Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Live to Dance: Semifinals Week One

The Vibe: I think there was a slight overreaction on the part of the judges for this group. Sure, they were good... and they basically choreographed three separate routines, and I know how much of a bitch it is to work with such a huge group of dancers. But I noticed a lot of sloppiness from the couples in the background, and I wasn't really sold on the whole concept of the conductor or whatever. And why was that girl the lead dancer anyway? She wasn't their strongest dancer. But they got through to the finals anyway, so what do I know?

Jittin' Genius: If I were the judges, he is who I would've sent through to the finals. I've never seen anything like this style of dance (the Detroit Jitter, I think he said?), and he owned it. The energy was high, the entire stage was used, and it was just impressive: it reminded me of a mix between hip hop and jive.

Chi-Town Finest Breakers: I was really impressed by these kids at their audition last week, but this performance put all of their flaws on display. They really only succeed at tricks (and the "awwww" factor), and unfortunately there weren't many of them in this new routine. But these kids need to be commended for their dedication and for their selflessness.

Austin Acevedo: I'm not a fan. The routine started off really well, though, with the lyrical/contemporary section. I can't believe Austin has only been dancing for a year and half, because (like Paula said) his technique is incredible; his extensions were complete, his lines were clean. But then the music changed and he started to pop and lock, and the whole thing kind of fell apart. I actually was embarassed for him while he was dancing, knowing full well that this is nowhere near the quality or excitement of the previous acts. And the poor kid ended up with 3 red stars in the end, which is a shame. I'm going to disagree with the judges though and say that he should not work on the hip hop style and "letting go;" I think he should hone his talents in contemporary dance and go as far with that as possible, because that's his strong suit.

Bev and Hap: I'll be honest: I voted for them. I just can't help myself. They certainly were not the best dancers, but they were so funny and so charming that I couldn't help but love it. Paula summed up perfectly what I was thinking while they were performing, and the reason why I love them so much: they're inspiring. It's definitely a cheesy thing to say, but they are the whole point of this show; Bev is 83 and single and still tapping, so clearly she "lives to dance." For that alone, they deserve to be in the finals.

D'Angelo and Amanda: I really enjoy watching these two dance together, as much as I dislike Latin dance. Amanda is better than D'Angelo, though he impressed me more tonight than in their first audition. Amanda looks like a professional and dances beyond her years, while with D'Angelo it is obvious that he is 9 years old (mostly due to his height and size, which are a distraction when you're used to big burly Latin dancers). I think she'd be better off with an older partner; I mean, how awkward was it to see D'Angelo pull Amanda up through his legs and she was basically his height when she was bent at the knees?! That being said, I did really like these two and would not be surprised if they are voted into the finals.

I still really like how cute this show is, and I was glad to see Paula embrace her craziness a little more now that the show is live. Her nod to the gossipers ("it feels like a beach of caramel" or whatever the fuck she said during her intro tonight) was funny, letting us know that she really isn't taking herself or this show too seriously. I wish the same could be said of Travis Payne and Kimberly Wyatt. Both of them are too caught up in the competition to realize how inherently campy this show is. Their critiques of Bev and Hap are the perfect example of this; whereas Paula realized the spirit they possess and the charm they exude and could appreciate that as enough to advance, Travis and Kimberly could not see them as the "best" dance act in America. Because they're not technically flawless? Because their choreography isn't overly intricate? That's not what it's all about.

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