Friday, July 29, 2011

Top Eight Elimination Performances

Top Eight Group Performance (Choreographed by Tyce Diorio)

This was actually a very nice opening number. But I'm a little worrie about Tyce and clown thing; this is the second clown piece he's choreographed on the show, not to mention the circus piece from The Wiz he did two years ago. But the overall picture was very pretty, though a little eerie and kind of sad. There wasn't much to the choreography at all, a lot of standing around and watching the rope-ography and some very basic lifts. But it was quiet and not too over the top like the group performances tend to be, and it wasn't overchoreographed the way Tyce's group performances tend to be. A decent start to the evening.

The Bottom Four: Jordan, Caitlynn, Jess, Tadd

I hate you right now, Gaga. If she didn't say how much she loved Ricky last night, he would be in the bottom. He should've been the one going home, but he lives to dance another week. Blech.

Jordan's solo was flat-out boring; Jess's was a bunch of turns; Caitlynn's wasn't too thrilling either, though the plie attitude turn was kind of awesome; and Tadd's was insane.

It was no surprise to see Jordan going home, despite how much the judges love her. Clearly she's just not someone the audience is in love with, as she's been in the bottom more than she hasn't. I was shocked, however, that Jess was sent home. I kind of never thought it would happen, but I'm so happy it has. There was just something about him that totally turned me off, and, as awful as it may sound, I'm glad to not have to see him dance next week.

The Guest Dancers: The LXD

This group is the most entertaining to ever be featured on the show, and I enjoy watching them year after year. The fact that they do all of those tumbling passes completely in sync, those amazing isolationists, the "big picture" choreography... it's all awesome. I wish Christopher Scott would choreograph like this for the show.

Oh, but don't bother watching their web series... it doesn't make any sense.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week Seven: Top Eight Performances

This week's performance show was a bit excessive, with two guest judges (one being the queen of excess herself, Lady Gaga) and twelve performances, three of which were hip hop and five of which were some type of contemporary or jazz. It got to be exhausting after a while, especially coming off of the long day I had, so forgive the inherent bitterness.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Top Ten Elimination Performances

Let's discuss this All-Star situation, because I'm pissed. Why did the producers get me so excited by bringing back Chelsie and Brandon, only to dump them after one episode? And are they now going to be introducing a new crop of dancers every week? Becuase they're going to run out of "all-stars" pretty quick; they're already kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel with next week's selection. So next week's all-stars will be: Ivan (season two); Jaimie, Anya, Pasha, Lauren, Neil (season three); Ade (season five); and Lauren (season seven). And no, you're not the only ones who completely forgot who Ivan is: he's a hip hop dancer who finished fifth in season two (ahead of Allison and Dmitry!), but I guess because he hasn't been in the spotlight much since then... I just kind of forgot he existed.

Top Ten Group Performance (Choreographed by Josh Bergasse)

By far the most successful Broadway group routine this show has done (not counting Mia's "One" from season five, which I didn't personally care for but I know has a following... that was contemporary, despite its music being from a Broadway show). There was never a moment of boredeom, as there tends to be for me in these group numbers, and the choreography itself managed to be both classic and modern musical theatre. I hope Josh Bergasse is brought back to choreograph for couples this season; his style is fresh and much better than Tyce Diorio's.

The Bottom Four Contestants: Clarice, Jordan, Mitchell, Ryan

I totally forgot that the bottom three of last season was done because only one dancer was eliminated each week, so I was initially surprised that four dancers would be in the bottom. But none of the four dancers surprised me. I think since there had to be two girls in the bottom, Clarice was an obvious choice next to Jordan. Mitchell got screwed with a bad routine last night, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who doesn't really understand why Ricky is so highly praised.

It's upsetting that Mitchell is eliminated, since I think he's the strongest dancer out of the remaining men. And it's not at all upsetting or surprising that Clarice, with her inability to not smile and her seeming lack of sense of humor, is eliminated as well. Looking back, I'm shocked she even made into the top ten; but I think she got by because she was paired with Jess, who clearly has a following of tween girls.

I'm not even going to comment on the guest dancer, because it was so weird and boring that I fast-forwarded through it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week Six: Top Ten Performances

Neil Patrick Harris is my new favorite judge from this season for two reasons:

1. He told Tyce Diorio his choreography and concept sucked (in so many words).
2. He told Jess to drop the twatty attitude and stop being so stupid (in so many words).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Top Twelve Elimination Performances

Let's talk about the Emmy nominations; the show was nominated for an amazing eight Emmys, including their first ever nomination for Outstanding Reality Competition Series. Plus three of my five favorite routines of last season were nominated for Outstanding Choreography: "Boogie Shoes" by Mandy Moore, "Mad World" by Stacey Tookey and "Outta Your Mind" by Nappytabs. Travis Wall and Mia Michaels were also nominated, and everyone's nominations were for multiple works. And let's not forget that Cat Deeley finally got her due, scoring a nomination for Outstanding Host of a Reality Series. She's the most likeable host on television, and I'm ecstatic that she was finally nominated. I'm so happy to see this show finally getting some recognition, even if it was more deserved for stronger previous seasons. But better late than never!

And how exciting are the group of all stars?! Can't wait to see season one runner-up Melody; Chelsie Hightower, my favorite from season four; and Brandon, one of the best dancers the show has ever had. The others are Allison (season two); Pasha (season three); Twitch and Comfort (season four); Kathryn (season six); and Robert (season seven). I wish they could've coerced Billy and/or Jakob, but oh well.

Top Twelve Group Performance (Choreographed by Kelly Abbey)

Despite some fantastic musicality, this performance was hideously boring. Nothing happened in the opening twenty seconds or so, and only half the dancers were dancing at any given moment. Why can't these choreographers figure out a way to use all of the dancers? They don't all have to be doing the same movement, but why are so many of them constantly just standing on the sidelines waiting for their part to begin?

The Bottom Three Couples: Caitlynn and Mitchell, Ryan and Ricky, Sasha and Alexander

No real surprises here; I know Jordan and Tadd made it through on the strength of their contemporary piece last night, even though it's said that Sasha and Alexander have ended up in the bottom in the week where they finally started to gel as a couple.

Based on solos, I too would've sent home Ryan and Alexander. It's not that either of them were bad, but the others just set the bar higher. Mitchell's solo was nothing short of amazing, and even I can't deny how good Ricky's solo was as well. Alexander's had some great moments (the aerial into an arabesque was ridiculous), but he also stumbled a bit. And Caitlynn finally danced within her limitations, not falling out of her turns for once or flailing like a mad woman across the stage. Sasha's wasnt all that impressive, but it was very strong. Ryan's was just a little confusing, and her hair was a major distraction from the movement.

So neither elimination was entirely surprising, especially given how the show has worked out so far. Ryan has constantly been in the bottom despite some strong showings, and Alexander was carried through the first four weeks by a strong partner.

The Guest Dancer: Jason Samuels Smith

Okay, did anyone else find it awkward that none of the tap sounds in the introduction were actually coming from the stage? They were on the recording. Oh, and Melinda from last season was shoved in there in the background (the one in green shoes). The dancing itself was impressive, but the sound just killed it all for me. Why, oh why, can't anyone just freaking tap? It got better as the routine went on and the sound cut out, but what was with that intro? Annoying.

Week Five: Top Twelve Performances

Two performances from each couple! Another hilarious guest judge! Awful and amazing routines! Let's start cutting!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Top Fourteen Elimination Performances

Top Fourteen Group Performance (Choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan)

As far as Bollywood routines go, this one was pretty tame. It was missing a lot of the thrill and excitement usually present in the couples Bollywood dances. The energy was great though, and no one stood out as being really good or really bad. That's a feat in and of itself considering how bad some of the guys were in their group performance last night. But even in the simple movement of walking forward, the girls were better than the guys.

The Bottom Three Couples: Ashley and Chris, Jordan and Tadd, Ryan and Ricky

Ugh, this is such a terrible group to be in danger of leaving the show. Sasha and Alexander absolutely deserved to be in the bottom over Ryan and Ricky; Jordan and Tadd were very good, but I can understand why that routine wouldn't have grabbed an audience. But Ryan and Ricky? I just don't get it. The only thing I can think of is that Ryan's story of being discovered by Mia Michaels and already having a great career in television put off voters, which is ridiculous but then again so is America.

Having said that, I hated all the solos. Tadd's was the only enjoyable one, because it was at least amusing... but it was stupid. But it was a foregone conclusion that Ashley and Chris would be eliminated, so there was no surprise there. Luckily for them, they had one of the best performances so far with their Broadway routine two weeks ago; it will likely end up being one of the best of entire season.

The Guest Dancers: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

This group is unbelievable; amazing choreography and dancers. This is what the dancers on this show should be aspiring to. But that's honestly one of the ugliest pieces of music I've ever heard.

Week Four: Top Fourteen Performances

This was such a strange episode. To start with, all but one of the choreographers was doing their first routine of the season; many of those choreographers were doing their first routines ever on the show. And what was with the styles? Six of the seven couples got a style that they had previously danced this season... and it's only the fourth week of competition. I smell a fix.