Wednesday, August 05, 2009

DANCE Top 10

Man, this season just FLEW by, didn't it? Thank God we've got another waiting for us in September. But for now, we've got a season finale to get ready for on Wednesday and Thursday. I haven't heard which of this season's best routines are going to be reprised on Thursday, but after catching my sister up on the season over the weekend (we've got two Jeanine fanatics in the family now), I started mentally making my list of the routines I'd like to see again.

So here are my Top 10 routines of the season, along with my two favorite group routines (for as maligned as the season has been at times, the group dances have been pretty phenomenal).


10. Janette and Ade: Hip-Hop
Top 10, Napoleon and Tabitha

This one's here as much for being one of the season's few shining hip-hop moments as it is for Debbie Allen's insanely quotable critique afterwards. A pimp with a comb? Stay away from her daughter, honey!

9. Brandon and Janette: Hip-Hop
Top 16, Dave Scott

All hopes for hip-hop this season seemed lost until world-beaters Brandon and Janette took up this hip-hop ode to "rockers" (you know, fishnets, devil horns, that sort of thing).

8. Brandon and Janette: Disco
Top 18, Doriana Sanchez

I've liked disco a grand total of once on this show (Neil and Sara's teal explosion from Season 3). But this routine -- once again, Brandon and Janette making everything look easy -- was so goddamn fast, felt like letting out a Debbie Allen "WHOOOOO, child!" myself.

7. Melissa and Ade: Rumba
Top 16, Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin

They kind of got eclipsed a bit in the late-season Jeanine/Kayla/Brandon charge, but Melissa and Ade were my unquestioned highlights of the early part of the season. Especially this rumba, which was positively scorching and featured Melissa doing that amazing full-extension leg...spin...thing. Whatever, it rocked.

6. Brandon and Janette: Cha-Cha
Top 14, Jean-Marc Genereaux

Great ballroom choreography from Jean-Marc here, and once again note-perfect, sexy work from Brandon and Janette. I'm not sure what it says -- about me, this season, or these two dancers -- that I was able to resist falling head over heels for them despite how many stellar routines they had in the first several weeks. But regardless, I'll give them their props here.

5. Kayla and Jason: Hip-Hop
Top 8, Shane Sparks

Okay, so even in a season that was quite weak on hip-hop, the genre has three routines in my Top 10, so it's not all bad. This one was the best, with Jason showing marked improvement from his first, disastrous encounter with Shane. And Kayla remained freakish in her ability to do everything right. Plus: zombies.

4. Brandon and Janette: Jazz
Top 12, Wade Robson

Just so much fun, and so Wade in all the best ways. It was like watching a really clever, colorful French cartoon. One of the good ones, not the weird, boring ones. And this was the dance where Janette first truly popped, for me.

3. Jeanine and Brandon: Pop-Jazz
Top 8, Laurie-Ann Gibson

God. Okay, first of all, I had no idea until my sisters told me so that Laurie Ann is a well-known lunatic from Making the Band. I just know that she's my favorite new choreographer and I hope the show brings her back soon. A-GA-GA-GA! Anyway, this is one of those routines that lives or dies on the strength and presence of the dancers, so lucky it was powerhouse Brandon and MAH GIRL Jeanine.

2. Jeanine and Jason: Contemporary
Top 10, Travis Wall

Half of my love for this was on Travis's behalf, because he is my favorite and I love him. Half is for finally realizing that Jason was capable of something amazing given the right chemistry with a partner (which he and Jeanine had in spades). And half was for MAH GIRL finally delivering a routine that lived up to my outsized love for her. That's right, three halves. It's that good.

1. Kayla and Kupono: Contemporary
Top 12, Mia Michaels

Still brings tears to my eyes, probably mostly because I know this ended up being my darling Kupono's only shining moment -- and everybody tends to slight his accomplishments in favor of Kayla's anyway. Not that she doesn't deserve it; she evoked the most exquisite pain. But this was a true team effort -- it had to be given the great precision necessary here. So many small movements from Kayla, each one countered by Kupono with the creepiest lack of effort. Completely mesmerizing.

+1 Top 12 Group Dance ("Seven Nation Army" Nap/Tab)
First of all, great choice of song. Second of all, I am such a sucker for this Rhythm Nation 2814 stuff, and Napoleon and Tabitha delivered.

+1 Top 5 girls Bollywood (Top 10)
Even stipulating that Randi was clearly the weakest of the five, I was so blown away by this group of girls. Best Top 5 girls ever? I can't really argue with that. Certainly not after watching this insanely fun, lively, exhausting routine.


momo said...

Wow, thanks for a great round-up of routines that I also loved. My list would include the Sonyah Tayeh group numbers from the top 6 episode, the Brandon/Kayla disco (wow, two Doriana routines in my top faves!), and the Wade crash dummy routine which I adored.
I'm a Jeanette fan, too, but I've become very fond of this group after taking some time to warm up to them earlier in the season (I was so sorry to see Janette go home! and I loved Kupono, even though he isn't in the same dancers' league as the others, as a performer/presence he was dynamite). He should be a model.

Patrick said...

For me, this list needs both Stacey Tookey pieces, especially Falling Slowly, because I still get chills watching Karla flail about in Jonathan's arms. Far and away the best number ever by two people who didn't make the top ten, and its a shame we probably won't be seeing it again.

Paolo said...

I agree with the list, and I also completely agree with Patrick on Falling Slowly, and I'll add Janette and Brandon's Argentine Tango as well. I thought they just worked the hell out of that dance!

I think this is the best top 4 the show has ever had. I just can't call them the best top 5 girls ever, since I just was never impressed with Randi... She got to the top 10 solely because of Evan's fanbase... Now if it was Karla there instead, then I'll agree.

Colleen said... I love ALL of the dances on this list but in thinking back on the season I would have to say there were very few dances in the top 10 dancer group that I disliked! LOVE!!!!!

Kris McN said...

Just please, please, please no Cancer Dance! Or Send In The Clowns. Let's just say no Tyce Diorio and be done with it.