom three will be: Melinda, Robert, Billy
Will go home: Melinda

No comments: