Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Season Ten, Week Four: Top Sixteen Performances

Due to a general sense of being fed up with the show and caring less and less each week about its future, my comments on the remainder of the season will likely be brief, for the most part. I just have very little to say about stale, recycled routines, and the judges' manipulation is becoming unbearable to the point that I don't enjoy watching this show the way I used to. Still, I will not be giving unfair critiques. I don't hate everything for the sake of hating it. Every time I dislike something, I will still attempt to give reasons for it. I just don't want to put more energy into this tired old dog than it deserves.

Group Performance (Choreographed by Stacey Tookey & Peter Chew)

Standard. Seen it all before, from the costumes to the shockingly simple movement. There was one "wow" moment with the costume flying off, but that's nothing new to anyone who has seen a Cirque du Soleil performance. 

Alexis and Nico (Jive by Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin)

Horrific. The choreography was too slow to be visually interesting, and the execution was poor. The energy started off good enough, but it waned toward the middle and disappeared by the end. The upward roll lift was clunky and ugly, and rarely were their legs at the same level in any type of synchronization. The costume department also gets an "F" for two awkward costumes: Nico was unsure of himself on heels that were at least two inches, and Alexis's dress had a mid-thigh hem that made much of the footwork look bad. Nothing was working here.

Jenna and Tucker (Contemporary by Travis Wall)

I know that everyone else probably loved this one to death, but I didn't. The straps were so distracting because I kept seeing how they were holding the dancers back. I noticed them both getting (literally) caught up in them throughout the entire routine, especially at the end when Tucker couldn't get the Velcro undone. I liked the concept of the choreography, and what was there was very good. But the execution was heavily flawed. I also hated that there was that huge build-up when Jenna was on Tucker's shoulders, pulling the straps... I thought she was going to take off across the stage, or start spinning uncontrollably. And then she just kind of hung there. It was an anti-climax, for sure. I would love to see this piece danced with more practice and less fuck-ups, because the straps got in the way to the point that I couldn't like this despite how much I wanted to and should have.

Mariah and Blu Print (Jazz by Brian Friedman)

Love that Brian is back. He's a nutcase, and I love it. This was like Xanadu on acid, and I had fun with it. The energy was really good, especially from Mariah, who performed the hell out of the piece. Blu Print still bores me with his lack of expression and general stiffness at times. I think they got the hardest routine of the week, though; it was fast, technical, athletic, and non-stop.

Malece and Alan (Hip Hop by Dave Scott)

Stupid concept. I don't get the love for Malece. I thought she was sub-standard here; look at her at the beginning: she is not bending her knees (or at least her left one) enough and sinking into the choreography, so I'm calling bullshit on the judges' claim that she was doing so. She also has zero sex appeal (unless you're a pedophile, because she looks like she's a child sex slave from somewhere in Eastern Europe) and couldn't sell the sexiness to me with her less-than-stellar hip rolls. Alan didn't impress me much either. Malece at least sat in the groove a little bit, but Alan didn't. Neither really showed any performance skills with their character choices being pretty much non-committal.

Hayley and Curtis (Contemporary by Dee Caspary)

First of all, Dee Caspary is a genius. Refer to his work in earlier seasons for proof of this. This choreography was nearly perfect, for me, and I wasn't in any way distracted by Curtis's shoulders, as the judges seemed to be. I assumed the only reason they pointed it out was so they would have an excuse to eliminate him at the end of the episode; it really wasn't that big of a deal, and for Nigel to say it "ruined the whole dance" is some of the worst hyperbole ever to be uttered on this show. This was my uncontested favorite choreography of the night. The ladder work was stunning, and they didn't run into the same practice issues that Jenna and Tucker did with those straps, so that should count for something in my book.

Amy and Fik-Shun (Jazz by Tyce Diorio)

Still love Amy and Fik-Shun. They're still the ones to beat. But Tyce needs to go. This is a blatant rip-off of a Wade Robson piece from season three, which was nicknamed "Vagabond Cabaret." It was even performed to a song from the same soundtrack as the song this dance was set to. In fact, please watch that piece and see for yourself (the beginning's grainy, but it gets better before the dance begins):

See? Rip off. And the choreography is nowhere near as good as Wade's, despite Nigel's bombastic claim that it's one of Tyce's best routines ever, up there with the cancer dance from season five. That's just... no.

Makenzie and Paul (Hip Hop by Dave Scott)

Someone explain to me why the judges love Makenzie so much. She is the most commonplace, dime a dozen dancer this season, but the judges are intent on making her a star. But clearly the audience agrees with me, because she was in the bottom again this week. DEAR JUDGES: WE DON'T LIKE HER. GET OVER IT KTHANKS. And this routine was terrible. The music was bad, and it was beatless and rhythmless at the beginning for Weezy's rap. And Makenzie needed to take that stupid headpiece off; you are not Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants, get rid of it. Ugh.

Jasmine and Aaron (Quickstep by Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin)

There were some pretty obvious screw ups in this one, most noticeably Jasmine's forward arabesque when Aaron clearly didn't grab her foot on time so she stumbled. Awkward ending too with Aaron tangled inside Jasmine's dress. The choreography was okay, not the shitshow that quicksteps usually are (or were in the past, before choreographers started making quicksteps more than quicksteps). And the frame wasn't locked for most of the partnering.


Bottom Three Guys: Curtis, Alan, Blu Print
Bottom Three Girls: Makenzie, Jenna, Mariah

In the most ridiculous move yet this season, Mariah is eliminated rather than the unmemorable vanilla bitch no one in America likes very much, Makenzie. Surprisingly, she's joined by Blu Print, not Curtis, in the losers' circle. I was sure that the judges were giving Curtis a tongue lashing to make it seem to the audience like he was disobeying their requests and therefore was justified in leaving. But instead, Blu Print gets sent packing. So we lose two hip hop dancers and are left with only one more... this season just got even more boring.

My Bottom Three Girls

My Bottom Three Guys

No comments:

Post a Comment