Posts Tagged ‘Mia Michaels’

SYTYCD Grows Up!

Posted by Diana in So You Think You Can Dance

June 2nd, 2011, 03:32 PM

SYTYCD hopefuls at the New York auditions

Never thought I’d say this, I have thoroughly enjoyed the past two weeks of So You Think You Can Dance auditions! Can you believe it’s season 8?! Cat Deeley is a wonder, as ever, and even Tyce Diorio’s mugging and bitchery haven’t deterred my enjoyment. See, this show is finally, finally, finally about dance, and the audition footage is reflecting that! There have been only a handful of joke or bad auditions–there was only one! One! Last night. And though that one took up waaaaaay more time than it deserved, it was the only one. And last week there were only a handful as well, giving loyal viewers a chance to actually see terrific dancing, rather than ridiculous train wrecks. Dare I thank Nigel for this? Or should I wait until auditions are over?

Mary Murphy is back! Queen of the Hot Tamale Train herself, and more orange than ever! Did you know she had thyroid cancer? Me neither! It’s part of the reason she took last season off. Never thought I’d say this, but I am glad she’s back and replacing Mia Michaels. Mia was a little too Queen of Mean for me–and it’s great to have a ballroom expert back on the judging panel. I do miss Adam Shankman (who is out working on the movie version of the musical Rock of Ages), but am looking forward to guest judges! Guests lined up for the season include the aforementioned Adam Shankman, Tyce Diorio, Debbie Allen, Robin Antin, Lil’ C, Toni Redpath, and Jason Gilkison.

Robin Antin (founder of The Pussycat Dolls and sister of hair guy Jonathan Antin) and Jason Gilkison (choreographer of the stage spectacular Burn the Floor) both appeared during auditions last night. Robin Antin seems to think the highest form of praise is saying a dancer could be a Pussycat Doll (um, thanks?), while Jason Gilkison is a bit like a dialed down Mary Murphy: all expertness and tact.

Many, many people auditioned and many, many people went through to Las Vegas. My hope is for a larger ratio of ballroom dancers this year–every year contemporary dancers make up a larger part of the Top 20, and that must end! So here’s to the ballroom dancers, the krumpers, the whackers (oh yes), and the Irish step dancer: you can do it! Beat those contempos down!

Anyway–the format has been tweaked. Again! Viewers were disappointed by last year’s All Star turn, so Nigel has made little changes to ensure everyone is happy. This season, the finals begin with a top 20, and when the 20 are whittled down to 10, ten All Stars will be brought in to partner with the current top 10 in the All Star’s individual dance style. Make sense? So we get to see the personal relationships build between dancers, but also revisit former favorites. Bring back Comfort again! She’s awesome!

Tonight on Fox will be the final SYTYCD auditions (Los Angeles), and next week: Las Vegas! Man, I love summer.

Host Cat Deeley, joined by your judges, America!

So You Think You Can Get Through the Season?

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

July 22nd, 2010, 01:49 PM

SYTYCD

Ok, seriously, guys: is there a saboteur on So You Think You Can Dance?  Because this injury shizz is getting hinky—first Alex Wong (two weeks ago), then Ashley Galvan (last week), and now Billy Bell?  There’s no use in voting!  Just assume someone will be injured and have to leave the show!  Let’s hope Billy’s knee was rested well enough last night (and presumably a couple days before) that he’ll be able to continue in the competition.  It’s practically a foregone conclusion at this point that Kent Boyd will win the season, since Jose ‘Full Deck’ Ruiz isn’t a strong enough dancer (Mia Michaels would never allow him to win over one of the other guys), Lauren Froderman has yet to blow everyone away,  Robert Roldan is not as well liked as Kent (that was so diplomatic!), and Adéchiké Torbert gets a lot of criticism for minor things.  Kent gets the most “you’ve grown as a dancer!” comments from the judges, the girls will not stop screaming (I couldn’t even HEAR the stomps and slaps of his step performance last night, and spent most of it screaming SHUT UP YOU HARPIES! at the television), and he’s adorable.  Plus, it’s been a while since a white guy won (and, had Alex kept going and won the whole thing, it would have been the first win by an Asian dancer.  This is how reality TV competition works, people).

Kent Boyd SYTYCDI’ll admit, Kent has grown on me, both as a person and as a dancer.  Last night’s step routine (with tWitch taking Billy’s place at the last minute) was pretty awesome, even if Kent grabbing his crotch comes off as hilars rather than tough, but whatever.  It was no Alex/tWitch hip hop, that’s for sure, but it was decent enough.  And I rather liked the Adéchiké/Comfort Fedoke lyrical hip hop earlier in the evening—again, not the strongest representation the show has ever had, but well done.  I’m still not enamored with Robert and his muggin’ face, Lauren fails to excite, Jose and Adéchiké just aren’t strong enough outside their own genres, and Billy is injured.  Therefore: loveable Kent for the win.


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America Wept!

Posted by BRADY in So You Think You Can Dance

July 8th, 2010, 03:06 PM

Kent shows off smooth moves dancing with Comfort

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 AlexJose 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!


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So You Think You Can Dance Returns to Summer TV!

Posted by BRADY in So You Think You Can Dance

May 27th, 2010, 01:37 PM

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.

- This post brought to you by DIANA

Gay Divorcee Dancers Who want to Act, not Sing

Posted by BRADY in Hannah Montana, So You Think You Can Dance, celebrity gossip

March 30th, 2010, 01:02 PM

Sweetness and light, ya’ll, did you realize Ricky Martin is gay?!  Yeah, me too, no surprises there.  I wonder how many other former Menudo stars have or will come out of the closet and into the big, glorious world.  Actually, I more wonder if Menudo is still around (the internet comes through again: of course they are).  When I personally first heard the news, my brain went straight to the Barbara Walters interview with The Toronto Star less than a month ago, where she said that her one regret was pushing Ricky “to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was.”  That’s nice of her.  Perhaps Ricky’s recent pronouncement was, in some way, influenced by Barbara’s decision to come clean on her one regret.

So You Think You Can Dance is changing the format!  Whaaaaaat?  Read all about it HERE.  On the upside, Mia Michaels will be coming back to choreograph and judge!  On the downside, “bringing back all-star partners” sounds a bit ominous.  I hope it doesn’t turn into some sort of ridiculous and unending Dancing with the Stars, um, cluster-you-know-what.  What qualifies as an all-star?  Someone who has made top 10 before?  Someone who has won?  Hopefully, more information will be forthcoming.

In a RadarOnline exclusive, Sandra Bullock has decided to kick Jesse James to the curb (maybe she’ll channel  Blu Cantrell and sell all his stuff and go on a massive shopping spree!).  Poor Sandra, currently hopping from undisclosed location to undisclosed location as more and more women come forward with stories about her errant husband.  She’ll rise above!  I just know she will!

And finally, Miley Cyrus is quitting music (yay?).  To do movies (boo!).  Not Disney or Hannah Montana movies, oh no, she wants to be a serious actor (are you listening, Raven Symone?).  My money is on a series of romantic, weepy, depressing Nicholas Sparks movies.  And then she fades into oblivion, because that shizz don’t fly forever.  We should be so lucky, eh?

16 and Pregnant tonight!  Who’s watching with me?

- This post was brought to you by Diana

So You Think You Can Dance 6: Top 18 Perform!

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

November 4th, 2009, 12:31 AM

Thanks for nuthin’, World Series. Because the game prevents a So You Think You Can Dance results show from airing, tonight’s episode crammed the Top 18 performances in and the judges (not viewers) chose the couple to eliminate. Did they make the right choice? Two tappers (Bianca Revels and Phillip Attmore) out in the blink of an eye. Recap of the Top 18 and videos of tonight’s dances (from MJ)…NOW:

Noelle Marsh & Russell Ferguson – Hip Hop by Jamal Sims - “Move Shake Drop Remix” by DJ Laz, Flo Rida and Casley (VIDEO): This was Noelle’s first week performing after her bum knee injury last week. While neither dancer did a bad job, the piece itself was a scrambly mess. It was a “tennis hip hop” dance and I thought the props and costumes were contrived and well, lame-o. It was watching like two yuppie squares try to Hip Hop - ick. Noelle hit the moves, but her performance was a little forced and hokey. The judges weren’t so impressed either.

Ashleigh Di Lello & Jakob Karr – Viennese Waltz by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin - “At Last” by Etta James (VIDEO): Ashleigh needs to cut her hair. Anyway, this was a sweet number - it was about a newly married couple having their First Dance as husband and wife. Sweaty Jakob got to score two kisses with equally sweaty Ashleigh - hope her hubby Ryan wasn’t threatened *wink, smirk*. It was nice to see Ashleigh more subdued because sometimes homegirl’s pulling all kinds of overly exaggerated “OOOO!” faces or “Ha-cha-CHA!” growls after her moves. She just needs to scale back and be more genuine in her performances.

Bianca Revels & Victor Smalley – Broadway by Tyce Diorio - “Maybe God Is Tryin’ to Tell You Something” from The Color Purple soundtrack (VIDEO): Y’know, now that I know the outcome of the show; that Bianca was eliminated, I am a bit peeved. I thought she carried this routine and I’m now realizing that I’ll miss her exuberant personality from the show. I agree with the judges that Victor was all kiiiinds of pent up in this number and he didn’t TAKE. IT. TO. CHURCH. He’s such a gorgeous dancer, I hope he shapes up and can be more committed in his performances. I disagree with Nigel that Bianca also needed to give more. I thought her performance was way better than Victor’s.

Mollee Gray & Nathan Trasoras – Bollywood by Nakul Dev Mahajan - “Azeem O Shaan Shahenshah” Jodhaa Akbar (soundtrack) (VIDEO): It’s the teenybopper couple! Nathan is still a cutie and Mollee is still acting like she’s 5 years old. I don’t get why the judges think she’s suddenly matured into a woman, because I don’t see it. Though he’s young, I think Nathan could soar with a partner who has more emotional depth. Mollee, with her lisp and her cornball giddiness, just ain’t gonna cut it. Needless to say, I tune her out during their performances. Nathan had a really really strong opening to the dance and I MAY have swooned a little during his go-on-forever “hopping pirouettes”. Give him a new partner please!

Channing Cooke & Phillip Attmore – Samba by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin - “Maracatu Funk” by The Samba Squad (VIDEO): This was not good. I don’t get it: Channing was obnoxiously bubbly during her audition, but since making the Top 20 (or Top 36 even) she just seems hard, rough, angry, dour - I dunno. What happened to that shining personality? This whole Samba pretty much stank. It was shaky, their lifts were “whooOOOAAA” wobbly, the technique was astrosh…yeah, no. And I agree that Phillip should’ve gone home.

Karen Hauer & Kevin Hunte – Hip Hop by Tabitha & Napoleon - “Ice Cream Paint Job” by Dorrough (VIDEO): Karen’s a flirty J-Lo look-alike who’s switchin’ her hips into an auto shop to work her feminine wiles on Kevin the car mechanic. This was waaay better than the Noelle & Russell tennis number. It was hard hitting, it was entertaining, it was borderline raunchy. I tell ya, Karen is winning me over, but like I said last week - I would like to see her soften up and get raw and emotional, like in a Contemporary number. If she can pull that off, then I’ll root for her 100%. Poor Kevin, he gets overshadowed by her all the time. He better step it up!

Kathryn McCormick & Legacy Perez – Contemporary by Stacey Tookey - “2 Steps Away” by Patti LaBelle (VIDEO): Okay, so this was a lovely number and yet I couldn’t help but feel like I’d seen it before…hmmm… This Contemporary dance was about Kathryn fighting “the Fear” (a.k.a. Legacy). Yeah, it was EXTREMELY reminiscent of last season’s powerful Mia Michael’s “Addiction” dance performed by Kayla Radomski & Kupono Aweau (VID). Though Legacy had some great tricks and it was nice to watch, I kept thinking back to Mia’s addiction piece and how strong it was and how raw Kayla & Kupono were in comparison. Watch it again!

Pauline Mata & Peter Sabasino – Jazz by Wade Robson - “Little Green Bag” by George Baker Selection (VIDEO): Oops, I missed this number. It looks interesting - typical Wade stuff. I’m glad they were safe. I think little Pauline is adorable.

Ellenore Scott & Ryan Di Lello – Argentine Tango by Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo - “Violent Tango” by Astor Piazzolla (VIDEO): Nigel is right - I had a hard time appreciating the complexity of this number, but apparently Ellenore & Ryan SMASHED IT. And Ellenore did so with her dress caught on her heel for a large portion of the number. Kudos, kudos.

The judges call the Bottom 3 couples: Noelle & Russell, Channing & Phillip and Bianca & Victor. The Bottom 4 dancers are Noelle, Bianca, Phillip and Victor. They must all DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES before the judges eliminate two dancers. Unfortunately, the tappers have a tough time making a strong impression, although Bianca puts more pizzazz into it than Phillip, imo. It’s clear to me that Victor’s strong Contemporary solo bested Phillip, but the gals are neck-in-neck for me…  VIDEO

ELIMINATED: Bianca Revels and Phillip Attmore. Awww, booo, so much for this HISTORICAL Top 20 with 3 Tap dancers that the judges boasted so much about. It’s only the second week and 2 out of 3 of the tappers are gone. Like I said, I’m bummed that Bianca is out because she was a lot of fun, but Phillip has bored me from the beginning. I will, however, admit that I got a little verklempt when he mentioned his dad’s recent passing and how moved he was that some of the Top 18 went to the funeral. Why, he even got Miss Cat Deeley crying! Very sad, but the show goes on.

Next week on So You Think You Can Dance, our Top14 perform and viewers can finally have a say in who’s eliminated.

So You Think You Can Dance 6: Meet the Top 20!

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

October 27th, 2009, 12:54 AM

So you think you can dance 6 Top 20 wade robson routineMmm, child! Why didn’t Nigel do this “Meet the Top 20″ special in past seasons of So You Think You Can Dance? How long have we SYTYCD fans craved an episode dedicated to the dancers in their own element - meaning their own dance style and specialty - not a rushed, 1 minute DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES, or the unevenly edited vignettes during the audition episodes. Tonight’s show gave us a taste of that by grouping all like-styled dancers together.

That’s not to say this was perfect. My gripes?

1) The episode could’ve been two hours versus one to let each Top 20 dancer do a solo (I still can’t tell them brunette Contemporary dancer gals apart).

2) The new stage is AWFUL. It’s like the American Idol stage with massive video screens that display epileptic fit-inducing Windows screensavers in the background. Now, the dancers are swallowed up. It makes it so much harder to focus on their moves and feel the impact and emotion of their dances without being distracted. NIGEL, are you listening?? Go back to the old stage so I can freakin see the DANCER, not the lighting and special FX.

3) Some of the dances did not impress and I feel like the judges were too kind in their comments - almost like they were convincing themselves that they’d made the right decisions on some of these folks.

But enough about that - you are here for THE DANCE. Recaps of the numbers and videos (from MJ) below:

TOP 20 GROUP ROUTINE: Choreographed by Wade Robson - “Comanche” by The Revels (VIDEO): This was a super swanky, wah-wah start to the show: everyone dressed to the nines like they’re in some too-cool-for-school speakeasy, snapping and clapping and “aaahhh”ing around the dance floor. Wade lumped the dancers together by style whilst mixing in a stray Contemporary dancer here and there (since there are PLENTY to spare, despite all the judges’ talk of diversity this season). The way to win my heart is naturally to open with cutie patootie Nathan Trasoras leading a pack of Contemporary/Jazz dancers in his (dapper-bordering-on-dorky) white suit. Also a stand-out for me was Jacob Karr’s hot, sizzling entrance with the Hip Hop trio (Kevin Hunte, Legacy Perez and Russell Ferguson) - oh right, and gentle Contemporary boy Billy Bell. Energy something FIERCE, I tell you. I loved Wade’s choreography here - herky-jerky, funky, swanky, energetic - and what a song featuring that blaring trumpet and sax. Niiiice.

HIP HOP TRIO ROUTINE: Russell Ferguson (Krump), Legacy Perez (B-Boy) & Kevin Hunte (Pop-Locker) - Choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon - “Beggin’ (District ‘78 Remix)” by Madcon (Intro VIDEO & Dance VIDEO): These three guys aren’t really similar in their specialties but got plopped together into the “Hip Hop” umbrella. Still, they seemed really supportive of one another and had explosive spirit. I think Legacy was the weakest of the trio (that’s right, I’m judging already) and Russell Ferguson was the stand-out, especially during his mini solo after flying off-stage. I like his boom boom pow!

CONTEMPORARY QUARTET #1: Nathan Trasoras, Jakob Karr, Ariana DeBose & Channing Cooke - Choreographed by Tyce DiOrio - “Crying” by k.d. Lang (Intro VIDEO & Dance VIDEO): If you’re a regular reader, you know I’m NOT into Tyce, his overrated choreography, his rudeness and his air of self-importance. Needless to say I was bummed he was choreographing my two fave Contemporary dancers: Nathan & Jakob. I found the piece too “busy”. It’s about 4 people dealing with sadness in different ways, which means you have 4 dancers twitching and writhing around at different times and it was so frantic that I couldn’t focus on all of them. All I recall was that Nathan did pirouettes for days - he’s dreamy. “Meh” to you, Tyce - MEH.

TAP TRIO ROUTINE: Bianca Revels, Phillip Attmore & Peter Sabasino - Choreographed by Derrick K. Grant - “Take the ‘A’ Train” by Ella Fitzgerald (Intro VIDEO & Dance VIDEO): Sadly, this tap number did not translate to that big stage for me. My thoughts? Bianca’s got personality just bursting out of her, Phillip’s got a weird nose and Peter looks like Liev Schreiber as Sabertooth.

JAZZ TRIO ROUTINE: Pauline Mata, Mollee Gray & Ellenore Scott - Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh - “On a Cloud” by PPP (Intro VIDEO & Dance VIDEO): Mollee Gray STILL acts like a dorky kid and annoys me. Why do the producers pimp her out so much? More Ellenore! Actually, in this number I felt that Ellenore and Pauline stood out. But maybe that’s cuz I’m reverse biased toward (against?) Mollee. This number was ok. The lacey gloves and tutus were an odd costume choice.

CONTEMPORARY QUARTET #2: Victor Smalley, Kathryn McCormick, Noelle Marsh & Billy Bell - Choreographed by Mandy Moore - “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay (Intro VIDEO & Dance VIDEO): This dance was way similar to Season 4’s Top 4 “celebratory Scottish kilt” group dance by Mia Michaels — just me? I guess it’s the strings, the quartet of dancers, the jumpy/bouncy/fruity movements…I prefer Season 4’s routine. I still can’t keep track of which brunette girl is which, but I’ll get there… NEWSFLASH: we got sad news that Billy Bell withdrew from the show due to (mysterious-but-life-threatening) illness! Tragic because he was an early audience favorite and could make Adam Shankman blubber like a baby. He will be replaced by Bay Area Hip Hop dancer, Brandon Dumlao. I’m sad Billy’s out, but also excited that Brandon gets a chance: a Hip Hop dancer and also from my hometown!

BALLROOM ROUTINE: Karen Hauer, Ashleigh Di Lello & Ryan Di Lello - Choreographed by Jason Gilkinson – “Everything I Can’t Have” by Robin Thicke (Intro DANCE & Dance VIDEO): Three’s a crowd and Karen’s a firecracker. I want to see more of her - without the married couple.

Who rang your bell in the “Meet the Top 20″ special? Tonight, the “REAL” competition begins: a 2-hour premiere where the dancers partner up and pony up to take on a new dance style. The judges will boot out TWO dancers. Maybe one of the brunette Contemporary girls will get kicked off, who knows! Tune in to So You Think You Can Dance and find out!

So You Think You Can Dance 6: Top 20 Selected!

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

October 21st, 2009, 11:19 PM

So You Think You Can Dance Jakob KarrSo You Think You Have Enough Contemporary dancers? Sheesh. Tonight was a snoozy reveal of Season 6’s Top 20 dancers on So You Think You Can Dance, and the majority of them are all from the Contemporary style (where’s the diversity?). I really wished they’d show a lot more footage of each dancer in their element, but I guess they’re saving it for next Monday’s “Meet the Top 20″ episode.

Basically, tonight was just a bunch of backstage footage of the dancers burying their faces in the hands or hugging (with congratulations or sympathy). A right bore, if you ask me!  Which 10 guys and 10 gals made it? Watch this video to see all Top 20 dancers (vid from Rickey) and read below for details:

Nathan Trasoras (Contemporary) – My favorite so far - thank goodness he made it! Remember Nathan? He was too young last season, but Nigel gave him a free pass to this season’s Las Vegas week. Love his pirouettes and apple-y cheeks.

Kathryn McCormick (Contemporary) – Wow, do the producers want me to hate her already? They basically show a montage of this homesick Georgia native crying over and over and over again. And every time she starts crying, her voice becomes increasingly warbly and high-pitched like Stewie Griffin. The way they edited it, she just came off as being ridiculous - I mean even the judges were making fun of her! How am I supposed to take her seriously as a dancer when that’s all they show of her?

Channing Cooke (Contemporary) – The Bostonian ice cream parlor gal with a lot of personality. The judges say she lacks chemistry with her partners and needs to improve on that.

Ariana DeBose (Contemporary) – Dunno much about her. She made Mia cry with her Vegas audition, I think…

Ellenore Scott (Jazz) – I thought Ellenore had a great Vegas audition, but they never really showed her again. I hope she blows us away when given more screen time.

Billy Bell (Contemporary) – Little Billy is putting off his scholarship to Julliard to participate. Hope it’s worth it, Billy Boy… He’s a goofy-faced little guy, isn’t he?

Russell Ferguson (Krump) - The first Krumper to ever make the Top 20! *blow party horn* Does Russell HONESTLY have NO other formal dance training? I just don’t believe it because he’s just… TOO good at everything! I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but if Youtube videos surface of him in advanced ballet classes, I will be sorely disappointed. Don’t let me down, Russell!

Kevin “K’Bez” Hunte (Hip Hop) - He makes it. I missed this part, but I don’t think they focused much on him.

Bianca Revels (Tap) – After three seasons of auditioning, Bianca finally makes it to the Top 20 and is the first Tap dancer ever to do so! It’s a night of history being made. Well, I guess that’s enough of that…

Phillip Attmore (Tap) – Oh wait, I guess they’re not done! Phillip is the SECOND tapper to make it! His face looks kinda weird - why? Tight and shiny. Apparently he was too defensive when given criticism and rubbed some of the judges the wrong way, but he gets another chance.

Peter Sabasino (Tap) – Yep, a THIRD tapper makes it. Well, now I’m over it. It’s weird though, the judges were like, “Yeah, you weren’t very good in your first Vegas solo… then you were so-so in other choreography… YOU’RE IN THE TOP 20!!!!!” I would’ve liked to see someone like Brandon Dumlao (VIDEO) make it instead of a third “so-so” tap dancer.

Victor Smalley (Contemporary) – He’s hawt. The judges hated his hair, so he cut it. Then they liked him. *sigh*

Jakob Karr (Contemporary) – Gumby-bendy Jakob makes it but they show hardly anything about him.

Mollee Gray (Jazz) – Blech! I’m sorry Mollee fans, but every time she opens her mouth, I say, “UgggGGGGH!” She just acts like a complete doofus and does NOT impress me with her dancing for the reason mentioned by the judges: she dances like a child and doesn’t ooze deep-seated emotion from her performances. Sure she’s cute, but I don’t want a sweet Shirley Temple on the dance floor - I want a fierce Bloody Mary.

Pauline Mata (Jazz) - Despite her ankle injury, tiny little Pauline makes it.

Noelle Marsh (Contemporary) – She’s BFFs with Mollee. They squeal and hug a lot. *eye roll*

Legacy (B-boy) – The breakdancer with the high-pitched voice makes it. I personally miss b-boy Jean Lloret with the braids and dimples…

Paula Van Oppen (Contemporary) – She makes the Top 20, but committed to a movie in between Vegas week and whenever they filmed this episode. Rumor has it that the movie Paula accepted is 2010’s “Burlesque” (slated to star Kristen Bell, Christina Aguilera and Cher among others). Sounds like a sweet gig for a dancer, but Paula is bummed - too much good stuff happening at once.

Ryan Di Lello (Ballroom) – Huge, muscular hottie Ryan has long been a judge favorite, so it’s no surprise that he makes it in. But will his less stellar wife Ashleigh join him?

Karen Hauer (Ballroom) – Well, Karen is pit against Ashleigh. I was scared they’d keep Ashleigh solely for the husband/wife drama, but Karen has a lot more natural, genuine stage presence and rightfully makes it through… but WAIT FOR IT…

Ashleigh Di Lello (Ballroom) - Ashleigh also makes it! She takes Paula Van Oppen’s place. Better to be 2nd banana than none at all, eh Ash? She gets to join her husband, Ryan, in celebrating. The first married couple to be in the Top 20 together!

A real night of “firsts”, huh (first tappers, first hubby and wifey, first krumper)? So that’s the Top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance Season 6! Are you excited or disappointed in the judges’ selections? At this point I’m most intrigued by Nathan Trasoras, Ellenore Scott, Russell Ferguson and Jakob Karr. The guys seem stronger - is it too soon to predict that a male dancer will win the title of “America’s Best Dancer” this season? Well, I just did it. Your turn!

Next Monday, Nigel’s put together a “Meet the Top 20″ special which will only feature the Top 20 dancing in THEIR genre. It will include some trios (like TAP trios?) and other group dances - I’m excited. This will give us a better peek at each dancer so we aren’t realizing halfway through the season that Jeanine Mason deserved much more limelight than her partner Phillip Chbeeb ever did (errr, for example).

So You Think You Can Dance 6: Vegas Week Part 2

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

October 15th, 2009, 09:39 AM

So You Think You Can Dance 6 Vegas Week 2So You Think You Can Dance is still in Vegas, weeding out one sweaty, muscle-aching, dream-crushed dancer after another - trying to find le grand Top 20 for Season 6. Video clips (by MJ) and recaps below:

Things are getting intense as the dancers must all stretch (haha, get it?) outside of their comfort zones and rapidly pick up new choreography day after day in Sin City.

The first round is from scary-intense Jazz choreographer, Laurieann Gibson. She lays on the pressure thick and is unforgiving of the dancers who pick it up too slowly, but she Cracks. Me. Up! “A five, six, seven, EIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!” She’s wild and I love it.

Karen and Matthew Hauer, the first married ballroom couple to make it to Vegas (by way of Boston) unfortunately get split: Karen does a good job on the Jazz routine, but her hubby falters and gets cut. Nigel makes some weird comment like, “Matthew, you’re Latin, I expected some FIRE from you,” which is sort of stereotyping, isn’t it? I mean it’s not really a negative one, but c’mon Nigel - put more creativity in your feedback! VIDEO

Jazz proves to be as tough as Laurieann’s teaching style, and Nigel gets very frustrated with the dancers. We see lovely-but-mature-faced champion ballroom dancer Iveta Lukosiute and Willem de Vris, the same-sex male ballroom dancer, nixed from the group.

Again, the producers fueled my theory that they REALLY want us to love young, blondy Mollee Gray, whose family packed their shizz and uprooted from Utah to LA to further her dance career (hmph) because they showed waaaay more footage of her being bubbly and weird than many of the other dancers. I can totally see why people would find her cute as a button, but she hasn’t really stood out on the dance floor imo, and is kind of annoying in her loopy teenspeak. The judges feel she doesn’t dance with enough maturity, but she passes to the next round. Then *shock, tears*, she sprains her ankle and is taken to the hospital. Will she be able to continue competing? (Spoiler: yes).  VIDEO

Everyone’s favorite Krumper, Russell Ferguson, amazes the judges again and passes the Jazz round.

The exhausted dancers are pushed to work through the night on the next challenge: to choreograph a Group dance based on music drawn randomly from a hat. Russell and his group dance a Broadway number that really impresses the judges. Russell Ferguson can’t lose! VIDEO

Mollee returns from the hospital and has to quickly learn her group’s choreography. She is annoyed that they’re babying her because even though she’s injured, she wants to shine for the judges. They do a hip hop-ish routine but the judges think it is way lame. But they all make it to the next round so I guess there’s potential. *shug* VIDEO

Next? The dreaded-but-exciting Contemporary choreography round with Mia Michaels. The dancers are very intimidated, but this season it seems the show wants to shed her in a better light, so we watch as Mia purrs at the dancers and leads them in a peaceful, centering prayer of sorts. The dancers are edited/shown to calm around her and engage in the transcendental experience of dancing Mia’s choreography. Too bad she is apparently leaving after this season of SYTYCD???

Kevin “K’Bez” Hunte, the Hip Hop dancer from Boston, astounds the judges with his technique and passes the round. VIDEO

Legacy, the famous b-boy, is struggling, but finishes Mia’s choreography and breaks down. He smoochy smooches her bum, talking about how he was completely changed by her choreography and wants to learn more. Mama Mia (hello!) soothes him and says the judges “see him” and love his perfect imperfections, or something. He makes it through. VIDEO

*jazz hands* Don’t rest yet, dancers - time for a male and female Broadway routine from Tyce Diorio! Wheee…

Pauline Mata, a Contemporary dancer who almost made last season’s Top 20, falls on her ankle wrong at the end of her Broadway number. Her ankle blows up to the size of a tennis ball and we all wince. Like Mollee, she’s sprained it. Unfortunately, her sprain is worse and she can’t dance for two days - will the judges still consider her or put her down like a lamed horse?  It’s hard out there for a dancer. VIDEO

Ashleigh and Ryan Di Lello, the husband and wife ballroom couple from Salt Lake City, are featured next. Ashleigh’s constantly been in her husband’s shadow (of DANCE), I’m amazed that she doesn’t let it get to her (or doesn’t show it getting to her). But finally a silver lining: she really improves during the Broadway round and the judges praise her and want her to continue. Finally someone gave this poor gal a bone. VIDEO

Her hottie, shirtless husband, Ryan, is up next and blows the judges away with his dancing and glistening, rock hard abs. The judges pass him through and the Di Lellos are stoked to be in it together. VIDEO

Dominic Pearson, a Contemporary(?) dancer who did very well in Season 4 auditions before getting taken away by an ambulance is very cocky and sure he’ll make Top 20.  He doesn’t, and then immediately breaks down sobbing and curling up in the fetal position on stage. He gets zero sympathy from Nigel and America cringes for him. VIDEO

Finally, the dancers each perform a solo again for the judges. I wish we could see all their dances, but we only get to see most of cute little Billy Bell, and then a bunch of slow-mo to fast-mo clips of the other dancers. Billy’s dance totally reduces judge Adam Shankman to a trembling mess of tears. It looks like he’s having a religious experience and the Holy Spirit of DANCE has overcome him. VIDEO

And then, the cliffhanger: gotta wait until next week we find out which dancers pass through to the Top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance Season 6! It promises to be dramatic and full of surprises.

So You Think You Can Dance 6: Vegas Week Part 1

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

October 8th, 2009, 09:24 AM

Nathan Trasoras So You Think You Can Dance Vegas soloLast night’s So You Think You Can Dance episode of Vegas week was probably the most entertaining of the season so far (I hope it only goes up from here). Why didn’t they show us all of these fab dancers during the auditions? There’s a lot of talent this season and fingers crossed that also includes better shiny, happy personalities compared to Season 5’s snoozy gang. Video clips (by MJ) and recaps below:

First, each dancer performs a solo in their own style:

Nathan Trasoras (Contemporary) – I’ve made it no secret that I’ve had a semi-cougar crush on this newly-turned 18-year-old from Southern California since his audition last season. Back then he was too young to participate but Nigel promised him a free pass to this season’s Vegas audition. Nathan is still squeal-y adorable with his rosy cheeks and Taylor Lautner resemblance. He does what seems to be his signature move again - a big pirouette spin which ends in a sweeping leg (but I’m no dance expert). He’s not the best dancer in the bunch, but has a great center of gravity, excellent charisma and a positive attitude - I think he’s perfect for the show (ya hear me, Nigel??). I hope he makes it to Top 20.  VIDEO

Ellenore Scott (Contemporary) – Ellenore is a deliiiight! Again, why were they hiding her all season? Talk about having both “personality” and skill, she combined them perfectly in her solo. It was cheeky, exquisite and her musicality was superb. Hope she makes it far. VIDEO

Sadly, two early favorites are cut without much fanfare: Allison Becker, the deaf dancer, and Thomas Hamilton, the crack baby who wanted to use dance to get out of his crummy town. Their solos just weren’t strong enough for the judges. VIDEO

The gay male ballroom dancers, Willem de Vris & Jacob Jason perform together, but Jacob is cut and peaces out without saying goodbye to Willem. Add another tally to the “awkward goodbyes” category. VIDEO

The surviving dancers learn a Hip Hop routine with Tabitha & Napoleon and perform in pairs.

The dorky, “whimsical” Teddy Tedholm (remember? Mr. Clown Pants from Boston?) manages to pass the Hip Hop round, but my favorite b-boy from the auditions, ridiculously strong and mind-blowing Jean Lloret, doesn’t make it. *frowny face* I love his personality much more than b-boy Legacy’s, and hope he tries out again next year. VIDEO

Tap dancer Ryan Kasprzak (brother of Season 5 Top 20 contestant, Evan Kasprzak) barely gets a pass from the judges! Uh oh, and here I thought it’d be smooth sailing for him this season. The judges put pressure on Ryan to work a lot harder for the next challenge: a super-speed Latin ballroom number choreographed by Louis Van Amstel. VIDEO

Ballroom wears down a lot of dancers. Newbie Contemporary dancer Billy Bell (of “swayed back” and “banana bunch fingers”) gets clocked in the nose (*cue Marcia Brady clip - “Oooouggh! My nose!“) by his partner’s elbow (I think it’s salsa-hip hop-pop lock dancer Christina Santana) and ends up with a gushing, bloody nose. It’s better than a missing toenail *still gagging*, so I’m fine. VIDEO

Oh. Em. Gee! How much fun was it to watch Krumper Russell Ferguson perform the ballroom number with World 10 Dance Champion Iveta Lukosiute? Their dance backgrounds are so different, but they have excellent chemistry and the judges can’t believe that Russell totally holds his own with a ballroom star like Iveta. Both pass to the next round. VIDEO

On the other side of things, b-boy Legacy and Jonathan Litzler, the tumbler-Contemporary dancer from New Orleans, don’t impress the judges and are asked to DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (yay, it’s back!). We also see that bloody-nosed Billy Bell passes the round with his partner, even though they hardly got to practice. Skills. VIDEO

Ryan Kasprzak dances the ballroom round but still doesn’t win over the judges. He’s cut. So much for that. I wonder if Nigel was so hard on him because they were simultaneously filming Season 5 and lil bro Evan was totally overstaying his welcome while better dancers were getting sent home…We watch Ryan “say goodbye” to his fellow dancers for what feels like ages. One thing’s clear: he’s a popular guy on campus with other dancers. VIDEO

Time for Jonathan Litzler and Legacy to DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES. Legacy scrapes through, while cutie patootie Jonathan doesn’t convince the judges that he was really DANCING FOR HIS LIFE, so he’s out (though begged to try out again next year). VIDEO

We get clips of Nathan Trasoras and Atlanta’s “excellent technique, but no personality” dancer, Amber Jackson, passing the Ballroom test, while Teddy Tedholm and “I get winded just watching him” New Orleans Bouncer, Shelby “Skip” Skipper get the axe.

Next week: More high-pressured, stresstastic Vegas Week episodes. Blood, sweat and tears tears tears. I love the clip they keep showing of choreographer Laurieann Gibson barking, “Your life is on the line… NOW DANCE!So You Think You Can Dance Season 6 is chugging along… NOW WATCH!

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