Readers, I tried watching more than a few minutes of last night’s So You Think You Can Dance, and while I’m happy that they started out the evening with no injuries (finally), I didn’t watch more than a few minutes before flipping channels. I only saw Kent and Anya’s samba, and AdeChike and Courtney’s jazz routine, and felt solidly meh about both. There’s no fire! No pop, anymore! And now, I hear, Lauren is injured. Lame, SYTYCD (pun unintentional). Perhaps it’s all the dancing that’s hurting the competitors? Doing three routines (2 partner, one solo) in one night, plus all the practicing, plus the probable fatigue and stress, must do a number on the body and mind. Remember, two are going home this week—and assuming Lauren isn’t badly hurt, I’m predicting AdeChike (the judges have never really warmed to him) and Jose (plateau, plateau, plateau). Still predicting Kent for the win. Can’t this season just end already?
So, instead, I watched Toddlers and Tiaras. And the Dad Camp reunion. Toddlers and Tiaras is kind of frightening, but I did watch the episode with MaKenzie, the worst 4 year old in the world. I didn’t realize small hosebeasts like her existed. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Celibacy never looked so good! As for Dad Camp, that Dr. Jeff is something else, because all but one of the guys actually changed and became better partners. My heart was warmed! I’ve said it before, I’ll said it again, dump Dr. Drew for the 16 and Pregnant reunions and plug Dr. Jeff on in, because he is a force for positive change! Love that man!
Jersey Shore returns tonight at 10pm on MTV. Project Runway (90 minute episodes) returns tonight at 9pm on Lifetime. And, of course, Futurama’s on at 10pm on Comedy Central. Fire up them DVRs!
And if you watched So You Think You Can Dance last night, you did, too! Or you did if you were me. Not at any of the dances, oh no, but that Alex Wong—amazing Alex Wong—has a ruptured Achilles tendon and not only couldn’t perform, but may not be able to continue in the competition! He’s automatically in the bottom three tonight, but I can’t imagine he’ll gone home unless the doctors confirm that he won’t be dancing for the foreseeable future. It’s a heavy blow to the young man who did so incredibly well last week, and, like judge Mia Michaels, I would have dearly loved to see him dance Bollywood with AdeChike Torbert.
How did the rest measure up? Well, the format changed again. Contestants first danced new-to-them styles with new-to-them All Star partners (no more duplicates!), then were paired up with each other for another style. Kent had a good night last night—first a smooth hip hop routine with Comfort Fedoke that drew many Justin Timberlake comparisons, then later a heartfelt contemporary piece with fellow contestant Lauren Froderman, choreographed by the indomitable Travis Wall. I think he and Lauren were the only two contestants to get good, solid reviews from the judges for both of their routines. AdeChike struggled in both his routines, jazz with Courtney Galiano and the aforementioned Bollywood with choreographer assistant Marla in place of injured Alex. Jose and Billy were also called out for struggling (and Billy for ending up being a cat in both his routines, which isn’t his fault). Robert continues to be unlikeable—Nigel commented that people keep calling him “arrogant.” Well, as fellow Square Eyes-er Erin pointed out, he’s not “arrogant,” he’s OBNOXIOUS. Get it right, Nigel! Always mugging at the camera, capering around like a fool, pulling faces—the child is obnoxious. He’s a total Ken doll. I’m thinking the bottom three this week will be Alex (for reasons mentioned above), AdeChike, and Billy or Robert, with AdeChike probably going home. Ashley wasn’t fantastic, but I think she’ll squeak by, especially since there are only two girls left.
This format, btdubs, is not working. The All Star idea is awesome, yes. It’s wonderful to see former contestants show off their stuff (and Nigel pointing out how much Comfort has grown as a dancer last night was great), but there’s a lack of community and connection among the contestants that’s always been present in the past. And in some cases (particularly when Anya and Pasha burn the floors with ballroom), the All Star performs so much better than the contestant that the contestant’s faults are glaringly obvious. Perhaps in the future there can be a So You Think You Can Dance: All Star season (even something truncated), and a regular SYTYCD somewhere in there, too. I want it both ways!
Nigel Lythgoe, Mia Michaels, and Adam Shankman judge Season 7 auditions
So You Think You Can Dance kicks off its seventh season tonight on Fox, with a new format and a shake up on the judging panel. Eternal enthusiast and ballroom expert Mary Murphy has been replaced with righteous straighttalker (and amazing contemporary choreographer) Mia Michaels, ostensibly so Mary can actually choreograph this season and (I think) show viewers that yes, she really is a dancer! Make no mistake, I quite like Mary—in her more serious judging moments, she’s amazing. It’s that ‘hot tamale train’ crap that she still spews that makes my eyes roll so hard I get a concussion. Too gimmicky—let it die! Adam Shankman and Nigel Lythgoe will continue on as permanent judges, and expect guest judges, hopefully like Toni Basil, Debbie Allen or Lil’ C.
New format? Yes! Only ten finalists total will be selected, and only one competitor voted out each week. These competitors will be matched with ten former contestants, called All Stars, and each week the competitor will pull an All Star’s name out of a hat and attempt to master that All Star’s style. Still with me? Great. Sounds pretty excellent—we get to revisit previous awesome contestants, and current competitors will be the cream of the crop! Sweet. There are ten finalists, but twelve All Stars (I assume we’ll find out the reason eventually). Ranging from seasons 2 through 6, the lucky twelve are:
We start working our way up with Season 2’s contemporary jazz dancer Allison Holker, primarily memorable to me because her partner Ivan Koumaev was totally in love with her, but she was way too mature for him. Season 3 brings us ballroom superstars (and choreographers!) Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev (one of my favorites), plus Lauren Gottlieb (contemporary, jazz and hip hop), contemporary dancer Neil Haskell, and b-boy/freestyler Dominic Sandoval. From Season 4, we have jazz and contemporary dancer Mark Kanemura (recently on tour with Lady Gaga!), hip hop and krumper Comfort Fedoke, 4th place finalist Courtney Galiano, another contemporary dancer, and runner up tWitch Boss, a hip hop and krump freestyle dancer who can move his body in ways you’d never imagine. Powerhouse contemporary dancer and Season 5 finalist Ade Obayomi and Season Six favorite contemporary dancer (and third runner up) Kathryn McCormick round out the All Stars.
It’s a nice mix of styles—heavy on the contemporary/jazz, of course, but so is every season. I hope the new competitors are a good mix of styles, since there are only ten, and if more than four out of ten are contemporary/jazz, it might be a snoozefest. Or a slaughter. We’ll see. It’ll be great to see past favorites, and this new format will give a nice boost to the show, back in its summer slot where it belongs (no more of this regular season business, please)! Entire All Star cast (plus the greatest host ever, Cat Deely) below, so you can say, “OH! THAT GUY!” Please excuse thought bubbles.
During my Thanksgiving-induced absence last week, So You Think You Can Dancesadly bid adieu to “No, no - too sexy!” Karen Hauer andpretty boy Victor Smalley. In my opinion, Victor’s solo was on FIRE and the strongest of the night (VIDEOhere). It’s a shame that he just didn’t bring enough to his other performances. And you know I had been rooting for Karen, but she seemed to lose her luster after being in the Bottom so often. Keep your head up, girl!
Tonight we’ve got NEW couples (thank the reality TV gods), plus 2 dances per pair and solos from all ten of our dancers. Videos (from MJ) below and teeny recaps:
MY BOTTOM GIRL & GUY: Noelle Marsh & Ryan Di Lello
Noelle Marsh & Ryan Di Lello - Hip Hop by Tabitha & Napoleon - “Give it To Me Right” by Melanie Fiona (VIDEO): What? Where’s the footage of the new couples rehearsing together? If there’s ONE TIME to show rehearsal footage it’s in this episode so we can watch the new pairs adjust to drawing new partners and struggling to find chemistry in a week. Anyway, this dance was a slow hip hop routine about sexy secretary Noelle and her boss, Ryan. What’s going on? Female empowerment? Sexual harassment? Mixed messages! A good looking brunette couple, but both don’t have as much stage presence as some of the other Top 10 to really get me excited.
Noelle & Ryan - Waltz by JT Thomas & Tomas Mielnicki - “Jeux d’eau O” from Cirque du Soleil soundtrack (VIDEO): Ok, they’re kinda boring dancers, but this was a really gorgeous Waltz, I admit it. Just flowed beautifully. Ryan’s pec muscles were about to tear through his silk shirt.
AshleighDi Lello & Legacy Perez - Contemporary by Gary Stuart - “Poison” by the Prodigy (VIDEO): These two came out in strappy black Fifth Elementbondage-y clothes and knee pads. And dayymn did they need the knee pads because they were jumping off one another, dropping to the ground, rolling, flipping and doing other boo boo-causing moves. I wasn’t as into it as the judges, but Legacy’s headstand at the end was a stand-out moment.
Ashleigh& Legacy - Hip Hop by Dave Scott - “Slow Down” by Bobby Valentin (VIDEO): UGGGH! I guess Legacy was a vampire after Ashleigh, who was wearing a massive kelp bed on her shoulder. This was terribo (as the British would say)! Out of sync, awful costumes and (crime of all crimes) wimpy choreography that didn’t take advantage of b-boy Legacy’s amazing skills. Judges rightfully blamed choreographer Dave Scott for letting his dancers down. Ouch.
Kathryn McCormick & Nathan Trasoras - Broadway by Spencer Liff - “Choreography” by Danny Kaye (VIDEO): Very classic Broadway number. Kathryn is really growing on me. Nathan is really letting me down. I mean, he was fine in the number, but she outshines him. Beyond that, I know he’s got a purdy face and shines in his solos, but Nathan panders too much to the cameras for my liking.
Kathryn & Nathan - Rumba by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin - “Walk on By” by Aretha Franklin (VIDEO): Generally I love this song, but (sorry ‘retha) not this version (find the outstanding cover by Isaac Hayes - hell-oo!). I liked watching the dance, but again, Kathryn was much better than Nathan here. Random: His pants were uber-tight.
Ellenore Scott & Jakob Karr - Quickstep by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin - “Four Brothers” by Manhattan Transfer (VIDEO): Forget Mollee & Nathan, Mary - this is the freaking dream couple!! I’ve been hoping Ellenore & Jakob - two stellar dancers - would get paired together and they did not disappoint! I mean, granted, the Quickstep is sort of *yawn* but at least they sold it and have excellent chemistry on top of their technical skillz.
Ellenore & Jakob - Contemporary by Sonya Tayeh - “Tore My Heart” by Oona and Dave Tweedie (VIDEO): The judges’ FAVORITE DANCE EVARRRRRRR of the night. Extremely “Sonya“. Ellenore & Jakob threw themselves into this dramatic, raw, passionate number which reminded Adam of “The Garden” dance that Courtney Galiano & Mark Kanemura did in Season 4. This was much sexier and angst-filled than “The Garden” though - poor Ellenore is just a battered and bruised lover being used and abused by Jakob. Jakob remains consistently superb, but Ellenore connects waaaay better with Jakob than she did with Ryan. Electric. Upgrade!
Mollee Gray & Russell Ferguson - Lyrical Jazz by Mandy Moore - “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette (VIDEO): Oops, I missed this dance. From bits I’ve seen, I begrudgingly agree that Mollee is better with Russell and slightly more “mature” than when she was with Nathan. Still, I am not into her and her weird gymnastics-filled solos.
Mollee & Russell - Jive by Anya & Pasha - “Land of 1000 Dances” by Jimmy Barnes (VIDEO): Once more, I admit this was energetic and fun to watch. Mollee didn’t make me roll my eyes…which made me roll my eyes because I don’t want to like her!
Mollee Gray’s solo - “Rock the Beat” by LM*AO (VIDEO): Her solos still remind me too much of gymnastic floor routines. A lot of tricks but not necessarily passion.
Russell Ferguson’s solo - “Outros” by Black Milk (VIDEO): I love Russell’s solos so much more than his partnered dances. Insane strength!
Noelle Marsh’s solo - “Every Time It Rains” by Charlotte Martin (VIDEO): Noelle is very bubbly and sweet, but Kathryn shows more vulnerability and you know I loves me some emotions.
Ryan Di Lello’s solo - “Rock You Like A Hurricane” by Scorpions (VIDEO): Very fierce for a ballroom solo. Lotsa testosterone-filled chest puffing and “paso doble” arms, as I call it. He still reminds me of an almost-Hugh Jackman. Almost.
Kathryn McCormick’s solo - “Beautiful” by Bethany Dillon (VIDEO): Solo was nice, but I found myself distracted and wondering if these gals just buy dresses at Macy*s and dance in them, or if Kathryn was wearing some Made-Just-for-DANCE purple dress. Cuz she could’ve worn that thing to a cocktail party.
Nathan Trasoras’s solo - “Golden Train” by Justin Nozuka (VIDEO): He’s really losing favor with people (myself included, eep!), but Nathan still pulls me in with his solos. Those lanky limbs and pirouettes… niiice.
Ellenore Scott’s solo - “Beatbox Harmonica” by Yuri Lane (VIDEO): I feel like I keep calling Ellenore “quirky” but I’m in no mood to look up alternatives in a thesaurus. She is what she is. And she is quirky. I actually prefer Ellenore in her partnered dances than in her solos. She does the best when she has a character to play.
Legacy Perez’s solo - “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown (VIDEO): Paying attention, Dave Scott? Legacy can do PHENOMENAL things, so no more lame-o choreography where he just flaps a vampire cape around the stage, okay??
Ashleigh Di Lello’s solo - “Batucada Por Favor” by Bob Azzam (VIDEO): Ashleigh starts off slow and then the music kicks into turbo mode and so do Ashleigh’s legs. Zippadee Doo Da!
Jakob Karr’s solo - “Always Midnight (acoustic)” by Pat Monahan (VIDEO): Jakob doesn’t seem to have any bones in his lower half. What the hell? Madness - he’s like Gumby with those extensions and splits. Ay caramba!
Which new couple are you most excited about? Remember to sound off your thoughts for the poll, too! Which Top 10 couple gave the BEST performance on So You Think You Can Dance tonight?
HeyDancefans! Seems I just stopped the late-night So You Think You Can Dancerecaps and yet here we are, a month later, about to do it all over again for the new Fall season of SYTYCD (Season 6, y’all)! It all starts next Wednesday, September 9th, on FOX!
To whhhhet our appetites for next week’s premiere, Nigel Lythgoe hosted a delightful filler episode of his Best 16 Routines from all 5 seasons (rerun-style, no one returned to re-perform them). Check the vids below (byMJ) and enjoy!
SEASON 1 ROUTINES
Destini Rogers & Jamile McGee - Hip Hop by Shane Sparks (“Shake” by Ying Yang Twins feat. Pitbull) – VIDEO Melody Lacayanga & Nick Lazzarini - Chicago - Jazz by Tyce DiOrio (“All That Jazz” by Ute Lemper) – VIDEO
SEASON 2 ROUTINES
Heidi Groskreutz & Benji Schwimmer - Mambo by Alex Da Silva(“Black Mambo” by Angel & The Mambokats) – VIDEO Allison Holker &Ivan Koumaev - Contemporary by Tyce DiOrio (”Why” by Annie Lennox) – VIDEO Heidi & Travis Wall- Bench Routine - Contemporary by Mia Michaels (“Calling You” by Celine Dion) – VIDEO
SEASON 3 ROUTINES
Jaimie Goodwin & Hok Konishi - The Hummingbird and the Flower - Jazz by Wade Robson (“The Chairman’s Waltz” from Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack) – VIDEO Sabra Johnson & Neil Haskell - The Boardroom Battle - Contemporary by Mandy Moore (“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by The Eurythmics) – VIDEO Lacey Schwimmer & Danny Tidwell - Samba by Dmitry Chaplin (“Hip Hip Chin Chin” by Club Des Blugas) – VIDEO Lauren Gottlieb & Pasha Kovalev - Transformers- Hip Hop by Shane Sparks(“Fuego” by Pitbull) – VIDEO
SEASON 4 ROUTINES
Courtney Galiano & Mark Kanemura - Jazz by Sonya Tayeh (“The Garden” by Mirah) – VIDEO Chelsie Hightower & Mark - Hip Hop by Tabitha and Napoleon (“Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis) – VIDEO Katee Shean & JoshuaAllen - Contemporary by Mia Michaels (“Hometown Glory” by Adele) – VIDEO
SEASON 5 ROUTINES
Janette Manrara & Brandon Bryant - Disco by Doriana Sanchez (“Loving is Really My Game” by Brainstorm) – VIDEO Kayla Radomski & Kupono Aweau - Addiction - Contemporary by Mia Michaels (“Gravity” by Sara Bareilles) – VIDEO Jeanine Manrara & Jason Glover - Contemporary by Travis Wall (“If It Kills Me (The Casa Nova Sessions)” by Jason Mraz) – VIDEO Melissa Sandvig & Ade Obayomi - Breast Cancer Routine - Contemporary by Tyce DiOrio (“This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell) – VIDEO
Wahooo! I’m ready to recap if you’re all ready to gather ’round your tellies and watch with me. Who needs sleep when there’s dance, dance, DANCE to be had? Do you care that they’re moving one of the best Summer shows to dreary ol’ Fall? Guess we’ll see how it plays out next week on the new So You Think You Can Danceseason!
I implore you to make this summer’s So You Think You Can Dance season worth watching. Shouldn’t be too hard because I’m already stoked for tonight’s 2-hour premiere. I only ask for dancers to fawn over (preferably with funny artsy names like Thayne, Comfort, Kherington and Twitch), routines that give me chills, goofy judges and crazy choreography. Do it to it!
The lady-duo call themselves Carter & Lee (after Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan’s characters in Rush Hour). It’s magic… Enjoy!
Ok…Comfort won’t win American Idol, but I appreciate that she “still goeshard” for the whole act. Get it, ladies! Nothing better than seeing girls just wanna have fuh-unn and act a fool together. BUT let’s not forget that these ladies are psycho-talented dancers - watch them tear it up on SYTYCD: