Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DANCE! Top 20

The So You Think You Can Dance chatter has been pretty light around these parts thus far. Part of that is my historical bias against the audition weeks, but part of that is also that I'm on dance duty over here these days. So please do check those out!

Sadly, that means last summer's roundtable posts won't be repeated (at least not on a regular basis). But on the days I'm not recapping, I'll try to get my post-shows thoughts down here. Like tonight. Because once again, the competition shows have got me psyched for The Dance again.

I'll take this Top 20 show in order of what I liked most to least:

Victor and Bianca -- contemporary
I KNEW Victor was being overlooked as one of the excellent guys this season -- the guys have it all over the girls this season so far. But after seeing this routine, Bianca is definitely one to bust through that dude dominance. I get what Adam was saying about her high shoulders (girl is doing her neck no favors). But I was more enthralled with the way she slid up and over Victor, or holding that backwards drop just inches above the floor, or leaped up on his back. Great chemistry with these two, and I'm glad the judges gave Victor his props. I don't know what's happening to Nigel, but he's really liking all the femme boys he usually gives a hard time to (Jakob, Victor).

Legacy and Kathryn -- hip-hop
Wow. Why doesn't Dave Scott choreograph more? He's amazing. And going into this, I didn't care much for Kathryn, and I was appreciating Legacy in spite of myself. But they rocked the shit out of this. Kathryn looked rough, while Legacy managed to look not lazy, which has been a problem for him, with me.

Ryan and Ellenore -- jazz
This is the kind of Sonya I love. Not last night's Sexy Tutu number, but the glam cavemen that Ryan and Ellenore transformed into. I'm not always down with Nigel's insane insistence on big strong gruff male dancing, but this routine doesn't work if Ryan's not this giant hulking sex-mountain of a man (which...he is). And Ellenore seems to me like a person who will be able to pick up every genre without blinking.

Jakob and Ashleigh -- Broadway
Once again, the judges seem to be on board with all my favorites thus far, which is nice. With Billy Bell gone, Jakob is going to be the heir apparent "guy I could just watch move for days." His range of motion appears to be limitless, and he does it SO quickly. Ashleigh didn't annoy me once tonight, which may be a first.

Brandon and Pauline -- Smooth Waltz (Brandon Eliminated)
Okay, here's where the judges and I depart -- I thought this routine was perfectly lovely. Can a Jason Gilkison waltz get ANY love around here? As for Brandon getting eliminated, I thought it was terribly sad, but I'm glad to see he's going to get freed up to compete next season. Really, with one exception (we'll get to him), I wouldn't want to see any other guy go yet either, so I'll just chalk this up to bad luck and hope for next year.

Nathan and Mollee -- Disco
It ran out of some steam near the end, and Nathan's costume set his prospects for getting action back about two years, but I thought they partnered fairly well. To my big surprise, Mollee kind of outshined Nathan here, which I was totally not expecting. As much as her eternal perkiness is a lot to take, I feel like it's at least genuine, and the energy she has onstage totally redeems it.

Kevin and Karen -- Cha Cha
The ballroom routines are always very dicey prospects this early in the game. Which bodes well for Kevin, because while he wasn't fantastic, he was perfectly adequate and let Karen take the va-va-voom on their behalf. I'm not sure what was with the SHOCKED reactions to Adam saying that chicks aren't his thing. This show is so goddamn weird with the gay stuff.

Peter and Arianna -- hip-hop (Arianna eliminated)
I totally get what Adam was saying about them not dancing like each other, which was an issue at times, but I didn't think they were so bad. And I definitely thought Arianna was the better of the two. SO sad to see her go -- I feel like there was a LOT we had yet to see of her.

Russell and Noelle -- foxtrot
Make that Russell and Melanie LaPatin, who is a total all-star in my book. She did this with Pasha back in Season 3, yes? Anyway, it's tough to judge Russell appropriately given his circumstances, but I know it wasn't very pretty to look at. I'm glad he stayed, because he deserved a mulligan after how well he's performed thus far. As for Noelle and how she didn't get eliminated despite not dancing, I can't say I'm sad that she's still around -- her performance in Mandy Moore's group routine on Monday made me want to see a lot more of her. But, again, when this happened to Jessi Peralta in Season 3, she had to go. I appreciate that you don't want to eliminate her without getting a chance to prove herself, but if bad luck has already felled Billy (and Brandon, really), it should have been bad luck for her too.

Phillip and Channing -- jive
I tried to be objective, despite the fact that they managed to pair my least favorite guy with my least favorite girl. And objectively, this was not good, and I have no idea what the judges saw in it. Even Mary, who was measured in her praise, still gave it praise. I found it to be slow and sloppy, and I would've had an easy time eliminating them both.

Thoughts? Ideas? Opinions? To the comments, y'all!


Vance said...

So far I'm on the same wavelength. Even with Mollee outshining Nathan a bit. I didn't mind Russell's Foxtrot but basically yah, Brandon was screwed and Phillip or Kevin should have been cut.

Kris McN said...

"...giant hulking sex-mountain...", heeee!

Damn you for dancing so well, Mollee!

I have to say that I feel bad for anyone that has to dance some sort of ballroom outside of their style on the first week because Nigel and Mary are HARSH! I too thought the smooth waltz (which would normally put me right to sleep) was perfectly lovely, but they shit all over it. Meanwhile, I thought Nathan looked like he was barely hanging on through that disco (and who can blame him, DORIANNA??), but they loved him up.

I was PISSED that Russell was in the bottom! Don't make me come over there, judges!

Victor and Bianca are immediate front-runners, and Dave Scott?? Are you fucking kidding me?? Sick.

momo said...

my choices for B4 would have been Phillip not Russell, and then Brandon could have stayed. I also thought Ariana had a lot more to offer, but the other women are better IMO. Noelle should have been booted, and if they do boot her, Ariana should get to return as Comfort did.
Pleasantly surprised by Ryan's commitment to non-upright dancing, Legacy's ability to be sinuous as well as strong, Kathryn's commitment to the hard-hitting movement, Bianca's performance with Victor, Victor's technique. Nathan and Mollee are immature, but so much potential and wild charisma, my god, from both of them. If they can manage to learn to fake some gravitas, they will be awesome.Give them a few more years.
I was loving the show up until that heavy-handed stupid elimination (although I agree that the lighting crew is too busy--tone it down!) and very happy with the choreo and the performances. All the non-ballroom dancers did a very respectable job faking it--we don't always give them enough credit because you don't just pick up partner dancing or ballroom technique in a few days. I liked the more detailed critiques from all the judges to the dancers. I don't mind Mary's screaming any more, actually.

Joe Reid said...

I really can't get worked up about the eliminations. As I said, beyond Phillip and Channing, I didn't think anyone "deserved" to be eliminated. And the judges all liked P & C, so it was gonna be rough either way. Yeah, I wouldn't have given Noelle a pass, but I like her as much as I liked Arianna, so it's a push.

Sarah said...

I honestly feel like I am experiencing PTSD over Billy Bell leaving. Like I CAN'T GET OVER IT. So, I'm glad Brandon is gone, because every time I saw him, I had to think about how he was not Billy Bell. Sigh.

jessica said...

I hope they let Billy Bell back. He never actually danced in the Top 20 competitively, after all. Nigel's whole "I'm going to talk to FOX" thing for Brandon was silly, seeing as Nigel is the Executive Producer and can make whatever exceptions to the rules he wants. I just hope Billy gets that same consideration.

I actually like Channing but I dislike Phillip and I didn't care for their dance. I liked Pauline and Brandon's waltz much better.

patty m. said...

Just when I thought I had weaned myself from TWOP for good, you had to start recapping SYTYCD. Damn you, Joe! I've now added the site to my RSS feed, which means I'll get that much less homework done every night. Grr.

Page said...

I have to tell you, when I found out Daniel was not going to recap SYTYCD on TWoP I was so disappointed (he is very funny), until I realized that half the time we would get you! You've made me laugh out loud numerous times, so thanks for that! Once we go to performance/results shows how are you and the other recapper splitting it?

Am assuming you won't be writing up the top 18 here since you did the TWoP recap, so hope you won't mind if I comment here. I thought it was quite a good show, with my favorites being: 1)Legacy/Kathryn, 2)Ryan/Ellenore, 3)Peter & Pauline (I adore Wade. ADORE.) and 4)Jakob and Ashleigh. Jakob is my favorite over all but I found that choreography pretty boring. Actually I might even have liked Kevin and Karen better that J&A.

As for the eliminations, I don't see how Channing was not in the bottom 2. Those lousy lifts can not possibly have been all Phillip's fault. I'm pretty surprised that we lost Bianca - I wonder if Noelle surprised them with how good her solo was and left them with no choice. (Imagine if Brandon had blown it out of the park in his solo last week....).

Really like Nathan but still not digging Molleeeeee and wish he had been partnered with someone else.