Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Week Six: Top Six (GAH! Five) Performances

Okay, I'm seriously pissed off at this point. What the fuck is going on this season? These dancers can't just be injuring themselves out of nowhere; I feel like it has to be a ploy. Maybe I'm just a paranoid conspiracy freak, but this is seriously unbelievable. Alex and Billy are both highly trained dancers; I doubt they wouldn't be warming up, which was Nigel's suggestion for the issue. It's just too weird. And it's awful, because clearly Billy is going to go home. The judges were praising (to the point of inducing groans and eye rolls constantly from me) everyone tonight, so even though Billy will be recovered for next week's show... it's obvious they will use the injury and his lack of performance as an excuse to send him home.

And tonight we get the first guest judge of the season, and I can't help but wonder why. Kenny Ortega doesn't have a movie coming out next week or anything, so I don't understand why they decided to bring him on now of all times. Plus, I have to just say that the state of pop culture today sickens me. When Cat said Kenny Ortega is best known for the High School Musical series, I wanted to vomit. Let's just not mention the fact that he choreographed Madonna's "Material Girl" music video, one of the most iconic videos of all time; forget the fact that he did Newsies or Xanadu, or that he directed a 1990 world tour for Cher; just gloss over Dirty FREAKING Dancing, because he's best known for High School Musical. Kill me.

Lauren and Twitch (Hip Hop by Tabita & Napoleon D'umo)
I've come to the conclusion that Nappytabs are only great when they do lyrical hip hop. When they choreograph straight-up hip hop, it's mediocre at best. Most of this routine was bland and underwhelming. I like Lauren a lot, but she did much, much better with Tessandra Chavez's hip hop routine a few weeks ago. This didn't showcase her very well at all. She was not as hard-hitting as she needed to be, nowhere near as sharp either.

Side Note: I don't have as much to say about this week's episode as usual. It was pretty boring.

Jose and Allison (Contemporary by Sonya Tayeh)
These two looked nothing like lovers to me... more like mother and child, which made it slightly awkward. I didn't particularly like Sonya's choreography, and somewhere the concept got lost. It should have been melancholy and dangerous, but it looked cartoonish. All the flailing combined with the strange choice of soundtrack made this look like an old silent movie in which everyone overacts to make up for the lack of vocals. When Sonya explained the whole "dancing on the edge" theme, I expected so much more. There was no intensity, no danger, no fear of falling. But other than that, I just wasn't impressed with the dancing... not even Allison, really. Mia hit the nail on the head for me when she said Jose was doing "pedestrian contemporary:" gestures rather than dance. That's what this was: a step instead of a leap.

Robert and Lauren (Jazz by Tyce Diorio)
Why does Robert always do jazz? This is, what, the third time? I'm over it at this point, because he's starting to remind me of competitive jazz dancers: technique but no personality. Because, I'm sorry, but Robert is not sexy. I've never once looked at him and said, "Mmmmm, sensual." It's usually, "Mmmmm, awkward." Because that's what he is. He anticipates choreography. He never lets go and just dances, he's always concentrating on form and steps and getting that move to look just so, when all I want is to see some freaking dancing. Let the movement just move through you. He did that last week with Travis's piece, but he took two steps back with this one.

Kent and Kathryn (Jazz by Sonya Tayeh)
I don't have much to say about this routine. I thought it was cheesy and slightly annoying. All I really need to get off my chest is: TONE. DOWN. THE FACIALS. Every week, I get more and more annoyed by Kent. His ridiculous facial expressions make me murderously angry. Again, I agree with what Mia said in that he can sometimes take choreography to a juvenile place. Sonya is anything but juvenile, but that's exactly what I got from this routine: two twelve-year olds in a dance studio whose interior monologue is something like, "Look at us have fun! We're doing stupid shoulder shrugs, but we're having FUN!"

Adechike and Comfort (Lyrical Hip Hop by Tabitha & Napoleon D'umo)
First of all: that wig Comfort was wearing is busted. Wow. As with Travis's piece last week, I couldn't help but find this reminiscent of a previous piece: "Bleeding Love." The prop was similar, the storyline was similar, the movement was similar. And Adechike even reminded me of Mark: good upon first viewing, but ultimately making some missteps and playing second fiddle to a commanding female character. There's no question that Comfort was the star of this piece, and I'm excited to say that I actually really liked her performance (I usually can't even stand the mention of her). But the emotion was raw and palpable, thanks mostly to Comfort. Actually, thanks entirely to Comfort. I thought Adechike was merely stage dressing, there to assist Comfort and give her character a little of heft; it's easier to identify with her character when we can see the person she's fleeing from. Like I said earlier, Nappytabs is really only successful when telling a story... case in point.

Robert and Lauren (Samba by Dmitry Chaplin)
Oh God, why this song again? A live performance wasn't torture enough? Anyway, I didn't like Robert here at all. He was entirely too stiff (look at the shoulder shimmies at the very start of the routine), and his footwork was very weak, not quick enough or sharp enough. Lauren was fine. Good, even. I just wasn't excited by the whole thing.


Side Note 2: Kenny Ortega did not add anything to the panel. He only gushed, agreed with all the other judges, and said how much he likes the show. And then his brilliant insight into this routine is that the choreographers have to not only teach the dancers the movement, but also train them lightly in the style. Yes, we know... that's the whole point of the show, sir. To see if they can pick it up or not. Dumbass.

Adechike and Jose (Paso Doble by Dmitry Chaplin & Legacy)
Ugh. There was absolutely no dancing for at least the first thirty seconds of this routine. They twirled capes forever and walked in circles (and even the walking in circles was sloppy!). Blah. Jose was so bad, I just... so bad! That death fall? Atrocious. Adechike was not much better. He added nothing and wasn't even at a level where I could say, "Well at least he made up for Jose being bad." Because he didn't. And I'd like to disagree with all of the judges; none of that choreography was difficult. They both just suck at embodying characters.

Kent and Twitch (Stepping by Chuck Maldonado)
I'm pretty sure I did this in high school when I was a cheerleader. Only we weren't quite so sloppy tapping out rhythms on our bodies. Kent looked so ridiculous up there, I actually felt bad for him. His facials were, once again, way too much and his body just can't move the way it needs to for this type of dance. Honestly, I was just bored by this entire routine: the dancers, the choreography, the music, the costumes (They're in a high school! They have to be wearing letterman's jackets! Everyone in high school wears those!), the style.

Side Note: The audience is extra obnoxious tonight. I was clawing at my ears whenever that tool in the audience made that hideous whooping sound.

Side Note 2: If they can do something like this, why can't they do tap?

My Bottom Three

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