These posts are probably always going to hedge long, so I'm not going to give much in the way of introduction here. Last night's episode revealed our Top 20, Alex Wong's previous contract that got him cut (NO!), a simmering judge dispute over Brandon, and one rejectee's unfortunate manner of crying. To the panel!
[As always that panel includes: the lovely and talented AB Chao, the equally lovely and talented Lauren S, and the even more equally lovely and talented Vance from Tapeworthy.]
Joe: So...the Top 20...as announced on tonight's show...are...Jannette, Vittalio, Kayla (grandparents girl!), Kupono, Paris (pointy chin!), Ade, Karla, Jonathan, Brandon (despite intra-judge fighting!), Tony (WHEEE!), Max(sim), Caitlin (cryin' sister!), Melissa (tutu #2!), Jason, Ashley, Randi (unitard!), Jeanine, Phillip, Asuka, Evan (Kasparczak with hair!).
Vance: Joe, you didn't seem to remember Brandon last year, but I do. He was cocky as hell. Brilliant dancer but cocky as hell. And I think Mia and Lil C remembered that. Mia for sure. And that's why she didn't buy his smile. I too had been wondering if the smile was a real change of character, or better acting, or just better edits so far. So I totally saw their point, but I'm still willing to give him a chance like Mary and Debbie Allen. 'Cause I think he learned his lesson after his giant ego backfired on him last year.
Alex Wong? Well that SUCKS and yet doesn't since... uh... he works for a professional BALLET COMPANY. Isn't that usually the dream? Fine, here you become a dance rock star. Ballet, unless you're a principal dancer, not so much (and maybe only in Toronto since I actually knew who the Nat. Ballet of Canada stars were even before I really got into it, but it might just be a regional thing). Still, it's mainly our big loss, not his. (on the other hand, how awkward is it going to be to have to go back to dancing with the ballet that you cried to get out of and having to face them everyday?)
And finally. Kazprzak's. Ugh. I'm so deflated and saddened for Ryan and so excited and happy for Evan. Love BOTH still and while I knew they were going to go for the "prettier" one (yes, I want to hug him RIGHT NOW) and let Ryan the older balder one (but if you look, is still handsome in his own right) go.
AB Chao: Okay, I love Kupono [above] a lot. His to-do list? His haircut? His little happy dance? All adorable. I'm sure I'll hate him by week 6.
Alex Wong. Y'all, I am not saying this because I think all Asians look alike, and because I am married to one, and because he is bonkers hot and awesome, but he totally reminds me of Vince. Maybe he will get out of his contract by the fall and come back then? Come back, Pseudo-Husband. Come back!
The Brandon thing is weird to me, because I feel like Mia was being an asshole in kind of a gratuitous way, and Lil C was agreeing with her because she passed the buck (heh) to him. I get the off-putting arrogance thing, but he is REALLY good, so I'm torn. The bottom line for me, I guess, is that his dancing doesn't really make me feel anything, although I can appreciate its technical goodness.
Aw, Kasprewizeiks. I love you both. But not enough to find out how to spell your names.
Why don't I care about any of the girls except Asuka, whom I loooooove? Discuss.
Vance: Cause she's Asian and she's awesome!!! Though we KNEW quiet accented Ricky was never going to get through, didn't we? And since Alex couldn't get on, Asuka's got to represent!
Joe: Anna Beth! Kupono is mine! I called him! When I first saw that adorable list! Mine! Fine, we can share. He will make me cry within 3 weeks, guaranteed.
The Alex Wong thing has me all turned around. Like, I feel manipulated because clearly they could have figured this contract out before Vegas, yes? Why make me fall in love with Vince Chao's rippled doppelganger only to snatch him away? Which then makes me think this was all to get us primed for ALEX WONG IN THE FALL! Come on!
As for the Great Judgery Throwdown of '09...I think I would have just dismissed it as the usual random Mia bitchery (which she does engage in, when she's not being brilliant and awesome) if Lil C wasn't onboard as well. I wish they'd have given more specific criticisms -- was it just his attitude? I think he's been overrated by Mary and Nigel too, but I wish Lil C had explained why he's underwhelmed. Anyway, Brandon's response to Mia made me like him more ... and maybe made her like him more too. But please don't make me watch Debbie Allen and Mia fight again. Hurts my heart. (Mary, however? Can threaten to walk all she wants. She's replaceable.)
As for Asuka [below]...I think she's very good. And this might be kind of wrong...but all I could think of when she and Deanna were up there was the girl's little sister in Bring It On. The tiny jumior high cheerleader who knew all the cheers but was barely audible? That's Asuka for me right now. Of course, Dianna wasn't exactly Eliza Dushu. I'll hear those donkey-braying sobs of hers in my nightmares for years.
As for the Brothers K, they picked the one I liked sliiiiightly better, so I'm all good. Bring on the pairs!
Lauren: The decision between the brothers broke my heart, even though I totally expected both the showdown and the result. I actually liked Ryan a hair better but that said, I love them both and I'll totally cheer for Evan. I seriously think that they should just make Ryan a choreographer for the show at this point.
Oh Debbie Allen, I can't get over my glee that you are back as a judge this year! All is right in the world.
I have a slightly different take on Brandon which could be totally wrong and totally also colored by the fact that I like him (though don't get me wrong, I could easily turn in a few weeks, so we'll see) -- I totally start to giggle sometimes when I'm nervous. I've gotten dinged for smiling when I shouldn't, and it's totally like what he did by smiling when he was getting told off. But we'll see, and I agree that I did respect him more for taking it from Mia (and Lil' C) and I hope that he really does bring it.
Seriously, the Alex [above] thing killed me, especially because I'm certain they could have figured out that point before Vegas, even. But I do think he's all but guaranteed something in the fall, and I can't wait. I'm having inappropriate thoughts about his abs... which makes this all very awkward if he resembles AB's husband...
I still don't remember about half of the people, and I want the one with the unitards to wear something that doens't look like she's about to go skiing. But overall I'm pretty happy. Oh, and I don't remember seeing Vitolio (sp?) the first time but I think he's cute and with the tragic backstory? Come on, I'm the perfect audience for that, it gets me every time.
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Commenters? Anything we're forgetting? And which dancers have already got your support. My top three right now are Kopono, Tony, and Evan (and I'm right on the verge with Kayla and Randi). How 'bout you?