Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last Dance - SYTYCD Finale

This is it, dance fans! Time for this season's finale--can Cyrus possibly be unseated? Will Tiffany ride her underdog status all the way to the winner's circle? Wait and see. All we know for sure is that Carly Rae Jepsen will be singing "Call Me Maybe." Aww, they've invited back the top 20! They all get introductions, more or less in the order they got dumped, I think? There are a couple of dancers I don't remember being on the show, actually.

Of course, since the votes are based on last week's show, none of tonight's dancing will affect the outcome. I don't really love how that worked this season--makes the votes feel arbitrary or unfair, even if at the time they made sense. Our judges tonight are all of the show alums--Tyce, Adam Shankman, Lil' C, and Debbie Allan. Cat is already milking introductions, and methinks someone has been told to stretch--our dancers are doing a quick change backstage. There's a bit of back-patting about Emmys (they won an Emmy for lighting, and Cat and the show are both nominated).

Turns out tonight's show will be "The Best of Season 9." Man, we just saw most of these dances! How can I miss them if they won't go away? But first, we have to have "the best group dance Nigel has ever seen," choreographed by both Sonya and Christopher Scott, for all 20 dancers. Let me guess, it'll look like the Matrix?  No, this looks like Titanic. There's a wind machine, and girls in vaguely period-y dresses, and everyone is doing their best mimed "walking into the wind."Guys are in gray Hammer pants and hoodies that look like they're the "Cozy Weekend Wraparound Cardigan" from Eileen Fisher. Not so butch. Cyrus gets a little slo-mo solo across the front of the stage, and then the dance is obscured by the spotlights shining right into camera. Way to earn that Emmy, guys. Overall, it was a nice dance, but to be honest, I don't really see why it was so amazing--it was definitely longer, at least.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SYTYCD Performance Finale - Ballet vs. Dubstep (and Tiffany)

We're here already! Tonight's episode features our four finalists--Eliana, Chehon, Tiffany and Cyrus--performing for the last time. The intro makes it sound like we can still vote tonight...will they be announcing winners tomorrow? I'm confused. But really, all I care about is that we get to see a ballet dance with Eliana and Chehon.

Cat looks cute, even if her red lipstick is a little intense--she's in a flirty red dress that isn't crazy at all! (I'm a little disappointed, to be honest.) Our guest judge is Rob Marshall, who I persist in mistaking for the lead singer of Matchbox 20, but is in fact the director of Chicago. We'll be getting FIVE dances from each of the contestants, which just might kill me.

Jumping right into it, we have Eliana and Cyrus (t-shirt: "I Heart You but I've Chosen Dubstep") dancing a Jason Gilkinson paso doble. The twist? Eliana is the matador in this one. They're dancing to Daft Punk, and the piece begins with a shirtless Cyrus dragging himself across the floor on his belly. Eliana's in a long black dress with bright red ruffles. She still looks pretty cape-y to me. It's all very slow and stagey, and Cyrus isn't strong enough to let Eliana really push off him. You can see all the places where the lifts would have been better if Cyrus had more experience partnering. OK, not great, overall.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Wow, we're getting down to the end! And for real this week, I have to make this a quickie, because I'm leaving town in the morning and still have to clean the house and pack. You all get Abby Lite tonight, sorry!

We open with a Sonya-looking piece--girls in black tutus, boys in cargo pants, everyone in masks. (Do I think everything looks like a Sonya piece? I feel like I say that a lot.) They're dancing to Kelis, and the movement is very balletic (favoring Eliana?) for the first half--but then the disco lights start flashing and the funky galloping strides start up. It's sort of poor man's Gaga, but appealing enough. Everyone feels a little low-energy tonight, even on the intros--Cat, are you feeling OK? (Cat is wearing a dress in shades of orange and gold that looks like 60's wallpaper. She also confirms that the group number was, in fact, choreographed by Sonya. I am vindicated.)

Oof, each of our six dancers are performing THREE times tonight--with each other, with an all-star, and a solo. I think I'll have to skimp on descriptions tonight. We meet our judges, including returning guest star Christina Applegate! I hope she toughens up from last time--I like her as a judge when she gets specific. Let's get into it!

We start off with Tiffany, who's drawn Jean-Marc Genereux as her choreographer for a jive number with Benji. He was so much fun in his season--it's nice to see him back! I cannot, however, get behind his sideways baseball cap in rehearsal. For the actual performance, he's dressed as a soda jerk behind a counter while Tiffany's in a magenta bodysuit with frilly miniskirt. They're dancing to the Lillix cover of "What I Like About You." Hrrrrm. Wow--Benji can still move his feet. We'll actually see what a jive is supposed to look like, a rarity on this show. (Lillix can bite me, however. This cover is terrible.) Tiffany's doing OK, I think, but there are a lot of spots where she appears to just stand there while Benji dances around her. They manage a triple cartwheel, though!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SYTYCD: Top 8 Perform

Every week I swear I'm going to write a shorter recap, and every week I natter on for pages and pages...but I really would like to a) eat dinner and b) get to sleep on time, so we'll give it another go. At least with only eight contestants left it might get a little easier!

The show opens with a group number to "Run Boy Run" by Woodkid. The four guys are dressed in black pants and rather sheer black turtlenecks, while the women are in black-and-red cheongsams, holding fans. There are lots of angular poses, lifts and a sort of battle-y feeling. There's one rather amusing move where one of the women (can't tell in this light--maybe Eliana?) is doing a classic HMV to the audience, and Witney (I think) reaches over and touches her thigh like a concerned parent saying, "Close your legs, dear." I don't think that was the choreographer's intent. I'm guessing it's Sonya who did this one, but it feels too smooth for Sonya?

Cat is positively sedate this evening, in a pretty black dress with a v-neck. What, did wardrobe take the week off? Anyway, she thanks our new choreographer, Peter Chu, who was actually the person who did this week's group number. Nice to have some fresh blood on the show, even if I wasn't blown away by the routine. Cat reminds us that we're losing two more tonight, another man and woman. Think Witney and Chehon will be in the bottom again? If so, think it's because no one can spell their names? Cat goes on to introduce our judges, including "one of the favorite judges I've ever ever ever ever everrrrrrr had on the show," Jesse Tyler Ferguson. While it's true he's a total fanboy and therefore can reference anything that happened on previous seasons, I don't remember JTF being a terrific judge the last time he was on. (Or am I misremembering, and it was Neil Patrick Harris who was a disappointment?) Anyway, tonight everyone gets two dances--one solo and one dance with an All-Star. (There go my dreams of a short recap.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

SYTYCD: All-Star Night!

Tonight might be a little short--I forgot it was Wednesday! But I couldn't miss SYTYCD, because tonight we're going to meet this year's all stars! Yes, now that we have our top 10 contestants, it's time to bring out all our old favorites. But first we have a group dance from our young hopefuls...

It's a Gene Kelly theme, to big band music, and the director (Cole's) clapper board says "Nikki Parsons" on it, which confused me because I thought that was Nikki from The Glee Project, and all my reality shows ran together. While watching the dancing, there was one brunet man I couldn't identify--I kept thinking, "It's gotta be Cole, right? But it doesn't look like Cole--it looks more like Broadway Jess from last season." Well, at the end of the dance Cole comes walking out--he was the "director"--and it turns out the mystery man was...Tyce! Cole is "slightly injured" per Cat, so Tyce stepped in. (Cat, incidentally, is wearing a relatively sedate silver minidress.)

The Gene Kelly theme is because it's Kelly's 100th birthday tomorrow (well, if he were still alive), and his widow is in the audience tonight. His widow must have been MUCH younger than he was when they married, because she looks like Annie Lennox and can't be more than late 40s--or she's had excellent work done.  Moving on to our guest judge for the evening, we are getting very fancy indeed! It's Mr. Natalie Portman, Benjamin Millepied, esteemed ballet choreographer of Black Swan fame. Cat is adorably giddy about her success at pronouncing his name.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back at last!

I love the Olympics, and watched everything from archery to synchro diving to the modern pentathlon (and of course, all the equestrian events!), but it's great to have Cat Deeley and her crew back on my TV screen! Cat seems happy to be back too, if we can judge from her Heidi-braid and dress that seems to be made out of leftover New Year's Eve confetti.

Tonight we're down to 14 dancers, and will be kicking off four more! That seems like a lot, but I guess it's to make up for the missing Olympic weeks? How long is this season? Anyway, we're (re-)introduced to the dancers in pairs, starting with Eliana & Cyrus, Tiffany & George, Janelle & Dareian, Amelia & Will, Lindsay & Cole, Witney & Chehon, and Audrey & Matthew. Last time we lost Brandon and...who? I'll check. Cat comes out through her usual gauntlet of dancers, and in the background I can see that Eliana is in THE most unflattering outfit ever. Seriously, ever. Sleeveless plaid flannel shirt over high-waisted granny panties.

Hmm, tonight's theme is: Mia Michaels. That is, the dancers will be performing "classic Mia routines from previous seasons." I know Mia's had some of the most talked-about dances in the show's history, but to be honest, I've always thought her choreography (on this show, at least) was overpraised. And I kind of suspect that a whole show of Mia-dances will all look the same. Prove me wrong, Nigel!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hold That Thought!

I'm away at RWA this week, dear readers, but I will do a recap of SYTYCD when I return! (I'm watching some of it in my hotel room now, but am beyond jet-lagged and have no Tivo with which to pause, so Funny will have to wait.) Till then, keep tapping those toes!