June 23, 2011

Deja Vu - SYTYCD Top 20...Again

Remember last week when Nigel and the gang didn't have the stones to send anyone home on the So You Think You Can Dance results show?  That means we've still got 10 couples and 10 routines.  We've also got guest judge Debbie Reynolds so I guess the thing this year is stunt casting the judges table. 

Dancers: Ryan and Ricky
Dance: Jazz, Mandy Moored to Love" - Robert Palmer
Song: "Addicte
Mandy Moore has SUCH a hard on for '80s music.  It's getting boring.  The routine was good and they danced it really well.  Once again Ryan danced this with a maniacal Joker-esque smile on her face (when she wasn't counting), and this time instead of "sad" they were supposed to be "sexy."  She executes the movements of her routines perfectly but her performance takes me out of it every single time and it's making it really hard to see Ricky past her crazy faces. 
Ryan: B
Ricky: B+
Choreography: B
Overall Grade: B

Dancers: Caitlynn and Mitchell
Dance: Contemporary, Stacey Tookey
Song: "Turning Tables" - Adele
This is the dance that makes me happy they didn't send anyone home last week.  If we'd lost Mitchell, we may not have seen this dance and it was stunning.  There was a slightly theatrical setup with the two, off-set chairs in black and white, that elevated this to that goose bump-inducing level that I love.  They danced it perfectly and with deep emotion.  Caitlynn committed to every second of it.  She obviously has a lot of trust in him and his partnering work gives her good reason to.  They had one tiny miss in the middle which cut the side of her nose.  It bled and she continued to dance as if nothing was wrong. 
Caitlynn: A
Mitchell: A
Choreography: A
Overall Grade: A

Dancers: Missy and Wadi
Dance: Cha Cha, Jean-Marc Generaux
Song: "Cannibal" - Ke$ha
Wadi was stiff and slow.  The way his arms hung out to his side like a scarecrow and he moved about as gracefully.  Missy seemed to be trying too hard both to remember the steps and to be sexy.  And if you have to try hard to do either, you're not going to capture the audience.  The situation became even more awkward when Wadi demonstrated that he can not take even the most constructive of criticism when he pouted, hung his head, refused to participate in the mugging for votes portion of the evening, and then said something to Cat that can best be paraphrased as "nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I might as well eat some worms." 
Missy: C+
Wadi: D
Choreography: B-
Overall Grade: C-

Dancers: Iveta and Nick
Dance: Bollywood - Naku Dev Mahajan
Song: "Baawre" - from Luck by Chance
Oy. Vey.  I am on record as not caring for Bollywood routines in general but this was worse than I would have imagined.  Both Iveta and Nick are tall and thin and this number made them look like neither of them had any control over their limbs.  They were like cooked noodles, waving all over the place.  They weren't in sync, they weren't fast, they weren't confident and they did not appear to be having any kind of fun.  I adore both of these dancers but this was uncomfortable to watch.
Iveta: C-
Nick: C-
Choreography: C-
Overall Grade: D

Dancers: Miranda and Robert
Dance: Hip Hop, Tabitha and Napoleon
Song: "Break Ya Neck" - Busta Rhymes
Apparently, they're woodpeckers.  Did I necessarily get that from the dance? No.  Was it a decent hip hop anyway?  Yes.  It was fast and athletic and intricate.  Robert continues to defy logic by being super annoying yet still likable.  He does every bit as well as we all think he should in this routine because it's hip hop and also because we all saw how well he did in the hip hop number two weeks ago.  Miranda totally redeemed herself after her lacklustre showing on the jive last week with an admirable effort here.  She hit what she had to, she smoothed out what she was supposed to and even when she almost fell flat on her face, she recovered like a pro. She wasn't as in sync with Robert as she should have been in a couple of places but for the most part, I thought she held her own.
Miranda: B+
Robert: A
Choreography: A-
Overall Grade: A-

Dancers: Clarice and Jess
Dance: Contemporary, Stacey Tookey
Song: "Cathedrals" - Jump Little Children
If Stacey hadn't told us in the rehearsal package that Jess was a prince trying to woo his princess, I would not have gotten that from this dance.  They were competent enough but neither danced it particularly well and there was no connection or chemistry of any kind between them.  This number left me slightly bored and barely able to remember it seconds after it finished.  On the other hand, bonus points for Stacey Tookey's choice of song - reminding me of Everwood is never the wrong choice. 
Clarice: B-
Jess: B-
Choreography: B-
Overall Grade: C

Dancers: Jordan and Tadd
Dance: Viennese Waltz, Jean-Marc Generaux
Song: "Fade Into Me" - David Cook
To be honest, I expected this to be a hot mess.  Between's Jordan's stripper solos and her grating idiocy, she might be my least favorite contestant this year (yes, being stupid is worse than those crazy faces Ryan's always making), and it's always a scary prospect when a B-boy does ballroom.  But they were fluid, strong and beautiful.  Tadd's shoulders didn't hunch up once, his rise and fall seemed perfect, and his carriage was regal.  I wasn't watching her quite as intently but she kept up with him perfectly so she must have been pretty good herself.  One lift was a touch shaky but other than that, this was exquisite.
Jordan: A
Tadd: A
Choreography: A
Overall Grade: A

Dancers: Melanie and Marko
Dance: Jazz, Mandy Moore
Song: "Sing with a Swing (Raf Marchesini Remix)" - DWS
I think the sun rises and sets in Melanie's dancing so just two weeks in I'm worried you all are going to get bored with my effusive praise of her but, for real, she SHINES on the stage.  Every movement explodes with joy and I can't take my eyes off of her.  She and Marko seem to have gelled beautifully as a couple already so the partner work is great.  I think she out-danced him a bit in this number though.
Melanie: A
Marko: A-
Choreography: B
Overall Grade: A-

Dancers: Sasha and Alexander
Dance: Hip Hop, Tabitha and Napoleon
Song: "Coming Home" - Diddy & Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey
When the dance started and she was doing a series of semi-spastic movements while he slow-mo walked home (from war), I wasn't loving it.  They were so disconnected and it felt cold.  But the moment the two came togther, the piece blew open and they instantly connected with each other, with the dance, with the emotion, and with the audience.  It gave me goosebumps and made me catch my breath.  They were both outstanding though I again found Sasha's performance to be riveting on a slightly different level.
Sasha: A
Alexander: A-
Choreography: A-
Overall Grade: A-

Dancers: Ashley and Chris
Dance: Broadway, Spencer Liff
Song: "Please, Mr. Jailer" - Rachel Sweet
If anyone has a petition to have Spencer Liff choreograph all Broadway routines on this show from now on, let me know because I will sign the hell out of it.  This routine was inventive and fun with each on their own side of prison bars through it all but he managed to make a fairly static routine pop with movement and the dancers pulled every bit of it off.  Sexy, cheeky, acrobatic, smooth and entertaining from start to finish.
Ashley: A-
Chris: A-
Choreography: A
Overall Grade: A

Bottom Three: Missy and Wadi, Clarice and Jess, Iveta and Nick
Going Home: Missy, Clarice, Wadi and Jess

My predictions are a total crap-shoot this week because I honestly can't bring myself to say that Nick will go home after how terrific I think he's been at so many things so far but that Bollywood routine was a tragedy and I really couldn't argue if they sent him home. 

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