Thursday, June 21, 2007

who really COMMITS

I'm obsessed, I'm a nerd, whatever. Here's what went down on tonight's So You Think You Can Dance, and here's what I think will happen tomorrow night.

Couple 1: Lauren & Neil, Hip Hop - I think Lauren is a bit young for this competition, actually, and her immaturity comes through in her dance. She doesn't connect with the material or her audience enough emotionally. Neil is a little arrogant for me. That said, this was a kickass routine, very well done.

Couple 2: Jessi & Pasha, Jazz - Jessi annoys the crap out of me ("Desk jobs are tedious and hard, wah!"); Pasha's the most adorable Russian ballroom dancer ever. He has this boyish grin that kills me. Beyond that, however, these two are sensational dancers who partner each other exceptionally well. Also, this was a really unique and fun routine, and they nailed it.

Couple 3: Jaime & Hok, Samba
- I *heart* Hok, as you know, and want him to stay. And I was surprised and impressed with what he did accomplish in this routine, and found he slipped into the Latin posture and movement fairly well. It wasn't enough, however, and the end result was uneven and ultimately forgettable. Jaime is childish and hard to listen to? And everything she says? Sounds like a question? And her dancing isn't special enough for me to overlook it? Overall, these two tried to overcome their lack of substance with some fabulous style, but were, sadly, unsuccessful.

Couple 4: Sabra & Dominic, Contemporary - I appreciate the technique that needs to go into contemporary, but GOD could a choreographer try just once to create a routine that isn't overwrought melodrama? Whatever, these two are fine. Dominic is a "B Boy" (break dancer, spins on his head a lot) who's trying to prove he can do more, and he will, and I believe it will only get him so far. Sabra is a darling girl and a lovely dancer, but ultimately easy to forget once you've seen her. I don't doubt she'll have a nice long dance career, but it won't be on this show unless she shows us something more exciting about herself.

Couple 5: Faina & Cedric, Foxtrot
- Cedric is a sensational solo dancer and a weak partner. All the judges have said it repeatedly, because it's just true. Also, I really kind of love Cedric--he's fascinating and intelligent and kind of a puzzle. Faina seems a little uptight, and a little full of herself, and seems to take herself way too seriously. They're an odd couple, although both talented on their own. In this number they were way uneven, and the choreography, in trying to compensate for Cedric's evident shortcomings, ended up betraying the true nature of the foxtrot, and that's unfortunate.

Couple 6: Lacey & Kameron, Broadway - Ooh, I love me a Tyse Diorio Broadway routine. These two are a lot of fun to watch. They have great chemistry, they really commit to the style and the step, and I think they'll go far. I have concerns, however, about them always coming up just a little bit short on every dance, and getting outshined by someone more technically proficient down the line. For now, however, they're a favorite of mine.

Couple 7: Anya & Danny, Viennese Walz
- These two can kick everyone else's collective asses technically and professionally. They're amazing to watch and make everything seem effortless. If a girl wins this year, and I'd love to see that for a change, I think Anya's the one to beat at this point. Danny is beautiful to watch... when he's dancing. When he's talking, he's a little insufferable. Like, we GET IT, you had a hard knock life and dance saved you. It's a beautiful thing, and we're all very happy for you, but Dude? Drop the attitude, save it for the dance floor.

Couple 8: Shauna & Jimmy, Hip Hop - This was a fun routine with some stepping built in, although it didn't work as well with the venue and the sound set up as I think the choreographer imagined. As for the dancers, they were good, they were fine, they seem nice. I don't think Shauna's doing Jimmy any favors here, actually, I would be interested to see him with a different partner. He's another who really COMMITS to every step and feeling, but Shauna's just kind of... meh. Not exciting enough for me.

Couple 9: Sara & Jesus, Paso Doble - I'm with Mia Michaels on this one: the music SUCKED for this routine. I think Paso Doble, and I think Strictly Ballroom, and that's what I want. Not Queen's "We Will Rock You." Ill-advised. As for the dancers, I like them. I really like Jesus, I think he's a positive, committed dancer with a lot of potential to show us great versatility on this show. I think Sara has the same potential, but I also kind of don't like her because I think she's full of shit. In all her interviews she tries to be all badass: "I'm one of the few B-Girls, yo what's up I got no formal training, yo." Or whatever. But then you read her bio on the show's site, and she talks about all these classes she's taken. I think, to use the slang of her so-called roots, she's frontin'. I mean, she can breakdance? But overall, I'm not feelin' it.

So to sum up, here's what I think will happen tomorrow:
1. Fun, staying
2. Awesome, staying
3. Not good enough, bottom 3
4. Lovely but forgettable, bottom 3
5. Uneven, bottom 3
6. Fabulous, staying
7. Beautiful, staying
8. Good enough, staying
9. Weird, but probably staying

Of those bottom 3 couples, the judges will really want to keep Sabra & Dominic and unless they really jack up their solos, they're not in any danger of going home this week. As for the others, it's a tough call, but I think ultimately Faina and Cedric are going to go, or maybe they'll even change up the partners and send home Jaime and Cedric? But I doubt it. Faina is proving to be a handful in any style she doesn't automatically know, she is frustrating for choreographers, and she is alienating the audience. Cedric is just a little too much of a puzzle for the majority of the American public, I think, and that's a shame. He and Hok are equally good solo performers, I think, but Hok has the edge of a slightly more winning personality. And, as we learned in Pulp Fiction, personality goes a long way.

I already have opinions on the future top 10 of this competition, but I'll save them for now 'cause this post is getting long. We'll see what happens tomorrow night!


Christopher said...

Dinah, my dear, you are high on crack cocaine. :)

Couple 1: Lauren & Neil, Hip Hop - My hate for Lauren grows exponentially week to week. This routine was TRASH. Every high school cheerleader in the country dances better hip-hop than this, and none of them are on national television. Easily one of the worst performances of the night.

Couple 2: Jessi & Pasha, Jazz - A fine routine that I didn't totally hate. Jessi wears on me and says stupid shit, but she makes up for it by being smokin' hot. Pasha is "eh." I could take him or leave him.

Couple 3: Jaime & Hok, Samba - Love Hok. Indifferent to Jaime. She reminds me of every undergrad I've ever taught. Slightly annoying, but manageable. Not a great routine, but not terrible either.

Couple 4: Sabra & Dominic, Contemporary - *Love* Sabra. Like Dominic. I don't enjoy Mandy Moore's contemp style; as much as I want to smack Mia Michaels around every week, she's a hell of a choreographer, and makes this routine look kind of childish. They paid for bad choreography with a trip to the bottom 3.

Couple 5: Faina & Cedric, Foxtrot - Speaking of people I want to smack around a little. Faina has permanent bitchface, and I was *so* glad to see her hit the bricks. Also, if I never have to see another Foxtrot or Quickstep again, I'll rejoice. They're rougher on Cedric than they were on Faina, who was also a *terrible* partner ("I don't dance hip-hop so I'm not even going to try." Bleh.)

Couple 6: Lacey & Kameron, Broadway - Hate this song. Hate this routine. HATE HATE H8 Lacey. Poor Kameron. I think I'm always going to dislike him by association. Memo to the costume department: you obviously hate Lacey as much as I do. Hee.

Couple 7: Anya & Danny, Viennese Walz - Can't wait to see Danny dance something where they can hammer him for the irritating ballet habit of pointing his toes all the time. Let him fuck with a Tyce afropop routine or an Alex DeSilva Cuban Rumba for a week and see what happens. This clown is overrated and I can't wait for him to get his papers. Anya is golden, with a bright white aura around her. So brilliant. I didn't like this waltz nearly as much as Jessi and Pascha's Smooth last week. Wasn't even close.

Couple 8: Shauna & Jimmy, Hip Hop - Forgive me for my moment of irritation at cultural poaching, but white people shouldn't step. Ever. (Really, no one outside of historically black fraternities and sororities should step, but that's my own personal opinion.) BUT, if white people are GOING to step, then dammit, you better be good at it. This routine was soft and weak and there is no excuse for being off rhythm while stepping. None. Bottom of the pile for me.

Couple 9: Sara & Jesus, Paso Doble - Sara's one of my favorites, and I like Chuy a lot, too. I didn't mind the music so much, but then again, I enjoy the cognitive dissonance of being jarred out of my comfort zone from time to time. A decent paso, although I'm with you, Dinah: I want flamenco beats and castanets in the background when I see paso doble. I think I would have gone ape shit for the routine if there had been actual Spanish music playing, because the stepwork was fantastic.

Anyway, just my counterpunch there. See you back here later this week. :)

Dinah said...