Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Season Ten, Week One: Top Twenty Performances

Can we all agree that the "Puttin' On the Ritz" intro was one of the lamest beginnings to a season of So You Think You Can Dance ever? Sure, it was cute to see the choreographers get in on the action a little bit, but the choreography for the actual number sucked, and it was boring as all hell.

When this is your starting point for the season... uh-oh.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm already kind of annoyed with this season. It all started when Tommy Tibball, the only dancer I truly loved in auditions, was inexplicably cut from Vegas. Then they cut that ballroom guy because he "dropped" his partner, and I'm sorry, but as a male dancer that is bullshit. We all saw the choreography, and the next move was the girl lowering herself to the ground; she never should have fell on her head, because she should have been ready to catch herself. So she screwed up as much as he did, and she's in the top twenty.

Anyway, let's get to cutting the rest of this episode.

Mariah and Carlos (Jive by Jason Gilkison)

For starters, Mariah completely overwhelms Carlos. When they're dancing together, she looks like she's twice his size, and that made for some scary moments when he was flipping her around: it was like Mariah's head was going to drag across the floor at any moment, or that she we would simply snap Carlos in half. I think it also has to do with her presence: she has some, he doesn't. Having said that, neither was very good at this style. The flicks were weak, the kicks were low, and the energy was lacking. Mariah couldn't get over the hip hop style, and she danced way too much into the ground; it made her limbs look heavy.

Jasmine M. and Alan (Contemporary by Travis Wall)

THOSE BLINDFOLDS ARE TOTALLY TRANSPARENT. They're thinner than an Olsen twin; don't try to tell me they couldn't see through those things. I liked the choreography a lot; it wasn't anything crazy impressive or innovative, but it was beautifully tied together. Jasmine was the star of the piece. Her form was great. Alan's hands and arms were a little awkward at times; I think he's used to ballroom, so he relied on those motions too often at the start. Jasmine's costume was cumbersome, and the blindfolds seriously limited their ability to emote. They pretty much just forgot to use their faces.

Malece and Jade (Jazz by Travis Wall)

This is the bitch I was talking about before, the one who got her partner in Vegas kicked off because she wasn't prepared just as much as he wasn't.. but blame it on the guy, that's how it goes in dance. Anyway, I'm not impressed with her. She overacts and over does it all the time, especially during the Mia Michaels routine last week. This week, it's not entirely her fault. I didn't like this choreography at all; none of the story (a husband and wife movie star team reading a review of their latest film: good for her, bad for him) came through, and the choreography itself looked like Travis's imitation of a Sonya routine. I hated the styling (it was way too "wedding day") as well. Neither dancer stood out for me. Jade impressed me more, simply because he's a beginner and doesn't dance this style. As Wayne said, he picked up the small things well that really make a difference in the performance. And I just want more from Malece. She's got a ways to go before I like her, but right now I don't even think she's a very good addition to the show.

Jenna and Tucker (Broadway by Tyce Diorio)

I wasn't having it from Tucker from the very beginning. Girl needs to tone it down. His movements were obnoxiously exaggerated, which is (generally) fine for an actual Broadway show because you're performing live for people who are a few hundred feet away from you in the back row, but not here and not that big. I also feel like he's just a really long pair of legs with a head on top... seriously, his legs are almost as long as his partner is tall. Oh, and he screwed up that turn combination. Blandy McPlainjane, I mean Jenna, just blends into the background. She technically danced better than Tucker, but he made her disappear because she looked subdued. The choreography was actually decent: nothing groundbreaking, but fun and cute in an old-timey way. Tyce mixed too many time periods for my taste, but for once he gave his dancers good bones to work with. I just didn't really like what either of them did with the number.

Brittany and BluPrint (Afrojazz by Sean Cheesman)

I wasn't sure of BluPrint to begin with; he seemed like a total re-hash of Cyrus. But he gets brownie points for that brilliant rehearsal T-shirt he wore: "#you #are #annoying #with #your #unnecessary #hashtags." Thank you, I agree.

In terms of the actual dance: I kinda loved it. Afrojazz always has a completely different feeling from the other routines, from costuming to choreography. Sean Cheesman is one of the best things about this show; he brings some excellent energy and uniqueness to what can become a boring show. Some of those lifts were incredible and totally new to me. And both dancers actually did a great job showcasing his work! BluPrint impressed me immensely. He didn't miss a step, though I wish he would've done less smiling. Brittany was also a joy to watch. I had no idea who she was before this (every season has a few of those, where you go "Who?!" when they're first introduced), but she's definitely proven that she's one to watch.

P.S - Nigel is such a dick. "You didn't grow up in a jungle!" Yes, because his ancestors must be from Africa, and Africa is nothing but jungles. Douche.

Alexis and Nico (Hip Hop by Christopher Scott)

This routine did nothing for me. There was nothing clever or exciting about it. Nico did a better job stepping out of his comfort zone, and doing it well; Alexis was boring and stilted. They both looked really silly, like they were making fun of themselves and the style. It all came across as juvenile.

Makenzie and Paul (Viennese Waltz by Jason Gilkison)

The Viennese Waltz can be pretty, but it can also be pretty boring. For me, this was the latter. The pair had no chemistry whatsoever, and they came across too cutesy (Makenzie wasn't helped by that pink quincenera dress). They danced it fine, I just don't like this style. And I didn't understand the umbrella. Paul opened it, and then never really held it over her head, just near her. It was weird. And the lift that Mary talked about wasn't impressive at all. Makenzie pushed off a bench and barely got a foot off the ground... what's amazing about that?

Jasmine H. and Aaron (Jazz by Sonya Tayeh)

I couldn't possibly be more over Sonya. She had one idea six seasons ago, and she's been recycling it ever since. She uses the same motions, the same type of music, the same costumes, the same EVERYTHING. It's frustrating and annoying. She needs to pull a Mia and bow out for a season, because I'm sick of seeing the same thing week in and week out. I don't like Aaron; he's too big, and it's distracting. Jasmine seems like a great dancer, and she does have good legs, but I just didn't care enough about this routine to care about her.

Hayley and Curtis (Hip Hop by Christopher Scott)

When it came to actually performing the choreography, roughly halfway through the number, Curtis stole the spotlight. Hayley gave a good performance, but she wasn't loose enough in the movement (see: the close part when she's moving her hips). I wanted her to get a little dirtier. Same for Curtis, actually. His performance was a little weak; he didn't look like a badass, and I wanted him to. This was definitely a better routine from Christopher Scott, but he bothers me. This number was so reminiscent of previous dances (Dee Caspary's light bulb dance in season 8, Sean Cheesman's black widow dance last season), so he kind of feels like a rip-off artist.

Amy and Fik-Shun (Contemporary by Sonya Tayeh)

Despite Sonya being up to a lot of her old tricks, I rather enjoyed this one. She did a lot of the same fits and starts she usually does, but here the shapes were more interesting. It also helped that Sonya had the best female dancer and the most adaptable male dancer doing the routine. Fik-Shun is a big old shock; he was kind of fantastic here. He made some awkward faces, but it was exceptional, technically. Amy continues her reign from Vegas week as The One to Beat. She's flawless.

My Predictions

Bottom Three Girls

Bottom Three Guys

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