Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finale Results!

Ugh. I’m really kind of dreading this. We should have another week of competition. And I really don’t want to watch tonight precisely because of the mile-long list of guest stars Cat rattled off last night. Jennifer Lopez and Adam Lambert? Bring on the dancers, please. Just FYI, don’t expect comments here on non-dancing.

Well, we have another super dramatic introduction. Yeah, we couldn’t have pieced together that you all want to win. We needed you to sit in darkened rooms and tell us.

Powerful opening number, with the top 18, which doesn’t make sense…didn’t we start with 20?

Cat’s looking classy tonight. Took her all season, but she finally put an outfit together.

Lil C, Tyce and Debbie Allen join the panel for the evening. Love Debbie, Tyce is tolerable, Lil C tends to be a jerk who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Just so you’re all caught up.

Not sure what’s going on. It would appear that Kevin, Legacy and Russell are doing a hip hop piece together. My mom tells me it’s from the introductory show, which I missed. Thank you, political science. There’s a lot of good stuff here, although a couple of the stunts are a bit awkward.

Oh, OK. Each judge is picking their favorite routine to be recreated. That was Lil C’s.

Adam’s pick: Tore My Heart with Ellenore and Jakob, choreographed by Sonya. Was also my favorite Sonya piece this season (see Sunday’s post).

Nigel’s pick: Derek Graham’s tap piece with Peter, Philip and Bianca, which I also missed the first time around. Gosh, that was awesome. I can’t believe I haven’t tapped in 4 years.

Mary’s pick: Ashleigh and Ryan in a self-choreographed jive. Totally new, not previously performed. He really is a better dancer with her.

Pause for Leona Lewis. If you ask me, they should get her to sing Bleeding Love and bring Mark and Chelsie back to perform. But, no one asked me.

Nigel’s pick (really? Again?): At this Moment with Kathryn and Jakob, choreographed by Dwight and Desmond

Tyce’s pick: Nathan and Mollee’s Bollywood, choreographed by Nakul
87 technical difficulties, some missed cues, and an injury later, the top 6 comes on stage for some eliminations, 47 minutes in.

6th place: Ryan. CALLED IT.

Whole bunch of guest stars and promos…

5th place: Ashleigh. This finale may suck, but at least I still have my magic touch.

Adam’s next pick: Ellenore and Legacy’s contemporary by Travis

Debbie’s pick: African Jazz with Noelle and Russell, choreographed by Sean (video clip tonight, since Russell’s not really up for an encore. Poor kid.)

4th place: Ellenore. I’m starting to freak myself out with my sheer brilliance. I will officially be OK with any of the top 3 winning.

Lil C’s next pick: Ariana, Channing, Jakob and Nathan with their original contemporary piece

Mary’s next pick: Russell’s and Kathryn’s hip hop from last night.

Nigel’s final pick: The final “style” piece, featuring the top 20 and choreographed by Wade and Amanda

3rd place: Kathryn

Jennifer Lopez fails at lip synching.


Russell. Not surprised, but very pleased. Very. He so deserves it.

And there ends this blog. Wasn’t this fun? Filling my Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be a chore from now on, and I think I need something new to blog about. Make suggestions!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finale Part 1: Top 6 Competition

I still say this isn’t right-the whole “top 6 finale” situation. My mom and I talked about it today and they’re really doing a lot differently than they have in the past and I don’t really like it. If it’s because of the format, I’d really rather they switch back to summer.

But anyways. Like it or not, here we are at the finale competition. I have NO idea how they’re formatting this, so I am very much “winging” (as Steve would say) this blog.

I see we’re taking the dramatic approach, with ridiculous music playing as we watch the finalists file out of their dressing rooms and onto the stage. Cheesy.

Cat didn’t do her hair again. Figures, since she’s wearing a halfway decent dress. And Adam feeds the madness by telling her she looks beautiful. No.

I think everyone’s dancing with everyone else (If Wikipedia is to be believed).

Also, my mom said Mary cries a lot tonight. I shall keep count.

Couple One: Ryan and Kathryn (You know their styles by now, right?)
Samba with Jason
Well, that was…awkward. I loved the choreography and I totally see where Jason was going with that, but she definitely kicked him at least twice. The footwork was great from both of them, and I agree with Nigel but she definitely looked like a ballroom dancer. But the stunts at the beginning and the end were just awkward. Meh, the judges like it. And it wasn’t awful, but…it also wasn’t great. The shirtlessness was, even though it was Ryan.

Couple Two: Ellenore and Jakob
Broadway with Tyce
Well, this was certainly better than the Samba. It started off wonderfully and dropped off a bit in the middle, but picked back up at the end. What they were really good at was accentuating the right beats in the music, even if it was just with their eyes. I loved the choreography, but disagree with Nigel in that I wish they hadn’t been doing so many tricks, especially with her battements. I think she did about twelve on her right side and only one on her left. I mean, she did them all well, but it got a bit boring. They did look really phenomenal though, and performed it well.

Couple Three: Ashleigh and Russell
Lyrical Jazz with Sonya
Sonya choreographed this? Really? I’m surprised. It was great, just not really her style at all. And yep, I wrote down that Russell completely outshone her even before Nigel started going on about it. That boy can leap! For a krumper, he is absolutely incredible. Those jumps he was doing took me about a decade to learn – I’m truly floored. And Ashleigh was fine, but she really may as well not have even better. The lifts at the end were definitely great as well. Also, more shirtless boys. Always OK.

FYI, Mary’s crying. This makes one.

Couple Four: Ellenore and Ryan
Jazz with Garry
I loved this! I wasn’t sure at first; I knew it was interesting to say the least but it definitely was awesome. Yeah, yeah, technicalities, whatever. The choreography was awesome and it was well-executed and I adored it. They were also incredibly in-sync, which was obviously vital and much more important here than stretching your legs and moving your head. Great job from both.

Couple Five: Ashleigh and Jakob
Foxtrot with Jean-Marc
This was great too! First of all, I loved her dress, but I’m sure you all put that together already. It really accentuated her kicks and spins and it was perfect. The two of them really looked like they were just having a great time and not thinking about the steps at all (in the good way). I was glad to see her getting some attention after she sort of faded in her piece with Russell. Their footwork looked flawless to me, too. Loved this.

Couple Six: Ellenore and Russell
Paso Doble with Jason
Wow. This was the second great Paso Doble we’ve seen this season. Technically perfect, no, but definitely above acceptable. I actually thought they both had great intensity and “fire and passion,” but Ellenore’s came out in facials and Russell’s came out in movement. At one part their arms were different when they definitely should have been in sync, but that’s forgivable. And the visuals were great, as they always are with Paso Dobles.

Couple Seven: Kathryn and Jakob
Contemporary with Dwight and Desmond
Oh my goodness. If this isn’t one that makes Mary cry I will be SHOCKED, and that may or may not be because I am in tears right now. Standing ovation. Good. That was freaking incredible. Both of their extensions were gorgeous, and they had the perfect balance between being sharp and being flowy. And I think they’re both made of rubber. And wow. I’m just speechless at how amazing that was.

And yes, tears from Mary. Forgivable.

Couple Eight: Ashleigh and Ryan (oh dear)
Contemporary with Travis
OK, I know I’ve been dreading this moment all season, but fine, they have chemistry, OK? They looked so stinking happy up there. Ick. The dancing was all fine and good, though not my favorite Travis piece. And, none of you will believe this is coming out of my mouth (fingers?) but her dress was a little too pink. I mean, it was like neon. And this was not a neon piece. Anyway, whatever. I guess I’m a little impressed or something.

Tears from Mary. This makes 3.

Couple Nine: Kathryn and Russell
Hip Hop with Tabitha and Napoleon (really? We almost went a whole episode without them.)
At least it’s not “emotional” hip hop. No really, I thought this was pretty great. I was totally stunned when SHE started flipping over him. That’s totally his thing and she was doing it so well! She totally held her own and they were absolutely marvelous. I will officially not be disappointed if he wins tomorrow

Well, you all know my predictions. They haven’t changed since Sunday. Tomorrow, I’ll be watching the finale with my mom and maybe Ally. Again, really, pray for no plane delays. I’m scheduled to land at 3:55 which gives me 3 hours to get home – we should be good 

And with that, I should probably start packing. See y’all tomorrow for the final blog of the season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pre-Finale Special!

Welcome to the pre-finale special! In here, we’ll remember each of our final 6 dancer’s best performance of the season, as well as the best piece from most of the choreographers. We’ll also find out who’s spent the most time in the dreaded bottom group of dancers. I know, you’re excited, so let’s roll!

Each dancer’s best piece
I didn’t spend much time sorting through for these, and I think it makes sense that all of their best routines came in week 5 or later. All of the dancers this season (except Ryan) showed great progress and development. Also, it’s no coincidence that Sonya choreographed half of these. I think it says a lot-she can make any dancer look good. She definitely caters to their technique without compromising her own style.

Ashleigh: Week 5, lyrical jazz with Jakob, choreographed by Sonya

Ryan: Week 7, cha cha with Kathryn, choreographed by Jason

Ellenore: Week 7, contemporary with Legacy, choreographed by Travis

Jakob: Week 6, contemporary with Ellenore, choreographed by Sonya

Kathryn, Week 5, jazz with Legacy, choreographed by Sonya

Russell, Week 6, jive with Mollee, choreographed by Anya and Pasha

Of course each dancer had more great dances than just these, but I find it interesting that 4 of the 6 come from the same or similar genres (contemporary, jazz, lyrical jazz) and only two are ballroom. Krumper Russell shone in a jive piece and ballroom dancer Ashleigh performed best in lyrical jazz. You really do have to be versatile for this competition.

Each choreographer’s best piece

Not every choreographer is listed here because, well, if they didn’t choreograph any great dances, they shouldn’t get recognized for mediocrity (I'm looking at you, Mandy Moore). Luckily, almost everyone who choreographed more than one piece gets a mention. Tony Meredith you’ll find twice: once for his partnership with Melanie LaPatin and once for a piece of his own. Props to Travis, Sonya and Tony and Melanie for having 3 pieces worth considering and to Jason for having two. Here are the final results:

Tyce Diorio: Week 4, jazz, Blackbird, Channing and Victor

Dave Scott: Week 1, hip hop, On and On, Kathryn and Legacy

Doriana Sanchez: Week 1, disco, Turn the Beat Around, Nathan and Mollee

Jamal Sims: Week 2, hip hop, Move Shake Drop, Russell and Noelle

Nakul Dev Mahajan: Week 7, Bollywood, Spirit of Rangeela, Russell and Ashleigh

Stacey Tookey: Week 2, contemporary, 2 Steps Away, Kathryn and Legacy

Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo: Week 2, Argentine tango, Violentango, Ryan and Ellenore

JT Thomas and Tomas Mielnicki: Week 3, quickstep, Hey Baby!, Pauline and Peter

Andy Blankenbuehler: Week 3, Broadway, I Wanna Be Like You, Kathryn and Legacy

Sean Cheesman: Week 3, African jazz, Frog Dance, Russell and Noelle

Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo: Week 4, hip hop, Whatcha Say, Ashleigh and Jakob

Edward Simon: Week 4, foxtrot, Baby, Russell and Noelle

Tony Meredith: Week 4, Paso Doble, Pursuit, Kathryn and Legacy

Jean-Marc Généreux and France Mousseau: Week 5, Viennese Waltz, Your Guardian Angel, Kathryn and Legacy

Spencer Liff: Week 6, Broadway, Choreography, Nathan and Kathryn

Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev: Week 6, jive, Land of 1000 Dances, Mollee and Russell

Joey Dowling: Week 7, Broadway, Easy Street, Mollee and Jakob

Jason Gilkison: Week 7, Viennese Waltz, Ordinary Day, Mollee and Jakob

Travis Wall: Week 4, contemporary, Your Ex-Lover is Dead, Ryan and Ellenore

Tony Meredith and Melanie La Patin: Week 5, quickstep, Four Brothers, Ellenore and Jakob

Sonya Tayeh: Top Ten, contemporary, Tore My Heart, Ellenore and Jakob

And of course, the information you’ve been waiting for…

Our dear Ryan has been in the bottom four times. That’s more than half the time. Seriously, who’s still voting for him? Ellenore is right behind him with three times in the bottom, which doesn’t surprise me since she’s fairly hot and cold. Kathryn has been in the bottom once, and each of our other finalists have avoided the bottom altogether. Impressive.

So, my predictions going into the finale? I’m not too sure how they’re formatting it this season with the top 6, but I’d guess Ryan and Ashleigh go out first, followed by Ellenore and Jakob (keep in mind, this is what I think will happen, not what I want to happen.) I suspect Russell will win it all, with Kathryn being the top girl.

Of course, this all depends on how everyone performs Tuesday (or does it?) So remember to tune in. Also, it’s one hour Tuesday and two hours Wednesday this week. Plan accordingly.

See you soon!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Top Eight Results

In a feat of perfect timing, I got home from an outing with my best friend, turned on the TV, and they were just starting the opening piece! Whose choreographer I guessed correctly, which, as my mom said, wasn’t that hard. But still.

Hey, Cat’s wearing a semi-decent outfit! It’s about time.

Starting out with the guys tonight.

Russell’s safe, in spite of Shane’s awful assistant. Thank goodness-he was really awesome and I’d hate for Ashleigh’s injury to stop him.

Legacy’s in danger. I blame Tabitha and Napoleon. Man, listen to those angry teenage girls. They are not happy.

Jakob is safe. Thank goodness. I would have been truly shocked if that had gone the other way. Ryan is awful. And surely more people voted for Legacy, right? RIGHT?

Mary’s voice is unusually loud tonight. I don’t even think she knows she’s shouting.


Kathryn’s safe, which kind of surprises me. She’s the one I never really notice all along, which was Jeanine last season, so it could work to her advantage. Or maybe everyone else has noticed her. Whatever.

Ellenore’s in danger! Wooo! I was afraid that the Travis piece and the fact that she’s a favorite would work in her favor but maybe not! (Also, maybe all of those angry brats in the audience should have VOTED if they loved Ellenore and Legacy so much.)

Ashleigh’s safe. That’s weird. Huh. Hopefully Mollee ends up safe.

Ryan falls to his knees, presumably thanking God or whoever. I really hope he goes home.

There just aren’t enough words to mock this Asian “pop group sensation.” And usually mocking is what I do best.

They’re auditioning for season 7 in January? Does this mean they’re going back to the summer format? That could pose a problem if I’m in not here when it starts. And, as we all know, the world revolves around me.

Some dancers came out with different solos…Not sure about Legacy’s and Ellenore’s, but Ryan’s was definitely the same and Mollee’s was definitely different.

Hey, Kris Allen! That guy who won American Idol…but no one remembers because of the Adam Lambert scandal. Lame.

Uh-oh. Ellenore’s going to the finale. My mom will not be pleased.

CRAP. What is wrong with people? Ryan’s safe too. Now I’m not pleased. This is not OK.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top Eight Competition

I know I say this every week, but are we seriously at the top 8 already? How does that even happen? The finale’s next week. Which is weird, because it’s always been the top 4. I’m confused and totally not sure how this will work, but whatever. This whole season has seemed really rushed, with no results shows for two weeks (not that I’m complaining about dancing!) and now one week fewer of competition.

According to TV guide, Adam Lambert is performing on the finale next Wednesday (which I’ll be home for! Pray for no airline delays please!) Hmmm.

Aw, crap. Ashleigh’s in a sling. Shoulder popped, and she put it back in herself (it’s possible. Trust me.) Doctors didn’t clear her for competition (the injury just happened this morning) but she should be back next week-should America vote for her. Poor girl.

As for the dancing, each couple gets one song remixed for them this week…not sure why.

Couple One: Contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and ballroom dancer Ryan
Disco with Doriana
Hmm. I’m not terribly impressed. First of all, Last Dance should be sung by Donna Summer and only Donna Summer. Yes, they look great. But you could see her nerves, and she wasn’t fearless enough with a lot of the stunts. On top of that, every time he had to lift her he stumbled a little as if she’s an elephant. And he’s a ballroom dancer so no excuses about upper body strength. But Adam and Mary loved it and are throwing around words like “perfect,” so once again, what do I know? Nigel agrees with me. HAH. I think my perception is skewed by Nathan and Mollee’s routine in week one.

Couple Two: jazz dancer Mollee and contemporary dancer Jakob
Viennese Waltz with Jason
First of all, the music. I hadn’t heard this song (Ordinary Day, Vanessa Carlton) in YEARS. Until yesterday…when it came up on my Pandora station. And then this. Wow. Anyways, the dancing was really great. Mollee’s extensions were incredible and were only accentuated by that amazing skirt. I want one. I thought he was a bit awkward on the turns where they were holding hands, which seemed odd since they’re almost the same height when she’s in heels. But it was otherwise flawless. His leaps and butterflies were absolutely brilliant.

Ashleigh’s non-solo: Poor thing. She really wants to dance.

Couple Three: jazz dancer Ellenore and b-boy Legacy
Contemporary with Travis
Have I mentioned how much I am in love with Travis lately? No? Well, it’s true. He’s done it again. It was like nothing he’s done before yet just as brilliant. Wow. And, Ellenore always gets to dance with him. Lucky. The choreography was…abusive. It’s a wonder it wasn’t one of these two who got injured in practice. And between Ellenore’s extension and Legacy’s flip over the table, I was speechless. That should have been physically impossible. That was…intense. Loved it. And Nigel’s already talking Emmys. Loved Travis’s face when he said that.

Jakob’s solo: Well, he did as good as can be expected for someone who has to follow Travis’s choreography. No, it was really good, except for the outfit. Which may be enough to discourage everyone from voting for him.

Couple Four: Krumper Russell and Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh (injured, filling in is Shane’s assistant Rachel)
Hip-hop with Shane
First of all, SHANE!!! We’ve missed you. Beyond that, I hate critiquing dances with substitutes. And Shane’s assistant Rachel isn’t very good. I would have loved to see Ashleigh in this because I think she could have rocked it. Luckily, this was totally up Russell’s ally and there wasn’t much partnering, so most of the time Rachel wasn’t even in the shots. He was great.

Sidenote: As usual, Nigel is promising everyone they’ll get through

Mollee’s solo: Fairly typical choreography but a bit more mature than we’ve seen from her in the past. Good thing.

Couple One: Contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and ballroom dancer Ryan
ChaCha with Jason
Yall know my stance on repeat choreographers by now, right? Especially with the numbers of contestants shrinking. Anyways, overall I thought this was incredible. So was her corset thing. But, yes, dancing good. Better than good. One thing I noticed is how much more flexible Kathryn’s right side is than her left. But that doesn’t really matter. Her back flexibility was awesome and the ending was phenomenal. And out of nowhere. The downside: the hot tamale train seems to be back. Really, Mary?

Legacy’s solo: Awesome, as usual. Makes my head hurt.

Ellenore’s solo: just the usual. A bit sloppy at parts. Not great.

Russell’s solo: haha, he’s Santa. I’m so easily amused. And he bounces back from stupid mistakes (like not tying his shoes tight enough. Really?)

Couple Two: jazz dancer Mollee and contemporary dancer Jakob
Broadway with Joey
Maybe it’s my infatuation with all things Annie, but I thought this was brilliant. The costuming was positively brilliant, right down to Mollee’s hair. Doesn’t even look like her! And it all fits the period so well. And the dancing was awesome to match! Perfectly synchronized!

Kathryn’s solo: Wow, it’s like her legs are made of spaghetti. In a good way.

Couple Three: jazz dancer Ellenore and b-boy Legacy
Hip Hop with Tabitha and Napoleon
Why yes, Tabitha, this piece is strange. Legacy totally stole the show, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Ellenore seemed like she was holding back. Plus those tops are completely unflattering. But judges conversing in alien language = totally awesome. But, yeah, not feeling it. Sorry folks.

Ryan’s solo: All things considered, much better than his past solos. I do wish he’d stop incorporating back handsprings and splits into his ballroom routines. And all respect goes down the toilet when he starts crying over his wife. Gah.

Couple Four: Krumper Russell and Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh (injured, filling in is Nakul’s assistant Alicia)
Bollywood with Nakul
Hey, this assistant can actually dance! The costume makes her look like a mermaid though. For knowing nothing about bollywood, I though Russell was great. It was high-energy and technical and all around really good.

Loove how they showed rehearsal shots of Ashleigh with the numbers at the end. Good call.

So, bottom two guesses?

Ashleigh and Ellenore
Ryan and Jakob. But really, just Ryan.

As for me, I’m in much higher spirits this evening, having turned in my enterprise and knowing I get to go shopping with my best friend tomorrow. Life is good.

Happy voting! See y’all tomorrow night!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Top Ten Results

The opening number was simply fabulous. Cat’s dress is not. Ally texted me an hour ago and said “Ew. Cat is wearing a weird dress.” Actually, she said wierd. But whatever, she was right. Kid’s got style. Cat does not.

Anyway, I guessed the opening choreographer as soon as I heard the opening bars of It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me. Who else but Tyce Diorio? Too easy. I could have done without Ashleigh and Ryan going at it onstage, but whatever. We get it, they’re married. It’s good television (apparently). Let it go.

Here we go…

Yeah, that’s it. Let’s start with Ellenore. The only one I’m completely positive will be safe. Aaaand she is. No duh.

Mollee, looking rather grown up this evening, is also safe. My mom will be pleased.

They must be doing a bottom 2.

Noelle’s in danger, making me one for one.

Kathryn’s joining her, making Ashleigh safe and me wrong. That’s ok, though. This was getting pretty boring, so let’s mix it up a bit.

As for the guys, we’re not wasting any time sending Ryan to the bottom two and cutting straight to…Ashleigh tearing up. GIVE IT UP. I hope he goes home so we don’t have to see their sappy in love garbage anymore. Bitter, me? Nah.

Russell’s safe. Duh.

Look at that, Jakob’s safe too. Wow, this is awfully predictable.

Nathan’s the final guy in danger, which means I went two for four tonight. Not too shabby, or maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better.

Guest dancers = awesome. Krump isn’t my thing, but if you can do it to classical music and make it work, you’re all right by me. (Mom: youtube it. Seriously.)

Ohhh solos. Noelle should probably learn to extend her knees. I think I’ve come to the root of those injuries.

Ryan, back with the same lame solo from last night. Way to have originality. (Although, wait-Noelle did use the same music. But I think it was different choreography. Or maybe it’s just better.)

I do feel like Kathryn really stepped it up. I wish Mary would stop crying. It’s almost as annoying as when she screams. And oh, good, now Kathryn’s crying. She hasn’t done that in a while. At least they interrupted her before her voice got all high and squeaky like it always did in the beginning.

Nathan was about the same as last night.

No comment on Snoop Dogg.

So, eliminations. The girls go first, and Noelle is a goner. Good thing Adam pretty much promised her work for the rest of her life.

This, obviously, means Kathryn is safe.

And for the guys…Nathan’s gone? NOOO. That ruins my evil plan. You know, the one where everyone I hate gets eliminated. But Nathan? Really? Must have been Mollee keeping him afloat all those weeks.

Argh. Maybe next week something good will happen. Like Ryan going home.

Also by next week, The Paper That Is Ruining My Life will have been turned in. Which means nothing to any of you, but makes me happy, so there.

See you then!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Top Ten Competition

So here we are at the top ten competition, and I still don’t have a clear favorite. I mean, Legacy’s hot, but I don’t have a favorite, y’know, dancer. Highly unusual for me.

To recap the results show I missed last week due to a highly competitive Uno Attack tournament (which I lost, but I’m pretty sure people cheated), the bottom three couples were Karen and Victor, Mollee and Nathan and Ellenore and Ryan. So I got two out of three. Karen and Victor were eliminated. Fine by me.

But back to the present.

Yes, Cat, the winner will use their prize money to buy shoes. You are exactly right.

Also, I’m starting to think that Cat just looks at what Mary’s wearing and tries to copy it in the trashiest way possible.

Couple One: Contemporary dancer Noelle and ballroom dancer Ryan
Hip Hop with Tabitha and Napoleon
The phrase “What is this garbage?” literally just left my mouth and there’s not even anyone else in the room. Of course, the judges loved it. Wow. I can see that Ryan and Noelle know how to have sex in an office, but can they dance? Nope. It was incredibly sloppy and way too awkward to be sexy. And, no, no chemistry. Also, total rip off of the famous “table dance” in season 3 with Sabra and Neil, choreographed by Mandy Moore. Speaking of Mandy, where’s she been? (Whoops, looking back, I see she was here three weeks ago. But when we see some choreographers twice a show [I’m looking at you, Tabitha and Napoleon] three weeks is quite a while).

Couple Two: Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh and b-boy Legacy
Contemporary with Garry
Let’s see. I don’t know who this Garry fellow is or what his background’s like, so I’ll have to look into that. This certainly wasn’t “contemporary” as we’ve come to know it on the show, but that’s certainly not a knock. I actually really enjoyed the choreography. I did feel like Legacy and Ashleigh especially weren’t quite doing everything full out, particularly the “up” parts. They weren’t afraid to throw themselves onto the ground, but a lot of the extensions and jumps were held back a bit. They did have great expressions and awesome stamina. Great ending. And it sounds like the judges and I are on the same page here.

Wait what? Solos? Oh yeah, they do that now.

All right, sure: Mollee. Holy crap, how does she not split her jeans doing all those splits and walkovers and crap? I’m impressed.

Russell: I feel really ridiculous critiquing their solos. Of course they’re all gonna be awesome. That’s how they got on the show. But yeah, Russell was great. Except for that bit where he started to eat his shirt.

Couple Three: Contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and contemporary dancer Nathan
Broadway with Spencer
White Christmas music!!! Such a great musical and so often overlooked. I’m gonna have to find a copy of that to watch this winter. This piece was really incredibly awesome. I loved the costumes, I loved the choreography, I loved the expressions and the technique. Just so good. And they did too have chemistry, Nigel. What are you watching?

Noelle: She keeps rolling onto the side of her foot when she’s in releve. Pretty sure that’s bad for your ankles.

Couple Four: jazz dancer Ellenore and contemporary Jakob
Quickstep with Tony and Melanie
Oh crap. Quickstep. Although, surprisingly (since Ellenore doesn’t impress me much normally), the footwork looked pretty good and their jetes were in perfect sync. That’s hard. Not that I would know. Yeah, I’d agree that they did pretty well, although I’d say it quieter than Mary did. Adam, it’s not that big a coincidence that Ashleigh’s partner and Ryan’s partner are partners now (was that really so difficult to understand?) But you know what’s pissing me off? Nigel. Stop thanking the choreographers for “bringing tap back to the program” when you’re the one who kicked off all three tap dancers in the first two (?) weeks.

Ryan: Oh, Ryan. I really don’t like him. I think he’s a cocky jerk, and I think he danced that solo like a cocky jerk, and he didn’t do anything cool.

Kathryn: I like her dress. And, ok, I know this is what they teach you to do and I used to do it myself, but I wish dancers wouldn’t ignore huge hunks of hair stuck to their lipstick. So distracting.

Couple Five: jazz dancer Mollee and krumper Russell
Lyrical jazz with Mandy (Oh! There she is!)
Well, this is gonna sound shallow, but I was wishing during his solo that Russell would take his shirt off. I see he heard me. Yes. Anyways. Mollee is absolutely incredible. Great extensions and, yes, she has certainly grown in maturity. I don’t know how she does it. She certainly stole the show. Russell stepped up, yes, but I also thought he was pretty stiff and nervous. It’s ok, though, because he’s hot too.

Nathan: that was really awesome, but I wish he’d gone with some different facials.

Couple One: Contemporary dancer Noelle and ballroom dancer Ryan
Smooth Waltz with JT and Tomas
Whoops, I didn’t write down one comment. That music was putting me to sleep. I don’t know a thing about the smooth waltz, but that was pretty. Certainly better than that hip hop monstrosity.

Ellenore: she is pretty fun and good at what she does. Not sure about the outfit, and she definitely should have been wearing tights.

Couple Two: Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh and b-boy Legacy
Hip Hop with Dave
Oh boy. That was…not good. Not a good concept, not good execution. Just not good. Was that supposed to be a vampire-type thing? No, not okay. And there was certainly not great technique. Yeah, Dave didn’t give you complicated steps, but the two of you can’t even STEP at the same time? What is wrong with you? Not impressed.

Couple Three: Contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and contemporary dancer Nathan
Rumba with Tony and Melanie
Wow, I really liked that. I’m sure it wasn’t technically perfect, but it was really fun to watch. And uh…I thought the chemistry was incredible. Once again, Nigel’s watching something else. And Mary. Whatever.

Legacy: how do his arms not snap off? And his head? Geez.

Couple Four: jazz dancer Ellenore and contemporary Jakob
Contemporary with Sonya
Oh, Sonya how I love you. This was brilliant in every way possible. THIS must be what my mom meant when she texted me “wow finally a great one.” Oh my gosh. So many things there looked impossible. Like when he was pushing her across the floor. How is that physically possible? She’s completely fearless and they both did everything to the fullest extent and, as Mary says, then some. And the emotion was flawless. They had absolutely no inhibitions and this was absolutely perfect. Wow. And, hey, the judges agree. Thank goodness.

Ashleigh (good luck following that…): and…yeah. Fail. Although it picks up a bit in the middle and then ends with more fail.

Couple Five: jazz dancer Mollee and krumper Russell
Jive with Anya and Pasha
Yay, more past contestants returning as choreographers! Jive was wonderful, and as Nigel said, it doesn’t even matter that they followed the brilliance of Ellenore and Jakob. I knew Mollee would rock it, and she absolutely did, although she lost a bit of steam toward the end there. Russell really surprised me by being so awesome with the footwork! And props to Mollee for being able to dance with that animal growing on her butt.

Jakob: wasn’t even paying attention. Whoops. I’m sure it was marvelous.

So, bottom three for each? Finally we’re voting for dancers, not for couples.

Boys: Ryan, Legacy, and uh…no, I can only choose two. Sorry.
Girls: Ahleigh and Noelle

See you tomorrow? I promise to actually show up this time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Top Twelve Competition. Or, well, some of it.

I’m gonna be upfront and admit that I didn’t blog the entire episode, but I have a good reason. You see, my family’s in town. And so a little more than halfway through, I headed over to their hotel and watched the last two dances there. And I didn’t bother blogging, because the whole point of this blog is for me to say the things I normally say out loud to my mother. And, well, she was there. So I just said them out loud to her. I did see every piece except the can can, and I would be happy to share with you my opinions should you ask. But I doubt anyone will.

Here we go! This is the week we pick the top ten and, therefore, the last week the judges get a say. Thank goodness.

Cat actually looks decent, but it’s not Tuesday without mocking her, so…holy cow are those earrings eating her face or what?!

Couple One: ballroom dancer Ryan and jazz dancer Ellenore
Lindy Hop with Carla
First off, I’m loving all the new choreographers this season. But uh…the judges were watching a different dance I think. I thought that was kind of disappointing. Adam, he DIDN’T get through all those lifts. He almost dropped her every single time! The coffee grinders were good, yes, as were their expressions. But the footwork and all of the other stunts were just bad.

Couple Two: contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and b-boy Legacy
Jazz with Sonya
OK, I may love new choreographers, but I am positively obsessed with Sonya’s choreography. This was absolutely brilliant. Their timing was so on! Ridiculous. And those stunts, with his strength b-boy skills and her flexibility, were just completely perfect. Their stamina is incredible-I’d have been on the ground in exhaustion halfway through that. This routine was just so cool!

Couple Three: ballroom dancer Karen and contemporary dancer Victor
Tango with Tony and Melanie
So here we have a new couple. This is the second time in this competition that Victor has had a new partner (his original partner, Bianca, got kicked off the second week). I’d say it worked out pretty well-the dancing was pretty good (as usual, I fail at critiquing ballroom). I did, however, find the music to be insufferably dull, even with the changeups. Probably just me though. I did expect to see more of a wow-factor with the dancing, what with Karen, you know, being a ballroom dancer and everything. She’s certainly not comparable to Shakira or Jennifer Lopez, Nigel.

Couple Four: contemporary dancer Nathan and jazz dancer Mollee
Hip hop with Jamal
I love it when choreographers find a way to focus Mollee’s energy so brilliantly. I guess it’s more the style, but I’m really glad this wasn’t some Tabitha/Napoleon emotional hiphop. I didn’t notice Mollee holding back at all like Adam said, but maybe that’s just because I wasn’t aware of her injury. Oh, on replay, I do kind of see it. It just wasn’t that noticeable on first watch. The concept here was great, but the lights and background were pretty distracting. Especially the neon green. A couple of the choreography points struck me as a bit odd, but I’m not a choreographer so whatever. Great ending, though. Overall good job.

Couple Five: Krumper Russell with contemporary dancer Noelle
Samba with Tony and Melanie
Repeat choreographers? Really? I mean, both numbers were wonderful, but give someone else a chance. Surely more people can choreograph tango and samba. I thought they were great, but her footwork wasn’t quick enough, she wasn’t moving her hips enough (on the parts where it wasn’t blatantly choreographed), and his upper body was too stiff. I think Adam’s right, though I hate this word when it comes to dance, but it wasn’t “dirty” enough. They were overall great, though, but of course they were going off of excellent choreography and had a killer stunt at the end.

Couple Six: Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh and contemporary dancer Jakob
Lyrical jazz with Sonya
Again with the repeat choreographers! Argh! And again, it’s not like the pieces were subpar as a result, but jeez, let’s have some diversity. The dancing here was absolutely incredible. It’s not every day you see a guy do a penche or an extension like the ones Jakob has pulled off here. And, yes, any hatred I previously had against Ashleigh is now and forever (or, well, for now) gone. In their stunts and lifts and everything else it just looked like they were floating. And I love her dress. One downside (besides Jakob’s pants): That singer’s voice. WHAT WAS THAT??? Completely obnoxious. So high-pitched and breathy and ughhhh.

And here we go again…

Couple One: ballroom dancer Ryan and jazz dancer Ellenore
Broadway with Spencer
First of all, excellent music from an excellent show (Razzle Dazzle from Chicago). I’m not entirely sure I got the concept, though it became clearer as the dance went on. They definitely executed whatever it was extraordinarily well, though.

Couple Two: contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and b-boy Legacy
Viennese Waltz with Jean-Marc and France
OK, so normally I hate the Viennese waltz. Despise it. But this really wasn’t so bad. In fact, it was pretty good! There was a story and everything! And yes, Legacy definitely just tricked the judges into being nice to him with that crying routine. But yes, he deserved it. They weren’t flawless, but they were wonderful.

Couple Three: ballroom dancer Karen and contemporary dancer Victor
Hip Hop with Laurie Ann
Ah, I KNEW we couldn’t have an entire episode with 12 dances and no emotional hip hop. That background has me seeing green spots on my computer screen now. Wonderful. Anyways, I seriously wrote down that they looked way too angry, and then Adam said it. I see he’s back to agreeing with me constantly. And no, that shouldn’t be the other way around. Their movements were sharp and they only got off from each other once or twice, but…yeesh. The emotion was awful.

Couple Four: contemporary dancer Nathan and jazz dancer Mollee
Can-Can with Tyce
Really? Tyce and Can-can? All righty then.
Oh my gosh, they’re dressed like candy canes

…and there ends this blog. A rather abrupt ending, yes, but an ending none the less.

Oh! Wait! Predictions!

Bottom Three Couples:
Ryan and Ellenore
Karen and Victor
Russell and Nicole

See you tomorrow. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Top Fourteen Results

Cat looks about six. And is she wearing those flower shoes again? Gah. If she’s not, she has wayyy too many pairs of over-the-top elaborate heels.

Opening number brought to us by Wade and Amanda Robson, which I should have known, but didn’t. My mom and I both guessed Tyce, which of course doesn’t make sense given that he choreographed last night. Excellent choreography from Wade and Amanda. Too bad half of America’s favorite dancers didn’t know their counts.

And on with the heartbreaking. Yes, I’m using that as a verb.

Ashleigh and Jakob are safe. Not surprising, but I kind of wanted to know what sort of solo Ashleigh was planning to do in that sockhop costume.

Karen and Kevin are in the bottom three. Good. I wonder if they’ll go home. They were certainly the worst last night, but they spent the first three weeks on the hot tamale train. And I can’t believe that is now a legitimate line of reasoning.

Ryan and Ellenore are safe, obviously. Travis never fails his dancers.

Channing and Victor are in the bottom three. Huh. Well, America isn’t very receptive to “weird” dances, so maybe that’s what failed them. I did think they were excellent last night but they haven’t been the best in the past.

Russell and Noelle are safe after their second foxtrot.

Kathryn and Legacy are safe, quite possibly the first time anyone’s ever been safe after a Paso Doble. I’m making that up, by the way, no idea if it’s true. Surely it’s the first time anyone’s ever DESERVED to be safe after a Paso Doble.

By the way, this puts Mollee and Nathan in the bottom three, which makes me two for three. Also, I clearly know America better than Nigel does. HAH.


Karen: OK, I’m sorry, but what WAS that? So not even worth critiquing.

Kevin: Meh. It looked just like what he did last week. And what every hip hop dancer before him has always done.

Channing: That was a little better. Maybe I’m just not easily impressed tonight.

Victor: Wow, that boy can spin. All right, I’m impressed. Thank you, Victor. I’m actually a bit surprised it was him who restored my faith.

Mollee: Wow, her hair is such a distraction. But yeah, that was pretty good, if not completely overridden with stunts.

Nathan: Wow, I really liked that. And I’m surprised again.
So, let’s see. Based on solos, I’d get rid of Karen and Kevin. But based on everything all together…Channing and Victor. But really I have no idea.

And here we go.

Hey, Mollee’s safe. I’m so surprised. Because, you know, Nigel didn’t practically tell us that as soon as she left the stage after her solo.

Ummm…How did his talking to Channing suddenly turn into “So, you’re great and all, but here are all the reasons we like Karen better even though her technique sucks”?
Jerk. But, yeah, bye Channing. Saw that coming.

If nothing else, I rock at choosing who’s safe.

Kevin is leaving us, which is a bit of a shock, but I’m certainly not complaining.

So, next week…Karen and Victor? This could be interesting. Not sure if I’ll be blogging…depends on what my nutty family is up to and if I join them! I know, you’re devastated. Suck it up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top Fourteen Competition

Wow, we’re down to fourteen already? I don’t even feel like I really know them yet! Time flies. I also don’t have a favorite yet which is pretty unusual for me.

I see Cat found a comb and some conditioner. Took her long enough. Unfortunately, she also found the tinfoil... and turned it into a dress. Which would actually be pretty if it weren’t, you know, metallic.

No, I would not like to see a nine-year-old Nigel Lythgoe. She doesn’t care. Nor do I want to hear more Mary/Botox jokes, but Adam doesn’t care. His picture is kind of great, though.

Couple One: Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh and contemporary dancer Jakob.
Hip Hop with Tabitha and Napoleon (they’re baaaack…)
Oh good, more “emotional” hip hop. This has been getting stale since “Bleeding Love” two years ago (my favorite piece ever, but you probably knew that), but this was pretty good! They were incredibly sharp. I felt like she was maybe a hair behind a couple times, but she was really good and (listen closely, because I may never say it again…) I agree with Nigel. She has improved vastly and I slightly regret disliking her so strongly at the beginning. The handstand-flip stunt was amazingly smooth. I’ve never seen it so good. There was one part with her on the floor that was a little awkward, but overall I’m impressed.

Couple Two: ballroom dancer Karen and hip hop dancer Kevin
Broadway with Spencer (what’s with all the new Broadway choreographers? Oh, he’s cute!)
Well, this dance gets a giant MEH from me. At first I thought he was doing better because he was sharper, but I’m pretty sure that was actually tension, and it was pretty unimpressive. She had pretty good emotion but that was about it. My measure with technique is pretty much “if I can do it, they’re not doing it well enough.” And, well, I could have done that (you know, two years ago when I was in shape). Neither one had any height in their kicks or jumps. And there were little choreographic differences that really should have been easy to figure out had they tried. On second thought, this was a little worse than “meh.” This was pretty bad.

Couple Three: Krumper Russell with contemporary dancer Noelle
Foxtrot with Edward
Huh. Foxtrot again. That sucks. Ahem. I really suck at critiquing ballroom. It all seemed pretty good to me! That stunt (the walkover into the lift) was super cool. I was impressed. I can see where that would be easy to mess up big time. I thought some her smile was erring on the side of ridiculously cheesy at parts (toward the end), but it was overall really good. I think.

Couple Four: contemporary dancer Channing and contemporary dancer Victor
Jazz with Tyce
OK, I went into this one with low expectations because of a text from my mother an hour previous that read “Weird Tyce routine. Hmmm.” And for her, weird usually equals not so good. BUT, I really liked this! Yes, it was weird. But the technique was incredible, particularly from Channing (I never thought I’d get to say that!) It definitely told a great story and was well-danced. But was anyone else afraid that bird cage would topple? Surely we can afford sturdier props.

Couple Five: contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and b-boy Legacy
Paso Doble with Tony
OK, so, I hate the paso doble in general. No one’s ever strong or dramatic enough and the effects are always ridiculous. But in this case, only one of those things was true. Their dancing was actually pretty intense and sharp. OK, really intense. And Legacy was shirtless. That’s always all right by me. Kathryn’s flexibility was really impressive the entire time. The only bit I thought was a little awkward was the sitspin toward the end…I think maybe she didn’t have enough momentum. But I know nothing. Also, her dress made for a pretty sweet prop, but in those lights it nearly blinded me a couple times. Seriously.

I’m not even going to pretend I listened to the charity plug.

Couple Six: ballroom dancer Ryan and jazz dancer Ellenore
Contemporary with Travis. Cue another preteen girl freakout (although I got a heads up from my mom about this one)
Her extensions are absolutely incredible. I mean, wow. And those stunts were mind-blowing and the emotion was just SO there. Travis Wall is just a choreographic genius, which we all knew already. And look how adorable he is when Nigel tells him what an asset he is! Wow. I don’t even have more to say. That piece was just incredible.

Couple Eight (finally): contemporary dancer Nathan and jazz dancer Mollee
Pop jazz with Laurie Ann
Hmm OK. First, I strongly dislike Lady Gaga. So the music didn’t do it for me and neither did the choreography. I thought pop jazz would be perfect for Mollee and was disappointed to find it wasn’t a happy piece, but she did manage to look slightly more grown up than usual. I was actually impressed by her. Her dancing was really good and I didn’t think that Nathan was into it at all, but whatever. The choreography really just sucked for me and ruined a lot of it.

My bottom three couples:
Nathan and Mollee (just because of Nathan, really)
Karen and Kevin (only obvious one, although we all know how “obvious” played out last week)
Russell and Noelle (though this was a stretch)

And we end this with yet another text-quote from my mother (yeah, we talk a lot. We love each other.)
“Adam, you can’t promise them all top 10.”

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Top Sixteen Results

First results show of the season! Group number! Yay. I missed results shows.

My mom and I always watch the group numbers and try to guess who choreographed them. I really had no idea, as this was a pretty funky mix of African jazz and hip hop. Turns out the genius behind this piece was Dave Scott, which I probably could have guessed had I tried.

Also, it hadn’t occurred to me that these dancers got to glide through the first two weeks of competition without the added stress of learning a group number on top of a duet and a solo that they may or may not need to fall back on. Lucky them.

Cat looks ridiculous as usual and shouldn’t try to run in those shoes or she’ll be the next one with a knee injury.

I see Nigel is having trouble relinquishing his grip of power and trusting America.
Thank you, Adam, for correcting Nigel and Mary and reminding them that this is, after all, about what AMERICA wants. How did I survive the first five seasons without Adam here every week?

The results start off predictably, with Ryan and Ellenore being sent to the bottom three straight away for that horrid hip hop “duet.”

Channing and Victor are safe, which is extraordinarily lucky for them. (Why does Word want to change that “are” to an “is”? I IS JOURNALIST. I know what I’m doing, thanks). Kathryn and Legacy are safe as well, which, much to Cat’s dismay, did not come as a surprise to me. Cat, you SUCK at building suspense. We can all do the math and figure that you’re not going to put 2 of the first 3 couples into the bottom 3. It doesn’t make sense. Plus, they were good last night.

Ashleigh and Jakob are safe, as are Noelle and Russell (no surprise there, he’s an audience favorite). Pauline and Peter are in the bottom. Huh. Well, somebody had to be, and neither one has really been AWESOME yet, so ok. I can deal with this.

Can we stop making the whole show a metaphor about trains? It’s making my head spin. Thanks

Wow, didn’t see that coming-Mollee and Nathan being in the bottom 3. This must be what Nigel was referring to in the beginning. Again, though, America can’t get it wrong because what we’re voting for is AMERICA’S FAVORITE DANCER. Therefore, I feel justified in saying, once again, “Shut up, Nigel.”

Is it bad, though, if part of me wanted Karen and Kevin to be in the bottom 3 just to spite Mary?

Oh, good, “special guests.” Wait, what’s that? The special guests are DANCERS? Well, that’s a new one. I do love me some Alvin Ailey. I won’t bother critiquing them since, well, they’ve already proved themselves by making it onto one of America’s top dance companies.


Ellenore (dancing to a song called Eleanor...yeah, I’m easily amused): I thought it was good! The choreography was original and clever, and her technique was on even without a ton of impressive tricks (which bore me to tears anyhow).

Ryan: Ah, that explains the outfit. I was wondering. Yeah, I’m not sure how I felt about that dance, even though I know how tough ballroom solos can be. And way to screw up at the end-tumbling is NOT ballroom, and almost landing on your head is not intelligent. Stick to what you know.

Pauline: Oh, it’s all the annoying tricks I was referencing! You know, I’m pretty sure I’ve done that dance before. Or maybe it’s that I’ve seen it at every dance competition I’ve ever been to (which is more than you’d think). Well-executed but dull.

Peter: I love tapping so much and this was incredible. If they send him home (especially after Ryan’s solo), I just might cry.

Karen: Another ballroom solo that I didn’t completely understand. It looked like she was trying to incorporate the African style that seems to be all the rage this week. Meh. We all know she’s staying anyway, so who cares?

Kevin: Wow, he was moving his arms so quick it was amazing. This was just the perfect example of why he is on this show.

SO, if this were based on solos, I’d send Karen and Ryan home. If it’s based on everything (as it should be), I’d send home Pauline and, unfortunately, Peter. Let’s see how this plays out…

And after a little too much lecturing from Nigel and hardly a peep from Mary and Adam, we say goodbye to Pauline and Peter. Craaaaaaap. Tappers now officially have a bad name on this show.

Ah, well. At least I do truly believe they were the two who should have gone, much as I do love them both. Well, mostly just Peter.

Next week: Top Fourteen! See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top Sixteen Competition

Yay for the judges no longer having complete control! I feel bad for the four who left when they might not have otherwise. Of course, some of them may still have. I’m looking at you, Brandon.

Ahem. Cat’s hair? Too much hairspray. And her ears look huge. And her dress is made of snakeskin. Fashion fail.

No Paula Abdul jokes? It’s about time. Was that really so difficult?

Season five dancers are in the audience, which gives me the perfect time to bring up the latest rumor: Jason and Janette, a couple? I always thought he’d end up with Jeanine. And so the drama of reality television continues, even another season later. Attention whores.

(I’m kidding. Or if anything, I’m jealous of Janette.)

Couple One: ballroom dancer Karen and hip hop dancer Kevin
Hustle with Maria
OK, yeah. I may think she’s a whiny attention whore for making her divorce the “one thing America should know about you,” but she sure can dance. It’s totally obvious that she’s the ballroom dancer. I thought Kevin was pretty sloppy/floppy, but apparently I’m the only one. Whatever, I’m right. My only good thought about him was “at least he’s not dropping her.” She definitely stole the show. The choreography seemed a bit repetitive to me, but what do I know about hustle? Nothing. Oh, and they both stay on the train…and the train is still pointless, and Mary is still obnoxious.

Couple Two: Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh and contemporary dancer Jakob. And a golf club. I mean, cane. Whatever.
Jazz with Mandy Moore
Hey, remember when I hated Ashleigh? Yep, there’s always one I love to hate (remember Caitlin?). Except not anymore, because apparently she’s a history and politics dork like me. And she’s not a half bad dancer, either. Crap. Some of her steps were a bit awkward, but they were both still really good. His facials were super intense, in a really great way. And props (haha, Cat, I can make a joke too) to Mandy for not doing her usual competition-style pop piece.
On a random note, they were couple 2 last week as well. Oh, the things you notice when you blog.

Couple Three: Couple Eight: jazz dancer Pauline and tap dancer Peter
Quickstep with JT and Tomas
Well, for two non-ballroom dancers, they sure didn’t dance the “kiss of death” as badly as most (WHY DOES ADAM ALWAYS SAY WHAT I’VE ALREADY WRITTEN? HAS HE NO THOUGHTS OF HIS OWN???). Ahem. I thought the concept and choreography were cute and played well to the dancers’ abilities. I thought their footwork was pretty on at parts, but surely not perfect. I think they did as well as could be expected, for who they are and what the style is. Slight improvement over last week-seems like they get the cool concepts that they can’t quite execute.

Couple Four: contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and b-boy Legacy
Broadway with Andy
ANDY? Who the hell is ANDY and where is TYCE? OK, I’m taking deep breaths, I swear. I’m sure you understand my shock.
Oh, OK, that wasn’t bad. In fact, it was much MUCH better than what Tyce gave us a week ago. I forgive you, show. The personality here was great. They were both showing so much with their entire bodies, not just on their faces, and that can be tricky. Her dancing wasn’t totally all there, but I blame the tennis shoes. Impossible to spin in. Legacy was brilliant, and it was a great use of his b-boy skills there at the end, with the head-hop thing. I think that’s a technical term. Also, their stunt where they flipped over each other was awesome (although, I can do that. Just not as well).
Oh, and Mary’s back to speaking in that obnoxious repetitive way, yes she is!

Couple Five: contemporary dancer Channing and contemporary dancer Victor
Contemporary with Stacey
WOW, did they ever throw you two a softball this week. If this is anything short of amazing, what with both of them dancing their own style, then I’m pretty much writing them off.
And, good, they nailed it. Surprising, seeing as how much that music sucked. They added a lot more passion than the music had, so good on them. That flower in the background was really freaking cheesy, though. They did a really great job, and good thing, since they were both toward the bottom of my rankings. And I’m not booing Nigel. HE’S RIGHT. Stupid live audience.

Couple Six: ballroom dancer Ryan and jazz dancer Ellenore
Hip Hop with Lil C
What we have here, friends, is two mediocre hip hop solos. Yes, they’re dancing completely differently. And poorly, both of them. He’s completely not sharp, and she’s not dancing full-out. And it’s basic hip hop choreography! And…cow print on the pants? What? Whatever. This was just completely mediocre for me. BUT they’ve both been so strong in the past that it may not be a total death wish.

Couple Seven: contemporary dancer Nathan and jazz dancer Mollee
Salsa with Gustavo
Hey, Mollee’s half deaf like me! Well, I’m not half deaf. Anymore. But deaf enough for it to impact my dancing on occasion. ANYWAYS…
Wow, Mollee is not mature enough to pull off sophisticated sexy. I sympathize with looking twelve, but this was just bad. They fumbled around on a ton of steps and kept getting their arms tangled up. Also, it looked like Mollee maybe forgot the choreography at one point? She was about 2 counts late on a pirouette. Only about a half-count late on everything else. And the choreography was really too fast for them. Umm, I didn’t really pay attention to Nathan. I gather he wasn’t great either. On the upside, these two started off the competition really strong, and I’m hoping they can stick it out.

Couple Eight: Krumper Russell with contemporary dancer Noelle
African jazz with Sean
At least we’re ending the show on a good note! Wowza. I mean, that was just incredible. The lighting was perfect, her hair was AWESOME…I guess I’m kinda glad they kept her now! Maybe the judges do know what they’re doing…maybe. Russell was just spot-on the entire time, and those stunts were absolutely jaw-dropping. What a wonderful finale for the show this week. And as much as I hate the hot tamale train, I was starting to feel bad for the fourteen who never have a prayer, so I guess I’m happy for Russell. I’d be happier if the train crashed though. With no one on it, of course.

At least we got some new choreographers this week! No Melanie and Tony, no Tabitha and Napoleon. Everything in moderation.

Now go forth and vote! BECAUSE YOU CAN!

Just for good measure, my bottom couples:
Nathan and Mollee
Ryan and Ellenore

But really, no clear loser here. Tomorrow should be interesting. I shall see you then!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Top Eighteen Competition AND Results

Well, folks, here we are again. Last week we said goodbye to Ariana and Brandon before we even had a chance to get to know them. Such is life. This week, the top 18 become the top 16. Once again, the judges will pick the bottom four and send two home tonight. Next week, after the Phillies become World Champions once again, we return to the regular format and pick America’s favorite dancer…instead of the judge’s favorite dancer.

I like the new intros. Did I say that last week? Oh well. I like the competitive style they have going.

Why is Cat wearing a nude nighty? I think she was going for the same style Mary was but Mary pulled it off way better.

Nigel announces that Billy (who was supposed to be top 20 but then got mono) and Brandon (who replaced Billy but was kicked after the first week of competition) get to come back next season. Duh. It’s only good publicity.

On with the dancing. Because that’s really why we’re all here, right?

Couple One: Krumper Russell with contemporary dancer Noelle
Hip hop with Jamal
First thing I noticed right off the bat was their expressions. Spot-on. And, yes, that can be difficult for people. The choreography was awesome and creative (see, FOX? It’s not always just about Tabitha and Napoleon). And Russell danced well, which was a given. Keeping him in his genre after almost going home last week was a smart move, as he’s an early favorite for lots of fans. But Noelle…oh, Noelle. She started off well, but I don’t care what Mary thinks, it was completely obvious her knee was killing her. Her aerial was awful. I can’t tumble to save my life, and I could have done that. And that makes me sad for her, but yeah, she needs to go, if only for her own health. Why stay in the competition if you’ll need a knee replacement at 30?

Couple Two: Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh and contemporary dancer Jakob
Viennese Waltz with Tony and Melanie
Hey, choreographers. Stop putting full-on kisses in the dances. That doesn’t take dance talent. It was hot when Mia choreographed it, dull when Travis choreographed it (although there are rumors Jeanine and Jason improvised that bit…) and completely chemistry-less tonight. Probably because she’s married or something. Anyways, I thought the dancing tonight was awesome. Good jete from Jakob, great lifts at the end. And yes, Ashleigh proved herself, darn it. I hate being wrong. Also, Adam, just waltzing is boring. The stunts made this the only Viennese Waltz I’ve ever enjoyed.

Couple Three: Tap dancer Bianca and contemporary dancer Victor
Broadway with Tyce
All right, I wasn’t wowed by this. And thanks again to Adam for putting into words the reasons why. I did manage to nitpick some technique things that the judges didn’t talk about. I do feel like Bianca started off really “losing it” (in that good way), but then they started thinking too much. The choreography was a little slow to start, and then when it picked up the timing was off. And I think it threw them off dancing barefoot-his pirouettes and leaps especially were a bit awkward. Awkward’s a good word for this whole dance, actually. I was disappointed. Sad, since last week they were so incredible.

Couple Four: contemporary dancer Nathan and jazz dancer Mollee
Bollywood with Nakul
Hey judges…maybe it only looks like Mollee’s calming down because you keep giving her such peppy styles. I mean, I love her, but the hyper-ness is still there-in a good way, for now. Not looking forward to when she has to do a slower style. Anyways, they were both really good tonight. Nathan had awesome tricks at the beginning and incredible turn control (and yes, I had written that down before Nigel said it). I think her more subtle movements could have been a bit sharper, but what do I know? Great job from both, though.

Couple Five: contemporary dancer Channing and tap dancer Phillip
Samba with Tony and Melanie
First, it’s really hard for me to critique ballroom, seeing as how I know nothing about it, but whatever. My first thought was “why is her hair so big?” For once, I thought the footwork and such was really on but the lifts and stunts were where they struggled. The first one was flawless, but the second big one they definitely had trouble getting into. It definitely ended well, but you could see her nerves after that. Hey, did anyone else notice that only one or two people booed after Mary said Phillip was holding Channing back? Interesting. And I see Nigel is back to being super creepy. Anyways, the ending was cool and this was definitely better than last week.

Couple Six: ballroom dancer Karen and hip hop dancer Kevin
Hip hop with Tabitha and Napoleon
Come on, show. Can’t you come up with nine different styles of dance? No? Because I can. And I see Tabitha and Napoleon are breaking out the props again (aren’t they the ones who chained two dancer together at the ankle last season?) I did love the choreography, though. Minus the bits where they were pretty much having sex on stage. And they danced it so well! Both of them! And Karen’s back on the hot tamale train. And Kevin is joining her. Shut up, Mary. NO ONE CARES.

And this is the point in the show when I saw the ridiculous flowers on Cat’s shoes. Oh goodness.

Couple Seven: contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and b-boy Legacy
Contemporary with Stacey
I like her dress! And no, that has nothing to do with the dancing, but it’s TRUE. I really liked this, and it reminded me of Mia’s addiction piece last season (Oh, Mia. I miss you.) Kathryn’s extensions were brilliant and their stunts were incredibly smooth. I totally forgot Legacy was a b-boy. He was dancing like a contemporary dancer! And they were dancing with so much emotion, and not just on their faces. I think this is the kind of piece that would have really affected me if I’d seen it in person (like the judges), and I wish I had, or that it had translated better on television. But it was really, really amazing.

Couple Eight: jazz dancer Pauline and tap dancer Peter
Jazz with Wade
OK. This is our new couple of the week, and that makes it tricky to judge. I do like the concept, but maybe not the way it was carried out. They looked happy to me when I thought it was supposed to be more angry, but then I realized it could have been an evil look they were going for. Who knows. They were really together the whole time, but it wasn’t a horribly difficult routine. The moving background was distracting. I appreciate that it had to jumble up at that one part-but the constant spinning was driving me nuts. Anyways, great concept, so-so execution.

Couple Nine: ballroom dancer Ryan and jazz dancer Ellenore
Argentine tango with Miriam and Leonardo
Yay, I liked this one! I always like it when they close with good pieces. All I have written down is the word “awesome” four times, each followed by another word (those words are drop, flexibility, footwork and lift, if you’re wondering). The footwork in particular was incredibly graceful, from both. And I didn’t even notice the dress caught on the shoe, though in watching replays, it was pretty obvious. So that was probably my own exhaustion. But yes! These two are on a roll.

My bottom four:
Noelle and Bianca
Victor and Phillip

I am so freaking smart I amaze myself sometimes. As soon as he called those three couples forward, I knew I was right. And of course they all pull off AWESOME solos. (That, Noelle, is how you do an aerial). I’m really glad I’m not a judge.

Crap. No. Wrong. Bad call, judges. Noelle really needs to go for all the reasons I said above during her duet. But as sad as it makes me to see two tappers kicked off, they did choose the right guy. Victor was better last week. But oh man, I cannot wait for voting to start next week. The bias is killing me.

Well, folks, that’s where this leaves us. Our new couple is Victor and Channing…I don’t see this going well, except that they’re both contemporary dancers. I suppose we’ll see.

Until next week…Go Phillies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top Twenty Competition AND Results

OK, I’ve always felt like I should jump on this blogging bandwagon, so I’m gonna try blogging about SYTYCD this season. These are just my musings and sarcastic comments that in the past would have been said out loud to my mom and sister, but with the new fall season format and the two hour time difference to Texas, that’s not as possible, so this is my new outlet. I’ll try to get these posted on Wednesdays before the results shows.

And no, in case you’re wondering, I don’t really have time for this, and I do have better things to do with my time. Oh well. Here we go…

We open with everyone’s (no? just me?) favorite host, Cat Deely, whose outfit is actually somewhat decent. Although I guess it’s usually during the results show she gets outrageous, huh?

Also, can we please NOT have Paula Abdul on the show? There’s a reason she’s not on Idol anymore, and she may outshine Mary as Most Obnoxious Judge. At least I respect Mary as a dancer.

Couple One: contemporary dancer Channing and tap dancer Phillip

Jive with Jason Gilkison

First of all, I love the costumes. Hers may be a tad predictable but it’s not as over the top as I might have expected from this show. It seemed to me that they weren’t always dancing full-out, probably thinking about it too hard. At parts you could definitely see how nervous Channing was in her fake smile. Phillip most definitely outshone her-not a surprise considering his background in tap. As Adam said, the stunt was incredibly awkward (“Feet on butt, feet on butt!”), but I thought it ended well. Overall, not a bad start for either one.

Couple Two: Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh and contemporary dancer Jakob

Something or other with Tyce Diorio

Uhh…I’ll admit to not paying attention to the intro and not knowing exactly what style this was. I’ll try to update tomorrow once FOX posts their recap. Moving on, I’ll be upfront about my strong dislike for Ashleigh. She’s only in the top twenty because it makes for good television, what with her (much more talented) husband being in. I know Paula withdrew on her own, but she would have been so much better. Anyways. Tonight, I thought Ashleigh’s dancing was extremely stiff and awkward, but her tricks were fairly impressive. Her hair, on the other hand, sucks. It’s called a hairbrush. Use one. Her facials are annoying and she needs to point her feet. Yes, even though she’s in heels. I wish the judges would shut up about her overcoming obstacles story…there’s always one, and it’s never impressive enough to make up for the fact that they’re just not up to speed with the other dancers. SO, with all that said about Ashleigh, I’m willing to concede that she may have looked less impressive simply because Jakob was SO FREAKING AWESOME.

Couple Three: contemporary dancer Ariana with tap dancer Peter

Hip Hop with Tabitha and Napoleon

OK, really? We didn’t get enough of Tabitha and Napoleon last season? Yeah, they’re talented, but give someone else a chance to give us something we haven’t seen a billion times already. Seriously, I feel like we’d seen this dance before, and better, too. It was a really, really difficult piece with a lot of little things to synchronize, and they did all right, but Ariana was behind for most of it. I couldn’t figure out quite what was bugging me until Adam said it: they were dancing differently. She was a lot more free with her movement, and they needed to clarify with the choreographers what they wanted. Not a great start, but I’m not writing these two off yet. Especially not Peter.

Couple Four: Krumper Russel with contemporary dancer Noelle

Foxtrot with Melanie and Tony

Kinda hard to judge since Noelle’s out with an injury (I feel for her-knee injuries SUCK), but I’ll try. I thought Russell embraced the character perfectly and his emotion was spot on. A lot of his movement was stiff and awkward, which is to be expected since he’s so far out of his element. His technique was a lot better at the faster parts. I’m willing to admit that a lot of the awkwardness could have come from dancing with an unfamiliar partner. Unfortunately, I know knee injuries, and I will be really surprised if Noelle is able to rehearse in time to perform next week. But Russell most definitely defied my expectations.

Couple Five: tap dancer Bianca and contemporary dancer Victor

Contemporary with Travis Wall

First of all, I had a major preteen-girl-freakout when I saw Travis is back choreographing this season. Wow, he’s awesome. And his choreography tonight was, once again, brilliant. In fact, this whole dance was brilliant. The chemistry was spot-on, which is really hard to get the first week. And when he held her up in the air and she just leaned all the way backward until she was lying on the floor? That made my spine hurt. So cool. They’re easily one of my favorite couples.

Couple Six: ballroom dancer Karen and hip hop dancer Kevin

Cha Cha with Melanie and Tony

Jeez, more Melanie and Tony? Can’t anyone else in this country choreograph ballroom? Apparently not. Also, can I please point out that this is the first couple we’ve seen without a contemporary dancer? Wow, overkill. And (one more mini-rant and I swear I’ll talk about the dancing), do we have to use music from Glee? Was this just FOX plugging their own show? Probably. Anyway, despite all of that, I thought the dance was GREAT. I thought they were both super-sharp, despite Mary’s claims that Kevin was not. I’m not sure about the blatantly sexual choreography, but I guess that’s just cha cha. The only not-so-great moment was that awkward stunt where she spun while lifting her leg over his head. That wasn’t so great. But everything else was. Also, it’s worth mentioning that Karen is the first dancer of the season to get on the hot tamale train, which apparently is a huge honor or something. Whatever, Mary.

Couple Seven: ballroom dancer Ryan and jazz dancer Ellenore

Contemporary jazz with Sonya

WOW! This was definitely the surprise of the evening. They were extremely sharp and together and their chemistry was awesome. And Ellenore’s tricks were amazing! Definitely very flexible and technical. I don’t have much else to say but they are definitely starting off the season as favorites.

Couple Eight: jazz dancer Pauline and hip hop dancer Brandon

Smooth waltz with Jason

Another repeat choreographer with another ballroom piece. I sure hope this season gets more interesting. Pauline had really awesome emotion and was extremely smooth and graceful. Brandon struck me as only being a prop (aside from his one leap), but then I found out he only had a day and a half to learn the routine, so I can cut him some slack. Their footwork seemed off at a couple parts, but I am by no means a ballroom dancer, so whatever. Not a bad dance overall, especially from Pauline.

Couple Nine: contemporary/lyrical dancer Kathryn and b-boy Legacy

Hip Hop with Dave Scott

The first thing I noticed was his bright red shoelaces. Yeah, that didn’t really fit in with the whole caveman/jungle thing they were going for, but whatever. The dancing totally made up for it! They were really spot-on the entire time, although a couple times I thought she was being a bit more stiff in her movement. But overall, she kept up extremely well and I was very impressed! Legacy’s tricks were incredible, as expected, but let’s see how well he holds up a little further outside his genre. We’ll see.

Couple Ten: contemporary dancer Nathan and jazz dancer Mollee

Disco with Doriana Sanchez

WOW, disco really is perfect for Mollee, isn’t it? She’s so high-energy and bubbly, and this high-energy style really suits her. I LOVED the purple costumes, too. The stunts in this routine were spotless (so much that even anti-disco Adam enjoyed it). Doriana has done it again-this was the perfect way to wrap up the first week of true competition.

My Bottom Four:


Ashleigh, Channing


Brandon, Russell

Because of the World Series (GO PHILLIES!!!), this week there is no results show-two dancers are going home the night of the competition. Apparently I’m better at guessing bottom boys than girls. The judges chose Ariana and Pauline to dance solos with Brandon and Russell, and we ended up saying goodbye to Ariana and Brandon, making our new couple for next week Peter and Pauline. Kinda harsh to kick Brandon off after a day and a half, but it’s kind of Nigel to try to stretch the rules for future seasons. Should be interesting.

Until next week, my friends.

Keep dancing!