Thursday, July 14, 2011

SYTCYD Season 8 Top 12 Recap/Review

Hello dear readers, Meghan here as guest blogger for this week’s So You Think You Can Dance review. I will preface this by saying I am not a dancer. I have zero training or experience, so all “critique” will be from the perspective of, “oh well, I think this looks pretty?” and based on my knowledge of this show and what makes good TV (trust me, Meghan knows her TV).

First, I’ll begin with Cat’s outfit. She chose a little flapper-esque dress that was oddly flattering. She even looks a bit blonder. Although the fringe/feathers(?) are a bit absurd, but the beading and sequins are actually work for her.

Ahh yes, the return of the guest judge. It wasn’t a surprise that Carmen did not return to the awards show last week… so I was a little interested on how this guest spot would play out. Joining the panel of Nigel, Mary, and Sonya this week was Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson; in his introduction, he was witty and refreshingly sincere. We shall see how he does with the actual judging, though.

As a warning, this one might be a long post; each couple will have two dances apiece.

First is Sasha and Alexander with a Pasa Doble – oh god. This can be either good or very very bad.

First, Sasha is wearing pants?? That is certainly a change from the long flowing “cape” dresses that are common in this dance. Alexander seems to get higher off the ground than see does, which I am happy to see (he is generally more of a support dancer in the couple). It’s a good energy, but there is an odd sort of disconnect. They both look fierce though; I just wish I could see some real chemistry between them. The music had a large crescendo without any actual build in the dance. The routine ends with Alexander with his hand around her throat? Not quite as good as I would have hoped. They looked sharp, and Sasha has plenty of attitude, but I wasn’t in love with it.

Okay, so this is the first introduction to Jesse as a judge: he talks a little fast, but he has decent insight so far. He is funny and knows what he is talking about; guest spot looks like it isn’t failing in this week. A quick note about Sonya: her voice makes it sound like she wants to have sex with whoever she is talking too. Am I alone in this thought??

Next on to Jordan and Tadd with a Travis Wall (the golden boy) contemporary routine. Jordan looks beautiful as a “vulture,” and Tadd did this amazing flip jump spiral thing (don’t know what it was, but it blew my mind, loved it). Some of the motions were odd at first, but were truly beautiful as the music developed, and the premise of the piece kind of sneaks up on you; a bit haunting, but I enjoyed it… rather a lot actually.

Ryan and Ricky had a broadway number; this could be a kiss of death (and I wouldn’t complain about that]. It was a bit boring, to be honest. There was no chemistry (I do like Ryan’s hair like this though.) Ricky didn’t come across as suave like he should have and Ryan didn’t seduce him either. Jesse said, the dance “didn’t sparkle,” and I completely agree; they didn’t look committed

Kaitlin and Mitchell then had a Christopher Scott hip hop number. They were not as hard hitting as I think they are capable of, but the dance was enjoyable overall. Kaitlin always has emotions on her face, and Mitchell less so (he looks a little shaky). The music was good though (Break the Bhain, Lupe Fiasco). There was quite a bit of discussion on how the “story” (invisible children, child soldiers), did or did not correspond to the dance. Nigel was a little put off by it in general. I can understand his position, there was quite a bit of disconnect.

Melanie and Marko were FINALLY challenged this week (Nigel said the same thing in his critique) with a tango routine. Their movements seem pretty seamless, although Melanie is making a fish motion with her mouth a bit too much and her dress is terribly unflattering. The ending lift was the best of the entire routine.

A hip-hop number by Jesse and Clarice: Very pleasantly surprised; lyrical hip-hop suits them both. Jesse isn’t believable as a hardcore hiphop-er but he didn’t try to be; it was believable that he is a smoother, floating dancer and character; definitely got the “swag.” Both of them performed very well (these two I am happy to root for, and Clarice grows on me every week).

Wow, Mary almost was crying - definitely later in the show than normal.


Sasha and Alexander with a Tyce Broadway number: The tricks (leaps and lifts) were very visually appealing, and Alexander had great lines and really stepped it up. He carried this routine. The later part of the routine was a little confusing; as a friend said during the performance, “the dance has a little drunken quality.” I think something went a little wrong, lots of fizz but a little fizzle at the end.

Jordan and Tadd dance jazz number: Good characters, decent dancing, nothing amazingly memorable about the routine. The lifts were fun, but I was ultimately ‘underwhelmed’… AS I SAID THIS, SONYA SAID THE EXACT SAME THING. I know what’s up.

Ryan and Ricky end their night with a Cha-Cha: I wanted to dislike this from the beginning (given my opinion of Ryan), but their movements were pretty strong and Ryan wasn’t terrible. However, I agree when Nigel called her a bit “sloppy” at times, even though she started out strong at the beginning. One of the lifts was a little shaky, but overall the hips looked good… Ricky was very very strong today – he deserved the hot tamale train.

Kaitlin and Mitchell with a Travis Wall jazz(?) number: Definitely a sexy routine, the partnering seems pretty strong, and I liked it; it was hot. Lots of throwing Kaitlin around. Also, I agree with Sonya’s critique, Mitchell’s personality is missing often from his dancing. He is strong technically and supported Kaitlin throughout the dance, but I don’t see who he is. Also, this got Janice Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” stuck in my head. Drats.

Melanie and Marko dancing ANOTHER contemporary routine. They are truly beautiful dancers, no question about that. However, I am a little tired that they constantly get contemporary things. I will say this: they are very in sync. The light is a nice touch; emotional, flow-y, and “magical.”

Closing out the night is Clarice and Jesse with a Jive: They brought their ‘A’ game tonight. The jive was fun lively, entertaining, and characters were believable and enjoyable. I was proud of them. The seriously looked like they knew what they were doing. Feet were fast and kicks were sky high, lifts (which is always an issue with a smaller male partner) were not as secure as they could be, but I think he did admirable. My friend said the dance was, “all sorts of sparkle and fun.” That sounds like a good way to describe the night in general.

Jeez, Tyler, this is much harder than it looks!

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