Well that was an interesting night was it not? At first, I thought we were in for a “meh” night. Everything just seemed really clunky, especially the words spewing from the judges’ mouths. Really show, Lil C? Again? If there was any choreographer that needed to be a repeat it was Travis Wall. On second thought, how about we get Debbie Allen back on that stage, seeing as she has not been in that spot since Season 3. Moving on, I will say that one good thing came out of the less than good beginning of the show. I started to think of some things I would change for next season. Now, do not get me wrong, I have quite enjoyed this season. It definitely beats Seasons 1 and 6, and could even give Seasons 3 and 5 a run for their money depending on how it all ends. It will not be better than Season 7, and does not even come close to Season 4. Season 4 had Katee Shean. Season 4 had everything. Back to my original point. I do like this season, I just think the format has become a little tired. Think of this as just making progress on the All-Stars being introduced last season, that is all. Anyways, role the tapes!
Leading off the show was Melanie and tWitch with a hip-hop routine. As Nigel said, the comment this season about Melanie, besides that she is amazing, is that she has not been challenged. Honestly, I agree with that comment. Moreover, I believe Melanie can rise to the occasion, so I want to see her pushed. It just sucks that this gets thrown at her, because it is not like she can help it. Though, if you are going to bring it up Nigel, do not dismiss it just because one routine goes against it. You just look foolish. Anyways, Melanie was definitely hard-hitting and athletic, but I wanted more from her. Like Lil C said, and this was the only thing I agreed with/understood out of him, she held her shape too much. That meant her popping and locking was not clean, making her look more frantic than anything else.
Rule Change 1: After getting their style, or something similar, one week, a contestant must get two more dance styles before they can do it again. It would force people to adapt better earlier on in the competition, and allow them to shine more near the end in their own style.
Sasha danced next with Kent doing a contemporary routine. Oh Kent. Before Lauren blossomed into one of my favorite dancers ever on the show, you were my favorite last year. I love me some Kent Boyd. I also love me some Kent Boyd with Sasha. Yes, it was a Tyce routine, but still, I thought it was pretty good. I really did like the wall prop. I do think, though, it could have been used a little better. Haters are going to hate, I know. Anyways, Sasha and Kent killed it. As vulnerable as their emoting was, their technique was very strong. I would like to ask the judges, however, what was with all of the crying? Yeah it was a good routine, and once again, love me some Sasha and Kent, but please. They needed to take a breath. It is not like the first part of UP played on that stage.
Rule Change 2: Tyce and his work never appear on the show again. I know I just said this routine was good but still. This is punishment for past crimes against humanity. You would not forgive Stalin for everything he did for one good thing would you? I did not think so. Yes, I just called Tyce, Stalin. Who I am insulting there in that analogy I will never know.
Jeanette and Marko then took the stage for a pasodoble. Speaking of lost love from SYTYCD past, it is Jeanette ladies and gentlemen! A travesty she took eighth her season. I liked the dance quite a bit. Marko definitely stumbled a few times and needed to sit lower in his stance, but I think he did well. Unlike Melanie, the fact that this style required him to hold his shape so frequently actually helped. Also, he had a killer partner. Jeanette worked. Worked the choreography, worked Marko, worked the music, worked her outfit. Bitch just worked. Sigh.
Rule Change 3: We have one season with just All-Stars. So what if they have lives and careers now, my entertainment comes first damn it!
Ellenore and Tadd were next and taking the stage with a jazz routine. At this point, I was starting to think the night was going to go off the rails a little. Sonya kind of screwed the pooch with this one, huh? That chandelier was interesting, which was the word the judges keep using to comment on the dance, but seriously limited what Tadd and Ellenore could do. And that is a shame, because if there is one dancer who can do quirky movements, it is Ellenore. Besides the chandelier, there was nothing really, outside of standard Sonya movements, to the routine. Tadd did well enough with what was asked, but seemed to get lost in the muddled routine. I cannot fault him for that, though.
Rule Change 4: I get the power to put some judges on hiatus for a little while. They would then have to bring me their routines before they wanted them on the show, have it danced for me, and then I would decide.
Jamie and Ricky came up next with another contemporary routine, and you know what? I have to apologize to Ricky. Tonight, he proved to me that he is a better dancer than I thought he was. He took a difficult prop, two actually, and flowed absolutely beautifully with Jamie. There were quite a few interesting movements in his routine, and it never looked awkward. That, in it of itself, was quite an accomplishment given the task at hand. His partner Jamie once again proved that too many good dancers get voted off too early on this show, as she nailed every movement and moment. That said, have I changed my mind and now think Ricky belongs in the Top 6? No. If he had moved like this throughout the season? I probably would have.
Rule Change 5: I determine vote-off order, plain and simple. Yes, some of these rules are very me centered, but so what. This is my fantasy. And speaking of fantasy…
Caitlynn and Pasha then sambaed for our votes. Either Pasha is an amazing partner, or Caitlynn just wants to have her way with him, because she is always great when they dance together. It is probably a little of both to be honest. It was hot, it was technical, and held my attention. Hell, by just doing those three things it was better than most of the ballroom routine this season sadly. The energy dropped a little by the end, but if that is the only complaint, then well done. As a quick sidebar, I loved Dmitry with facial hair. Just wow. And when winked at the camera? Swoon. Also Pasha shirtless. That is all.
Rule Change 6: All male ballroom contestants, both present and past, must be shirtless whenever they are on the show. Always. I will make exceptions, think Max Season 5, but they will be rare.
Sasha and Ricky then decided to get a little whacky. Too much? Okay, forgive me please. Anyways, I am super glad they had whacking, which is basically voguing, on the show. Clearly, however, the choreographer had to adapt some things for SYTYCD. Methinks Nigel did not want the dance to be effeminate as this style can be, because he gets that way, so the choreographer was limited. Also, it needed to be sped up. Basically, it was Whacking 101, leaving me wanting a lot more. For what it was, Sasha obviously did better than Ricky. Seriously, the moment the kid gets out of his comfort zone he stiffens up. Being in the eighth week of the competition, he needs to adapt better. I swear if he makes the finale. I just cannot.
Rule Change 7: The show actually has whacking/voguing on the stage in all of its glory. No curtailing, no mincing from Nigel about guys dancing like women. You want to see something that will blow your mind, go look up voguing on Youtube. In fact, I will do it for you. Fabulous, besides the announcer, right?
Melanie and Tadd then get a Broadway routine and man, they danced it. Yes Melanie got something contemporary-like and blah blah blah, whatever. I said it a few weeks back and I will say it again, when she does that, she can get contemporary and similar routines all the time as far as I am concerned. It was sensual, it was powerful, and it was probably my favorite Broadway routine ever. Furthermore, it was something that dances on this show are not always but should be, believable. I believed the story they were given, because they sold the hell out of it. Sadly, the judging veered too much into a Melanie love fest, because Tadd deserved just as much credit. Judges, stop pimping the hell out of her! It is only going to cause a backlash on a woman who does not deserve it!
Rule Change 8: When the judges pimp a contestant too much, they get shocked. Nigel will get triple shocked, for his years of manipulation he has tried to perform on the American people.
Caitlynn and Marko dance the final dance of the night, which happens to be the thirty-fourth contemporary/jazz routine of the night. Or something like that. As for the dance, it was great! This is why I want the choreographers to take a break every once and a while. It is not because I dislike them, minus a certain mouthy man, it is because their routines can get too tired at times. Was this the most amazing dance ever from Sonya? No. Yet, it was leaps and bounds above a lot of her stuff, including her routine from earlier in the night. Needless to say, Marko and Melanie did fantastic with it. They were strong, emotional, and pretty much flawless technically. The judges kept giving Caitlynn some backhanded compliment about how she had finally matured or something to that effect, which honestly made me roll my eyes. Nigel, shut up. Just, shut up. I am tired of you and your obvious manipulation.
Rule Change 9: Limit the amount of contemporary. I get it, this was heavily contemporary dancer season, so to give everybody a chance to shine in their comfort zone, there was going to be more routines of that nature. Still, it has been way too much. I love contemporary; it is my favorite style, but child. When you keep heaping on routine after routine on the pile, it reduces the magnificence of the routines that are truly great.
As for the solos, they were probably the best this season has done as a collective. I liked them all, but Melanie took one look at the camera and owned the freaking night. Bitch gave face, and I absolutely died. I may or may not have yelled, “Girl, go on” after she was done. She just served realness right then. It was even more impressive she was just flowing with the music and making it up as she went along. A true dancer, people.
Rule Change 13: Make the dancers emotional raw in some way before their solos. The messages from the parents were lovely. I especially liked the one from Caitlynn’s dad, who clearly was emotional about not being able to see his daughter dance live, but was so proud of her. Obviously, they cannot do that every week, so they should find other ways. Such as, if the dancers solos are not good enough, they lose a finger or have to talk to Lil C for an extended amount of time. Guess which option I would choose?
Even though it started off shaky, I think tonight was pretty good overall. What about you? Can Ricky or Caitlynn sneak into the finale? Do you have a thesaurus around whenever Lil C is on the show, not to look up his words, but to throw it at the television when he talks? What rules would you change? Sound off in 3….2…..1!