Thursday, August 11, 2011

America's Favorite Dancer Is...

Tonight's the night! I'm not going to do a full recap of the results show, so I can actually watch it--but I'll just say how fun it is to see all top 20 in the opening number.  (Nick, we hardly knew ye!) The judges' stand is crowded tonight, with Lil C, Tyce, Sonya, Mary, Nigel and guests Robin Antin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson! (He won fan favorite, apparently.) Cat is dressed in sparkly candy-apple red...and we're off!

The requested dances were:
Mary: Sasha & Kent's wall dance from Tyce
Nigel: Melanie & Marko's dance from NappyTabs, "I Got You"
Robin: Tadd & Lauren's Mandy Moore jazz dance to "Another One Bites the Dust"
Lil C: Robert & Miranda in a NappyTabs hip hop to "Break Ya Neck"
Cat: not exactly a personal pick, but she introduces Tyce's beautiful "The Circus Sets Up" (Top 8)
interim: Matt, winner of SYTYCD UK, dances with Jess and Nick, because Matt's a tapper (you mean it's possible for a tapper to win this show? Madness!)
Mary: Melanie & Neil in Mandy Moore's "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Jesse: Marko & Allison in Sonya's "I Know It's Over"
Tyce: the Top 10 girls in Sonya's geisha routine (10s across the board!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SYTYCD Finale!

So here we are at the end of the road, beloveds--down to the final four most of us predicted pretty much from the start of the season. Happily, they're all good dancers, so tonight should be quite a show! Cat comes out dressed for Oscar night, in gold brocade minidress and lipstick a titch too dark for her ensemble. She has a ribbon in her hair like a little girl.

Our judges for this final night are, of course, Nigel and Mary, but sitting beside them are Katie Holmes and Kenny Ortega.  Bwah? I mean, of course Kenny Ortega choreographed the impeccable Dirty Dancing (as well as the High School Musical movie, I think), and has authentic dance chops. But Katie? Seriously? I know, I know, she's on Nigel's stupid foundation, but I still remember her "solo" from however many seasons ago. Girlfriend can't dance! And ever since Xenu sucked the personality out of her, she's no fun! I think this is a bit limp as a final lineup. Katie tells us she's been working on "a lot" of films (really?), but her only plug is for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, out now. (The commercials alone terrify me. I will not be seeing that one.)

With dancers preparing for solos, All-Star dances, and fellow-competitor dances, there's no time to waste! So we go right to our first routine, a Doriana Sanchez disco for Melanie and Marko. She tells us the goal is for them to explode with energy and sparkles, and that they should be "human mirror balls." Melanie looks great, actually--the 70s look suits her, even if they only gave her half a costume. Sadly, this disco is S-L-O-W. There are tons of lifts, but everything is labored and too deliberate. And although they're mimicking the side-by-side steps of disco perfectly, it feels fake. I think we need to let this style go, show. The contestants have no cultural memory for it any more.

Judges? Kenny Ortega starts us off and says merely, "Fun. Electric. Sizzling. Great." Um, really? Were we watching the same dance? Katie agrees that they were amazing, and conveyed fabulous energy through their faces. She sounds stoned. Cat turns to Mary and asks if it was like being back at Studio 54, to which Mary replies, "I wouldn't know, Cat." Heh. But she says that although she adores disco, and Doriana, and Melanie and Marko, the lifts were struggles and they kept slipping on the style. It's the finale, I guess we're softballing.  Nigel--whoa, Nigel got a haircut! He looks like a cartoon character. His hair is poofing up from his center part in twin waves. He and his hair agree that it was a little weak, and the lifts were problematic, but doesn't lambaste them.

Want to see a real SYTYCD disco?  Check out this one, from season 5’s Janette & Brandon:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

SYTYCD Top 6 Results - Last Cut Before the Finale!

This is it, dance fans! Cat greets us in a yellow gauzy dress with many peekaboo bits, and yet not an inch of her squishes through the holes. If she weren't so delightful, I would hate her. (She's being slightly punished with a giant floral neck bow that looks like a tumor.) Anyway, she says that tonight we'll learn who had the lowest votes and is going home, and then asks, "Ameriker, what did you do?" So the cuts are decided just on votes tonight? Is this really the only night that's happened? At least that gives the possibility of an upset, I guess.

The opening group dance is really interesting, and I can't guess who the choreographer is.  All six dancers are clad in simple white clothing, and they're dancing around a giant red rose the size of a sapling. The movement has elements of Sonya, but not as violent overall, and hints of Tyce, but with more angularity, so I'm stumped.  The dancers keep moving from partner to partner, so I think everyone dances with everyone else at some point, and the camera keeps catching their smiles, as though they're romping in a garden. I found it rather charming, I must say. So who did it?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

SYTYCD Top 6 Perform

After a delightful evening out with my colleagues, I have staggered home to do my duty by you, oh invisible readers. What did you do this evening...other than watch SYTYCD, of course?  We are down to our top six, and we're genuinely at the point where I don't want to see anyone else go home. (Um, actually I don't really care if Caitlynn goes home. Sorry, Caitlynn.) Once again, we get two dances per person, plus a solo, so no one is doing me any favors in the recapping department. Our guest judge tonight is Christina Applegate, whose claim to dance fame is winning a Tony for Sweet Charity.  We also welcome back Lil' C, which should make for some good verbatim reporting this evening.

Then there's a spiel about "National Dance Day," which I will mostly skip, except to say that the best submission was a video from CERN, the particle accelerator in Switzerland (Sweden)? Cat and Nigel express surprise that the nuclear physicists don't have anything better to do with their day.

And then on to our first dance of the night! It's Melanie, dancing a NappyTabs take on "Little Red Riding Hood." The Big Bad Wolf is played by Twitch, but in the end, he'll be afraid of her when she becomes buck. Melanie's use of the word "buck" is about as credible as mine. They're dancing to Nicky Minaj, and I think maybe Twitch is wearing light colored contacts? They jump right into the meat of the dance, and Melanie's hits are clean and crisp, but not as fierce as one might want.  However, her synchronization with Twitch is excellent.  The whole thing feels well done, but like they're just marking, a bit? Like the power's only up to 70%.  We'll see what the judges say.  (I will observe that Twitch is panting and gasping, and Melanie doesn't look like she's all that tired.)