Thursday, July 28, 2011

SYTYCD Top 8 - Results

In honor of SYTYCD, I took my first Zumba class tonight! It reminded me how hard dancing is, and demonstrated that I, sadly, have no shimmy. The show's getting tough now--how am I supposed to enjoy these evenings if I don't hate any of the dancers? Cat welcomes us, and she must have been in a hurry because she seems to have forgotten her pants.  We open with the group number, to an instrumental piece called "The Circus Sets Up" from Water for Elephants. Jess is the ringmaster, in Joker makeup, and the rest are all clad like they're extras in Carnevale.  I instantly think it's a Wade Robson piece because of the costuming, but the movement doesn't wind up being freaky enough. It's fluid and languid and there are ropes hanging from the ceiling on which some of the girls swing.  It's quite lovely, actually, and I begin to worry that this is one of those amazing group routines that turns out to be choreographed by Tyce, and I hate having to give him props! Goddammit, it IS Tyce! OK, I've been watching this show too long. Cat shouts him out, and sweetly praises the hair/makeup/costumers as well, which is well-deserved here.

We're going to get a lot of Gaga tonight, I suspect--apparently Fox is doing an Extravagaga, because tonight's show will be followed by the Gaga Glee episode.  Gaga's not sitting with the judges tonight, but Rob Marshall is back. He is still orange, FYI.  Gaga's going to be performing, so she's not sitting with the judges. Fair probably takes her twenty minutes to walk up the stage steps in those crazy boots. (Do you think Sasha & Sonya kept them last night?)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SYTYCD Top 8 Perform - Just Dance

The lovely Cat greets us, wearing a dress that looks like it was made out of shower tile and appears to have hip panniers. I am firmly in favor of Cat's clothing growing crazier as the season goes makes all those babydoll tunics and booty shorts look positively normal!  But I spoke too soon, because one of our special guest judges tonight is...Lady Gaga! (Also director Rob Marshall, who is dressed in an ordinary suit but whose face is bright orange...must go to Snooki's tanning salon.)  Anyway, Gaga puts Cat's wacky dress to shame, because she is wearing a bright red and yellow jacket with a dragon on it, a red leather (vinyl?) military hat, and a long mermaid-blue wig. And sunglasses. As always from La Gaga, a lotta look.

I don't understand why we have two guest judges--the guests don't usually have much to say, and it doesn't seem like either of these two have serious dance training. Could they be fans, like JTF or NPH? Seems unlikely.

Anyway, without further ado, we launch into our dances for the evening! Sasha draws Pasha for a quickstep choreographed by Jonathan Roberts (whom I don't recall seeing before).  The quickstep is usually a killer, because no one ever thinks it's cool enough to vote for it--will Sasha manage to rally her fanbase? (Apparently she danced on Adam Lambert's tour, and has fans from that. Reality miscegenation!) Sasha and Pasha point out that as a pair, their names are easy to remember. Can I just call them Spasha?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SYTYCD Top 10 Results

I'm definitely keeping it short tonight, since I've just spent an hour finishing last night's post and cruising YouTube for appropriate videos...

Our first three onstage are Melanie, Tadd and Mitchell. I can't imagine Mitchell is feeling super-confident stacked against those two. He is indeed in the Bottom 4 (2 boys, 2 girls tonight), and doesn't look at all surprised. Tadd and Melanie are barely paying attention--they don't think they're going anywhere.  Cat tries to add some suspense by opening her card and saying, "After tonight, the 2nd dancer in our bottom 4 is..." but we all know she'll say, "Neither of you!" Both of them had the courtesy to look nervous when she started reading, and are elated to hear they're safe for another week, but honestly, none of us was fooled.

Our next trio onstage is Marko, Clarice and Sasha.  I think that's bad news for Clarice, because I can't imagine either Marko or Sasha winding up in the bottom yet, can you?  (Note for those of you watching this on DVR--Marko & Chelsie's samba is hilarious watched in fast forward. Her little hips are shaking like a hula doll on a dashboard.)  The first girl in danger is...Clarice. No surprise to her, and the audience moans a little but doesn't seem shocked either. It wasn't going to be Sasha, after all. (Cat actually said "the first girl," but I missed her releasing Marko. I must have FFed through it.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SYTYCD Top 10 Perform - Welcome, All Stars!

Today kicked my ass, y'all, so I'm going to try to keep this shorter than usual.  Our esteemed guest judge is none other than Neil Patrick Harris, which seems a special treat so soon after Jesse Ferguson.  We have heaps of dances tonight, so we get right to it, and our first couple is Marko, dancing with All-Star Chelsie to a Jason Gilkinson samba. They are playing a photographer and his sexy model, and poor Chelsie gets dropped a lot in rehearsal. When the performance begins, there's a pink couch (casting couch?) onstage, and they are soon hopping on and over and around it.  It's sassy and sexy, and I confess that I was mostly watching Chelsie--but Marko seems to be working his hips just fine, and is certainly having fun!

The judges think so too.  NPH is impressed that it was so sexy, and tells Marko he's the NPH pick for Guy to Beat. Mary loved it and shrieks that Marko is "the real deal out there!" She loved his versatility and praises...a lot of things that have names in samba. Cat shares my bewilderment. Nigel loved Marko's courage in dancing full out and seamlessly, despite having been kicked in the head a lot in rehearsal. He's also pleased that Marko has just as much chemistry with Chelsie as he did with Melanie.

Next up is Sasha, dancing her solo--which feels a little odd coming so early in the night. It's cool, though...very musical with a lot of nice shapes and angles, and not the usual leap-leap-hair toss that we get in solos. No comments from the judges...we just get Sasha's numbers and on we go.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

SYTYCD Top 12 Results

Emmy nominations! And the most exciting one of all is that Cat Deeley finally got herself an Emmy nom for Best Reality Host! Well deserved--she handles all these dancers with such aplomb and kindness.  The show also got a bunch of technical Emmys and five of the six choreography nominations! Wow.

After a montage of the nominated choreographers, it's down to business.  Our first two couples on the chopping block are Clarice and Jess and Caitlynn and Mitchell.  Could be either one of them, really--they're both on the bubble. Clarice is in a horrorshow of an outfit, and I don't know if I want to see her dance in it or not.  It's a black lace turtleneck dress over red lingerie--as in literally, you can see her bra and undies. I'm sorry, she looks like a hooker. But she does NOT have to work it like the rent is due, because they are SAFE! Caitlynn & Mitchell are, indeed, in the bottom three. I can never remember that they're on the show, so fair cop, really.

When we come back, Nigel explains to us that next week, it's all new.  The Top 10 dancers will dance two dances a show, one with a partner pulled out of a hat, and one with an All-Star.  Cool! That sounds like the best of both worlds. But then there's a terrible story about one of our potential All-Stars: Alex Wong had been invited to be one this year, which makes sense from a popularity standpoint, but was he really on the show long enough for that? Anyway, the point is moot because last weekend he went to another audition and snapped the other tendon, the one he didn't wreck on his season. So he's back to square one, and they're out an All-Star.  Jesse Tyler Ferguson graciously volunteers to step in :).

A quick video package introduces our cast of All-Stars.  From Season 1, we have Melody, runner-up and inventor of the HMV.  If Jordan makes it, they can have an extension-off! Actually, I'm stunned the show even acknowledges this season...they seemed to pretend it didn't exist for years. And hello, old stage! I miss your cozy size and your stairs. Moving on... We have Allison from S2, which makes sense. She's already been an All-Star and was astounding. S3's Pasha (Pashaaaaaaa!) and S4's Twitch are also on the crew, and both of them are quickly becoming professional SYTYCD cast members. Also from S4 are Comfort (who was unimpressive in her competition season, but blew me away in her last All-Star turn) and Chelsie! Does that mean she's left Dancing with the Stars? We get Brandon, the runner-up from S5, and Kathryn from S6, who always seemed to be having a secret love affair with her partner, Legacy. And finally, from S7, we have Robert, who was a talented dancer but a total charisma suck, so how he counts as an All-Star I'm not sure. So do we have a fifth guy to announce as the replacement All-Star? Or have they not picked him yet? Cat doesn't say, just claims that they didn't have time to add JTF's video intro.

Our next two couples on the block are Melanie & Marko and Ryan & Ricky. Ricky looks stone-faced and Ryan is putting on a smile, but looks like she already knows they're in the bottom. (Incidentally, M&M's video clip proves that Melanie's stage rash last night was actually blush, albeit ill-applied.) And shocker, M&M are safe. No one, least of all R&R, is surprised. Cat is very sweet in bucking them up, saying "You've been here before and you know you can turn it around." Think Nigel will lower the boom on Ryan?

Our last two couples are Jordan and Tadd, and Sasha and Alex.  I can't imagine that it won't be J&T in the bottom--I don't think the Vulture Dance is enough to overcome the lame Sleeping Beauty Broadway from the end of the night. How has Jordan decorated her one boob tonight? Gasp! She is in a purple satin halter-neck, and both boobs are equally sparkly! I am stunned. And to add to my shock, it's Jordan and Tadd who make it through! Good for them. And I think the judges will be pleased to dump Alex, of the three boys. Well, or maybe Mitchell.

While our soloists get ready, we have a performance from the Jason Samuels Smith tap company. Too bad there weren't any tappers on this show to get people excited about the genre. What's that? We did have a tapper? A really appealing tapper who went home way too soon? Grrrrr.  Oh, my--this is not only tap, but rap. Tap 'n' Rap! And the rap is about tap dancing! (Which is actually pretty terrible and makes this feel like a Sesame Street sketch, but whatever.) I just like how everyone is in black except for their tap shoes, which are a different color for each performer.  Yay, tap.

Ha! Cat thanks them and points out that one of the dancers is Melinda from last season, the tapper we all hated! Hi, Melinda! I didn't recognize you. Possibly because in this number, she wasn't covered in Nigel's drool.

Solo time! Caitlynn is first, dancing to Gaga. Her solo is crap, frankly. She leaps, she falls to the ground, she lumbers to her feet and poses dramatically. Lovely dancer, with no choreographing skill, I think. Right away we go to Mitchell, who's in a singlet that shows off every muscle. Strong drummy music and lots of leaps. Pretty fierce. Ryan, now, in Olivia Newton John's outfit from the end of "Grease." But she's dancing to the Cure? WTF? Ah...on playback, I see the song is by some group named Crystal Castles but "featuring Robert Smith." Her dance is flaily and posey, like last week.  She saunters offstage with a bit of a shrug, like she figures she's gone.

Ricky? Dancing to Queen's "Body Language," bless him. Requisite open shirt, bare chest, nice legs & pirouettes. I like him better than Mitchell, I think, though he's more delicate.  Sasha's turn! She's never done this, so all her solos are fresh. But I think she's a little slow to get to the money shot here--it's very cool, but builds a little slowly for only 30 seconds. (She danced to Bobby McFerrin's "Thinking About Your Body," btw.) And finally, Alex is dancing to "Palladio," by Escala. Or, if you're a classical philistine like me, "the DeBeers Diamond song." He has the good sense to dance shirtless, but is dancing ballet, which turns out to be his specialty. Alas, the audience doesn't usually respond to ballet--but actually, I guess it doesn't matter as long as he impresses the judges.

Cat throws to the judges, Jesse grumbles about having to dump people, and off they go. In the meantime, we have to listen to Nicole "Pussycat Doll" Scherzinger sing something. Well, by "we," I mean the studio audience. I do not, because I have enough boop-boop time stored up. Seeya, Nikki!

Judges are back, and it's time to begin. Nigel calls up Caitlynn first, and tells her that they've never seen her dance as well as she did in her solo. (Really? I thought it was weak.) Ryan is called forward next, and man, she has a total bitchface on! Girl, fake it! In fact, Nigel says, "You seemed down and depressed before we even started." Maybe because she realized everybody hates her? Sasha is next, and Nigel tells her her solo wasn't all that, but she's fabulous.  Without further adieu, Nigel lowers the boom on...Ryan! At last. She's resigned, but crying.

Boys' turn, and we're told that it was 3 votes to 1. Nigel starts with Mitchell, and says that he did a "pretty good" solo but that his overall work is between average and very good, without consistency. Ricky is next, and the audience goes crazy. Man, they just really hated Ryan, huh? Nigel says his solo was one of the best he's ever seen. Alex, last, comes forward to hear that he was amazing last night, but tonight, his solo "let [him] down very badly." Nigel starts talking about all sorts of technical stuff, yada yada, but I think they were always going to dump him if they could get him in the bottom. He's the least experienced of the guys who are left, and he doesn't bring any b-boy cachet to the show, so he's an easy boot. Yup, doesn't even send him back in line before cutting him. There's a little outcry from the crowd, but not's clear they would have picked him, too.

So that's it! Can't wait to see how it goes next week!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SYTYCD Top 12 Perform

Greetings, dance partiers! We're getting down to it now...tonight will be the last pre-tour cut, screwing some unlucky dancer out of a job so that we can keep Ryan another week. Cat greets us in dramatic fashion, but something has gone awry with her makeup, because she looks like Baby Jane.  Our Top 12 come out for the usual intros, and Melanie's romper outfit leads me to wonder: what is it about dancers and the high waisted short shorts? Is it functional in some way? Because by and large, it ain't flattering. Enjoy your pairings tonight, dancers, because next week the All-Stars join us and all our couples, "power" or otherwise, will be split up.

Cat says "it was a close shave tonight, we are live." Was there a technical ish? is that why she looks a little smeary and sweaty? She doesn't tell us, just introduces the judges. Our chosen four tonight include guest judge Jesse Tyler Ferguson. You may know him from "Modern Family," or like me, you may have seen him in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," which was great.  Cat tells us that "for the very first time we have someone with an extensive Broadway background." Um, didn't you just have Kristin Chenoweth two weeks ago? WTF? And our choreography-judge tonight is Sonya Tayeh. She's completely nuts, so I expect her to judge in the Lil C mold.  Jesse acknowledges that yes, he did a little Broadway, but also shouts out his extensive theme park experience in shows like "Celebrate Freedom" or "The Country Connection." Oh, JTF, I'm falling in love. Please tell me you'll be funny all night.